Performing Arts


by Pete Burakowski

If your daughter is turning 13, the biggest thing you could do for her birthday would be to have Miley Cyrus perform. It would be awesome. You’d be the best parent ever.

If you’re the University at Buffalo and you’re planning the 35th anniversary of your June in Buffalo new music festival, you’d schedule composition superstar Steve Reich to be there. And they did.

Reich, Augusta Read Thomas and a handful of the most buzz-worthy composers and performers in the world will take part in concerts, master classes, open rehearsals, lectures, seminars and installations from May 31 to June 6.

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by Susan Braun

If you want to catch fine performances by two of Buffalo’s most accomplished actors, Anne Gayley and Roz Kramer, take yourselves to the Kavinoky Theatre to see them reprise the roles they played 20 years when Peter Schafer’s comedic play Lettice and Lovage was first produced. The show, which opened on Friday, April 30th, is directed by Kathleen Gaffney. Lettice Douffet (Anne Gayley) is a tour guide at an old British mansion that does not have an exciting historical past. To make up for this perceived lack, Lettice embellishes the facts with great enthusiasm until she is unceremoniously fired by Lotte Shoen, the Human Resources Manager at the British Preservation offices.

Conflicts between creativity and fact are quickly resolved as Lottie, suffering from guilt, comes to visit Lettice at her apartment. She brings information about a new job as well as a glowing letter of recommendation. Lettice invites her to “quaff” a potent English cordial which she concocts using an herb called lovage. And so begins a new friendship.

For information about tickets and show times, contact the Kavinoky Theater at either 716-881-7668 or www.kavinokytheatre.com.

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by Denise Drews

This weekend I am looking forward to attending one the coolest nights out in Buffalo. It’s a Multi Art & Music Party being held from 9pm – 2am. I’m also very intrigued of the location for this event. It will take place at Rock Harbor Yard 57 Tonawanda Street in Buffalo, just a few minutes from Buffalo State College and Elmwood Village.

In the past 21 incarnations of Hallwalls’ Artists & Models Affair, a multitude of Buffalo sites have served as the locus for temporary artistic expressions and controlled insanity: the Broadway Market, abandoned factories, warehouses, auto showrooms, roller rinks, deserted downtown malls and department stores, the Tri-Main Center, and the Buffalo Convention Center. This year’s event—officially, the 22nd version of Artist &Models.

There will be 30 Artists’ Installations, including 404 Error, Alice Alexandrescu, Kyle Butler & Marc Tomk, AWK, Steven Ansell & Tammy McGovern, Katrina Boemig, Michael Bosworth, David Butler, Buffalo Hackerspace, Scott Bye, Collective Collective, Jax Deluca, Aasta Deth, John Fink, Chris Hausbeck, HERO Design, Jimyn the Singing Mine, Jill Johnston-Price, Evelyn Killaby, Alison S.M. Kobayashi-Emily Gove & Jennie Suddick, Al Larsen, Marty McGee & Mick Gross-, R.J. Melnyk & Ariane FulkLorna Mills, Vincenzo Mistretta, P.J. Moskal, N.J. Parisi, Shasti O’Leary Soudant, Timothy Scaffidi, Gary Sczerbaniewicz, R.M.Vaughn, Heather Warren-Crow, Christopher Young

Live Music from Family Funktion & SitarJamz, Divi Rome Royal African Sound, Orchestra Stimuli, MC Wizzalot & Tip Top Hip Hop Orchestra, DJ Bev Beverly and Strip Teasers (Burlesque)

Cost is only $15 in advance and for Hallwalls members, or $20 at door

Advance tickets are available at Hallwalls -Talking Leaves Books (both Elmwood & Main St.), Sweetness 7 Cafe (Lafayette & Grant), Rust Belt Books (Allen St.), Room (Hertel) and Clarence Coffee Center (Goodrich Road).

For more information go to www.hallwalls.org or call 716-854-1694

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by Melissa Barrie

Jersey Boys is not just your average musical. It is the biography of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons; from their beginning as blue-collar kids on the wrong side of the tracks to becoming one of the greatest sensations in pop music history, selling 175 million records worldwide before they were 30. The show traces the rise and fall of their careers while satisfying your craving for jukebox hits such as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh What a Night” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”

Enjoy this Tony, Grammy, and Olivier Award winning musical at Shea’s April 21st- May 9th. Ticket prices range from $22.50-$127.50 and can be obtained through Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or at the Shea’s Ticket Office at 650 Main Street, Buffalo, NY, 14203.

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by Susan Braun
The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director JoAnn Falletta have just announced the programming for the upcoming 2010-2011 season which will celebrate the Orchestra’s 75th anniversary. Kleinhans Music Hall, home of the BPO, will be celebrating its 70th anniversary as well. The M & T Classics series which begins the first of 16 programs in October, 2010 concludes in June, 2011. Some of the highlights of the classical concert schedule are listed below.

In 1935, the BPO’s debut performance opened with Beethoven’s Egmont Overture. In honor of that event, the BPO will again begin the season by performing the Egmont Overture at the Gala Opening Concert on October 2nd, 2010. The concert will also feature violinist Midori as the guest artist. A program featuring the music of George Gershwin will include the Concerto in F and the Second Rhapsody on November 19th and 20th. The featured artist for that concert will be pianist Orion Weiss. These concerts will be recorded for an upcoming CD on the NAXOS label. The Chinese classical pianist, Lang Lang, who is well-known internationally for his flamboyant playing and personal style, will be making his first appearance in Buffalo on January 29th, 2011. Christopher O’Riley will be returning to the BPO to play Grieg’s Piano Concerto April 30th and May 1st, 2011.

The Pops Concert series, sponsored by BlueCross and Blue Shield, includes 11 programs. Opening Night on September 25th will feature Michael Feinstein. The series includes performances by Jose Feliciano, the Four Tops, ABBA: the Hits Symphonic Tour and ends with the Duke Ellington Orchestra on June 11th, 2011.

The popular Friday morning “Coffee Concerts” have been expanded from 5 to 8 performances. They include classical, pops and a Holiday Pops concert on Friday, December 10th, 2010.

Some special events have also been planned to celebrate the BPO’s 75th anniversary. These include a 75th Anniversary Book, a Commemorative 75th Anniversary Calendar, and the release of a special 5-disc set of music featuring the BPO under the direction of past Music Directors. The BPO is also collaborating with the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library to develop a display which will be on exhibit at many branches of the Library.

More lower-priced seating will be available for the new season and a special section for students has been created on the main floor. For more information about the concerts and tickets, please contact the Box Office at 716-885-5000 or visit www.bpo.org

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by Susan Braun

If you love music and want to contribute to a good cause, here’s the perfect opportunity. The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus Ensemble Singers, the Buffalo Niagara Youth Chorus and the Ohio State University Chorale will hold a musical fundraiser to benefit their respective organizations at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. The performance, entitled A Choral Kaleidoscope, will commence at 7:30pm on April 14th, 2010.

The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus (BPC), under the musical direction of Doreen Rao since 2008, is the principal guest chorus of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO). The Chorus was first known as the Buffalo Schola Cantorum when it was organized in 1937; however, in 1992, the name was changed to The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus to reflect its close association with the BPO. The BPC has 100 auditioned members and is considered the premier choral group of its kind in Western New York.

The Buffalo Niagara Youth Chorus (BNYC) got its start in 1988. It’s mission is to provide talented young performers with the opportunity to perfect their vocal abilities in a challenging environment. Members of the chorus range in age from 9 to 18 and come from school districts and private schools all over Western New York. They strive for excellence by achieving self-discipline, confidence, and respect and enjoyment of quality choral music. The BNYC includes a Preparatory Choir, a Concert Choir, a Chamber Choir and a Pop, Broadway and Jazz Ensemble.

The Ohio State University Chorale is the flagship ensemble of the OSU mixed choirs. It’s comprised of 48 members who participated in competitive auditions to be accepted into the Chorale. The Chorale performs on campus and in the community and occasionally tours. In July 2008, the Chorale sang at the Lucerne International Choral Festival in Switzerland.

The evening promises to be filled with comedy as well as music. All tickets are $12.50 and can be obtained through Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or at the Shea’s Ticket Office at 650 Main Street, Buffalo, NY, 14203.

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by Susan Braun

Shea’s Performing Arts Center has just announced its 2010-11 M & T Bank Broadway Series. A quick glance at the schedule indicates that the up-coming season has something for everyone. Here’s a quick rundown.

Disney and Cameron Mackintosh kick off the season October 14-31, 2010 with a new touring production of the Tony®-award winning musical, Mary Poppins. You can learn more about the play at www.marypoppins.com

A new stage production of Dreamgirls will arrive December 14-19, 2010. This play tells the story of Effie White, Deena Jones and Lorrell Robinson, who form an R & B trio in the 1960’s known as The Dreamettes. Starting as back-up singers, the three soon find themselves front and center as musical superstars. The show alludes to the lives and careers of The Supremes and the rise of Motown Records and features hits such as “One Night Only” and “Listen.” Visit www.dreamgirlsonstage.com

Look out for Shrek the Musical to be onstage February 22-27, 2011! An ogre, a princess with a mind of her own, a donkey who talks non-stop, a nasty short-tempered guy and a cookie are just a few of the “characters” you’ll come across in this Tony® and Academy® award winning musical. (www.shrekthemusical.com)

Young Frankenstein is next onstage March 22-27, 2011. This new production is based on the Mel Brooks film of the same name and is a hilarious interpretation of the story of Dr. Frankenstein’s attempts to create a monster. The music and lyrics were written by Mel Brooks who co-wrote the play. (www.youngfrankensteinthemusical.com)

Back by popular demand, Wicked will be in town April 27—May 22, 2011. The New York Times recently named Wicked “the defining musical of the decade”. We all know the story of Dorothy and her red shoes, but did you know that long before Dorothy arrived on the scene, a girl with emerald green skin and another who is beautiful and popular met in the Land of Oz and became the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda, the Good Witch? Come see Wicked and find out how it all happened! (www.wickedthemusical.com)

It’s been more than 50 years since West Side Story opened on Broadway and yet, it is still timely today. The musical is set in 1950’s New York, against a backdrop of rivalries between 2 street gangs of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The members of the Sharks, led by Bernardo, are all first generation Americans from Puerto Rico while the Jets, led by Riff, are all from working-class families who consider themselves the “real” Americans. The story revolves around Tony, a member of the Jets, and Maria, the sister of the leader of the Sharks who meet and fall in love. Musical theater changed dramatically after West Side Story originally opened because it used a romantic story filled with memorable music and dancing to comment on social justice issues. Don’t miss West Side Story on stage June 7-12, 2011. (www.broadwaywestsidestory.com)

Season tickets for the 2010-2011 M & T Broadway Series are on sale now. For more information and to order tickets, visit www.sheas.org , stop by the Shea’s Ticket Office at 650 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203 or call 716-847-0850.

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