ADVERTISEMENT

For the 32nd year running, Buffalo theater companies are combining their efforts to launch the new season in grand fashion. On Friday night, the Theater District’s annual Curtain Up! celebration will turn Main Street into a festive thoroughfare teeming with well-coiffed, tuxedoed and otherwise fancy-looking theatergoers along with bands, street performers and no shortage of celebratory champagne.

The honorary chair of this year’s event – divided as usual into three acts: dinner, show and party – is the prolific Buffalo-born playwright A.R. Gurney. He will be on hand along with the entire Buffalo theater community to help raise the curtain on some 20 productions, ranging from a short run of his own two-hander, “Love Letters,” in Canisius College’s Marie Maday Theatre to the much buzzed-about spectacle of “I Love Lucy Live on Stage” in the 710 Main Theatre.

The free street party begins around 10 p.m., after the shows let out, on Main Street between Chippewa and Edward streets. It will feature performances from Buffalo bands like the Albrights, the George Scott Big Band and what the Curtain Up! website calls “nifty strolling street entertainers.”

Visit www.buffalocurtainup.com to browse through the shows or for more info on the party. If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, it’s best to call the theaters individually to check on availability before heading out on the town.

– Colin Dabkowski