Rings and things and fine array. And a Psyduck.

I took my daughters to Delaware Park yesterday so we could watch the Shakespeare crew rehearse.  Curtain for The Taming of the Shrew officially goes up this Thursday, July 28.

Here are a few things I thought about while my daughters and I were sitting on the hill, watching the masters at work…

  • I was introduced to Shakespeare at a super young age because of Shakespeare in Delaware Park.  My family would take blankets to the hill and eat chicken wings and fried shrimp, and we’d watch John Daggett as Puck, Bill Gonta as Hamlet, Joy Parry as Lady Anne, or Saul Elkin as, really, anything.
snapchat addie.jpg
  • Maeve used my phone to catch a Psyduck.  Addie used my phone for something else...

 

  • I remember Jerry Finnegan as Malvolio too.  I can't believe these shows are free to the public.

 

 

  • When we got up to leave, my daughters didn’t want to go.  Addie liked the guy in the horse costume.  Maeve said “I want to see what Kate does.” I promised I’d bring them back, which I will.  They won’t ever get to see Neil Garvey on this stage, but I want them to forever remember eating chicken wings on this hill with their family, and watching Bonnie Jean Taylor and Marissa Puzutto.
  • And finally, the Neil E. Garvey Foundation for the Arts made a donation to Shakespeare in Delaware Park.  While I shook hands with Steve Vaughan, Maeve and Addie loaded a cannon and prepared to attack a nearby wedding.

Our annual fundraiser, the Midsummer Night’s Picnic, is this Saturday for a couple hours before Shrew starts.  I really hope you come to party with us (get tickets to the Picnic here) and I really hope you stay to watch what I now know is going to be an amazing show!

Evita at MusicalFare - through August 7th, 2016

I can't think of a better way to start talking about the arts a little more specifically than to insist you all drop whatever you're doing and go see MusicalFare's production of Evita. It's currently playing on their stage at Daemon College, and runs a week into August.  

I was lucky enough to land tickets for their opening night performance, and I'm so glad I went. Everything impressed me: from the set and light design to the live music, from the technically and aesthetically beautiful costumes to the intricate choreography. And every member of the cast left their mark. Good Lord, some of the chorus members spent the entire damn show onstage, each playing a dozen different characters. And they never once made me think it was work.

My mind keeps going back, though, to Michele Marie Roberts. As Eva Peròn, she's incredible. 

Michele can sing and act, but her portrayal of Evita is more than that. She demands your attention, your belief in the character. Neil Garvey would have said "She's got presence."

I never saw Patti Lupone's version, but I can't imagine enjoying the part any more than I do now. Michele's officially the definitive Evita in my mind.

(Yeah, you heard me, Madonna.  Step it up.)

And she's not alone. Paschal Frisina and John Fredo are amazing and, as always, Marc Sacco was too. Marc is an incredible singer, yes, but the reason he's prefect for this part is the choices he made as an actor. His timing, especially opposite Michele, was damn fun to watch. 

Finally, Randy Kramer, the show's director, and I nerded out at the post-show party about the history of Argentina and the parts of that very real story he brought to light onstage.

Evita at MusicalFare is worth your time and it's so exciting to see this kind of theater in Buffalo. It runs now through August 7th and you can get tickets and more information at their website

-M

What we're all about

When Neil died a few years ago, people from all over the world contacted the Garveys with their sympathies for the loss of their friend, but also to share in their grief that the artistic community in Buffalo had lost one of its loudest champions.  One friend shared a story about how Neil went door-to-door to advertise a local play because the company didn’t have money for ads or even posters.  He’d make friends at every stop and end each conversation with a hearty “See you at the show!”  The line stuck and lasted as a decades-old inside joke. 

That kind of commitment wasn’t odd for Neil.  In his life, he spent countless hours getting the word out about theaters, books, movies, and musicians.  He loved Buffalo, he loved Buffalo’s artistic history, and he wanted as many people to be involved with it as possible.

When he died, we didn’t want that commitment to die with him.  

Neil couldn’t spread the word anymore, but, in his memory, we could.  We could make sure the theaters and the writers and the artists he loved to see in Buffalo got the support and the attention they needed.  We could help to shine a light on young talent, we could help existing talent grow, and we could capitalize on Buffalo’s recent revitalization and make sure that, as it grows, the artistic community grows with it.

So Neil’s brother (Dan Garvey), Neil’s niece (Esther Eagan) and Neil’s nephew (me, Mike Garvey) created the Neil E. Garvey Foundation for the Arts.  

With the help of Neil’s friends, Diane Jones, Lisa Ludwig, Debbie Di Matteo, Krystal Champagne, and most recently, John Eagan, we’re starting to pick up where Neil left off, spreading the word about Buffalo’s artistic endeavors and acting as one of its champions.

As for this space, keep an eye on it.  We’re going to have fundraisers, sure (Click here to get your tickets for the Picnic!  Woo!) but we also want the Foundation, or NEGFA, to be a one-stop shop for Buffalo’s arts and entertainment scene.  We’ll post news here about what’s coming up, what’s going on, and the things we think people might want to know about.  Next time, for instance, I’ll talk about seeing Evita at Musicalfare.  (tl,dr: go see it.)

And, as always, we want to hear from you.  Contact us here if you want to help, if you have a suggestion, if there’s something you’d like us to promote, etc.  

Buffalo’s growing.  No one would have been as excited about it as Neil Garvey, but he also would have seen it as an opportunity.  We’re excited to carry on his legacy, to take advantage of that opportunity, and to help support the arts in Buffalo.

See you at the show!

-Mike

First post? First post.

This is really just a test.

I want to start posting content to this site.  Stuff Neil would have been interested in.  Stuff that furthers the artistic side of Buffalo.  

And also pictures of Neil that make me smile.

But all (or more) of that will come later.  For right now, this is really just a test.

-Mike