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Melinda Miller


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The Memorial Day weekend begins with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual patriotic commemoration “An American Salute,” honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and celebrating the nation for which they died. Nashville singer and “X Factor” finalist Rachel Potter will join Pops Conductor John Morris Russell and the BPO Chorus as soloist and narrator for the…

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Let's not wait until the end to sum up: "Dear Evan Hansen" is an extraordinary piece of musical theater, and if you have a chance to see it at Shea's, you should go. The show is the modern-day story of Evan Hansen, a socially inept high school senior who struggles to make friends. His time-stressed mom has him in counseling, and his counselor has him on anti-anxiety dru…

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Five intriguing world premieres are on the menu for the May 18 edition of A Musical Feast at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. The five composers – presented through the University at Buffalo's Creative Arts Initiative – will enjoy the good luck of having their works performed by the Hayley-Laufer Duo, known for its emphasis on bringing contemporary music to world audience…

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"Looking Through Glass," now onstage at Jewish Repertory Theatre of Western New York, is a window into another world. Here the boundaries between life and death become meaningless against the forces of love and faith, and leave us with the question, What happens to an unlived life? It is the story of a young woman who is possessed by the spirit of her dead true love jus…

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Before the joy of his Ninth, before the iconic da-da-da-dum of his Fifth, Beethoven wrote his Symphony No. 3. Though less famous than those later works, the powerful and intricate composition piece rewrote what 19th century Europe thought a symphony could be. Two hundred years later, it maintains its power and will be moving audiences at Kleinhans Music Hall in two perform…

Theater

Time is a funny thing when, all of a sudden, the family ties that held your life together come undone. Three funerals in three years. First Momma, in 1967, then Daddy, in 1968 — the year the city burned — and now baby brother Andre, killed in Vietnam. It is Andre's funeral that has brought the Bradshaw sisters back home to Washington, D.C., and back to the Paul Robeson …

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Zoe V. Scruggs is trying on different costume choices to see what works best under the stage lights. Brian Brown is somewhere behind the curtains, getting a guitar lesson -- his character plays, so he has to learn. Michelle Thomas sits at the piano, organizing the music, while other performers filter in for an evening rehearsal. Everything is coming together -- which…

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It could be interesting to see how much overlap there is between the audiences at two concerts in East Aurora this weekend, one a choral display, the other celebrating the sax. The Freudig Singers of Western New York, an adult chorus directed by Roland E. Martin, closes out its season with a performance at 7:30 p.m. May 4 in Baker Memorial United Methodist Church (345 M…

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Let's put it this way: John Profeta's performance in "Annapurna" is so on point and visceral that, by the time the show has run its 90-minute course at New Phoenix Theatre you've practically forgotten that his character spent the first five or 10 minutes walking around the stage with his bare backside hanging out. Now that's acting! Of course, it would all be for naught…

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Among the spate of openings in local theaters this week are shows dedicated to two iconic Americans, one of them an "accidental" president and the other one of the most successful and prolific singer-songwriters in recent memory. Lundy's one-man show Actor David Lundy will reprise his role as President Harry Truman when he brings "Give 'Em Hell, Harry!" to the Taylor The…

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This week in Buffalo's quaint Johnson Park neighborhood, a theatrical team will be busily finishing construction of a cluttered trailer nestled on a Colorado mountaintop inside the repurposed historic Victorian that houses the New Phoenix Theatre. The messy trailer is the set for "Annapurna," which opens at New Phoenix on April 26. Physically, the transformation will be…

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A celebratory air fills the theater as this year's edition of "Desde el Puente" gets underway in the Manny Fried Playhouse. The Raices Theatre ensemble knows it has something special for its audience. The annual presentation of 10-minute plays, all written, directed and performed by Raices members, traditionally draws from Latinx culture and experience for its themes. T…

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There is nothing subtle about Kyle John Schmidt's play "The Secretary," a satiric sendup of the ongoing and likely never-ending battle over gun ownership in America, performed by the Brazen-Faced Varlets in the Alleyway Theatre's Main Street Cabaret. Schmidt's characters argue over not just the right to carry but also the need to be packing at all times, "just in case." …

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Cole Porter's "Anything Goes," 85 years old this year, long ago transitioned from being a contemporary hit to joining the realm of theatrical standards. Thankfully, though the plot is as creaky as a pair of 85-year-old knees, in the right hands the music, energy and shameless humor of the show can remain fresh, even in their familiarity. And fresh it is in the curren…