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Annette Daniels-Taylor on 'Voices from East Ferry'

Because of a scheduling mixup, I missed Annette Daniels-Taylor's reading of "Write Out of Here: Voices from East Ferry" a couple nights ago. And earlier this evening, when I showed up at El Museo to see the 10 p.m. performance, I was the only one there. So instead of doing the show for one lonesome critic, Daniels-Taylor was kind enough to talk a little bit about the inspiration for her fascinating show, which she said she hopes to develop into a longer piece in the future. Here she is (please forgive the rickety, overexposed iPhone video -- I promise what Daniels-Taylor says is worth watching):

--Colin Dabkowski

Infringement Daily Planner: Day 9

Some tips for the third-to-last-day of the Infringement Festival:

• At 5 p.m. in Burning Books, Infringement Festival co-founder Donovan King will present his 'Critical Report form the World Fringe Congress,' which is sure to be amusing and informative.

• In years past, the Hutchinson Faily Revival has impressed festivalgoers with their old-timey harmonies. This time around the group has dwindled to a single Hutchinson Temperance Songster, who performs at 5:30 p.m. in El Buen Amigo.

• All kinds of gallery closing parties are also happening tonight, including one at Big Orbit, one at Coming Home Buffalo, one at The Dress Shop and another at the Gallery Next Door.

• Pausa Art House is hosting an evening of music and film starting at 7 with new works for solo cello followed by "I Can Hear You Calling," a film about eight New York City museums and their bands.

• Nietzsche's hosts the Friday Infringement Fiest starting at 10:30 p.m., with performances from Andrew Biggie, The Telltale Signs, Lesionread, Look, a Fang! and Eppo. Sounds like it's going to be an awesomely weird time.

--Colin Dabkowski

A look at the final weekend of Infringement

The Buffalo Infringement Festival, the city’s annual compendium of underground arts activity, kicked off a week ago and is entering its final days.

The festival’s last weekend is shaping up to be perhaps the biggest in its eight-year history, with a full slate of theater productions, live music performances, public fire dancing, film screenings and impromptu parades through Allentown. Here’s a look at some of the possible highlights, selected from the full schedule posted at www.infringebuffalo.org:

Today at 6 p.m. in Rust Belt Books (202 Allen St.) and again at 8 p.m. in El Museo (91 Allen St.), gifted local playwright and actress Annette Daniels-Taylor will present her latest project, “Write Out of Here: Voices from East Ferry.” The piece is described as a “gritty theatrical report” from forgotten Western New York teens that Daniels-Taylor works with as a teaching artist with the Erie County Youth Detention Center on East Ferry Street. It attempts to capture the voices and aspirations of the kids Daniels-Taylor has met in her difficult but rewarding work.

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Infringement Daily Planner: Day 8

The final days of the Buffalo Infringement Festival are upon us. For the eighth day of the fest, here are a few suggestions: 

• The Left Hand of Darkness, a band familiar to many Infringement veterans, will play from 7 to 7:45 p.m. in Casa de Arte. The outfit features Ted Reinhard on drums and Charles Quagliana on a unique "Krappy Touchstyle 10 and 12 string guitar/bass."

• The description for this event should be enough to entice any curious Infringementgoer: "Tree of Liminality" is an interactive performance where participants can engage in existential conversation with a visionary being who lives amongst the trees enchanted branches. All thats required is to come as an alternate version of yourself: who you were, or might have been, or could be." It gets started at 6 p.m. in Days Park and repeats at 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

• Local actor and playwright Anette Daniels-Taylor will present her piece "Write Out of Here: Voices from East Ferry," at 6 p.m. in Rust Belt Books and again at 8 p.m. in El Museo. The play is inspired by Daniels-Taylor's work with the young residents of Erie County Youth Detention Center.

• There's been some buzz about Noise Night at Night House, and especially about performer Fe Vajen. That gets going at 7 p.m. 

• At 7:30 p.m., Burning Books presents an evening of films, including "Buffalo by Bicycle," "Hidden Homeless," "Behind Buffalo" and "Political Rallies."

--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:

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Review: 'Elle' by Michele Costa

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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.

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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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Infringement Daily Planner: Day 4

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Pac Man Park, an interactive Pac Man performance, comes to Day's Park at 2 p.m. today.

Here are some picks for today, the fourth day of the Buffalo Infringement Festival:

Adam Giancarlo, a singer-songwriter in the Cat Stevens mode whose work often deals with social and political struggles, is the sort of musician the Infringement Festival was built for. He'll be performing a set in El Buen Amigo at noon today. Here's how he describes his work: "My music has innumerable influences, and has been compared to the likes of Cat Stevens and Jack Johnson. The style is folk rock for the most part with some blues and ballads. The content of the lyrics ranges from personal struggles and conflicts to social and political commentary to love and desire."

• The start of Giancarlo's set also coincides with the start of the People's Park Hip Hop Blowout, just one of many tough Infringement conflicts that have to be sorted on the basis of your own personal preference. The concert features five hip hop acts, including that rapper named d and Walt Dizziness.

Continue reading "Infringement Daily Planner: Day 4" »

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