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.

Christy Francis

In the past several years a number of city-based theatrical companies have had to contemplate a move (some several times) including American Repertory, Buffalo United Artists, Road Less Traveled, and Second Generation, but it's happening in the suburbs too, to MusicalFare (several years down the road) and now the Lancaster Regional Players at the Lancaster Opera House. 

National Comedy Center

On his 97th birthday, legendary producer, director and writer Carl Reiner announced an initiative to digitally preserve his extensive personal collection of production-used scripts from “The Dick Van Dyke Show” - one of the most iconic, innovative and beloved comedy series in television history. Preserving those works will be the task of Jamestown's National Comedy Center, where the 7,500 pages of scripts for all 158 episodes will eventually call home.

Kavinoky Theater

This past weekend, the Kavinoky Theatre started its run of George Orwell’s "1984" after less than three weeks of production. Producers were forced to make the last-minute switch after they were told their planned production of "To Kill a Mockingbird" could not be staged because of a legal dispute.

Seneca Nation

The Seneca Nation has welcomed back a piece of history for the first time in more than 150 years. A pipe tomahawk given to the legendary Seneca leader Cornplanter by George Washington in 1792 was unveiled at the Onohsagwe:de’ Cultural Center in Salamanca.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

A special performance and screening of the award-winning short film Joe's Violin will be held Saturday evening as part of the Buffalo International Jewish Film Festival that runs March 22 through March 28. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the event will focus on how to donate instruments to change. 

Cheryl Gorski

Shea's revealed its 2019-2020 season along with the Smith Theatre and Shea's 710, both of which have some shows with substance lined up. For good theater right now, folks are talking about "ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS" at the Alleyway, "ANGELS IN AMERICA" at the Smith, BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY at Road Less Traveled. Tonight, 1984 opens at the Kav, and SIDEWALK STAGEPLAY at the Robeson.

Shea's

Shea's theater goers will be able to travel the world next year, from the plains of the Sinai Desert and the Rock of Newfoundland to Paris and the Russian Empire - and, ultimately, Margaritaville. Several thousand subscribers cheered at the landmark theater Tuesday night, as the season's Broadway shows were announced.

Local native Kenneth Ivy has been talking with the family of the late Rick James about creating a museum in honor of the funk icon.

Gene Witkowski

The Buffalo theater season is cyclic and right now in a boom time we're bullish on so many A-list plays using our best Buffalo actors, directors, and behind the scenes efforts (such as the Drozd sisters' costumes, make-up, and hair for FROST/NIXON). Arranging your calendar to see as many shows as possible can be a bit like playing the game of TETRIS, but should be worth the effort.

Vocalis Chamber Choir: Icons & Legends

Mar 7, 2019
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

If you looking for some beautiful sounds you'll want to check out this weekend's Vocalis performances. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley talked with Vocalis's Chamber Choir director and founder James Burritt  about their spring concerts 'Icons and Legends'.  

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The continuing road show of plans to renovate, expand and improve the Albright-Knox Art Gallery moved to a new location Tuesday night - McKinley High School, just down the street - to show a wider range of the community what's going on.

Luke Perry Dies; Former '90210' Actor Was 52

Mar 4, 2019

Luke Perry, who rose to fame as bad-boy Dylan McKay on the TV series Beverly Hills 90210, has died at age 52. Perry's publicist announced Monday that the actor "passed away today after suffering a massive stroke" in Los Angeles.

Perry reportedly suffered a stroke last Wednesday, when TMZ and a number of media outlets reported that an ambulance took him from a house in Sherman Oaks, Calif., to a hospital.

Matthew Murphy

The Kavinoky Theatre, caught in the crossfire of Rudinplay versus Dramatic Publishing's dueling lawsuits, has had to cancel TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD through no fault of their own. Meanwhile, THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE at Torn Space is getting great press for their innovative adaptation of the Cassavete's movie. And Shea's brings the emotional musical MISS SAIGON to a whole new generation.

Credit Photo provided by Kavinoky, Brandon Moran

Buffalo's Kavinoky Theatre at D’Youville College has been forced to shut down its production of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says it's over a licensing dispute that has closed productions at small theaters across the country.

garyclarkjr.com

Jonathan Deas, also known as "Deas on Keys," has recently been on "Saturday Night Live," "Howard Stern" and "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" performing with Gary Clark Jr. to promote his new album, This Land. He’s receiving national notoriety now, but it wasn’t too long ago he was a student at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

Musician Henri Muhammad has been teaching young African-Americans how to play strings and piano for nearly 20 years in the city of Buffalo. The Muhammad School of Music’s continuing mission to provide inner-city youth with an instrumental education has led to generations of Buffalo-bred professionals in various vocations.

Pintrest

Kenmore East High School Band Director Phil Aguglia is a product of the Buffalo Public Schools system. He spoke with WBFO's Nick Lippa about why it’s important to invest in urban education, but isn’t sure if it will lead to more minority musicians in larger orchestras.

BPO

African-Americans currently make up less than two percent of larger orchestra members in the United States. That lack of representation is a struggle for many groups, including the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

It turns out the Oscars telecast doesn't need a host.

Buffalo State

Orchestras around the country, including the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, have little to no African-American representation, especially for instrumentalists.

Gina Gandolfo, Road Less Traveled Productions

The Vietnam War, Racial Inequality, Immigration: issues th are hot-button topics central to two musicals this week, RAGTIME which continues at Musicalfare Theatre and MISS SAIGON (interview with "The Engineer" actor Red Concepción) which opens at Shea's on Tuesday. On the other hand, for some sweet, bittersweet, and downright zany looks at love, it's ALMOST, MAINE at Shea's 710 Theatre.

WBFO file photo

With winter bearing down with record-setting snow falls, residents are searching for indoor activities. During her appearance on WBFO's Press Pass, Jessica Marinelli of Buffalo Rising offers some alternatives, including the latest offering at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Humble and Human: An Exhibition in Honor of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. With Erie County Free Week underway, Marinelli says the event provides an opportunity to view the works of great Impressionist artists like Monet, Renoir and Gauguin.

Uncrowned Queens celebrating 20 years

Feb 18, 2019
Photo from Dr. Peggy Brooks Bertram Facebook

During Black History Month Buffalo's Uncrowned Queens has been calling on community members to help preserve stories for generations to come.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the organization is celebrating its 20th year.


Falletta describes the glam of her Grammy win

Feb 15, 2019
Photo from Buffalo Philharmoic Orchestra

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director JoAnn Falletta describes her Grammy win as "exciting" and "unexpected." WBFO senior reporter Eileen Buckley says Falletta won for her conducting work with the London Symphony Orchestra and American composer Kenneth Fuchs.

Jewish Repertory Theatre

There is a continuum from the shocking British 1990's "In Your Face" style to didactic morality plays, such as TALES OF THE DRIVEN currently at Subversive, to theater that teaches, such as A HOME WITHOUT A HOUSE presented (free) next week by Planned Parenthood, to love stories with a message of acceptance, such as TALLEY'S FOLLY at Jewish Rep.

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

JoAnn Falletta took home another trophy at Sunday's 61st Grammy Awards. The longtime music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra earned the third Grammy of her career for a recording with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Buffalo News

This week it's a new play by Subversive's Kurt Schneiderman called TALES OF THE DRIVEN, new choreography by HAMILTON choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler in CATs at Shea's, a fairly new adaptation of Richard Wright's NATIVE SON at the Paul Robeson, and new staging for TUCK EVERLASTING at the Theater of Youth.

Saturday was World Hijab Day, and the local organization Western New York Muslims celebrated the event by inviting the community to experience the head covering worn by some Muslim women.

www.albrightknox.org/art/exhibitions / Albright-Knox Art Gallery

A new exhibit at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery is now open and honors former Buffalo Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.

BuffaloNews.com

Millennials; they're coming on strong. Keri René Fuller (interview) stars as Grizabella in CATS opening at Shea's, UB undergraduates are off to represent the United States in an international scenography competition in Prague, and McKinley High School/Buff State grad Janae' Leonard is on stage at the Paul Robeson Theatre as "Bessie" in NATIVE SON.

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