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Randy Schiff


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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…

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If you desire thought-provoking science fiction in standalone episodes, then locate an electronic viewing unit to binge-watch “Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams.” Featuring stylized visions of the future, the eerie and imaginative “Electric Dreams” will install itself under your skin. Title: "Electric Dreams" Year it began: 2017 Where it can be seen: Amazon Prime …

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If you seek a gripping Western, then travel back to 1880s New Mexico territory to see the stunning miniseries, “Godless.” With sublime landscapes and unhurried storytelling, “Godless” offers a compelling tale of outlaws, lawmen and fiercely independent women. Title: "Godless" Year it began: 2017 Where it can be seen: Netflix Who’s in it: Jeff Daniels, Jack O’Co…

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If you seek action-packed drama about ancient conquest and colonization, then travel back in time and space to “Britannia.” Imagining the Roman conquest of Britain, “Britannia” vividly portrays a Roman invading army and the bitterly divided Celts whom they overran. Title: "Britannia" Year it began: 2018 Where it can be seen: Amazon Prime Who’s in it: David Morr…

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If you seek moody cyberpunk laced with violent action and passion, then transport yourself into the dark future of “Altered Carbon.” Featuring Joel Kinnaman as a resurrected super-agent wearing a new bodily skin, “Altered Carbon” offers edgy and entertaining science fiction. Title: "Altered Carbon" Year it began: 2018 Where it can be seen: Netflix Who’s in it: …