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.

www.irishclassical.com

Niagara-on-the-Lake's Shaw Festival presents MRS. WARREN'S PROFESSION and it is skillfully staged and directed as if this pro-feminist play were being produced in a gentleman's club, which, indeed is how the first production came to be for this censored work. And, it's the Shaw production that will make its way across the border to 710 Main Theatre in the late fall. An excellent choice based on the opening which Peter and Anthony saw over the weekend. Remember, 710 Main is where the Artie awards will be presented on Monday, June 6 at 8 p.m. (bar opens at 7). Meanwhile, Shaw's great friend Oscar Wilde, will have his play AN IDEAL HUSBAND (one of Shaw's favorites) open tonight at the Irish Classical Theatre (625 Main). And don't forget that O'Connell & Company is presenting Sondheim & Furth's COMPANY at The Park School in Snyder.

Photo provided by Shea's

Riverdance - The 20th Anniversary World Tour opened at Shea's Performing Arts Center Tuesday night.  The powerful, international show of Irish dancing is on stage only until Thursday evening. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley had a chance to talk with a former principal dancer who is now associate director of the show.


senecamuseum.org

A major project in Salamanca that will dramatically increase the size of the Seneca Iroquois National Museum is moving forward.

Photo by David Cooper.

The 26th Annual Artie Awards nominations have been published, recognizing the Artie Committee's top five choices for a variety of categories, from Best Actor and Best Actress to Best Production to Best Lighting, 19 categories in all.  And everyone is invited to the Artie Awards Show, Monday June 6, 2016  at 710 Main Theatre -  red carpet at 7:30, the show starts promptly at 8:00 p.m.  And, while "win-win" is an overused phrase, this time it's apt: The Shaw Festival and 710 Main Theatre (operated by Shea's Performing Arts Center) have a five year deal to bring the Shaw Festival's unquestioned excellence to Buffalo audiences, starting with G.B. Shaw's MRS. WARREN'S PROFESSION this fall.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Neglia Ballet Artists holds a special gala Thursday evening called "Dancing to Live" featuring national and international dancers. Proceeds will benefit the TargetCancer Foundation and Neglia's CityDance program in Buffalo Public Schools. WBFO's Senior Reporter Eileen Buckley attended a rehearsal.  

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Buffalo's 710 Main Theatre, which wrapped up its 2015-16 season last weekend, is already announcing plans for 2016-17. Beginning next season, their schedule will include a production by the prestigious Shaw Festival.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO News

It's currently a satellite location within the Niagara Falls Public Library System. But the LaSalle Branch is proving to be a useful setting for makers of the film Marshall, and for more than just library space.


Rich Wall, Buffalo Niagara Film Commission

A movie highlighting a court case early in the career of eventual U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall begins filming this week in Buffalo. And as one of the producers told WBFO in a one-on-one interview, additional stars have signed on for the project.


LOVE LETTERS, a touring production of the play by A.R. Gurney, directed by Gregory Mosher, starring Ali MacGraw, and Ryan O’Neal closes this weekend with four more performances available - Saturday May 21 at 2 and 8 p.m. and then Sunday, May 22, at 2 & 7 p.m. at 710 Main Theatre located 710 Main Street in Buffalo. Playwright A.R. "Pete" Gurney spoke with WBFO Theater Talk co-host Peter Hall about the first performance with Gurney himself opposite Holland Taylor. Gurney also shares insights into why Ali MacGraw is so perfect for this role.

LOVE LETTERS by Buffalo's A.R. "Pete" Gurney closes this Sunday night at 710 Main, so you still have some time to soak up some major star power - Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal - in an intimate and very moving one act play presented by two old friends. Powerful performances from the ensemble make FARRAGUT NORTH at Road Less Traveled Theatre -  a compelling night of drama and talk about timely! It's all about behind the scenes machinations in an election year.

The Buffalo Connection: Diane English

May 16, 2016
Jenna Schoenefeld

Tim O'Shei of The Buffalo News has been traveling around the country profiling people who were raised or educated in Western New York and have gone on to become pop culture influencers. His series is called The Buffalo Connection.

Sunday's paper included his latest installment, a profile of Diane English, the creator of the hit TV sitcom Murphy Brown. At 67, English is working on a project that may bring her back to the forefront of groundbreaking television.

Buffalo native Lauren Belfer is heading back to the best-seller charts with her new novel "And After The Fire." It's a look at the music of Bach, anti-semitism and family. Belfer talked to WBFO's Mike Desmond about the book.


As FARRAGUT NORTH at Road Less Traveled shows us the hubris of a political campaign, DETROIT 67 at the Paul Robeson Theatre updates RAISIN IN THE SUN themes to the riots of 1967, and JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG at The New Phoenix Theatre asks the question "how far would you go to to make your country great again?" - powerful dramas are on multiple stages this month in Buffalo.

Chris Caya WBFO News

The largest public art project to date, sponsored by Erie County, is going up in downtown Buffalo. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Shea's Performing Arts Center are collaborating on a new mural on the wall of 710 Main Theatre, along West Tupper Street.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The red carpet was rolled out in Buffalo's theater district Monday afternoon as star power arrived at 710-Main Stage Theatre. Actress Ali MacGraw and Actor Ryan O'Neal are bringing the national tour of 'Love Letters' written by Buffalo playwright A.R. Gurney to the Queen City. WBFO's Eileen Buckley had a chance to meet the celebrities up close. 

DIRTY DANCING, the musical based on the Patrick Swayze movie, continues at Shea's Performing Arts Center with five more performances, closing with a 7 p.m. show on Sunday, May 8. Buffalo-born playwright A.R. "Pete" Gurney's LOVE LETTERS opens with "Love Story" stars Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal at the intimate space of 710 Main Theatre and it opens Wednesday May 11 and runs through May 22.

In the history of musical theater, operettas were a bridge between opera, where every word is sung and what today we call musicals, where there is a lot of dialog, with songs throughout. But early operettas had songs that didn't really move the plot along. Then, after some successes under their belts, the team of Gilbert (lyrics) and Sullivan (music) wrote PATIENCE, a satire about poseurs. It was groundbreaking in that the songs were actually integral to the plot.

Photo form Paul Spitale's Facebook page.

A Buffalo couple wed on national television Friday morning. Paul Spitale and Jenell Greene said their vows on "Good Morning America" in Times Square. WBFO's Eileen Buckley spoke with the couple as they were traveling to New York City, prior to tying the knot.

If you missed Anthony's cameo in the movie THE AMERICAN SIDE (starring Matthew Broderick and showcasing the City of Buffalo in all of the location shots) then pencil in a trip to 710 Main where Hollywood stars Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw (of LOVE STORY) will appear in Buffalo-born A.R. Gurney's LOVE LETTERS.  Need a little Vegas in your life? Buffalo's own Eric Jordan Young IS Sammy Davis Junior in CELEBRATING SAMMY: BROADWAY TO VEGAS with the BPO at Kleinhans, Saturday night at 8 p.m.

The Buffalo Connection: David Milch

Apr 25, 2016
Jenna Schoenefeld

Tim O'Shei of The Buffalo News has been traveling around the country profiling people who were raised or educated in Western New York and have gone on to become pop culture influencers. His series is called The Buffalo Connection.

Sunday's paper included his third installment, a profile of David Milch, the creator of TV shows like NYPD Blue and Deadwood. The Milch story also marks the beginning of a collaboration between WBFO and The Buffalo News, with O'Shei producing a radio piece for each profile. 

O'Shei reports from Santa Monica, California, where Milch, at 71, is rebuilding his life while working on his next projects for HBO.


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.


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