WBFO Arts & Culture Desk

WBFO's Arts & Culture Desk is funded by the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site and The Buffalo History Museum

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.

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

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!

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.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Peace Of The City continues providing inner city youth with life, arts and social justice skills. One of its showcase events is Shakespeare Comes to (716).   WBFO’s senior reporter Eileen Buckley attended a rehearsal for a modern-day performance of William Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew at the Shea’s Smith Theatre, featuring a diverse cast and crew of 50-Buffalo teens.

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.


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.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

Just one month after the death of artist Robert Indiana, his set of world-renowned sculptures, “NUMBERS ONE through ZERO,” are making their U.S. debut on the Western New York Waterfront.


Buffalo broadcasters Hall of Fame gets new members

Jun 20, 2018
Julianna Sebastian

Six people who have garnered local and national attention were introduced Wednesday as the newest members of the Buffalo Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

The Class of 2018 includes retired WGRZ-TV anchor John Beard, current Star 102.5 show host Roger Christian, national radio station manager Tom Langmyer, broadcast engineer Tom Atkins, 97 Rock Program Director John Hager, and the late Mary Lounsbury, the first female general manager of a Buffalo radio station.

Borderland / Facebook

Tickets go on sale today for the Borderland Music and Arts festival in East Aurora. The two-day event will feature more than 20 bands on three stages at Knox Farm State Park. Borderland Co-Founder Jennifer Brazill has been booking events like this on the west coast for years. Now she has a chance to organize one back home. WBFO's Nick Lippa has more.


www.sheas.org

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical LOVE NEVER DIES, a 10-years-later sequel to his PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, is at Shea’s Performing Arts Center through Sunday evening, June 10. The principal soprano role is the Phantom's beloved musical protégée, Christine Daaé, now an established Diva, and it's being sung by an established soprano, Meghan Picerno, who has sung the lead soprano roles of Cunegonde in Bernstein’s CANDIDE, Marie in Donizetti’s DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT, and Lucia in Donizetti’s LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR. “Something they have in common is that they’re all acting roles; they’re all full-on performance roles” she told WNED|WBFO's Peter Hall, roles which have prepared her for the Broadway stage.

The motion picture industry in Buffalo and Western New York has been growing steadily for a number of years now and more than a few producers, aware of the support for the film industry and the cinematic resources the area offers, are becoming return customers. WBFO’s Pat Feldballe talks to Buffalo Niagara Film commissioner Tim Clark about one such project, getting underway soon, that features a pretty big name in the movie business.


WBFO News

The 2018 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition wrapped up Saturday night at Kleinhans Music Hall. Bokyung Byun of South Korea won first place. She was the first woman ever to win the competition. Byun also won the Musicians Choice award as voted by members of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors from across Western New York will flock to downtown Buffalo for the 61st Allentown Art Festival this weekend. Art lovers and people-watchers will find streets filled with arts, music, and energy.

wbfo.org

The 28th annual Artie Awards presented by WNED|WBFO were a big success with a larger audience than ever resulting in more proceeds from the event collected to support Erie County Medical Center's HIV/AIDS and Immunodeficiency Services, a charity for which various theater companies have been collecting for months. In addition, performers from LOVE NEVER DIES (currently at Shea's) will put on LATE NIGHT WITH THE CAST, a benefit concert to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, tonight, June 8 at 11:00 p.m. at the Alleyway Theatre’s Main Street Cabaret, 672 Main Street. See the list of nominees and winners along with photographs here.

Blockbuster Broadway, it's more than just "Hamilton"

Jun 7, 2018

The annual showcase of all things Broadway — the Tony Awards — takes place on Sunday. But even before the trophies get handed out, the New York theater industry has a lot to celebrate. It just had its most successful year on record, with record attendance and grosses of nearly $1.7 billion.

Eileen Elibol / WBFO|WNED

So you can't get enough Artie Awards 2018 coverage? Neither can we. Check out all the glitz and glamour, the gowns and shoe cam, Anthony Chase's epaulets and more in this slide show of photos from the 28th annual event on June 3, presented by WNED|WBFO.

The 2018 Artie Award Winners

Jun 4, 2018
Eileen Elibol / WNED|WBFO

Winners were announced at the 2018 Artie Awards on Monday night. Check out the full list, photos and tweets from the night below. And here are more photos from the red carpet and festivities.

Pages