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Colin Dabkowski

Colin Dabkowski is a digital editor for The Buffalo News. Before that, he was The News' arts critic, responsible for covering visual art and theater in Western New York.


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A well-dressed crowd of actors, directors, designers and die-hard theater fans converged on Shea's 710 Main Theatre on June 4 for the 2017-18 Artie Awards. The annual celebration of Buffalo's diverse and hyperactive theater community is as much about community-building and collective celebration as about the individual actors and productions singled out for praise. W…

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There is perhaps no more idyllic picture of post-industrial decay in America than Silo City, a sprawling complex of dormant grain silos and rusted warehouses along the Buffalo River that has been revived by artists, architects, musicians, poets and citizens seeking new adventures in ancient surroundings. All of this is thanks to Buffalo businessman and cultural impresar…

Art

By 1998, Allentown was primed for an alternative to its eponymous art festival. Complaints about the festival's perceived persecution of Allentown shop owners had reached a fever pitch. The same went for criticism about organizers' opposition to musicians, buskers and other performers who naturally gravitate toward large crowds of people. "God forbid," News columnist…

Art

Back in 2000, it was shepherd's crooks. Other years it was bedazzled lawn sprinklers. There may be no accounting for taste, but we can try to account for trends. You can never quite predict exactly what the latest, hottest items at the Allentown Art Festival will be until you spot them in the crowd on festival weekend. But, based on recent trends, Allentown Villa…

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Playwright Tania Wisbar was born into crisis in 1937 Berlin. "The Red Dress," her chilling if overwrought play about the Nazi party's insidious rise to power, is her attempt to process that crisis into a crucial lesson about how fanaticism takes hold. The play, produced by Hollywood producer Jonathan Sanger, opened May 31 in the New Phoenix Theatre, where it runs thr…

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Tania Wisbar knows from experience how fascism takes root. She understands how it spreads its tendrils slowly into every corner of a vulnerable society. And she has a dire warning for area theatergoers, packaged in a play called "The Red Dress": It can happen here, too. Born in Berlin in 1937, Wisbar was the product of an unlikely relationship between her mother, …

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Time was that Buffalo's Pride celebration was concentrated into a couple of frenzied weekend days of parades and revelry. In recent years, though, the festival's organizers have made a concerted effort to turn what was once a pair of parades and a few accoutrements into a weeklong celebration of Buffalo's LGBTQ culture. The week started May 29 with a flag-raising in …

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If your dance moves are feeling a little tired, the Buffalo Museum of Science has just the thing for you: A dance festival based on the dank stylings and cutting-edge movements of intestinal bacteria. The institution is hosting a four-day dance and art festival based on the human microbiome – that is, the diverse community of living bacteria that inhabit the human body …

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You need to hear "La Lupe." And because grainy YouTube clips and forays into the mostly forgotten catalogue of this irrepressible Cuban singer can only prove so rewarding, the best way to do that is to get to Manny Fried Playhouse sometime before June 10. There you'll find the similarly irrepressible Melinda Capeles channeling the rasping, cackling, impossibly energe…

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For veterans across the country, the challenges of their time in combat zones often linger long after they return home. Though the plight of many veterans to re-enter society has been well-documented in the media, it's rare to hear directly from former soldiers about the struggles they face on the home front. That will change for Western New Yorkers this fall, when a…

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"Mean Girls," a musical based on the popular 2004 comedy film, will launch its national tour at Shea's Performing Arts Center in late 2019. Tina Fey, who wrote the book for the musical, made the announcement in mid-May to a crowd gathered at the Broadway League's annual Spring Road Conference in New York City. "The 750 industry members in the room burst into applause…

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Another sculptural tribute to the flowing waters of the Niagara River will be installed in downtown Niagara Falls in late June. Following the controversial installation of Jeff Laramore's $600,000 steel sculpture on Centennial Circle last year, a smaller piece by Buffalo sculptor Jesse Walp will soon rise on Old Falls Street. The 14-foot-wide, 26-foot-tall structure …

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Every day in May before dawn, Mathias Svalina rises from his bed in a Main Street hostel, packs his bag with 37 pink, hand-addressed envelopes and sets out into the sleeping city. On his 1985 Raleigh Kodiak bicycle, he pedals past potholes and winds through dimly lit parkways. Sometimes he stops to admire the spiders, foxes, rabbits and deer that crawl across the city's…

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Road Less Traveled Theatre is moving to one of the less traveled stretches of road in Buffalo. Just three years after decamping from its longtime home in the former Market Arcade Film and Arts Center for a cavernous space at 500 Pearl Street, the ambitious local theater company will spend the summer building a new home in a former shoe store on a carless block of Main S…

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It's not often that an art gallery based in Paris sets up shop in an abandoned Rust Belt gymnasium. Actually, it has likely never happened before. But on May 17, Buffalonians and New York City-based art aficionados will be on hand for the opening of an exhibition mounted by Paris-based Galerie PACT featuring work by the American painter Michael Bevilacqua. Why Buffal…