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FAUCI AND KRAMER Canterbury Woods Performing Arts Center/First Look Buffalo Theatre Company
Mar 4, 2024, 20:46
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Through March 17
FAUCI AND KRAMER Canterbury Woods Performing Arts Center/First Look Buffalo Theatre Company

By Augustine Warner

It was a friendship out of some unrealistic Hollywood movie: playwright and AIDS activist Larry Kramer and scientist and highest paid federal employee Dr. Anthony Fauci.
As director of the federal National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci ran efforts to understand and control AIDS and later COVID.
Kramer continually blasted the doctor for what he was doing about the lethal disease affecting his gay community and Kramer was a person so angry he was thrown out of AIDS groups he founded because he was so hard to get along with.
He applied that same attitude to Fauci until the two sat down and discovered they could work together to get something done to improve care and research.
Four decades later, a new virus emerged and Kramer was attacking the Trump administration’s handling of the COVID crisis, again run by Tony Fauci.
In 2020, Kramer died of old age and health issues, publicly mourned by his friend Fauci, who is now retired.
“Fauci and Kramer” author Drew Fornarola reverted to an old Hollywood trope, the ghost.
Kramer (Louis Colaiacovo) appears around 2 a.m. as Fauci (Steve Jakiel) is working another endless day of COVID, days after the activist died.
Again, he hectors the scientist about dealing with this health crisis.
It’s a clash of views of life, the scientist who needs to dot every “I” and cross every “T” and the activist who wants instant action and instant solutions.
Kramer can’t accept Fauci’s view that the person in his medical job needs to be someone with scientific and medical knowledge who isn’t mixed into the crazy politics of this day.
The activist is willing to see Fauci out of the position to fulfill Kramer’s view of the need for political suicide to make a point.
It’s enjoyable because these are two people who are friends and can get into the nut of an issue without screaming pointless and inaccurate invective at each other.
Fauci is familiar with this because he has so many enemies.
At our college class reunions in 2022, there were people outside the campus with signs saying “Kill Fauci” and there were attempts to storm the campus.
His class events in the weekend’s program weren’t included in the schedule, probably because of the security precautions which left him surrounded by Secret Service agents noticeably taller than the doctor (or me, either).
Fauci’s three daughters have been harassed by opponents.
“Fauci and Kramer” is an interesting look at people and issues at a time when rational discussions aren’t on the dance card.
Colaiacovo and Jakiel are really strong in the roles, although Jakiel is much taller and less fit than marathoner Fauci.
The show also has lots of humor, perhaps because people involved in these terrible situations need a break.
Sarah Waechter contributed a strong set design, with both performers, at times, sprawled across the couch.
“Fauci and Kramer” is really worth seeing.

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