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You, too, can be on TV with Lance Diamond!


By Mary Kunz Goldman

Television cameras. Did we hear the words television cameras?

Because Lance Diamond is going to be chowing wings with Mo Rocca on "CBS Sunday Morning," as many Buffalonians as possible must join him in the national spotlight.

For part of the shoot Lance is doing a special two-hour show at Milkie's on Elmwood today from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. CBS is going to shoot some of the show for their story.


Mo Rocca gets his fill of wings with Buffalo booster Bernice Radle

Buffalo booster Bernice Radle, one of three locals chosen to appear in a segment on chicken wings to run on "CBS Sunday Morning" in advance of the Superbowl, poses below with CBS correspondent Mo Rocca:

--Colin Dabkowski

Who's the coolest person in Buffalo? Mo Rocca wants to know

Earlier today, CBS Sunday Morning Correspondent Mo Rocca sent out a tweet inquiring who was the coolest person in Buffalo. Take a look, and tweet him back if you're so inclined. It just might be you.

Rocca said he'll be in Buffalo this week doing a Super Bowl story on chicken wings, and is trying to avoid rehashing the same old Duffs vs. Anchor Bar story. (We feel his pain.) Instead, he said, he's looking for someone interesting/hilarious to eat wings with. Tweet him at @MoRocca.

While he's here, Rocca will also be working on a story for the program about 13th president Millard Fillmore, a local figure who has long fascinated him.

--Colin Dabkowski

WNY native Michael Christie conducting Xmas opera on PBS


By Mary Kunz Goldman

Conductor Michael Christie, who grew up near the airport, went to Oberlin College and has been music director of a number of orchestras around the country, is making a high-profile appearance on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. He can be seen on PBS, conducting the Minnesota Opera's production of Kevin Puts' "Silent Night."

"Silent Night" is an opera based on the movie "Joyeux Noel," which was based on a true story from World War I -- when on Christmas Eve, up and down the Belgian border, German troops initiated a Christmas truce. The British troops reciprocated and the result was a miraculous, if temporary, lull in the fighting, as soldiers who were enemies only minutes before shared gifts, treats and camaraderie.

The opera, which has been praised by critics, will be broadcast on PBS on Dec. 24 at 9 p.m. and Dec. 25 at 11:30 p.m. 

Three cheers and a camel: It's time for 'Amahl'

Amahl7 (1)
By Mary Kunz Goldman
Hump Day is approaching at the Riviera Theatre, where Nickel City Opera's "Amahl and the Night Visitors," complete with its tremendous trademark papier-mache camel, takes to the stage at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, at at 3 p.m. Sunday. (Do not look for the camel in the picture above. It must be seen in person.)
Performed in English, "Amahl" was written by Gian Carlo Menotti for 1950s television and is suitable for the littlest fledgling opera fans. This is the fourth year that Nickel City Opera is staging "Amahl," and company chief Valerian Ruminski says it will be the last. He plans to branch out next year with a Halloween-themed opera, "Night of the Living Dead."
Meanwhile, this year's "Amahl" promises to be a dandy. Amahl is being played by Gabriel Gough, who played the part last year very well. It also features Rosemarie Serrano as Amahl's mother, Gregory Sheppard as King Balthazar, David Macadam as King Kaspar and James Wright as King Melchior. Luis Clay is the Page.
Presented in English to the creative accompaniment of the Mighty Wurlitzer -- which even supplies King Kaspar's bird song -- "Amahl" is directed by Ruminski and features dancers, a full chorus, set and lighting. 
For info on the Riviera performances, call 692-2413. For info on the Springville Center for the Arts, call 592-9038.


Doc Severinsen blasts attorney's book on Johnny Carson


By Mary Kunz Goldman

Doc Severinsen, with his flashy suits and mighty trumpet blasts, has never been shy. The longtime bandleader on "The Tonight Show" is on his way to Buffalo -- and on the way, he paused for some honest talk about the new book on Johnny Carson by Carson's longtime attorney, Henry Bushkin. The book, widely described as a hatchet job, has caused a firestorm in the entertainment world.

“I know Henry Bushkin and I knew Johnny Carson,” the maestro said on the phone, choosing his words carefully. “And the idea that anybody would ask any single person to write a book about Johnny Carson and have it be Bushkin is beyond disgusting.”

Severinsen, still fit and handsome at 86, was speaking from a hotel in what he said was "some town in North Carolina." He is currently touring with his big band and winning rave reviews. ("Doc Severinsen Blows Out Auditorium," ran one recent headline, in Burlington, Iowa.)

He and the band are headed for Buffalo. Next Friday morning and Oct. 26, they will be joining the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at Kleinhans Music Hall for a show called "Solid Gold Doc."

“Johnny will figure to some extent to this show,” said Severinsen, who was the BPO's principal pops conductor from 1992 until 1999. “How could he not? You think for one minute I would do concerts any place – that I would be coming to Buffalo to conduct your beautiful symphony orchestra, if it weren’t for Johnny Carson? I’d be in a home somewhere.”

He pointed out that Bushkin left Carson's employ under a cloud. 

"I didn’t have any personal problems with him except it seems that he was released from Johnny's employ over a matter to do with some questionable behavior," he said. "There may have been an agreement, something like 'Sign this paper and go away.' I have no business going beyond that."

Severinsen went on to reflect: "I feel he might be desperate for money or something, or someone said to him, 'Did you work with Carson? You did? Why don't you write about it in a book?' That says it all."

The Wiggles bring their new show to UB

The Wiggles will bring their "Taking Off!" World Tour to the UB Center for the Arts in Amherst for a show at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 24.

Introducing three new cast members, including the first-ever female member, Emma Watkins as the Yellow Wiggle, founding member Anthony Field (Blue Wiggle) will also be joined by Simon Pryce (Red Wiggle) and Lachlan Gillespie (Purple Wiggle).

Tickets for the show are $15, $22.50, $35.50 and $70 and go on sale at noon May 31 through the center box office, online at or charge by phone at (866) 223-6000. For more information, call 645-2787 or visit


Video chat replay: Critics' Corner with Jeff Simon and Jeff Miers

Kevin Smith to speak at UB

Screenwriter, producer, director, author, comedian and actor (best known as "Silent Bob") Kevin Smith will head to the University at Buffalo's Center for the Arts (North Campus, Amherst) for a talk and Q&A session at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7.

Tickets are $39.50 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Sept. 26 through the Center for the Arts box office, online at or charge by phone at (888) 223-6000.

For more information, call 645-ARTS (2787) or visit

Stories to share: Ruben Santiago-Hudson in town to speak on his career

 When Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s one-man show "Lackawanna Blues" debuted at the Public Theatre in New York City in 2001, his place among Western New York’s most beloved artistic sons was secured. Because of Hudson, whose play eventually became a popular HBO film, another piece of the story of this region -- deeply honest about its protagonist and the city in which he was born -- had made it out into the world.

Santiago-Hudson, who grew up in Lackawanna and went on to Tony and Obie-winning appearances on Broadway and beyond, has a wealth of experiences to share. He’ll talk about his career at 7 p.m. today (May 7) in the WNED Studios (140 Lower Terrace) as part of a fundraiser for the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo’s Cultures of Giving Legacy Initiative.

Santiago-Hudson will introduce clips from his productive acting and writing career and talk about the lessons he’s learned along the way. The Legacy Initiative, according to a release, is building an endowment "to support and create positive change in the lives of youth living in low-income communities of color via access to people, places and experiences." Tickets are $100 for the event, or $200 for the event and a 6 p.m. reception. More information is at or 852-2857.

-- Colin Dabkowski

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