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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.


Chita Rivera wants to get something off her chest: She has a thing for Antonio Banderas. When Rivera, the legendary dancer and Broadway star, started rehearsals with Banderas for a 2003 revival of the musical "Nine," she was immediately smitten."He was just so sexy and so hot and so sweet and adorable, and I looked at him and one day I said, 'I can't believe that I could h…

When it comes to star power, Road Less Traveled Productions doesn't mess around. The summer of 2006 saw a fundraising appearance and reading by Alec Baldwin.Next year, as part of its recently announced 2007-08 season, RLTP will host playwright and actor Eric Bogosian on an unspecified date to coincide with its production of his play "Humpty Dumpty," running from April 11 …

WWhen it comes time to look for internships, most artistically inclined students turn to major museums or established galleries. But for Nicole Feliciano, the fledgling Cosmopolitan Gallery -- tucked among a row of vacant storefronts on Main Street and still testing the waters of the Allentown gallery scene -- was the perfect opportunity."I thought my presence would be nee…

A big part of David Sanborn's appeal comes from his ice-cold, hyper-relaxed style of playing.The saxophone giant's onstage calm belies the wild and frenetic music that often pours out of his instrument -- a contradiction that illustrates the battle between calm and calamity that peeks out in Sanborn's best work.At his concert in Rockwell Hall at Buffalo State College Sunda…

In the doomed necropolis of Fengdu, a ghost town along China's Yangtze River, two Buffalonians stumbled on a perplexing activity.Crews of eight to 10 men were walking around with sledgehammers, systematically demolishing unoccupied buildings and homes with brute force, floor by floor. As part of the gargantuan Three Gorges Dam project, a large swath of the ancient city is …

Albright-Knox Art Gallery earned $5.9 million Thursday in the third of six auctions of items from its permanent collection at Sotheby's auction house in New York City.Like the two previous auctions in March, profits from Thursday's sale exceeded predictions, bringing the total figure from the first three auctions to $26 million. Albright-Knox Director Louis Grachos hail…

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. -- If a single overarching message resounds at this year's Shaw Festival, it is that marriage -- especially among the upper classes -- is a foolish enterprise.Nowhere is this more clear than in W. Somerset Maugham's "The Circle," a play that the festival literature describes as an "exquisitely glittering comedy." It is that, many times over, thoug…

There was a time, about a hundred years ago, when monogamy seemed to be going out of style faster than frock coats.It was at that point -- a period during which the foppery and dandyism of the previous century were giving way in certain circles to an outright disdain for fidelity -- that George Bernard Shaw wrote his play "The Philanderer."In the Shaw Festival's production…

In the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, emotional reactions from onlookers across the country struck a universal chord. "Everyone wanted to help, but we couldn't," wrote Anne Nelson in her first play, "The Guys," a succinct and powerful piece written shortly after the attacks and performed Monday night as a fundraiser for Studio Arena Theatre and three local first-responder o…

David Rabe's play "Hurlyburly" takes its name from an exchange among three witches in Shakespeare's "Macbeth." Rabe's presumed intention was to indirectly reference a more famous "Macbeth" line that no doubt inspired -- and perfectly describes -- the play: "It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."But what sound and fury. And what an idiot…

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Dan Lauria and Wendie Malick were on opposite sides of the country, watching helplessly as the attacks unfolded.Shortly after the dust settled, Lauria, a dedicated stage and screen actor known best for his portrayal of Kevin Arnold's father on the sitcom "The Wonder Years," jumped quickly into action."They gave me a golf cart, they gave me…

George Bernard Shaw's play "Saint Joan" has often been compared with "Hamlet." Both confront the rise of nationalism, of pride, of divine influence and divisive war.But perhaps most importantly, both require actors of immense skill. In the Shaw Festival's first production of its 2007 season, that task finds its match in Tara Rosling, a Joan of Arc who fully embraces Shaw's…

If you can't make it to the hard-core music festival Ozzfest, the Lancaster Opera House has come up with might be the next-best thing: "Wizard of Oz"-fest.The Opera House is kicking off its 2007-08 season with a three-day festival (July 13-17) devoted to the beloved 1938 film and its adjoining phenomena, including an exhibit of Judy Garland's famous gowns, special screenin…

Not many gallery owners would let a bunch of students knock down their business and rebuild it according to their own plans.But that's exactly what the Buffalo Arts Studio, a 15-year-old institution in need of a facelift, has done. In one of several exhibitions opening Saturday at the BAS, students from the University at Buffalo Architecture Department will unveil and pres…

On the first hot and cloudless Saturday of Spring 2007, the steps of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery played host to a wedding party. Tuxedoed groomsmen and scintillating bridesmaids peered into the waters of Hoyt Lake, smiling wide for pictures and dancing down the sunlit steps into Delaware Park.But inside the gallery's walls, the picture was noticeably darker. The second d…