Arts/Culture

Mark Duggan, courtesy of Second Generation Theatre

Buffalo's "Theater District" on Main is hoppin', from Tupper (Shea's 710 Theatre with LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS this weekend and ERMA BOMBECK: AT WIT'S END starting Tuesday) to The Alleyway (where BUA opens THE BOYS UPSTAIRS) to Shea's Smith Theater (SGT's THE TOXIC AVENGER) and down the next block to 456 Main where Road Less Traveled opens INTERROGATION ROOM.

When INTERROGATION ROOM premiered in 2003 at Ujima's Theaterloft, it changed the professional trajectory for Scott Behrend and Jon Elston. The co-founders of Road Less Traveled Productions enjoyed a growing interest in their work which sent them on the road to their current home in the Buffalo theater community. Behrend says they are reviving the play because it touches on "current, relevant themes" relating to class, race and stereotypes.


Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Tuesday afternoon, Buffalo Common Councilmembers will be asked to approve a moratorium on demolitions on city-owned property along the Michigan Avenue African American Heritage Corridor.

Subversive Theatre on Facebook

Two "Sci-Fi/Fantasy" openings tonight include Subversive's SHE KILLS MONSTERS about D&D and THE TOXIC AVENGER, Second Generation at Shea's Smith Theatre, a musical based on the 1984 movie. SUPERIOR DONUTS closes this weekend at Shea's 710 with a compelling story of cultures colliding and coming together while PRESCRIPTION MURDER: COLUMBO continues to entertain dinner theater audiences through mid-December.

Zuiker Press

The "CSI guy" is back in Western New York, with two new graphic novels ready to launch. Anthony Zuiker, creator of the "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" television franchise, and his wife Michelle, a Buffalo native and schoolteacher, have been creating these books since they co-founded Zuiker Press in 2017. All their titles give voice to young authors who have championed their pain and heroics so others can learn from it.

WBFO's Marian Hetherly had a chance to catch up with Anthony Zuiker before his visit to the Rotary Club of Grand Island Wednesday evening.


Nick Lippa / WBFO

A new haunted house experience is making its presence felt across Western New York. EverHaunt, in Angola, is using scares to raise money for Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Care, Kids Escaping Drugs, Operation Good Neighbor and more. EverHaunt founder Kevin Donovan took a haunted house in his garage and turned it in to a large, immersive experience with the goal of raising money for community partners.

Matthew Murphy, sheas.org

The Broadway tour of the high-energy COME FROM AWAY is at Shea's this week (five shows remaining) with its message of our common humanity. We mourn the loss of local actor Tim Finnegan, a funny, very warm fellow who often appeared in gay activist productions (see below). And Anthony is back from NYC where he saw Matthew Lopez's THE INHERITANCE which depicts the life experience of different generations - those who lived through the height of the AIDS crisis and those who came later.

WBFO / Nick Lippa

The eighth floor at City Hall was crowded for a school board meeting Wednesday night as several speakers, many Hutchinson Technical High School alumni, came to voice their concerns about the state of music education in the Buffalo Public Schools. The Buffalo Teachers Federation recently announced it would be moving forward with litigation by the end of the month because it believes certain schools are not compliant with art and music state regulations. But district officials want to make it clear they support arts education.

Paula Poundstone

Paula Poundstone will light up the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts in Jamestown Saturday with her unique brand of humor. The award-winning comedienne, author, actress, podcaster and panelist on NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" is celebrating 40 years in the business and still does 85 shows a year - despite years of therapy, children who come running when she pulls out her checkbook and a house full of 13 cats.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

Entering their fourth year, the Buffalo Jazz Collective kicks off their upcoming season with concerts this Friday and Saturday night. The non-profit group has grown partly in thanks to a community of jazz players, both experienced and young, working together to not only put on performances, but work with local students. As WBFO’s Nick Lippa reports, Collective Artistic Director Mark Filsinger has been instrumental in organizing, preserving, and advancing jazz in Buffalo.

Joe Policastro Trio

The Joe Policastro Trio will be playing in Buffalo tomorrow night at The Tabernacle. The Chicago-based progressive jazz group has developed a reputation of performing unique arrangements of popular songs. They just released their fourth album, Nothing Here Belongs, which features more of their own original work. Policastro spoke with WBFO’s Nick Lippa about past works, the new album and his arranging style.

Thomas O'Neil-White

For nearly 30 years Valentino Dixon sat in prison, having been found guilty of a murder he did not commit. He had his conviction overturned and was granted release in September of 2018. While in prison, Dixon gained renown for his art, most notably his depictions of famous golf courses.

David Cooper Shawfest.com

Shaw Festival Artistic Director Tim Carroll has heard thousands of opinions (and calls for his job) regarding his vision for the venerable institution but as he continues to make his mark, the revenues continue to grow. Most of the summer offerings close this weekend, but there are still chances to see the hilarious THE LADYKILLERS and the very dramatic (in the best sense) VICTORY, both directed by Mr. Carroll.

Courtesy of WEDI

Buffalo's popular West Side Bazaar, an incubator for immigrant and refugee-run businesses, is moving from its current home on Grant Street to a larger space on Niagara Street.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

On the corner of Grant and Lafayette streets on Buffalo’s West Side, Sweet_ness 7 Café has grown in popularity over the past decade. Next to and a part of the coffee house is an old Tabernacle that was turned in to bar about a year-and-a-half ago. While the name remains Tabernacle, the location has undergone many recent changes, including adding several new music events.

PHOTOS: October 2019 Buffalo Blues Bash

Oct 8, 2019
Eileen Elibol / WBFO

The fall 2019 WBFO's Buffalo Blues Bash concert featuring headliner Ms. Hy-C & Fresh Start and opening act Blues Daddios was another big success! A sold-out audience enjoyed a night of music, dancing, food and drink. WNED | WBFO photographer Eileen Elibol captured the event in this photo gallery.

K C Kratt

Of all the arts, theater often embraces diversity first. America's struggle to diversify is a strong theme in the ongoing PIPELINE at Ujima and LADIES SWING THE BLUES at the Paul Robeson Theatre, as well the upcoming SUPERIOR DONUTS and a number of shows closing this weekend, including the musicals HAIRSPRAY and WEST SIDE STORY, and one person shows BRIGHT COLORS AND BOLD PATTERNS and KNOCK KNOCK, JESUS CALLING. For details, see the listings below.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

Thursday night marks the 37th Annual Buffalo Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. One of the six inductees this year is singer Cynthia Moore, also known as “First Sister.” Moore performed throughout the '80s with Buffalo’s Unity Band. Ron Lasker, a Unity Band member who also traveled with James Brown, suggested Moore should audition for the “Godfather of Soul.” As she told WBFO’s Nick Lippa, that recommendation changed her life forever.

Drama in Lock 69 / Lee Williams, Lockport, NY

Twelve images that capture the beauty and character of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor have been selected as winners of the 14th Annual Erie Canalway Photo Contest. Judges selected first-, second- and third-place photographs from nearly 250 entries and another 12 photographs received honorable mention.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Dozens of local veterans have expressed their stories - and the private battles they are still fighting - by creating images and words now available for public viewing in Buffalo's Market Arcade.

Jesse Dayton

Jesse Dayton spent his early days playing alongside country legends Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Willie Nelson. Over the course of his career, he’s incorporated his punk, rock, and Americana influences to create a style that had him touring with heavy metal artist Rob Zombie a few years ago. Dayton spoke with WBFO’s Nick Lippa ahead of his performance Tuesday night at Mohawk Place.


Aquarium of Niagara

The Aquarium of Niagara has announced its third major expansion project in the last three years. Executive director Gary Siddall talked to WBFO's Mark Wozniak about plans for the aquarium's M&T Bank Shark & Ray Bay.


Nick Lippa / WBFO

The Colored Musicians Club has announced the lineup for its upcoming jazz festival. Starting Oct. 11, the three-day festival will feature local talent along with vocalist Cyrille Aimee and saxophonist Brent Birckhead.

Ujima Theatre Company

Playwright Dominique Morriseau has a knack for presenting relevant current situations with realistic dialog (DETROIT '67, SKELETON CREW) and Ujima Company's current production of her play about the "school to prison pipeline" continues their fine theatrical tradition, now in their new theater space on Buffalo's West Side.

If you predicted that creator-actor Phoebe Waller-Bridge would be a big winner going into Sunday night's Emmy Awards, you might just have won your Emmys pool. And if you were predicting a giant final haul of Game of Thrones trophies as that show leaves us for good, you were, well, sort of right.

Borderland Festival 2019

Borderland Music and Art Festival returns East Aurora this weekend for its second straight year. The two-day event boasts a lineup of over 25 bands at Knox Farm State Park playing Americana, bluegrass, blues and rock. That includes Canadian rock band the Sheepdogs.  Lead singer and guitarist Ewan Currie spoke with WBFO’s Nick Lippa and festival co-founder Jennifer Brazill on what to expect this upcoming weekend.

Gene Witkowski photographer

Although the annual start of the Buffalo theater season sees many openings, in fact, a number of plays and musicals have been up for a few weeks, including HAIRSPRAY, which is dazzling audiences young and old, from all backgrounds. Director Carlos Jones has added a twist, a second role in drag, "Motormouth Maybelle" sung by operatic tenor Shawn Parnell.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

Political cartooning has been impacted by many things over the past decade. The advent of social media. The change in how consumers receive their news. And more recently, President Donald Trump. Buffalo News’ Pultizer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Adam Zyglis spoke with WBFO’s Nick Lippa about what makes a great cartoonist in 2019.


Nick Lippa / WBFO

Jeanne Hebborn Cairns has amassed over 40 years of experience as an actor, director and producer in Buffalo’s theater community. She was honored for her career Friday night with a star in the Theatre District’s Plaza of Stars.

Thomas O'Neil-White

Leaders from across the City of Buffalo celebrated the dedication of the African-American Heritage Corridor Archway on Michigan Avenue on Monday. The archway is located between William Street and Broadway, a significant stretch of African American history in Buffalo.

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