The Ultimate Buffalo Diva!

January 17, 2017

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

​​​She was born to entertain us. All of us. And, MaryKate O’Connell is just fine with that. MK, as she is known – has been singing and dancing her way into our hearts for decades. O’Connell & Company is one of the most successful theater companies in Buffalo. They go beyond putting on a show, they show all of us the importance of giving back to the community we live in. We caught up with everyone’s favorite Diva to talk about her life on the ‘walk of fame.’

Q: You’ve been involved in the theater life of Buffalo for a long time, what makes it so special here?

A: I believe it is the closeness of our general WNY community that makes theater so special. The home town feeling spills over to the theaters and actors. They feel very connected to and supportive of each other and that generates a special energy out into the community. There’s a special magic that happens when positivity is generously shared.

Q: You were recently honored by Mayor Brown with a ‘MaryKate O’Connell Day’ – what did that mean to you?

A: I’m still processing the extraordinary event. I was thrilled and honored more than words can express receiving a star on the Walk of Fame. And totally surprised and humbled by the Mayoral proclamation of September 16th as Mary Kate O’Connell Day. I mean, really … how awesome is that??!! (And, yes, there will be a party at the star every September 16th!)

MaryKate and her beloved bestie, Rosie.

Q: How has Diva by Diva lasted so long – what’s the secret to its success?

A: I don’t know if there is a “secret” to the success of DIVA by DIVA A Celebration of Women! I think the honesty, openness and inclusion of the show have contributed to its longevity. It gathers women on both sides of the “footlights” who laugh, cry and share throughout the performance. It levels the playing field. We’re all the same. And we’re all there for each other.

Q: What are your thoughts on The Queen City’s Comeback?

A: I’m thrilled with each and every step we can take to advance Buffalo to be the Queen she was created and deserves to be.

Q: What is your favorite Buffalo food?

A: What isn’t???? Loughran’s Beef on Weck, Chef’s Spaghetti Parm, Glen Park’s Fish Fry, Muscarella’s Pizza, Wegmans subs, anything from Anderson’s, Ted’s, … and on and on and on …. all washed down with a cold Flying Bison, of course!

Q: What is your favorite restaurant?

A: Unfair question! See above answers … PLUS … Depends on the neighborhood and cuisine. Webster’s in NT, Squire on Main in Snyder, Coco’s Downtown, Saigon Bankok, Rizzoto’s in Williamsville … (list updated daily!)

Q: What is your favorite view?

A: I have always loved seeing the World from the rocks at the Three Sisters Island. I love to be where the earth, water, sky, and God beautifully unify and create a place of peace and reflection. There’s never a shortage of rainbows or daydreams.

Q: Where do you always take friends when they come to town?

A: Anywhere along the waterfront area in the nice weather … including – Canalside, Larkin Square, Riverfest Park, The American Falls, Shakespeare in the Park, Neighborhood Art and Music Festivals. In the winter … see bar and restaurant listing! Plus Galleries, shopping, theatre, live music in pubs or clubs.

Check out what MaryKate and O’Connell & Company are up to.


About Me

Welcome to Totally Buffalo! My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! After spending 20 years in the Buffalo media, I moved on to focus on my beautiful family. Now, the time has come for a new project. I was ready for something new. Something mine.
I am born and raised in WNY and my pride runs deep. My husband, Scott and I are very happy to be raising our four daughters here.