Mark Sommer - The Buffalo News

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Mark Sommer

I have worked at the Buffalo News as an enterprise reporter, and as arts editor, for the past 17 years.


Imagine a glistening merry-go-round, where as the riders go once around they stretch their arms and lunge for the ring. Consider the ring to represent the nation's professed commitment to equal opportunity for all.Jonathan Kozol, the author, educator and longtime crusader for social justice, would say we're no longer reaching for that ring. Certainly not in New York State.…

MIGRATIONS: HUMANITY IN TRANSITION WHAT: Exhibition of photos by Sebastiao Salgado WHEN: Through June 18 WHERE: George Eastman House, 900 East Ave.,Rochester ADMISSION: $6.50 adults, $5 students and seniors, $2.50 for children INFO: 271-3361ROCHESTER - Photojournalist Sebastiao Salgado may have no peer when it comes to chronicling the lives of the w…

"When the world falls apartsome things stay in place.Levi Stubbs' tears rundown his face.-- Billy Bragg, "Levi Stubbs' Tears"Sometimes you just have to trust the judgement of others.Just ask Levi Stubbs."I didn't like "Reach Out I'll Be There" or "I Can't Help Myself," says the 63-year-old lead vocalist for the Four Tops, when the songs, which came out in 1965 and 1966, we…

It's one of the three or four most indelible images of the Vietnam War: a naked, crying, 9-year-old girl running down a road with other fleeing children, South Vietnamese soldiers in tow. The little girl, photo captions would inform, had only minutes earlier been burned by napalm dropped from an American bomber.The horrifying picture, shot on June 8, 1972, earned a Pulitze…

The touring Broadway production of "Miss Saigon" and Liza Minnelli's one-woman show, "Minnelli on Minnelli," are among the highlights of Shea's Performing Arts Center's new 2000-2001 Broadway season.Leading off the parade of musicals will be "Miss Saigon" (July 27-Aug. 6), followed by "Cabaret" (Oct. 31-Nov. 5), "Footloose" (Dec. 5-Dec. 10), "Ragtime" (March 13-18, 2001) a…

THE BIG TEASE *** STARRING: Craig Feguson, Frances Fisher, Chris Langham, Mary McCormack DIRECTOR: Kevin Allen RUNNING TIME: 81 minutes RATING: R for small amount of sexual content THE LOWDOWN: A comedy about a Scot who flys to Los Angeles for a national hairdressing competition, only to find out he's not a participantHairdresser Crawford Mackenzie knows he's a cut ab…

LA CIUDAD (THE CITY) *** 1/2 STARRING: Jose Rabelo, Cipriano Garcia, Leticia Herrera, Silvia Goiz, Ricardo Cuevas, Stephanie Viruet, Anthony Rivera DIRECTOR: David Riker RUNNING TIME: 88 minutes RATING: Not rated, but PG equivalent for mature subject matter THE LOWDOWN: Four vignettes relate the hardships Latin American immigrants confront living on the margins in N…

Laverne Clay likes baseball.As a young man, he used to work at Offermann Stadium hawking soda, ice cream and beer. Years later, he'd sit in the bleachers with buddies after work watching the national pastime at War Memorial Stadium.He saw barnstorming teams from the Negro Leagues, and was at Offermann Stadium the day the great Josh Gibson reached the ballpark's distant sco…

MY BEST FIEND *** STARRING: Klaus Kinski, Werner Herzog DIRECTOR: Werner Herzog RUNNING TIME: 75 minutes RATING: No rating, but PG-13 equivalent for language, subject matter THE LOWDOWN: A film about the late German actor Klaus Kinski and his turbulent relationship with filmmaker Werner HerzogBrilliance and madness seemed to ride equal herd over the late German actor …

A chipped and faded cement mural of Iran Barkley appears just below the entrance to the housing project he lives in, a testament to a lost battle against the elements. A neighbor painted the mural after a right hand by Barkley upended Thomas "Hit Man" Hearns in the third round to win the WBC middleweight title in Las Vegas on June 6, 1988.That was the first of three titl…

HILLARY'S CHOICEBy Gail Sheehy Random House 389 pages, $23.95Maybe, sometime in the future, a writer will come along and write a measured, factually-based and insightful biography of America's fascinating first lady. If so, they will do well to avoid the pitfalls found in Gail Sheehy's highly-touted "Hillary's Choice."Expectations for the book were high for the long-time…

Calendar listings are tricky. Ask a handful of people how they choose to use them, and you're liable to get almost as many different responses.We recently redesigned and consolidated the Gusto calendar listings to make it more concise and easier to use. One area that readers have told us still needs fine-tuning, however, is the listings for bars and clubs. So beginning wit…

Koko Taylor is blues royalty -- they don't call her the "queen of the blues" for nothing. The suspected 71-year-old blues belter (she ain't saying) has walked off with 15 W.C. Handy Awards for top female blues artist, one Grammy and strutted her stuff for presidents. Not bad for a girl who grew up on a cotton farm in Memphis and worked as a cleaning woman before making a c…

Yoko Ono is on the phone from the Dakota, the New York landmark she and John Lennon called home. It's also where a bullet slayed the former Beatle and pierced the hearts of millions around the world nearly 19 years ago.Ono is talking about Lennon's artwork that is going to be on display this weekend at the Four Points Sheraton Rochester Riverside Hotel in Rochester. She ha…

Hank Greenberg was a great baseball player. You can look it up.From 1934 to 1947 -- with 4 1/2 years lost to the service -- Greenberg walloped 331 home runs and batted .313. He knocked in a whopping 183 runs in 1937 -- one shy of the American League record -- and reached the seats 58 times in 1938, just two behind Babe Ruth's record of 60.But there's far more to Greenberg…