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This Week in Buffalo: A howling Halloween

Still have an appetite for more Halloween after the weekend's robust parties at the Statler, Thin Man Chandler and in RiverWorks? Good, because the calendar doesn't slow down as we speed toward Thursday – Halloween itself.

Many Halloween parties present the same entertainment – prizes for best costume, themed drinks and food, and dancing to spooky music – so the setting becomes especially important in narrowing down where to go. Is it naturally spooky? Is it unusual? Keep these factors in mind.

Hip-hop Halloween, doors at 6 p.m., show from 7 to 9 on Thursday, Oct. 31 at the Tabernacle at Sweet_ness 7 Cafe (211 Lafayette Ave.). Cover is $5 at the door.

The brilliant paintings that adorn the walls and ceiling of the Tabernacle should complement costumed event-goers, creating a maelstrom of color and a visual spectacle for all. (And, with the news that owner Prish Moran would be stepping down from Sweet_ness 7, there might be additional allure in paying homage to her decade-plus of dedication).

The Tabernacle has become sort of a local underground haven for local musicians, regardless of genre. For Thursday, the hip-hop acts slotted are Suskingbrad of Freak the Miighty, the Miserable Genius, Desiree Kee, WizzleDaWzrd and Skoob. Be_Daylight will emcee the festivities.

[Photos: Look around the Tabernacle by Sweet_ness 7]


Monster Ball, 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, at Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar (253 Allen St.). No cost to attend.

Duke's snugly fits the spirit of Halloween; it's dark, open deep into the night and attracts quite an array of characters, depending on the event.

Three house DJs – Charles Masters, Charlie the Butcher (not the legendary beef carver) and the Incredible Scott Down – will spin, while a $500 prize for best costume is on the line, plus giveaways galore. As it has in past years, the Monster Ball doubles as Duke's fall beer sale, as the Allen bar clears out its inventory.

For those looking to double dip – or experience Duke's and another Halloween events, there's also Beggars Night (9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, also free) which doles out a $200 prize for best costume.

[Related: Duke's to take over old Exchange on Allen]


Halloween at Misuta Chow's, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, at 521 Main St. No cost to attend.

There's blood on the pink staircase! (Not really. Well, not yet). Just like Duke's and the Tabernacle, Misuta Chow's Tokyo-alley vibe can be easily adapted into a Halloween-friendly atmosphere. The pink stairs are already off to a scary start.

Okie Rich guides emboldened singers through "Scary-okie," while horror films will play on Misuta Chow's big-screen and customized spooky cocktails and Rogue beer specials are additional perks. Maybe even Pac-Man, who dwells on the second floor, will be in costume.

[Related: How a metal musician came to open Misuta Chow's | Get a feel for the bar-restaurant]


Taking Back Sunday, 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, at Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.). Second show follows the next day. Tickets are $35 in advance.

Adam Lazzara and Taking Back Sunday announced their intention to play back-to-back nights in RiverWorks a whopping eight months ago. That's a long time to build anticipation, especially for a band that visits at least once annually (Kerfuffle last year, Rapids Theatre, Artpark and Town Ballroom before that). Hey, maybe the fans can't get enough!

The premise for the 20th anniversary show is pretty cool: TBS will play its debut album, "Tell All Your Friends," in full both nights. Whether "Where You Want to Be" or "Louder Now" is the second set is another matter; a coin flip on the first night will determine which album is performed which night. ranked all 89 TBS songs from worst to best, if you have some time on your hands.


43North Finals, 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, at Shea's Buffalo Theatre (646 Main St.). Tickets are free but must be reserved.

By Wednesday, the brightest ideas in American's startup culture will be trimmed to 10. The masterminds of these business plans will present their cases live at Shea's in front of a panel for a share in $5 million of investment.

Interestingly, eight of the 10 finalists will receive some investment; the overall winner pulls in $1 million. Just one of the final 16 is based out of Buffalo, although all winners are required to stay in the Queen City for at least one year.

Read a short intro on all of the finalists, plus Matt Glynn's overview of the competition.


Heaven & Hell Halloween, 8 p.m. – music starts at 10 – on Thursday, Oct. 31, at Thin Man Brewery (492 Elmwood Ave.). No cost to attend.

This won't be your ordinary Halloween party: Thin Man will be decorated to resemble hell on the first floor and heaven upstairs, with three cover bands prepared to entertain all sorts of beasts in costume. There will be a contest, of course, so take your attire seriously.

Slow Animals (The Strokes), A Word that Rhymes with Pavement (Pavement) and Alex McArthur - Her Band (Stevie Wonder) will all play the downstairs "hell" stage.


Two prime movie choices

Original "Halloween," 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 29-30, at the Screening Room Cinema & Arts Cafe (1265 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst). Tickets are $7. You have to respect the choice to show the OG "Halloween," which dates back to 1978 and stars Jamie Lee Curtis.

Thursday Night Terrors' "The Lost Boys," 7 and 9:35 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31 at Dipson Amherst Theatre (3500 Main St.). Tickets are $7 in advance. Funny meets scary in this 1987 Halloween thriller, in which mean-spirited vampires – led by none other than Kiefer Sutherland – have seized control of a California town, alongside bike gangs. (Too bad a sequel wasn't created where the vampires were in the bike gangs).

[More: Final two films in TNT's season]


Andy Grammer, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, at Town Ballroom (681 Main St.). Tickets are $33 plus fees.

It's official: Andy Grammer is a Buffalo favorite. The pop singer-songwriter has headlined Starry Night in the Garden twice in the last five years and sold out a more intimate show a year ago on Rec Room's opening weekend.

The Los Angeles native released his most recent studio album, "Naive," a month after the Star 102.5 show, and it peaked at No. 29 on the Billboard 200. On a personal note, he and his wife are expecting their second child, the artist posted on Instagram earlier in October.


"Toxic Avenger" by Second Generation Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, at Shea's Smith Theatre (658 Main St.). Tickets are $35 in advance; production runs through Nov. 10.

Oooh, a comic book comedy! Reviewer Ben Siegel took a liking to this unusual Second Generation Theatre production, which is not for the overly sensitive. "Toxic Avenger" takes pride in its utter ridiculousness – in the music, especially – a change-of-direction for the theater company, whose recent efforts, "Nine" and "Angels in America, Part I," were more serious in their subject matter.


Halloween events for families at malls, libraries

Trunk-or-Treat at Grand Island Memorial Library, Monday.
Trunk-or-Treat at Niagara Recreation, Monday.
Trick-or-Treat at the Boulevard Mall, Tuesday.
Spooktacular Night at the Library, Town of Tonawanda - Kenmore branch. Tuesday.
Galleria of Treats at the Walden Galleria, Wednesday.


More adult Halloween parties to keep in your noggin'

Coles Fright Night Halloween Party
Gore N Glow Halloween at VENU
Halloween Axetravaganza at Hatchets & Hops
Halloween Expedition in EXPO Market
Halloween party at the Biergarten at Orchard Park


Sold out: Harry Potter Halloween with live owls at the Elma Library, Wednesday.


5 quick hitters for this week

Evening with an Icon: Mary Wilson at History Museum
WKBW's "War of the Worlds": Legacy Continues at Aurora Theatre
'80s Rad Prom Gone Bad at Rusty Nickel
Buffalo News' Subscriber Extra press tour
Way Down Wanderers and PA Line at Iron Works


5 events to look forward to this weekend

Albright-Knox Art Gallery's closing weekend
Rufus Wainwright at Babeville
Simple Plan, State Champs at Rapids Theatre
Taking Back Sunday, Part II at RiverWorks
Presidential All-Black Affair at Niagara Falls Conference & Event Center


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