Colin Dabkowski, The Buffalo News
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Colin Dabkowski

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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.

Architect Shohei Shigematsu walked Buffalonians through dozens of ideas for his firm's new design for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery expansion Wednesday night in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. The one he and the gallery finally settled on – which restores two acres of green space to its Delaware Park campus, while integrating two new gallery buildings and an ai…

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery plans to sink its parking lot beneath a restored public green space along Elmwood Avenue, radically reconfigure much of Gordon Bunshaft's low-lying 1962 addition into a grand public entry hall and create 23,000 square feet of new gallery space split between two new buildings that pay deference to the surrounding parkland. The preliminary pl…

Considered individually, Joe Bradley's various bodies of work seem to have emerged from entirely different brains. There are his robot paintings of the mid-aughts – vaguely digital, 21st-century takes on color field painting. There are his childlike grease-pencil drawings on enormous canvases that evoke cave paintings. And then there are his gritty, multilayered de K…

Shakespeare in Delaware Park audiences have seen innumerable interpretations of Falstaff, the bumbling, boorish man-clown whose influence as a comic archetype echoes everywhere in popular culture. But chances are they’ve never seen a Falstaff quite like the one who will barrel onto the company’s sprawling new stage on June 23, when an all-female production of “The…

Ten minutes after Lesley Horowitz snapped a photograph of a derelict cement factory near Catskill, she found herself under arrest for trespassing. She and her companion were shoved into the back seat of a New York State Police SUV, finger-printed, photographed and tossed into lockup for several hours. They later received six months probation for their offense. But Ho…

Buffalonians, it hardly has to be said, have an unhealthy preoccupation with past glories. We love looking back to times of relative prosperity, when shoppers crowded the aisles of AM&As and smoke from Bethlehem Steel blackened the granite facade of City Hall. Sure, maybe the smoke was carcinogenic. But the nostalgia is real. The siren call of Buffalo's past, …

In downtown Niagara Falls, you can often count more vacant storefronts than pedestrians. The two go hand-in-hand: empty streets mean empty stores. But at least one part of that equation is changing this week with the installation of a new public art project designed to draw attention to the storefronts and to spur renewed development in the area. Installation of N…

Nov. 1, 1930 - June 13, 2017 A.R. "Pete" Gurney, the Buffalo-born playwright who spun stories about the city's upper class into a literary career that spanned five decades and entertained millions, died Tuesday morning at his home in New York City. He was 86. His death was confirmed by his niece Jenipher Gurney. The cause was not known. Gurney, whose dozens of pla…

What happens when a corporation values profits over the lives of its workers? That's the central question in D.W. Gregory's play "Radium Girls," which opens June 22 in the Subversive Theatre's Manny Fried Playhouse. And the answer, as theatergoers familiar with the rabble-rousing mission of this theater company might expect, is less than pretty. The show, directed …

Buffalo's undersung role as the epicenter of the American Arts and Crafts movement, which influenced generations of designers and artists, is on display in two local exhibitions running through the fall. "Wright's Larkin: Arts and Crafts in Industry" explores the uniquely American tone of the Buffalo-bed Arts and Craft Movement as embodied by East Aurora's Roycroft Camp…

Ruben Santiago-Hudson has come a long way from Lackawanna. His widely hailed Broadway production of August Wilson's "Jitney," which ran for 10 weeks earlier this year in a Manhattan Theatre Club production in the Samuel J. Friedman Theater, took home the award for best revival of a play during the 71st annual Tony Awards on Sunday night. Santiago-Hudson, a veteran p…

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's website crashed on Friday morning as hundreds of patrons attempted to buy tickets to October's appearance by comedian and actor Bill Murray. "We just had such an overwhelming response to the show," said BPO spokesperson Kate Jenkins. "There's been so much excitement about it ever since it was announced that the volume of traffic just…

On June 5, Buffalo's theater community gathered in the 710 Main Theatre to celebrate the annual Artie Awards. The event, created by theater writer Anthony Chase, is designed to highlight local productions of extraordinary merit and to raise money for local charities. For most of its life, the Artie Awards gala was sponsored by the alt-weekly publication Artvoice, bu…

For 50 years, Ben Caudle has watched the neighborhood around his sprawling Delavan Avenue auto shop slide slowly off the economic map. When Caudle, 79, opened Ben's Tire Center in 1967, the Houdaille Industries plant across the street employed more than 700 workers. The plant meant easy money for Caudle, whose snowplowing contracts with the company and other East Side…

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. — The Shaw Festival has a spotty record with musicals, whose vocal and physical demands have sometimes exceeded the skills of its classically trained company. But when it finds one in its wheelhouse – say "Mack and Mabel" in 2007, or its current production of "Me and My Girl" – the result can be thrilling. It certainly is in this revival…