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Randy Schiff


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The weather, as we in Buffalo know more than most, can often change even the best-laid plans. No matter how much you may want to go somewhere, sometimes nasty weather simply makes you stay put. A snowstorm produces just such suspension of travel plans in the debut production from Navigation Theatre Company, the enjoyable “The Kindness of Strangers.” With all trains havi…

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Often, we stress ourselves out by trying to be perfect. Life can be challenging and scary, and we sometimes add to the pressure by worrying about getting everything absolutely right. Many of us could benefit, it seems, from friendship with an easygoing, hipster cat who teaches valuable life lessons about chilling out and just enjoying the rock 'n' roll jam that life can be…

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For many people, their religious upbringing will always be a crucial part of who they are—no matter how religious they may be. And while religion sometimes brings people together, it can also tear them apart. Heather Fangsrud’s “Knock Knock, Jesus Calling” explores how one gay woman’s story is shaped by having grown up as a Jehovah’s Witness. Written by Fangrsud, direct…

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“Love’s Labour’s Lost” is one of Shakespeare’s strangest, yet most rewarding comedies. Featuring a group of young aristocratic men who swear off women to pursue scholarship for three years, the play initially seems to be making a typical movement from wooing obstacles to erotic coupling. Even as the audience giggles at the antics of rustic clowns and overexcited suitors, i…

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It's no wonder William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” is so famous and beloved. “Hamlet” provides all the ingredients of a thrilling plot, while offering some of literature’s most breathtaking poetry and philosophical reflection. In Shakespeare’s paranoid Denmark, young love is throttled by fear, and friends are driven to become enemies, while a melancholic prince rages against a …

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Community can sometimes be forged in unlikely places. In the absorbing and beautifully staged “The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey,” presented by Buffalo United Artists, audiences will witness how one community was forever changed by the loss of a vibrant and unique teenager. What is especially marvelous is how that community is staged: in a riveting one-man perfo…

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“The Life and Death of King John” is one of William Shakespeare’s least frequently produced plays. The play’s unpopularity may be due to the fact that it ignores the two things John is best known for—being the bad king in Robin Hood stories, and the tyrant forced to sign Magna Carta. “King John” is also not well served by its subject matter being disconnected by almost two…

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In the 1980s, Choose Your Own Adventure books freed readers from fixed storylines. Instead of passively accepting a single, unfolding plot, readers made decisions that moved them to different parts of the book, with each choice shaping an individualized storyline. Updating this interactive concept with digital technology, “Bandersnatch” offers a television adventure tha…

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The time has come to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s cinematic masterpiece, “2001: A Space Odyssey.” From its riveting depiction of primitive humanity’s violent discovery of tools to its sublime vision of an advanced civilization’s mystical journey to Jupiter, “2001” holds viewers spellbound like no other film. Perhaps the clearest sign of the film’s br…

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Silo City is the backdrop for another uniquely Buffalo art experience on Aug. 18. Bringing together poets, musicians, performers and publishers, the event is a multi-media collaboration co-hosted by Just Buffalo, Torn Space Theatre and Foundlings Press. Describing the happening as a “micro-arts festival” where visitors can “pop in and out” of events as they choose, Just…

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If you’ve been enthralled by the Sabres selecting Swedish defensive phenomenon Rasmus Dahlin, why not consider streaming some superb Swedish programming? With edgy police drama, thrilling Stieg Larsson films and first-rate actors like Martin Wallström of “Mr. Robot,” Sweden offers a smorgasbord of fine viewing fare. You would do well to start your Swedish journey by binge-…

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If you desire atmospheric horror with thoughtful pacing and picturesque scenery, then travel to the frightening French mountains of “The Chalet.” Dwelling on the fatal combination of passion, infidelity and contempt, “The Chalet” creates a complex and remarkable tale. Title: "The Chalet" Year it began: 2018 Where it can be seen: Netflix Who’s in it: Chloé Lambe…

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If you seek a riveting period drama that mixes political intrigue with sensuous depictions of decadent nightlife, then travel to 1929 to binge-watch “Babylon Berlin.” With its perfectly paced mystery and big-budget production, “Babylon Berlin” offers a compelling and complex portrait of a volatile society. Title: “Babylon Berlin” Year it began: 2017 Where it can b…

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If you yearn for an epic production of the world’s literally most epic love story, then set sail to see “Troy: Fall of a City.” Telling us the torrid tale of the elopement that rocked the ancient West, “Troy” offers both furious battle and passionate romance. Title: “Troy: Fall of a City” Year it began: 2018 Where it can be seen: Netflix, BBC Who’s in it: Louis…

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If you desire a lavishly filmed period drama that is serious about both passion and politics, then journey to France to binge-watch “Versailles.” Featuring what is surely the most magnificent collection of hair-dos ever assembled in a television series, “Versailles” offers a sumptuous and thrilling look at the history of Louis XIV, the Sun King. Title: “Versailles” Y…