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Arts beat: Celebrating John Coltrane, 'Cat in The Hat' at UB and East Aurora festivals

The Urban Bush Women, a Brooklyn dance company, will present one public performance at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28 in the University at Buffalo's Center for the Arts drama theater on the UB North Campus.

"Walking with 'Trane" is inspired by the late great jazz saxophonist John Coltrane. Local pianist, educator and composer George Caldwell is co-composer of the work and will accompany the dancers.

The evening will be split into two experiences: "Side A" and "Side B."

"Side A: Just a Closer Walk with 'Trane" will look at Coltrane's "essence" in music that echoes with the blues, bebop, free jazz and more. "Side B: "Freed(om)" is called a free-fall suite of states, exploring Coltrane's "A Love Supreme."

Tickets are $40; $20 for students and seniors, available at the arts center box office, by calling 645-2787, or online at ubcfa.org/tickets.

The Urban Bush Women are in a two-week residency from Sept. 23 to Oct. 4 which includes a series of dance and community engagement activities.

A 'Thing' or 'Thing Two'

Also at UB this weekend, students in the Department of Theatre and Dance will present "Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat" in the Katharine Cornell Theatre in the Ellicott Complex on the North Campus.

Families who arrive 30 minutes ahead of time will find cat crafts and coloring pages to pass the time. After the show there will be a chance for kids to have photos taken with cast members.

The 30-minute performances are at 6 p.m. Sept. 27 and at 2 and 6 p.m. Sept. 28. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, children and seniors, all available at the door.

Festival time in East Aurora

Two festivals will be luring arts and crafty types to East Aurora. The Western New York Fiber Arts Festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 28 at the East Aurora Firemen's Field on Pine Street. Admission is $5; kids 12 and younger get in free. Along with fiber and fabric creations, there will be demonstrations and workshops, plus a Kids Make and Take area where young ones can make their own crafts.

The Roycroft Campus Fall Festival is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 28 and 29, bringing more than 50 artists and antique vendors to the Roycroft (5 South Grove St., East Aurora). The event celebrates the Arts and Crafts movement and the community of artists founded by Elbert Hubbard in 1895.

'Springtime for Hitler' in Jamestown

Seventy-five miles south of Buffalo, the Lucille Ball Little Theatre is presenting comedy hit "The Producers," for two weekends. Mel Brooks' adaptation of his 1967 movie tells the story of devious producer Max Bialystock and mild-mannered accountant Leo Bloom, who scheme to bilk investors by putting on the biggest flop in theater history.

The Lucille Ball Little Theatre is billed as the state's longest running community theater company, formed 83 years ago, and renamed for the local comic legend in 1991. The theater is at 18 East 2nd St., and only about three blocks away from the National Comedy Center, if you want to make a day of it.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 27, 28 and Oct. 4 and 5; 2 p.m. on Sept. 29 and Oct. 6. Tickets are $20, available by calling 716-483-1095 in the afternoon or via lucilleballlittletheatre.org, where you also will find directions and suggestions for places to eat or stay during your visit.

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