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May 11, 2022 - 9:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, le roy hs, news, arts, entertainment.

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Cast members of the Le Roy production of the Musical Newsies competed recently in a "Stars of Tomorrow" competition hosted by the Rochester Broadway Theater League and two of them are still in the running for a possible trip to New York City, Principal David Russell told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

Stars of Tomorrow is a workshop and competition open to high school musical performers from throughout the Greater Rochester Area.

Evan Williams and Nate Yauchzee were selected to participate in the next round, which broadway professionals judge at RBTL on May 26.

"If they are moved on from there, they actually win a trip to New York City, where they will have a great experience with the Broadway performances that go on down there," Russell said.

For more on the competition, click here, where you can also cast your vote for "fan favorite."

Photos: File photos by Howard Owens.

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Nate Yauchzee

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Evan Williams

May 9, 2022 - 10:09pm

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It began as an ax-throwing event at Eli Fish Brewery on Main Street and morphed into an indoor and outdoor carnival with live music, magical entertainment and assorted carnival-type food, Sydney Carli says.

And the first-ever Eli Fish Brewery Carnival was born.

The City Council approved the event Monday. It is set for 4 to 10 p.m. on June 11 at the brewery and in Jackson Square.

“I’m really excited; it should be a really fun day,” Carli, the event manager, said Sunday to The Batavian. “We’re trying to get pop-up tents for people to sell their crafts and art. It would be awesome to get as many as we can; it’s for anyone who wants to sell their stuff.”

Ax-throwing made the cut, so to speak, in the line-up of activities, and that will be available at the brewery, 109 Main St., Batavia. Craft vendors, a dunk tank and fortune-teller, corn dogs, Italian sausage, Sage Farms maple cotton candy and “delicious frozen maple drinks,” a return of Matty’s Pizza, plus a fun magician book-ended by live bands, including Jim E. Leggs Trio Noah Gokey. The trio, named after a popular phrase coined by Kramer in the TV comedy Seinfeld -- "Jimmy legs" --  is described as "somewhat of a hybrid band ranging from a Latin-infused take on Nat King Cole's Nature Boy to updated arrangements of The Beatles, Steely Dan and Sting. The musicians offer an upbeat, fun and varied mix of Jazz, R&B and Pop that will lift your spirits, their website states. Noah Gokey is an eclectic indie rock band billed as a diverse blend of sounds from folk, blues, country, and jazz to reggae and heavy metal. 

“It’s a really cool opportunity to have a carnival, go and have some drinks, listen to music and see magic acts,” Carli said. “It’s an awesome day where people can come and eat, drink and have fun.”

Craft beers and Eli Fish food, plus the maple treats, will be available for purchase. GLOW Out is also having an event that day, and she is hoping that people will head over to the square to finish their Saturday at the carnival.

(GLOW OUT! plans to host a parade and festival from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 11, beginning on Alva Place and ending in the Batavia City Centre parking lot. For more information, call GO Art! at (585) 343-9313.) 

Tickets for the carnival will go on sale soon at EventBrite.com, Carli said. For vendors interested in reserving a spot, email [email protected]

May 9, 2022 - 5:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Chorale, arts, music, entertainment, news.

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Life is a journey, and where we wind up often depends on the roads we choose, hence among the most memorable words ever written come from Robert Frost, "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood ..."

Paths taken, and those not taken, is the theme of the next Genesee Chorale program to be performed at 4 p.m., Sunday, May 15, at Elba Central School, 57 South Main St., Elba.

In the performance, the Chorale tells the tale of the Traveler in the coming of age story of the "Prodigal Son," the traveler in the Monomyth, the "Hero’s Journey Quest Story." The traveler appears in stories of discovery and adventure. The traveler also trods the journey within, reflectively traveling a path to find love, peace, and spiritual fulfillment in the "Winding Road of Life."

Musical selections for this performance also include some well-known favorites like "The Impossible Dream" and "You'll Never Walk Alone," recognizable hits from "The Greatest Showman" and "The Lion King," as well as new choral works by John Rutter, Ysave Barnwell, John Leavitt, and others. 

"This concert will take the audience on the journey of life," said publicist Janine Fagnan, "from when we first step out onto life's path, through all the moments and experiences that it can throw at us until we finally come home and can reflect on the journey."

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased from any Genesee Chorale member, on the website at geneseechorale.com/box-office, or at the door. 

This program is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrant program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council. 

Photo: File photo from 2018

May 7, 2022 - 4:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Marc Berger, music, arts, entertainment, news.

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Marc Berger performed music of the American West today at the Richmond Memorial Library.

April 30, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in ABBAmania, music, arts, entertainment, news, Batavia Downs.

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ABBAmania, Canada's top ABBA tribute band, played Batavia Downs on Friday night, with a Cher tribute artist opening the show.

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April 30, 2022 - 12:27am

Press release:

We are honored to be partnering with Batavia Downs gaming to host the first of its kind fundraising concert that will benefit our local UMMC Hospital (Rochester Regional Health), our new YMCA, Strong Memorial Hospital and research at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.

Now in its fifth year as a concert venue, Batavia Downs has been averaging about 3000 to 5000 concertgoers per show as part of their Rockin The Downs Concert Series. Although our Concert is not part of this series and tickets must be purchased separately, we are hoping to draw the same kind of crowd with our Nationally recognized headliner Bruce In The USA and local guests including 97 Rock’s Dave “DJ” Jickster and Comedian Nick Marra. As an added bonus from our friends at Batavia Downs everyone that buys a ticket will receive a $15 free play. . “Wouldn’t it be amazing if a bunch of the concertgoers went back inside at the end of the night and won lots of money, with their free play”?

This concert will be the largest event that we have ever attempted and we are very excited to bring so many people together for yet another fun fundraising event. Sponsorship opportunities include special seating, tickets to the show, $30 of free play, signage, verbal promotion, and shout-outs during the concert. For more information about our three sponsorship tiers, visit RickyPalermoFoundation.

Tickets are selling nicely so if you want to look into joining our concert you can go to my site www.RickyPalermofoundation.org OR go to EVENTS while looking at the Batavia Downs concerts. You could also look for our QR code, which will also guide you to the information needed to buy tickets.

Special thanks to Batavia Downs CEO Henry Wojtaszek, Concert Manager Ryan Hasenauer, Kathy Paradowski and so many others who have been great to work with.

April 27, 2022 - 11:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake, business, Darien, entertainment.

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Regional media got a first look at the still-under-construction Wahoo Wave at Six Flags Darien Lake on Wednesday morning.

The 60-foot-tall thrill slide will rank as one of the tallest water rides in Hurricane Harbor.

The ride features a 30-foot vertical plunge.

First, riders will barrel down an enclosed tunnel slide, twisting around tight turns and slipping and sliding downward for 30 feet. Then they will drop three stories into Wahoo Wave’s signature feature, a huge water wave wall. Riders slide vertically up the wall and let gravity pull them back down with weightlessness into the splash pool below

The Wahoo Wave includes a twist through a hairpin turn, followed by a corkscrew, and then without warning, riders in four-person tubes will plunge down a three-story drop.

Darien Lake management promises an "adrenaline-packed adventure that will send riders into near-vertical motions to experience extended hang times and zero g-forces."

The thrill wave is scheduled to open when the park opens on Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 28, 2022.

Photos by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service

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April 25, 2022 - 10:44pm
Video Sponsor
Video: 2019 Ramble Music and Arts Festival
 

 

There’s one thing for certain with the City of Batavia lately: entertainment is not taking a back seat to anything.

Live and DJ music, arts, a dunk tank, parades, dancers and food will be filling up calendars from May 30 to July 2 now that City Council has reviewed the requests and passed them on to a business meeting for official votes.

During its Monday conference session, the council looked over several requests for downtown events, from an old standby, the Memorial Day parade, to a new happening of a carnival.

Participants will be lining up at Eastowne Plaza the morning of Memorial Day and walking along Main Street to Bank Street, settling into the city parking lot on Alva Place. A yearly event to honor military veterans, the parade is being organized by City Council member Bob Bialkowski. It’s to begin at 9:45 a.m. and end before 11 a.m.
For more information about this event, go to: www.batavianewyork.com

Next up is a GLOW OUT 5K Run and Celebration that begins and ends at Centennial Park. This event is set for 5 to 9 p.m. on June 9.

GLOW OUT also has scheduled a parade and festival from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 11 at Batavia City Centre parking lot downtown. Some 15 vendors and an estimated 600 participants are expected for the event, according to the organizer, GLOW OUT President Gregory Hallock. It begins on Richmond Avenue in front of Centennial Park and winds around Bank and Ross streets, Washington and Ellicott avenues and back to Centennial.

Also on June 11 (expected to be very busy Saturday), is the Eli Fish Brewing Company Carnival in Jackson Square. Various food dishes from Eli Fish, beer, carnival games, a dunk tank, live entertainment and vendor booths are on the event menu from 4 to 10 p.m.

Council members had few, if any, questions or comments about the events, all of which have completed event request forms and supporting documentation. Council President Eugene Jankowski noted that the GLOW OUT parade is on the same day as the carnival, but there shouldn’t be any conflicts.

“I know these are two on the same day, one is in the square and the carnival itself is not going to require anything from the city,” he said. 

For more information about the carnival, go to: https://www.facebook.com/elifishbrewing/

A former Ramble event that now includes a GO ART! Music and Art Festival, is set to run from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 2 downtown. Two stages for music from 20 to 30 bands, an Artisan Alley of artist demonstrations, an arts and craft vendor fair, food trucks, a folk art stage with dancers and other performers and a children's craft area will spill out from Jackson Square onto Jackson and School streets and into a portion of the Save-A-Lot parking lot.

Costs for these events include $2,571 for the Memorial Day parade, with $922 for city police and $1,649.17 for the Bureau of Maintenance; $538 each for the GLOW OUT 5K Run and Celebration and parade and festival ($1,076 total); $538 for city police and $919.29 for the GO ART! Music and Art Festival and no costs involved for the Eli Fish Carnival. 

The following disclaimer is included on the Event Summary page of the council’s meeting packet: 

“Event sponsors are responsible for any costs that may be incurred from their event and have been made aware of estimate costs, if any.”

Bialkowski wanted to clarify how conference meetings work, given that council seems to be voting once at a conference and then once again at a business meeting. 

“I think we’ve been remiss in conference meetings,” he said. 

Council gives a general consensus agreement about moving the agenda item forward to a business meeting, Jankowski said. “There’s been some confusion that we’re voting twice,” he said. The consensus is merely a group agreement to put the official vote onto the business agenda after discussing details in a conference work session, he said. 

The next council business meeting will be at 7 p.m. May 9 in Council Chambers, second floor, City Hall.

April 16, 2022 - 12:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART!, arts, entertainment, news, batavia.

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Lucine Kauffman, right, reacts to a generous tip she received during Friday night's celebrity bartender challenge at GO Art! in Batavia.

Lucine, former supervisor for the Town of Elba, was up against her husband, local author Bill Kauffman.

The winner on Friday was Lucine, who earned $65.32 in tips to $62.01 for Bill.

All the tips are donations to GO Art!

April 8, 2022 - 7:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART!, arts, entertainment, news.

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The Genesee Orleans Regional Arts Council, GO Art!, handed out $107,000 in grants to about three dozen arts organizations and artists on Thursday.

These "re-grants" are state-sponsored and in a program designed by the Legislature to promote the arts in every region in the state.  All 62 counties in the state have organizations that are in charge of ensuring the grants are distributed to worthwhile local arts projects.

"The goal is to make state arts support available to geographically, economically, and ethnically diverse segments of the state’s population.," said Mary Jo Whitman, program chair.

The grants are available through four programs: Reach, Ripple, Spark, and the Restart NY Regrant Program.

Here is an explanation of the programs and a list of the recipients:

Reach :
The GO ART! Community Arts Grants (Reach Grants) provide seed grants to individual artists, collectives and arts organizations for projects and activities that enable Genesee and Orleans County communities to experience and engage with the performing, literary, media, and visual arts. Each year the program supports over arts projects, including concerts, performances, public art, exhibitions, screenings, festivals, workshops, readings, and more. 

  • Orleans County YMCA – YMCA Visual Community Culture - $4,500
  • Village of Albion -  Concerts on the Canal - $2,410
  • Lyndonville Lions Club – I Hear the Music - $5,000
  • Cobble Stone Museum – The Cobblestone Museum Arts Series for 2022 - $5,000
  • Village of Holley- Concerts in Canal Park - $220
  • Yates Community Library – More than just books - $4,950
  • Village of Medina – Painting of Murals - $3,460
  • Eric Weatherbee – the Humble Bard Presents - $2,500
  • Gilliam Grant Community Center – Collage of Art - $4,450
  • Bergen Historical Society – Silent Film Series - $3,000
  • The Elba Betterment Community – EBC Presents Art around Town - $2,350
  • Holland Purchase Historical Society – Holland Land Office Museum Guest Speaker and Concert Series -$3,250
  • Genesee Symphony Orchestra – The Genesee Symphony Orchestra’s 76th Season - $5,000
  • Batavia Central School District Foundation – Pop Up Art Show - $1,685
  • Byron Bergen Public Library – Art and Music in Our Community – Enriching Lives Through the Arts - $4,459
  • Batavia Players – 2022 Theatre Season - $5,000
  • Genesee Chorale – Genesee Choral 2022 Season - $5,000
  • Batavia Concert Band – 2022 Summer Concert Series - $5,000
  • Hollwedel Memorial Library – Shake on the Lake presents MacBeth - $5,000
  • Batavia Community Garden – Community Garden in Bloom
  • Oakfield Betterment Community – Labor Daze - $5,000
  • Genesee County Chamber of Commerce – Genesee County Mural Trail - $4,500
  • Woodward Memorial Library – Art on the Go - $1,286
  • Haxton Memorial Library – Talented Thursdays - $5,000

Ripple :
The GO ART! Individual Artist Commission (RIPPLE Grant) supports local, artist-initiated activities, and highlights the role of artists as important members of the community. The Commission is for artistic projects with outstanding artistic merit that work within a community setting. 

  • Eric Weatherbee – The Humble Bard Magazine - $2,500
  • Mandy Humphrey – Beacon Street Mural - $2,000
  • Bart Dentino – Concert in the Classroom: Can you see what you hear? - $2,500

Spark :
The Arts Education Program (Spark Grant) supports arts education projects for youth and/or senior learners. Emphasis is placed on the depth and quality of the creative process through which participants learn through or about the arts. Projects must focus on the exploration of art and the artistic process.

  • Judd Sunshine – Erie Canal Songwriting Project - $3,300
  • Bart Denton – The spaces Between the Leaves - $2,500

The Restart NY Regrant Program (grant cycle July 1, 2021, and June 31, 2022) $35,000 in grants.
The Restart NY Regrant Program was developed as part of an initiative to spur the revitalization of New York's creative economy. The program was administered through a network of local and regional organizations through a transparent peer panel funding process and was available to artists and organizations in each of the state's 62 counties. Organizations or individuals with a fiscal agent that met NYSCA and GO ART! criteria could request regrant funds. 

Through the Restart NY Regrant Program, GO ART!, NYSCA and the New York State Legislature hoped to provide immediate support to promote arts experiences and fuel the reopening and recovery of performance organizations and groups. Grants opportunities were prioritized for organizations and artists planning live performing arts projects, those planning projects and events that are open to and engage public participation and audiences in Genesee and/or Orleans counties, were encouraged and eligible to apply for funding. 

Grantees:

  • Oakfield Betterment Committee
  • Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden
  • GLOW Out!
  • Gilliam-Grant Center
  • Batavia Concert Band
  • St Mark’s Episcopal Church
  • The Landmark Society of Genesee County

Top Photo: Ryan Duffy, director of the Holland Land Office Museum, makes a brief statement after receiving a grant on behalf of HLOM while City Council President Eugene Jankowski and Mary Jo Whitman look on.

Photos by Howard Owens.

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Mary Jo Whitman

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GO Art! Board President Stuart McLean

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Tom Tiefel, Bergen Town Historian.

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Pauli Miano, with Kelly Dudley, of the Elba Betterment Committee, accepts a grant on behalf of their organization.

April 7, 2022 - 5:21pm
posted by Press Release in Forum Players, arts, theater, news, entertainment.

Press release:

The Forum Players will be presenting Alice In Wonderland by Brainerd Duffield, an adaption of the classic tale written by Lewis Carroll. Performances will be held on April 21, 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Stuart Steiner Theatre at Genesee Community College.

After a chance meeting with the White Rabbit, Alice finds herself tumbling down a seemingly endless rabbit hole. Once she reaches the bottom, she finds her world has been turned upside-down. She meets the tempestuous Queen of Hearts who invites her to play a game of croquet. Things only get more peculiar from there. From dangerous encounters with vengeful queens, to new companions who may not have Alice's best interests in mind, Wonderland soon loses its luster. If Alice has any hope of getting home to her cat Dinah, she must traverse through Wonderland to the border of Looking-Glass Land. From there she'll have to travel square by square on a giant chessboard. Only once she reaches the eighth row and becomes a Queen herself can she be free to go home.

Brainerd Duffield's adaption of Lewis Carroll's classic tale takes on a much darker tone. Alice and her adventures through Wonderland become an allegory for a child facing the nightmare of growing up. It's a coming of age story where the dream becomes a nightmare. Take an expedition into Wonderland and see a fresh look at the horror of the journey to adulthood.

This show features themes of abuse, bullying, drug addiction, alcoholism, narcissism, peer pressure and selfishness. It is not suitable for young children. There are some scenes that may be too intense for children under 16. This is not a children's theatre production. No child will be permitted without an adult.

Alice in Wonderland by Brainerd Duffield features an international cast of GCC students. Audiences will enjoy the many talents of the following Forum Players:

  • Jillian Curtis, LeRoy NY as Alice
  • Gyandro Marselia, Willemstad, Curacao as The White Rabbit
  • Mya Thomas, Akron NY as the Queen of Hearts
  • Rob Reiss, Elba NY as the Mad Hatter, The Executioner
  • Haylea-Ann Self, Brocton NY as the Caterpillar, The March Hare
  • James Barcomb, Batavia, NY as the Duchess, Cheshire Cat, Gryphon
  • Francesca Pieter, Willemstad, Antilles, Netherlands as the Red/White Queens
  • Reina Fujikawa, Sakaide, Kagawa as the Mouse, Dormouse
  • Jessie Pierce, Batavia, NY as the Mock Turtle
  • Raylynn Ryan, Fillmore NY as Tweedledee, Knave of Hearts
  • Celeste T. Dzielski, Rochester NY as Tweedledum, Humpty Dumpty, King of Hearts
  • Crimson Allis, Gasport, NY as the Fish Footman
  • Cheri Pekurny, Binghamton NY as the Frog Footman
  • Cheri Pekurny, Crimson Allis, Belancia Joseph (Jamaica, NY) as the Cards
  • Ayaka Nakamura (Osaka, Japan), Tiffanie Drum, Tiffany Smith (Arkport NY) as the Flowers
  • Ayaka Nakamura, Tiffanie Drum (Cohocton, NY), Tiffany Smith, Cheri Pekurny, Crimson Allis as the Dance Ensemble
  • Rob Reiss Special Sequences

Director Maryanne Arena shares, "This beloved tale is what nightmares are made of, and being a teenager is a nightmare! We are not telling this tale to play to children, using fun, one dimensional characters. Rather, we are exploring the expectations and circumstances or growing up in a world where you feel you don't belong. A world of monsters, bullies, and questions with no answers. Alice In Wonderland by Brainerd Duffield can be told with a variety of themes in mind. We wanted to explore the pains of middle years of growth and not knowing where one belongs. Not a child, yet, not an adult; Alice fights for survival and the strength to overcome the many nightmares of youth. Please enjoy this interesting tale of youth. Maybe you can find yourself and the monsters that pursued you in your youth."

Production Staff

  • Directed and Staged by: Maryanne Arena
  • Production Designer: Brodie McPherson
  • Musical Director: Lauren Picarro-Hoerbelt
  • Choreographer: Tara Freitag
  • Assistant Director: Rob Reiss
  • Stage Manager : Hayley Jo Denaro
  • Audio Engineer: Chris Stawiasz
  • Light Board Operator: Yuina Otsuka
  • Run Crew: Trevor Clark, Kaine D'eredita, Lindsey Windham
  • Costume Run Crew: Julianna Turoldo
  • Costume Designer: Beth Ohman
  • Wardrobe Supervisor: Loy Gross
  • Posters: GCC Digital Arts and Pam Swarts
  • PR, Photos: GCC Marketing Communications
  • Arts Center Assistant/Box Office Attendant: Jessica Skehan
  • Promotional Materials: GCC Marketing Communications & Jessica Skehan

You may contact the Stuart Steiner Theatre box office for more information and ticket sales. They can be reached by phone at (585) 343-0055 x6490, or by sending an email to [email protected]. Seating is limited and advance reservations are strongly advised. The show is designed for mature audiences only.

March 30, 2022 - 7:25pm

Don Burns did something recently he probably never imagined when he graduated from Batavia High School in 1992 -- dress up as Darth Vader and recite one of Shakespeare's famous monologues in the Richmond Mausoleum. 

Burns, now a teacher in Rochester, was both Darth Vader and executive producer of a Star Wars fan film, Tomorrow & Tomorrow.

The production was a project of 501st Legion's Garrison Excelsior, a worldwide not-for-profit costuming group that raises awareness and money for charities while spreading its members' love for Star Wars.

So far, the film has raised $1,200 for Make-A-Wish.

Burns and another Garrison conceived of the film.

"While researching for upcoming lessons, I happened upon a short film about a Stormtrooper reciting Hamlet's "To be or not to be" speech," Burns said. "As an English teacher, and Darth Vader, I've mused with Vader as the title character in Macbeth and was disappointed that I was beaten to the punch. My friend, who is a mask-maker by profession, encouraged me  to look further into it and together we mapped out a way to get it done."

Half the movie was shot at Rochester's Sunken Garden and half at the mausoleum in Batavia.

The film was directed by Joseph Palluconi. The editor was Mark Lukenbill

"When all was said and done, it turned out better than I ever had a right to imagine," Burns said.

Here's a behind-the-scenes video about the making of the film.

March 29, 2022 - 5:37pm

Press release:

Set the date aside for a fun night on April 12 from 7 to 9 PM at the GoArt-Seymour Art Center at 201 E.Main St.  Batavia Society of Artists is proud to be able to present the opportunity for its members as well as guests to experience the intuitive painting process. This process is a tool to allow artists the experience to be inside color, paint, and process. Reference has been made to being spontaneous and to not over-think your painting. Taking away all expectations for your art may free your mind from the normal constraints of “getting it perfect”.

Batavia Society of Artists will have a program in collaboration with the Genesee Wind Ensemble, led by Conductor Philip Briatico, who has been in the music education field for 15 years. His background includes music education at  Buffalo State College and the University of Buffalo. He has extensive experience in conducting and holds the GIML Level 1 certificate. Mr. Briatico has been a member of Genesee Chorale and the Eastman Community School Music Educator’s Wind Ensemble and is also co-manager of the Batavia Swing Band. He currently works at Niagara Falls City School District and has worked at Elba and Warsaw Central Schools. 

As the ensemble plays in various parts of the facility, artists and guests are invited to “let the music take you” and practice this free-form, loose style of painting. This promises to be a new experience for many painters and may even inspire a new category at local art shows.  No over-thinking or evaluating your work….. after all, it’s ART!
All members are welcome, the non-member fee is $5.00

March 17, 2022 - 11:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, news, arts, entertainment.

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The Batavia High School Production Club opens the romantic musical comedy Mamma Mia at 7 p.m. on Friday the school's auditorium.

Tickets purchased online in advance at www.showtix4u.com are $10.   At the door, they are $10 for students and $12 for adults.

Additional performances are Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

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March 2, 2022 - 3:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, le roy hs, Newsies, newspapers, arts, entertainment, news.

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Le Roy High School is presenting a production of the Disney musical Newsies on March 10, 11, 12, 18 and 19 in the school auditorium.

Newsies is the story of a homeless NYC newsboy, Jack "Cowboy" Kelly, who befriends two newcomers to the trade.  Newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer sets new rules that make it harder for newspaper hawkers -- newsies -- to make a buck so the boys go on strike. A journalist sympathetic to the boys' cause gives them some tips on public relations and the newsies battle grips the city.

The story is based on an actual labor dispute between newspaper salesboys and Pulitzer in the summer of 1899.  For more on the history behind the story, click here.

Performances in Le Roy are:

  • March 10, 7 p.m.
  • March 11, 7 p.m.
  • March 12, 7 p.m.
  • March 18, 7 p.m.
  • March 19,7 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at leroycsd.org or at the auditorium, 9300 South Street Road.

For more photos or to purchase prints, click here.

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February 18, 2022 - 1:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Seymour, GO ART!, batavia, arts, entertainment, news.

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It was a busy night at Seymour Place, 201 East Main St., Batavia, on Thursday night with GO Art! hosting two art show openings and a Celebrity Bartender Challenge.

In the challenge, Lauren Humphrey and Mandy Humphrey faced off in a tip-fund raiser for the arts council.

Artists Adrian Morris and Rita Mallison opened, for each of them, their first solo exhibitions.

Morris, above, is originally from Ireland. He married a gal from Stafford (they're now divorced) and moved to Genesee County about a decade ago.  He said he's been painting and drawing all of his life and enjoys his membership with GO Art because being part of the local community of artists is like being with a family (his family is all in Ireland, and he may return there at some point, he said, because his mother is getting older).

"I love the supportive nature," Morris said. "It gets me out of the house and I meet a lot of other artists and we socialize and network here."

He has given art demos at Seymour Place, most recently a pallette knife demonstration in which he produced an Irish landscape painting.

He specializes in landscapes and portraits and said he's done numerous portraits on commission for local residents and is available for more portrait commission work.

There is another Celebrity Bartender Challenge at GO Art! tonight featuring Rebekah Ireland vs. Ryan Duffy starting at 6 p.m.

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Rita Mallison, a long-time Batavia resident, started painting just a few years ago.  She specializes in portraits of nuns, priests, saints, and religious heroes.  She took up the subject after her conversion to Catholicism but said she has long been fascinated by nuns and wanted to be a nun when she was a little girl.  She said she could never afford to buy paintings sho she keeps the prices of her paintings low.

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In the main gallery is a show of work by William Mathews, which opened previously.

February 10, 2022 - 2:37pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia Downs, arts, entertainment, news, batavia.

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Press release:

Officials from Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel have announced that they have entered into an agreement with the Riviera Theatre, located in North Tonawanda, NY whereby both properties will help promote each other’s musical events.

Each Riviera Ticket will have a free play coupon, valid at Batavia Downs, for attendees of the Riviera’s events.  Riviera will also display signage onsite noting Batavia Downs as a major sponsor of their facility.  General Admission Tickets will also be on sale for the Michael DelGuidice Show (Celebrating the music of Billy Joel) at the Riviera Box office for the discount price of $10. 

Batavia Downs will be giving away tickets to select Riviera events to customers via drawings, all while advertising those upcoming events on their website and social media pages. 

“The live entertainment industry is coming back in a big way, “said Henry Wojtaszek, President and CEO for Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel. “We hope that by partnering with another facility we are able to help a fellow venue owner, and also provide more prizes in the form of Riviera tickets to our great guests here.  We want the people of Western New York to continue to support local live events which keep so many of our friends and neighbors employed.”

"Batavia Downs has been a major sponsor for the Riviera Theatre over the last three years, " said Riviera Theatre Executive Director David Fillenwarth.  "We are excited to partner with Batavia Downs to collaborate and help each other market our shows. The entertainment industry struggled as a whole the last two years and we are always looking for new ways to promote and host great concerts. Batavia Downs shares that same vision and this will open the door for bigger and better things to come in the future at both venues. I think we can all agree that there is always room for more live concerts in our lives."

Officials from Batavia Downs also announced continuing promotions for purchasing tickets at the Lucky Treasures Gift Shop in the Batavia Downs lobby through Valentine’s Day with $15 in Free Play for each ticket purchased.

Those wishing to buy tickets online for upcoming Batavia Downs Events can visit https://www.bataviaconcerts.com.  Tickets for upcoming Riviera Theatre Events can be found at www.rivieratheatre.org/upcoming-events/.  Tickets for select events at the Riviera Theatre are given away via drawings on Wednesday nights at Batavia Downs.

Submitted photo.

January 21, 2022 - 8:15pm

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Batavia City Council president Eugene Jankowski and City Manager Rachael  Tabelski faced off in GO ART!’s Celebrity Bartender Challenge at Seymour Place tonight.  Tabelski and Jankowski both said they weren't really competing and that tips would be combined, though.  All tips are donations to the arts council. 

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January 17, 2022 - 10:50am
posted by Press Release in GO ART!, arts, entertainment, news, batavia.

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Press release:

Join GO ART! on January 21st from 6-9 p.m. at Tavern 2.o.1 for a very special Celebrity Bartender Challenge! Our first competitors of 2022 are Batavia City Council president Eugene Jankowski Jr. and City Manager Rachael  J Tabelski. 

Started in 2018 GO ART!’s Celebrity Bartender Challenges raise funds for arts programming in Genesee and Orleans Counties. In these challenges, amateur bartenders compete at GO ART!’s Tavern 2.o.1 to see who can wow the crowds and earn the most tips for our donation jars. From community leaders to local characters these nights allow the community to come together to support local arts! Bartender Challenges occur most third Thursdays and Fridays. 

For 2022’s first bartender challenge Batavia’s City Council is sending two hardworking public servants to serve the public and bring in big tips!

Lifelong Genesee County resident Rachael J. Tabelski is eager to celebrate her new role as City Manager! Appointed in 2021 she plans to manage the bar with the same skill and friendliness that she manages Batavia’s administration. Eugene Jankowski Jr. has been City Council President since January 1, 2018- a graduate of Batavia’s own Notre Dame High School, a retired City of Batavia Police Officer and a competitive shooter Eugene will bring his quick shot to the bar. 

Batavia's leaders visit with old friends, make new ones, and support arts and culture-  a cornerstone of our community in the most welcoming historic building in the City.  Come chat with Geno and Rachael while supporting Go Art! If you have not been to Go Art! Or have not been in a while, this is an open event to explore the space and connect with the community and the art that makes it special. This event is 21+, bring cash to tip, and may the best bartender win! 

January 16, 2022 - 4:08pm
posted by David Reilly in chuck berry, music, arts, entertainment, news.

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Everyone who attended college, especially those who went away to school, has at least a couple of good stories. You know, stories that you told your parents years later prefaced with, “It's a good thing you didn't know this back then but...”. Or stories that you told your kids once they were grown to prove that you were cooler or crazier than they thought you were.

One of my stories(I don't have that many) involves a weekend my senior year at St. John Fisher College in Rochester when I met some famous musicians. Unfortunately for me , even though in retrospect they were funny, my interactions proved that I was definitely not cool.

Blues Bonanza
In the spring of my junior year, some friends of mine produced what is still probably the best “Blues” show ever in Rochester. Held at the Nazareth College Auditorium it included the legendary Son House, the iconic Muddy Waters Blues Band, The Electric Flag with Mike Bloomfield and Buddy Miles, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band with Elvin Bishop and David Sanborn, and the Junior Wells Blues Band.

My friendship enabled me to score front row tickets to each of the 2 nights, but I was not involved in any of the production. It was such a great event though that 50 years later 3 of us who were there in 1968 went back to Nazareth on the anniversary to reminisce.

The following autumn the same friends had another big show at Nazareth planned and this time I wanted to be a part of putting it on. I was assigned to “Publicity”. This boiled down to me going around the downtown Rochester area and asking bar owners to put a poster in their windows. Not exactly exciting but a job that had to be done.

Grunt work I guess you'd call it.

As a reward for doing that and probably because I was one of the only ones with a car, my next task was to pick up 2 of the musicians at the airport for the first night's show.

All That Jazz
The group that night was a well-known jazz ensemble -- The Charles Lloyd Quartet. It consisted of leader Charles Lloyd on saxophone, Jack DeJohnette on drums, Ron McClure on bass, and Keith Jarrett on piano.

I knew little or nothing about jazz music then, but over the years I learned that these were some of the biggest names in that genre. Fortunately, now in their 70s and 80s, they are all still playing.

So, on Friday afternoon off to the Monroe County Airport, I went in my cranberry 1961 Chevy Biscayne to transport Ron and Keith to Nazareth for the soundcheck. I felt a little nervous, but not really having any idea of their stature in the jazz world, not too much.

I don't know if they were expecting a limo or some better kind of vehicle, but if so they were kind enough not to say so. We put McClure's upright bass in my trunk and off we went.

Apparently, I was more nervous than I had thought though. On the way there it had been raining. But , as I drove the two musicians the sun had come out. I was trying to make conversation when one of them said, “Hey could you turn off your windshield wipers? It's kind of annoying.” I hadn't even noticed they were on and hoped they didn't notice how beet red my face had turned.

Everybody Hasn't Heard About The Bird
Then at some point during the trip, I don't recall how it came up, but I mentioned the phrase, “...gave him the bird”, the colloquialism for the 1 finger salute given to people you are mad at. Except, neither Keith nor Ron had ever heard it called that. They said, "Gave him the what?” I could almost feel them exchanging odd glances at each other behind my back. But, at least it made for an interesting discussion the rest of the way. Hey, maybe I taught them something.

The concert that night was stellar and I felt good about broadening my horizons to a kind of music with which I had not been familiar . My date was a young lady from Batavia (who I have not seen for 50 years) and I probably tried to impress her by pointing out the two musicians on stage who had been in my car that afternoon. I left out the windshield wiper incident though.

If He Walks Like A Duck
The next night's headliner was the “Father of Rock and Roll” Mr. Chuck Berry. I would have been ecstatic to drive him from the airport, but Chuck had a very unique way of going on the road to perform.

The promoter would pay for his plane ticket and Berry would fly into town by himself bringing only his guitar. He would rent a car at the promoter's expense and drive himself to his hotel and the venue. No tour bus or big production with a trailer and “roadies” for him.

According to his contract, the promoter would be responsible for hiring a capable local band with bass, drummer, and rhythm guitarist to back him up. Chuck would show up for a soundcheck and rehearsal before the show and that was it.

I was fortunate to be able to attend the warm-up at Nazareth that afternoon and it was an experience to see Berry put the band through its paces. It was fairly easy actually. He would say, “ Key of G, 1,2,3 and away we go...”. But he had specific cues to guide them like when he stomped his foot they would pause and when he stomped it again they'd start back up. He had them go through some of his basic songs like Johnny B. Goode or Reelin' And A Rockin', corrected them on a few things, seemed satisfied, and let them go with, “See ya tonight”.

They must have been a very capable band because Berry was known to be somewhat difficult with his backups at times, including some famous musicians. There is a 1988 documentary about him titled “Hail! Hail! Rock And Roll!” which shows how hard he could be to work with specifically with Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.

Before that night's show, a friend and I inhaled a substance that was illegal back then but mostly legal now. It was the first time for me (it never became that big of a deal for me going forward) and let's just say that we were in a “jovial state of mind” for the festivities.

Chuck put on a very entertaining show going through many of his hits and showing why just about every rock guitarist who came after him borrowed his licks and paid him homage by their imitation. He did his patented duck walk move a number of times and had the crowd right in the palm of his talented hand.

Nuns Night Out
Being in a “jovial state of mind” really added to one song that Berry did. He did a humorous double entendre tune called “My Ding A Ling” ( Google the lyrics) which involves an audience sing-along with different parts for the men and ladies.

As this concert was held at the Catholic Nazareth College, a number of the nuns who lived on campus must have decided to have a night out for themselves and attend. There were a bunch of them all sitting together in one row and good sports all they sang along with everyone else.

Well, it was funny enough to see a row of nuns singing, “ I wanna play with my ding a ling'', but our “jovial state of mind” put us over the edge into side-splitting laughter.

After the concert, there was the usual “after show” party. Ours wasn't held in a ritzy club though. It took place in the apartment of some of the students who had worked on the show. It was located above a bar on Monroe Avenue in Rochester known as the Cobbs Hill Grill. Today it's still operating as Jeremiah's, known for their chicken wings which weren't even invented back then.

Party Like It's Almost 1969
So, college student apartment 1968 style: probably minimum furniture of the used variety. A bookshelf made from concrete blocks and boards may be holding Kurt Vonnegut novels, Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet, a book of Lawrence Ferlinghetti poetry, and so on. Hanging beads separate one room from another. Possibly a big wooden spool from a utility company that had once held wire now used a table. On the table would be a Chianti bottle used as a candle holder coated with melted wax and a couple of overflowing ashtrays. A stereo system with good-sized speakers and some Bob Dylan vinyl spinning on the turntable.

People came in from the show in twos and threes. Chatting, smoking one thing or another, drinking beer or wine, talking loudly over the music. Someone said they heard Chuck was coming to the party. “Nah. Chuck Berry here? No way man.”

A group of us were hanging out in the kitchen when there was a knock at the door. Someone yelled out, “It's open!” and in walked Chuck Berry. Our mouths dropped open because 1. it was Chuck Berry and 2. he was accompanied by a Nazareth girl who I bet has a way better story to tell than me.

We were all trying very hard to be cool and nonchalant in Chuck's presence. You know like the guy who pretty much-invented the rock and roll guitar wasn't standing right there.

It's Not The Real Thing
Then out of the blue came one of the greatest uncool moments of all time. Chuck asked, “Hey man, anybody got any coke?”

One of the girls replied, “ There might be some in the refrigerator.” And I in my infinite naivete chimed in, “ Or if not , I'm sure they have some downstairs at the bar.”

Chuck looked at us with a look like, as my mom used to say, we all had 3 heads. “Man”, he scoffed. “ You ain't even in the right ballpark.”

“Oh!”, we all realized together. “That coke!” You could almost see us facepalming ourselves in unison. SMH as we would have commented today by texting.

I don't remember exactly, but I don't think Chuck stayed at our party much longer. All these years later I wish I could find that Nazareth girl( now in her 70's if living) and find out where the rest of the night led them.

Now, since “that coke” wasn't really a big well-known deal until the 70's I guess we could be forgiven for our cluelessness. Also, since I had just finished the third of my 4 summers working for Coca-Cola in Batavia, one could see why the kind that came in a bottle would be fixed in my brain. But still... it was embarrassing.

But, on the positive side, it was in reality a good thing we didn't have what Chuck wanted. And over the years I have told that story many times and never failed to get a laugh out of those who heard it.

Chuck passed away a couple of years ago at the age of 90, but he is still one of my favorites and I listen to his songs all the time. When I hear the lyrics to “Reelin' and a Rockin' that says, “Looked at my watch, it was 10:28, I gotta get my kicks before it gets too late”, that night in 1968 flashes in my mind.

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