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The Weekend in WNY: Laughs, craft beer and roller derby

Name a better trio for surviving a (dismally wet) early January weekend: laughs, craft beer and roller derby.

All three are on tap for Buffalo this weekend, with self-deprecating Jim Gaffigan amusing the KeyBank Center audience on Sunday. See what else is ahead.

Jim Gaffigan, 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12 at KeyBank Center. Tickets are $31.25 to $55.25.

Thanks to the celebrated comedian's hologram recording at the National Comedy Center in 2018, News enterprise reporter Tim O'Shei was able to get to know the many quirks of Gaffigan, from his self-deprecatory approach to comedy and his feelings on whales.

Gaffigan's 2016 performance here left lingering memories; revisit Bruce Andriatch's review.

• • •

Buffalo on Tap, two sessions: 1 to 4 p.m., 6:30 to 9:30 on Saturday, Jan. 11 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center (153 Franklin St.). Tickets are $40 general admission, $60 for first session VIP – second session VIP has sold out; full ticket details.

Buffalo on Tap – what we in the office dub "the big beer festival" – takes over the second floor of the convention center with brewers from all over the globe pouring samples of more than 100 beers. Don't worry, there's a substantial Buffalo presence, too, in case you just need to sip a Hayburner in a different environment.

Read more about the event in our preview of January's top food-and-drink happenings.

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Polish Happy Hour, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10 at 33 Speakeasy (3455 Genesee St., Cheektowaga). Free to attend.

January marks one of the busiest Polish Happy Hour events of the year; the local community organization hosts its 98th event, in 33 Speakeasy – where there's plenty of elbow room for activities.

Free admission, free Polish food and DJ Janek are the draws, while there's a nice array of Polish beverages for purchase.

[Photos: Smiles at Polish Happy Hour Independence Day party]

• • •

Queen City Roller Girls' season opener, 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10 at Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.). General admission is $15 in advance, $5 for kids 12 and under.

The local roller derby organization, Queen City Roller Girls, returns its house team competition for 2020 with a rematch of last year's title bout between the Alley Kats and the Saucies. The latter won in a nail-biter, 158-144, to mark its third win over the same foe.

The Alley Kats will be hungry for revenge in a new campaign. The Devil Dollies are the third house team for QCRG, while the Lake Effect Furies represent Buffalo in the WFTDA travel league.

[Feature: Deep look into 2019 QCRG]

• • •

Miss Buffalo Scholarship Competition, 7 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11 at Shea's 710 Theatre (710 Main St.). Tickets are $20 in advance.

Who will follow in the shoes of the 2019 Miss Buffalo, Taisha St. Jean? The new representative will be crowned Saturday after four stages – talent, interview, red carpet and on-stage question – as well as an elaboration on their supported charities.

The winner of Miss Buffalo will also be eligible for the Miss New York competition, which typically runs in the early summer.

• • •

Elvis Presley Birthday with Terry Buchwald, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11 at Polish Cadets (927 Grant St.). Cost is $18.

Elvis Presley would have turned 85 years old on Jan. 8, and even 42 years after his death, the King of Rock N Roll is still the king.

Terry Buchwald, an Elvis impersonator for more than two decades, was selected to the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2017 and will spearhead this Polish Cadets party. There will be birthday cake and a complimentary coffee bar.

• • •

Art events to know

Stay Gold at Burchfield Penney Art Center, 4 to 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10 at 1300 Elmwood Ave. Free to attend.

This annual art celebration pairs local artists with live sets by a slew of recognizable musicians. See the full schedule of performers, with Tough Old Bird, Carmen & Lizzy and heave in tow.

Stitch Buffalo, Locust Street Art and Peach Mag are other participating organizations. Don't miss BPAC's debut of Poetic Cafe, which is less about food than you might think.

• • •

Hotel Henry Winter Exhibition, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10 at Rockwell and Cleveland. No cost to attend.

A major art trend has been site-specific installations, where artists begin with a compelling location – Silo City has been popular, vacant high schools and warehouses, too – and then present an exhibition or performance that complements the setting.

The Resource:Art duo of Emily Tucker and Elisabeth Samuels embraces the grandeur of Hotel Henry through working with other artists; painter/sculptor Duayne Hatchett's work leads visitors up the main stairs, while Kari Achatz's exhibition takes over the East Wing Corridor.

[Related: Read more about this exhibition in Arts Beat]

• • •

Katie Bell exhibition opening, 8 to 11 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10 at Hallwalls (341 Delaware Ave.). No cost listed.

Escape from reality – exactly what you need in the first half of January. Abstract art excels at pulling the viewer away from the here-and-now, and that's the premise of Katie Bell's interpretation of objects, place and meaning. The gallery is interactive; you won't just stare at paintings, you'll amble about through a provocative setup.

• • •

Swing Buffalo anniversary with Vintage Jazz Collective, 8 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11 at Ukrainian-American Civic Center (205 Military Road). Admission is $15 at the door.

The warm, inclusive community of Swing Buffalo celebrates a milestone with a visit from Rochester by Vintage Jazz Collective, which will deliver dance-friendly renditions of George Manning's works.

Bring a little extra cash for Mrs. H's authentic pierogi from the civic center's kitchen.

Grab bag of other choices

Snow Roll XIV at the Landmark on Pearl
MicroMania Film Festival at Squeaky Wheel
Zak Ward Trio at Gene McCarthy's
Horsefeathers Winter Market opening day
'80s Live Band Karaoke in Rec Room
'90s Prom Party in New York Beer Project
Bass Terminal: Dalek One in DNIPRO
"The Goonies" shown at Shea's Buffalo
Niagara Ice Wine Festival begins in Ontario

SOLD OUT: Trevor Noah in Shea's Buffalo; Full Moon Owl Prowl at Tifft; Strictly Hip residency at the Tralf.

SMOOTHIE TIP: Tropical Smoothie Cafe, at 4900 Transit Road in Depew, will celebrate its half birthday with 99-cent smoothies from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, plus a giveaway each hour for free smoothies for a year.


Gusto Vinyl Happy Hour: Derek & the Dominos at Sportsmens
WNY Refugee Film Festival at Journey's End
InfoTech Winter Bash at Hearth + Press
Deep-Fried II: Comedy Showcase at Central Park Grill
Community Celebration for MLK at Central Library


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