Michael Rabice has over 30 years of experience attending plays, musicals and opera all over the world. He is a frequent performer in opera and has appeared with the Glimmerglass Opera, Artpark Opera, Greater Buffalo Opera and Nickel City Opera. He has extensively studied the history of the American musical theatre throught the past century. In addition, he has written many essays on the impact of musical theatre on American culture, as well as how musical styles of a specific era impacted the Broadway stage and it's orchestrations. He regularly attends theatre in Buffalo, Toronto , Niagara-on-the-Lake, and New York City.
McCAMUS IS BRILLIANT AS KING GEORGE III
Mental illness in the 18h Century, aka madness, was as in some respects as poorly understood and accepted then as it is today. Being a monarch would imply that the best care would be at your disposal, but when the malady is unknown, even King George III of England suffered with the illness and often moreso with the treatment. Alan Bennett's 1991 play THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III is being given a lavishly detailed production at the Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake. George may be best known as the monarch who lost control of the American colonies in 1776, but he was dealt a worse fate, suffering from Acute Intermittent Porphyria. This disease, which was uncharted at the time, caused periods of confusion, psychosis with unintelligible speech, horrible abdominal pain and itchiness. His production of a blue colored urine was the first medical sign that something was amiss with the King.BWW Review: BPO BROADWAY COMEDY TONIGHT! at KLEINHAN'S MUSIC HALL June 12, 2017
Broadway Trio Joins BPO for a COMEDY TONIGHT!
The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's Pop Series concluded with a robust program entitled BROADWAY COMEDY TONIGHT! Packed with gems from Broadway's hey day to present day blockbusters, the varied program allowed it three soloists to shine.BWW Review: HAY FEVER at IRISH CLASSICAL THEATRE June 9, 2017
A frothy Noel Coward evening on a warm June night sounds like perfect programming. Buffalo's Irish Classical Theatre is presenting his light hearted romp HAY FEVER with mixed results, at best. Although considered one of Coward's lesser works, HAY FEVER has achieved a respectable position in the theatre canon, mostly in part to it's unique opportunities to portray lovably odd characters.BWW Review: ME AND MY GIRL at Shaw Festival May 28, 2017
A 'ME AND MY GIRL' Not To Be Missed
It is infrequent for the theatre god of comedy to shine bright enough to induce glee, but that is what occurred on opening night of the Shaw Festival's utterly charming production of ME AND MY GIRL. An alchemy of sorts has melded a super talented cast with the thoughtfully insightful director. The Shaw Festival has not always had a strong track record of completely successful musicals, but under new Artistic Director Tim Carroll's leadership, it seems as if the tide has turned. Of course, the selection of a musical with British heritage ( a rarity of sorts), fits in perfectly with the Shaw Festival's mandate.BWW Review: WICKED at Shea's Buffalo Theatre May 20, 2017
Good Triumphs Over All in WICKED. It's hard to know if in 1900 L. Frank Baum ever imagined there would be an afterlife to his children's book 'The Wizard of Oz,' but in 1939 MGM capitalized on book's wide appeal and their film version has became a staple in every child's movie experience. Flash forward 64 years to what can best be described as a prequel to Dorothy's famous journey, and you have the megamusical WICKED, which has become almost as popular as the MGM film.BWW Review: THE OTHER MOZART at SHEA'S 710 THEATRE May 5, 2017
HIGH ART RETURNS IN 'THE OTHER MOZART'
Child prodigies may be rare, but not necessarily that rare if you grew up in the Mozart family of Salzburg. The unknown and until now mostly untold story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's older sister, Maria Anna (Nannerl), is equally as fascinating as that of her infamous brother. Thanks to creator, author, and performer Sylvia Milo, Nannerl's story is given it's due in her ethereal THE OTHER MOZART now playing at Shea's 710 Theatre.BWW Review: Scintillating CABARET at Shea's Buffalo Theatre April 26, 2017
FRESH NEW SOUND OF MUSIC SOARS
So many fans of the beloved film THE SOUND OF MUSIC are unaware that the blockbuster film with Julie Andrews was based on the 1959 Broadway stage musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein for Mary Martin. While not an instant hit with theatre critics on opening night, the now cherished story of a young nun who becomes governess to a widowed Navy Captain and his seven children has become an icon of the musical theatre canon.BWW Review: THE SEEDBED at IRISH CLASSICAL THEATRE March 24, 2017
A series of purported subtle exchanges and misinterpreted actions of a small Irish family form the framework for Bryan Delaney's THE SEEDBED, now on stage at Buffalo's Irish Classical Theatre. Reminiscent of the darkness found is so much of Edward Albee's family dramas, playwright Delaney creates a brooding home that on the surface seems superficially concerned about how everyone is feeling and doing, when in actuality mother, father and daughter all are acting as victims to an unspeakable incident.BWW Review: RING OF FIRE at SHEA'S 710 THEATRE February 19, 2017
Much has changed in Buffalo, including it's theatrical scene. A coming home of sorts is happening at SHEA'S 710 THEATRE. RING OF FIRE: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH has returned to the stage where the production began. In 2005 Studio Arena Theatre produced this jukebox musical created by Richard Maltby Jr and conceived by William Meade. After a short run that earned much local praise, the production moved to Broadway, something not typical for Buffalo. Unfortunately the New York critics and audiences were less enthusiastic, and the production shuttered after a very brief run. But RING OF FIRE, much like Studio Arena and Buffalo itself, was to have it's own rebirth. A reworked version in 2013 by Maltby and Jason Edwards has become much more of a success and audiences across the United States have been quite receptive. Amherst's MusicalFare Theatre presentation from last season is now playing out in a lively and pitch perfect production.BWW Review: A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER at SHEA'S BUFFALO Theatre February 17, 2017
A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE PROVES TO BE A FROTHY DELIGHT ON A COLD WINTER'S NIGHT
The sleeper hit A GENTLEMANS GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER took the 2014 TONY AWARDS by storm when it won the coveted Best Musical prize. Not surprisingly, TONY voters were enthralled with the production, but also realized the potential this delightful chamber sized musical would have touring the country. With it's compact cast and impressive unit set, the provinces are to benefit in attending this charming bon bon that plays out as a cross between a bawdy English Music Hall comedy and a zany British farce. Originally produced by The Hartford Stage and The Old Globe, A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE's journey to Broadway paid off for all involved.BWW Previews: THE WAKE at Irish Classical Theatre February 7, 2017
Joint Venture Makes For Cohesive AMADEUS
Collaboration among Western New York arts groups can only help serve the better good of the community and a happy pairing of Irish Classical Theatre with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is playing on at Kleinhans Music Hall, as both groups present Peter Shaffer's TONY and Academy Award winning AMADEUS. While integrating live music with theatrical plays may have been commonplace at one time-- think Beethoven's Overture and incidental music to the play EGMONT or Mendelssohn's interludes to ROMEO AND JULIET, it is a custom that has all but died of extinction in the 20th century. So the novelty of having the full BPO join forces with one of Buffalo's premier theatre companies is truly a rare theatrical opportunity.BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL at Shea's Buffalo Theatre December 14, 2016
The story of Ralphie, the boy who wants a Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun for Christmas took to the Shea's stage last night for a 5 day run. Based on the 1983 movie, we now have a full blown musical version of A CHRISTMAS STORY that faithfully recreates much of the classic tale.BWW Review: EQUUS at IRISH CLASSICAL THEATRE November 11, 2016
STELLAR CAST DELVES IN DRAMA OF EQUUS
Near perfection. That is what Irish Classical Theatre has achieved in their exciting new production of Peter Shaffer's EQUUS.
Shaffer's poignant and often unsettling drama about a troubled teenager who commits an unspeakable act against horses can be difficult to process and to watch. The story relates how the teen is committed to a mental hospital in order to ascertain what demons lie in his psyche. The psychiatrist Martin Dysart is given the near impossible job of treating him. Director David Oliver has assembled such a fine cast that inarguably I would not consider changing it in any way.BWW Review: AN AMERICAN IN PARIS at Shea's Buffalo Theatre November 10, 2016
Glorious Dancing Propels AN AMERICAN IN PARIS
Not since Jerome Robbins staged WEST SIDE STORY and Agnes DeMille's historic dream ballet sequences have theatre goers been presented the opportunity to experience Broadway musical story telling through dance. The boldly refreshing new Broadway touring production of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS that is playing at Shea's Buffalo Theatre shows that classical dance and jazz can blend seamlessly.BWW Review: MRS. WARREN'S PROFESSION at SHEA'S 710 Theatre November 4, 2016
Something exciting has happened in the former Studio Arena Theatre, now known as Shea's 710 Theatre .The Shaw Festival, Canada's only Bi-National theatre company, has forged an alliance across the border with Shea's Buffalo Theatre to present one of their productions at 710 each season. Given the caliber of last night's opening of George Bernard Shaw's MRS. WARREN'S PROFESSION, Buffalo has added another gem to it's theatre community. In it's heyday Studio Arena had a national reputation of presenting cutting edge theatre with world class actors and those who still remember that era should flock back downtown to witness 710's rebirth.BWW Review: SWEENEY TODD at Shaw Festival August 1, 2016
From it's ominous sounding opening organ chords, Stephen Sondheim makes it clear that you are in for a macabre evening of theatre as his masterpiece SWEENEY TODD begins. What sounds almost too gruesome to be appropriate for a musical has over the years had audiences and critics alike arguing whether this is a musical comedy or opera. Since it's 1979 premiere it has been staged world wide by some of the most notable Opera companies in the world, from English National Opera to the Paris Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. An updated staging is happening this summer at the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, New York with noted Wagnerian bass Greer Grimsley playing the title character.BWW Review: Victorian Charmer ENGAGED Right at Home at Royal George Theatre July 11, 2016
The Shaw Festival has unearthed a bit of a gem, that in lesser hands may be considered no more than a cubic zirconium. W.S. Gilbert's ENGAGED is a frothy trifle that seems perfect for a midsummer's night. This delightful piece of Victoriana theatre can best be thought of as a play with thin operetta plot (sans music). Gilbert and Sullivan are definitely the better known commodity, but Gilbert did work alone at times and his theatrical pieces are all but forgotten. In ENGAGED Gilbert again shows his adeptness at social commentary, marriage and the quest for wealth.