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WARMING TO THE TASK

Celebrate the '80s! The New Group at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery has designed a mid-winter social event around, and we quote, "that decadent decade." The theme of the party is "Melt: A Red Hot '80s Night."

"Melt" happens at 9 p.m. and continues to midnight. The music is by Universal Grille, which has risen rapidly through the ranks to become one of Buffalo's premier party bands. The group is perfect for this party; as event chairman Lorne Steinhart puts it: "Their '80s music and zany attitude just makes people want to dance."

Not that Universal Grille limits itself completely to the '80s. It makes frequent forays into Beatles tunes, country ballads and even soft jazz. The band even throws in dance routines featuring lead singer Cheri Eisele and her sister, singer Shelly Cieply.

General admission to "Melt" is $10, which includes complimentary late-night desserts and coffee. There will also be cash bars and, for $25, dinner at the Gallery's Garden Restaurant (the chef, the New Group emphasizes, has thoroughly researched '80s cuisine). For information or dinner reservations, call the Gallery, 882-8700.

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