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On paper, a play called “A Time to Kill” does not lure you to a dinner theater. It sounds bloody and venomous, hardly fitting for bread baskets and side salads. But there’s more than meets the eye at Desiderio's Dinner Theatre. Whatever notions you might have about what a dinner theater can and should be, producer-director Jay Desiderio often validates and extends. T…

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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…

Buffalo

It was his first time on stage, but when actor Jesse L. Martin played Scrooge at the former Campus West School, he gave it everything he had. “My little fifth-grade self acted up a storm. I’m sure I overacted, but I was amazing. Somehow, I knew I would end up in New York City, and it started here in this school. Buffalo gave me everything as a kid,” Martin said Friday d…

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"Tootsie," a musical based on the Tony nominated play, will launch its national tour in Shea's Buffalo Theatre in the fall of 2020. Specific dates and ticket information will be announced. However, "Tootsie" will be in Buffalo the month before opening for technical rehearsals as part of a state tax credit program. Other shows at Shea's that benefited from this program a…

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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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"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…

Food and Drink

It's tough to over-emphasize the importance of "local." Supporting Buffalo businesses, events and people is absolutely crucial to the city's economy, well-being and growth. Like every week, local events are at the root of this list, with a chance to support farmers and other producers, artists, actors and restaurateurs all detailed below. Giving back to the community n…

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“Fun Home” is a glorious musical. Indeed, this exquisite show reminds us why musical theater exists. When the need for the characters to express themselves reaches the limits of speech, their thoughts and emotions overflow into song. And in this intriguing story, adapted by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori from Alison Bechdel's graphic memoir, also called “Fun Home,” speech fr…

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Food trucks are virtually omnipresent in Buffalo, popping up in business parks, outside hotels, at the heart of neighborhoods and more. But one place where they're not typically found? Amusement parks. That changes on Saturday, when Fantasy Island hosts its own Food Truck Festival. The Grand Island entertainment site changed hands in 2016, despite major upgrades the yea…

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Seasoned beef on a bed of shredded sharp cheese, with tomato, sour cream and hot sauce. One hard shell and one soft. Or fish, with slaw and citrus. Or maybe fresh cooked black beans, yum. That’s how I like my tacos. Food preferences are a funny thing. I know of exactly one person who doesn’t like tacos, and it’s because of physics – eating a thing that contains smaller …

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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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It’s not often that a performance begins with a standing ovation, but here we are. That’s the level of anticipation that awaited Ujima Theatre’s founder and artistic director, Lorna C. Hill, as she greeted the opening night house of the musical “Passing Strange,” which she directed. As one might expect, there were some delays getting this first show off the ground: a ne…