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Rusted Root at the Rapids Theatre

Rusted Root will perform an all-ages show at 8 p.m. June 4 in the Rapids Theatre (1711 Main St., Niagara Falls). Tickets are $15 advance, $20 day of show and are available through the box office, at www.Ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at (800) 745-3000.

For more information, call 205-8925 or visit www.rapidstheatre.com.

'Curtain Up!' set for Sept. 16

Curtain up! Local Curtain Up Wippert
Theater fans gather in the lobby of Shea's Performing Arts Center for 'Curtain Up!' in 2009. Photo by Bill Wippert / The Buffalo News.

This week, the organizers of "Curtain Up!", Buffalo's annual celebration marking the opening of the new theater season, announced the official date for the event's 30th anniversary. Festivities will get under way on the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 16, with a gala dinner on the stage of Shea's Performing Arts Center. After that, productions across town will raise the curtains on their shows at 8 p.m., and the whole evening will wrap up with a massive street party in the downtown Theater District.

--Colin Dabkowski

Museum announces Party on the Portico series

The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society announces its lineup for its the sixth annual "Party on the Portico" series featuring live music, appetizers, a cash bar and 15-minute tours. The series is held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. June 17,  July 15 and Aug. 19 at the museum (25 Nottingham Court). The schedule of performers features:

June 17 -- Outer Circle Orchestra

July 15 -- Mark Winsick Band

Aug. 19 -- Miss Tess and the Bon Ton Parade.

Admission for each party is $10 general, $5 Historical Society members and is for ages 21 and over. Tickets are available in advance at the museum. For more information, call 873-9644 or visit www.buffalohistory.org.

Foo Fighters to perform in HSBC Arena

The Foo Fighters fall tour - in support of its recently released No. 1 album "Wasting Light" - will include a Sept. 25 stop in HSBC Arena. Rise Against and Mariachi el Bronx will be the supporting acts. Tickets are $49.50 and $39.50 and go on sale at 10 a.m. May 20 through the arena box office and Tickets.com or by calling (888) 223-6000. A handbill policy is in effect and handbills are now available. Here's a video of the band performing "White Limo" at the Rpxy in Los Angeles earlier this year.

Return To Forever, Zappa Plays Zappa at UB

Iconic jazz-rock-progressive-fusion supergroup Return To Forever will share a bill with Zappa Plays Zappa at the University at Buffalo's Center for the Arts on Aug. 8. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday (box office,  Ticketmaster) and are priced at $67, $52, $37 and $22.

For this 32-date tour the revamped Return to Forever will be comprised of founding members Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White, along with "new recruits' Frank Gambale (guitar) and Jean Luc Ponty (violin). Gambale, a veteran of Corea's electric bands, will fill the role vacated by original RTF guitarist Al DiMeola. Ponty, a revered solo artist and veteran of both the Mahaviushnu Orchestra and Frank Zappa's band, adds a new element to the classic multilayered complexity of RTF.

Zappa Plays Zappa - widely hailed as the finest "tribute band" extant, though it is more accurate to describe the group as a repertory ensemble dedicated to exploring the music of leader Dweezil Zappa's late father Frank Zappa - already has several Western New York area appearances under its belt, many of them the stuff of legend among our area's sizeable Zappa-loving audience.

Though nothing has been confirmed, it is rumored that Ponty will perform with Zappa Plays Zappa during the Center for the Arts show - most likely during a re-examination of the "Apostrophe/Overnight Sensation' material , albums recorded by the late Frank Zappa while Ponty was a member of his band.

Below is an exclusive audio stream of Return To Forever's "Senor Mouse."

- Jeff Miers


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Ace Frehley at the Fair

Ace Frehley will perform as partof the eighth annual Biker Day concert at 8 p.m. Aug. 17 at the Buffalo.com Grandstand at the Erie County Fair (5600 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg). The concert is free with gate admission.

For more information, call 649-3900 or visit www.the-fairgrounds.com.

Getting real about 'Buffalo. For Real.'

Last Thursday, I spoke with Loraine O'Donnell and Tom Donahue on the WECK morning show about Visit Buffalo's Niagara's recent, much-buzzed about (and much-maligned) promotional video and slogan. My view of the matter goes pretty much directly against the grain. After all the buzz dies down, I think, the public will come to see this video as the targeted ad it is and the tourist bureau will be able to pat itself on the back for a job well done. Take a listen (note, this interview was edited from the original):

--Colin Dabkowski

Review chat with News Pop Music Critic Jeff Miers

Thursday Theater Roundup

It's time yet again, folks, for the famed, the beloved, the long-awaited Thursday Theater Roundup. There are plenty of worthy shows now running on Buffalo's vibrant theater scene. Here's a look at what our reviewers recommend:

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Tim Newell, Megan Callahan and Nathan Winkelstein in Jewish Repertory Theatre's production of "Lebensraum."

"Lebensraum," through May 29 in a Jewish Repertory Theatre production in Alleyway Theatre. From the review (coming tomorrow): "In [Saul Elkin's] direction of Israel Horovitz's 'Lebensraum,' a remarkable little piece of theater brought to monumental life by Elkin's Jewish Repertory Theatre, he gives us new reasons to find the craft of theater to be something we cannot ignore. Horovitz's play helps a great deal. His one-act fantasy is simple. It offers what is ostensibly a Holocaust play without the typical deterrents -- redundancy, narrowness -- that have come to plague the harrowing subject matter on stage and screen." --Ben Siegel

"Medea," through May 28 in the Alt Theatre. From the review (coming tomorrow): "There is no denying
that this is, in essence, a one-woman show. It sinks or swims with the mad woman at its center, and this "Medea" never misses a stroke. Zach Sarafin put together a clean, easy-to-navigate set, well-suited to Alt's intimate space, and in a tale heavy on monologue -- internal and otherwise -- [Director David] Lundy for the most part maintains a fluidity that energizes the classic style." --Melinda Miller

"Fit to Be Tied," through May 21 in the Buffalo United Artists Theatre. From the review: "'Fit' is a wild, dysfunctional tale. Arloc, twenty-something, is both angry and grief-stricken. His long-time lover has just died of AIDS and Arloc himself has received a letter from his doctor -- the envelope still unopened -- bad news awaiting, he thinks. This is 1996, a time when HIV positive was a death sentence, so the kid’s angst is no surprise." --Ted Hadley

Continue reading "Thursday Theater Roundup" »

Buffalo's 'Lost Michelangelo' back in the news

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Tonawanda resident Martin Kober poses with a copy of a painting that might be the work of Michelangelo. Photo by Derek Gee / The Buffalo News.

Back in October, Tonawanda resident Martin Kober became the subject of international attention when it came to light that he was in possession of a painting attributed, quite convincingly to many, to the Italian Renaissance painter Michelangelo. The story of how the painting was passed down over the centuries before it finally came to reside in Kober's family home near Rochester, is a humdinger.

And this week, "The Lost Michelangelos," the book by Italian art conservator and scholar Antonio Forcellino that ignited last year's storm of media interest in Kober and his might-be Michelangelo, was released in an English translation. On Saturday, the New York Post ran a story chronicling the painting's fascinating provenance and noted that Kober is keeping an important next step in the effort to establish the painting as the work of the Italian master under wraps for now.

Stay tuned for more about the painting as the identification process continues.

--Colin Dabkowski

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