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'Yoko Ono Fan Club' opens tonight at UB

"Yoko Ono Fan Club," an exhibition "conceived in the spirit of Fluxus" and titled after the prominent practitioner of that chance-based artform, opens at 5 p.m. tonight in the University at Buffalo Art Gallery. According to a release, the material included in the show includes, but is not limited to, "objects, manifestos, wordplay, installations, interventions, disruptions, scores, documentation, inscrutctions, happenings, performances and invitations for participation." More info is here and here.

--Colin Dabkowski

Santana & Rod Stewart to play FNC: Strange bedfellows?

Santana Rod Stewart

(Santana and Rod Stewart will share a bill at First Niagara Center on May 31st.)

When I first heard about this, I thoght it was a joke. Santana with Rod Stewart? Really?!? What's next - Eric Clapton with Michael Buble? Alas, it's no joke - "Rod Stewart & Santana: The Voice, the Guitar, the Songs" will arrive at First Niagara Center on Saturday, May 31st. 

It's impossible to tell from the official tour press release if Rod the Mod and the artist formerly known as Devadip will actually jam together, or simply play separate sets. To be honest, the thought of the two sharing the stage is somewhat enticing. After all, at one time, Stewart was one of the truly great rock singers. And Santana, with only a few slight missteps, has been a consistently soulful, dynamic and fiery player, and has always led a band of stellar musicians. I can actually imagine Rod belting out "Black Magic Woman" in a non-embarassing manner. And Santana could kill it on old Faces tunes, no doubt.

That said, the potential for this turn out to be a bit strange is certainly there. The schmaltz factor could be high. Let's hope for the best. 

Tickets will go on sale Friday, March 7th, at 10 a.m., via, the FNC box office, or 888-223-6000. Tickets range from $39.50 to $149.50. 

- Jeff Miers


Thursday Theater Roundup: Final weekend for 'To the Top' and 'Dai'

The Thursday Theater Roundup features currently running shows that received three or more stars from our reviewers. Here are this week's picks:

"To the Top," through March 1 in Alleyway Theatre. ★★★½

"Dai," through March 2 in the Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre in a Jewish Repertory Theatre production. ★★★★

"Branches from the Same Tree," through March 9 in the Paul Robeson Theatre. ★★★

Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band to play the Waiting Room on March 18

Fiery roots music outfit Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band has announced its "Big Damn Roots Revolution Tour," which will include a stop at the Waiting Room, 341 Delaware Ave., on March 18th. Ticket information is available here. And check out the group's new video below. - Jeff Miers

Coldplay drops a brand new song with no fanfare. Listen here.

A brand new tune from British alternative pop biggies Coldplay has arrived out of nowhere, with no explanation, and no suggestion that it woill or will not be followed by a full album of new material any time in the future. "Midnight" is, for my money, the most interesting music this band has produced in more than five years. It's a slow-burner, and it avoids the obvious Coldplay-style anthemic chorus. Listen for yourselves.
- Jeff Miers

Metal-heads, rejoice! Rockstar Mayhem Tour area date confirmed

Heavy music fans in Western New York are often under-served when it comes to summer concerts, which - broadly speaking - tend to favor country music and classic rock artists. So it's big news that the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival has been confirmed for a Tuesday, July 29th stop at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center.

That's the good news. The bad news is, the official lineup for the festival - which last year featured Rob Zombie, Mastodon, Five Finger Death Punch, and others - won't be announced until March 31st. I'll share the details as soon as I get them. In the meantime, metal-lovers, don't forget about the Mastodon/Gojira/Kvelertak triple bill at the Town Ballroom on May 12th.

- Jeff Miers

Shaw Festival offers WNY-specific ticket discounts

In an attempt to build its American audience, the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. is offering discounted tickets to many performances in April and May for Buffalo and Rochester-area residents.

The discounted tickets are $39, or $20 for students, and apply to performances of "Arms and the Man," "The Charity that Began at Home," "When We Are Married" and "The Philadelphia Story."

Below are the specific performances to which the discount applies. They are all preview performances with the exception of the May 11 showing of "The Charity that Began at Home":

  • Arms and The Man: April 8, 27 – 2 p.m.; April 5, 11, 12, 19, 26, May 2 – 8 p.m.
  • The Charity that Began at Home: April 26, May 2, 7, 9 – 2 p.m.; May 11 – 8 p.m.
  • When We Are Married: May 10 – 8 p.m.
  • The Philadelphia Story: May 18 – 2 p.m.; May 15, 24, 28, 30, 31 – 8 p.m.

Without delving into the Shaw Festival's labyrinthine ticket-pricing structure, here's what the discount means:

The minimum ticket price for preview shows in the Court House Theatre or the Festival Theatre is $35, while the minimum ticket price in the Royal George is $52. That means if you're going for the absolute lowest price and you're willing to sit in a bad seat, you should skip the discount offer unless the show happens to be in the Royal George.

However, the $39 price applies to the festival's more expensive "blue level" tickets. So if you're free for one of the performances and don't want to shell out for decent seats, the offer is a good deal. (You can also pay $10 to upgrade to "gold level" seats, which normally go for anywhere from $62 to $98, depending on the performance.)

Shaw Fest public relations coordinator Jennifer Annand suggests calling the box office at 1-800-511-SHAW and using the discount code "13996."

--Colin Dabkowski

A closer look: Christopher Fritton's setting of Dickens' 'The Printer'

Artist: Christopher Fritton // Title: "The Printer" // Western New York Book Arts Center

Christopher Fritton, longtime print shop manager at the Western New York Book Arts Center, has been toiling for years in the center's basement over its various antique presses and boxes brimming with blocks of wood and metal type. He's produced countless gig posters, led innumerable workshops and explained the basics of typesetting and letter-press printing to formerly clueless arts journalists. To say Fritton has a single-minded intensity when it comes to the craft of pringing would be a vast understandment. So it's good to see his latest print, a paper paean to the hardworking printers and pressmen of the world via Charles Dickens.

--Colin Dabkowski

Micah Nathan brings his 'backwards' book tour to Larkin Square


Author Micah Nathan

Micah Nathan, the bestselling author of "Gods of Aberdeen" and a University at Buffalo graduate, will visit Larkin Square on Wednesday to hold an unorthodox book reading. According to a release from the organizers of the Larkin Square Author Series, Nathan is "crowd-sourcing" his latest book-in-progress, "In Search of Absolutely Nothing," by inviting feedback from those who attend his readings as "an excuse to connect with readers, to see how they respond."

The book is based in part on the influence of Andy Warhol and other famous modern artists.

“I've always loved Warhol's art but found Warhol himself unknowable, so when I started writing the book, I found an excuse to dig deeper,” Nathan said in the release.

The reading begins at 5 p.m. Wednesday in The Filling Station in Larkin Square, 745 Seneca St.

--Colin Dabkowski



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