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Arts Beat

Celebrating the art of women from Western New York

When the great Frida Kahlo died in 1954, The New York Times described her as "wife of Diego Rivera, the noted painter" before saying that Kahlo was 44, had suffered with cancer for several years and then, finally, "She also was a painter." For women artists, recognition has long been a struggle. In recent years, however, the struggle itself is getting more recognition.

See for yourself at "20/20 Vision: Women Artists in Western New York," a major new show at the Castellani Art Museum from Feb. 20 through Aug. 15, featuring works from its own collection and from scores of women artists from the five westernmost counties in the state. The gallery calls this "the largest invitational exhibition of art by women throughout the Western New York region," and it has planned a series of programs and educational events in support of the installation.

The show opens with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Castellani, 5795 Lewiston Road (7 Varsity Drive on the Niagara University campus). Admission to the reception and to the museum is free. Regular museum hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

(You can pair your visit with a performance of the comedy "On the Verge," presented by Niagara University theater students, Thursday through Sunday, in Clet Hall on campus at 20 Vincentian Drive. Showtime varies: it's 7 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 Friday and Saturday, but also 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $8.)

Pour out your troubles

One of the many exciting things about a world premiere is that you never know exactly what you might be getting for your theater ticket. But here are hints: Tatiana Gelfand, who wrote "Scotch and Madness" with Paul Jensen and who directed the production opening Thursday at Alleyway Theatre, posts online a photo of two of the show's actors (could Jamie Nablo be any busier this year?) under the heading: "Who needs sobriety or sanity when you have love?"

The Alleyway website, on the other hand, asks, "Imagine what it’s like to be alone … but surrounded by the inhabitants of your own psyche!" and Broadway World adds that the action takes place at Psychological Counseling Services, with a one-person staff named Fred.

"Scotch and Madness runs through March 14 on the Alleyway Main Stage, 1 Curtain Up Alley (off Main Street, just north of Shea's). Tickets are $38; $20 for students with ID, available at the door and at alleyway.com.

Truckin' off to Kleinhans

The BPO Rocks Series continues this month with a 50th anniversary celebration of Jerry Garcia's 1970 appearance (with his band) performing with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. While that March 1970 jam belongs to the fog of history and other substances, the memory and melodies and extended solos will live on in "The Music of the Grateful Dead," a one-night only show with Florida's noted Dead tribute band Crazy Fingers.

The music begins at 7:30 p.m. or so (this is a Dead concert, after all) on Tuesday, Feb. 25; Tickets start at $39, available online at bpo.org and at the Kleinhans box office, 3 Symphony Circle.

At the Albright annex

Visitors can pick their admission price, or pay nothing at all, to attend an artist talk at the Albright-Knox Northland facility, 612 Northland Ave., on Sunday.

The venue is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day, with the space hosting a conversation about the work of Buffalo's Rodney Taylor from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Annette Daniels Taylor, an artist and poet, will talk about her husband's work with Albright deputy director Joe Lin-Hill. Rodney Taylor was 53 when he died of kidney disease in December, just a few weeks before the opening of the Northland gallery and its first show, "Open House: Domestic Thresholds by Heather Hart, Edra Soto and Rodney Taylor."

The Northland's regular hours are noon to 7 p.m. on Fridays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

BuBu and Hallwalls

Buffalo meets Budapest in the BuBu artists residency program, which is hosting Hungarian musician/artist Lörinc Barabás at Hallwalls at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25.  According to Hallwalls, Barabás is known for bringing listeners together "at the crossroads of jazz and electronica," with a show that "blends dance grooves, meditative moods and all the shades in between." The result? "Unexpected modern tribal landscapes."

Find out exactly what that means for $15 ($12 for students and seniors) at Hallwalls, 341 Delaware Ave., and learn more about the BuBu program at bubuarts.com.

Free afternoon? Free evening?

The Amherst Chamber Ensembles presents an afternoon of "Classical Connections" at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Performing Arts Center of Trinity United Methodist Church, 711 Niagara Falls Boulevard (south of Sheridan, north of Longmeadow), Amherst. This performance includes composition from Mozart, Reicha, Haydn and Schubert, and is free to attend. Donations are welcome. Find out more at acemusic.org.

At 7:30 p.m. that same day, Charles Haupt brings the latest serving of "A Musical Feast" to Westminster Presbyterian Church, 724 Delaware Ave., with music of Brahms and Schubert, and Eubie Blake and Eddie Sauter. Admission here is also free, and again donations will be accepted for the church.

Betsy's back

We will jump ahead a week to notify bingo fans that "Betsy Carmichael's Hawaiian Luau Bingo" will be on stage in Shea's Smith Theatre, 660 Main St., for one long weekend only (we get an extra day because it's leap year). Joey Bucheker once again brings his alter ego to life Feb. 27 through March 1, courtesy of O'Connell & Company. Tickets are $30, general admission, through sheas.org.

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