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1) "A Christmas Story": The Musical," 8 p.m. Dec. 16, 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 17, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 18 in Shea's Performing Arts Center (646 Main St.). Tickets are $37 to $82 and can be purchased here. Commentary: Modernizing a classic film for the stage - in musical form, no less - cannot be an easy task, but the production at Shea's wowed News reviewer Colin Dabkowski. Who …

1) SantaCon Buffalo, 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10 in six bars along Chippewa Street. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here, while attendees must check in to receive a wristband at VENU (75 W. Chippewa St.). Commentary: If you see a peculiar-yet-jolly mass of characters strolling down Chippewa on Saturday afternoon, don't be surprised. The annual SantaCon is a merry bar…

1) Kerfuffle Before Christmas, 5 p.m. doors Dec. 2 in KeyBank Center. Ticket prices range from $25 to $45 and can be purchased here. Commentary: The biannual Kerfuffle series returns, courtesy of Alternative Buffalo 107.7 FM, with a six-band bill of that station's favorites, including Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness, Judah & the Lion, Atlas Genius, Capital Cities,…

A Niagara County native's documentary about the important and little-known influence of Native musicians on the development of rock music has been chosen to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January. "RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked The World" was co-created by Tim Johnson (Mohawk), who grew up in North Tonawanda, and Stevie Salas (Apache) who met when Johnson h…

The World's Largest Disco will likely be the best attended of any event this weekend - except for the home Bills game, of course - but the throwback dance party sold out earlier this week, making it ineligible for inclusion in The 10. We have rules here. But, if you're really excited about the World's Largest Disco, be sure to read Mary Kunz Goldman's entry in 100 Thing…

Mirror, mirror, on the ball, who is the fairest of them all? Buffalo, hands down. Nobody else has a party to rival the World's Largest Disco. The disco is part of the polyester fabric of our region. It always sells out in advance (this year is no exception). Seven thousand glitzed-out revelers flock annually to the disco, traditionally held at the Buffalo Convention…

The 12th Annual Fairgrounds Festival of Lights celebrates opening weekend with an international ice carving competition with 11 teams from around the world. The Great Lakes International Ice Carving Competition will host 22 competitors – two on each team – who will begin sawing, chiseling and crafting 26.4 tons of ice at 5 p.m. Friday.  The duos will compete f…

1) Tonawanda Christmas at the Castle, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 20 in Tonawanda Castle (69 Delaware St., Tonawanda). Admission is $4, and a 25-cent donation for children 16 and under. The first 100 through the door receive a $4 gift certificate to the festival, while the next 200 attendees will receive a $2 gift certificate. Commentary: The challenges of holiday shopping a…

1) Dino Daze, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 12 and 13 in the Buffalo Museum of Science (1020 Humboldt Pkwy.). Entrance is free with cost of admission, which is $11 for adults, $8 for kids under 17 and $9 for seniors (62+). $1 discounts are available for anyone bringing a perishable food item. Commentary: If I was 10 years old (which, admittedly, I act like I am sometimes), I'd…

When Anthony Bannon, executive director at Burchfield Penney Art Center, was looking to expand the dance programming at the museum, he didn’t have to look far to find the right person to help him make that happen. Bannon tapped Jon Lehrer, artistic director of Buffalo’s Lehrer Dance to curate local dance artist performances at the museum. For his third such effort, Leh…

1) Sugar City Soul Night, 10 p.m. Nov. 5 in Milkie's on Elmwood (522 Elmwood Ave.). Admission is $5 and benefits Sugar City. Commentary: Soul Night's attraction is partly because it's far from the Chippewa-style dancing that some love and others want nothing to do with. You can see from previous Smiles galleries here and here that it's a fun-loving, late-night event tha…

There are more film festivals in Buffalo now than any time in the area’s history, and that’s a great thing for lovers of cinema. The Buffalo Niagara Film Festival started things out this year in March, followed in May by the 31st annual Buffalo International Jewish Film Festival. In September, the inaugural Western New York Movie Expo showcased silent and classic mo…

We are always looking for a way to hang out with friends we might not see once the busy holiday season kicks in. Here are two fun outings that celebrate the harvest season along two wine trails north and south of Buffalo, so take your pick or do both. There are multiple reasons that these events are noteworthy: 1) We eat and drink; 2) There’s an opportunity to grab…

What drives our fixation with scary movies, haunted houses, ghost hunting, true crime, creepy clowns and all things horrible? The simple answer is (admittedly morbid) curiosity. But the complex answer snakes to deeper part of our overworked souls: We wish we were happier, and we think horror can help. As a society, said University at Buffalo pop-culture expert…