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BUZZ

"So whip out that credit card and get to it."

- Elle magazine, promoting holiday consumption

How does the song go?

"It won't be easy ... You'll think it strange ... When I try to explain how I feel ... Especially now that I've forgotten the words!" When her mind blanked at the beginning of "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina," Saturday in Kleinhans Music Hall, singer Debbie Gravitte did what she had to do. She stopped, turned to guest conductor Marvin Hamlisch and said, "Help me out." Had Buzz been conducting the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, we might have fed her the lyrics to, say, "Tell Me Quando, Quando, Quando." But Hamlisch managed to make a graceful joke of the whole thing - so graceful, in fact, that no one was sure that the slip was not part of the show. "We all make mistakes," he said. She had to let it happen, she had to change ...

Bit o' promotion magic

Having been stuck in many a boring, long film, Buzz loves the idea of a 23-minute movie. That's why we made it to Sphere for the premiere of "Tiny Magic," the debut of local director John Takacs. A very cool film! Professionally done, and filmed in the retro Pokey Joe's Club Bar, it tells of a mysterious hunk who impresses a girl in a bar by performing some magic. Still, there's a problem with short films: They don't leave much time for subtle product promotions. You have to be not-so-subtle. Hence, in "Tiny Magic," we see local comedian and illusionist Peter Cumbo, in a cameo appearance, tapping the magician on the shoulder. "Man, you're great," Cumbo says. "I book entertainment for Pokey Joe's Club Bar. Here's my card. Give me a call." Too bad Buzz didn't have a hand in the screenplay. We would have had the magician reply: "Thanks, guy! Just as soon as I finish reading The Buffalo News."

Sour notes

A supermarket without a piano is like a Kmart without a blue light! Who would shop there? Buzz wonders, especially since we got a phone call regarding our recent naive praise for the piano in the cafe of the glitzy new Wegmans on Sheridan Drive. The caller, who did not leave her name, sounded angry and distraught. "Maybe you didn't know that they took that piano from the Wegmans on Robinson Road in North Tonawanda," she said. "Apparently Wegmans can't afford pianos for all their stores. Well, I hope they're happy. Now we're without a piano." Help! In what aisle do we find the strolling violinists?

Who is Modi, anyway?

Montparnasse, Schmontparnasse. All those "Who is Modi?" billboards - being the average Buffalonian, Buzz assumed they referred to Modi Cox, the former LaSalle High School basketball player who now coaches at Niagara Catholic High School. Excuse us, but he's the only Modi we know. Then we go to the show and find it's this Italian guy who painted pictures of people with long necks. O-kaaaay. We wanted to ask Cox how he felt about these Modigliani folks appropriating his name. Has anyone drawn your attention to the billboards? Does it bother you that www.whoismodi.com is now taken? Alas, phone calls to Niagara Catholic weren't returned. After all this publicity, Modi must be too busy to bother with us.

The buzz

Watching a sold-out "My Fair Lady" at the Kavinoky Theatre, Buzz had to wonder: Is there anyone in the world more suited to play Henry Higgins than David Lamb? Lamb is Higgins. He may as well just change the name on his driver's license and stay in that role, permanently. ... Thanksgiving No Thank You: "200 Ways With Turkey," on the Gourmet and Bon Appetit Web site. ... Here's genius: A holiday benefit for the SPCA is called "Come! Sit! Stay!" It happens Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Dog Days of Buffalo, 632 Amherst St. Tix are $25. ... All hail the great band Gamalon, beginning a weekly gig Tuesday at Pokey Joe's Club Bar on Austin Street. ... Hear the students groove! Sunday at 5 p.m. at UB's Slee Hall, the UB Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combos strut their stuff, led by the great Dave Schiavone.

e-mail: mkunz@uffnews.com

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