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This Week in Buffalo: Throwback to Scorsese, Bone Thugs

Welcome to an edgy, throwback week for Buffalo events. Things that sparked raw emotion in the 1990s can have the same effect decades later, and not everything timeless has to be rainbows and sunshine.

Fans of the iconic Martin Scorsese mob film "Goodfellas" will be thrilled to hear "The Irishman," another Scorsese mafia production with an overlapping cast, just debuted in New York and will be screened in two independent Buffalo theaters – when almost everyone else just gets it on Netflix.

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, the Cleveland collective that won a Grammy in the late '90s and popularized a gritty-meets-melodic style of hip-hop, is in town for a Buffalo gig after visiting Niagara Falls twice in the last five years.

Here's what's on the agenda for Monday through Thursday:

"The Irishman" premieres, 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 at North Park Theatre (1428 Hertel Ave.); runs through Dec. 5. Cost is $10.50 for adults, $7.50 for seniors. The film will also screen at Dipson Amherst Theatre (3500 Main St.) from Nov. 22-28. Update: Dipson Amherst Theatre has added a 7 p.m. show for Nov. 21, too.

Despite its unorthodox release, gangster film "The Irishman" is loaded with familiar star power. Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro act in the Scorsese film, and all fit beautifully in their roles chronicling union boss Jimmy Hoffa's run-ins with the mafia.

Thanks to Buffalo's wealth of independent cinemas, two locations will show the film before it premieres on Netflix Nov. 27, with the North Park on Hertel getting first run on Thursday and Dipson Amherst close behind.

News contributor Christopher Schobert spoke with Ray Barker from North Park and Michael Clement from Dipson about their decision to show the film on a big screen, as well as what makes "The Irishman" different from other high-profile releases.


Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, 7 to 11 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 at Town Ballroom (681 Main St.). Cost is $27.50 plus fees in advance.

This Cleveland rap collective is hip-hop royalty, rising from humble Rust Belt roots to claim a Grammy and remain relevant for more than 25 years. One admittedly weird example of their international fandom: A Japanese fan sold all of his belongings to afford a trip to Cleveland to meet the band, which led to quite the saga.

Bone Thugs have visited the area with some regularity, playing Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls last year and in 2015, with Bizzy Bone – perhaps the best-known solo artist from the group – tackling Iron Works in August. But, from a quick archive search, it appears Bone Thugs-N-Harmony haven't played a full Buffalo show since joining Mary J. Blige at Marine Midland Arena in 1997.


Shea's Shopping Soiree, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 at Shea's Buffalo Theatre (646 Main St.). Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

More than 60 local vendors will congregate in the grand lobby and main stage of Shea's, a glitzy setting for a holiday shopping extravaganza.

A very Buffalo unspoken prerequisite for holiday markets is a bar – one will be stationed on the scene, in addition to food samples to sustain shopping vigor. Given the scarcity of Buffalo events with "soiree" in the title, that reason alone makes this worthy of consideration.

[Related: Full guide to Buffalo holiday markets]


O.A.R., doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 8 on Thursday, Nov. 21 at Rapids Theatre (1711 Main St., Niagara Falls). Tickets are $37.50 plus fees in advance.

Whether on an outdoor stage or in a cozy club, Maryland-based jam band O.A.R. has thrived in the Buffalo area (Artpark especially, so it makes sense they'd come back for a Niagara County gig).

The veteran rock band – armed with nine studio albums dating back to the late '90s – is a well-oiled machine in its live shows, able to roam from newer tracks of this spring's "The Mighty" back to hits from 2005's mega-popular "Stories of a Stranger."

On an interesting and pseudo-unrelated note, O.A.R. sax player Jerry DePizzo is also pushing a burrito chain in his free time. Nice.


Champions for Justice Bash, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 at the Hotel @ the Lafayette (391 Washington St.). Individual tickets are $85, a pair of tickets for $155; full details.

Get dressed up for the annual celebration for the Erie County Bar Association's Volunteer Lawyers Project, an organization that offers free legal service in civil matters to low-income individuals and small not-for-profits.

VLP has pulled out all the stops for the downtown bash, with valet parking, an open bar, food stations and a silent auction, as well as a wine ring toss and the 19th Hole Challenge, a golf putting test with liquor on the line.

Here's a look at the award winners from 2018.


PAL Auction, 5:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center (153 Franklin St.). Cost is $50 in advance.

The Police Athletic League of Buffalo will celebrate six "community change-makers" in local law enforcement, with four lieutenants, a deputy commissioner and one officer set to be honored. For attendees, perks include valet parking, a food buffet and an open bar, plus live and silent auctions, and a performance by jazz saxophonist Will Holton.

The News' Deidre Williams identified the honorees and elaborated on some of the auction items.


Colter Bay's third anniversary, 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 at 561 Delaware Ave. Free to attend.

Colter's transformation three years ago was extreme; the previously homey bar – which had fallen into disrepair – exchanged hands and was rehabilitated extensively to mimic a ski lodge. The food and drinks were upgraded significantly thanks to Mike Shatzel and partners Derek and Jessica Eastwood and Tony Martina, and Colter has also found an identity as an Allentown party bar at night.

The anniversary party will include a complimentary buffet, drink specials and a live performance by Geno McManus, a Buffalo Music Hall of Famer who plays at the bar-restaurant regularly.

[Related: Mac and cheese stands out in Colter Bay dining review | 2008 feature on Geno McManus]


Stone City Saloon grand opening, 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 at 220 Lexington Ave. Free to attend.

There's a new rock-n-roll tavern that replaced Vera Pizzeria on Lexington Avenue, adjacent to Kuni's and across the street from the Place. Owner Kevin Kirby soft-opened Stone City Saloon last month, and Thursday's grand-opening will feature complimentary hors d'oeuvres between 6 and 8 p.m., plus live music by DJ Mike Cutler – who doubles as a bartender at Stone City – from 8 to 11.

Eccentric wall art, a provocative Chuck Tingley mural and a stick-to-your-bones food menu are all reasons to explore the new bar.


We Tell: "Turf" and "Wages of Work," 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19 at Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center (341 Delaware Ave.). Free to attend.

Thanks to the proliferation and improved quality of community-created media, two colossal urban and social issues will be illuminated through an unusual light at this Hallwalls event Tuesday.

Two collections of short documentaries – "Turf," which deals with homelessness, displacement and gentrification, and "Wages of Work," which highlights unemployment and the seeds of political protest – will be screened. The touring event is organized by Louis Massiah, of Scribe Video Center, and Patricia R. Zimmerman, an Ithaca College professor.


Sold out: AJR in Shea's Buffalo Theatre.


5 quick hitters to look forward to this week

Holiday Sip-and-Shop party at 31 Club
97 Rock's Rock Out Hunger with Jickster
Lady Lamb in Rec Room
Nickel City Forum on conscientious objection in medicine
PRSA annual meeting celebration at new Resurgence


5 events to look forward to next weekend

Christmas at the Wurlitzer
Ice at Canalside opens
The Beatles Classical Mystery with BPO
Broadway Market Wine Festival
"Manmade Earth" at Torn Space Theatre/Mickie's Library

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