WBFO Arts & Culture Desk

WBFO's Arts & Culture Desk is funded by the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site.

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Let’s say you’re making a movie and you want to film on the Grand Island Bridge. The only thing standing between you and your great scene is a little car traffic. So how do you do it?  If you are Paramount Pictures, you’re fortunate that the New York State Film Office is there to help. Buffalo Niagara Film Commissioner Tim Clark sheds light on the subject on this week's Press Pass.


Thomas O'Neil-White/WBFO News

International wings, beverages, blue cheese and yes, even ranch, will be on hand this weekend for the National Buffalo Wing Festival. 

Organizers held a sneak preview event Thursday at the Buffalo Niagara Visitor Center, as London-based wing maker The Orange Buffalo provided free samples to community members. 

 

 


Emily Cooper Shawfest.com

Before Curtain Up! on September 20,  Jeanne Hebbbon Cairns will be inducted to "The Plaza of the Stars" on September 16 at 5:00 p.m. (free, open to the public, at Shea's 710 Theatre). WEST SIDE STORY opens at MusicalFare this Wednesday, and Anthony reports a very satisfying theatrical event, the six-hour (including lunch and two intermissions) production of MAN AND SUPERMAN with the often excerpted DON JUAN IN HELL. Only 17 performances have been scheduled at The Shaw Festival.

David Abrahamian / American Legion Band of the Tonawandas

The American Legion Band of the Tonawandas has taken top honors at the American Legion National Convention in Indianapolis. This is the band's 22nd National Championship in its 90-year history.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

QRS has manufactured piano rolls at its home on Niagara Street in Buffalo since the 1960s. By the end of this year, they plan to close their doors for good.  It’s the end of an era for player piano lovers. Former QRS Music Director Bob Berkman spoke with WBFO’s Nick Lippa about the company’s history and how his love for the instrument led to a lifelong career in Buffalo.


Emily Cooper Shawfest.com

Buffalo actors are busy prepping for Curtain Up!, but there's not much on stage yet. Charmagne Chi wraps up her "adult content" cabaret at MusicalFare tonight. Yet trips to the two great Canadian Festivals continue to yield treasures. A stunning CYRANO DE BERGERAC at Shaw stars Stratford/Shaw's Tom Rooney in a new translation/adaptation by Stratford/Shaw's Kate Hennig  whose play MOTHER'S DAUGHTER at Stratford is worth the drive.

Thursday Night Terrors / Facebook

In what has became a staple film series in the Buffalo movie-going community, Thursday Night Terrors returns Thursday night for its seventh season at the Dipson Amherst Theatre with showings of Frank Henenlotter’s 1982 cult classic Basket Case.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

Big changes are coming to this year’s National Buffalo Wing Festival and they may be upsetting to the condiment snobs of the world.

Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center‎ / Facebook

Students from the Buffalo Youth Media Institute premiered their documentary "1988" Tuesday night at the Burchfield Penny Art Center. The film examines society’s relationship with climate change.

Erie County Fair

The Erie County Fair shattered its all-time attendance record. Officials say when the Fair wrapped up Sunday night, its 2019 attendance hit 1,238,456.

"The Lessons of Woodstock" / Associated Press

When Jimi Hendrix was taking the Woodstock stage for his legendary performance, Mike Desmond was driving back to Utica for work on Monday morning. That performance aside, Desmond was on-site covering most of the festival for The Daily Press.


Afro Yaqui Music Collective

For the Pittsburgh-based funk-jazz group Afro Yaqui Music Collective, advocacy is at the core of who they are. Their new album, a jazz opera titled Mirror Butterfly: the Migrant Liberation Movement Suite, is about climate change and mass migration.

Jay Desiderio Facebook / Theater Talk on WBFO, Buffalo Rising, Artie Commit

Ellen Horst is the stern Holocaust survivor, Grandma Kurntiz, admonishing her daughter Bella (Diane DiBernardo) and her two grandsons, played by Ayden Herreid and Timothy Whipple, who get some great Neil Simon gag lines in LOST IN YONKERS. Out of town, there's fun for all at both The Stratford Festival and The Shaw Festival when actors take on wildly contrasting roles in different plays in repertory, such as Stratford's OTHELLO and THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR on stage this summer.

Buffalo & Erie County Library

The young Samuel Clemens grew up along one of the world’s great rivers, the Mississippi, and eventually became a pilot on the riverboats that carried the trade of a continent to the world. Better known today as Mark Twain, he is now an entry on the greatest of trade routes: the World Wide Web.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

About seven years ago, 12-year-old blues guitarist Hayden Fogle took Buffalo by storm after playing on stage with Buddy Guy at a University at Buffalo concert. Now he is traveling around the world, playing various festivals and releasing a debut album in October. Fogle came to WBFO’s studios to play a few tunes and chat with Reporter Nick Lippa about his growth as a musician in Buffalo.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Buffalo's recent explosion of outdoor public art expanded again Tuesday with the unveiling of a display of large metal letters on Hertel Avenue.

While there is no shortage of bars in Buffalo, some establishments are building reputations by specializing in high-end cocktails.


Courtesy of Robert Earl Keen's press kit

American troubadour Robert Earl Keen has made his way from Texas to play Babeville Tuesday night for a rare Buffalo show. A pioneer of the Red Dirt sound that incorporates country, rock, blues, bluegrass and beyond, Keen keeps exploring the musical meaning of "Americana" as he discussed with music journalist Seamus Gallivan.

Buffalo Maritime Center

There are two major construction projects in the works for Canalside. One harkens back to the birth of the Erie Canal and the other to the boat-building industry which turned Western New York's forests into the boats on the canal.


Collin Moran

While it's only an hour from downtown Buffalo, the Wyoming County Fair in Pike, New York can make visitors feel like they are a long distance from modern-day life. From its historic fairgrounds to the free admission, the event focuses more on agriculture and community and less on commerce.


Love's Labour's Lost Facebook page

Broadway dimmed its fabled lights in honor of Harold "Hal" Prince who earned 21 Tony Awards in his career and was involved with so many iconic musicals starting with THE PAJAMA GAME and WEST SIDE STORY, FIDDLER, CABARET, and more, who passed away at the age of 91. And, while in NYC, Anthony took in two "hot tickets" - MOULIN ROUGE and FAIRVIEW. Locally, LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST continues to delight audiences in Delaware Park. 


Michel Euler / AP

The passing of Toni Morrison has prompted recollections from all around the world. In Buffalo, the Nobel Prize-winner is remembered for her appearance here in 2017 as part of Just Buffalo Literary Center's Babel Series. The center's Artistic Director Barbara Cole shared the stage with Morrison that night. According to Cole, Morrison appeared here 50 years to the day from the Buffalo visit of Martin Luther King, Jr. The historic significance, Cole says, added to a memorable evening for those attending Morrison's talk.

National Comedy Center

Based on advance ticket sales, visitors from 45 different states will make their way to Jamestown this week for  the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. For Journey Gunderson, Executive Director of the National Comedy Center, the numbers add to the Center's reputation as a driver of economic development. The festival, which begins today, features a number of events and several nationally-known comedians, including John Mulaney, Sebastian Maniscalco and Lewis Black.  


Jay Moran

It's become a rite of summer along the Buffalo Riverfront: Torn Space Theater using Silo City for one of its massive, site-specific productions. This weekend they'll debut FEAST on the grounds which are home to the rusty and crumbling remains of a once-bustling grain storage operation. Unlike past productions at Silo City, FEAST will focus less on the industrial relics and more on the new ecology that has emerged.


Photo courtesy of Buffalo Spree

The Erie County Fair begins Wednesday. In this week's Press Pass with WBFO's Mark Scott, Buffalo Spree Editor Elizabeth Licata says her favorite part of attending the fair is stopping by the livestock barns to see the animals.


Greg Funka, Chautauqua Institution

If you haven't seen LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST at Shakespeare in Delaware Park, or FIRST DATE at MusicalFare, or MOMMIE QUEEREST at the Alleyway, then by all means, go, go, go. But, if you're interested in an August road trip, then you want a "destination" with lots to do such as The Chautauqua Institution, or The Stratford Festival (or the Shaw Festival) or Broadway!

Megan Bennett / lightyearsahead

Composer and pianist Murray Hidary is the creator of MindTravel, an abstract musical experience that focuses on connecting one another without words. He’s holding a SilentHike Saturday at Goat Island in Niagara Falls. WBFO’s Nick Lippa spoke with Hidary about his style of music and how it accompanies a SilentHike.

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There are film projects aplenty ongoing in Western New York, from major studio films to TV series. The growing popularity of the area with film producers is generally regarded as positive and is helping to create and support jobs in film production and related services, with Western New York becoming a “go-to” cinematic location. But recently there has been some pushback by one locality, seemingly designed to discourage filmmaking within its borders. WBFO’s Pat Feldballe discusses the issue with Buffalo Niagara Film Commissioner Tim Clark on Press Pass.


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Over the weekend, people wandered much of Buffalo unfolding and folding a giant map, looking for those large yellow signs saying "front yard," "side yard" and "back yard" and eventually winding up in some place offering cold liquids on what was a hot day.

Thomas O'Neil-White

Mark Twain’s history in the City of Buffalo is well-documented. From 1869 to 1871, he was an editor at the Buffalo Express newspaper and lived on Delaware Avenue. The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library has a room of his manuscripts and letters.

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