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.

University at Buffalo Music Library

More than 600 musical works performed at the University at Buffalo as far back as 1964 will soon be preserved on digital format. They include works by some of America's most prominent composers of the 20th century.

Racial flashpoints across the United States this year have ignited debate about race and social equality in this country. WBFO Arts & Culture Desk producer Scott Sackett continues his series on the arts and social integration with a look at some of the most pressing social questions in America today, through the prism of Buffalo's Colored Musicians Club.


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The Hebrew prayer from Chabad House Rabbi Moshe Gurary echoed across Canalside Thursday night, as a delegation prepared to light three flames on the menorah towering over the ice rink.

As Buffalo continues to welcome immigrant communities, it needs more theater diversity, but right now we do have two established organizations: the younger Raices Theatre for Puerto Rican and other Latino cultures (currently showing DESDE EL PUENTE: CHRISTMAS EDITION) and the more established Paul Robeson Theatre, Buffalo's oldest continuing theater, part of Buffalo's African American Cultural Center, currently offering MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM through Christmas Eve.


RCM Photography

This week's topics include the A CHARLIES BROWN CHRISTMAS, HELLCAB, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY, and Raices Theatre's DESDE EL PUENTE features 10 short plays with Latino themes, but you don't have to speak Spanish to enjoy this Christmas show.


Photo provided by Shea's 710 Theatre

An old time radio-style show continues at Shea's 710 Theatre.  In fact It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play has been held over through December 16th and 17th.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley met with the director of the on-stage show. 

GoFundMe

The Scintas have been a musical staple from Buffalo's West Side for decades. However this year, the family is mourning the loss of one of their own.

Paul Lamont

Native Americans have served in our nation’s armed forces in greater numbers per capita than any other ethnic group. But over the 200 years since the founding of this country, while Native Americans fought for the United States, federal policies were also aimed at Indian removal. WBFO's Scott Sackett visited with distinguished Seneca artist and Vietnam veteran Carson Waterman, who calls his works “survival art,” a label with a profoundly personal meaning.


Road Less Traveled Productions

The Christmas Season continues to provide dozens of  area productions, with several yet to open, from the high art of Mozart' s MAGIC FLUTE to the dark comedy of HELLCAB and three (3!) takes on IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, from the one night only SHOW UP at Nietzsche's, to performances of A CHRISTMAS CAROL at both the Alleyway and the Shaw, right up through "Christmas Eve Eve" (December 23).

New Phoenix Theatre

This week Peter and Anthony talk about the February 24th trip to Toronto to see KING CHARLES III,  the flights of fancy in CINDERELLA, the appeal for children (of all ages) of THE NUTCRACKER, and Anthony reflects on the theatrical career of David Cassidy.

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.


The Buffalo Connection: Alan Zweibel

Oct 30, 2017
Derek Gee / Buffalo News

Tim O’Shei of the Buffalo News has been traveling around the country visiting Western New Yorkers who’ve had a big impact on pop culture. His latest feature in The Buffalo Connection series – which hit print Saturday is a profile on University at Buffalo graduate and comedy writer Alan Zweibel. Zweibel has been making people laugh for over 40 years, and it doesn’t look like he’s planning to stop any time soon.


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.


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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.


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