Devised and Directed by
With Margo Davis, Joey Bucheker, Frank Giambra, India Moss, Jess Abel, Robb Nesbitt, Linda Stein, Jennifer Fitzery,
Natalie Mack, Greta Bowers, Kate Sorice, Marshall Maxwell, Sharon Strait and Julie Kittsley.
THREE AND A HALF STARS
THE BUFFALO NEWS
Jason Clark, contributing reviewer
"Elegantly conceived and directed by Richard Lambert, and sung
passionately by a well-chosen, ingratiating cast"
"...heavenly to watch...
...it's the musical interludes, which showcase Cohen’s
glorious melodies and wordplay, that pierce the heart....
...Every song is a treat..."
Following the success of such “devised,” original works as MEDIUM RARE, GILGAMESH and FREUD AND THE SANDMAN was the premiere of another new play developed by the New Phoenix Theatre company: SWEET STREET. Conceived and directed by Founder and Executive Director Richard Lambert.
Milton Rogovin may be the Dorothea Lange of the Rust Belt: his haunting photographs of the workers of Buffalo and Rochester, many of them studies made during the sway of the area's steel industries, are unflinching portraits of pride, hope, and determination. Serial collections like PORTRAITS IN STEEL have become synonymous with WNY’s heritage: here are the families who built our cities, photographed in the shadow of the industry whose rise and subsequent collapse, transformed the landscape of our area and the lives of our citizens.
SWEET STREET re-imagined the lives photographed through the music of Leonard Cohen. Here is Buffalo’s homeless, abandoned by a forgotten industry, the remnants of the Queen City’s human foundations. Founder and Executive Director Richard Lambert, who rescued the theatre’s 1884 historic home from its former fate as an abandoned soup-kitchen, sets his original work in an imagined homeless shelter.
Kathlene Ashwill accompanied on cello. Lighting by Kurt Schneidermann, costumes by Betsy Bittar, choreography by Tina Bampton and Doug Weyand, and musical direction by Michael Hake.
SWEET STREET takes its place among MEDIUM RARE, GILGAMESH, and FREUD AND THE SANDMAN as original, devised work generated by the theatre’s director/playwrights in collaboration with actors and artists of mixed disciplines. This particular production, which foregrounds Buffalo’s poorest citizens and which will collect food for local shelters, is thus doubly typical of the theatre’s mission “to present new and classic works in ways that speak to our community, to rediscover the experience of theatre through the spirit of collaboration, and to revitalize the neighborhood in which our historic theatre stands.”
Photos by Richard Lambert