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.

Scott Sackett

Stories on television and at the movies that include people with disabilities are becoming more prevalent.  But recent studies have found that while the disabled account for nearly 20% of the U.S. population, roughly 2% of characters portrayed on television and in major U.S. films are disabled.  The studies also found that the majority of those roles are still going to able-bodied actors. As part of his series on the arts and social integration, Arts & Culture Desk reporter Scott Sackett visited with a playwright and theater director who, on the local scene, is giving disabled artists an audience and changing the public’s perceptions of disabled people.


This week Peter and Anthony discuss three plays still up this weekend: THE CRUCIBLE with stellar performances by Adriano Gatto and Aleks Malaise at the Kavinoky Theatre; MINDING FRANKIE, a heartwarming, funny play (but take a tissue, too!) with Kristen Tripp Kelley and Christian Brandjes, and PAINTING CHURCHES at O'Connell & Company with many themes, including "you can't go home again."

Punks Against Putin Facebook page

From cooks to bartenders to local musical acts, dozens of volunteers have teamed to present Saturday's Punks Against Putin. Proceeds from the day-long music festival at the Ukrainian-American Civic Center will cover the cost of shipping medical supplies to Ukraine.


Eileen Elibol, WNED|WBFO

The 25th anniversary celebration for Theater Talk at the WNED|WBFO studios was a huge success Monday as hundreds attended to enjoy various stars of local stages perform songs and skits to honor Anthony Chase and his long-time co-host Jim Santella.  Around town, THE CRUCIBLE at the Kavinoky moves beyond the same old (remember reading it in high school?) into powerful "adult" territory and VIOLET perfectly fits the MusicalFare space with a stunning cast.

In a career spanning nearly three decades, Ani DiFranco's music has evolved in countless ways, reflecting everything from a major relocation (from New York to New Orleans) to her acquisition of a funky, shimmery backing band. But she's also kept her core values intact, from her outspoken commitment to progressive social causes to her strenuously maintained independence from the machinery of the music industry.

Eileen Koteras Elibol

Buffalo's theater community turned out Monday night to honor the 25th anniversary of "Theater Talk" on WBFO and the show's co-host from the beginning, Anthony Chase.

WNED-FM

For 40 years, WNED-FM has provided classical music to Western New York and Southern Ontario. Saturday, the station celebrated that anniversary by bringing in international talents Augustin Hadelich and Tim Fain.

WNED|WBFO is celebrating 25 years of Theater Talk and you're invited! Join members of the theater community as we congratulate Anthony Chase on a a quarter century of showcasing Western New York theater. For reservations visit wbfo.org or call 1-800-678-1873. On this program, Peter and Anthony discuss STRAIGHT which is closing this weekend, STUPID * BIRD at A.R.T. and Road Less Traveled's GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS.


Karen Lee Lewis

When you see a photograph on social media that seems unreal, reverse search engines and photo forensic tools can help determine whether it’s been manipulated. But if the photo is an artistic expression of extraordinary sensitivity and imagination, the best way to authenticate its truthfulness may be to search within yourself. WBFO's Arts and Culture Desk producer Scott Sackett spoke with visitors at a recent art exhibition about their reactions to the photographs of Karen Lee Lewis. He then spent an afternoon with the artist, looking at different sides of the natural world through her lens.


National Public Radio

NPR's 2016 Tiny Desk Contest Winner Gaelynn Lea was in Rochester this weekend for a performance at Nazareth College. She never thought she would be a performer full time. Which is a funny thought to come from someone who in the last year had 200 shows in 39 states and six different countries.

There are almost too many choices, again! for Buffalo audiences. THE BODYGUARD at Shea's has excellent singing and dancing, but for an intimate two-hander, VISITING MR. GREEN at Jewish Rep has Saul Elkin back on stage with a very warm, human presence.

Toronto born Deborah Cox has a voice and personality big enough to fill Shea's Performing Arts Center, which you can enjoy starting next Tuesday in THE BODYGUARD. Meanwhile, over at the very tiny (18 seat?) Rust Belt Books performing space, three women with personality - Jeni Arroyo, Caroline Parzy-Sanders, and Stefanie Warnick - present a different view of Shakespeare's play OTHELLO.

GinasJourney.com

A three-day conference, "Reclaiming Our Ancestors II," begins tonight in Buffalo.  With artists, filmmakers, descendants of slaves and slaveholders, and scholars from around the country taking part, the event looks to counteract "an amnesiac culture," so says Kari Winter, professor of translational studies at UB. While most of the conference is free and open to the public, registration is required.


BUA

In Shakespeare's OTHELLO Desdemona is the frail victim of false accusation, but Pulitzer Prize winning Paula Vogel puts her in charge, sleeping with the Othello's entire encampment, in DESDEMONA: A Play About a Handkerchief which Brazen Faced Varlets opened at Rust Belt Books.

TOY

WNED | WBFO is celebrating 25 years of Theater Talk! The evening will include musical performances, reminiscences from well-known area performers, a look back at 25 years of Theater Talk, and a heartfelt salute to host, Anthony Chase, Monday, November 6 at 7 p.m. in the WNED TV Studios. Tickets are only $25. This week, Theatre of Youth opened BUNNICULA, O'Connell & Company opened Jerry Herman's musical DEAR WORLD and Subversive closes IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE this Saturday night.


Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The Roycroft Campus now has a dedicated space on its East Aurora grounds where relics of the writer, printer, philosopher and founder of the artisan community are on display.


Paul Lamont

Creativity and innovative thinking are now considered to be essential skills in the highly competitive business market. But for artists, whose careers are founded on creativity and innovation, they’re not simply a skill set: they’re often a way of life. WBFO's Arts and Culture Desk producer Scott Sackett recently spent some time with Buffalo-based composer David Kane, whose home life has become nearly indistinguishable from his life’s work of more than 30 years.


Khalid Terrell

Superheroes and villains alike are springing to life in downtown Buffalo. The region’s largest comic book convention is setting up shop  this weekend for the third consecutive year at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

Universal Studios / National Public Radio

It is proving to be a busy year for the Buffalo-Niagara film industry. Three major productions are currently shooting scenes in the area and a highly anticipated movie filmed at several local sites will be released next month.

With choreography made just for them, Broadway stars shine at Shea's in ON YOUR FEET, moving on after tomorrow's 2 p.m. matinee. At the Kavinoky, THE PRODUCERS closes after Sunday's matinee, but two other local musicals still have a week: KILLER RACK at the Alleyway and PETER & THE STARCATCHER at MusicalFare.


Alleyway Theatre

With 15 shows on stages this weekend (see Artvoice's "On the Boards" below) how can you choose? Go high (culture) with Puccini's opera MADAMA BUTTERFLY at Rockwell and DESIGN FOR LIVING at Irish Classical, or go low with the campy KILLER RACK (breast augmentation with extreme prejudice and great songs by Neal Radice) at the Alleyway or Mel Brooks' THE PRODUCERS at the Kavinoky.


Vintage Jell-O wagon acquired by museum

Sep 20, 2017
Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum

A 113-year-old wagon that showcases what some call "America's Most Favorite Dessert" has made its way back to Western New York.

Karen DeWitt

Thirty historic sites in 21 counties in New York received $239,634 in preservation grant money, and they say it makes a difference in a region where the economy is struggling.


(Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Curtain Up! this Friday night, September 15, marks the opening of the 2017-2018 theater season, with a formal dinner, some informal dining at Expo, shows along Main Street between Tupper and Chippewa (recently dedicated as "The Chris O'Neill Way"), but all over the area as well, including a spectacular version of Mel Brooks' THE PRODUCERS at the Kavinoky Theatre on Porter Avenue.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Although many local theater venues hosted opening performances Thursday evening, Buffalo's formal celebration of a new theater season takes place Friday evening with the 36th annual Curtain Up!

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

One day before Buffalo's Theatre District was set to celebrate its 2017-18 season, State Senator Chris Jacobs was inside one of the venues announcing that state money has been secured to help continue an ongoing capital improvement project.


WBFO's Mike Desmond

There is another star on the Theater District's Plaza of Stars. Stephen McKinley Henderson, an award-winning actor on stage, screen and Broadway and a recently retired University at Buffalo faculty member has been recognized.

shawfest.ca

The 2017-2018 theater season has begun with the first of our Curtain Up! plays: PETER AND THE STARCATCHER: A GROWNUPS' PREQUEL TO PETER PAN directed by Chris Kelly, starring Renee Landrigan as "Molly" and Jesse Tiebor as "The Boy/Peter Pan"," two of the twelve actors who take on 100 roles.

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