The Theatre District Association of Western New York today announced that Marcy and Jonathan Dandes have been selected as Honorary Chairs for the 36th Annual Curtain Up! event, celebrating the Opening of Buffalo’s 2017-2018 Theatre Season. Adam Hayes, TDA Vice President/Chair of the Curtain Up! 2017 Steering Committee, made the announcement. Curtain Up! will be held on Friday, September 15, 2017 in and around the 600 block of Main Street, Buffalo. This exciting event, the only one of its size and scope in the nation, is presented by M&T Bank and The Theatre District Association.

Marcy and Jonathan Dandes are enthusiastic and active participants in the Buffalo & Western New York theatre community.  An alumna of Canisius College, Marcy is now a licensed real estate agent with Hunt Real Estate.  She has served as President of the Nichols School Parents Council and is a long-time member of the Board of Directors of O’Connell & Company. Jon Dandes is the President of the Buffalo Bisons and President of the Canalside Management Group.  He currently serves as Chairman of Visit Buffalo Niagara as well as Chair of the Buffalo Zoo.  Jon is also Chair-Elect of the ECMC Board of Directors and the past Chairman of the Buffalo/Niagara Partnership.  The couple has been married for 35 years.

Marcy and Jon Dandes will be honored at the black tie Patrons’ Dinner Gala as “Act I” of the Curtain Up! Celebration. This year for the Dinner, attendees are invited to enjoy a sumptuous three-course meal in an elegant white tent at Fountain Plaza. Entertainment will be provided by Jazz Cache. “Act II” will raise the curtain on live Theatre performances at 8PM at eleven of the area’s distinguished Theatres Companies.  A full list of their exciting offerings, with links to their websites, can be found on the Theatre District Association website at  Net proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Theatre District Association, and also help fund “Act III,” the free late night street party downtown in the Theatre District later that night after the shows.

“Marcy and I are both honored and thrilled to serve as Honorary Chairs the 2017 Curtain Up! Celebration, kicking off the 2017-2018 Theatre Season,” Mr. Dandes said. “We recognize and honor the tremendous talent and dedication represented across every stage in Buffalo and Western New York,” he continued.  “Whether enjoying a classic musical or a brand new dramatic play written by a local playwright, audiences throughout our region have access to a wide array of extraordinary, world-class Theatre, enriching Buffalo’s cultural landscape and contributing to the area’s well-deserved reputation as a tourism destination for Arts and Culture,” Mr. Dandes concluded.

Commenting on the selection of Marcy and Jonathan Dandes as Honorary Chairs, Adam Hayes, Chairman of Curtain Up! said, “Theatre has always been, and continues to be, an integral part of Buffalo’s dramatic resurgence.  Without the support of individuals like Marcy and Jonathan Dandes, it would not be possible for Buffalo to have Theatre as a part of its cultural heritage,” he continued. “Their incredible dedication to fostering the growth of the Buffalo Theatre industry, as well as the city at large, is an example that should be elevated and celebrated,” Mr. Hayes concluded.

For tickets to the Patrons’ Dinner Gala, call (716) 847-0850 or purchase online at   For a complete list of their Theatre offerings, with links to their websites, please visit


Founded in 1979, Theatre District Association of Western New York, Inc. is a not-for-profit community association dedicated to the promotion of the health and well-being of Buffalo’s neighborhood known as the Theatre District.

It is our goal to foster public awareness and appreciation of the unique aspects of the Theatre District as an urban cultural neighborhood and to provide a forum for the exchange of information and ideas which may affect the welfare of the District and its members and to promote dialogue with other agencies or organizations which may impact our neighborhood.

TDA focuses attention on neighborhood cleanup and physical  improvement, and encourages programs for safety and security.  TDA also participates in the development and production of public events which showcase the Theatre District – including the Annual Curtain Up! event.

Theatre News: Kenny Awards Winners Announced

Shea’s Performing Arts Center and The Lipke Foundation are proud to announce the winners of 24th Annual Kenny Awards, an endeavor that recognizes the talent, dedication, and efforts of our local high school youth.

Outstanding Orchestral Performance

Orchard Park High School – Into the Woods

Outstanding Technical Design

Starpoint High School – Disney’s Beauty & the Beast

Outstanding Choral Performance

Frontier High School – Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Outstanding Scenic Design

Orchard Park High School – Into the Woods

Outstanding Dramatic Performance

Maple Grove High School – Anything Goes

Outstanding Costume Design

Eden Jr/Sr High School – Shrek the Musical

Outstanding Dance Performance

Maple Grove High School – Anything Goes

The Blossom Cohan Award

Honors a performer who “Blossoms” in a role

Joseph Lotocki as Chef Louis in The Little Mermaid/Frontier High School

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble

“Lady in the Long Black Dress” in Sister Act/Sacred Heart Academy

Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role

Amelia Waddell as Grace in Cinderella/Mount St. Mary Academy

Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role

Jake Grear as LeFou in Beauty & the Beast/Starpoint High School

Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role

Grace Auer as Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes/Maple Grove High School

Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role

Ian Hayes as Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid/Frontier High School

Outstanding Musical Production

Maple Grove High School – Anything Goes

Since the inception of the program, over 150 outstanding musical productions in local high schools have been recognized and honored by the Kenny Awards.  Now in its 24thyear, the Kenny Awards will again recognize local high school talent for excellence in producing and performing musicals with host DJ Anthony from Kiss 98.5.

Applications for this year’s Kenny Awards program were accepted in October and reviewed by the panel of Kenny adjudicators. From the applicant pool, 10 schools were selected to participate as finalists in this year’s ceremony. The finalists for the 2017 Kenny Awards are Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart – Sister Act, Eden Jr/Sr High School – Shrek the Musical, Frontier High School – Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Maple Grove High School – Anything Goes, Mount St. Mary Academy – Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Nardin Academy – Pippin, Orchard Park High School – Into the Woods, Royalton Hartland Central School – Thoroughly Modern Millie, St. Mary’s High School – Fame, and Starpoint High School – Disney’s Beauty & the Beast

The Kenny adjudicators viewed and evaluated the productions and determined the nominees and winners based on what they saw. There are 14 award categories, including “The Kenny” for Outstanding Musical Production in which the winning school receives a $5,000 grant from the Lipke Foundation to be used solely by the school’s theatre department. Other awards include individual performances in leading and supporting roles, as well as areas of technical production, orchestration, choreography, set design, and dance performance.

The Kenny Awards is one of more than 35 regional awards programs nationwide participating in the National High School Musical Awards Program, aka The Jimmy Awards, which will allow the selected Outstanding Leading Actress and Actor of the Kenny Awards to win an all-expenses-paid, week-long trip to New York City to compete in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in June, 2017. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will include rehearsals and coaching sessions with Broadway performers, performances, and other beneficial experiences. Participants in “The Jimmy Awards” will compete for various college scholarships.

For information on the Kenny Award Program, contact Shea’s Education Coordinator Holly Grant at (716) 829-1171 or

Coming to Buffalo, May 2017!


Welcome to Buffalo Theatre Guide! A New Frontier for the Performing Arts, in the City of Good Neighbors.

Buffalo Theatre Guide is a free online publication where our team of dedicated volunteers promote the Performing Arts in the Greater Buffalo area and surrounding suburbs.

Our team of writers attend live performances and provide theatre reviews and news, behind the scenes stories, video, and other content with the goal of shining a light on all the great work being accomplished in the city.

We look forward to launching in May 2017, and to share our love of the performing arts with you!