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O'Connell and Company stays connected to their audience

Livestreaming at iconic Buffalo venues has inspired creativity out of necessity.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The pandemic has created unique challenges for artists.  And for many, it's inspired their creativity for finding new ways to perform.

Mary-Kate O'Connell is the founder, playwright and lead artist for the group "O'Connell and Company" which has been producing musicals and plays, classics and original works for the past 25 years.  I spoke with her about the importance of art during this pandemic.

"We're able to bring some healing entertainment and some calm, I suppose-- or something familiar to the houses, the homes-- right in the middle of living rooms-- through this virtual endeavor because we all need that," said O'Connell.  "We all need to know that everything's alright, she added." 

Instead of sitting this season out,  O'Connell and Company has been producing virtual shows.  Some of them have been with live audiences at venues like the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site, where they could safely social distance.  Or they are streaming performances live from iconic venues all over Western New York, like the Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo.  

"There's great history there, they've got a museum there as well,"  O'Connell said smiling.

"But I have to tell ya, sitting up there, on the opposite ends of a keyboard of a Grand, and just sort of looking around at the pictures and wishing these walls could talk... it's really quite an experience," she mused.  

That next performance is called "Memories and Martinis".  

It's a retrospective on MaryKate's life and career. Growing up in a large Irish Catholic family in North Buffalo, it includes family stories, remembrances and of course, her favorite songs.

The show is being streamed LIVE starting Friday, February 18th through the 28th at 7:30pm, from the Colored Musicians Club with special guests, band leader George Scott and pianist Chuck Basil.

Click here www.oconnellandcompany.com to get information about performance times and how to purchase tickets.  A direct private link will be emailed 45 minutes prior to the event.  Tickets are $15 per household.