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.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

This year's annual Artie Awards were so successful as a fundraiser for Erie County Medical Center's Immunodeficiency Services Department, the money raised was double last year's.

Buffalo Rising

It could be called Buffalo's most colorful new event. Paint vs Paint featured paintball competitors battling at a former industrial complex on Howard Street that has been transformed into NORMEL Paintball. The event also attracted street artists who painted their creations on the walls throughout the complex. On WBFO's Press Pass, Newell Nussbaumer of Buffalo Rising explains how the event's energy has also splattered into the nearby neighborhood. 


BFLOexperience.org

Plans are moving forward to create the BFLO Hall of Fame Experience.  It’s a combined effort of three active local groups: Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, Buffalo Broadcasters Association and Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.

shakeonthelake.org

With an abundance of outdoor activities to do this summer in urban and suburban areas, a troupe of actors is bringing the works of Shakespeare to rural communities.

National Public Radio

Catholics in Western New York and across the world are re-assessing their beliefs, after the Vatican and Pope Francis issued a decree Thursday stating the church now formerly opposes the death penalty in all cases.

Shakespeare in Delaware Park Facebook Page

Director Kyle LoConti's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING at Shakespeare in Delaware Park has too much respect for the text to keep going for the easy laughs using cheap sexual innuendos and obscene gestures. No, for that you'll hve to get over to see SILENCE: THE MUSICAL, held over one more weekend due to popular demand. On the other hand, for something family friendly, try THE ODYSSEY at Artpark, and speaking of family, Heather Fangsrud has a tender and funny story of growing up in a very religious family in KNOCK KNOCK, JESUS CALLING.


IMDb

"I'm not the star," insists Broadway's Terence Archie in THE ODYSSEY at Artpark. In a conversation with Peter Hall, co-host of Theater Talk on WBFO, Archie makes it clear that it's the huge cast of local actors and musicians, professional and amateur, that give the show its appeal.


National Comedy Center

After years of development and millions in investment, the National Comedy Center officially opened today in Jamestown. While comedy stars like Amy Schumer, Dan Aykroyd and Lewis Black will bring luster to the weekend-long opening, Executive Director Journey Gunderson is confident the Comedy Center will live up to expectations. She says pre-opening testing indicates the center's experience will encourage repeat visits and boost tourism in the Southern Tier.


Paul Lamont

Celebrations are set for Saturday’s grand opening of the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum’s new cultural center in Salamanca. The $18 million facility will showcase rarely seen artifacts of Seneca history and the living traditions of the Seneca people Wednesday. It also opens the way to the repatriation of Iroquois or Haudenosaunee artifacts in collections around the world.


Errol Daniels / "Coming Home: Reentry After Incarceration"

What happens to people after they are released from prison? That is the challenge featured in a photo essay at Buffalo's CEPA Gallery called, "Coming Home: Reentry After Incarceration."

Nick Lippa / WBFO

You’ve may have heard of Shakespeare Behind Bars. It teaches Shakespeare to incarcerated and post-incarcerated adults and juveniles. There’s a program like that here in Western New York called Voices UnCaged. WBFO’s Nick Lippa has more from Groveland Correctional Facility near Perry, New York.


| Photo: Karli Cadel/The Glimmerglass Festival

This week Anthony went to NYC to take in Lincoln Center's MY FAIR LADY (with Michael Yeargen's high energy set and on Sundays Kerstin Anderson's big voice) as well as the similarly structured PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL at the Nederlander, and another play by Joshua Harmon (a Shaw for our times) called SKINTIGHT starring Idina Menzel. Peter went to the Glimmerglass Festival, equidistant from Buffalo and NYC, attracting an audience which appreciated the seldom seen Janacek opera THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN, the new Pulitzer Prize winning SILENT NIGHT, and a youthful WEST SIDE STORY with a (literally) show-stopping version of "America" with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

With the United States dealing with what many call an immigration crisis, a church in Buffalo is making an artistic statement on the divisive issue.

CTC (Chautauqua Theater Company)

Theater Talk promotes gender inclusion in the arts and this week recognizes three strong women. Eleanor Jean Murray who recently passed away at the age of 95 was a driving force behind the Studio Arena Theatre (now Shea's 710 Theatre). Chelsea Marcantel has another of her plays on stage at Chautauqua called AIRNESS. And 2018 Artie-nominated Heather Fangsrud presents her one-woman play KNOCK KNOCK, JESUS CALLING about growing up gay in a Jehovah's Witness family.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery

While the Albright Knox Art Gallery's massive renovation and expansion plan may well be approved for eventual construction, staff and architects learned Tuesday it will not be simple.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery

The long-discussed expansion of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery shifted from a bunch of architects around a computer screen to a project Monday, as the $155 million project went before the Buffalo Planning Board.

Cheryl Gorski

There is a wide variety of theater offerings this early July, from the innocent ALICE IN WONDERLAND in East Aurora's Hamlin Park (an outdoor event), to the definitely 18+ SILENCE! THE MUSICAL at the Alleyway, some farce (HERE LIES JEREMY TROY) at Desiderio's Dinner Theatre, KING LEAR closes this Sunday at (free) Shakespeare in Delaware Park and something different at Chautuaqua: AIRNESS about an air guitar contest!

You don’t often see groundbreaking ceremonies led by children wearing hard hats, riding in on toy construction vehicles.

But that’s exactly how the Strong National Museum of Play broke ground Thursday on a 100,000 square foot expansion. That expansion will bring a new, larger atrium and entrance to the museum and include new exhibits like women in gaming, a ropes course, updated outdoor play area and parking garage.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

Doctors from around the world are in Buffalo this week not to discuss medicine, but to play music. With some help from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, they performed music at Oishei Children’s Hospital for patients and parents. It’s part of the hospital’s Healing Arts Initiative which focuses on bringing performances and visual artworks into their facilities. WBFO’s Nick Lippa has more.


Marian Hetherly

It was decades ago when Ken Goldstein first saw the Bethlehem Steel Plant in Lackawanna. The moment moved the young artist to write what he calls a "depressing" song about the crumbling facility and the struggling community. Many years later he was invited to Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley where the original Bethlehem Steel Plant had undergone a renaissance as a community arts center. The transformation inspired Goldstein to produce a film and revise "The Song of Bethlehem."


Thomas O'Neil-White

The corner of Hertel and Commonwealth avenues is busy with commerce and the traffic is loud. But artists are at work here with brushes, ladders and buckets of paint. The stained glass design of their mural, which seems more fitting in a place of worship, symbolizes what this neighborhood stands for.


Haldan Kirsch / The Chautauqua Daily

In 1859, Dion Boucicault wrote a hit melodrama about the fate of AN OCTOROON in the antebellum south. Today, BJJ (a young black playwright) writes his own version, but when the white actors in his adaptation quit, BJJ decides to take on the role of the racist plantation overseer himself. Seen at Shaw last summer, there are only four performances left at Chautauqua through Sunday. In Buffalo, BUA's "summer camp" offering is SILENCE! THE MUSICAL based on "Silence of the Lambs" (really!) while at MusicalFare MURDER FOR TWO pits two great musicians, Phil Farugia and Joseph Donohue III, in a (musical) battle of whodunit.


Francesca Bond

What do "Jane Eyre," "Harry Potter" and "Fifty Shades of Grey" have in common?

They're all part of the Great American Read -- a list of 100 novels, from classics to more contemporary works. And this summer, PBS and WNED-TV are asking people to vote for their favorites.

But it's impossible to get all of the greatest literary works on a list of a mere 100.

Dept. of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation / University of Rochester

More than a century after his death, Frederick Douglass and July 4 remain profoundly intertwined.

Shakespeare in Delaware Park

Strong women's roles may be a rarity in Hollywood, but not here on Western New York stages, including the three daughters of King Lear over at Shakespeare in Delaware Park and the various roles in the very timely and topical SLUT, played by students from Buffalo's Academy for Visual and Performing Arts at the Manny Fried Theater. Also note Rebecca Ritchie's IN THE BEGINNING (the "real" story of Eve, Lillith, and "the serpent") up at the Kenan Center, paired up with Mark Humphrey's DAYROOM.

Chris Caya/WBFO

This week marks the return of the Miss New York competition to downtown Buffalo, with two dozen contestants from across the state taking part.


OMA and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery would add a building, save a building and renovate its original building under the latest version of its A-K-360 plan. Gallery officials say they'll need to raise $155 million in order ro fulfill their vision.


MIke Desmond/WBFO

The list of official Buffalo landmarks is continuing to increase, with more scheduled to be approved by the Council tomorrow. The city Preservation Board has been picking buildings which are landmarks under state or federal rules and covering them under city rules.


www.shawfest.com

In collaboration with a fellow classicist, Artistic Director of The Shaw Festival Tim Carroll, Stephen Fry presents three takes on "The Greek Myths." MYTHOS: GODS covers the origins of our well known Zeus, Athena, Prometheus, et. al. but he also has an evening called MYTHOS: MEN and MYTHOS: HEROES. Meanwhile, Shakespeare in Delaware Park opened an equally ambitious play, KING LEAR, which runs through July. And, closing this Sunday are the sublimely acted LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN at Irish Classical and a series of short, experimental, existential plays called WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE CASABLANCA: Flashbacks in the Fog, at tiny Rust Belt Books on Grant Street.


Ryan Fitzsimmons

In a place known for having more cows than people, an arts and culture movement is brewing. The Town of Perry has hosted ‘Shake on the Lake’ since 2012 where outdoor productions of Shakespeare have been performed at Silver Lake and other rural Western New York areas. Now they are home to the inaugural New York State Puppet Festival and hope to bring it back for years to come.

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