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In a time of constant conflict, figuring out where you fit in the grand scheme of things can be a full-time occupation. The task of defining, explaining and holding onto your own identity at a time when the political ground is shifting beneath your feet is the main concern of the CEPA Gallery exhibition "Place Relations: Identity in Contemporary Israeli Avant-Garde Art.…

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Too often, trying to squeeze some joy out of the commercial theater requires the downward adjustment of expectations. Few who attended the opening of "The Bodyguard: The Musical" in Shea's Performing Arts Center walked into the theater expecting to be transported by high art to the threshold of revelations. Many, lured by the formidable talents of star Deborah Cox an…

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Sometimes it’s exhausting talking about art. Sometimes, all I want to do is stand in a gallery, or sit in an auditorium, or lounge in my home, and just absorb what’s in front of me. The pontification and processing of what it means, how it was presented, what it could have done better is important to me. But there are times when the discussion gets in the way of bei…

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On Thursday night in the Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre in Getzville, the Jewish Repertory Theatre of Western New York celebrated the opening of its 15th season. Since 2002, the company co-founded by Shakespeare in Delaware Park's Saul Elkin and David Bunis has pumped out a steady stream of quality productions. Smartly, it has adjusted its output to match its resource…

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"New Kid," opening at the Theatre of Youth, wants to show us the immigration experience from the inside out. And so the play throws us a twist. Only Nick, the "new kid" -- who comes from an undisclosed country just called "Homeland" -- speaks in intelligible English. The people who surround him in his new land all speak what sounds like gibberish. The play is especiall…

Buffalo's intimate, rococo Kavinoky Theatre is nestled in a beautiful hall on the campus of D'Youville College -- a hall some have whispered is haunted. Is it really? Find out when you are invited to look around, and enjoy haunting readings as you do so. You'll meet Mary Shelley reading from "Frankenstein," as well as other departed authors, and a surprise visitor. Literar…

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Like most young aspiring singers in 1992, Deborah Cox’s life was changed by “The Bodyguard.” The popular film was a success unto itself (though not a critical hit), but it was the soundtrack and lead single, “I Will Always Love You,” that turned it into a phenomenon. The album went on to become the fourth-highest selling album of all time. For Cox, the movie o…

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Educational theater can be a difficult thing to stomach. It has a more specific objective and audience in mind than most other plays do. If it’s too instructional or explanatory, it condescends. I sensed this feeling in the pit of my stomach as soon as the lights came up on “Blood at the Root,” the season opener at the Paul Robeson Theatre. The play is a co-produc…

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Intergenerational sparring matches seem to be trending this theater season. First there was "Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks," the saccharine two-hander about an aging woman and her snarky younger dance instructor that kicked off the Shea's 710 Theatre season in September. Now, the Jewish Repertory Theatre of Western New York is mounting Jeff Baron's play "Visiting Mr. G…

Theater

Theatre of Youth likes to say that it speaks to children about their "wonders and their worries," Artistic Director Meg Quinn says. The latter will be on the minds of their audiences in coming weeks as TOY presents "New Kid," a nearly hourlong play in which a mother and child from a different country, who speak a different language, come to America to start a new life. …

How lucky we are to have the Brazen-Faced Varlets in our midst. The female-forward company’s scrappy productions are often performed in the back room of Rust Belt Books, a Bohemian cave of literary wonder and secondhand love. Their plays often rewrite or re-imagine classics, passing old tales off to new audiences like avid readers share their earmarked books. Their work …

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Just like the women it celebrates, "Menopause: The Musical" is aging well. In fact, after 16 years of sweating it out in theaters across the country, Jeanie Linders' show at the 710 Main theater seems hotter than ever. The current cast of this traveling sisterhood  – Teri Adams, Beth Buczkowski, Megan Cavanagh and Donna J. Huntley – breathes fresh life into the …

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Who could forget the look on Megan Cavanagh’s face as Marla Hooch, the dowdy second-basewoman in “A League of Their Own.” Hooch wasn’t a looker, to a comical end. Her hunched posture, sullen face and indifference to fashion made for plenty of laughs, but she was a phenomenal ball player with simple, Midwestern values—a team player. Cavanagh’s performance tur…

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Bill Murray likes to live life by chance. His hilarious interactions with strangers are documented in a book called "The Tao of Bill Murray: Real-Life Stories of Joy, Enlightenment, and Party Crashing," by Gavin Edwards. Once, he stuck two bottles of Veuve Clicquot Champagne into a snowbank by a bank's drive-through window. He mouthed "Happy New Year" to the teller, and…

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Thunder rumbles, lightning flashes and eerie music fills the air at Theatre of Youth in the Allendale Theatre. Put it all together and it can only mean one thing: "Bunnicula" is stalking the building. Well, actually, as any fan of the children's book of the same title knows, it is the celery that stalks. And despite the delicious Halloween-style theatrical effects, Bunn…