Today's the day that the Buffalo Infringement Festival really starts heating up. The schedule features more than 50 separate shows, many with multiple performers. If you can't find something to like in today's absurdly diverse schedule, online at Infringebuffalo.org, it's probably time to check that pulse.
Here's my list of enticing picks for today:
1) Open Busking, 12 to 4:30 p.m., Antique Man
The sun is out today, which means that the stretch of sidewalk in front of Antique Man (234 Allen St.) will be a prime location for Infringers. Buskers perform there from 12 to 4:30 p.m. There's also a fine-looking, DJ-heavy group show at Buffalo Barfly (162 Elmwood Ave.) from 2 to 10 p.m.
2) "The Phantom of Infringement," 4:30 p.m., Antique Man
This one is so Infringement:
Noah Gokey, a festival veteran, will perform what he calls "a 2-person, condensed version of the classic Andrew Lloyd Webber opera, complete with hits 'Think of Me' 'The Phantom of the Opera,' and 'Music of the Night.' Noah Gokey stars as the auctioneer, Raoul, and the Phantom. Pilar Padron stars as Christine."
3) Eddie Gomez Poetry, 7 p.m., Dreamland
Frequent Infringement performer Eddie Gomez's heartfelt tribute to the spirit of the Buffalo region brought down the house at the festival preview event at Asbury Hall earlier this month. His poetry is a mix of pie-eyed optimism and Buffalo-specific humor that's well worth checking out. As an added bonus, tonight's performance is in Dreamland, one of the city's most adventurous and eclectic new art spaces.
Here he is in 2014 performing his poem "Buffalove" at SPoT Coffee:
4) "The Farmer is the Man Who Feeds Us All," 7 p.m., Burning Books
The Hutchinson Family Revival has gained a small but loyal following for their efforts to reach back into musical history and pull out long-forgotten songs about social justice. This year, very much in the anti-corporate spirit of the festival, the group presents a tribute to the American farmer at 7 p.m. tonight, 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Monday in Burning Books at 420 Connecticut St.
5) A night of theater at Rust Belt Books, 6 p.m.
An evening of under-the-radar theater will unfold at Rust Belt Books' new location at 415 Grant St. starting at 6 p.m. with "Futility of Selling Your Soul," a one-act play starring Sean Brennan as "a nameless man who has reached a wall in his life because for years he has been trying to sell his soul."
Next up at 7 p.m. is "Spoon River," a show set to American folk tunes and told "from the perspective of the inhabitants of a long-abandoned cemetery." And the night ends at 8:30 with a performance of "IFFY and IZZY," the latest offering from the accomplished local playwright and director Frank Canino, whose "Hecuba Again" was a highlight of last year's festival. This new piece is a "free adaptation/deconstruction of the Biblical story of Isaac and Abraham coupled with the Greek myth of Iphigenia and Agamemnon."