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Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival heads to Darien Lake

The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival will hit the stage of the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center beginning at 1:10 p.m. July 14.

The festival lineup includes Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Mastodon, Amon Amarth, Machine Head, Children of Boredom and Behemoth. Tickets are $45, $55, $65 and $85 reserved seating, $35 lawn (with $105 lawn four-packs and $20 early-bird lawn seating) and go on sale at noon March 22 through, or charge by phone at (800) 745-3000.

Dave Matthews Band coming to Darien Lake July 3

Dave Matthews performs at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center last July. (Harry Scull Jr/Buffalo News file photo)

Dave Matthews Band is making a summer stop at Darien Lake.

The band will perform at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on July 3 with special guest Fitz and the Tantrums.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday through all Ticketmaster outlets.

Tickets are $75 for seats and $40.50 for a spot on the lawn.

Zac Brown returns to Darien Lake

The popular Zac Brown Band returns for a concert at 7 p.m. June 23 at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. March 23 and cost $39.50 to $69.50 for the pit; $29.50 for lawn; a lawn four-pack is available for $88. Purchase tickets through, and charge by phone at (800) 745-3000.

The concert marks a return to Darien Lake for the band, which performed a sold-out show there last September. "With a signature sound built on solid songwriting and world-class musicianship, the septet’s set was a clinic in big fun hooks, four-part harmonies, relatable lyrics and sing-along melodies, classic covers done justice, and tightly knit happy jams that make a big crowd smile, sway and howl," wrote News Contributing Reviewer Seamus Gallivan.

Theatre of Youth opens production of beloved 'Borrowers' tonight

From the very start, the idea behind Mary Norton’s 1952 children's novel "The Borrowers" has captivated audiences young and old. The idea of a family of mini-people carrying on their lives beneath the floorboards of our houses holds a kind of irresistible universal appeal, and as fodder for a story it provides plenty of potential conflict and drama. That is no doubt why Norton's tiny characters have had such long lives both in literature and on the screen.

Last year's "The Secret World of Arrietty," an adaptation of the story by a Japanese movie studio, proved popular. And the Borrowers have also appeared in a 1997 film and several television movies and series. And now, Theatre of Youth is bringing Norton's story to life with an adaptation of the book by Charles Way opening tonight.

The show, directed by TOY Artistic Director Meg Quinn, stars Arin Lee Dandes as the young protagonist Arrietty Clock, whose desire to connect with humans is always getting her into trouble. She's joined on the Allendale Theatre stage by Marc-Jon Filippone, Lee Becker, Loraine O'Donnell, Annette Daniels Taylor, Jacob Kahn and Adam Rath. In association with the production, Talking Leaves Books (3158 Main St.) will host a book club event, complete with games and activities, at 10:30 a.m. March 23.

— Colin Dabkowski

"The Borrowers” – When: 7 p.m. tonight through March 24. Where: Allendale Theatre, 203 Allen St. Tickets: $24 to $26. Info: 884-4400,

Live chat at noon: Miers on Music with The News' pop music critic

Start your weekend with GustoTV

This week's episode of GustoTV features a rundown of what's happening in the local arts scene, Shasti O'Leary Soudant gives a guided tour of her new installation "Let There Be Light" in the Burchfield Penney Art Center's Useum space and Mary Kunz Goldman previews Bela Fleck's "Concerto for Banjo and Orchestra."

Replay Critics' Corner with Jeff Simon, Jeff Miers

Thursday Theater Roundup

James Ivey plays the title role in "Clarence Darrow" in the Manny Fried Playhouse.


"Clarence Darrow," through March 30 in the Subversive Theatre Collective's Manny Fried Playhouse. ★★★½

From the review: "The production, directed by Tom Loughlin, provides a breathless tour through Darrow’s life and landmark accomplishments. It ranges from Darrow’s stunning performances, perhaps the most notable of which is his widely re-enacted defense during the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925, to his troubled relationships with the unions whose members he worked tirelessly to defend." --Colin Dabkowski

Dublin playwright and screenwriter Peter Sheridan presents his one-man show "Break a Leg" Sunday in the Andrews Theatre.

"Break a Leg," 7 p.m. Sunday in the Andrews Theatre, produced by the Irish Classical Theatre Company. ★★★½

From the review: "The piece, adapted from Sheridan’s memoir of the same name, is a master class in storytelling. Rarely does your attention even threaten to waver from the characters he impersonates, the songs he sings or the stories he tells about a life spent in love with the theater." --Colin Dabkowski

Tod Benzin and Pamela Rose Mangus in Donna Hoke's new play "Seeds," running through Marc 24 in the Road Less Traveled Theatre. Photo by Charles Lewis / The Buffalo News.

"Seeds," through March 24 in Road Less Traveled Theatre. ★★★★

From the review: "Simply put, the instructional, observant and insightful “Seeds” is Hoke’s best work to date..." --Ted Hadley

Tim Lewis and Cassandra Angerosa star in Lancaster Opera House’s production of “Oklahoma!” ( Harry Scull Jr. / Buffalo News)

"Oklahoma!" through March 17 in the Lancaster Opera House. ★★★

From the review: "Weak productions of 'Oklahoma!' tend to amplify all its simplistic plot turns and schlocky lyrics. Smart ones such as this highlight the irresistible spirit of American optimism it embodies and all the innovations of Agnes De Mille’s choreography and staging it introduced to musical theater." --Colin Dabkowski

"First Lady Suite," through March 16 in an American Repertory Theatre Production at The Church of The Ascension. ★★★½

From the review: "[Michael John LaChiusa's] score flows freely from Gershwin to Sondheim to Philip Glass to even William Finn, relying on their proven textures while refusing to mimic them. It’s quite a feat, especially considering that it’s played –- masterfully, easily, it would sound –- on an electric keyboard by music director Michael Hake, whose passion for musicianship imbues every sound we hear." --Ben Siegel


Patrick Moltane (standing) and Mark Donahue star in Torn Space Theater's production of Sam Shepard's play "Buried Child."
"Buried Child," through March 16 at Torn Space Theater. ★★★½

From the review: "Shepard’s theories are once again aided by his usual themes: desperation, isolation, violence, temper, deceit. Add incest, murder and the always present Shepard staple, menace, and you have the makings for an uncomfortable, albeit intriguing, night at the theater, one interminable at times, riveting at others." --Ted Hadley

Culture takes center stage in Poloncarz address

Earlier this evening, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz delivered his first "State of the County" address in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. The location he chose to deliver that speech, the cultural flagship of Western New York and one of the driving forces of the region's ongoing arts renaissance, speaks volumes about the county executive's understanding culture's importance to the identity of Western New York.

And what he said in the speech about the role of the arts here -- something that until very recently a local public would never have acknowledged to the extent Poloncarz did -- will be heartening to the dozens of cultural organizations who lobbied so hard for the demise of his predecessor:

The Albright Knox is just one example of the abundance of riches we have in Erie County including: nationally renowned museums; an amazing philharmonic orchestra; landmarks from architectural giants; and, a thriving theater scene other cities would love to have.


I believe investment in our arts and cultural assets should be no more optional than funding our parks, roads and bridges. Each one of these is an integral part of the infrastructure of our community; some are steel and concrete, others are body and mind. The resident doesn’t need to ‘use’ the arts any more than the need to use every single road or bridge or park supported by their tax dollars to derive a benefit from them thriving. 

This is progress. Much more work remains to be done, including the creation of a more equitable approach to funding the county's cultural organizations, and making sure our region doesn't put the cart before the horse when it comes to cultural tourism. But compared to the state of cultural funding and government foresight in this region two years ago, things seem to be looking up.

--Colin Dabkowski


News Book Club chat at 1 p.m. with 'The Fiddler on Pantico Run' author Joe Mozingo

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