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Godsmack and Disturbed headline 103.3 The Edge show

Godsmack's Sully Erna performs May 27, 2007, at Shea's Performing Arts Center in Buffalo. Photo by Mark Mulville / The Buffalo News.

103.3 The Edge announces its Summer BBQ with headliners Godsmack and Disturbed and guest Machine Head beginning at 6 p.m. July 26 at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. More bands will be announced.

Tickets are $69.50 pit, $29.50-$59.50 reserved, $25.25 lawn, with $76 lawn four packs and go on sale at 10 a.m. May 14 through or charge by phone at (800) 745-3000.

For more information, visit

Dwele concert canceled

The June 1 concert with soul/jazz artist Dwele at the Tralf Music Hall (622 Main St.) has been canceled.

Refunds are available at point-of-purchase. For more information, call 852-2860 or visit

Steger's "The Book of Things" wins Best Translated Book Award for BOA Editions

BOA Editions, Ltd., the Rochester, New York based small press with an outsized literary reputation, added another honor to its collection last month when University of Richmond based poet Brian Henry's English-language translation of Slovenian poet Aleš Šteger’s "The Book of Things" received the 2011 Best Translated Book Award in poetry. 

Thomas Teal’s translation of Swedish novelist Tove Jansson’s "The True Deceiver" (New York Review of Books Classics) received the Best Translated Book Award in fiction.

The awards were presented at an awards ceremony hosted by Lorin Stein, editor of The Paris Review, on April 29th at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City in conjunction with the launch of the PEN World Voices Festival.  As of this year, each award carries with a $5,000 cash award for each author and translator from  Since their founding in 2008, The Best Translated Books Awards have been administrated by Three Percent, the online literature magazine of Open Letter Books, which is the book translation press at the University of Rochester.

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Four Words (plus!) with Amanda Jane Cooper


Amanda Jane Cooper as Glinda in "Wicked," which plays through May 22 in Shea's Performing Arts Center.

Last Friday, we ran a brief interview with Amanda Jane Cooper, who is currently playing Glinda in the first national tour of "Wicked," which runs through May 22 in Shea's Performing Arts Center. Because of space, we can only print a selection in the print paper, but Cooper's responses were so fun, I couldn't resist reprinting them all on the Gusto Blog. Here goes:

Glinda’s worst feature: Too many heels = bunions.

Glinda’s best feature: Her inner sunshine!

How you stay occupied on the tour bus: I'm princess of sleep.

Currently reading: these questions. [Alternate answer: your mind.]

On your iPod: Jessie J and Adele.

Guilty pleasure: CHOCOLATE nom nom nom.

Your top-four musical theater composers: Schwartz, Sondheim, Porter, & Arlen (born in Buffalo and wrote songs like, "If I Only Had a Brain" and "Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead")...okay that's way more than four words. Woops!

Where you voted ‘best’ or ‘most likely’ anything in high school? Yes, 'most well-rounded'!

“Legally Blonde” or “Mean Girls”: Omigod umm, "Blonde Girls"?

Skittles or Starburst: Strawberry Starburst for sure.

Favorite ‘Wicked’ song: Every song is "popular".

Your next dream role: Elphaba. SOME. DAY. PLEASE.

--Colin Dabkowski

"Paint the Buffalo" and help the Autism Society of WNY

Help "Paint the Buffalo," a giant buffalo statue, from noon to 3 p.m. on May 14 and 15 in Clay Hands Pottery (10086 Main St., Clarence). A $10 donation allows you to place your permanent handprint on the statue with all proceeds benefiting the Autism Society of Western New York.

For more information, call 759-1208 or visit

Walter Kerr on the magic of acting

I got a letter recently from Jim Mohr, a reader from Williamsville, with a quote from the great, late theater critic Walter Kerr about an experience one of his readers had during a performance of "King Lear" with Edwin Booth in the title role. The section, from Kerr's "The Theater In Spite of Itself" (out of print, but available used and highly recommended), was too good not to share:

A letter came to me a few years ago from a long-retired actress who had, as a youngster, been taken to see Edwin Booth play King Lear. It seems that towards the end of the play, when the mad Lear was brought face to face with his daughter Cordelia, there was a sharp pause, then -- for a second that couldn't quite be caught or measured -- a startled, depserate, longing flicker of near-recognition stirred somewhere behind the old man's eyes, and then -- nothing. The entire audience rose, without thinking, to its feet. It didn't cheer. It simply stood up. It was as though a single electrical discharge had passed from one body on the stage, instantaneously, through a thousand bodies in the auditorium. Something had been plugged into a socket; two forces had met.

This meeting is what the theater is all about; it is its greatest power... The theater gains its natural -- and unique -- effect not from the mere presence of live actors, or the happy accident of an occasional lively audience, but from the existence of a live relationship between these two indispensible conspirators, signaling to one another through space.

 --Colin Dabkowski

Tony-nominated playwright to visit Buffalo


First they brought Alec Baldwin. Then they brought Eric Bogosian. Then James Rebhorn. Then Edward Albee.

And now, in the latest version of Road Less Traveled Productions' American Theatre Masters series, the in-demand playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis will drop into Buffalo to teach young playwrights the tricks of the trade and to catch a glimpse of the Road Less Traveled production of his lauded play "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot."

Guirgis, whose also wrote "Jesus Hopped the A Train" and "Our Lady of 121st Street," is much in the headlines lately for his new Broadway play "The _________ With the Hat," which was recently nominated for a best play Tony Award (along with a Best Actor nod for Bobby Cannavale).

He'll speak to local playwrights at 2 p.m. Saturday, drop by a performance of "Judas" and wrap up his evening rubbing elbows with local theater scenesters at RLTP's annual gala fundraiser in Shea's Smith Theater's Intermission Lounge. (For which tickets, $125 a pop, are evidently still available.)

--Colin Dabkowski


Yonder Mountain String Band to visit

Yonder Mountain String Band will head to the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.) for a show at 7 p.m. July 12.

Tickets are $20 advance, $25 day of show and go on sale at noon May 13 through the box office, online at or charge by hone at (888) 223-6000.

For more information, call 852-3900 or visit

Galactic coming to the Town Ballroom

New Orleans funk-jazz masters Galactic will perform at 8 p.m. June 30 in the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.).

Tickets are $20 advance, $22 day of show and go on sale May 13 through the box office, online at or charge by phone at (888) 223-6000.

For more information, call 852-3900 or visit

Sean Penn appears at Fallsview Casino

Academy Award-winning actor Sean Penn will take the stage for an interview and question and answer session for two nights in August at the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, Ont.

Penn will appear at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 25 and 9 p.m. Aug. 26. Tickets start at $90 and go on sale at noon May 13 through the Fallsview Casino box office, through or charge be phone at (877) 833-3110.

For more information, visit

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