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The 10: EXPO Soup Challenge, Grain Alley Gala, QCRG

1) EXPO Souped Up Soup Challenge, 3 to 6 p.m. Jan. 21 at EXPO Market (617 Main St.). Tickets are $12, which you can purchase here, and include the chance to taste 12 different soups.

Commentary: EXPO Market houses myriad restaurants - sandwich specialists Bobby Alfman's, health-focused Newbury Street, black rice-wielding Sun Roll, versatile GBGB and Osteria 166 offshoot Mercato - attracting the lunch and happy hour crowds in downtown Buffalo.

For one afternoon, all five of these - with special guest Gypsy Parlor - will each serve two different soups that best represent their restaurants. As you can guess, they'll be very different.

EXPO Market hosts its inaugural Souped Up Soup Challenge on Saturday. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)


2) Grain Alley Gala, 7 to 10 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Barrel Factory (65 Vandalia St.). Tickets are $60 for general admission or $90 for VIP, and can be purchased here.

Commentary: The chief fundraiser for Explore Buffalo, the Grain Alley Gala introduces attendees to the Barrel Factory, a cavernous facility in the Old First Ward, which houses distillery Lakeward Spirits. Admission includes appetizers and two drink tickets, as well as the chance to participate in live and silent auctions.

Explore Buffalo hosts events throughout the year that educate attendees about various venues and spots in Buffalo, both new and old.

[PHOTOS: Smiles at Explore Buffalo's downtown views event from May 2016]


3) QCRG: Dollies vs. Alley Kats, 7 p.m. Jan. 20 in Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.). General admission tickets are $15, while front-row seats cost $20. Ticket info here.

Commentary: The last time these two house teams squared off was the 2016 Queen City Roller Girls Champions Cup, where the Dollies just barely edged the Kats, 158-157, in a scintillating bout that came down to the final jam.

Check out the first match of the new season at spacious Buffalo RiverWorks. You can learn more about the Alley Kats and the Dollies by clicking on their names.

[PHOTOS: Check out the smiling faces from a 2016 QCRG doubleheader]


4) "42nd Street," 8 p.m. Jan. 20, 2 and 8 p.m. Jan. 21, and 2 p.m. Jan. 22 in Shea's Performing Arts Center (646 Main St.). Tickets range from $22 to $62 and can be purchased here.

Commentary: The Golden Globes gushed over "La La Land," showering the film and its creators in awards. The News' Colin Dabkowski connects the central subjects of the film - early 20th-century musicals - to an example from that era, which plays at Shea's four times this weekend. Peruse his preview of the show here.

A touring production of "42nd Street" plays Shea's Performing Arts Center Jan. 20 to 22.


5) Dave Matthews Tribute Band, 7 p.m. Jan. 21 in Tralf Music Hall (622 Main St.). Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here.

Commentary: DMTB's appeal is that they're the only nationally touring tribute band for Dave Matthews, much like Badfish is to Sublime, and the Chattanooga-based six-piece is devoted to replicating the entire experience - not just the music - of a DMB show. For $10, it's not a bad way to spend a Saturday night.


6) Day-Drinking with Monks, 1 to 6 p.m. Jan. 21 in Flying Bison Brewing Company (840 Seneca St.). Free to attend, and proceeds from purchases of special beers will benefit the family of the late Kevin Wise.

Commentary: As beer blogger for The Buffalo News, Kevin Wise quickly became a valued member of our team. He was easy to work with and cared about the quality of his work (also found at his personal blog, Buffalo Beer Biochemist), and his preexisting relationships with local brewers - new and old - proved his genuine devotion to the beer community.

Wise, who died July 19, 2016 at age 43, will be remembered by an event featuring a beer he's credit with creating, in association with Community Beer Works' Andrew Hardin and local homebrew clubs. The Belgian Dubbel brew will be tapped on Saturday in Flying Bison, along with another Belgian Strong Ale. More info can be found at the Facebook event.


7) "Amadeus" by Irish Classical Theatre and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, 8 p.m. Jan. 20 and 21, 2:30 p.m. Jan. 22 in Kleinhans Music Hall (3 Symphony Circle).

Commentary: If this event had a tagline, it would be "Where theater and classical music collide." To paraphrase Buffalo Philharmonic conductor JoAnn Falletta, the film "Amadeus" served as a bit of a gateway drug to loving Mozart, and the local production - blending the talents of two respected institutions - could do the same .

"If the movie is responsible for people coming to hear Mozart's Requiem and 'Jupiter' Symphony, maybe it's done some things we can't do in the concert hall," Falletta told The News' Mary Kunz Goldman. Read the rest of Goldman's story here.

The BPO and Irish Classical Theatre are collaborating on "Amadeus." It stars Vince O'Neill, top, as Salieri, and P.J. Tighe as Mozart.


8) "Saving Banksy," 9 p.m. Jan. 20 and 21 (plus 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24) in Amherst Screening Room (1265 Niagara Falls Blvd.). Tickets are $6 to $8 and can be purchased at the door.

Commentary: Illegal street art - it's cool, mysterious and ... profitable? Director Colin Day's film, which shows three times at the Screening Room, explores the world where art dealers try desperately to profit from the works of street artists by selling representations at art fairs. Banksy, the wildly talented-yet-anonymous British street artist, is the center of attention. Read more in Dabkowski's preview here.

A Banksy mural is left painted on the side of one of the classrooms at Bridge Farm Primary in Bristol during half-term is seen on June 7, 2016 in Bristol, England. The 14-foot piece, showing a child with a stick chasing a burning tire, was discovered at the school yesterday morning along with a letter to the caretaker and was said to be a thank you by the elusive artist after the school recently named a house after him. (Getty Images)


9) Sausage Fest, 5 p.m. Jan. 21 in Rusty Nickel Brewing (4350 Seneca St., West Seneca). Free to attend, although you have to pay for the sausage.

Commentary: You're not supposed to laugh! You're an adult! Prove that your homemade sausage is supreme in Rusty Nickel's competition (free entry!), or enjoy the variety of Mineo & Sapio's local creations (these aren't free). The West Seneca brewery, stationed behind Ebenezer Ale House, will pair beers with the sausages, if you're into that kind of thing.


10) "Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World," 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 21 and 22 (and daily through May 7) in the Buffalo Museum of Science (1020 Humboldt Pkwy.). Tickets are $11 general admission, $9 for seniors and students.

Commentary: The guitar has different meanings for different people - for some, it's a tool of majesty, an instrument deserving of the highest reverence. (We're looking at you, Jeff Miers). For others, it's a reminder of inadequate dexterity and unintentional dissonance.

Regardless, it's hard not to appreciate the sound of a guitar well-played (whether it's bass, electric or acoustic), and the Museum of Science welcomes an entire exhibition devoted to worshiping the ax (which seems like an awfully callous nickname, when you think about it). There are actual useful details about the exhibition here.

Email Ben Tsujimoto, who's proud of the cultural mix in this version of The 10, at

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