Buffalo Spree: Sounds Of Sinatra

July 7, 2011 Updated Jul 7, 2011 at 3:41 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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July 7, 2011 Updated Jul 7, 2011 at 3:41 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY ( WKBW / Buffalo Spree) Darwin McPherson reviews "One More For My Baby" at MusicalFare Theater with Channel 7's Mike Randall on "Eyewitness News This Morning"

July 6th – August 6th on the Time Warner Cable Stage at MusicalFare Theatre.
MusicalFare Theatre is on the web at www.musicalfare.com

Conceived by David Grapes, John Fredo & Randall Kramer
Book by David Grapes
Musical Arrangements by Vince di Mura
Directed by Randall Kramer
Music Direction by Jason Bravo

This world premiere two-man show combines many of the best known songs made famous by Frank Sinatra with a compelling story about a performer who is trying to find his own identity after spending his entire career imitating someone else. ONE MORE FOR MY BABY comes to Buffalo immediately after its June 2011 developmental production at Colorado's Little Theatre of the Rockies and is directed by Artistic/Executive Director, Randall Kramer, who recently returned from Colorado.

The production stars John Fredo and Don Gervasi. Set Design is by Chris Schenk, Lighting & Sound Design is by Chris Cavanagh, and Costume Design is by Kari Drozd.

The performance schedule is July 6th – August 6th, Wednesdays at 7:00pm, Thursdays at 7:00pm, Fridays at 8:00pm, and Saturdays at 4:00pm and 8:00pm. THERE ARE NO SUNDAY PERFORMANCES FOR THE SUMMER PRODUCTION. There will be a special “half-price preview” on Tuesday, July 5th at 7:00pm. Meet-the-cast talkbacks take place after all Wednesday performances EXCEPT opening night, July 6th.

Ticket prices are as follows:
Wed/Th/Sat 4pm - $35
Fri and Sat 8pm - $38
Ticket reservations may be made by calling 716-839-8540 or online at
www.musicalfare.com
All seating is assigned. Visa, Mastercard, Discover and checks are accepted.

MusicalFare Theatre is a professional musical theatre company in residence at, but independently operated from, Daemen College. MusicalFare Theatre is located at 4380 Main Street in Amherst, NY (between Harlem and Getzville Roads). Parking is FREE, and the theatre is handicapped accessible, complete with a hearing-impaired system.

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From July/August SPREE

One More For the Road
MusicalFare Takes Another Shot at Sinatra

About ten years ago, MusicalFare presented the musical revue My Way: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra, featuring four singers tastefully evoking the atmosphere Sinatra created, while telling stories and performing his familiar hits. Though it was critically and commercially successful, MusicalFare artistic/executive director Randy Kramer believed more could be done.

“The Sinatra canon of songs is so rich and varied. I felt that the surface had barely been scratched with My Way,” Kramer says. “John Fredo (the star of MusicalFare’s My Way and numerous My Way productions around the country) and I had talked about the tremendous possibilities for a new show. So I approached My Way creator David Grapes with a proposal that we work together and create something.”

Grapes, Kramer, and Fredo developed One More For My Baby, which is about a middle-aged Sinatra impersonator who starts “looking at his life and feeling the need to discover who he really is,” Kramer says. “For most of his life, his job has forced him to be someone else. I think it’s something that many people can identify with.”

One More For My Baby is “much more of a piece of theater” than My Way, Kramer says. “There is no breaking the fourth wall unless the main character, Jack Decarlo, is talking to the audience like Sinatra did. How does Decarlo go from being a Sinatra impersonator to being his own artist? It’s very difficult for him, as his Sinatra impersonation has made him a good living and is the only way he knows (legally) to make money. He has an ex-wife, a daughter he loves very much, and significant debts, so his road to self discovery has lots of complications.”

To play Decarlo, Kramer admits, “John Fredo was the only choice for both David and myself. He’s been very eager to work on a new Sinatra project that will challenge him as an actor and a singer. This one will.”

Fredo says it is important for him to be a member of the development team, and that he’s discovering things about himself. Sometimes actors hesitate to provide too much input in a show, but here, “I’m not taking liberties,” he says. “I’m a viable creative entity whose input is expected and appreciated.”

Part of the show’s developmental process was a production and workshop that took place over five weeks in June at the Colorado’s Little Theatre of the Rockies. “One of my regrets in the past with world premieres at MusicalFare is that I’ve felt we’ve always needed another production, as you learn so much from the first one,” Kramer says. He was in Colorado for the entire evaluation process, so MusicalFare audiences will benefit from any necessary changes and adjustments made.

“It’s nice to have a [different] place to go. You get a better sense of the universality of the piece,” Fredo says. “It’s wonderful to perform for a different audience. Kicks it up a notch.”

Marking a significant evolution in how MusicalFare creates new musicals, One More For My Baby runs July 6 through August 6 at MusicalFare. (839-8540)