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This Week in Buffalo: Breathe on Bills' new turf, scarf Italian for Music Is Art

When the Bills aren't competing on New Era Field, a range of community events takes place on the Orchard Park turf. Races have finished at the 50-yard line, flag football tournaments have graced the gridiron and even a kickball tournament is slated for the new future.

Namastadium - a yoga event presented by lululemon Buffalo and the Bills - unites some of the area's top yoga instructors at this in-demand site under the lights. The yoga craze shows no signs of slowing down, and it's more than just a fad; even my retired mother wrote a Buffalo News My View about the benefits of trying yoga.

Participation in this annual event also includes a ticket to one of the two Bills home games in December, against either the Jets or Ravens. It will help to be fit and flexible to tolerate those wintry conditions.

Namastadium, 6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21 at New Era Field (One Bills Drive, Orchard Park). Cost is $27 and includes a ticket to one of Buffalo's two December home games.

Lululemon Buffalo has struck a milestone: the brand's fifth yoga-in-a-stadium gathering, taught be a few different local yoga brands, is slated for Wednesday night on the Bills' new turf. Attendees are asked to bring their own yoga mat and water; proceeds benefit the Family Justice Center and Yogis in Service.

Look back at the Smiles from Namastadium in 2016, held then in the ADPRO Sports Training Center, for an idea what to expect.


Chef's Street Party, 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22 at Chef's Restaurant (291 Seneca St.). Tickets are $45 for individuals, $80 for couples - full details.

With local music bonanza Music Is Art approaching Sept. 7-8, one final fundraising push will be held outside Chef's. The performing bands will be the Molice, a Japanese indie rock trio, and Sara Elizabeth, a veteran of the local circuit.

An Italian buffet from one of Buffalo's best known Italian restaurants (read: parm galore), beer and wine, live art created by Chris Main and Kelly Kresconko, performances by Summer Theatre Arts Group Experience and Stacy Zawadski Performing Arts Center, plus a basket raffle and auction for autographed guitars are the perks of the street party.

The cause is noble: Music Is Art, founded by Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac, grants a stage to aspiring local musicians to have their voices heard, regardless of genre.

[Related: Tim O'Shei's feature on the Molice | Smiles at 2018 Music Is Art]


Bucket List Bash, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22 at KeyBank Center. Cost is $50 in advance, $55 at the door; VIP is $75 in advance, $80 at the door.

First thing is first: The former Unyts - the area's blood and organ donor network - is now known as ConnectLife; here's why they rebranded.

Its annual fundraiser is a lighthearted means of crossing adventurous activities off a bucket list, such as a Fear Factor station, black jack and roulette tables, and a trivia show competition, while new experiences include the AxeWagon - the mobile Hatchets & Hops creation - and Silent Disco WNY - In Your Ear Events.

General admission tickets include three alcoholic beverages, food tastings and beats from DJ Milk.


Plasticiens Volants and the Machine, gates at 6 p.m., show begins at 7:30 on Thursday, Aug. 22 at Artpark (450 S. 4th St., Lewiston). Tickets are $20.

As it turns out, the "Big Bang" in 2017 wasn't the last time we'd see Plasticiens Volants.

Track the journey of a brave, shell-escaping pearl as it navigates the grounds of Artpark, which is transformed into an underwater world by the roaming French street theater company.

Larger-than-life inflatables - such as starfish and jellyfish - will swim/float over the crowd, telling a larger, family friendly narrative but also mesmerizing through sheer scale. It's not as outside-the-box as Torn Space Theater's "Feast," but Plasticiens Volants - translated as "Flying Plastics" - is a cool intermingling of art and reality.


Rockin' on the River, 4:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21 at The Shores Waterfront (2 Detroit St., North Tonawanda). Tickets are on sale for $40 at the Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas (254 Sweeney St., North Tonawanda).

The Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas, ConnectLife (formerly Unyts) and the Shores will present Rockin' on the River, a night of live music by the Knight Crew, open bar and appetizers between 4:30 and 7:30, a wondrous view of the Niagara River and a full dinner buffet available at 5:30.


Family Movie Night at Delaware Park, 7:30 to 10 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19 at Shakespeare Hill at Delaware Park (199 Lincoln Parkway). Free to attend.

You can appreciate Buffalo's Olmsted Parks system year-round, but the summer - and its accompanying events - simply make it easier. Even though Shakespeare in the Park's two plays have concluded, the free family movie night - featuring "Christopher Robin" - drops by the steep hill in Delaware Park (close to Lincoln Parkway and the Terrace, for those unacquainted).

News contributor Christopher Schobert called the film "sweet, good-natured and pleasing" in his guide for parents who might want to take their kids to see the film.

BONUS: Woodlawn Movie Night features "Aladdin," at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22 at Woodlawn Beach (3580 Lake Shore Road, Blasdell). Also free to attend. Personally, I'm partial to "Aladdin" of the two choices - the characters are more shallow but far more quirky (how can you hate the flying carpet?!) - but I guess you could attend both.


Bad Company, gates at 5 p.m., 7 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20 at Artpark (450 4th St., Lewiston). Tickets range from $42 to $77.

Bad Company's visit to Lewiston is a big deal simply due to the scarcity of shows performed by the English hard rock group; Tuesday's Artpark gig is one of just 12 this year.

Founding members Simon Kirke and Paul Rodgers have been working together since 1973 - with a few breaks and break-ups in a turbulent history - but their catalog is deep enough that they can still tour and attract fans. An additional perk: Rodgers' son, Steve, is joining the fray as a special guest.

Bad Company tours regularly with Lynyrd Skynyrd - they impressed together at Darien Lake in 2014 - but it's only the Englishmen entertaining on Tuesday.


Swing Buffalo presents Carina & the Six-String Preacher, 7:45 p.m. to 11 Tuesday, Aug. 20 at SwingBuffalo (927 Grant St.). Admission is $10 at the door.

SwingBuffalo is an inclusive group that meets regularly to teach and practice the art of swing dance, with all skill levels invited. On occasion, they'll host a night of live music - with a lesson from 7:45 to 8:30 p.m. - and Tuesday brings Carina & the Six-String Preacher over to Grant Street.

Rolling with a sound dubbed "crime jazz," rather dark music across three albums, Carina & the Six-String Preacher is still plenty adaptable to swing dance. This recent My View gives a sense of the community fostered by Swing Buffalo.


Slow Roll Buffalocal, 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19 at Cazenovia Park (25 Cazenovia St.). Free to participate, but you'll need a bike.

While Delaware Park stars in the free family movie night, Cazenovia Park - another Olmsted creation - is the starting point for Monday's Slow Roll, which will then rove through South Park, the Outer Harbor and a slew of South Buffalo neighborhoods.

This week's recreational mass bike ride, 10 miles in distance at a leisurely pace, has a special Buffalocal focus, even if the Slow Roll's brews always hail from the new local marketing arm of Try-It Distributing. Imperial Pizza, Mad Sauces Food Truck, Maria's Bene Cibo and Totally Edible are a few of the food vendors who will be setup in Caz Park, too.

[Related: Buffalo's mission in local craft beer]


"Basket Case" by Thursday Night Terrors, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. showtimes on Thursday, Aug. 22 at Dipson Amherst Theatre (3500 Main St.). Cost is $7 in advance.

The preview text on a movie page for "Basket Case," a 1982 campy horror film directed by Frank Henenlotter, reads: "The tenant in Room 7 is very small, very twisted and very mad."

The plot is based around Siamese twins who've been separated against their will by doctors; one has become deformed and is carried around in a briefcase, and there's revenge to be had. Join Peter Vullo and the TNT crew as they embark on a new season of frightening films.


5 more quick hitters for this week

Molly + Kate Fall Fashion Show in Hamburg
Goat Yoga at Maybe Someday Farm by Cayuga Flow Yoga
Canisius College alumni happy hour at Tappo
Night Lights Music Festival in Sherman
Beastly concert bill at Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar


5 events to look forward to this weekend - A Festival Frenzy

Buffalo Irish Festival at the Outer Harbor
Beau Fleuve Music & Arts Festival at Silo City
Northwest Jazz Festival in Lewiston
Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts
Festival of India at Canalside


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