Colin Dabkowski - The Buffalo News

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Colin Dabkowski

Colin Dabkowski is The News' arts critic, responsible for covering visual art and theater in Western New York. Before joining The News in 2007, he worked as managing editor of McSweeney's oral history book series in San Francisco and as a freelance journalist in New Orleans.


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There are certain existential questions only camp can adequately address. For starters: Does God exist? And if so, why is this almighty force so indifferent to human suffering? Here to answer these and other impossible queries is Joey Bucheker as He Himself, starring in David Javerbaum's unholy comedy "An Act of God." The show is effectively a one-man comedy about di…

Art

Linda Lazzaro is in love with painting. Her descriptions of the oils and acrylics at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery brim with emotion, cutting straight to the heart of an artist's intention. "One picture moved me to tears because it described want, poverty and neglect," Lazzaro said of one painting in the gallery's collection, likely a 19th-century piece by Honoré Dau…

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Culture is canceled tonight. Unless you're an ABBA fan, that is. Ahead of Friday night's expectedly nasty storm, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center is postponing the planned opening of its exhibition "Tony Conrad @ Hallwalls" as well as its members' meeting. Hallwalls Curator John Massier wrote in an email announcing the postponement that this marks the first time in…

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It would make life much simpler for true believers if God just dropped in and explained himself. That's the simple premise of David Javerbaum's play "An Act of God," a send-up of the Christian faith opening Jan. 11 by O'Connell and Company. The production stars Joey Bucheker as an actor whose body has been possessed by the big guy for the purpose of explaining the pu…

Art

When it comes to the life and work of Tony Conrad, who died in 2016 after a career spanning six decades, it's difficult to know where to start. There's Tony Conrad the musical genius. Tony Conrad the pioneer of structural film. Tony Conrad the teacher. Tony Conrad the cult hero. Later this spring, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the University at Buffalo Art Galler…

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For Buffalo theaters, January can pose challenges. As most local producers will tell you, drawing theatergoers through subzero temperatures and into the coziness of the theater requires a little something extra. That's just what the Kavinoky Theatre is attempting to deliver with its bright and enthusiastic production of "Mamma Mia," a lighthearted musical fueled by t…

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Few local businessmen are more colorful than Russell Salvatore, the restaurateur and philanthropist whose outsized personality and taste for the ostentatious have long fascinated Western New Yorkers. Among those who have closely followed Salvatore's work and reputation are the creative thinkers at Road Less Traveled Productions, an adventurous Buffalo theater company kn…

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Buffalo's first major public artwork of the new year debuted Wednesday at the Richardson Olmsted Complex, adding a contemporary grace note to one of the city's most imposing historic buildings. "Spirit of Community," the latest in a series of five sculptures funded by the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation, was designed by Buffalo artist Dániel Shafer. A crew of masons and …

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Few directors have shaped Buffalo's theater scene like Lynne Kurziel-Formato, the former University at Buffalo theater professor who plied her trade on local stages large and small before departing for North Carolina in the mid-aughts. While Buffalo's ever-expanding theater industry has soldiered on, her return in September to direct the Kavinoky Theatre's production of…

Comedy

The space between holidays is usually quiet on Buffalo's arts scene, a time to digest the year's cultural output and ready ourselves for the offerings of the new year. One notable exception comes this weekend from "Babushka," a periodic improv comedy show devised by Buffalo actors and Eclectic Improv Company veterans Don Gervasi and Tod Benzin. The show, different ev…

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It's easy to forget that one of the world's great natural wonders sits casually rumbling in our own backyard. Sometimes we need artists to remind us of the wonders around us that remain hidden in plain sight. Through their peculiar filters, something as familiar as The Falls can become strange and wondrous again. The bifurcated waterfall has always held a mysterious …

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If you're feeling overwhelmed by the physical, mental and financial demands of the season -- and few of us aren't -- there's a cheap supply of stress relief in abundant supply this time of year. It comes in the form of exhibitions in area galleries and museums, many of which remain open during this holiday week to provide intellectual nourishment to the exhausted masses…

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NIAGARA FALLS -- After eight years of planning, plenty of controversy and more than $600,000, Niagara Falls has installed its first major piece of public art in decades. The piece – long delayed by planning, funding and installation issues – is meant to mark the 100th anniversary of the Boundary Waters Treaty between America and Canada in 2009. But it has been greeted w…

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Loriene Bridgett moved to Buffalo in January with big dreams and a small budget. The Brooklyn native, eager to start a new life after surviving a bus accident in 2015, settled into an apartment near East Delavan Avenue and Grider Street to begin her job search. But she soon learned her prospects were bleak: Without a car, Bridgett couldn’t reach the suburban customer se…

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The latest round of grants from the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council will fund a wide range of cultural projects, ranging from major renovations of cultural destinations in Erie and Niagara counties to new part-time positions at smaller theaters and galleries. The grants, announced on Thursday, are part of $68.8 million distributed to groups around…