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The Weekend in WNY: Bricks, 'Cats' and Hops

One sign that Buffalonians are tough during the winter: Two of this weekend's 10 featured events take place outside. Don't they understand it's early February? Still, cold temperatures won't stop many.

There's still a smorgasbord of indoor activities, too, with a major opening in the Buffalo Museum of Science, a feline-focused musical in Shea's Buffalo and a wide-ranging market in the Niagara Frontier Food Terminal.

Art of Brick opening, opens to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, and Sunday, Feb. 10, at the Buffalo Museum of Science (1020 Humboldt Parkway). Cost is $18 for adults, with reduced rates for others. Runs through May 5.

Former New York City corporate lawyer Nathan Sawaya is now a Lego mastermind; he forms life-size sculptures with the popular youth toy, and his roving exhibit has drawn crowds across the U.S. and earned the attention of CNN.

More than 80 of Sawaya's meticulous creations will be displayed at the Museum of Science; highlights include a Lego version of Michelangelo's "David" and a 20-foot-long Tyrannosaurus Rex.

To keep the crowds relatively small, museum employees will allow 60 entrants in every 15 minutes. Once inside, though, customers may stay as long as they'd like. Read more on the exhibit by The News' Mark Sommer and see photos from Derek Gee.

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LOTUS, 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, and Saturday, Feb. 9, in Town Ballroom (681 Main St.). Cost is $26 in advance here or $30 at the door.

Absorb the wild light show of LOTUS, the multi-genre, EDM-meets-jam-rock group that's pleased eardrums for the last 20 years. The two-night stand in the Ballroom will likely include much of LOTUS' 2018 release, "Frames Per Second," but also other tracks that have garnered enough attention to vault the band to major festivals like Bonnaroo and Electric Forest.

Even for Jeff Miers, The News' pop music critic who has high standards for jam bands (without an electronic bent), LOTUS makes the cut. Look back at his 2013 review of LOTUS and Aqueous (another Miers favorite) at Canalside.

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"Cats," 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7; 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9; and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, in Shea's Buffalo Theatre (646 Main St.). Cost is $32 to $92 and tickets may be found here. Kids Night is Feb. 8; they'll receive half off of a ticket when an accompanying adult purchases full-price admission.

For those who might roll their eyes when hearing "Cats" is in town, this modernized version impressed News contributor Melinda Miller (and sparked several feline puns) and includes the same choreographer as "Hamilton," the uber-popular production that packed Shea's late last year. And don't fret, traditionalists - there will be ample opportunity to get the melancholy "Memory" stuck in your head for months.

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Cupid's Undie Run, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 at Thin Man Brewery (492 Elmwood Ave.). Registration and payment may be completed here.

This annual event is more fundraiser and party than it is a competitive athletic endeavor. Thin Man welcomes attendees beginning at noon, with the mile run beginning at roughly 2 p.m. Runners are encouraged to wear undergarments, but other costumes are welcome, too.

Cupid's Undie Run, a national touring event, raises money to battle neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes myriad problems in the body, depending on the type.

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Black Business Bazaar, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, in the Niagara Frontier Food Terminal (1430 Clinton St.). Free to attend.

Several local businesses will gather in the Niagara Frontier Food Terminal for another edition of the Black Business Bazaar. Two highlights of the February market are a sneak preview of the African Heritage Food Co-Op storefront, plus a raffle to give away a home theater system. Tickets for the raffle are $5 apiece.

The African Heritage Food Co-Op will open officially on Feb. 23 at 2616 Highland Ave. in Niagara Falls, not far from the Canadian border.

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Winter Hop Fest, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 at Old First Ward Brewing/Gene McCarthy's (73 Hamburg St.). Cost is $25 in advance here.

Hardcore hop heads will converge upon Old First Ward Brewing on Saturday afternoon for the annual Hop Fest. At least nine Buffalo breweries will pour their hoppiest offerings - mostly India Pale Ales, but not exclusively - while hop-laden chili will warm up the outdoor crowd.

Because the participants want their kegs kicked by the end of the festival, growlers will be available for $5 of the remnants. Look back at Smiles at a rather balmy Hop Fest from 2016.

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Sugar City Soul Night, 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, in Milkie's on Elmwood (522 Elmwood Ave.). Cost is $5 at the door.

The Sugar City dance party rages late into the night on Friday in the usual confines of Milkie's, with DJs Handsome Dan, Hausfly and Pat K spinning until the lights are turned off.

The event benefits the arts-focused community space, at 1239 Niagara St., that's run by volunteers and hosts a slew of events.

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Buffalo Auto Show, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Feb. 7-8, then 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center (153 Franklin St.). Tickets are $8 online here or $10 at the gate.

Be among the first to gawk at the new releases from major car brands and enjoy the local attractions - from GigaMaxx the robot on Friday to kids-focused entertainment Saturday to the majority of the Sabres' broadcasting crew Sunday - at the annual four-day show.

Follow the trend toward SUVs, trucks and crossovers - how much longer will passenger cars survive? - and see models from all major dealerships except Mazda.

[Photos: Look back at shots from the 2018 Buffalo Auto Show]

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The Brewmaster's Table with Brooklyn Brewing's Garrett Oliver, 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8 in Kleinhans Music Hall's Mary Seaton Room (3 Symphony Circle). Tickets, capped at 300, are $75 in advance here.

This National Geographic Live Speakers Series event welcomes the brewmaster from one of the most successful craft breweries in New York. Garrett Oliver, winner of a James Beard Award and head brewer at Brooklyn Brewing since 1994, will orchestrate tastings of some of his favorite beers from across the globe.

Oliver's, Creekview, BriteSmith and Sear are among the food vendors scheduled to attend, and other local breweries will have a presence as well.

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The Leones, doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 on Saturday, Feb. 9 in the 9th Ward in Babeville (341 Delaware Ave.). Tickets are $5 in advance here.

Running the gamut in musical styles - from haunting and dream-like to uplifting and anthemic - the Leones celebrates its fifth anniversary with a show in the 9th Ward. Support comes from two Buffalo bands in The Shallows and First Ward. Frontman Justin Bachulak is joined by Dustin Lau and Kevin Carney, and the trio will play all six songs from the band's EP, to be released soon.

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BONUS: Polish-Ukrainian Solidarity Happy Hour, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8 in DNIPRO Ukrainian Center (562 Genesee St.). Free to attend.

BONUS NO. 2: Nickel City Con launch party, 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10 at Community Beer Works (520 7th St.). No cost listed. Smiles at Nickel City Con in 2018.

BONUS NO. 3: Kegs and Eggs, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10 in Resurgence Brewing Co. (1250 Niagara St.). Free to attend.

BONUS NO. 4: Buffalo Infringement Festival fundraiser, 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 in Milkie's on Elmwood (522 Elmwood Ave.). Cost is a $5 suggested donation.

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5 events to look forward to next week

Robert DeLong in Iron Works
Hotel Henry Jazz Series
Labatt Blue Pond Hockey Tournament
Upstate at Thin Man Brewery
Beer and Chocolate in Flying Bison

Email: btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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