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Drosselmeyer in the sky with diamonds

Marino

Buzz ran into Gary Marino, who plays Drosselmeyer in the American Academy of Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker," on stage this weekend at UB's Center for the Arts.

Gary, pictured above in his iconic role, is having a great time with the legendary ballet, explored recently in great depth by The Buffalo News. This production uses Flying by Foy, the same company that flew Mary Martin in "Peter Pan."

A matinee school performance, Marino said, brought the house down.

"I fly out, the kids go wild," he said. "Three thousand grade school kids screaming at the tops of their lungs. I love the school shows. You could do anything and they would just go wild."

He added: "It's like you're the Beatles in 1967."

Grown-ups are invited to join the kids in this magical mystery tour this weekend.

We dare them to scream at the tops of their lungs!

That old college try

Here are Buff State students dancing and doing back flips for Bucks4Books. Bucks4Books must be having a contest because these videos are all over the Internet.

It is too funny how the gals in the Buff State video throw themselves over backwards one by one! Then you have that last girl left just shaking her rear. Haha! Well, it is for an intellectual cause.

Here are their rivals at UB.

Buzz can't help noticing that melody is a lost art. How about Bucks4Music Lessons?

One final video because Buzz just loves the name "The Buffalo 716ers."

Hahahaa! Love that old cartoon music. Such talent in our schools!

It makes us want to sell our textbooks at Bucks4Books.

We must have some kicking around somewhere!

Take that, Brian Higgins

CNBC lists Buffalo way up at the top of its 10 Best Cities To Move To. And the big question is ...

What picture do they run to prove their point?

Was it a picture of handsome Brian Higgins?

No!

Was it a picture of the handsome Skyway?

You betcha!

Buffalo

Apparently CNBC considers our Skyway to be the nicest thing about Buffalo.

They didn't have a picture of Brian Higgins being the nicest thing about Buffalo, did they?

It keeps amazing us, all the problems that are overdue for fixing, and yet our public servants, led by Mr. Higgins, just will not let our perfectly good Skyway be. They never listen to us. Perhaps they will listen to CNBC.

Memo to public servants: Hands off the Skyway.

Long live our signature bridge!

Habemus Tweet

Twitterpope

Buzz signed up to follow the Pope on Twitter. He goes by @Pontifex. We were something like follower 255,676.

As a Buffalonian it is our duty to do our part to draw the Pope into discussions of wings, the Bills and what is going on with the old FWS building. You know that once he starts Tweeting -- he is scheduled to start on Wednesday -- he will quickly become involved with Buffalo. You just know.

A lot of people are throwing very nasty messages up at the Pope. But some messages are sweet and funny.

One we loved read simply: "Habemus Tweet."

When they elect a new Pope the message that goes out is "Habemus Papam," Latin for "We have a Pope."

We have a Tweet! Well, we will, on Wednesday.

Let's do our best to make it about the Bills.

Pop goes the Christmas tree

Waaaah, everyone we know is on his or her second or third Christmas tree and we have not even picked ours out yet!

And here it is what, 60 degrees? How are we to get into that Christmas tree spirit now?

The window of opportunity is shut!

But the door to Tops is open. Seriously, we love displays, and this one's a doozy. 

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Frank Lloyd Wright thought he was something with his Tree of Life.

It has nothing on the Tree of Schweppes!

Zuill, cool, or uncool?

Zuill

Zuill, Zuill Bailey, the eyes of Buffalo's women are upon you. The dapper cellist played Haydn last night with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. He will be playing at Kleinhans Music Hall again today at 2:30 p.m., should you want to take this sure bet over the capricious Buffalo Bills.

That is Zuill in the picture above so you can see what we are dealing with here. News photographer Sharon Cantillon took the picture last night. That is guest conductor Sarah Ioannides with him.

Later Buzz ran into a couple of great-looking girls who had been sitting in a front row. They were both giddy over Zuill.

"We're sure he was looking at us," they said. 

One of them reported incredulously that a woman nearby had been asleep.

"How can she sleep? He's so hot!" she exclaimed. 

However.

Our gal pals, so chic, were bummed to learn two things.

One, that Zuill, despite his cool name, is not from some foreign land but from, uh, Virginia. He is a Jr. That would make him -- say it isn't so! -- a Southerner who inherited his dad's name. 

"Oh, no!" our friends shouted.

And two, that Zuill Bailey lives in El Paso, Texas.

"Why not Austin? Any place cool?" one girl wailed.

We did not have the heart to tell them that Bailey has a wife and a couple of kids. 

Sometimes you need to show some charity, you know?

Hertel Avenue's Opera Man

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For a minute today, Buzz thought we were in Rome. That was because we stopped into Jimmie's Shoe Repair.

It is the coolest store on Hertel.

This tiny storefront attached to a house, and you walk in, and Jimmie -- well, come to think of it, we are not sure that is his name -- is behind this narrow counter with shoes packed in behind him as far as the eye can see. He is a handsome man. There is this aroma of leather and old tools.

An Italian opera was playing. Perhaps it was whatever opera was being beamed from the Met. The music went well with the timeless scene.

It is worth bringing your shoes in just so you can sit and read the magazines.

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That is better than our branch library!

It gets us thinking. There is at least one opera about a cobbler and that is Wagner's "Die Meistersinger." 

Next time the Met broadcasts it, we will have to send flowers to Jimmie's.

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