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For a generation of television viewers, Perry Como is more closely associated with Christmas than any other entertainer. His annual holiday specials were a video tradition for decades. This weekend, however, the 78-year-old singer brings Yuletide spirit to town in person for two shows in Shea's Buffalo. Accompanying him at 8 p.m. Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday is the vocal group the Caroling Party Singers. Starting as a teen-age barber in Canonsburg, Pa., who sang along to Russ Columbo records while he trimmed his customers, Como came to prominence in the '30s as vocalist with the Ted Weems Band. A Columbo song, "Prisoner of Love," gave him a No. 1 hit in 1945, and Como went on to become one of the first stars of the television era. Known for his complete calm and his youthful countenance, he divulged the secret to his relaxed man ner before a Melody Fair date here in 1979. "I take a nap before a show," he told a reporter. "Now, if I were a comic, I'd get all charged up. But me, I like to get myself charged down." -- Dale Anderson
Interactive At Home Curator Neil Zusman is a believer in individual action. Action, applied at the right pressure points, can alter events and make its own string of events. His interest spills over into -- perhaps is generated by -- the art shows he organizes. For a number of years Zusman has been putting together events that deal with people, objects and technology set in interactive situations. Many of these shows have been held in Buffalo and featured well-established media and video artists. Now, for the first time, Zusman will present a show of work exclusively by local artists. "The Interac tive Show" will begin with an opening this evening at 8 in the Artists Gallery. "Generally, the theme is activism," explains Zus man. "Many pieces in the show are activated by either people- responsive sensors or by computer that can turn screens into control panels as well as display boards." He says that most of the sculptural works were made especially for the show. "I tried to encourage artists -- even those unaccustomed to interactive art -- to work up pieces that changed by visual response. Not unexpect edly, a lot of the works are about the body -- using it or having it played upon in some way." An example is Mindy Tousley's and Peter Babulo's clay figure that, because of sensors embedded in its surface, can be played much as a musical instrument would be played. At the opening Zusman promises one live body as art work: in Brent Scott's "Loss of Feeling," a live figure will be housed in a box and work in concert with a Macintosh computer. The exhibition will continue on view through Dec. 17. -- Richard Huntington
Legion of Admirers "Going without a paycheck hurts!" the letter began. "As you know, the players of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra were hurt financially at the beginning of the season." With this pream ble, the communication from the American Legion Band of the Tonawandas, Post 264 went on to say that its members had voted unanimously to play a benefit concert for the players of the Philharmonic, the money raised to be funneled through the BPO Musicians Fund. That concert will take place at 8 p.m. Thursday in Kleinhans Music Hall, $12 general admission, $10 students and seniors. Apart from the pure desire to support a cultural corner stone of the community, many players in the Legion Band further said this was a chance to help, in a material way, the many musicians in the BPO with whom they had studied and for whom they felt a sense of musical gratitude. William Weikert will conduct the award-winning Legion Band in Thursday's concert, which will include music of Sousa, Bernstein, Wagner, Fucik, Dvorak, John Williams and Leroy Anderson. Soprano Lori Os good and tenor Henry Pendleton will sing music from Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera," and there will be a special guest appearance by Miss Buffalo and Miss New York State 1990, Mary Alice Demler of North Tonawanda, who will sing George M. Cohan's "Star-Spangled Spectacular." -- Herman Trotter

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