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Michael Rabice

Michael Rabice

Michael Rabice has over  40 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. Michael has extensively studied the history of the American musical theatre throughout 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. He has been a Contributing Editor at Broadwayworld since 2014.


July 14, 2022

A breezy comedy of manners, as only Oscar Wilde could pen, is a welcome way to return to Niagara-on-the Lake's SHAW FESTIVAL. For it's 60th anniversary audiences are in for a familiar treat as THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST returns to the stage in all it's witty charm. Hints of covid still pervade the air as a notice of two understudies stepping into two leading roles greeted us. But fear not, their polished presence assured there was never any cause for concern.

Review: GASLIGHT at Shaw Festival
June 20, 2022

A Victorian thriller melded with a dash of 21st century female fortitude makes up the fabric of the Shaw Festival's gripping new production of GASLIGHT. Over the years the Festival has mastered presenting these chilling stories in it's quaint jewel box  Royal George Theatre. Memories of REBECCA and AND THEN THERE WERE NONE always pervade my memories in that theatre. Even at first glance, the dimly lit set primes the audience for an afternoon of intrigue and escapism to another era.

Review: THE ONION GAME at Irish Classical Theatre
June 16, 2022

Another wholly dysfunctional family has entered the literary realm in a new play by Bryan Delaney and Buffalo's Irish Classical Theatre gets to show them off in all of their wretchedness. Dublin-born playwright Delaney has been named ICTC's Playwright in Residence and is best known to Buffalo audiences for his plays the The COBBLER and THE SEEDBED. His newest play, THE ONION GAME,  is a wicked black comedy set in rural North County Dublin and the results are mostly satisfying for it's revelatory nature and unexpected twists.

BWW Review: DAMN YANKEES is a Winner at Shaw Festival
May 23, 2022

Americana and the Golden Age of the Broadway musical has happily landed at the Shaw Festival in their knock it out of the park production of DAMN YANKEES. After years without a staged musical at the Festival Theatre and repeated cancellations of it's production of GYPSY (thanks Covid!), the magic of the American musical comedy can be seen once again.

BWW Review: AIN'T TOO PROUD at Shea's Buffalo Theatre
May 11, 2022

The evolution of the American musical has morphed from operetta to Vaudevillian musical revue to the classic  integrated musical comedy. The advent of the jukebox musical began as MAMMA  MIA and ALL SHOOK UP shoehorned popular music into a script to showcase Abba or Elvis Presley’s music into paper-thin plots. Now, for better or worse, the bio-concert emerges, as the slick new touring production of AIN’T TOO PROUD : The Life and Times of THE TEMPTATIONS opened at Shea’s Buffalo Theatre. The music of the Motown wonder group THE TEMPTATIONS is one of the  latest properties to take to the Broadway stage. And since it's debut, other biographical musicals are being given similar treatment, telling the stories of Cher, Tina Turner and Michael Jackson.

BWW Review: ANASTASIA at Shea's Buffalo Theatre
April 20, 2022

Romance, Russian espionage and a bad case of amnesia in short order sum up the plot of the latest Broadway tour to land in Buffalo as ANASTASIA took to the stage at Shea's last night. Inspired by the animated 1997 musical film of the same name and endless other films and books, the story of a Russian countess somehow surviving assassination continues to entice.

BWW Review: STAGE KISS at Irish Classical Theatre
April 9, 2022

A modern day farce is unfolding, and I'm not speaking of the 2022  political  scene or a worldwide pandemic. but rather onstage in  Sarah Ruhl's comic play STAGE KISS. Buffalo's Irish Classical Theatre is presenting this Off-Broadway play that has become quite popular among regional theatres. The Brits seem to have mastered this genre of comedic story telling style better than anyone, succeeding greatly in hits like NOISES OFF, and more recently THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG. Coincidentally, all of these successful plays deal with troupes of amateur theatre actor's shenanigans as they work through the 'creative process.'  Audiences are merely asked to suspend disbelief and go along for a rollicking ride of silliness.

BWW Review: TRIBES IS A COMPELLING DRAMA at Road Less Traveled Productions
March 11, 2022

In typical form, Road Less Traveled Productions in Buffalo presents a play to challenge and stimulate the senses in it's gripping production of TRIBES by Nina Raines. Never a company to shy away from forthright complex topics, TRIBES has been in the works for over 2 years, derailed by the Covid pandemic. Happily the production was worth the wait as it grapples with one dysfunctional family's life, that behind closed doors  often plays out with angst and venom masquerading as love

BWW Review: A Sumptuous MY FAIR LADY at Shea's Buffalo
March 2, 2022

How to turn a classic play into a classic musical? Find the best of the best, of course. But even the powerhouse duo of Rodger's and Hammerstein couldn't figure out to to turn George Bernard Shaw's comic masterpiece PYGMALION into a musical. They attempted but ultimately passed. Happily another talented pair, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Lowe, decided to take a stab, and the result was the brilliant MY FAIR LADY. Beloved by many thanks to an Academy Award winning motion picture, the most recent Broadway revival at Lincoln Center has landed on the Shea's Buffalo stage and the sumptuous production is a knockout.

BWW Review: OKLAHOMA! at Shea's Buffalo
February 16, 2022

In March of 1943, the audience that poured into New York’s St. James Theatre had no idea they were witnessing the the birth of the musical comedy as we know it today. The maiden production of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein’s OKLAHOMA! would change the face of Broadway forever. Flash forward 80 years and audiences once again had no idea what they would encounter in Director Daniel Fish’s dark disjointed OKLAHOMA!

BWW Review: WAITING FOR GODOT at Irish Classical Theatre
January 27, 2022

After a near two year absence, live audiences have returned to Irish Classical Theatre. And the production that inaugurated the company is back again, nestled into it's home stage, which may never have been dreamt of 30 years ago. Irishman Samuel Beckett's WAITING FOR GODOT is on the boards and audiences can once again ponder it's genius and complexity. Written in French in 1953 and later translated into English by Beckett himself, GODOT is undoubtedly one of his most produced and debated pieces.

December 28, 2021

BWW Review: HAMILTON at Shea's Buffalo
December 16, 2021

HAMILTON and it's brilliant company have taken up residence at Shea's Buffalo Theatre  through January 2nd and the phenomenon deserves to be seen by one and all. The ingenuity that pervades the entire production combines a modern day sensibility and color blind casting that always seems befitting without feeling gimmicky. What best can be described

BWW Review: PRETTY WOMAN-THE MUSICAL at Shea's Buffalo
December 1, 2021

Welcome to the 1980's where acid wash jeans, big hair, shoulder pads and the music of Bryan Adams pervades the air. Julia Roberts and Richard Gere were starring in the rom-com blockbuster 'Pretty Woman'  and audiences were enthralled. Flash forward 30 or so years and everything old is new again as  PRETTY WOMAN- THE MUSICAL takes to the Broadway stage and now  has set up shop in Buffalo for a week as the National tour hits Shea's Buffalo stage.

BWW Review: THE BAND'S VISIT at Shea's Buffalo
November 3, 2021

A visiting Egyptian band loses their way and a small town is forever changed. It seems that THE BAND'S VISIT is the TONY Award winning musical that no one has heard of. But that changed last night when the luminous National tour opened at Shea's Buffalo Theatre. It was evident that most audience members had no idea what they were in for when the lights dimmed and the hour and four five minute, intermissionless production cast it's spell.

October 29, 2021

After 20 months of sitting on a darkened stage at Shea's 710 Theatre, All For One Theatre Productions dusted off the set that has sat idle for the brilliant production of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME. The production closed on opening night in March 2020, never being able to be seen by a paying audience due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Now with a vaccinated and masked audience, the abundance of talent that went into making this production can now be seen. It was definitely worth the wait.

BWW Review: TOOTSIE at Shea's Buffalo
October 14, 2021

TOOTSIE has taken the town as the first National tour of the Broadway musical opened in Buffalo this week. A full house of Covid vaccinated theatre goers packed into Shea's Buffalo theatre. Based on the 1982 movie, this non-Equity  tour has been rehearsing in Buffalo prior to launching it's visits across the country next week.

BWW Review: FROZEN at Shea's Buffalo
September 15, 2021

Excitement filled  the air as the Shea's Broadway season kicked off with  Disney's FROZEN.  Adults and children clad in costumes and clutching their Olaf dolls patiently entered the theatre, all wearing  their obligatory face masks. Covid was not going to dampen anyone’s spirits. The warm Buffalo evening welcomed the slick crystalline production that is sure to charm audiences of all ages. 

July 30, 2021

'A Whole New World' is not only the theme from Disney's ALADDIN but may also be the theme of life as we know it in 2021. Happily audiences returned to Shea's Theatre last night for the first time in 504 days, after the Broadway tour of HELLO DOLLY closed abruptly due to a pandemic that changed the world forever. Shea's President Michael Murphy welcomed the audience back to in person entertainment last night with a slick and uplifting musical concert, THE MUSIC OF DISNEY ON BROADWAY.

BWW Review: THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING at Irish Classical Theatre
April 16, 2021

Unfurling the raw emotions associated with sickness, death and grief are not new  topics in literature. But author Joan Didion has suffered immense loss and tragedy in losing her husband and daughter, and uses this as the narrative of her book turned one woman play  THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING. In Didion's own words her emotions may not seem raw, but they are truly rich with a deep sense of introspection and self awareness. And during the time of Covid, where live theatre is still on hold, Buffalo's Irish Classical Theatre is presenting it's second virtual performance with Didion's  gripping play.

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