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Vince Neil performs at Rapids Theatre

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Vince Neil announces a show in January at Rapids Theatre.     Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News

Vince Neil, lead singer of Motley Crue, will perform live with guests Jim Crean Band and HairNation at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 21 in the Rapids Theatre (1711 Main St., Niagara Falls). This is a 21-and-over show.

Tickets are $25 advance and $30 day of show and go on sale Nov. 25 through the box office, online at or charge by phone at (800) 745-3000.

For more information, call 205-8925 or visit

12 things about Andre Rieu

Andre-rieuWho else was at the Andre Rieu concert lastnight at First Niagara Center? I had fun. Speaking of which, today I have bits of that tissuey fake snow everywhere -- on my wool skirt (which sits at home awaiting the lint brush), in my purse, on the blankets on the bed.

That snow got into everything!

This was my first time witnessing the spectacle that is an Andre Rieu concert. When I wrote the review, in a hurry as usual, I was kind of on sensory overload and did not get to mention everything. Here are a few things I forgot:

1. The little boy -- a toddler -- in the same row where I sat. He had on a party hat and a mini-tux, complete with ruffled shirt. How adorable was that? His sister had him up and waltzing during "The Blue Danube."

2. After the snow came down it was sitting in piles all over us in the floor area. Just for the heck of it, I scooped up a couple of big handfuls, reached around the woman to my left, and flung the snow into the face of the man to her left, probably her husband. I didn't know either of them. The guy reacted without missing a beat. Deadpan, like out of "I Love Lucy," he scooped up a couple of handfuls, reached over and dumped them on my head. Buffalo! You gotta love this town.

3. Thought the second set dragged at the beginning especially with Rieu's protracted humor about latecomers, then a long slapstick skit about I forget what. Even with Andre Rieu there are moments you just want to say, shaddup and play.

4. What I wrote in the review about seeing Rieu's smiling face in my sleep ...


... I was not kidding.

5. Rieu can sure make that accent work for him. "Every day I get mails and letters, 'Andre, your music, it makes me happy all the time.'" Etc. When he gave that speech about the soprano singing to him "in my studio," it cracked me up. His accent just made it so funny. "It was the most beautiful voice I had ever heard in my studio." Hahahahaaaaa!

6. Of the three tenors Rieu brought out, the German guy was the best.

7. You wonder about these singers. We were hearing the amplified, but they all had beautiful voices. My brother George and I were talking about them on the way home from the concert. They must wonder about the future. Should they stay with Andre Rieu? It's a good paycheck. It looks like a good life. On the other hand they must lose respect in the opera world, where they are probably viewed as sellouts. So, what to do? That German tenor, he is probably thinking gee, I had hoped for Bayreuth some day, now here I am doing this, it's good work, but I'm not getting any younger, and ... Anyway, tough choices.

8. In contrast, I doubt the pianist is conflicted. She had better watch out because I want her job. She had next to nothing to do, did not have to play anything from memory, her music sounded super-easy, and if she made a mistake no one would know the difference because you could not hear her anyway. And yet she had such an exalted position, up there in the sky above the musicians, wearing that "Gone With the Wind" gown. I want to be her. I would sure have less stress in my life, I will tell you that.

9. Speaking of wishful thinking, I would love to be a bug on the wall and see how this tour works. Do they have fun on the road? What kind of a boss is Andre Rieu? Did they stay overnight in Buffalo or go on to their next destination? I would love to get a look at Andre Rieu's wife, too. I hear she is his manager.

Oh, look, here is an early picture of the Andre Rieus that I found.

Rieu's wife's name is Marjorie.

10. As conductor William Eddins said in my Saturday feature about Andre Rieu, Rieu gets a lot of things right. One thing Eddins mentioned was how Rieu engages the audience. The musicians all smile and look alive -- there is a lesson in that for a lot of orchestras, not to mention jazz and even rock groups. At the same time, they must get a little sick of constantly having to catch each other's eye and smile. As the night wore on you could see that wearing thin.

11. What the heck, why stop at 10. Checking Rieu's schedule I see that Thanksgiving is the only day in the next week they have off. They are playing tonight in Ottawa, Wednesday in Montreal. Then it is back to the United States for five more dates, then back to Europe. They have an extensive tour in Germany, including in our sister city, Dortmund. They must be popular there.

12. I get the sense Rieu is a religious guy. I just do. The way he did the "Hallelujah Chorus" and "America the Beautiful." It is just a feeling I got. As I joked to my brother George, that was a very Republican evening of entertainment. I am just saying.

OK, as Rieu told us last night when we were begging for encores: "Don't you have anywhere you have to go?" We have lingered long enough.

So long, Andre Rieu!


A Thanksgiving time machine

Over the river and through the woods, to WNED-FM we go! While other stations -- "our commercial cousins," as WNED amusingly puts it -- are seguing into the Christmas music, the classical music station is taking a break for Thanksgiving.

On Thanksgiving Day, WNED, Classical 94.5, will be airing Thanksgiving music.  On tap, says program director Gabe DiMaio, will be Dvorak, Copland and, we hope, a "Te Deum" or two. DiMaio did not say anything about a "Te Deum," but it would be nice to have one.

And perhaps a "Non Nobis Domine," which like the "Te Deum" is an age-old prayer of thanks. They could use this one, from Ken Branagh's "Henry V."

But we saved the best for last.

Shortly after noon on Thanksgiving Day, WNED is going to broadcast the traditional clip that Clint Buehlman used to broadcast for years on Thanksgiving on WBEN-AM. It features Fred Waring singing the "Over the River and Through the Woods" song, formally known as "Grandma's Thanksgiving."

"We've been maintaining the tradition for the last three years," DiMaio says.

In the clip at the top of this post you can hear at least part of that song. It begins right around 4:36 (but you will want to tune in at least at 3:24 to catch the priceless commercial for General Electric Sleep Guard).

That is from a Fred Waring Thanksgiving special. The song is accompanied by a priceless glimpse of a classic Hollywood-style Thanksgiving. So orderly, so reverent. That is not the atmosphere at my table, I can tell you that right now!

But it is fun to watch, listen and dream.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman


Violinist Andre Rieu performs tonight

Violinist Andre Rieu performs tonight in the First Niagara Center.                   Getty Images

Violinist Andre Rieu is in a class by himself. He has invented his own niche. He has proved that there is still an audience -- and a huge audience, at that -- for the sweeping, romantic music of Viennese waltz king Johann Strauss Jr. And for the rest of the Strauss family. And for their contemporaries in the 19th century. Good music will always be in style.

Rieu’s concerts, well known to PBS viewers, have made him one of the world’s best-selling performing acts. He and his 60-piece Johann Strauss Orchestra and soloists can amount to a cast of thousands, outnumbered only by the enthusiastic audience.


Rieu brings his Stradivarius and his glittering entourage to First Niagara Center at 7:30 p. m. today (Nov. 21). Admission is $47.50-$141.50. Call (888) 223-6000.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

The Four Tops and the Temptations to perform tonight at UB

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The Four Tops perform tonight at UB.        Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News

The Four Tops will be joined by the Temptations for a performance at 7:30 tonight in the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts Mainstage Theatre on the North Campus, Amherst.

Tickets are still available and are $49.50, $59.50 and $69.50 and are available at the box office, online at or charge by phone at (800) 745-3000.

For more information, call 645-ARTS (2787) for visit

Kid Rock to perform sold out show tonight

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Kid Rock      News file photo

Kid Rock, joined by the Twisted Brown Trucker Band with guest Ty Stone, performs to a sold out crowd at 6:30 tonight (Nov. 20) in the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.).

BPO performs great Russian music this weekend

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Violinist Amy Glidden is the featured soloist for the BPO this weekend. 

A beautiful, high-energy program of Russian music is waiting in the wings at Kleinhans Music Hall. JoAnn Falletta, the orchestra’s music director, is conducting, and the featured soloist is Amy Glidden, the Philharmonic’s associate concertmaster.
 An exotic note is struck at the start with Einojuhani Rautavaara’s "Isle of Bliss." Following that, Glidden is stepping into the limelight as soloist in Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2.
 This is a marvelous concerto, immediately engaging with its sensual, mournful, spiky themes. In it Prokofiev strikes his unique balance of athleticism and romanticism. It is an extroverted piece that should be a glory to hear live. 
 The concert ends with Tchaikovsky’s ever-popular Symphony No. 4. With its roller coaster of a last movement, it is one of classical music’s "greatest hits" -- the kind of piece you play for your friends who do not think they like classical music.
  The concert takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 19) and 2:30 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 20). 
  Admission is $25-$72. For information, call 885-5000 or visit
-- Mary Kunz Goldman

Poet Anna Moschovakis to read at Just Buffalo Literary Center's 'Big Night'

It’s time again for a "Big Night," Just Buffalo Literary Center’s monthly salon that’s out to unite local audiences for poetry, art, food and music in the Western New York Book Arts Center (468 Washington St.). The second program of the current "Big Night" season will get going at 8 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 19)with a reading from poet Anna Moschovakis, music from Malaria Control and readings from the recently released "Starlight Studios Anthology."
   Moschovakis has been collecting rave reviews for her most recent book of poetry, "You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake," out on Minneapolis-based Coffee House Press. Moschovakis’ wide-ranging poetry, according to the publisher, "incorporates Craigslist ads, technobabble, twentieth-century ethics texts, scientific research, autobiographical detail, and historical anecdote to present an engaging lyric analysis of the way we live now."
   The Starlight Studios anthology features a collection of poems and illustrations by 15 artists associated with the local arts organization, which helps people with developmental, neurological and learning disabilities create and sell their art.
   For more information on the event, call Just Buffalo Literary Center at 832-5400 or visit
 -- Colin Dabkowski

Take a look: Check out ZGM Gallery

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"Dream," a photograph by John Santerineross, is on view through Nov. 26 as part of ZGM Gallery's "Suspects and Visitations" exhibition. 

If you haven’t had a chance to check out ZGM Gallery (1045 Elmwood Ave.), the local art space launched in 2009, two exhibitions running through Nov. 26 provide a fine opportunity to do so.
  David Brommer’s stark portraits feature members of the mid-’90s Seattle goth scene, a collection of club kids, scenesters and self-styled weirdos who, despite their ostensible edginess, recall a safer and more comfortable time. There’s "Armondo," a young man shown gesturing in profile like a latter-day, leather-clad hepcat and "Melinda," a platinum blonde in striped stockings, thigh-high leather boots and a leather miniskirt. From today’s perspective, these completely nonthreatening mid-’90s anachronisms are practically cute.
  The same can’t be said for John Santerineross’ work, which is the stuff of vivid nightmares. His highly stylized and sometimes double-exposed photographs of rotting old barrels, ancient metal objects, bleeding portraits, strange torture devices, unsettling biomorphic creations, dolls made of accursed wood, blurry male and female forms conflated and naked women drinking strange substances. It’s curious and disturbing in equal measure -- and well worth a look.
   For more information, call 510-0251 or visit
  -- Colin Dabkowski

Poet Philip Schultz finds success in 'Failure,' comprehension in 'My Dyslexia'

“If I have to believe in something / I believe in despair," writes Philip Schultz in one of the poems in his most recent collection “The God of Loneliness: Selected and New Poems” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010). While it might be unfair to refer to any writer--much less one so dedicated to the teaching of craft--as our "poet laureate of failure"(as some reviewers and critics have described Schultz), there is no contemporary American poet who has plumbed the depths of loss and self-doubt more thoroughly and unsparingly, and with such little sense of affectation as he has.

Schultz, who delivers the University at Buffalo’s 2011 Oscar Silverman Reading at 8 tonight in 250 Baird Hall on UB's North Campus, is the author of seven collections of poetry, including the volumes "Like Wings" (Viking Penguin, 1978), winner of an American Academy & Institute of Arts and Letters Award, "Deep Within the Ravine" (Viking, 1984), the Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets, and "Failure" (Harcourt, 2007), for which he shared the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 2008.

Earlier this year he published "My Dyslexia" (W.W. Norton), a memoir that relates how being diagnosed with a learning disability at age 58 (largely as a result of his oldest son Eli's diagnosis with the same condition in the second grade) changed his perspective on his own childhood, his early struggles as a reader and writer, and even how he processes information and his own experiences as an award-winning poet and teacher today. 

Born in Rochester in 1945, Schultz was the son of immigrant parents -- both his mother and father were Jewish refugees from World War Two era eastern Europe -- and grew up a working-class neighborhood of Rochester in the 1950's.  His early family life was difficult, as his father suffered one business failure after another, and died bankrupt of a stress-induced heart attack when Schultz was just 18. After many years of working on a Bildungsroman about that era, Schultz refashioned the material into the 81 poems that appear in his 2004 volume "Living in The Past" (Harcourt Books).

Schultz was the founder of the MFA program in Creative Writing at New York University in 1983, but after four years as its director, he set out on his own to create The Writers Studio, a non-degree granting, private school based in New York City's Greenwich Village in 1987.

Unlike most MFA programs, The Writers Studio features a five-stage curriculum that "emphasizes technique and emotional connection, making writers aware of the distinction between the actual writer and a narrative persona."  Currently in its 24th year of operation with Schultz as its executive director, The Writers Studio now features an online program, as well as offering workshops in three U.S. cities -- New York City, San Francisco, and Tucson -- and a new workshop in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.  The New York City-based school also sponsors a celebrated poetry and fiction reading series.

--R.D. Pohl

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