Arts/Culture

The WBFO Arts & Culture News Desk is co-funded by Arts Services Initiative of Western New York and the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Several African-American women will be appearing Friday evening in a special performance on stage at the University at Buffalo's Lippes Concert Hall on the north campus in Amherst.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley talked with the author and producer Latricia Davis who created this original play called "This Is My Story".   

It's all about musicals this week as BIG FISH (based on the movie) opens tonight at Shea's Smith and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken continues at O'Connell & Company.

Explore & More Children's Museum

As the four stories of Explore & More's new $29 million home take shape at Canalside, the children's museum has launched its first crowdfunding effort to help shape its inside.

Burchefield Penney Art Center

An early twentieth century depiction of Niagara Street in winter is returning to town after the Burchfield Penney Art Center had an unexpected win at an art auction earlier this week.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Shea's Performing Arts Center was all a buzz in the early morning hours Friday as the public lined up early to have a chance to purchase tickets for Hamilton, the Broadway smash-hit musical. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley was at Shea's Friday morning as the first batch of buyers stepped up to the box office.  

Irish Classical

Folks lined up at Shea's in the wee hours to buy the hottest ticket in America as HAMILTON, the musical, went on sale. And the "Hamilton phenomenon" seems to have raised interest in theater generally. So, if you're interested in a really good show locally, we can recommend any of the six plays and musicals closing this weekend.

Mike Desmond/WBFO

Explore & More, the new children's museum coming to Canalside, hasn't yet reached its fundraising goal of $29 million. With a full opening just six months away, museum officials say they have plans to help close that gap.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Fifty years ago this month, a Buffalo radio station paid tribute to one of the medium's most legendary on-air dramas, a recreation of H.G. Wells' novel War of the Worlds. WKBW Radio marked the 30th anniversary of Orson Welles' Mercury Theater 1938 broadcast by revisiting an invasion from Mars as if it were happening in Western New York. Later this month, a new documentary will be released celebrating WKBW's version, and why many say it remains a gold standard among War of the Worlds tributes.


RIT 'Big Shot' captures Old Fort Niagara

Oct 1, 2018
Rochester Institute of Technology

RIT has completed another one of its “Big Shot” photographs, with the latest venue in Western New York.

WNY to shine in 'Cold Brook' premiere Oct. 12

Oct 1, 2018
Woodstock Film Festival

Remember last summer when Western New York was all abuzz for a special film crew in town? Behind the camera for the first time was a "Chicktowaga" native. (Yes, he still pronounces it that way.) Veteran actor William Fichtner chose his hometown as the backdrop for his directorial debut, "Cold Brook."

Christy Francis

In the musical CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY on stage at Shea's, young Charlie Bucket is lucky to get a Willy Wonka golden ticket. Meanwhile, Shea's has partnered with Ticketmaster to thwart HAMILTON scalpers with their "Verified Fan" program which, if you're a lucky winner, will give you a (golden) access code to buy HAMILTON tickets. PINKALICIOUS runs two more weekends, fun for both girls and boys too!

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

For a century and a half, local residents have used the park system established by the designs of Frederick Law Olmsted. A new exhibit probes the question, Who was Olmsted?

Women's Hall of Fame wants your vote

Sep 26, 2018
National Women's Hall of Fame

The National Women’s Hall of Fame is looking to rehabilitate the 1844 Seneca Knitting Mill into its new home - and it is looking for the public's help in winning a grant to help with the costs.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

There’s a new mural on Buffalo’s East Side at 1131 Broadway. It was unveiled to the public Tuesday as part of the Albright-Knox’s Public Art Initiative. While several of the artists brought in for the initiative have been from outside the region, this mural was painted by someone who grew up in the same neighborhood.

Nick Lippa / WBFO News

The director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery says he needs the public to join some wealthy donors in contributing for the planned $155 million expansion. Janne Siren says he wants the public to take ownership of the expansion to make it communitywide.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

After more than a year, Congress has passed legislation to study the feasibility of designating Fort Ontario and the Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum in Oswego as a national park.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

Students at Buffalo State College are spending the weekend bringing Iron Age technology to life.


sheas.com

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY opens a national tour tonight at Shea's with a new score from the songwriters of HAIRSPRAY. and producer Mark Kaufman couldn't be happier with the cast and his time in Buffalo, as he told WBFO Theater Talk co-host, Peter Hall.


Borderland Music and Art Festival

Knox Farm State Park is hosting the first ever Borderland Music and Arts Festival this Saturday and Sunday. It’s something organizers hope becomes an every year staple in Western New York.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

A new annual region-wide jazz initiative is starting next month. Buffalo area musicians and writers are coming together to put on a series of concerts celebrating and reflecting on the music of 1968.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

There is a University at Buffalo connection to the Broadway tour of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; The New Musical opens Friday event at Shea's Performing Arts Center.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the general manager of the tour is a UB alum.  

Alleyway Theatre

Clifford Odets was expected to inherit the mantle of the great American dramatist Eugene O'Neill, and you can see why in Odets' 1937 drama GOLDEN BOY, about a boxer who really wants to be a violinist. Across Main Street, at the Alleyway Theatre, PHILOSOPHUS had its world premiere, and will no doubt be tightened up a bit by the playwright Colin Speer Crowley, but as it stands its sold-out shows are full of comedic shtick. There's a new production of PINKALICIOUS at Theatre of Youth starring Sabrina Kahwaty, and a musical about high school, HEATHERS, closes this weekend, an ART production put on in an old high school.


HumanitiesInstitute.Buffalo.Edu

As is the case each year, the Buffalo Humanities Festival is organized around a specific theme. This weekend's event, which begins tonight, is called "Revolutions." According to Professor Elizabeth Otto, Executive Director of the Humanities Institute, finding partners and presenters wasn't difficult. "People are fired up and ready to talk about change. Definitely."


BPO

In most American cities, the assistant conductor assists. But in Buffalo, he conducts—a lot! Todd Craven is the new "AC with the BPO."


Editor's note: This story was originally published in 2017 and has been republished with updates.

For Rosh Hashana, more than 350 members of Uganda's Namutumba Synagogue dressed in white, chanted their prayers and feasted on a slaughtered cow to mark the beginning of a new Jewish year last week.

"We are so happy that we entered the new year with such joy and happiness," said Namutumba's spiritual leader Shadrach Mugoya Levi by telephone from Uganda.

BuffaloRising.com

Amherst Street is enjoying a revitalization. Newell Nussbaumer of Buffalo Rising says some small businesses are relocating to the strip, lured by lower rents and burgeoning commercial opportunities. During their monthly appearance of Press Pass, Nussbaumer and Jessica Marinelli expanded on what's happening in Black Rock and across the city.


VictoriaWolcott.org

It's been a half century but the effects of 1968 are still being felt. The debate, says Professor Victoria Wolcott, Chair of UB's History Department, is often over the "good Sixties" versus "bad Sixties." Wolcott will explore the subject during a panel discussion at this week's Humanities Festival. "I think it's important to see these anniversaries as an opportunity to investigate our assumptions about the past."


BuffaloRising.com

Curtain Up! is tonight, and regardless of which theater venue you attend, you're invited downtown for the big "after the shows" street party where you can see Lynn Kurdziel Formato's star, the latest in the "Plaza of the Stars" on Main Street at Tupper. Here's good news for readers! Anthony Chase is back writing reviews for GUSTO at The Buffalo News. And we are sad to note that three-time Tony Award nominee Marin Mazzie known on Broadway for RAGTIME, PASSION, and KISS ME KATE died Thursday of ovarian cancer at 57.


National Toy Hall of Fame

The National Toy Hall of Fame here in Rochester has announced the 12 finalists for this year’s induction. Are your favorites included?

Photo from Macy's adveristment

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director JoAnn Falletta had an interesting experience. Falletta appears as one of six inspiring women for the Macy's fall ad campaign. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley talked to Falletta about how the advertisement is design to empower women.

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