Local & regional news

Buffalo, NY – Jim and Tony prepare their crowns, tiaras and toupees for tonight's Curtain Up celebrations in downtown Buffalo. They also pay tribute to Fred Ebb, and discuss the Kavinoky production of Anything Goes.

Buffalo, NY – The project is called "World of Voices," a collaboration to promote cultural awareness through literature. It's a three part collaboration. One part is the funder, the Oishei Foundation. Another part is the publisher, White Pine Press. And the final part is the literary center, Just Buffalo. The goal is to connect with high-need inner city students.

The first of 12 writers-in-residence is Native American author Maurice Kenny. Click the "listen" icon above to hear Mary Van Vorst's Spoken Arts.

Buffalo, NY – Something funny has been going on around here this summer. Wheels. As far as the eye and the imagination could see.

Dozens of local artists put their most creative thoughts into motion earlier this year for "Art on Wheels." Fifty-seven artworks have been on display across the region all summer for "Art on Wheels."

It's getting ready to roll out. But not without one last big "Wheel-O-Rama."

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario – The Royal Family by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber continues at the Shaw Festival through November 23rd.

Broadway was at its peak in 1927, the year The Royal Family opened. The ascendancy of the cinema and the effects of the Depression were yet to come, and the power and cachet of the Broadway stage created huge stars who were treated like - royalty!

Buffalo, NY – William Kennedy counts it as a gift that he's been able to stay in one place and know it as intimately as he knows Albany. It's been the site of all seven of his novel, including his Pulitzer Prize winning "Ironweed." His latest work is a political novel called "Roscoe."

Click the "listen" icon above to hear Mary Van Vorst's profile of Kennedy in Spoken Arts.

Buffalo, NY – Ken Edwards lives in London, where he writes and runs a small publication called "Reality Street Editions." He and his wife vacationed in Buffalo this summer, exchaging homes with a friend.

Click the "listen" icon above to hear Mary Van Vorst's profile of Ken Edwards.

Buffalo, NY – Patricia O'Conner is not only a former editor for the New York Times, she's a person who checks her e-mail eight times a day. So, she knows of what she speaks when it comes to e-mail etiquette. O'Conner has come out with a new edition of her book, "Woe Is I: A Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English." She takes on the "wired world" as well as reader questions about "ain't and gonna."

Click the "listen" icon above to hear Mary Van Vorst's interview with O'Conner in Spoken Arts.

Buffalo, NY – Fifty-two of the world's most famous paintings are now in Buffalo. "Masterworks from the Phillips Collections" is the latest banner exhibition at the Albright Knox Art Gallery. The exhibit includes rarely traveled paintings from the world-renowned Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to come see the beautiful paintings.

Chautauqua Institution, NY – Margaret Somerville is tackling the ethical issues of our times. In her book, "The Ethical Canary," she takes on euthanasia, human reproduction, organ transplants and more.

Somerville began as a lawyer in her native Australia, then earned her PhD in medicine, ethics and law. She appears this Friday during the week three lecture series at the Chautauqua Institution.

Click the "listen" icon above to hear Mary Van Vorst's "Chautauqua Preview."

Buffalo, NY – It's a book for word lovers, especially lovers of rare words, which is in fact the name of the book, Rare Words. Written by a father-daughter team, the book is a collection of what the two call "500 arcane but useful words for language lovers." Click the "listen" icon above to hear Jan and Hallie Leighton as they join WBFO's Mary Van Vorst for Spoken Arts.

Buffalo, NY – Some of the biggest names in jazz are on stage all this week as the Rochester Jazz Festival continues.

Headlining the event is none other than the legendary and timeless Tony Bennett.

Bennett performs at 8:00 Wednesday night at the Eastman Theatre in Rochester.

WBFO's Joyce Kryszak talked with Bennett by phone about what keeps his career singing.

When Bennett's career began, his fans were screaming teenagers wearing bobby socks. Today, Bennett's fans are just as likely their grandchildren.

Buffalo, NY – WBFO's Chris Jamele presents a new feature on Weekend Edition Sunday. It's a monthly almanac. Click the "listen" icon above to hear the June almanac. In the future, we hope to include Chris' script along with the audio feature.

Buffalo, NY – Buffalo climbed one spot to become the number eight arts destination in the country. That's according to this year's reader's poll by AmericanStyle magazine. The results of the top 25 list were released in the June issue that went on sale at newsstands Sunday.

According to AmericanStyle, there's an artistic rebirth of the "rustbelt" going on. And Buffalo is leading the charge. The "Queen City" moved up another rung on the must-see arts city ladder.

Buffalo, NY – A local ballet company that caters strictly to training young dancers premiers its first full-length ballet Friday and Saturday at UB's Center for the Arts. It's the Greater Buffalo Youth Ballet's production of "Cinderella."

Buffalo, NY – A month long poetry celebration ends on Sunday, April 27 with one last, breathless event in Buffalo.

The five-hour long poetry marathon, called Urban Epiphany, will feature non-stop recitations by more than one hundred local poets.

In the last of our special series previewing the event, WBFO's Joyce Kryszak showcases Celia White, one of the founders of Urban Epiphany.

You might say that Celia White breathes poetry.

Buffalo, NY – Speaking of poets, William Shakespeare once wrote; "The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven.

Throughout the month of April, some of Buffalo's finest poets have been sharing with us their glances from earth to heaven.

This special WBFO poetry series is a preview of Urban Epiphany, a poetry marathon event next week featuring about one hundred local poets. This week's poet profile is Brian Lampkin.

Buffalo, NY – It's April - spring is in the air - and so is poetry! Throughout the month of April, communities are celebrating National Poetry Month.

About a hundred local poets will gather on April 27 for an Urban Epiphany. The marathon poetry event will feature the poets reciting their work. As a preview, each Sunday this month, WBFO will feature a few of them.

Buffalo, NY – Throughout the month of April, literary lovers everywhere come together to celebrate National Poetry Month. And later this month in Buffalo, there will be an Urban Epiphany of Poetry. The marathon poetry event will introduce some of the areas most talented poets. As a preview, today and each Sunday this month, WBFO features a few of them.

Chautauqua Institution, NY – A crane has been moved to the Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater to help keep the roof from collapsing.

Heavy snow accumulation has cracked a wooden support beam and caused some roof sag in the 1893 building.

The amphitheater is not used during the winter months.

It is the venue for the Institution's lectures and concerts during the nine-week summer season.

There is no estimate yet on what it will cost for repairs.

Buffalo, NY – Andre Codrescu scarcely needs an introduction to an NPR audience. He's been talking to us for years. But he's also a poet, novelist, essayist and teacher.

You can hear Andre Codrescu at 8pm Valentine's Day at Hallwalls, when the Just Buffalo Literary Center presents "A Stake in the Heart." The evening will include vampire films, a "My Bloody Valentine" poetry contest, music, food and drinks.

Click the "listen" icon above to hear Codrescu in Spoken Arts.

Buffalo, NY – Poetry has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years. And people aren't satisfied with dusty tomes. They want to hear the spoken word. From coffee house readings to the Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, poetry is leaping into popular culture once again.

Buffalo, NY – The smooth song stylings of jazz vocalist Karrin Allyson shift into the blues with her latest release.

Her newest CD, "In Blue, has been topping jazz radio charts since it came out in August.

Wednesday night Allyson brings her special blend of the blues to Buffalo.

She'll be performing at 7:30 Wednesday night at the new Sphere Entertainment Complex on Main Street downtown.

Allyson's been called the "stuff that shivers are made of," "deliciously moody," even "spiritual."

Buffalo, NY – The Albright Knox Art Gallery has launched yet another banner exhibition. "Modigliani and the Artists of Montparnasse" is the first major exhibit of the modernist pioneer's work in 40 years. The show, which opened last week, follows a series of successful banner exhibitions for the gallery in the past few years.

Buffalo, NY – GLYS was founded nearly twenty years ago with an aim to serve gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans-gendered and questioning youth ages 14 to 21.

It's funded by the New York State Health Department and Child and Family Services, among others.

It stands for Gay and Lesbian Youth Services.

One of the services GLYS provides is a writer-in-residence.

Mary Van Vorst spoke with writer Sherry Robbins and three of the young writers GLYS serves for this Spoken Arts.

Mary Van Vorst talks with author Jeff Durstewitz

just buffalo literary center

Pulitzer-Prize winning Poet Lucille Clifton talks about her work in advance of a visit to Buffalo

The New York Times has written of Carl Dennis' poetry that it is "wise, original and often deeply moving." Dennis, an award winning UB English professor, now has eight collections of poetry. His new one is titled "Practical Gods."

Buffalo, NY – Last week's snow storm took its toll on the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. The conservatory was forced to temporarily close due to severe damage from the heavy snow.

Buffalo, NY – After 35 years, the classical music critic for the Buffalo News is officially retiring today.

Herman Trotter started reviewing concerts as a free-lancer before replacing John Dwyer as the full-time classical reviewer in 1977. He had also written program notes for the former Buffalo Symphonette and the Philharmonic. while working other full-time jobs.