The Thursday Theater Roundup features currently running productions that received three or more stars from our reviewers. If you're heading to the theater this weekend, check out these shows:
November 13, 2013 - 2:13 PM
Though she cut short her set at the Riviera Theatre on Tuesday, and seemed to be seriously struggling to overcome what at times appeared to be sheer panic, Sinead O'Connor had some kind words for our town in her just-published tour diary entry. O'Connor's entry reads, in part:
"I was frightened last night.. Really sick with fear to be honest.. But.. I know what to do about it.. So it’s grand.. Plus I really enjoyed the gig actually even though I was freaked out.. The audiences in Buffalo are very gentle people. It’s a gentle town. So it felt nice and safe to try to just stand and be gentle."
My full review of the Riviera Theatre show can be read here. - Jeff Miers
November 13, 2013 - 6:00 AM
Artist: Rick Williams // Title: "Huế, 1968: The Inferno" // "Esprit de Corps," National Veterans Art Museum, Chicago // Through Aug. 1, 2014
Long before local artist Rick Williams co-founded Casa de Arte, the vibrant Elmwood Avenue art space, with his wife Mara Odette Guerrero-Williams, he served as a medical corpsman during the Vietnam War. Out of that service emerged a varied body of figurative and abstract work, among which is this pulsing painting titled after one of the bloodiest battles of the war.
"Williams's painting," according to a releaes from the National Veterans Art Museum, "is largely expressionistic and volatile. The alternating streaks of blue, black, and purple create a striking sense of visual movement. Williams intentionally emphasized forms resembling faces, personalizing an otherwise abstract work."
While the exhibition is in Chicago, Williams' work can often be found in the gallery, where the current Day of the Dead exhibition runs through Sunday.
November 7, 2013 - 3:48 PM
For over four decades, University at Buffalo English professor emeritus Mark Shechner has been one of the leading teacher-critics ever to grace the Buffalo area literary scene, and a nationally-prominent authority and scholar on the writings of James Joyce, Philip Roth, Isaac Rosenfeld, and the entire canon of 20th century to present-day Jewish-American writers from Sholem Aleichem to Louis Zukofsky.
Among his most influential critical writings are "Joyce in Nighttown: A Psychoanalytic Inquiry into Ulysses" (1974), "After the Revolution: Studies in the Contemporary Jewish American Imagination" (1987), "Preserving the Hunger: An Isaac Rosenfeld Reader" (1988) and the provocatively titled
"Up Society's Ass, Copper: Rereading Philip Roth" (2003). Next year, Wayne State University Press will publish "The New Diaspora: The Changing Face of Jewish Writing In America," an anthology of contemporary Jewish writing he is co-editing with Victoria Aarons and Avinoam Patt,
Since retiring from active teaching at UB in 2009, Shechner has also had the opportunity to pursue his own fiction writing, including a now completed project he is unveiling locally tonight at 7 p.m. at Hallwalls Cinema, 341 Delaware Ave. (near Tupper St.) as the guest of UB's Exhibit X Fiction Series.
"Call Me Moishe: The True Confessions of a White Whale" is what Shechner wryly describes as "a rewriting of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick from below the water line," and "an exercise in 'history from below' that asks (then answers) the question, 'Can the submerged speak?'"
Portions of Shechner's tongue-in-cheek inversion of the Melville classic were published last year in the Texas Review, and are available online here, but if you actually want to hear him give voice to the most overdetermined metaphor and sinister symbolic presence in all of American literature, Hallwalls is your ticket tonight. The event is free and open to the public.
November 7, 2013 - 6:00 AM
Here are this week's picks for the Thursday Theater Roundup, which features currently running shows that received three or more stars from our reviewers:
November 6, 2013 - 12:55 PM
Artist: Shasti O'Leary Soudant // Title: "Let There Be Light" // Burchfield Penney Art Center // Through Sunday
This weekend, Shasti O'Leary Soudant's whimsical interactive installation for the Burchfield Penney Art Center's Useum space -- soon to be converted into a space that will host a collaborative project of Hallwalls, the Burchfield Penney, Squeaky Wheel and the Experimental Television Center -- will close. Soudant was generous enough to give us a tour of the many-splendored installation on its opening night some months ago. Check it out, and then get over to the Burchfield Penney to see it one last time before it comes down.
November 6, 2013 - 12:39 PM
During a good concert, if things are going well, you might experience one of those moments when the hair on your arms stands up, you feel a tingle and chill through your whole body, and you are transported to some sort of elevated space. A great concert boasts a few such moments. But when Chris Cornell played UB's Center for the Arts on Tuesday evening, the chills came during opener "Scar on the Sky." And they never left.
November 6, 2013 - 11:39 AM
Reached on the phone, Kraemer confirmed his departure, although he will likely continue conducting here through next summer. He said that he and his wife and their new son are going to be heading back to the Cleveland area, where she is originally from.
Kraemer will be missed in Buffalo because of his easy style and sense of humor. (For the last concert he conducted at Kleinhans Music Hall, the Halloween kids' concert called Symphonic Spooktacular, he even ascended the podium sporting a chicken suit.) His departure, though, is not surprising. The job of associate conductor with the BPO usually turns out to be a stepping stone to a bigger job, and he probably has a new job lined up he is not talking about yet.
As long as we are playing guessing games, I am going to go out on a limb and say that as far as his successor in Buffalo goes, the possibility is being whispered that it could be Erin Freeman, the new director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus. Besides her position in Buffalo, Freeman is both associate conductor and choral director for the Richmond Symphony in Virginia. She and BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta enjoyed working with each other in Virginia and it is conceivable that Falletta would consider Freeman as an associate conductor here.
Time will tell, as we continue the saga of As The Orchestra Turns.
Tune in for updates!
November 5, 2013 - 5:55 PM
Comedian Richard Lewis, who was to perform Nov. 23 for the Great Performers Series in SUNY Buffalo State College's Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall, has canceled the event.
Refunds are available at the point of purchase. For more information, call 878-3005 or visit www.buffalostatepac.org.
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