Buffalo Quickies 2009 is a one-act play festival presented by Alleyway Theatre. Director Joyce Stilson has assembled this annual show for 18 years.
This year’s festival, billed as “The Sex Edition,” included one-act performances mostly about relationships. Stories ranged from Jay C. Rehak’s “Marinated Steaks and Socks” about marital communication problems between Francine (Sheila Connors) and John (Christopher S. Parada) referred by therapist Dr. Watts (Louise Reger) to Alex Broun’s “Saturday Night Chippewa, Sunday Morning Lackawanna” on the perils of an alcohol- laced one night stand. Michael Seitz and Tammy Reger played the mismatched pair.
“The selection of pieces is extremely difficult,” said Stilson, “because there are so many factors: casting, content, set, and of course if it’s any good and how it relates to the rest of the evening.”
This is the fourth year with a unifying theme. Most years the festival has been an eclectic mix. Previous themes have been love, theatre and Greek Mythology.
The one-acts transitioned seamlessly into one another, the actors moving their own props and set pieces, sometimes changing costume right on stage. The set itself was a plain black box. Scenes were set with chairs and other moveable pieces.
The evening moved quickly, fitting 10 plays into 90 minutes. The actors were well-utilized – Carlton Frankin played everything from a frustrated suitor to a death row inmate equally well. Seitz was a charismatic presence when he stepped on stage and Parada always provided a laugh.
The climax of the evening was “Jump!” by George J Bryjak, the 2008 Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition One Act Winner. It was about a young philosophy student (Seitz) and his no-nonsense neighbor (Louise Reger). The philosopher was experiencing existential depression (ED) and was interrupted while attempting to jump from the roof. The laundry hanging neighbor pressed him to make a decision, but he was unmoved until the arrival of a Birkenstock-clad flash poet (Sheila Connors) who shared her art with him.
Next appearing at Alleyway Theatre is Hell Hole Honeys, a world premiere musical, directed by Todd Warfield. Show dates are April 23 through May 9. See http://www.alleyway.com for information or tickets.