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Review: ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT at Alleyway's Main Theater

Brazen-Faced Varlets Production of All Through the Night

Review: ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT at Alleyway's Main Theater

Are you ready for Live Theater again?

Crying and laughing with family, friends or strangers in a dark room?

Do we even remember what that's like?

Sure we do!

We're Buffalo, New York!

The Brazen-Faced Varlets know it!

They made it through that tough non-theater 2020 and are ready for their new production to hit the stage.

They are looking for that loyal Western New York theater audience to welcome them back ... and in that Buffalo, New York way!

I had a chance to interview the Director of this production Lara D. Haberberger.

MCL: Where does the name Brazen-Faced Varlets come from?

LDH: It is a quote from Shakespeare's play, King Lear. It means nervy, sassy rascals. Our first show was a lesbian adaptation of Romeo and Juliet - Ramona and Juliet, so we decided to find a name from Shakespeare that summed up what we wanted to do with theater.

MCL: When was Brazen first started? How did you get involved with Brazen?

LDH: Brazen-Faced Varlets started at the 2006 Infringement Festival with the show, Ramona and Juliet. This adaptation was written by my friend, Shawn Northrip who I met at Catholic University. It is a really, funny play with 4 actors playing all of the roles. We were a hit.

MCL: What were some of Brazens past productions?

LDH: What were some of the Brazen-Faced Varlets past productions? In addition to Ramona and Juliet, we did two more lesbian adaptations of Shakespeare plays Comedy of Queerers and Midsummer Dyke's Dream both written by my friend, Shawn. We have done two plays by Carolyn Gage: The Anastasia Trials in the Court of Women and the Last Reading of Charlotte Cushman which was about the famed American actress who was a notorious lesbian. We did Paula Vogel's Desdemona: a Play about a Handkerchief. My late husband, Michael O'Donohoe, wrote us a few plays as well: Oedipus: Folks, Fun, and Fabulousness, Electra, Screw You, Mom!

MCL: Do you have any favorites that stand out? Why?

LDH: One of my favorite productions was 'night Mother by Marsha Norman. It is a heart-breaker of play and a Pulitzer Prize winner. The cast was so talented and just melted into their roles - Heather Fangsrud and Priscilla Young-Anker. We did it a Rust Belt Books. Sometimes, the intimate nature of their reading room can be challenging, but it was perfect for this play. The cast was able to do more 'film' style acting instead of having to use big theatrical gestures. It made it seem so much more real. Our audiences loved that production - in fact, we got to perform it for Psychiatric Grand Rounds, and we won two Best of Spree Awards for it.

MCL: What is your upcoming production?

LDH: Our upcoming show is Shirley Lauro's All Through the Night. It is a play about 5 Gentile women during the rise and fall of the Third Reich. It has a Brechtian feel to it - there are short scenes with breaks in time with a narrator who keeps the play together. The material is tough, but I think it is worth it.

MCL: Why was this one chosen?

LDH: I chose this play, because it represents a warning against fascism. It was scheduled to go up right before the 2020 elections, but Covid happened. So, it was rescheduled to now. I think that is even more relevant than ever by touching on subjects such as fascism, women's reproductive rights, inhumane treatment of prisoners, lack of healthcare, how we treat our differently abled citizens.

MCL: Please let us know about the Cast, Writer & Directing this?

LDH: The playwright is Shirley Lauro. She actually contacted us and thanked us for doing her work. She has a few plays that she has written, but her work is not performed frequently. The cast is mix of actors who are Varlet veterans along with a few who are new to us. Kaeli McGinnis just recently graduated from Buff State and this will be her Buffalo stage debut. Sarah Emmerling has a very busy season, so we are glad to have her in this show. Jessie Miller has worked with us before and is lovely to work with, Kathleen Rooney is quite scary in her role as the Nazi Frau, but is wonderful in real life. Stefanie Warnick is our company's combat choreographer and was recently seen in Foxfinder, a 1666 production. I am directing this play.

MCL: Finally ... after this production what is next for Brazens?

LDH: After this production, we have a short play festival going up in January. We are looking for short, new plays written by women that will be directed and acted by women. It is part of the Varlets' mission to cultivate the talents of female theatrical artists.

After that I will be appearing in Susan Miller's My Left Breast which will be directed by Alley Griffin. I am excited about this play, but very nervous about the memorizing all of the lines. It is a one woman show about the playwright's own battle with breast cancer and heartbreak.

MCL: Anything we forget that you want your audience to know?

LDH: Well, we just celebrated 15 years of existing which is a pretty big deal. It has been hard and sometimes, it felt like the struggles involved in running a theater company were too much to handle, but I am glad that we are still here. I am excited to see what we will do next.

MCL: 15 years of existing! BRAVO!

Next up for Lara D. Haberberger will be Directing Brazen-Faced Varlets next

Production of "All Through the Night" by Shirley Lauro

Alleyway's Main Theater - 1 Curtain Up Alley, Buffalo, NY.

2021 Show Dates: 10/8, 10/9, 10/15, 10/16, 10/22, 10/23 at 8:00 pm and 10/24 at 2 pm

2021 Shows Dates: 10/8, 10/9, 10/15, 10/16, 10/22, 10/23 at 8:00 pm and 10/24 at 2 pm.

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From This Author - Mark C. Lloyd

Mark C. LLoyd is a published Poet and produced Playwright who resides in Lockport, New York.

As a Playwright, Director, board member and production consultant he has worked with many theater ... (read more about this author)

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