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Last September, during the Music is Art Festival in Delaware Park, dancers Nancy Hughes and Scott Slocum performed on boats floating in Hoyt Lake for spectators on the shore at the invitation of local artist David Butler. The improvised performance went over so well that the trio began planning a greatly expanded version of the piece, which will debut at 8 p.m. Saturday at…

With the official opening of the 2013-14 theater season just weeks away, several companies have firmed up their production schedules.The New Phoenix Theatre will open the season with the comedy “Venus in Fur” on Sept. 13, which runs through Oct. 5. Next up is “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds,” Paul Zindel’s Pulitzer-winning play about a dysf…

Street performers from around the world will descend on a stretch of asphalt in Niagara Falls, Ont., this weekend for the Niagara Falls Buskerfest, a weekend-long tribute to the ancient art of sidewalk entertainment. The festival, which features some 50 performers, kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday and runs through 9 p.m. Sunday in and around the city’s Queen Street Arts and Cu…

Julie Harris wasn’t simply one of the great American actors of the 20th century. She represented to those in her profession a reverential ideal.Harris died Saturday at 87 at her home in Chatham, Mass., far away from Broadway. Yet Broadway will never forget her. She was both the embodiment and essence of theatrical excellence – flesh and spirit, as always with Harris’…

Under a cloudless sky on Friday night, about 500 theatergoers made their way through Buffalo’s once-bustling industrial corridor and sat knee-to-knee on two sets of silver bleachers facing a towering grain elevator in Silo City.A huge expanse of gravel lay between the spectators and the elevator, on either side of which groups of musket-toting soldiers in War of 1812 uni…

A battle is brewing at Silo City, the gritty complex of grain elevators and rusty industrial buildings on the Buffalo River that will serve as the backdrop for Torn Space Theater’s war-themed production “Motion Picture” on Friday and Saturday.The outdoor show, devised and directed by Torn Space co-founder Dan Shanahan, will feature soldiers clad in uniforms from oppo…

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. – Contemporary musical composer Adam Guettel is coming to the picturesque village of Niagara-on-the-Lake this week for a “conversation,” topics to include his life, career and plans and very likely a barrage of queries on his Tony Award-winning Broadway hit of almost a decade ago, “The Light in the Piazza.”“Piazza” has just opened in…

A poem shd fill you up with something/cd make you swoon/stop in yr tracks/ change your mind or make it up/ a poem shdhappen to you like cold water or a kiss.”The contemporary black poetess Ntozake Shange wrote those words decades ago, but they could be an appropriate logo for a new play, “Ain’t She Brave,” by the Njozi Ensemble, specifically the multitalented and s…

In the summer of 2011, Jimmy Janowski and his collaborators at Buffalo United Artists reached a level of camp absurdity that, at the time, seemed like it couldn’t be topped. Janowski’s original play “The Birds Attack,” based loosely on Alfred Hitchcock’s famous 1963 film “The Birds,” brimmed with over-the-top gimmicks, exaggerated dialogue, raunchy humor and …

The Buffalo Infringement Festival, the city’s annual compendium of underground arts activity, kicked off a week ago and is entering its final days.The festival’s last weekend is shaping up to be perhaps the biggest in its eight-year history, with a full slate of theater productions, live music performances, public fire dancing, film screenings and impromptu parades thr…

There always will be incurably miserable people moping around in the world, so theater companies will always produce plays by Anton Chekhov, the Russian master of depression and despair. As part of the Buffalo Infringement Festival, Torn Space Theater is mounting a brief run of Chekhov’s masterwork “Uncle Vanya” in an ad hoc theater space inside the Dnipro Ukrainian …

Life for the Ujima Theatre Company, which operates out of a cozy space on the second floor of a creaky Elmwood Avenue building, has never exactly been easy.The company was founded in 1978 and has struggled since to keep itself afloat, all the while churning out an impressive array of productions and drawing perhaps the most diverse audience of any Buffalo theater. Its foun…

William Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure,” written in 1604 but never published in his lifetime, usually falls in his “dark comedies” category (along with “Troilus and Cressida” and “All’s Well That Ends Well”), but mostly it’s called a “problem play.” Maligned for centuries for its ridiculous plot, one that pursues distasteful topics – althoug…

Tonight, Shakespeare in Delaware Park will open its second show of the 2013 season with a cheeky, musically inflected take on Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure.”Unlike its popular and straight-ahead run of “Hamlet,” which was as faithful as possible to Shakespeare’s setting and most of his text, this historically troublesome comedy will stray much further in t…

The Buffalo Infringement Festival – our rising city’s loudest, longest and most egalitarian arts event – has served as a beacon for artists with big imaginations and miniscule budgets since its quiet beginnings in 2005.From one year to the next, it casts an ever-wider net and dredges up artists of all stripes from across the region. For many artists, the free-for-all…