February 26, 2014 - 3:51 PM
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
February 26, 2014 - 3:12 PM
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."
February 26, 2014 - 6:00 AM
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.
February 25, 2014 - 10:59 AM
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.
February 25, 2014 - 8:13 AM
A detail of "Even Fierce," a new sculptural work by Felice Koenig.
New work by Western New York Artist Felice Koenig work will be featured in an exhibition opening Saturday in Guelph's Renann Isaacs Contemporary Art Gallery at 31 Quebec St. The four-person show, "Systematics," opens with a reception from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday and runs through April 5. Above is a detail of one of Koenig's sculpted pieces. Learn more about her work and process here.
February 24, 2014 - 5:11 PM
Torn Space Theater, in collaboration with Just Buffalo Literary Center and the Ujima Theatre Company, will present a staged reading of Suzan Lori-Parks' 1994 two act drama "The America Play" tonight at 7 p.m. at the Adam Mickiewicz Dramatic Circle, Torn Space Theater, 612 Fillmore Avenue in Buffalo. Admission is $5 for Torn Space Members, Just Buffalo and BABEL Series subscribers, and $10 for general admission.
Parks, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship recipient and the first African-American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Drama (in 2002 for her play "Topdog/Underdog"), will visit Buffalo on March 11th for a series of events culminating in a Just Literary Center BABEL Series Lecture at Kleinhans Music Hall.
"The America Play" premiered at the Yale Repertory Theater in January 1994 and features as its protagonist an unnamed African-American gravedigger turned Abraham Lincoln impersonator—referred to as the "Foundling Father"—who gains a measure of fame due to his uncanny resemblance to Abraham Lincoln. His notoriety derives from an interactive performance piece he devises (inspired by a visit to a theme park known as the Great Hole of History) that--for the cost of a Lincoln penny--allows customers to take on the role of John Wilkes Booth and re-enact Lincoln's assassination with himself as the mock-victim.
The play moves forward from his estrangement from his wife and son (in Act One) and their attempt to come to grips with his legacy (and that of America's own history) following his death in Act Two. In its own elliptical and mythopoetic fashion, it examines and critiques how historical narratives are constructed, distorted, and appropriated to serve contemporary political and ideological ends.
The America Play" is generally regarded as one of Parks' most complex and experimental works, and it is not as frequently performed as some of her other plays, despite the fact that Parks has indicated that its opening scene inspired both the theme and dynamics of her best-known play "Topdog/Underdog."
February 24, 2014 - 1:07 PM
To help promote its exhibition "1959: The Albright-Knox Art Gallery Exhibition Recreated," Denver's Clyfford Still museum made a video exploring the painter's historic relationship with the Buffalo gallery. That show, which I wrote about in my column last week, will run in tandem with the Denver Art Museum's "Modern Masters: 20th Century Icons from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery."
Here's a look at the Still Museum's video, featuring interviews with former Albright-Knox Director Louis Grachos, Chief Curator Douglas Dreishpoon and Still Museum Director Dean Sobel:
February 22, 2014 - 9:00 AM
Justin Timberlake has postponed his Saturday night concert at First Niagara Center until July 9. Here he apologizes to Buffalo Friday night during "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon.
February 20, 2014 - 6:26 PM
The rescheduling of a show in New York City on Friday has prompted the Buffalo date to be postponed. (Getty Images)
Justin Timberlake's sold-out concert at First Niagara Center scheduled for Saturday has been postponed until Wednesday, July 9, Live Nation has announced.
The Buffalo date was moved due to the postponement of a New York City concert originally scheduled Wednesday. That concert is now taking place Friday, the second of back-to-back shows at Madison Square Garden. According to the tour schedule on Timberlake's website, he does not have any performances scheduled on three consecutive nights.
February 20, 2014 - 12:52 PM
In one sense, Ishmael Reed has had about as many careers subsumed under the word "writer" as a current literary figure can have --novelist, poet, publisher, editor and public intellectual ever-ready to tangle with anyone anytime anywhere in the name of what he thinks is right.
He is, after all, a man whose books include one called "Writin' is Fightin'." He's also a man who, in an era where the phrase "politically correct" was thought to mean something, could always be counted on to flout it. His engagement with feminists over what he's called "reckless eyeballing" was just one of the ways. He has also, at the height of the reputation for HBO's "The Wire" as a leading exhibit in American television's New Golden Age, taken on its creator David Simon in his anointing as Great American Artist and Righteous Voice. (Nor, in his recent writings, was he all that fond of the movie "Precious.")
With all of that, his tireless anthologies of work by his fellow writers over the years have been among the greatest source books in the discovery of true literary diversity that America has had in the last four decades. No one in his capacity as anthologist has been more tireless in introducing us to new writers of all colors and all traditions.
To put it mildly, that's a long way from growing up in he long ago termed "The Notorious Talbert Mall" on Buffalo's East Side. His Oakland residence has been, of course, as civic-minded as you might expect. But it's in the next few months that the great 75-year old writer will be honored in separate Buffalo events that make absolutely clear to one and all how very essential to the nation's literary life --and his singularity within it --this native son of Buffalo's East Side has become.
With an upcoming residence in April at the Burchfield Penny Arts Center, the first Buffalo event honoring Ishmael Reed is Just Buffalo's giving him its Literary Legacy Award at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Lafayette Hotel, 391 Washington St.