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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…

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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…

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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…

The national touring production of “The Book of Mormon,” currently at Shea’s, maintains the cheeky fun of the original with admirable freshness and an excellent cast. Indeed, seeing this show again reminded me just how good it feels to give yourself over to unbridled laughter. “The Book of Mormon” tells the story of a pair of mismatched 19-year old Mormon missionaries, …

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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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The plays of William Shakespeare are an obsession for scholars and a passion for audiences, but relatively little is known about the man’s personal life and personality. Playwright Bill Cain taps into the enduring fascination, bringing Shakespeare fully to life in his play, “Equivocation,” now at the Kavinoky Theatre. In “Equivocation,” Shakespeare is a passionate man, …

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There’s a lot to like about “The Undeniable Sound of Right Now,” Laura Eason’s entertaining and thoughtful play now at Road Less Traveled Theater. It touches on relevant topics of gentrification, family struggle, small-business ownership, and the most timeless subjects of them all: rock 'n' roll. Read Jeff Miers’s fantastic article about the play’s resonance in Buffalo’…

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The craving to see something before anyone else is a repeatedly proven part of human nature. Take the sold-out opening night of "Avengers: Endgame," the frenzied soft openings of anticipated Buffalo bars and restaurants, or the music fans who register for the oddest of fan clubs in order to access presale concert tickets. For those who've watched the gradual rise of the…

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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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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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There’s a scene in Jim Sheridan’s darkly eloquent 1990 film “The Field,” in which Bull McCabe (Richard Harris) stands at the water’s edge with his herder’s crook in hand, screaming “Get back!” at the incoming tide. Harris is fighting the encroaching thrust of industrialization and the consequent decimation of his farm and family life in rural 1930s Ireland, but the them…

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The idea to produce the musical, “1776,” with an all-female cast proves to be delightful, and even mischievously subversive, at O’Connell & Company in Snyder. The 1969 show tells the story of John Adams’ campaign to persuade members of the Continental Congress to sign the Declaration of Independence. The somewhat fictionalized tale gains a boost of contemporary relevan…

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That feeling when you leave a show and you’re not quite sure what you just saw, but you know you liked it. You might even love it, but still, you don’t know why. Just that it spoke to you, and for the rest of the night, you’re still listening. This is exactly the feeling I had after seeing “Late in the Evening,” the latest from director-choreographer Michael Walline, no…