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.

This week on Theater Talk, Anthony sings the praises of three women currently on local stages (coincidentally about 300 feet from each other in Buffalo's Theatre District): Joyce Stilson in I'M FINE at the Alleyway Theatre, Kate LoConti in THE WINSLOW BOY at Irish Classical Theatre Company, and Mary Gordon Murray in the touring updated CABARET at Shea's Performing Arts Center.

WNY media icon Larry Levite dies at 77

Apr 27, 2017
Buffalo Spree

He is well known for his long history in Western New York media. Larry Levite, publisher and CEO of Buffalo Spree Publishing, passed away Wednesday after a short illness. He was 77.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery has long been renowned for its collection of modern art, both purchased in the art market and donated by artists and gallery benefactors like John Albright and Seymour Knox Jr. Gallery Director Janne Siren announced Tuesday that the collection is expanding again with an amazing gift.

WBFO's Buffalo Blues Bash: Photo Gallery

Apr 24, 2017
Eileen Koteras Elibol

A sellout crowd attended WBFO’s Buffalo Blues Bash on April 22 in the WNED|WBFO studios in downtown Buffalo.

Derek Gee / The Buffalo News

Tim O’Shei of The Buffalo News has been traveling around the country visiting Western New Yorkers who have had a big impact on pop culture. His latest feature in The Buffalo Connection series, which hit print Sunday, is a profile of Cirque du Soleil Composer Seth Stachowski. Stachowski’s big dreams and instrumental talent have taken him from across North America and back again.


WBFO's Mike Desmond

Erie County's election-year budget is not due until the middle of October, but the quest to include some money in that budget for arts and culturals brought out around 70 agencies Thursday to the WNED|WBFO studios.

It's not a pared down touring CABARET that comes to Shea's next week; it's the real Broadway show. For something a lot quieter, THE CEMETERY CLUB is a bittersweet comedy about three widows and a widower at O'Connell and Company. Anthony saw GROUNDHOG DAY the musical in New York and both Peter and Anthony agree that the set, sound, and lights at THE TRIAL OF TRAYVON MARTIN are exceptionally well crafted.


Colored Musicians Club announces expanded jazz festival

Apr 18, 2017
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

One of Buffalo's historic cultural institutions celebrates 100 years of existence this year. To help mark their centennial, the Colored Musicians Club will host an expanded jazz festival this summer.


Scott Sackett

Take a look at any guide to starting a business and you’re likely to find first among the recommended steps, to research your market and then formulate a business plan. But some entrepreneurs find success without a plan and instead follow their hearts, use their smarts, and catch a trend. WBFO’s Arts & Culture Desk producer Scott Sackett visited with a local performance artist who did just that, opening a studio in Buffalo for a cinematic style of dance that’s gaining enormous popularity worldwide.


Rosalind Cramer, Theatre of Youth co-founder, passed away last week at the age of 81. She was also instrumental in founding MusicalFare Theatre, housed on the Daemen College (formerly "Rosary Hill") campus, where she taught theater. And this week there's more discussion of THE TRIAL OF TRAYVON MARTIN at the Manny Fried Theatre.

Artpark

Artpark is preparing to recreate a painting hailed nearly 40 years ago as the largest in the world  by the Guiness Book of World Records.


Colored Musicians Club

One of the area's more prominent cultural tourism attractions is now going to be available to more people.

Playwright Gary Earl Ross,  winner of the Emanuel Fried Outstanding New Play Award for THE GUNS OF CHRISTMAS, whose plays about race relations and legal proceedings THE MARK OF CAIN and MATTER OF INTENT were well received, has a new play produced by Subversive Theatre -  THE TRIAL OF TRAYVON MARTIN.

On April 6, 1917, the United States of America committed to participation in World War I by declaring war on Germany. The Buffalo History Museum is marking the centennial by opening a new exhibit that explores what was supposed to be "the war to end all wars." That exhibit includes tributes to Western New Yorkers who served and sacrificed for the war effort.


Scott Sackett

When you think of innovation industries and start-ups on the vanguard of Buffalo’s new economy, chances are what comes to mind are businesses in the health sciences, biotech, renewable energy, and digital technologies. But there is a growing number of artists in traditional trades such as woodworking and metalworking who are fostering a new creative industry in Buffalo. WBFO Arts and Culture Desk producer Scott Sackett visited the business incubator The Foundry, where art and commerce converge with cultural heritage and emerging trends.


While old Hollywood movies might have us believe that all you need is a stage to "put on a show," in fact there are weeks of behind the scenes preparation, including developing "back stories" for all the characters, as explained by Marissa Biondolillo, currently in the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play PROOF.

NY Theatre Guide

PROOF, a drama by David Auburn, stands up well to repeated viewings, and if you've only seen the movie, well, you haven't seen the drama. Presented by Buffalo Laboratory Theatre, with Marissa Biondolillo in the role of Catherine, the mathematician, it's at Shea's 710 Main Theatre but only tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2. 

NPR's Renee Montagne shines at WNED|WBFO studios

Mar 30, 2017
WBFO News photos by Eileen Elibol

It was a conversation that ranged from Paul McCartney to Donald Trump, from Afghanistan to fake news. WNED|WBFO Thursday night welcomed to its studios one of the most familiar voices on National Public Radio, Renee Montagne for "An Evening with Renee Montagne."

Western New York Book Arts Center

A new exhibit is on display at the Western New York Book Arts Center downtown. It is titled "Contentual Relationships" and is organized by book artist, writer and storyteller Scott Kristopher.

Acting coach Constantin Stanislavski (whose name is associated with Marlon Brando's "method acting") once said, famously, "Remember: there are no small parts, only small actors." But what if the actors are, well, actually kind of small? Two Buffalo favorites who fit that category show their huge talents in two ongoing productions.

The BPO serves thousands of school-age children with free concerts, but what about adults? For many years, the "BPOvations" have served as popular "music appreciation" courses.

Shea's Performing Arts Center and Albert Nocciolino just announced their 30th Anniversary Broadway Season (2017-2018) and went on to reveal that the long-awaited musical HAMILTON will be part of the 2018-2019 season. Next season special engagements include THE LION KING and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA while the season opens with Emilio and Gloria Estefan's ON YOUR FEET. This weekend's highly recommended plays are THE MOTHERF**KER WITH THE HAT at Road Less Traveled with very tight direction and stellar performances, STOP KISS which builds all evening towards "the kiss" (but with only two more performances at the Manny Fried Theatre), THE SEEDBED which is a family drama at the Irish Classical Theatre, A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE at the Kavinoky, and THE UNDERPANTS which is a modern adaptation by Steve Martin of a 1910 German play about sexual attraction, among other themes. And, opening tonight, it's the fabulous Jimmy Janowski as Cleo herself in CLEOPATRA, a BUA production at the Alleyway Theatre.

Audio

Shea's Performing Arts Center

A combination of classics and new tours add up to a big year for Shea's Performing Arts Center's fall season.

Here's how to experience SXSW from your living room

Mar 11, 2017

The massive arts festival South by Southwest has just kicked off. It features everything from tech talks and movie premieres to stand-up comedy shows, podcast recordings, and of course, lots of concerts.

But if you can't make it to Austin, Texas, for the festival, don't worry — you can still enjoy it from the comfort of your own home, says Melissa Locker, the culture reporter for Time magazine, The Guardian and The Takeaway.

In a telephone conversation earlier this week, Irish born playwright Bryan Delaney explained to WBFO Theater Talk co-host how he conceived of, nurtured, and ultimately crafted his latest "Irish" play, THE SEEDBED, which opens tonight at the Andrews Theatre on Main Street in Buffalo, the home of the Irish Classical Theatre Company.

This week Theater Talk recommends STOP, KISS (Subversive Theatre at the Manny Fried Playhouse); A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE at the Kavinoky Theatre with powerful performances by John Fredo, Debbie Pappas Sham, Renee Landrigan and others; and looks forward to a new play by Bryan Delaney, THE SEEDBED, which opens tonight at the Irish Classical Theatre.


It takes two trucks to transport the International Touring Organ which will grace the stage of Kleinhans Music Hall when the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and JoAnn Falletta welcome organist Cameron Carpenter to perform some rather loud music Friday morning and Saturday night. The all-digital organ's sounds were "sampled" from some of Carpenter's favorite organs.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Few people would expect to find a sprawling sculpture of a DNA-like structure in a public transit station.

"It's one of the most satisfying moments in all of music" says Dover Quartet cellist Camden Shaw about the music of Beethoven which was to be played tonight, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. at UB. UPDATE: CONCERT POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER (HIGH WINDS). NEW DATE T.B.A.

Scott Sackett

Have you ever felt like you’ve hit a barrier at work? A period when you’re just grinding it out and you’d like to find a way to get your head back in the game? That was what it was like for RE Katz. She’s a writer and artist who found that magic zone again at Dreamland Arts in their newly-launched residency program.  WBFO Arts and Culture Desk producer Scott Sackett visited with Dreamland’s first artist-in-residence and shares her story about the residency and the personal politics of her art.


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