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Kiss the Summer Hello tickets on sale

Marianas Trench_00990002 Get ready for another edition of Kiss the Summer Hello presented by WKSE Kiss 98.5! This year's lineup includes performances by Marianas Trench, Hot Chelle Rae, Paper Tongues and Travie McCoy and kicks off at 6 p.m. June 4 at Coca-Cola Field, 275 Washington St.

Tickets are $20 to $35 and are available online at

For more information, visit

Marianas Trench


Jeff Miers chat

Four Words (plus) with dancer Kurt Adametz


The subject of our "Four Words or Less" interview this week is Kurt Adametz, a member of LehrerDance and (relatively) recent Chicago transplant who will appear in this weekend's production of "Something So Right" in the University at Buffalo's Center for the Arts. What follows is an extended version of the "Four Words" feature that ran in today's Gusto:

Describe the life of a dancer: Starving artist, happy masochist.

What's on your iPod? 80's power ballads.

What does your family think of your career? Pretty expensive... for them.

What you miss most about Chicago: Pretentious city-dwellers.

What you like most about Buffalo: Experiencing its renaissance.

Advice for aspiring dancers: Work hard, marry rich.

Molson, Labatt, OV or PBR? (Or none of the above?): Vodka tonic!

Gin, vodka, tequila or rum? Vodka: breakfast of champions.

Favorite blog: The Sartorialist, (my stylist).

Guilty pleasure: Living by "The Nanny".

Spot or Starbucks? Whichever offers intravenous first.

Second career choice: Being a Kardashian.

LehrerDance in four words: Kicking butt, taking names.

--Colin Dabkowski

Should You Give Up Religious Films for Lent?

I don't think so. Those who think that a proper religious film is what happens when a deeply disturbed Australian superstar presents a version of the Passion that looks as if it was made by those who made "Saw" or "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" may be shocked at what a genuinely religious film looks like.

The current French film "Of Gods and Men," it seems to me, is a genuinely religious film for everyone while Mel Gibson's mega-box office version of the Passion was more for the box office and Mel's psychiatrist than peace-loving members of our species.

--Jeff Simon

Thursday Theater Roundup

Got some free time on your hands this weekend and can't decide which show to see? Check out this week's Thursday Theater Roundup for a listing of our reviewers' recommended productions:

Here's this week's Thursday Theater Roundup, in which our reviewers recommend the hottest shows on Western New York's busy theater scene:

"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," through May 15 in MusicalFare Theatre. From the review (coming tomorrow): "'Spelling Bee' as the show is affectionately known among its legions of cult followers, began its life as a piece of sketch comedy about quirky bee contestants. Without obscuring its DIY charm, Finn, Sheinkin and others built it out into something much greater, a show that combines Finn's gorgeous flights of musical fancy with a thoroughly contemporary sense of humor and a genuine sympathy for the plight of 12-year-old weirdos, dorks and overachievers everywhere. The result is a piece that not only reduces audiences to riotous laughter, but which accesses and soothes that part of our psyche that never quite overcame those lingering insecurities of adolescence." --Colin Dabkowski

"World's Finest," through April 23 in Alleyway Theatre. From the review (coming Friday): "Gray's plays have been on the Alleyway stage many times: his 'Louisiana Trilogy' -- 'Scrapbooks,' 'Can't Dance, Too Wet to Plow' and 'Remembering the Future' -- was produced there in 1990 and a year rarely passes when the successful 'Buffalo Quickies,' an evening of original one-acts, doesn't include an entry by Gray on its program. Well, he's back, this time with a play in two acts titled 'World's Finest,' an insightful, sweet slice-of-life tale that turns dark and chaotic in a trice."--Ted Hadley

American Repertory Theatre of Western New York's one-act showcase, through April 16 in Buffalo East. From the review: "Sometimes, though, a night spent with new, short stage works can be serendipitous. It can happen. And, since Buffalo is new-play friendly, the surprise is not infrequent. A case in point is a trilogy of new one-acts at Matthew LaChiusa’s American Repertory Theater (ART), now at home in clunky but strangely comfortable surroundings at Buffalo East. The plays have diverse themes, seem remarkably complete and don’t suffer from the dreaded “work-in-progress” label." --Ted Hadley

"Inherit the Wind,"through April 16 in the New Phoenix Theatre. From the review: "The current political overtones of the play practically leap off the stage and smack us in the face, just as its historically literate authors intended. It’s obvious that the debates of 1925, 1955 and 2011 are stunningly similar to one another. But in its essence, this potentially cynical play is in fact wildly optimistic because it views social progress as inexorable." --Colin Dabkowski


The plight of the underrecognized city

San Antonio's 2008 version of "Luminaria," an arts and cultural festival, included a lighted Alamo featuring LEED-certified light bulbs on March 15, 2008. "Luminaria" includes storefront exhibitions, art lightings, alley galleries and numerous stages with theatre, dance and musical performances.  (PRNewsFoto/Darren Abate)

Buffalo and San Antonio, Tex. are 1,644 miles apart. San Antonio's population is five times the size of Buffalo's.Its culture, infused with Mexican influence, might seem a world apart from our own peculiar mix of affected Northeastern sophistication and genuine Midwestern folksiness.

But according to this wise, witty and passionate manifesto by San Antonio-based culture writer Sarah Fisch, these two distant cities have a great deal in common. For one thing: a crippling inferiority complex. For another: an underrecognized but genuinely stunning, economically and ethnically diverse cultural scene that would take several lifetimes to fully explore. For a third: deep and seemingly intractable problems with poverty and illiteracy, which in fact a large segment of that cultural scene is interested and invested in fixing.

"We are a semi-secretly fascinating city," Fisch writes of her beloved hometown in her post on the excellent pan-Texas visual arts blog Glasstire. As are we. I urge you to read Fisch's piece in its entirety. But if you only have time for three paragraphs, these ones, parts of which ought to send chills of recognition up the spines of devoted Buffalonians and expatriates, will do:

A friend of mine told me recently that a native San Antonian friend of hers, now living in Austin, referred to San Antonio as Austin’s fat poor dumb alcoholic older sister. I felt like I’d been slapped. If that’s what people from here think of us, then…? But some of my recoil arose from recognizing that I, partially and subconsciously, felt the same thing about us. Our high teenage pregnancy status, high poverty numbers, 25% illiteracy rate, they can get a writer down. As can our MEGA-EXTREME INSULARITY.

GOOD GOD, SAN ANTONIO. We are wayyyy too wrapped up in ourselves, as though we’ll just keep on defending the Alamo against interlopers forever. We’re suspicious of those recently arrived from California or the Midwest, dyed-in-the-plaid-wool ’09ers have never been to the neighborhood their cleaning lady lives in, Southtown artfolk decline to go farther North than Hildebrand. There are folks on the Westside who’ve never left Bexar County in their whole lives, while native San Antonians who can afford it venture forth for university or some other sophistication training, grab a mate and drag them bodily back to the 210, and then complain about the tourists clogging the Riverwalk.

As little attention as the outside world pays to us, seems like we could do a little more to make ourselves heard. We are the seventh largest city in the United States of America. We are one of the very largest majority-minority cities in a country whose demographics are changing rapidly. Three hundred years old, but we’re avant-garde, many decades before the American curve in terms of immigration, bilingualism, understanding the deeply American roots of Mexican-American culture, and the socioeconomic issues and effects of Mexican and Latin-American immigration. San Antonio’s fortunes have been forever tied closer to Mexico City than to Washington, D.C.

--Colin Dabkowski

Rocks the Harbor opens with Dark Star, Costello

A concert by Dark Star Orchestra and guest Soulive opens the Buffalo Place Rocks the Harbor summer concert series on Friday, June 24 at the Erie Canal Harbor Wharf. The opening weekend continues on Saturday, June 25 with a performance by the legendary Elvis Costello & the Imposters.

Advance tickets are $10 and go on sale April 15; the price rises to $20 on the day of each show. Purchase tickets at the Buffalo Place offices, 671 Main St., or through Ticketmaster online or by calling (800) 745-3000. For more information, call Buffalo Place at 856-3150.

UPDATE: Wright and Richardson scholar to visit NEXT Thursday

Loc guaranty work  Enser

Gary Schober, president and CEO of Hodgson Russ, stands in front of the Louis Sullivan's Guaranty Building in downtown Buffalo. Photo by Dennis C. Enser / The Buffalo News.

At 7 p.m. April 21, CUNY architectural historian Robert Twombly will present an illustrated lecture on the architecture of Louis Sullivan (whose famous Guaranty Building is pictured above) and Frank Lloyd Wright in the Burchfield Penney Art Center auditorium.

Twombly, the author of several books on the two titanic figures of 20th century American architecture, will expound on the personal, professional and creative relationship between Wright and Sullivan.

The lecture is the first in a two-part series presented by the Graycliff Conservancy, an organization formed in 1997 to preserve and restore Wright's Graycliff Estate on the shore of Lake Erie in Derby. The second lecture, slated for September, will feature Jeffrey Oschner, an expert on H.H. Richardson and author of "H.H. Richardson: Complete Architectural Works."

Thursday's lecture is $10 or $5 for Burchfield Penney or Graycliff Conservancy members. More information is at

NOTE: This blog entry originally stated in error that the lecture was scheduled for this Thursday, April 14.

--Colin Dabkowski


Wiz Khalifa to perform at Artpark

Breakout hip-hop artist Wiz Khalifa brings the "Rolling Papers World Tour 2011" to the Artpark Mainstage Theatre in Lewiston at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 4. Khalifa will be joined by guests Big Sean and Chevy Woods.

Tickets are $45 pit, $32.50 inside seating and $22.50 lawn seating and go on sale at 10 a.m. April 20 through or charge by phone at (888) 223-6000.

For more information, visit

Cosgrove, Sparks among free Darien Lake concerts

Kissmas 04
Darien Lake Theme Park Resort, which opens for the season on May 14, announces three in-park concerts, which are free with admission and to season pass holders.

Season Six winner of American Idol, Jordin Sparks, will be joined by Avery to perform an in-park concert on May 21. Neon Trees with We the Kings perform May 28. Nickelodeon's "iCarly," Miranda Cosgrove, performs July 16 with YouTube sensation Greyson Chance. For more information, visit

Photo by Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News



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