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This Week in Buffalo: Solid events come with quirks

It's not quite News of the Weird, but many of Buffalo's events this week come with unusual twists.

For instance, YouTube stalwart Postmodern Jukebox has exploded thanks to leaping the bounds of musical genres, while 1987 cult classic "The Princess Bride" - starring a character named Prince Humperdinck - has carved out a place in cinematic lore. Toss in a blossoming reggae band's visit from Syracuse and a decent heavy metal show in Niagara Falls, and you have an irregular week of events.

See what else is on Buffalo's event schedule for Monday through Thursday:

Rogers, Phillips and Croft, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 in Pausa Art House (19 Wadsworth St.). Tables may be reserved here.

Three Buffalo musicians - Sara Rogers (vocals, guitar), Dave Phillips (drums) and Ed Croft (guitar, bass and vocals) - will cruise through works of classic singer-songwriters such as Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Carole King.

Pausa is an intimate space to enjoy quality music - it celebrates "the art of listening," Jeff Miers wrote - but the venue's small capacity means securing a table in advance is encouraged.

[Photos: Smiles at Pausa Art House's fifth anniversary

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"Ragtime," 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 in MusicalFare Theatre in Daemen College (4380 Main St.), runs Wednesday through Sunday, until March 17. Cost is $45 and limited tickets are available here for this week's run.

This is more of a PSA to not dawdle if you're planning to buy tickets to MusicalFare's rendition of "Ragtime," which sold out last weekend is all but at capacity for this weekend (as of 8 a.m., eight tickets remained for Thursday, a few single seats, and eight for Saturday evening). In other words, if you want to see the play, act now.

News contributor Melinda Miller doled out three stars for the play, praising the singing prowess within the 18-member cast, even if she pined for the presence of more strings, woodwinds and brass to catch the ragtime feel.

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WNY Home and Outdoor Living Show, 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 at Hamburg Fairgrounds Event Center (5820 South Park Ave.). Continues Friday through Sunday. Cost is $8 and tickets are available here.

Buffalo News contributor Sally Cunningham, co-founder of Buffalo's National Garden Festival, will be a featured guest all four days of the Home and Outdoor Living Show. She'll provide a "high-speed primer" on gardens on Thursday and promote her new book, "Buffalo Style Gardens." Find a seminar schedule for the festival here, then see the full list of vendors and the overall floor plan.

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Postmodern Jukebox, 7 to 11 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19 in Riviera Theatre (67 Webster St., North Tonawanda). Tickets range from $30 to $85 and may be purchased here.

Postmodern Jukebox is a rotating group of musicians that translates current pop hits into different genres, particularly swing and jazz. The musical imagination of Scott Bradlee, who's run the ensemble since 2011, has helped PMJ approach 4 million subscribers on YouTube.

Like virtually every other musician in the world, PMJ has covered "Africa" by Toto, but the release two days ago, of the "Pinky and the Brain" theme song, might be more worth your time.

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"The Princess Bride," 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, continues Friday through Sunday (FYI: there are $3 mimosas Sunday) at the Screening Room Cinema Cafe (in the Boulevard Mall, 880 Alberta Drive, Amherst). Cost is $7 at the door.

As a graduate of Houghton College, where "The Princess Bride" is heralded as the best movie ever created, I'm a little jaded on this one. But the 1987 film is equal parts funny and weird; the cult classic is appreciated by cinematic die-hards through its place in the National Film Registry, which selects films worthy of preservation. At worst, you get to hear Prince Humperdinck's name a lot.

2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the Screening Room, which has played a crucial role in Western New York cinema over its history.

[Related: Read about a previous Screening Room Cinema Cafe horror series]

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Sevendust, doors at 5 p.m., show at 6 on Wednesday, Feb. 20 in Rapids Theatre (1711 Main St., Niagara Falls). Cost is $25 in advance here, or $30 day of show.

Atlanta-based alternative metal band Sevendust swarms to Niagara Falls for a midweek show. The five-piece has been incredibly steady, both in its lineup (only one former member) and its release of new music (a new studio album roughly every two years). Sevendust's most recent disc was 2018's "All I See Is War," which peaked at No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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Explore Buffalo Winter Speaker Series, 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 in First Presbyterian Church (One Symphony Circle). Cost is $10, available here, and only $5 for educators with ID.

Explore Buffalo, known for its educational tours that span much of the city, takes the winter months to focus on its speaker series. Thursday welcomes the second iteration of the 2019 schedule, with author John Fagant speaking on antislavery conventions in Buffalo, and Explore Buffalo's own docent, Debra Hall-Stonish, covering the history of banking in the city. 

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Root Shock, doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 on Thursday, Feb. 21 in the 9th Ward at Babeville (341 Delaware Ave.). General admission is $10 and may be purchased here.

Check out reggae/drum-and-bass hybrid Root Shock and its positive message, largely inherent with the reggae genre. The six-member Syracuse-based band, which released a five-song EP last year following its 2016 debut, will have Kaleidoscope Sky as its opener.

Pay attention to lead singer Jessica Brown's stage presence and experience how Root Shock quickly outgrew the bounds of Syracuse to tour regionally.

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Beakers and Beer, 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 in Hauptman-Woodward Research Institute (700 Ellicott St.). Free to attend, but pre-registration is required here.

There's no question that the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus has been a crucial aspect of Buffalo's rebirth, growth or renaissance - whatever you'd like to call it.

Beakers and Beer is an informal networking opportunity Thursday to meet some of the people involved in the campus' development, and for those who work in different parts of the BNMC to intermingle.

[Related: What's next for the BNMC?]

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Continuing:

"Humble and Human," Albright Knox exhibition in memory of Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Cost is $16 for adults, with discounts available, here. Runs through May 26.

Art of the Brick, runs through May 5 in the Buffalo Museum of Science (1020 Humboldt Parkway). Cost is $18 for adults here.

Lumagination, runs through Feb. 24 at the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens (2655 South Park Ave.). Cost is $14 for general admission here.

Sold out: Arkells' two-night stand in Town Ballroom; Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone on Thursday, but limited tickets remain for Friday night and Sunday matinee performances.

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5 events to look forward to this weekend

Marsha Ambrosius at Tralf Music Hall
Winter Soup Stroll in Williamsville
Krupnik Festival at Polish Villa 2
Danimal Cannon at Milkie's on Elmwood
Johnny Cash Birthday Bash at Sportsmen's Tavern

Email: btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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