It feels kind of dirty starting off the 10 with an event you cannot actually attend.
But Dreamland, the DIY arts collective on Franklin Street, is hosting a wildly popular, costume-mandatory Knockturn Alley Fest this Saturday. Maybe the words "Knockturn Alley" made your ears -- or wizarding hat -- perk up, and 125 people have already conjured (read: bought) the $5 tickets, reaching the venue's capacity.
Still, take a look at the Harry Potter-based attractions: Neo-minstrels performing and Butterbeer served in the Blistering Toad, the Blackest Market with wands, trinkets and maybe an appearance by Kreacher (kidding), Quidditch in the parking lot (it's BYOB -- bring your own broom) and enough common rooms and smoking parlors to appease even the most unruly of Hufflepuffs.
So, there's always next year, left-out-in-the-cold Harry Potter fans, and we'll have a Buffalo.com photographer at the scene to at least show you what happened. (When it comes to a clever event that borders on fanatical, we can't help but get pumped up.)
Here are 10 events that you can actually attend this weekend:
1) Disney On Ice: Princesses and Heroes: 7 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday; and 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday in the First Niagara Center. Tickets are $20-$80 and can be purchased here. [Read the Gusto cover story on Disney princesses here.]
Comments: This is the premier downtown family event of the weekend, and there are plenty of chances to go. Sure, you might get the theme from "Frozen" stuck on your head, but how many times do you get to see Olaf, the Candlestick from "Beauty and the Beast," the Genie from "Aladdin" careen around a rink? It's rhetorical. Look how excited this girl was.
Comments: moe. has been doing the same thing for 25 years now -- after they got their start at the University at Buffalo -- and they're still packing clubs around the country. Jam-band fever is a real thing, and musicianship and improv of the band means that each show is a little different. Besides making us feel a little old, happy anniversary, moe.
3) "Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche": 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Jan. 31 in American Repertory Theatre, 16 Linwood Ave., Buffalo. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here. Take note that pre-sale tickets for Saturday's show have been sold out, although the theater will accommodate a few walk-ups as well as start a waiting list.
Comments: Take it away, Atlanta Theatre Buzz, from its 4.5/5 star review: "The raucously off-kilter humor never obscures the more serious grace notes and sub-texts...It is silly, it is rude, it is laugh-out-loud funny, and it's all over too soon." I had to laugh at the review that reads: "You'll never look at quiche the same again." Todd Fuller is the director, and the Fearless Players present the play.
4) NHL All-Star Game, featuring Zemgus Girgensons. 5 p.m. Sunday on NBC Sports Network. The game is in Columbus, but watching it on TV saves you a lot of gas money. Ohio is a biiiiig state.
Comments: It's still wild to think that Zemgus Girgensons, of all NHL players, paced the league in All-Star votes, buoyed by a committed Latvian following. News sports reporter Mike Harrington has been effusive in his praise of Girgensons, and thanks to Zemgus, we're blessed with one of the most bizarre rap songs in sports history -- watch it here, and Harrington dug up the lyrics, which are worth it on their own.
5) "Motown: The Musical": 8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday in Shea's Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St. Tickets range from $33 to $78. According to News Arts Critic Colin Dabkowski, "Motown" is an especially hot ticket this weekend.
Comments: You probably have heard the name Betty Gordy, but you assuredly are more familiar with Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson. Gordy, the founder of Motown Records and a pervasive influence on many of its successful artists -- like the trio noted above, shows in this musical how the Motown movement "transcended race and background."
6) Tommy Nguyen's "Me PLUSH You Long Time" and Dennis Barraclough's "New Works" opening reception as part of M&T Fourth Fridays; to 8 p.m. Friday in the Buffalo Arts Studio in the Tri-Main Center, 2495 Main St. It's free.
Comments: Nguyen's exhibition, in particular, is unusual. The Joanna Angie Gallery inside the Tri-Main is transformed into a plush world, where you're invited to try "wearable sculpture" and the goal, according to a release, is "to maybe lose one’s inhibitions and rediscover those moments in which we were simply becoming." I truly have no idea what this means, but you could figure it out tonight.
7) The Traditional releases "How to Live Without Blood": 6 p.m. Saturday in the Studio at Waiting Room, upstairs of 334 Delaware Ave. Tickets are $10, can be purchased here, and the opener include Younger Then, Alleys, The Slums and Trespassers.
Comments: The emo rock band from Buffalo is one of the featured concerts in this week's Farrell Four, where an excerpt reads: "The quartet delivers the same flammable fury on their latest as found on their earlier EPs, but as they’ll display on Saturday, wrap the aforementioned inferno around a bleeding heart on such new efforts as “My Brother Is The Sea” and the title track."
Comments: Yes, this event is kind of about Mozart -- the brilliant, worldview-altering classical composer would celebrate his 259th birthday on Jan. 27, a few days after this Buffalo classical celebration. Buffalo.com has highlighted Demarre McGill, the principal flutist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, who joins harpist Yolanda Kondonassis and conductor David Alan Miller for both shows. From his outreach at Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performance Arts, McGill seems like a selfless dude with a grander mission than his mesmerizing flute playing.
9) Chestnut Ridge Winterfest: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in Chestnut Ridge Park. The cost is free.
Comments: Winter conditions should be appropriate for the weekend, high-2os and low-30s temperatures with maybe an inch or two of accumulation. Sounds quite tolerable for a visit to Orchard Park, where a litany of activities -- sledding, tobogganing, hay rides, a sculpture contest and marshmallow roasting, among others -- will take over Chestnut Ridge.
10) Drive down the 600 block of Main Street in downtown Buffalo. Essentially free, as the strip is short enough to not warrant calculating the gas money.
Comments: Because you can! For the first time in 30 years, there will be vehicle traffic on Main Street in Buffalo's Theater District. Try not to honk with excitement, as there may be plays going on.
Story topics: Buffalo Arts Studio/ Demarre McGill/ Disney on Ice/ Dreamland/ Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche/ Harry Potter/ Knockturn Alley Fest/ Moe./ Motown: The Musical/ Mozart/ Studio at Waiting Room/ The 10/ The Traditional/ Tommy Nguyen/ Town Ballroom/ Zemgus Girgensons