Arts/Culture

Jay Moran/WBFO

Alexis Oltmer recalls how her current exhibition at CEPA Gallery originated three years ago on a visit to Emerald Beach on Lake Erie. "I started to notice tiny, little  (plastic) particles that were every single color in the rainbow. I was just really overwhelmed by them," Oltmer recalled. "When I got home I felt really bad about the fact that I hadn't done anything about that." For Oltmer, it's been angst turned into art.


Nick Lippa / WBFO

History is being made at the Oscars this weekend. The first ever woman conductor, Eimear Noone, will lead the orchestra. Her instrument of choice to lead the group? A baton made by Buffalo’s Phil Aguglia. WBFO’s Nick Lippa visited Aguglia in his workshop where he put on the finishing touches of a baton now on its way to Los Angeles and explained how making a baton for Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra music director JoAnn Falletta played a major role in developing his craft.

Bethany Burrows, musicalfare.com

Agnes Bain spent 41 of her 78 years overseeing the growth of Buffalo's African American Cultural Center on Masten Avenue, the home of the Paul Robeson Theatre (the play JUMP is wrapping there this Sunday afternoon) where she was beloved and is sadly missed. Meanwhile a celebration of blues singer Alberta Hunter in COOKIN' AT THE COOKERY is on stage at MusicalFare, FACTORY FOR MURDERERS is back on stage, and JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is coming to Shea's.

WBFO Photo/Nancy Fischer Painting: Craig Thomas

A vivid picture comes to mind when we hear the phrase “Women’s Movement,” but the protests of today in Washington, D.C. had their roots in the women’s suffrage movement, a protest that lasted for decades and resulted in the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote 100 years ago.


With its expanding array of contributors, Buffalo Rising spreads the spotlight on many of the city's newest trends and businesses. Cole Hastings is among those who have been sampling what's happening. He's tasted what he says are Buffalo's best vegan wings, kept close tabs on the city's hip-hop scene and explored the newest entries into a revived business community in Riverside. Hastings shared some of  his perspective during WBFO's Press Pass.


Buffalo Niagara Film Commission

The Association of Film Commissioners International has elected Tim Clark, film commissioner for the Buffalo Niagara Film Office, as its new board chair.

Thomas O'Neil-White

The Underground Railroad, the Nash House and the Colored Musicians Club are often mentioned as sigficiant Black history sites in Western New York. But a now-empty lot on Michigan Avenue also holds historical significance.

Lawrence Rowswell

It's so "meta" and hilarious when Buffalo's radical feminist troupe, The Brazen-Faced Varlets, puts on a very funny play by Carolyn Gage, THE ANASTASIA TRIALS IN THE COURT OF WOMEN, about a radical feminist troupe putting on a play. The young cast and director of MERCURY FUR also present great ensemble work in an "in yer face" production. While the  flu got the better of FACTORY FOR MURDERERS (think Jack The Ripper), but they're back at the Alleyway. And we remember Buffalo's Mary Loftus (click here for a detailed bio by Anthony).

David Duprey / AP

Efforts are underway to create an online database with an interactive map of suffragists’ gravesites across New York State.

By the end of the 62nd Grammy Awards on Sunday evening, a major star had been crowned: 18-year-old singer Billie Eilish, who swept all four of the night's biggest prizes — Best New Artist, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Album of the Year — along with honors for Best Pop Vocal Album.

But that rush of awards came only at the tail end of a long, strange and emotionally ambivalent ceremony held Sunday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Thomas O'Neil-White

Michelle Gigante’s heart belongs to the West Side of Buffalo. For years she owned and operated yoga studios in different Buffalo neighborhoods and the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Davy Knowles

Celtic influenced blues guitarist Davy Knowles is playing Iron Works Sunday night in Buffalo. In the past, he’s toured with Jeff Beck and Joe Satriani. He’s performing new solo album material and spoke with WBFO’s Nick Lippa about what blues lovers can expect next from the Isle of Man native.


Marcus T. Thompson, Jr.

A dozen different shows now into February give present a wide variety of genres, from exposing our hidden motivations in THE ANASTASIA TRIALS, THE ANTIPODES, and JUMP to "detective shows" MISS NELSON IS MISSING or THE MOUSETRAP to plays that portend violence such as COPS AND FRIENDS OF COPS, FACTORY FOR MURDERERS, and MERCURY FUR.

Thursday Night Terrors

Dipson Amherst Theatre's monthly cult-horror movie series is back for its eighth season starting with John Carpenter's 1987 film Prince of Darkness. Thursday Night Terrors, created by local horror fanatic Peter Vullo, has been going strong for almost four years now. He spoke with WBFO about the future of Terrors and shared his favorite horror films of 2019.

Varlets.org

Billed as a "play-within-a-play," the Brazen-Faced Varlets' production of THE ANATASIA TRIALS IN THE COURT OF WOMEN continues through February 2 at Alleyway's Caberet Theater. The play was written by Carolyn Gage. "She's very close to her plays," said Lara Haberberger, Artistic/Executive Director. So close, in fact, that Gage connected via Skype for a recent rehearsal to offer her insights.


File Photo / NPR

Rob's Comedy Playhouse was packed Tuesday night for a comedy show. It was a sold-out house for the comic Louis CK. The comedian is attempting to restore his career after a series of indiscretions halted his career during the #MeToo movement.

The Office of Brian Higgins

Less than a mile separates two of Buffalo’s premier spots to hear live jazz. The Historic Colored Musicians Club and Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center on Tuesday announced a partnership to bring top level international talent to the region.

Albright-Knox Northland now open to the public

Jan 17, 2020
Heather Hart's new piece-- a life-size rooftop that visitors are welcomed to climb on and underneath.
Kyle S. Mackie / WBFO News

Friday night is the official public opening of Albright-Knox Northland. It’s a temporary home for the art museum while its Elmwood Avenue campus is closed for construction through spring 2022.

Gene Witkowski, Kavinoky Theatre

After an early start for both THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY and COPS AND FRIENDS OF COPS, over half a dozen other productions are up this weekend, including A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (Irish Classical with the Buffalo Philharmonic at Kleinhans) and on Monday the second free reading of GOD OF VENGEANCE which is the basis for a Paula Vogel play (INDECENT) coming in March. Take some time to peruse the listings below.

The headline out of this morning's Oscar nominations could have been newness. There was the arrival of Netflix's two best picture contenders (Marriage Story with six nominations and The Irishman with 10). There was the huge showing for Bong Joon-ho's remarkable Parasite (six nominations) out of South Korea, the extraordinarily rare foreign-language film to make the leap to best picture and the first from South Korea.

Gene Witkowski

Some things might be worse than you'd think (perhaps the movie version of CATS) and some will be much better than you'd suspect from the title (the gorgeous musical THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY which opens this weekend at the Kavinoky) and one limited run should be greater than the sum of its parts - Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM with the complete incidental music by Mendelsssohn.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

On Saturday night, Nusantara Arts, formerly known as the Buffalo Gamelan Club, will be performing a show at the Buffalo Museum of Science in front of Indonesian artifacts and artwork. The one-night exhibit is a product of a growing gamelan scene in Buffalo and desire on the museum’s behalf to work with more local organizations.


Seneca Nation

A historic tomahawk with ties to the first president of the United States has made its way home, permanently.

Jay Moran/WBFO

Sean Cullen's acting credits include work with Hollywood luminaries like Al Pacino, George Clooney and Alec Baldwin. He also appeared in 1,000 shows of the production of  SOUTH PACIFIC at Lincoln Center, yet the actor still feels very much at home in Buffalo. Named Road Less Traveled Productions 2020 American Theatre Master, Cullen will be on stage in his hometown frequently in the coming weeks.


Kavinoky Theatre

A Buffalo theater will use a recently awarded state grant to pay for some major upgrades.

Toronto Globe and Mail

In 2019, as every year, the theater community lost beloved people, including Diahann Carroll, who sang "The Perfect Year" in her role as Norma Desmond in Webber's SUNSET BOULEVARD. And there was Carol Channing and Hal Prince and, in a bit of delicious irony, both despised critic John Simon of New York Magazine and actress Sylvia Miles who once dumped a plate of lasagna on his head.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

A chorus in Amherst is putting on rock concerts multiple times a year as part of a nationally growing group. Rock Voices currently has choirs ranging from Vermont to Oregon and offers people who both can and can't read music the chance to sing. A Buffalo chapter of Rock Voices started earlier last year.

Kelsey Novits

Kelsey Novits is the creator, producer and host of "Womankind," a locally produced podcast pursuing an answer to the question: What does it mean to be a woman in today’s world? After 60 episodes, Novits told WBFO's Marian Hetherly the answer is "complicated," but that only makes her want to pursue this question more.


First Look Buffalo Stage Productions

From finding investors to auditioning actors to securing an available theater stage, Bob Rusch has been busy getting First Look Buffalo Stage Productions off the ground. Now, his group is ready to open COPS AND FRIENDS OF COPS, a play written by Ron Klier, on January 10 at the Elmwood Theatre Lofts.


Marian Hetherly / WBFO News

Fewer kids in the United States are clowning around, and that leaves a lot of the work of child's play to older adults in Buffalo and beyond.

Of the 21 clowns depicted on their website, the Buffalo Clown Alley features only 2 that clearly are not older adults. At 88 years old, Lorraine Bauer is far more typical.

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