ONCE UPON A TIME’s Dan Torres talks Zoom, Magic, and More!

Cast member Daniel Torres (Prince Felix the Fierce) talks about his role in SGT’s collaboration with Theatre of Youth, the interactive digital musical, ONCE UPON A TIME! 

View Daniel’s whole interview with AM Buffalo host Melanie Camp HERE.

ONCE UPON A TIME has been extended until February 28th and tickets are available for purchase at Theatre of Youth’s website, www.theatreofyouth.org.

SGT’s 2020-2021 Season!

Second Generation Theatre is thrilled to announce our 2020-2021 Shea’s Smith Season:

October 16-November 1, 2020
Starring SGT Executive Director Kristin Bentley and Ben Michael Moran this spellbinding romantic journey begins with a simple encounter between a man and a woman. What happens next defies the boundaries of the world we think we know, delving into the infinite possibilities of their relationship and raising questions about the difference between choice and destiny. This will be Michael Wachowiak‘s directorial debut for SGT.

Songs for a New World
February 5-21, 2021
This contemporary song cycle directed by Amy Jakiel is the first musical from Tony award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown. Fueled by a small, yet powerful cast led by Michele Marie Roberts, Songs for a New World transports us throughout the last century with effortless ease and nothing but music to guide us. Full of stories that examine life, love, and the timelessness of self-discovery, this production is a joyful celebration of the stories we weave.

The Secret Garden
May 21-June 6, 2021
Directed by Doug Zschiegner, this vibrant musical follows the journey of Mary Lennox, a child orphaned in India and sent to live with her hermit uncle in England. In a house full of memories, The Secret Garden shows us how life and love can always prevail. Based on the classic novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden is a perfect family show.

SGT Announces Exciting Dates for 2019-2020

Join SGT as we add special events to our 2019-2020 season.

PAGE TO STAGE: MISCAST is scheduled for Sunday, May 3rd at the Shea’s Smith Theater at 7 pm. Join some of SGT’s favorite performers for a night of songs they were never quite meant to sing! Basket raffles, silent, auction, appetizers, desserts and a cash bar. $50 tickets will be on sale in early 2020

SGT’s FREE READING SERIES continues this season with four unique pieces of theatre. Mondays at 7 pm, these readings are offered completely free to the public, and followed by discussion led by SGT’s Literary Director, Katherine Boswell. Titles for Directors for the year are as follows:

A KID LIKE JAKE by Daniel Pearle- December 9th, Directed by Sabrina Kahwaty

THE BOWLING PLAY a world premiere by Kelly Copps- January 27th, Directed by Amy Jakiel

SISTER CITIES by Colette Freedman- May 27th, Directed by Mara Westerling Morris

GLORIA by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins- June 22nd, Directed by Tracy Snyder

All readings take place at Kenmore Presbyterian Church (2771 Delaware Ave, Kenmore NY, 14217)

11- year-old NINE star Max Goldhirsch on theater, SGT, and being a kid


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW-TV) — Max Goldhirsch was a typical 11 year-old until he auditioned for a part in a show. He wowed the director and landed a part in the Second Generation Theatre Company production of “Nine”, now playing at Shea’s Smith Theatre.

Max says he had performed in school shows but this was his first professional role. About his fellow cast members who are all adults and mostly female he adds “I love working with these people because it makes me so excited about how theatre is supposed to be”.

Kelly Copps, Second Generation’s Artistic Director and a member of the cast says that Max’s performance brings tears to the cast members eyes “he sounds like a little angel.”

NINE review from Theater Talk Buffalo

Nine is All You Could Want at Second Generation

A musical for a Golden Age of Buffalo Theater


By Anthony Chase

When I began my career as a drama critic, I was mindful of several maxims.

  • Critique what you see, not what you wish you could be seeing
  • Be open to new experiences
  • Be aware of the rest of the audience, but be mentally independent of them
  • A critic who loses a love of the art is obsolete

Blossom Cohan, late great publicist for the old Studio Arena Theatre warned me that “Critics eventually become jaded!”

Blossom was seldom wrong, but that hasn’t happened to me. Tears still stream down my face during moments of theatrical beauty – tragic or comic. Even seeing a downright turkey does not feel like a waste of my time; I love the theater and theatrical disasters intrigue me. I still love to be amazed, or challenged, or disturbed in the theater. I love original, even outrageous takes on familiar plays.

I am having a very good week.

It seems clear to me that Buffalo Theater is enjoying a Golden Age. The offerings are abundant and generally of excellent quality. (Okay, it could be more diverse, but that means we have room to grow and the best is yet to come!)

This week we saw a brilliant rendering of Joe Orton’s 1964 classic, Entertaining Mr. Sloane at Irish Classical; a disturbing and polarizing new play by Gordon Farrell, Girls Who Walked on Glass, staged as an immersive experience at Alleyway; The Seat Next to the King, an insightful Canadian play about American gay politics at New Phoenix; A Time to Kill, a racially charged courtroom drama at a suburban dinner theater; and finally, Second Generation Theatre’s fresh and irresistible production of Nine, a musical adaptation of Federico Fellini’s film, 8 ½ .

In recent months we’ve seen Ujima inaugurate a fabulous new space on the West Side with a brilliant production of Passing Strange; not to mention Road Less Traveled after being tossed about, moving into a marvelous new theater downtown, and the transitions of theaters from founding leadership to their next chapter. All that, and the dust has barely settled on MusicalFare’s astonishingly wonderful staging of Fun Home, and our summer of Shakespeare in Delaware Park is set to kick off with The Tempest.

Today, I am thinking about Nine, a show with which I am well familiar, produced by a company with a name that reflects the gradual growth of Buffalo’s theater community across generations.

NINE at Second Generation Theatre

I have seen Nine about 30 times, including the original Broadway production and the 2003 revival.

Oddly, I also have a solid background in that era of Italian Cinema when Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Bernardo Bertolucci, Vittorio De Sica, Roberto Rossellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Luchino Visconti were all working simultaneously. In fact, when I arrived in Buffalo in 1981, I was coming directly from Rome, where I had been studying Italian cinema; poking around Cinecittà Studios; spending time at the late Pasolini’s amazing house where his sister hosted us; on the set of Liliana Cavani’s film, La pelle, and hanging out with Bernardo Bertolucci’s brother, filmmaker Giuseppe Bertolucci, who had just finished making Oggetti smarriti, and who winced when people referred to “Bertolucci,” and meant his brother.

When Nine opened on Broadway in 1982, I was very conscious of the show’s roots in Italian cinema and had even had a brush with Mario Fratti, author of the original book which moved the action of 8 ½ to a spa in Venice against the backdrop of the filming of Fellini’s Casanova. (His friend Katharine Hepburn intervened with Fellini personally to secure rights for a musical adaptation by Fratti and Maury Yeston. Eventually Arthur Kopit would write a new book).

Of all the filmmakers of the period, Fellini was the least consciously political, and therefore, ironically, the most traditional. In other words, he was the most prone to support middle class Italian values, including traditional gender roles. Having spent his formative years in the fascist era, experiences reflected in his film, Amarcord, complicated this.

Elements of Fellini that made 8 ½ particularly fertile source material for Broadway include the blurring of (and tension between) illusion and reality, innocence and experience, history and myth in his work. In addition, the infantile dilemma of a man whose body’s clearing forty as his mind is nearing ten taps into Fellini’s nostalgia for childhood and the oft celebrated phenomenon of perpetual adolescence among Italian men, which in turn, links to the fetishizing of unattainable women. Nowhere do cultures privilege the mother/son relationship more powerfully than in the Roman Catholic countries of the Mediterranean! All this fetishizing, privileging, marginalizing, and categorizing of women creates myriad confusion and fodder for Fellini who revels in the relations but never probes their complexities too deeply.

It was director Tommy Tune who conceived of the idea to surround Guido with women in the musical. With Guido as the hub, women radiate out and revolve around him like spokes on a wheel. Women motivate every scene of the plot.

The structure of the show is simple. Great film director Guido Contini has signed a contract to make a film but has reached a moment of artistic stagnation. His inability to fulfill this film contract is mirrored by his inability to fulfill his marriage contract; he is inattentive and unfaithful. In the opening scene, his wife, Luisa, here played by Aimee Walker, suggests that they should divorce.

Guido’s attempts at Freudian self-examination never manage to be more than superficial. He is too self-absorbed to see past himself. In a naïve gesture, he decides to go to a spa in Venice with Luisa to rejuvenate both his creativity and his marriage. Naturally, the two objectives become blurred and pull Guido apart. (If you didn’t want to be recognized, asks Luisa, why didn’t we go to a spa that is less well known?)

Guido’s world descends upon the Venetian spa, both physically and through his memories, one woman at a time.

Carla, his girlfriend arrives, played by Kelly Copps, intent on divorcing her husband and marrying Guido. Liliane La Fleur, his producer arrives, played by Lisa Ludwig, determined to extract a script from the struggling director. Claudia, the star of his previous films and his muse, arrives, played by Arianne Davidow.

In the realm of memory, Guido’s mind is invaded by thoughts of Saraghina, a hedonistic woman who initiated the boys at Saint Sebastian School into the idea of sex, played by Nicole Cimato; and by his mother, the middle-class embodiment of the Blessed Mother, played by Mary Gjurich.

Each woman is introduced in a musical episode. These begin as large and theatrical, before leading up to the hauntingly melodious and dramatically powerful songs of Act II.

Designed by Chris Cavanagh, the set for this production is a handsome playing area with symmetrical classical lines that can be a spa bath or a Folies Bergère stage. The Smith Theatre is a wide and arguably awkward arena for a large musical, and to be frank, Nine does not fit here as neatly as Second Generation’s previous show, Big Fish, did. While the show plays outward, as if through a proscenium, the audience hugs around to the sides, meaning some seats are certainly better than others. Still, in such an intimate setting, none is exactly bad. I was situated perfectly. The symmetry of the setting clearly establishes that every number is sung by or to Guido, and that the stage is a frame for his life and (to quote the lyrics) a tale of sound and fury that some idiot went and told.

The production, under the direction of Victoria Perez, with choreography by Lauren Alaimo, and music direction by Allan Paglia, establishes its bold theatricality immediately. The rising momentum through the opening sequence is thrilling, and when it finally comes to its climax, the robust applause reminded me of similar coups de théâtre at Second Generation Theatre in shows like Into the Woods, Light in the Piazza and Big Fish. This company always tries to project the feeling that you are present at something very special, as if each individual show is a singular gift. As a result, quibbling over the details can seem knit picky. The general gesture of the show is, inarguably, sublime, if not without minor and forgivable stumbles.

The opening staging, choreographed elegantly by Alaimo, tosses Guido, played by Ben Michael Moran, through space like a doll, and deploys the women like shifting patterns of human lace, an effect augmented by Lise Harty’s excellent costumes. Beginning with the wordless “Overture Delle Donne” sung by the female company, the sequence leads into the expository “Not Since Chaplin,” and finally, explodes into “Guido’s Song,” establishing the star status of Guido, and in this case, of Ben Michael Moran, personally.

Ben Michael Moran.

Moran is a powerhouse: charismatic, energetic, and graceful. He sings expressively, and while his performance of his opening song is playful and comic, it also allows him to project the masculine vulnerability that makes Guido irresistible to impulses that are alternately maternal and, shall we say, libidinal. (And not for nothing, he’s never looked more handsome, which is saying a lot!)

Moran delivers a star turn, and a star turn is what this role, previously played by such men as Raul Julia, Sergio Franchi, and Antonio Banderas, requires. This is an extraordinary performance.

Aimee Walker plays Guido’s wife, Luisa. This is an emotionally demanding role (it’s the character played by Anouk Aimée in 8 ½). While Luisa is clearly “the” love of Guido’s life, she is not “the only” love his life, and her reaction to this realization is a combination of anger and hurt. Walker communicates the former more pointedly than the latter. Her rendition of “My Husband Makes Movies” is the show’s first soulful number and skillfully establishes Luisa as the traditional devoted wife of a famous man, smoothing over his trespasses, even when those trespasses trample her very soul. Guido’s song, “Only You,” seems to trivialize his extra marital affairs, or at least to minimize their importance to the women who are caught in their triangulations, giving Walker, Copps, and Davidow the motivation they need to land the emotional wallop of their later songs. By Act II, Yeston will hand Luisa the defiant “Be On Your Own” in which she banishes Guido from her life, to be followed “Long Ago” in which she recounts their lives together.

The complexity of the lyrics given to Luisa suggests that a nuanced interpretation of the character is required: “I’ll soon relieve you of your pain / When I set you free. / If that is all you wish to have, then I agree. / No need for thanks, your just rewards will be my fee. / Go off and live your petty fictions / Full of blatant contradictions you can’t see.”

With her final stab, of course, Luisa slays both Guido and herself: “And you’ll take with you all you own / From A to Z / And all of me.”

The tension between anger and hurt, between hating Guido and loving him, could not be more piercing. Walker gives a clear and vivid performance of the role, which is the most difficult in the show.

By contrast, the other women, fulfilling symbolic functions in Guido’s life, are broad cabaret turns, brimming with delicious opportunity that does not go unexploited.

As we progress through the action of Act I, Charmagne Chi deftly navigates the always problematic “The Germans at the Spa” swiftly and entertainingly, establishing the shifting setting of the play’s action while goofing on German tourists in Italy. Unlike any other number of the show, this one is not about Guido. (Back in 1982 I had vivid memories of German tourists in Italy, but the joke doesn’t really travel that well). The number was cut from the 2003 Broadway revival. Still, Chi as always, blazes a dynamic and bright path. She and her company of Spa Girls and German tourists give the number an entertaining go.

Lisa Ludwig scores decisively as Liliane La Fleur, former Follies star turned producer. Sporting a perfect period Parisian hairstyle and chic attire, her every entrance (and exit) is impactful. She slays the Folies Bergère number, in which she explains to Guido her idea of entertainment, using the opportunity to wow the audience with her talent and to work the crowd in search of the mysterious stranger who has left a gift without signing his name.

Mary Gjurich is the embodiment of maternal love as Guido’s mother, and provides affecting import to the show’s title song.

Sabrina Kahwaty transforms herself to play Robespierre, critic for “Cahiers du Cinema,” who is enlisted to assist, or assassinate Guido. She has the rapid patter down pat.

Leah Berst is perfection as Lady of the Spa, a role that merely requires her to sing gloriously.

In a production that does not have a cadre of nine-year-old boys cavorting on the beach, but just one – played adorably by Max Goldhirsch — the casting of Nicole Cimato as Saraghina is a physical contrast to previous productions, or the film. While other Saraghinas have been zaftig, Cimato is petite. The choice invites us to reimagine the show’s most famous number, “Be Italian.” Cimato delivers with an energetic and life-affirming anthem to unapologetic pleasure with joyful choreography by Alaimo.

Arianne Davidow is sublime as movie star, Claudia, Guido’s muse who has outgrown him. Her performance of “Unusual Way,” one of the most glorious Broadway songs of the 1980s, is poignant and superb. As we see Davidow assay more leading lady roles, she impossibly seems to get better and better.

The gold standard for “Carla,” the girlfriend that Guido has difficulty leaving, was Anita Morris, whose original performance of “A Call from the Vatican” was a sensation. She writhed and clawed at the floor with a performance so unbridled that she wasn’t allowed to perform the number at the Tony Awards. Oddly, the inspiration for the performance in this production would seem to be Jane Krakowski’s trapeze performance from 2003, in which she propelled from the ceiling on sheet-like aerial silks. The Smith Theatre lacks the height to pull this off, making the moment look or like “the girl in the swing,” and encumbers, rather than assists Kelly Copps who could totally sell this number without gimmicks. Still, Copps is appealing as Carla, and sings a moving rendition of “Simple,” a song that underplays the passion of falling in love, and the pain of saying goodbye.

At the heart of it all, of course, is Guido, and this production boasts as fine a performance in the role as you could ever hope to see. Moran glides through the evening with passion and versatility, singing expressively, dancing, clowning, and even suffering with conviction and versatility.

The film ends with Guido, death averted, leading the characters into a circus tent for a communal dance. At the final moment, he reaches his hand out to his wife, Luisa, who hesitates for a moment, but then takes it, joining him in the celebration. In the musical, Guido reaches the point of desperation and contemplates suicide, but then his nine-year old self sings to him, telling him that it is time to grow up and to move on. I will stop right there, lest I spoil the rest for everyone. Let me just say that the musical fulfills the hope, joy, and sentimentality of the film, as does the Second Generation production. This is a magnificently satisfying evening of musical theater.

NINE: Regional premiere opens June 14!

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Melinda Miller

As either the last production of the main theater season or the first of the summer shows, the musical “Nine” is making its regional premiere this week in Shea’s Smith Theatre, nearly 40 years after it took Broadway by storm. Leave it to Second Generation Theatre – founded by three women – to produce the multi-Tony Award-winning show about one man’s midlife crisis, as seen by the many women whose lives helped shape him. Maury Yeston, who wrote the music and lyrics, based his story on Federico Fellini’s art house classic “8 1/2,” a semi-autobiographical movie about a filmmaker who has hit a wall in both his personal and professional lives. It opened in New York City in 1982 with Raul Julia starring as Guido Contini but became famous for the sheer lacy catsuit Anita Morris wore as Guido’s mistress, Carla.

One reason the show may be debuting this late in the season here is that Second Generation didn’t want to drain other local theater productions when it assembled its dynamite cast of 14 women, including Aimee Walker, Lisa Ludwig, Arianne Davidow and Kelly Copps. Guido is played by Ben Michael Moran, who was so incredible earlier this year in SGT’s “Angels in America Part One.”

The show opens June 14 (opening night is sold out) and runs through June 30 at the Smith Theatre (658 Main St.). Tickets are $30; $25 for seniors and $15 for students, through the Shea’s box office or online at secondgenerationtheatre.com.


The Buffalo News gives ANGELS Four Stars!

By Melinda Miller, March 9th, 2019
Nearly two decades after Y2K and 30 years after Tony Kushner gave the world his “AIDS play,” the hefty two-part “Angels in America” remains one of the brightest stars in the theater firmament.

Rather than dating the play, the distance of time brings even more clarity to the understanding that “Angels” isn’t just about AIDS at all. In its comic and tragic voices, it speaks to all humanity.

The beauty of the much-honored play is on full display in Second Generation Theatre’s production of “Angels in America: Part One, The Millennium Approaches,” now playing in Shea’s Smith Theatre. While Kushner’s vision is sprawling, the characters’ emotional interactions are desperately intimate, and the cozy venue is a fine place to share them.

Click here to read on!

Meet the Cast 4: The Angel

SGT: We are so glad to have you back on stage with SGT. You were a part of our very first show.

KTK: I was the voice of the Giant in SGT’s inaugural production of “Into the Woods,” and then got to use my whole body as Sonia in “Vanya, Sonia, Masha, and Spike.”

SGT: What is it about ANGELS that drew you to the project?

KTK: I love this play. It was a game changer when it was first performed, and has been teaching and inspiring us ever since. It manages to address the AIDS crisis in a way that’s both Epic and personal. It’s got elements of theatre magic, it’s absurdly funny, it’s smart and political, but is grounded with truthful, break your heart human moments. The abandonment, fear, and love these characters experience is still very relatable. When I learned Greg was directing, and that Kristin, Steve, Ben, and Dudney were already on board, I jumped at the chance to support the production.

SGT: You play many characters in this show- are there any of them that you relate to strongly?

KTK: I relate to Sister Ella Chapter’s wish for her friend to “stay put.” That’s a very Buffalo thing I think, we like our roots. I admire Nurse Emily’s bravery and compassion. I worked with my mother, a retired nurse, on some of the business I have to do on stage, and talked with her for the first time about her experience caring for AIDS patients in the 1980s. Women like my mother were on the front lines before any good research was out there because they knew it was the right thing to do. Finally, I admire the Angel’s insistence on making a grand entrance.

SGT: Who is your favorite character in the play that isn’t you ?

KTK: Harper. Kristin’s doing a beautiful job of capturing her fragility, and her strong survivor instincts. She’s childlike and poetic, but also powerfully incisive.

SGT: Is there anyone you particularly love to work with/watch?

KTK:I am so moved by Ben’s vulnerability as Prior. He’s going to all of the dark and scary places in the script, yet manages to let his inimitable light shine through.


Meet the Cast 3: Kristin Bentley

Angels in America: Part One, Millennium Approaches opens March 8th at the Shea’s Smith Theatre. This complex and brilliant play features some of Buffalo’s finest actors. Take a moment to get to know them and what drew them to this show!

Actor: Kristin Bentley

Character: Harper Pitt, and SGT Executive Director

Kristin: As Executive Director I have been fortunate enough to be involved in every production in SGT’s history, but this is only my second time onstage as an actor. My first time onstage with SGT was in our first production of a play, SOME GIRL(s), directed by Steve Copps.

SGT: What is it about ANGELS that drew you to the project? 

Kristin:Angels in America is my favorite play. I was fortunate enough to see Tony Kushner speak when I was in high school, and at the time was completely unfamiliar with his work. From there I read and fell in love with Angels in America. In college, I studied scenes from Part One: Millennium Approaches in an acting class with Greg Natale. The chance to get to work on this incredible piece of art with a director like Greg, who truly understands truth in acting, and play such a complicated, sensitive and surprisingly strong woman as Harper was an opportunity I couldn’t let pass me by.

SGT: Tell us more about Harper.

Kristin: Harper is lonely and imaginative and funny and stronger than she realizes. She is trying hard to find where she fits and to find the strength to use her voice. Her marriage is falling apart and she is navigating that. There is so much for audiences to relate to in her, as with all of these complex characters.

SGT: Who is your favorite character in ANGELS?

Kristin: I love Prior. His humor, his heart, his unbreakable will. I also love Belize. His compassion, wit, and loyalty to his friends and passion of his convictions. I must have a thing for ex-drag queens.

SGT: You’re in a unique position here- you have gotten to watch the cast of every SGT show work together and perform and change- who stands out to you in this process?

Kristin: This entire cast is a DREAM, but I am most excited to finally work with Dudney! After 10 years of friendship this is the first time we are onstage together! 

 Click Here for Tickets!

Meet the Cast- Ben Michael Moran

Actor: Ben Michael Moran Character: Prior Walter

I was in SGT’s debut production of INTO THE WOODS as well as ASSASSINS and CRIMES OF THE HEART. They’re all productions and experiences that mean a great deal to me. CRIMES was my introduction to the incredibly rewarding experience of being directed by Greg Natale.


SGT: What is it about ANGELS that drew you to the project?

Ben: ANGELS was the first purchase I made from The Drama Bookshop in NYC. It was a box set of both parts and all I knew was that it was rumored to be the newest modern American classic. At 17 I was too young and naive to understand all the nuance of Kushner’s writing and the complexity behind the socio-political context of the story, but I was fascinated by his ability to speak these character’s truths as effortlessly as water flows. As an adult I love and respect this script for its bravery, its timeless relevance and for bringing to light the human side of an epidemic that too many sought to keep forever in the shadows. I’ve always been a fan of pieces that make me laugh and cry, back and forth, draw me in to the heart of it and pull me out of it with a laugh and this play does that, especially with the right director. Prior is a dream role and when I heard Greg would be directing, I knew this was a project I wanted in on.

SGT: What is it about Prior that you love most?

Ben: What I love about Prior is his candid nature and quick wit. Right up through the last moment of the play, he speaks his truth and he can’t let a punchline go by unspoken, despite his own struggles. He has more courage than me, he’s much smarter and funnier than me. I adore all of those things about him. 

SGT: Who is your favorite character in the play that isn’t you ?

Ben: Hannah is my favorite character. Again, I find the courage to speak your convictions very admirable and to do it with humor makes it all the more enjoyable to be around. I especially love Hannah’s overall journey through Parts I & II. If I were a closeted Mormon, I would want Hannah as my mom. She is fierce, funny and she loves her son unconditionally, enough to up and move to the other side of the country to (in her opinion) rescue him. She’s a badass Mormon momma and I love her all the more for it because she takes her own emotional, intellectual and physical journey with a fearless attitude fueled by love. 

SGT: Anyone you particularly love to work with/watch in rehearsals/on stage?

Ben: SGT has this way of assembling teams that make you want to bring study materials to every rehearsal. I learn from everyone I work with and that’s especially so with this company. As far as who I love working opposite on stage, Kristin, Tony and Dudney approach every scene we have together with their whole hearts and a vulnerability that completely draws me in. I feel very fortunate to be able to spend the majority of the show getting lost in their eyes and the world we’ve created. And Kristen Tripp Kelley is one-of-a-kind. To work with her in any capacity is equally humbling and inspiring. This cast and crew remind me daily why I chose this profession.

Click Here To Purchase Tickets

Meet the Cast of ANGELS

Angels in America: Part One, Millennium Approaches opens March 8th at the Shea’s Smith Theatre. This complex and brilliant play features some of Buffalo’s finest actors. Take a moment to get to know them and what drew them to this show!

Actor: Steve Copps

Character: Joe Pitt

Steve: I’ve had the good fortune of being involved with both productions in SGT’s inaugural season. I was Cinderella’s Prince/TheWolf in INTO THE WOODS and I directed SOME GIRL(S) which starred my ANGELS co-star Kristin Bentley. Since that first season, I have played Czolgosz in ASSASSINS and Black in THE WILD PARTY.

SGT: What is it about ANGELS that drew you to the project? 

Steve: I think it’s three-fold. For starters, ANGELS IN AMERICA as a whole is a modern classic authored masterfully by Tony Kushner. The script is so powerful and beautifully written that one could sell tickets to a read-through of this play and be successful. Secondly, I jumped at the chance to work with director Greg Natale (whom I haven’t worked with since 2010) because his approach to the work is so honest. He gets his actors to channel their own experiences so that they can be authentic and the audience can be truly affected. Finally, I will always work for Second Generation Theatre Company as they routinely produce creative and thought-provoking work. It’s always a rewarding and genuine experience. 

SGT: ANGELS is full of characters in the midst of personal struggle- what is it about Joe that the audience can relate to?

Steve: Joe is dealing with some really heavy, complex stuff. He has spent his whole life avoiding/fighting his true sexuality and that has affected his relationship with his wife, mother, and father (deceased.) He is uncomfortable with his station in life, and his appearance in the eyes of God. He says, “The failure to measure up hits people very hard.” I think that will speak to our audience. Personally, I can relate to Joe’s never-ending desire to be a good man, husband, and son. Whether or not he succeeds at these endeavors remains to be seen.

SGT: We’re incredibly proud of this entire cast, but is there anyone who stands out to you during this rehearsal process?

Steve: I’d have to say Jacob Albarella who plays Rabbi Chemelwitz, Henry, and Martin Heller. Jake always goes for it with his characters from the gate and it’s admirable. He is truly a chameleon when he’s onstage. Plus, we make each other laugh whenever possible often times unintentionally. Which is great

Editor’s Note: Jacob Albarella currently holds the record for most SGT shows performed in.

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