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Music

The Smashing Pumpkins will stop in Western New York for their first acoustic tour.Billed as “The Smashing Pumpkins: In Plainsong – An Acoustic-Electro Evening,” the tour will kick off June 15 at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda.Tickets are $42.50 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday through the Riviera box office, online at rivieratheatre.org, by calling 692-2413 and at …

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April Fools' Day has become even more confusing due to the trend of news consumption over social media. It's tough enough to scroll through Twitter and Facebook on a typical day to determine what to believe and what to ignore on a typical day -- but on the single day when fibbing is encouraged, all hell breaks loose. Here are the 10 (or more, as the day moves along) April…

Comedy

Sitting amongst the packed audience Saturday night for comic Rob Lederman’s 5,000th show, I wasn’t curious how the crowd would react. I already knew. In a theater setting for comedy, where each show is a special event and people buy tickets knowing who they’re going to see, laughter is almost guaranteed. Lederman won that battle weeks ago, when all 1,200 seats for his 8 …

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When summer finally returns to North Tonawanda, house-made ice cream will be on the menu at Dockside Bar & Grill. The restaurant at 153 Sweeney St. is in the midst of a major renovation that will expand the canal-side North Tonawanda restaurant, and enable it to remain open year-round. “We dug up the patio and will put in a basement,” said Dunbar Berdine, the restaur…

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At the Dockside Grill in North Tonawanda, Chef Dunbar Berdine has figured out how to serve turducken to the masses. Wednesday night, Thanksgiving Eve, you can check out Berdine's "turwingen." The original chicken-inside-duck-inside-turkey preparation doesn't scale well to restaurant service. There's not as many perfect slices in them, he noted. Recently Berdine was prepa…

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Bobby Vinton enjoys a special place in the hearts of many Buffalonians. He is part Lithuanian, but it’s the Polish side of him that has made him, over the decades, a kind of America’s sweetheart. Surely you have heard his iconic “Blue Velvet,” which inspired the cult movie of the same name. Perhaps you have heard “My Christmas Prayer,” set to the tune of Auld Lang Syne an…

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He’s been Wiggling for a quarter-century, and Anthony Field isn’t done. Through a battle with depression (detailed in his book “How I Got My Wiggle Back”), the 2012 retirement of his three Wiggles co-founders, and thousands of TV episodes and live shows, the 51-year-old Australian celebrity still loves performing for children. He’ll be doing just that with his three young…

Art

On Dec. 5, 1904, the City of North Tonawanda opened its first public library, a handsome neoclassical building standing proudly among the leafy maples and manicured lawns of Goundry Street. Its construction was funded by the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who intended the building to serve as a free public resource to the citizens of North Tonawanda and the surrounding a…

Art

North Tonawanda’s Carnegie Art Center has laid off Executive Director Mary Simpson because of declining funding, the center announced last week. The departure of Simpson, the center’s last paid employee, comes almost a year after the center was awarded a $343,000 federal grant to repair and update its 1904 facility, leaving the city with the prospect of a newly repaired f…

Food and Drink

Jacklyn Iskander and her crew of helpers have already started the work necessary to give visitors a taste of Egyptian food at the annual festival at St. Mary and St. Moses Coptic Orthodox Church (350 Wheatfield St., North Tonawanda) on Sept. 5, 6 and 7. The food includes kofta, sausage-shaped spiced beef meatballs that are grilled and served with rice and salad. “Helpers…

Comedy

The 23rd annual Three Stooges Film Festival, which kicks off at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Riviera Theatre (67 Webster St., North Tonawanda), will include a live comedy twist. The jovial crowd assembled to enjoy seven hand-picked Stooges shorts will start their evening with a 15-minute live stand-up routine by Buffalo comedian Poncho Parrish, who has performed all over the Un…

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NORTH TONAWANDA – Picturesque Gratwick Park – Niagara River along one side of it, bustling train tracks on the other and a whole lot of wide open green space down the middle – was the perfect, mildly breezy summertime venue for the Niagara River Rocks Concert show Sunday night. Headliners The Fray and dual opening acts Barcelona and Oh Honey formed the lineup of this secon…

Gusto

Puccini’s “Tosca” is a mesmerizing nightmare of an opera. By taking on this dark, violent masterpiece, Nickel City Opera is reaching toward new heights.This weekend’s production, which I saw in the dress rehearsal, is gripping and well-paced. It holds its own among the other “Toscas” I have seen, which include stagings by the Canad…

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The full summer schedule for the Niagara River Rocks Series in Gratwick Park, North Tonawanda, featuring four shows in total, has been unveiled.Just announced are two new free shows : Tom Cochrane and Kim Mitchell with guests the Jeremy Hoyle Band on July 20, and former Styx frontman Dennis DeYoung with Dirty Smile and Famous Fred & the Creatures Unknown on Aug. 24.Pre…