Arts/Culture

In a Friday afternoon press conference, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson did not say what led to the death of singer Prince, whose body was found yesterday at his home in Minnesota. He was 57.

Olson did say there were no "obvious signs of trauma" on the singer's body, and that there is no reason to believe his death was a suicide.

In this 100th anniversary of the Easter Uprising which ultimately led to the independent Irish Republic of today, there is considerable interest in the great Irish poet, playwright, and political activist William Butler Yeats. THE YEATS PROJECT: TWO PLAYS BY W.B. YEATS combines the dramatic direction of Irish Classical's Vincent O'Neill, Torn Space's visually arresting sets (Dan Shanahan), and movement by Lehrer Dance (Jon Lehrer). It opens tonight at the Andrews Theatre.

To many Western New Yorkers, his music was a part of growing up in the 1980s. He took on the record industry in the 1990s by replacing his name with a symbol. As as one local music critic put it, Prince - who was found dead Thursday at the age of 57 - was truly a musical genius in the same class as James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson.


Prince, Musician And Iconoclast, Has Died At Age 57

Apr 21, 2016

Prince — the Purple One, who reeled off pop hits in five different decades — has died at age 57. The shocking news was confirmed by Prince's publicist after reports that police were investigating a death at his Paisley Park compound outside Minneapolis.

"It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer Prince Rogers Nelson has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57," publicist Yvette Noel-Schure said. "There are no further details as to the cause of death at this time."

Photo from Michele Ragusa's website.

Buffalo native and Broadway star Michele Ragusa performs at Kleinhans Music Hall this Friday for a cabaret-style show.  She returns to her home-town performance after recently starring in Hello Dolly in Vero Beach, Florida.  WBFO's Eileen Buckley talked with Ragusa ahead of this week's performance learning about a special song she will sing to honor the legacy of her father's musical work. 

Musicalfare Theatre's talent pool is so deep that it's offering two musicals at once: AVENUE Q at 710 Main and HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING at Musicalfare Theatre's home in Amherst on the Daemen College campus. AVENUE Q is a wonderful collaboration between Musicalfare and Shea's Performing Arts Center, and could point to a healthy future for a Buffalo landmark.

Courtesy Lucille Ball Comedy Festival

An entertainer known as "Jerry Seinfeld's favorite comedian" and two stars known for picking on politicians are among the acts booked to appear at this summer's Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown.


Chris Caya WBFO News

Sunday marks the return of Free Admission Week at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Director Janne Siren says the first free week in 2015 "was a huge success."

Eileen Elibol

The opening act for WBFO’s Buffalo Blues Bash was still a half-hour away from taking the stage Saturday night, but Michael Campbell was already getting in the mood.

jpsoars.com

The next WBFO Blues Bash takes place Saturday, April 9 in the WNED|WBFO studios. Blues host Pat Feldballe recently had a chance to speak with Blues Bash headliner JP Soars.


The Jewish Repertory Theatre opened COMPULSION OR THE HOUSE BEHIND with a veteran cast presenting the story, based on real life, of "Sid Silver" trying to produce a play about "The Diary of Anne Frank" and meeting resistance which only feeds his paranoia. The most "sane" character on stage is Anne Frank, represented by a Michele Costa designed puppet, ably manipulated and voiced by Amelia Scinta.

courtesy Albright Knox Art Gallery

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery is gearing up for what's being called a "monumental" public art installation this summer, one that's going to alter several structures across the City of Buffalo.


Long anticipated but absolutely worth the wait, OF MICE AND MEN at The New Phoenix Theatre offers a peak performance; Buffalo Quickies at The Alleyway might be their best in 25 years; Playwright Terrence McNally speaks tonight (a BUA Funder at the TR Site) and tomorrow (free event at Buff State).


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Thousands of Western New Yorkers, just one day after enjoying Easter Sunday, were out on Monday taking part in Dyngus Day festivities. Inside Buffalo's Broadway Market, the celebrations included a contest to determine "Buffalo's Best Kielbasa."

Every theater in Buffalo has its niche, a special calling, and for the Alleyway that means putting on new plays. Meanwhile, the New Phoenix seems to specialize in classics – sometimes 16th century, sometimes 20th century. And, for the Jewish Repertory Theatre, well, their name says it all.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

While churches throughout Western New York will host Holy Thursday services and remain open for continued quiet prayer, seven in Buffalo's Polish heritage neighborhoods will welcome visitors to take in both a spiritual and cultural experience.


The Theater community is really hitting its stride as we head into spring with a number of very fine performances. With two short runs, closing this Sunday, which include two very different “look backs” at the mid-20th century, we also have a number of plays continuing into late March and early April including three excellent offerings by our local amateur theaters at the Roycroft, Ellicott Creek, and the Woodbox Theatre in Niagara Falls.

Irish Trad seisiún

Mar 17, 2016
Photo provided by Mark Warford

There will be plenty of the wearing of the green, green bagels and beer on this Saint Patrick's Day.  But WBFO's Eileen Buckley found out about some local musicians who provide traditional Irish music monthly in the area.

You don’t have to be an expert on World War II or the Holocaust to enjoy a one man play which opens tonight at 710 Main Theater. WISENTHAL is suitable for ages 12+. The play runs 90 minutes without intermission. WBFO Theater Talk co-host Peter Hall spoke with the playwright.

Thomas O'Neil-White

If it was a movie, it might be titled "Spring Sojourn for Shark Girl."

The musical "Beautiful" tells the inspiring true story of Carole King who began life as Carol Klein from Brooklyn, a girl who broke into the record business as a teenager, ultimately writing hits for the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll. During her years cranking out those hits in NYC's Brill Building, Carole King and her partner Gerry Goffin were best friends and also competitors with another song writing team, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

Brian Meyer/WBFO News

A newspaper that serves the region's growing immigrant and refugee populations has published a primer for new Americans that highlights the voting process. A recent edition of Karibu News featured a two-page spread in three languages. It's an effort to encourage naturalized citizens to head to the polls and to spur discussion among those who cannot vote. WBFO's Brian Meyer sat down with publisher Rubens Mukunzi, a Rwandan immigrant who moved to Buffalo three years ago.


Michael Mroziak/WBFO News

Dancers, dignitaries and shoppers gathered inside The Broadway Market Friday to mark the official launch of the Easter shopping season at the Buffalo landmark.


Shea’s Performing Arts Center and Albert Nocciolino have announced their 2016-2017 season including FINDING NEVERLAND, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS and A CHRISTMAS STORY. Meanwhile, at Shea’s, the Carole King musical opens on Tuesday, a play about a comedian turned Nazi hunter opens on Thursday, and two shows open tonight -a play about bullying at Road Less Traveled, and Theater of Youth presents a stage version of a classic children’s novel.

WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

Buffalo will be the launch for the first national tour of "Finding Neverland." The tour will open October 11 at Shea's Performing Arts Center. Other big name shows like "42nd Street," "Wicked," and "the Sound of Music" are among the highlights of the 2016-2017 Broadway Series at Shea's.  

Andrew Beiter

Messages of hate have plagued society for many centuries, but they’ve never spread more rapidly than in today’s Internet society.

Dixie Longate comes up from Mobile and returns to Shea's Smith with her southern-style humor, a little biting (a la Joan Rivers) at times; the Irish (well, one actor, but when it's Bosco Hogan that's all you need) take over Canisius; and FINALLY, the American Repertory Theatre is in their new home on Amherst Street, ready for a March 10th opening night with a play by John Guare.

Buffalo History.org

On Sunday, the Buffalo History Museum will host a conversation with Western New York native and celebrated actor William Fichtner. Prior to his return, Fichtner shared some time with WBFO.


An idea that was hatched years ago by NPR to highlight independent musicians from around the country has inspired a promoter to stage an event in downtown Buffalo.

Craig Windham, a voice familiar to many NPR listeners, died unexpectedly last night of a pulmonary embolism. He was 66.

Windham was an award-winning journalist who covered presidential campaigns, hurricanes, earthquakes and the first Persian Gulf War. More recently, he focused on anchoring and reporting for NPR's Newscasts. In less than 40 seconds, Windham could explain the intricacies of a complicated bill or capture the glory of a space shuttle flying over the nation's capital.

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