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Ringo Starr tickets go on sale Friday

Artpark has announced that tickets for the Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band concert  will go on sale at 10 a.m. March 28. 

Starr and his band -- Todd Rundgren, vocalist Richard Page (Mr. Mister), guitarist Steve Lukather (Toto), original Santana singer Gregg Rolie and drummer Gregg Bissonette -- will perform in Artpark's outdoor amphitheater on June 24.

Advance tickets are $17 general admission, $32 for front-of-stage standing room and will be available online at www.artpark.net, www.tickets.com, in person at the Artpark box office and by phone at 754-4375.

Ticket packages for the entire Artpark Tuesday in the Park series also will be available starting at 10 a.m. March 28. Cost is $120 general admission and $305 for the front-of-stage.

 

Alternative rock icon Peter Murphy will play the Town Ballroom in June

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Peter Murphy - the voice behind goth progenitors Bauhaus, alt-rock freaks Dali's Car, and a near peerless stream of solo albums across the past two decades - will play the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.) on Saturday, June 14th. Murphy is touring in support of his forthcoming 10th solo effort, "Lion," produced by Youth of Killing Joke, and due later this spring.

Tickets go on sale this Friday, March 28th, at 10 a.m. They're priced $24 advance, $29 day of show, and can be found through Ticketfly.com and the Town Ballroom box office.

- Jeff Miers

Geva Theatre season features 'Good People,' 'Little Shop'

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Photo by Matthew D. Wilson via Wikipedia

Rochester's Geva Theatre Center has announced its 2014-15 season. The main lineup includes productions of Frederick Knott's "Wait Until Dark," David Lindsay-Abaire's "Good People" (playing through Sunday in the Kavinoky Theatre), the musical "Little Shop of Horrors," Wendy MacLeod's "Women in Jeopardy!", Katori Hall's "The Mountaintop" (recently produced by Subversive Theatre) and Christopher Durang's "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike." 

As part of its "Nexstage" season, Geva will produce a two-week festival of new theater in October and "'Til Death Do Us Part: Late Nite Catechism 3" in November. It will also mount productions of Nora Cole's "Katherine's Colored Lieutenant," Lee Blessing's "Body of Water," Cass Morgan's "True Home," and "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee."

A release on the season is here.

--Colin Dabkowski

Ralph Wilson in caricature

This newspaper caricature of Ralph C. Wilson, the late owner of the Buffalo Bills, appeared as part of a series of Bills-based illustrations in a 1965 edition of the Courier Express. The folks at the Buffalo and Erie County Public LIbrary's Grosvenor Room dug it up for an interesting post last summer.

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--Colin Dabkowski

Bethany Moore shares her Broadway success story

Last night, UB graduate Bethany Moore -- now appearing in the acclaimed Broadway revival of "Pippin" -- performed a short set of musical theater songs and stories to help raise money for Second Generation Theatre. Moore began her professional theater career before she even finished school, landing a spot with a touring production of "Cats" after her very first professional audition.

And though her career has hit a couple of rough spots along the way, it's been on an upward trajectory since 2011, when she was cast in "Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark." A summer production of "Into the Woods" in followed in 2012. And last year, she won a coveted spot with the cast of an acclaimed  acrobatic version of "Pippin" that's still pulling in big crowds on Broadway.

Her performance at the New Phoenix was consistently charming, a collection of tongue-in-cheek songs and behind-the-scenes stories. I didn't have have a chance to tape any of it, but here's a YouTube video of Moore preforming the hilarious "Alto's Lament":

 

--Colin Dabkowski

Library springs forward with free concert series

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By Mary Kunz Goldman

Check it out: The Buffalo and Erie County Central Library is holding five free noontime concerts starting April 2. The concerts, which take place in the Central Library Auditorium downtown, is named the Judy Summer Concert Series in honor of the late Judy Summer, a trustee and former Kenmore school teacher.

The first concert , on Wed., April 2, features the Buffalo Chamber Players, some of whom are pictured above. This creative group, which calls itself the Elmwood Village's resident chamber ensemble, was formed in 2007 by Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra violist Janz Castelo. They are performing Mozart's beautiful  String Quartet No. 19 in C, K. 465, known as the “Dissonance” because of its weird beginning. Verdi's String Quartet in E Minor completes the program.

Here is the rest of the schedule: 

Thursday, April 10: The Charles Reedy Jazz Quintet gives listeners a taste of the Colored Musicians Club. Reedy began playing at the historic club in 1947 and has performed with such legends as  many saxophonist Spider Martin, pianist Al Tinney, C.Q.Price Big Band, CMC Jazz All-Stars Band, and the George Scott Big Band.

Friday, April 25: The Buffalo State Chamber Music Ensembles explore music by Mozart, Villa-Lobos, Beethoven, Bach and the Beatles. 

Wednesday, May 7: The Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus showcases the traditions of men's choral singing.

Friday, June 13: The Amherst Saxophone Quartet performs vintage pop, ragtime and early jazz numbers.

All programs begin at 12 noon, run approximately one hour and are free. 

 

Albright-Knox launches 'Art Madness' competition

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If your NCAA bracket has already fallen apart miserably, don't fret. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, in an attempt to ramp up interest in its collection amid the Madness of March, has launched its own competition. The contest, called #ArtMadness, features some of the key pieces of art in the gallery's collection. The first round features old and new favorites, from Picasso's "La Toilette" to Jason Middlebrook's recently completed sculpture "Underlife."

Today, the high-seeded "La Toilette," which kicked off an intense controversy when it was acquired in the mid-1920s, goes up against Tissot's 1883-85 painting "Political Woman." Though Picasso clearly has the advantage here in name recognition and contemporary currency, Tissot is a historical heavyweight with plenty of art-world support. You can vote for your favorite via the AKAG's Twitter stream or Facebook page, where Tissot is currently ahead 17 to 6.

Tomorrow's matchup features two recent additions to the league: Middlebrook's "Underlife" will face off, so to speak, against Jaume Plensa's "Laura." The competition wraps up on April 7.

--Colin Dabkowski

Amherst Symphony soon to be minus a maestro


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By Mary Kunz Goldman

Steven Thomas, the longtime conductor of the Amherst Symphony, is going to be leaving the orchestra after the next concert, April 6. The word is that he is going to be focusing on musical endeavors in the Southern Tier. Thomas and his wife, Martha, live in Fillmore.

The Amherst Symphony is one of the local orchestras that was founded by the late Joseph Wincenc, longtime Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra concertmaster. It has had only two conductors in its 68 years of existence -- Wincenc and Thomas.

Nancy Wallace, the president of the board of the Amherst Symphony, said that the orchestra has not yet decided on how exactly it is going to go about finding Steven Thomas' successor. She promises to keep us posted.

Meanwhile, the next concert, at 7 p.m. April 6, features BPO Principal Clarinetist John Fullam as soloist in the Adagio for Clarinet and Orchestra by Carl Baermann and the Rhapsody for Clarinet and Orchestra of Claude Debussy.

A pre-concert talk with Mssrs. Fullam and Thomas begins at 6:15 p.m. And a reception after the concert will honor Thomas, pictured above. Thomas apparently has a lot going on: Besides walking, biking and operating his tractor, he is an active private pilot, flying a Cessna 150 out of Perry Warsaw Airport.  

For info on the Amherst Symphony, check its website, www.amherstsymphony.com.

Bethany Moore to perform Monday in New Phoenix Theatre

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Broadway quadruple-threat and University at Buffalo grad Bethany Moore will return to Buffalo Monday night for a performance in the New Phoenix Theatre. The event, "An Evening of Song and Story with Bethany Moore," starts at 8 p.m. and costs $25 in advance or $35 at the door. Tickets are available by calling 864-0938 or visiting this link. Moore, who has appeared in recent Broadway productions of "Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark" and "Pippin," will be backed by music director Allan Paglia and will sing a few duets with Buffalo actor and choreographer Bobby Cooke.

--Colin Dabkowski

Rubblebucket to play the Town Ballroom in May

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New York City indie rock/dance outfit Rubblebucket will play the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.) at 7 p.m. on May 9th. The eclectic seven-piece outfit has been turning heads with its jubilant blend of new wave, pop, indie-rock and funk, and high-profile appearances at Bonaroo and on Jimmy Kimmel Live helped to establish Rubblebucket as a leading light in modern alternative music.

Tickets for the May 9th are priced $14 advance, and are on sale now through the Town Ballroom box office, through Ticketfly.com, or b calling 1-877-987-6487.

- Jeff Miers

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