1. Iranian-born women's rights activist Nadia Shahram, a Buffalo-based attorney and lecturer at the University at Buffalo Law School, is featured in tonight's installment of the 2010-2011 Human Rights Speaker & Film Series at Buffalo Seminary, 205 Bidwell Parkway. Shahram will discuss her new book about the controversial practice of temporary marriages in her homeland, "Marriage on the Street Corners of Tehran." She also will screen clips from her documentary about other cultural practices that harm Muslim women. The program, which starts at 7, is free and open to the public.
2. Volunteers from the Big Tree Fire Company boarded a bus donated Thursday by Niagara Scenic Bus Co. of Hamburg to attend the wake and funeral services in Pittsburgh for their comrade, Jarrett Eleama, 26, who died Jan. 12 following a training exercise. A local memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Jan. 29 in the auditorium of Frontier High School, 4432 Bayview Road, Hamburg.
3. Doing their part to counteract this weekend's deep freeze are the 13 wineries of the Niagara Wine Trail, who are hosting an event called "Warm Your Winter With Wine." They're open Saturday and Sunday for wine tastings and other delights. Many of them also will be open today for previews. Tickets are $20 advance or $25 at the door. To get tickets and information, visit www.niagarawinetrail.org. Ticketholders get a commemorative glass and a chance at a basket of wine, with one bottle from each winery.
4. Classical pianist Jeremy Denk begins a parade of notable keyboard wizards this season with a performance at 7:30 p.m. in Slee Hall on the University at Buffalo's North Campus in Amherst. Denk, known for his quirky blog as well as his introspective performances, has chosen a bipolar program. Half of it is Bach's Goldberg Variations, and the rest consists of etudes by the 20th century composer Gyorgy Ligeti. As Denk notes on his blog: "There is nothing more peaceful than playing Ligeti six hours a day, let me tell you; as a form of mental self-flagellation it is unequaled." Tickets are $5 to $20.
5. Should we congratulate former Bisons manager Terry Collins on his new job or commiserate with him? Tapped over the winter to manage the New York Mets this season, he comes back to the scene of his successes in the early 1990s to talk to the Bisons' annual Winter Hot Stove Luncheon in the Adam's Mark Hotel. Mike Buczkowski, Bisons vice president and general manager, also will review the upgrades at Coca-Cola Field -- the rebuilt diamond and that multimillion dollar monster video scoreboard.
6. Expect the air to turn purple as comedian Lisa Lampanelli pays a return visit tonight to the Mainstage Theatre in the University at Buffalo's Center for the Arts on the North Campus in Amherst. As the News reviewer noted on her last appearance in April 2009, "If you pitted the bawdiest group of sailors or Brooklyn dock workers against Lampanelli in a foul word-spewing contest, she would win hands down." Enormously popular from her appearances on roasts on Comedy Central, she's also good for a constant stream of outrageous insults and ethnic slurs. The X-rating goes into effect at 8. Tickets are $37.50.
7. The critics have sharply divided feelings about the new romantic comedy "No Strings Attached," which opens in area cineplexes today. Bewitched by "Black Swan" star Natalie Portman, they tolerate the plot about two longtime friends who try to shrug off a deeper relationship, but they have a hard time accepting the other actor on the marquee. Rex Reed writes in the New York Observer, "Nobody with an upwardly mobile career who is suddenly being taken seriously should co-star in a movie with Ashton Kutcher."
Don't miss on buffalonews.com:
Discuss upcoming concerts, recent releases and more with News Pop Music Critic Jeff Miers during a love chat at 11 a.m. today on the home page.