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Roswell Park, CEPA Gallery launch new photography prize

This week, CEPA Gallery announced that it is administering a new photography prize. The $1,000 Oseroff Memorial Photography Purchase Prize is named for Roswell Park's former chief of dermatology, Allan R. Oseroff, who died in 2008. CEPA also announced the finalists for the first year's award. You can cast your vote for the prize here. Here are the finalists:


"Silver Cosmos" by Michael Donnor


"Globe" by Gigi Gatewood.


"Red Waterfall" by Kevin Noble


"Angel's Wings" by Katie Schneider


"Seven Ways to be Mindful of a Stream 2" by James Sedwick

--Colin Dabkowski


Infringement Daily Planner: Day 7

If you're looking for a few suggestions for getting your Infringement on during the seventh day of the festival, I've got some:

• At 6 p.m. in Nietzsche's the Waiting Room, the "Wham Bam Thank You Slam III" gets started. It's an insane evening of slam poetry, burlesque and music. And judging from the last two versions of it at Infringement Festivals past, it seems like a pretty sure bet.

• At 7 p.m. the new Allentown space The Loop hosts a "queer-centric" poetry reading featuring work by Amy Upham, Gary Andrews, Lovely and Marek Parker. As good an opportunity as any to check out the new digs for Michael Rizzo's ambitious new venture.

• Uncle Vanya, reviewed here, gets going at 7:30 p.m. in the Dnipro Ukranian Center, and it's well worth the trip down Genessee Street.

• If comedy is your gig and you've already checked out the gifted duo behind Babushka!, why not check out Brainless Improv, which performs at 7 p.m. in El Museo and again at 7 p.m. Sunday in Main Street Studios.

• And if you missed Blue Lazer at last night's Sentman Spectacular at Milkie's, no worries, because the band is playing again today from 5 to 5:45 p.m. in Filigree's Gallery and Boutique.

Infringe on, everyone!

--Colin Dabkowski

A 'Dazzlingly Inappropriate' night at Infringement

Earlier tonight, I caught Sebastian Black's show "Mind to Mind" in a new venue I'd never ventured into before, Coming Home Buffalo: The Gallery Next Door.

Black, who recently moved to Buffalo from New York City and who I suspect we'll be seeing a great deal more of, is one of at least two mentalists participating in the festival this year.

His show is all about audience participation and psychic tricks, two things I don't ordinarily go in for. But his presence stage presence, and the fact that he was dead-on in his predictions (including guessing the name of my boyfriend and Marilyn Monroe, which I had scribbled on a card and inserted into an envelope that was as far as I could tell opaque) made the show engaging from start to finish.

I caught up with Black after the performance for a short conversation about his talent, his plans for Buffalo and, perhaps most importantly, his philosophy for dealing with skeptics like myself:

Continue reading "A 'Dazzlingly Inappropriate' night at Infringement" »

Review: 'Elle' by Michele Costa

Michele Costa performs a preview of her show "Elle" in Merge restaurant. Photo by Mark Mulville / The Buffalo News.

Michele Costa, the gifted local puppeteer and playwright, has long been a pillar of the Buffalo Infringement Festival. Every year, Costa debuts a new production, for which she crafts her own collection of of puppets or masks and, typically, a long and meticulously painted scroll that she uses to tell her magical, melancholy and often haunting stories.

Her short pieces, which have considered everything from deep human lonliness to the pulsing streetscape of this Rust Belt city, have the look and feel of something from a distant age. That sense of beautiful anachronism is only amplified by her muscial selections, which always deepen the air of mystery she establishes with her singular combination of puppetry, painting and stylized movement.

This year, Costa is performing a short piece called "Elle," a tale about a half-girl, half-elephant who came into the world simply because she was wished into existence.

Continue reading "Review: 'Elle' by Michele Costa" »

Infringement Daily Planner: Day 6

Today marks the sixth day of the Buffalo Infringement Festival. If you haven't ventured out into the streets and sampled at least a little taste of this citywide cultural phenomenon, today -- more than halfway through the festival -- is as good a time as any to do it.

Also, as of today, the official Iffy Awards box is now at Rust Belt Books, so if you've seen any Infringement acts you've particularly enjoyed, please feel free to scribble an invented award category and winner on a paper plate and drop it in the box. The Iffy Award ceremony takes place on Sunday, the last day of the festival, in Nietzsche's.

Here are some suggestions for today's leg of the fest:

• The one and only Tim Stentman (well, there are probably other Tim Stentmans, but this is the only one I know) performs his own poetry and short stories at 4:45 outside of Picasso Moon. Having seen a performance from his band Blue Lazer with his brothers Mike and Chris last year at the late and lamented Vault Arthouse, I can say that Mr. Stentman is a gifted performer, even though I cannot exactly vouch for the quality of his poetry or prose. 

• Speaking of Blue Lazer, the band, whose slogan is "Blue Lazer will melt your face!" and whose frontman performs as an alien from another planet with a very convincing Arnold Schwarzenegger accent, will give a show at 10 p.m. in Milkie's. That show is part of the Sentman Spectacular, which also includes performances by the brothers Stentman in their separate muscial projects,  the hilariously named Bolognatron and Dirty Couture.

Babushka!, the comedy project of Don Gervasi and Todd Benzin, is an Infringement staple. I've seen these dudes perform, and they're hilarious. They're on tonight at 6:30 in El Museo and repeat on Wednesday at 7 to 8 in the same space. Check out this interview I did with the guys during last year's festival.

• A couple of very cool readings are taking place at Coming Home: The Gallery Next Door, starting at 7 tonight. They are "Prattletales," a spoken-word and poetry reading by the person who runs this fascinating blog and "Reading R. Crumb: A Memoir," descrbied cryptically as "an elaboration of the visual contexutalization of" the famous comix artist.

• I have been personally instructed in no uncertain terms not to miss, under any circumstances, tonight's performance of "Dazzlingly Inappropriate II: Double Dipping," featuring Infringement mainstay Janna Willoughby-Lohr and Cat Sinclair "doing and saying things that are dazzlingly inappropriate." It runs from 7 to 8 p.m. in Rust Belt Books. And judging from the last, incredibly moving reading that I saw Willoughby-Lohr give, it is likely to be an Infringement must-see.

--Colin Dabkowski


Hugh Laurie to perform concert at Riviera Theatre

Hugh Laurie, known to millions as the cranky but lovable Dr. House on "House," returns to the area to share his love of the blues. Laurie will be in concert on Oct. 26 at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda. He previously performed a sold-out concert at the Riv last August.

Reserved seats at $43.50 and $38.50 and are on sale now through the Riviera box office and by calling 692-2413.

Laurie has two discs out, his debut effort, "Let Them Talk," and the recently released "Didn't It Rain."

Sinead O'Connor to sing at Riviera Theatre

A concert featuring Irish singer and Grammy Award-winning artist Sinead O'Connor has been announced for Nov. 12 in the Riviera Theatre, 67 Webster St., North Tonawanda.

Tickets are $37.50-$42.50 reserved seating and go on sale at 10 a.m. July 31 through the box office, by calling 692-2413 or visit


Infringement Daily Planner: Day 5

After a very busy Infringement weekend, full of well-received street parties, 8-bit art shows and other unclassifiable acts of beauty and strangeness, today's lineup seems tame. But only by comparison. Here are five events to check out:

• Noah Gokey and the Skulls play in People's Park at 5 p.m., and provide a good opportunity to check out this most excellent new Infringement venue on Main Street near Jewett Parkway. Also, outside of Picasso Moon at 6 p.m., Brooklyn-based musician David Cloyd plays a set that could include anything from "sparse acoustic-driven ballads and symphonic-scale arrangements."

• Also music-wise, tonight something called Milkie's Massive Monday Music Manifestoval gets going at 6 p.m. in Milkie's (formerly the Elmwood Lounge), while Nietzsche's hosts its own music lineup called Best Monday Ever. Check out who's playing here.

• There are a few mainstays without which Infringement would just not be Infringement. One of them is Michele Costa, who presents her can't-miss puppet show -- always, always, always worth seeing and completely different from one year to the next -- at 7 p.m. in the Crane Library

• Infringers in need of a poetry fix could do worse than tonight's reading from the Living Poets Society, members of which will bare their souls to the public from 7:30 to 9:30 outside of Picasso Moon.

• Every festival needs an award-winning mentalist, and Infringement's is Lucas Simmons, who presents his penetrating magic show, "A Mind in the Gutter," at 9 p.m. in the Manny Fried Playhouse.

--Colin Dabkowski

An Infringe-stagram mini-diary

After catching two plays at the Chautqua Institution yesterday ("Clybourne Park" and "The Romeo and Juliet Project," both excellent) on Saturday and typing up the review to one this morning, I was a little low on energy today. But I did make it out to a few Infringey places, which I'll recount here via Instagram, everyone's favorite tool for producing and over-sharing pieces of instant nostalgia.

First, I headed to People's Park, a pocket park on Main Street near Jewett Avenue. When I arrived, the planned (and promoted!) hip hop "blowout" was nowhere to be found or heard, but the setting was a revelation. The park is a strange urban oasis, full of beautiful gardens, a mini-playground, performance space and a cool mini-library. I drive by all the time, but never even noticed it was there.

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Review: 'The Romeo and Juliet Project' at Chautauqua

CHAUTAUQUA--The urgent and ominous strains of Sergei Prokofiev's "Dance of the Knights" poured over the capacity crowd in the Chautauqua Institution Amphiteater a little after 8 on Saturday night, declaring the opening of the moving and wildly ambitious "Romeo and Juliet Project."

The show, conceived and directed by Chautqua Theater Company Artistic Director Vivienne Benesch, combined the talents of her own company with those of the Chautauqua's symphony, opera company and two dance companies. In all, 150 performers breathed life into Shakespeare's tale of doomed love on the Amphitheater stage, and the result was often enthralling.

(Check out this video about the production, produced by the Chautauquan Daily's Andrew Mitchell.)

Benesch's concept for the one-night production was to combine Shakespeare's words with the music and dancing that they later inspired over the centuries from some of the world's greatest composers, choreographers and librettists. The potential for success in such an ambitious approach was slim, given how easy it would be to get bogged down in the wealth of material and how difficult to transition from one art form to the next. But across three hours of graceful dance and music punctuated where necessary by Shakespeare's starry-eyed language, Benesch and her many gifted collaborators pulled it off.

Continue reading "Review: 'The Romeo and Juliet Project' at Chautauqua" »

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