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Tim McGraw returns to Darien Lake

Tim McGraw, along with special guests Luke Bryan and the Band Perry, returns to Western New York with the Emotional Traffic Tour for a concert June 25 in the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. The show begins at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $39.75 and $73.75 reserved and $28 lawn (lawn four packs are $84) and go on sale at 10 a.m. March 26 through www.LiveNation.com or www.Ticketmaster.com, or charge by phone at (800) 745-3000.

Journey joins Foreigner at Darien Lake

Journey along with Foreigner and special guest Night Ranger will hit the stage at 7 p.m. Aug. 10 in the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center.

Tickets $29.50, $49.50, $69.50, $79.50, $99.50 reserved seating and $25 lawn seating (lawn four packs are $75) are and go on sale at 10 a.m. March 26 through www.LiveNation.com and www.Ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at (800) 745-3000.

Small Press Book Fair bucks trends

If we are to believe much of what we've read in both the popular media and trade publications in recent years, the "printed word" is already an anachronism, and physical presence of books in our homes and libraries the 21st century equivalent of saint's bones in a medieval reliquary.

All around us are headlines heralding the digitization of literature; the collapse of traditional business models for literary publishing and bookselling; and the emergence of multibillion-dollar online retailers like Amazon and technology companies like Apple and Google as dominant players in the publishing world. So who might imagine that a celebration of small and independent presses; idiosyncratic booksellers; and publishers of innovative fiction, feminist literary magazines and self-described "weird little books" would turn into a major regional showcase for an aesthetic that favors the handmade over the wireless, and the revival of the tactile "book arts" as a cultural counterweight to the transubstantiation of books into the digital "cloud"? (And, held in one of our nation's poorest and most disparaged cities on the very last day of a long and soul-crushing winter, nonetheless.) 

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The (Friday) Theater Roundup

Our weekly theater roundup is a day late this week, so please forgive us. Below is a compendium of the hottest shows on Buffalo's theater scene this weekend.

"Rock 'n' Roll," through April 3 in the Kavinoky Theatre. From the review: "With this 2006 play, Stoppard ('Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead,' 'Arcadia,' 'Shakespeare in Love') reanimates that age-old conflict between the egalitarian ideals of Marxism and its horrendous track record in practice across the past century. His goal, reduced to a gross simplification, is to make a kind of radical argument about how little those arguments seem to matter in the face of the one universally positive transformative force of the 20th century: rock ’n’ roll." --Colin Dabkowski

"Next Fall," through April 2 in Buffalo United Artists Theatre. From the review: "'Next Fall,' a wise and uncommonly witty play by Geoffrey Nauffts that opened March 11 in the Buffalo United Artists Theatre, takes place at the perilous intersection of religion and sexuality. That place, across history, has been the site of more than a few fatal collisions. But in this show, all the common assumptions about who’s right and who’s wrong, who’s innocent and who’s to blame have been tossed out the window." --Colin Dabkowski

Ujima play

Peter Johnson stars as Zooman in "Zooman and the Sign" at TheaterLoft. Photo by Sharon Cantillon / The Buffalo News.

"Zooman and the Sign," through March 27 in TheaterLoft, a co-production of Ujima Theatre, Alemaedae Theatre Productions and Xavier Films. From the review: "This production, directed  by Willie Judson, is powered mostly by the simmering intensity of Peter Johnson, who plays Zooman with a spine-chilling mix of menace and manufactured confidence, so clearly born of insecurity. It is as much because of Johnson's performance as Fuller's dialogue that we see Zooman both as a conduit for certain ugly truths about urban violence and as a cold-hearted product of that violence himself." --Colin Dabkowski

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The cast of "Screen Play" performs in the Road Less Traveled Theatre.

"Screen Play," through March 27 in the Road Less Traveled Theatre. From the review: "You'll recognize the characters of Peter Lorre and Claude Rains and laugh -- and maybe get a chill -- at the rantings of a Homeland Security henchman, Abner Patch, a Bible-totin', chapter-and-verse quotin', good-hair guardian of [A.R.] Gurney's supposed oligarchical government. [Scott] Behrend again directs; his is a labor of love. His cast is young, varied and lapses in the spirit of the evening are few." --Ted Hadley

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Brian Riggs and David Autovino in "The Mandrake."

"The Mandrake," through March 27 in the Irish Classical Theatre's Company's Andrews Theatre. From the review: "Irish Classical Theatre Company, so adept at these costumed romps, has assembled just the right director — Fortunato Pezzimenti — and cast to tell this foolish tale, one full of Italian Renaissance stock characters and one so faithfully translated by the scholarly Peter Constantine." --Ted Hadley

"Standing on My Knees," through March 26 in Buffalo Laboratory Theatre. From the review: "Buffalo Laboratory Theatre continues a diverse and challenging season with this heartbreaking work. Director Taylor Doherty has moved the story on stage, the audience close by, suddenly voyeurs, and he is right to have done so: Doherty wants watchers to 'see every tear.' BLT superbly integrates light, sound and special effects. Much of it is the work of Steven Fox, who, along with Doherty, underscores [the main character's] ills with the pessimistic music of Bela Bartok and the dissonant sounds of John Cage." --Ted Hadley

New event: Syracuse Symphony Orchestra

The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, with violinist Corey Cerovsek and Daniel Hege conducting, performs Wieniawski's Second Violin Concerto beginning at 7:30 p.m. April 1 in St. Bonaventure University's Quick Center for the Arts (West State Road, Olean).

Tickets are $20 general, $15 staff and seniors, $5 students. For more information, call the box office at 375-2494 or click here.

Brian McKnight to perform at the Riviera Theatre

D070845026 Buffalo native and R&B singer Brian McKnight is returning home for a concert at 8 p.m. July 13 in the Riviera Theatre (67 Webster St., North Tonawanda).

Tickets are $45 to $55 and go on sale at 10 a.m. April 2 through the box office or online at www.rivieratheatre.org.

New event: Exhibit by international refugees living in Buffalo

"Buffalo: Through Their Eyes," an exhibit of photographs by international refugees living in Buffalo, will be on display beginning April 1 in the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society's Community Gallery (25 Nottingham Court). The display is in collaboration with Journey's End Refugee Services and CEPA Gallery. It continues through June. 26.

An opening reception will be held from noon to 5 p.m. April 3 in the museum. The reception is free, but museum admission is $7 adults, $5 students and seniors, $2.50 children ages 7-12 and free for members and children under age 7.

For more information, call the museum at 873-9644, Ext. 301 or visit www.buffalohistory.org.

Lake Erie Wine Country hosts Wine & Art Weekend

Lake Erie Wine Country, an association of 23 wineries between Silver Creek and North East, Pa., announces its annual Wine & Art Weekend, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 9 and 10.

The event features wine tastings along with art displays by 37 members of the North Shore Arts Alliance in Chautauqua County and the North East (PA) Arts Council. Many artists, including painters, sculptors, photographers and glass artisans, will be on hand at the participating wineries to display, sell and demonstrate their craft.

The event is free. For more information, visit www.lakeeriewinecountry.org.

Shea's announces 2011-12 Broadway Series lineup

Leading off with Disney's "The Lion King" in October and followed by productions of "The Addams Family," "Les Miserables" and "Memphis," Shea's Performing Arts Center has announced the M&T Bank Broadway Series for 2011-12.

For complete series information and Colin Dabkowski's full story, go here.

Motley Crue and Poison to perform at Darien Lake

Get ready to rock this summer! Motley Crue and Poison return to Western New York for a show at 7 p.m. July 22 in the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. The bands are joined by special guest New York Dolls.

Tickets are $35, $55 and $95 for reserved seating and $29.50 lawn and go on sale at 10 a.m. March 19 through www.LiveNation.com and www.Ticketmaster.com.

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