Happy Thanksgiving Week, Buffalo. Even though the Turkey Trot has sold out as usual, a smattering of strong events remain for Nov. 19 to 22, ranging from compelling live shows on Thanksgiving Eve to one of the biggest Broadway productions ever to visit Buffalo.
1. 'Hamilton' begins: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20; 1 and 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 21; continues Nov. 23 through Dec. 9 at Shea's Buffalo Theatre (646 Main St.). Tickets start at $160 here, but a lottery for $10 tickets runs two days before each show.
Buffalo has waited more than three years for the arrival of Broadway musical "Hamilton" - The News' Colin Dabkowski actually reviewed the landscape-altering play in New York City in 2016 - and the craze is finally upon us.
Heaps of related content can help navigate the bedlam, though, from Toni Ruberto's theater-going logistics to Jeff Miers' glance at protest music to Andrew Galarneau's suggestions for where to dine downtown before the show. Should you have to gracefully exchange "Hamilton" small talk before the show, there's even trivia to help you there.
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2. Tailor Made Music Festival featuring Juice Wrld: Doors at 6 p.m., show starts at 7 on Wednesday, Nov. 21 in Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.). General admission is $55, VIP costs $80 - details here.
"Unfortunate circumstances" forced Tailor Made organizers to postpone Juice Wrld's Buffalo visit a month, from Oct. 13 to Nov. 21, but the fan-curated lineup has impressively remained intact despite the date change.
Ski Mask the Slump God, Hefe Bossup, Eric Cerminara and Hitch Burney are the fan-selected support, with deejays Lil Gabby and Razor also in tow.
Even though Juice Wrld, a 19-year-old breakout artist from Chicago, hit a speed bump when Sting cut sharply into his profit from platinum single "Lucid Dreams" due to royalties, Jarad Higgins' $3 million record deal earlier this year proves the young hip-hop artist is on the rise.
[Related: Smiles at 2017 Tailor Made Music Festival]
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3. "A Charlie Brown Christmas": Doors at 5:30 p.m., show at 6 on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts (103 CFA, UB North Campus, Amherst). Tickets range from $35 to $65.50 and may be purchased here.
Celebrate perhaps the most famous blanket in pop culture by bringing the family to "A Charlie Brown Christmas" live on stage at the UB CFA.
Linus, Lucy, Charlie Brown, Snoopy and more Peanuts characters are wonderful for kids and adults alike, as the rebellion against commercialized Christmas, the gentle reminders that not all holiday memories are joyful and the heartwarming ending help make the story timeless and real.
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4. Jive Turkey Celebration: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21 in Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar (253 Allen St.). Free to attend.
Duke's is nothing but consistent - the Allentown bar is open 365 days a year - and its Thanksgiving Eve spectacular runs deep into Thursday morning and includes turkey giveaways, deejay-driven old-school hip-hop with Charlie the Butcher and the Incredible Scott Down, and a kitchen that somehow stays open until 3 a.m.
[Related: Smiles on Thanksgiving Eve 2017 in Allentown]
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The grammar nerd inside me feels the urge to call them "Cute Is That For Which We Aim," but alas, the Buffalo-born pop band fronted by Shaant Hacikyan will play an infrequent local show on Thanksgiving Eve in Buffalo's new downtown music venue.
In an interview with the Boston Herald, Hacikyan admitted he'd put himself through alcohol rehabilitation this summer and now hopes to persevere through the tough touring lifestyle without substances.
[Smiles: Cute Is What We Aim For's 2016 show in then-Waiting Room]
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Only 65 tickets were made available for the Barrel Factory brewery's first anniversary party, at which Pressure Drop will have eight of its own beers on tap, including a special anniversary India pale ale. A 13-ounce commemorative glass, two drinks, snacks from neighbor Buffalo's Best Cucina and a tour of the brewery are perks of admission.
Fans of Sticky Trees, Strummer, Citra Screamer and Dank Sinatra - all names of Pressure Drop releases - should relish Wednesday night's milestone.
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7. Lazlo Hollyfeld plays the Talking Heads: 10 p.m. Nov. 21 at McGarret's (946 Elmwood Ave.). Cover charge is $5.
Sonny Baker and his versatile band Lazlo Hollyfeld tackle tough catalogs, having covered LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire and Radiohead at shows over the past several years. For Thanksgiving Eve, Baker and friends will roll through two sets of Talking Heads, the former '80s post-punk group led by David Byrne, in McGarret's - the annual destination for this gig.
Checking out this show will also allow you to check off an entry in the Buffalo neighborhood dive bar list compiled by The News' Francesca Bond.
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8. Pre-Thanksgiving party night: Brick Bar: 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21 at Mulligan's Brick Bar (229 Allen St.). No cover.
If you're drawn to buzzing crowds, Allentown's Brick Bar is shoulder-to-shoulder from front to back (watch the stair!) on Thanksgiving Eve, spanning almost every walk of life.
You're bound to run into someone you know and haven't seen in years (I don't know if that's good or bad, frankly), and you won't have to pay a cover like you might at neighboring establishments.
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9. Lafayette Throwback Party for Community Beer Works: 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21 at Community Beer Works' new taproom, 520 7th St. Free to attend.
2018 has been a year of new things for Community Beer Works, which began as a nano-brewery on Lafayette Avenue in 2012 before unveiling a spacious 7th Street taproom this fall.
For those seeking Buffalo brewery nostalgia, though, Community Beer Works will return its Lafayette Avenue bartenders to the task on Wednesday night. A small vendor market, CBW merchandise and no shortage of personality are more reasons for excitement.
[Read more about CBW's 7th Street taproom]
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10. Folkfaces on Thanksgiving Eve: 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21 in Flying Bison (840 Seneca St.). No cover.
Buffalo folk-jazz quartet Folkfaces, led by Tyler Westcott, will play two sets in the Larkinville brewery Wednesday night, with no cover charge an additional bonus. It's an earlier show than many Thanksgiving Eve alternatives, which means you'll probably have more patience for family the following day.
Saxophonist Ellen Pieroni adds spice to the dance-able mix, and the band's most-recent release, "How Long?", has been in rotation since April 2017.
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Bonus: Mayday Buffalo at Mr. Goodbar: 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 1110 Elmwood Ave. Cost is $3 at the door.
Expect Buffalo party band Mayday Buffalo, which has done everything from regular weddings to release its own album, to mix originals and covers with a '90s bent during its late-night performance on Thanksgiving Eve in Mr. Goodbar, a popular, oft-nostalgic destination for meetups with old friends in town for the holiday.
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5 events to look forward to this weekend
* Black Friday Boutique Crawl, Small Business Saturday in Elmwood Village
* Step Out Buffalo's Makers + Shakers Market
* Westside Gunn in Town Ballroom
* Buffalo Women's Gifts in Asbury Hall
* Hotel Henry Holiday Market