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Arts beat: BPO's Salute to America, 'green' art and DuVernay's '13th'

The Memorial Day weekend begins with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual patriotic commemoration “An American Salute,” honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and celebrating the nation for which they died.

Nashville singer and “X Factor” finalist Rachel Potter will join Pops Conductor John Morris Russell and the BPO Chorus as soloist and narrator for the concert. Rousingly patriotic pieces that include “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “God Bless America” and George M. Cohan’s World War I anthem “Over There” will share the program with “My Old Kentucky Home,” “The Immigrant’s Anthem” and “Rolling River,” among other favorites.

The Armed Forces Salute and “Hymn to the Fallen” from the movie “Saving Private Ryan” will mark the reason for the holiday.

There will be two performances at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle: at 10:30 a.m. on May 24, as part of the Coffee Concert series (come at 9 a.m. for free coffee and doughnuts), and at 8 p.m. May 25. Tickets are $23 to $85, depending on show and seating; go to bpo.org.

A shuttle from Salvatore’s Italian Gardens on Transit Road will be available for the May 25 show, leaving at 7 p.m.; cost is $13 per person.

A tree grows in the Tri-Main Center

Old industry meets new art in Reinhard Reitzenstein's latest solo show, "WTF (Where's the Forest?)," in the Buffalo Arts Studio (Suite 500, 2495 Main St., the Tri Main Center). Perhaps the most eye-catching piece in the exhibit, which opens with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. May 24, is a beeswax-covered uprooted tree. Curator Shirley Verrico said in a press release that the tree and venue -- a former automotive parts plant -- represent the production of greenhouse gasses (the venue) and the trees that remove CO2 from the air.

Reitzenstein, an associate professor at the University at Buffalo, directs the college's sculpture program and has shown work in more 400 exhibitions. "WTF" is on through June 29. Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; suggested donation is $3.

'Reel Talk' about slavery

When the 13th Amendment ended slavery in the United States in 1865 it included an exception that left it legal under one condition -- an exception that society has exploited for 150 years, according to a film by Ava DuVernay (director of "Selma"). The amendment states that slavery cannot exist in the United States "except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted," paving the way for the American system of mass incarceration, for-profit prisons and unequal treatment under the law. DuVernay supports her position with the 2016 documentary "13th," which is being shown at 7:15 p.m. May 23 at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (1285 Elmwood Ave.), as part of its Reel Talk film series, in conjunction with the exhibit "We the People."

The free event begins with guided tours of the exhibit at 6:30 p.m.

It's now or never for these plays

This is the closing weekend for three well-received productions on Buffalo stages: "Late in the Evening: The Music of Paul Simon," at MusicalFare, in residence on the Daemen College campus (4383 Main St., Amherst); the musical "Three Sistahs," at the Paul Robeson Theatre in the African American Cultural Center (354 Masten Ave.); and the comedy "Bakersfield Mist," at the Lancaster Opera House (27 Central Ave., Lancaster).

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