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Stage collapses in Ottawa during Cheap Trick set

Several people were injured when the stage collapsed during a violent storm on Sunday evening, as Cheap Trick performed at the yearly Ottawa Bluesfest. The band managed to get off the stage prior to the collapse. Cheap Trick is scheduled to play Artpark on Tuesday as part of that venue's free Tuesdays in the Park series. According to Artpark, the show will go on. Cheap Trick's equipment was damaged during the stage collapse, and representatives of the band are working to replace the necessary pieces prior to Tuesday's show.

--Jeff Miers

Young Audiences seeks honorees

Young Audiences of Western New York, a local organization dedicated to fostering creative learning through the arts and building future audiences for arts groups, is gearing up for its annual gala on Oct. 12 in the Town Ballroom. To that end, the agency is seeking nominations for citizens who have contributed to its mission. The selected nominees will be honered at the gala. A submission form is here.

--Colin Dabkowski

Fantasy author Patrick Doud at Clarence Barnes & Noble Saturday

Fantasy novelist Patrick Doud, who spent part of his youth growing up in East Amherst and is a 1986 graduate of Williamsville East High School, returns to Western New York this weekend for a book 
signing at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore in the Clarence Mall, 4401 Transit Road, Clarence.

Doud, a Syracuse native and 1992 graduate of Bard College who now lives in Gloucester, Mass., is the author of two recent books in his "Winnitok Series" of novels for young readers. "The Hunt for the Eye of Ogin" (2010) and "The Mornith War" (2011) are both published by North Atlantic Books, a leading independent, non-profit publisher that is distributed by Random House Services.

Described as "epic adventures starring Elwood Pitch as a 13-year-old trapped in the land of Winnitok" the books have been recommended for Harry Potter series readers by the Midwest Book Review and praised for their "memorable characters, poetic language, and driving narrative to these timeless tales that recall the classic epic adventure stories” ("The Heart of Dreams," a fantasy blogspot).

Doud began his career a poet, publishing three collections of his work -- "Girding the Ghost," "The Man in Green," and "Hickory Bardolino Poems -- in the 1990s. He describes the transition from poetry to fantasy fiction as a nutural progression -- "there is much traffic between the two."

You can learn more about Doud and his work at The Winnitok Tales.

--R.D. Pohl

Quoted: Jason Lloyd Clement

Unscripted 2010 - 3

Today, a team of staffers from the National Trust for Historic Preservation came to town to start filming "Buffalo Unscripted," a documentary that will be screened at the organization's conference here in October. Earlier this week, I caught up with the doc project's creator, Jason Lloyd Clement, and wrote about the project in today's Gusto. Here's what he had to say when I asked him why preservation -- the main goal of the organization he works for -- is progressive rather than regressive:

Preservation is more than just saving old houses and old historic sites.

This is a really creative field and in cities like Buffalo, there is such an amazing opportunity to use that city as almost a text book for adaptive use of spaces, spaces that are in the urban core that already exist -- there’s no need to build anything new -- and that people care about and can be reinterpreted and reintegrated into the community. And I think that’s the new side of preservation.

Yes, there’s lots of beautiful old homes and mansions and things like that that people associate with the preservation movement, but this movement is doing great, cutting-edge things to reintroduce cities to buildings that they have forgotten or that people don’t think there’s a future for.

Buffalo really blew me away when I went there. I think I was floored by the can-do attitude of this city that just meets you at every intersection, in every neighborhood. It’s funny, because we’re launching the project in the Central Terminal, but I can’t think of any other building that’s more symbolic of what the city is trying to do and what the point of this project is.

--Colin Dabkowski

Masters of the house

Beethoven Last night at Artpark -- a great concert, by the way -- I heard a woman nearby regretting that more people were not there.

"Such a sparse crowd," she said.

I actually thought we had a good-sized crowd, especially considering there are people on the lawn you do not see from the hall. The attendance was in line with other Buffalo Philharmonic concerts I have enjoyed at Artpark. Artpark's main auditorium is a big hall to fill.

Also, while the concert was relatively inexpensive, it was not free.

There is so much free music, every night of the week. There are so many options. Just down the block, at the corner of Fourth and Center Street in Lewiston, they had a free concert going on at the gazebo, with a crowd of people sitting on lawn chairs.

That is a lot of competition! Sometimes it makes me wonder how much is too much. But that is a complicated topic for another day.

Here is a bit of good news from last night: I got a kick out of how diverse the crowd was.

In front of me was a massive, muscled, tattooed biker in a Harley-Davidson shirt, grooving to the Mendelssohn. I mean, you could tell he was enjoying it. He was there with a date -- he had his arm around her -- but he was definitely in the moment.

In the front row was a hippie with his long hair pulled back in a ponytail, avidly watching the pianist, Robert Thies. Totally absorbed in the Mozart D Minor Concerto.

Then there was the friend I was with. She does not know beans about, ahem, classical music. But in the middle of the first excerpt from Mendelssohn's enchanting music for "A Midsummer Night's Dream," she was overcome.

"I love this song!" she whispered.

Music is music!

It will be fun to see who turns out tonight for "Beethoven Rocks the Harbor," the BPO's free concert on the waterfront. You get to hear the Allegretto from the Seventh Symphony! That is the piece you hear at the climax of "The King's Speech" when Colin Firth is giving his speech. And the Scherzo from the Ninth Symphony. And the entire Fifth Symphony.

Ha, ha!! I have to confess to something funny.

The first time I read about this concert, I read the notice fast and I thought at first they were going to play the whole Seventh Symphony, and the whole Ninth Symphony, and the whole Fifth Symphony.

Wow, I thought. This is great!! This is like those Mozart marathons we used to have at Artpark! Or those massive concerts they would have in Beethoven's day, when they would play four hours of music. I can't wait! I thought. This is too good to be true!!

Well, it was too good to be true!

But even a couple hours of Beethoven will do the heart good. It starts at 7 p.m.

I predict a big crowd.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman


Review live chat with Simon and Miers

News Arts Editor Jeff Simon and Pop Music Critic Jeff Miers hosted their weekly live chat at noon today. At 12:30 p.m. they shifted in front of the camera and continue to answer your questions live.

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A farewell to Harry Potter

Watch J.K. Rowling, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson bid emotional farewells to the "Harry Potter" series at the "Deathly Hallows: Part 2" July 7 premiere in London. The film will debut tonight at midnight showings tonight across the country.

Also check out Jeff Simon's "Deathly Hallows: Part 2" review and Sandy Tan's accompanying article.


--Kristy Kibler

A new era for the Theatre Alliance of Buffalo

Last week, I wrote a column addressing the accomplishments and future direction of the Theatre Alliance of Buffalo, the region's unifying theater group. I'm told a response from the alliance's new president, Robert Brunschmid, is forthcoming. The alliance's development director and communications specialist, Constance McEwen Caldwell, called to let me know that the seven-year-old organization is close to achieving 501(c)3 status, which she says will allow it to become both more nimble and effective in the pursuit of largescale collaborative projects.

And yesterday, I received a thoughtful e-mail from Kevin Leary, a graduate student at the University at Buffalo who advanced a few of his own suggestions for the group and its new leadership. He suggested, convincingly, that the alliance's goal should be less toward large programmatic, event-based and promotional collaborations, and more toward genuine capacity building. Below is Leary's e-mail, which I'm reprinting with his permission:

Dear Colin:

Thank you for your article on the Theatre Alliance of Buffalo (TAB). As a theatre professional living in Buffalo, I find it refreshing that a stakeholder in the Buffalo theatre community questions and criticizes the managerial vision of local theatre leaders. While your suggestions for change warrant consideration (although a theatre festival presents significant programmatic, scheduling, and logistical concerns), I question if TAB’s future of “strengthening the community and broadening the audience for theater” lies not in festivals or flashy campaigns but in capacity building.

Continue reading "A new era for the Theatre Alliance of Buffalo" »

The man with the Mozart

Robert-Thies This week, putting together a story on the Buffalo Philharmonic's concerts at Artpark, I had fun interviewing Robert Thies, this pianist (pictured at left) who is flying in from California to play Mozart's D Minor Concerto with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra on Thursday. Wow, that is a beautiful video of the concerto I just linked to! Whoever made it put together all kinds of portraits of Mozart, authentic and inauthentic, to track him through his life. It is very moving.

There were a few pictures I had not seen before and I thought I had seen them all!

Anyway -- I get easily distracted when I am talking about Mozart -- Robert Thies and I, we did an email interview that I found fascinating because I like the music he is interested in. For one thing he loves Lieder -- song with voice and piano, also known as "art song." You can see him on YouTube playing a few wonderful Schubert songs.  One I have loved since I was a teenager is "Rastlose Liebe" which means "Restless Love." The piano part is a whirlwind! The song is set to a poem by Goethe and is all about the stormy nature of love. That is the kind of song you love when you are a teenager! Well, I still love it.

Continue reading "The man with the Mozart" »

Ari Shaffir, Skrillex shows announced

The Town Ballroom (681 Main St.) has announced two new shows.

First, comedian Ari Shaffir will perform at 8 p.m. Sept. 17. He'll be joined by Joey Diaz and James Kurdziel. Tickets are $20 advance, $25 day of show and go on sale at noon July 15 through the box office, online at or charge by phone at (888) 223-6000.

At 8 p.m. Oct. 10, the Town Ballroom welcomes electro house/dubstep musician Skrillex. Tickets are $25 advance, $30 day of show and go on sale at noon July 15 through the box office, online at or charge by phone at (888) 223-6000.

For more information, call 852-3900 or visit

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