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March 12, 2018 - 10:12am

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Batavia High School's sixth annual Mr. Batavia contest is Friday, March 23rd, at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium. Contestants have been in rehearsals for weeks for the annual event.

Here are this year's contestants and their charities of choice: 

  • Nicholas Neid – Salvation Army
  • Chase Monachino – Catholic Charities
  • Brandon Buck – Batavia VA
  • Valentino Zinni – Volunteers for Animals
  • Jon Liciaga – Anna’s Wish
  • Cameron Hardy – Genesee Cancer Assistance
  • Nate Loria – Habitat for Humanity
  • John Kindig – Alzheimer’s Association of WNY
  • Julio Vazquez – Michael Napoleon Foundation
  • Joe Marchese – Crossroads House
  • Evan Bellavia – Lifetime Care, Home Healthcare and Hospice
  • Anand Patel -- Golisano's Children's Hospital 

Previous winners are: Jon Currier (2017), Ross Chua (2016), Jordan Fluker (2015), Spencer Hubbard (2014), Lee Johnson (2013).

A total of $4,646 was raised last year and split among the top three winners.
 
"Every year we have raised more and we hope to surpass this amount again," said advisor Lisa Robinson.
 
Categories are group dance, talent, swim walk, lip sync, tux walk and question to answer and local Batavia members from the community will be judges.
 
Sponsors: Charles Men Shop, Reed Eye; shirts in the picture from Extreme Streetwear. Hosts: Paige Wasilewski, Lauren Leone and Michal (Mikey) Lullo.
 
Tickets are available starting next Monday, March 19th: $7 for adults and $5 for students at Batavia High School; also available during school lunches and at the door the day of the event. Get your tickets early as they sold out last year.

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March 8, 2018 - 10:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in le roy hs, Le Roy, news, arts, entertainment.

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Le Roy High School presents three performances of "The Little Mermaid" starting tonight.

The current goes up at 6 o'clock and tickets are $10 at the door or available online (click here).

There are also performances at 6 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday.

Yesterday, the cast and crew of 115 students performed twice for students in grades 7 through 12, and grades 1 through 6.

"We hope you will join us in celebrating our amazing hometown talent and enjoy a night of great laughs and fun," said Le Roy Principal Tim McArdle. "This show is going to be so spectacular and, as always, the Pat Patton backdrops take this show to the next level."

Photos by Don Dessert, except bottom photo, by Tim McArdle.

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March 6, 2018 - 8:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GSO, Genesee Symphony Orchestra, music, arts, entertainment, news.

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The Genesee Symphony Orchestra rehearsed Monday night at Batavia High School for its concert this Sunday featuring the music of Tchaikovsky and a solo performance by David Kim, concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

The program includes Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D, David Kim solo violin, Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, and The Sleeping Beauty: Polonaise.

The concert is at 4 p.m. in the auditorium at Elba Central School.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $7 for students, $10 for seniors, and $35 for families.

Photos by Chris Choate.

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March 5, 2018 - 11:42pm

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The Ridge NY (Frostridge) has announced its 2018 concert lineup, which includes a return of Blackjack Billy (file photo), along with the American Warrior Concert, Quiet Riot, Little River Band, the Outlaws and Travis Tritt to close out the season.

Friday and Saturday, June 1st and 2nd
- American Warrior Concert (A benefit for WNY Heroes, a veterans' organization)
  2 Days, 30 Bands, Vendors of all kinds, Amazing Food, Great Cause.

Friday, June 15th
- JASON MICHAEL CARROLL w/ special guest Rebels Posse

Saturday, June 16th
- RODNEY ATKINS w/ special guests Steven Cali and Branded

Friday, July 27th
- QUIET RIOT w/ special guests Savage Cabbage and

Saturday, July 28th
- LITTLE RIVER BAND w/ special guests The Coupe' De Villes and Boneshakers Blues Band

Friday, Aug. 3rd
- BLACKJACK BILLY w/ special guest Gunner and The Grizzly Boys

Saturday, Aug. 4th
- THE OUTLAWS w/ special guest Bishop Gunn

Friday, Aug. 24th
- Zac Brown Tribute Band

Saturday, Aug. 25th
- TRAVIS TRITT with special guests James Wesley and Savannah Harmon

For concert and camping information, visit theridgeny.com

March 3, 2018 - 9:36am

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Interview with BHS Drama Director Caryn Wood.

"Into the Woods" is a musical comedy written by Stephen Sondheim, (from Wikipedia). This show takes many well-known Grimm Brothers fairy tales and combines them in an interwoven masterpiece.

The blissful serenity quickly unravels however, as the result of a giant run amok in the kingdom. Sondheim is known for his difficult yet emotionally charged music and lyrics; the cast has worked tremendously hard to bring this challenging story to life.

There are 50+ students in the cast, crew, and orchestra combined with 30+ adult directors and staff and volunteers.

Auditions were held back in November. Casting is always a difficult process because we want to make sure you have considered all of the options. People think you can just choose the person who sings the best, but in reality, you have to take many things into consideration when casting a high school production.

You not only have to consider how well a certain individual will handle the difficult music, but also what their characterization abilities are, and how will that person plays off another person. Casting a show is like writing a composition, it's a process that Musical Director Dan Grillo and I take very seriously.

One of the best things about "Into the Woods" and also a big reason why we chose this show has to do with it being an ensemble cast. There aren’t one or two specific leads, but rather a group of people whom the audience follows as the story unfolds.

These characters include The Baker and his wife, played by senior Evan Bellavia and junior Eryn Dunn; you see their relationship on display and their need to undo a curse put on them by a witch -- a key role played by senior Madison Hoerbelt. Others include Cinderella, played by senior Madeline Keenan; Jack, played by junior Sam Rigerman; Jack's Mothe,r played by senior Parise Ricks; and Little Red Riding Hood, played by freshman Kathryn Fitzpatrick.

There are many other recognizable characters as well including Rapunzel, the Wicked Stepmother and Cinderella's stepsisters. We've also added Grimm fairytale characters like the Three Little Pigs, Rumpelstiltskin, the Princess and the Frog, Hansel and Gretel.

Overall, the cast really embraced this show and dug right in working on the difficult music when we started rehearsals back in December. There are great themes woven throughout the show also; sometimes what you wish for the most, doesn't turn out as planned; the love of family and despite their faults, and many others.

One of my favorite moments is when the Baker's Wife realizes that her humble marriage to the Baker is more important than all her fantasies during the song "Moments in the Woods."

With all of the characters there is more to them than meets the eye. A line from the show about this says, "witches can be right, giants can be good."

Watching all of the characters evolve through the plot turns and twists may not be portend the traditional "storybook" happily-ever-after ending you might expect. Yet, in the end everything is tidied up.

Two shows remain this weekend: tonight at 7:30 p.m. and tomorrow at 2 p.m.  Tickets can be purchased at the door or Roxy’s Music Store in Batavia.

To view or purchase photos click here.

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March 2, 2018 - 12:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia High School, entertainment, drama club.

"Into the Woods" is an epic fairytale about wishes, family and the choices we make. Despite the snow conditions, school officials say it will be performed by the Batavia High School Production Club tonight at 7:30.

It will also be performed Saturday night at 7:30 and Sunday at 2 p.m.

This announcement, of course, is barring any mitigating weather advisory. Tickets available at Roxy's Music Store and at the door.

March 1, 2018 - 5:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, entertainment, GCC, news.

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The GCC Fine Arts Students annual exhibit, this year titled "Master Peace," opened today in the Roz Steiner Art Gallery.

The exhibit runs through April 6.

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February 16, 2018 - 1:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART!, arts, entertainment, news, batavia.

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Two art shows opened at GO ART! on Thursday night -- "Where Do I Go From Here?" a ceramics exhibit by Shirley Nigro, and "The Kite Boy,"  an acrylic exhibit by Alex Segovia.

Nigro is the owner of Fire Up Ceramics on Ellicott Street in Batavia. 

Her ceramic work is nothing like most people might associate with the word -- figurines and knickknacks to scatter around the home. Her work is complex and imaginative but still leaning heavily on realism.

The exhibit is a good demonstration of how ceramics can be used to create art.

Segovia is originally from El Salvador and now resides in Avon. He started painting three years ago after watching a documentary about Vincent Van Gogh. His work reflects that post-impressionistic style, though he says he's moving more toward abstract expressionism. The bright colors recall Henri Matisse or fauvism.

Both shows run through April 7. 

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February 15, 2018 - 1:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, music, arts, entertainment, news, notify.

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Last summer's concert series is one of many reasons Batavia Downs has been able to grow revenue and remain competitive in a saturated gaming market, said Henry Wojtaszek, president of Western OTB, and Mike Nolan, CEO, today at a press conference announcing an eight-show lineup for this season.

"We offer a lot of different things," Nolan said. "We have our own little niche here."

Wojtaszek said the key is offering options for customers and when you get them in the door, treating them right.

"That includes entertainment, it includes better food, it includes a cigar lounge, and frankly, just provide the best customer service," Wojtaszek said. "We like to think that’s why we’re growing. That’s what we like to concentrate on. Our focus is on providing excellent customer service."

The eight shows announced for this summer:

  • Eddie Money, June 22
  • Grand Funk Railroad, June 29
  • Blue Oyster Cult, July 6
  • Rik Emmett of the Band Triumph along with Carl Dixon of Coney Hatch, July 13
  • Rumours, a Fleetwood Mac Tribute, July 20th
  • Puddle of Mudd, July 27
  • Three Dog Night, Aug. 3
  • Lee Ann Womack, Aug. 10.

Wojtaszek said the concert series went so well last year that Batavia Downs would like to add more shows, but one step at a time.

He also said Batavia Downs will be working with the City and the Town to accommodate larger crowds. Last year, attendance was about 4,000 and this year the casino would like to attract 5,000 to 6,000 fans to the shows.

The concentration on classic rock and country is a conscious effort to bring in shows more appealing to older music fans, Wojtaszek said.

"They are the patrons coming into Batavia Downs and we wanted to provide them with the entertainment they’re looking for at a reasonable cost," Wojtaszek said.

Tickets for the shows will be $10 each.

Batavia Downs is hosting several other events this year sure to bring people from throughout the region to Genesee County.

There will be professional wrestling Feb. 24, a Whiskyfest in June, a Mixed Martial Arts event during the summer, plus Batavia Downs is in the midst of a $4 million capital improvement project that includes opening a cigar lounge, expanding 34 Rush sports bar, Fortune's Restaurant, and the conference center.

"There’s a lot of demand to have things here and it’s amazing to see the response we get to the events we do have," Wojtaszek said. "It’s a perfect location, right between Buffalo and Rochester and we're even getting people here from as far as Syracuse."

February 1, 2018 - 5:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, theater, arts, entertainment, news.

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Genesee Community College drama students participated in a workshop today with members of Polite Ink, a sketch and improv troupe from Rochester that will perform this Saturday at the Stuart Steiner Theater.

Polite Ink is a co-ed comedy team that writes and performs its own original sketches and improv games live on stage with the help of the audience.

Saturday's performance is at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors (55+) and GCC faculty/staff. Students and children are $3, and GCC alumni with ID will receive a $2 discount on an adult ticket.

To reserve seats, contact the GCC box office at [email protected](link sends e-mail) or (585) 345-6814.

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January 20, 2018 - 1:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in independent living of Genesee Region, art, entertainment, news.

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Artist and musician Chris Humel was featured in an opening art show reception at Independent Living of the Genesee Region at 113 Main St., Batavia, on Friday night.

Titled "8 X 10," the show features the work of Humel, who uses intensely hued acrylics, to depict postage stamps and other mail-related themes. Twenty years ago, he co-founded the still-active band BC Psychos. 

"I am a person with disabilities," Humel said. "I am 55 years old. I have been battling schizophrenia and related depressing problems for most of my life. My work is about breaking out of isolation and 'going postal' in a good way, by making contact with artists, writers and through the Post Office."

This is the third show in the series of the ARTiculations Ability Exhibition sponsored by ILGR and the University Heights Arts Association. The goal is to help artists with disabilities reach a wider audience. The association has a program to place art on the walls of local businesses and nonprofits.

Together they are looking to reach more artists with disabilities and feature them in art shows. ILGR serves Genesee, Wyoming, and Orleans counties.

"This gives them a venue for their art in the community," said Rae Frank, director of ILGR.

The partnership with University Heights helps integrate artists with disabilities into the wider artists' community, said Mary Ouimette-Kinney, cofounder of the association.

"It doesn't matter if somebody is in a wheelchair or has PTSD, we just want to make sure that people who are interested in art and would like for their art to be seen to put their art on walls," Ouimette-Kinney said.

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Mary Kate, of Buffalo, with a postcard she made at last night's show. Humel has created a handmade postcard program for people to share with each other through the postal mail.

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January 12, 2018 - 2:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, 56 Harvester, arts, entertainment.

Tomorrow the Batavia Players will screen a premier showing of "Macbeth," filmed and produced in Batavia, at the Harvester 56 Theater.

"Though the language is true to the original Shakespeare, the period is modern with a 'West Side Story' flare," said Emily Crawford, publicist for Harvester 56.

"The roles of nobility and the murderous rivalry between them has been adapted to a gang environment. This is the first time many of our actors are appearing on screen, though we do have a few veterans in the mix."

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a reception. The screening starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 at the door.

December 22, 2017 - 11:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART!, batavia, news, arts, entertainment, cooking.

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At GO ART! on Thursday night, there was both a cooking class and an art show opening.

Joseph Rojo, above, provided a demonstration of Asian fusion cooking. Below, Kimberly Perl and Marie Scofield get to participate in creating a chicken adobo.

For the art show below, Judy Wenrich poses with her painting, "My 3 Pets." Look closely and you'll find three ferrets. The show features work by GO ART! members on the theme of "Juxtaposition."

GO ART! also has an art sale in the main gallery featuring both current member works and works from the archives.

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December 21, 2017 - 8:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Frost Ridge, Jam at the Ridge, music, entertainment, news.

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Two-time Grammy Award winner Travis Tritt will be in Le Roy on Aug. 25 to play a concert at The Ridge (Frostridge Campground).

Tritt is the first headliner announced for the annual summer concert series, Jam at the Ridge, by owners David and Greg Luetticke-Archbell. The venue's owners are still working on booking more acts for the season.

David and Greg expect to announce a headliner for Aug. 24 soon to make for a weekend of great music.

Tickets and campground sites for the weekend will go on sale after the first of the year.

December 9, 2017 - 7:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GSO, music, entertainment, batavia, news.

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The Genesee Symphony Orchestra performs its annual Christmas concert tomorrow (Sunday) at 4 p.m. at St. Mary's Church in Batavia.

The program includes "Dance of the Tumblers" from Snow Maiden by Rimsky-Korsakov, Canadian Brass Christmas, "The Snowman," by Howard Blake and narrated by Laurence Tallman,  (top photo), Holiday Favorites with a special guest vocalist: "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas," "(There’s no place like) Home for the Holidays," "White Christmas," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," "Sleigh Ride," and "Christmas Festival."

Tickets will be available at the door.

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December 8, 2017 - 10:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in entertainment.
Event Date and Time: 
October 19, 2017 - 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Join us for a game night at Moonjava Cafe in Batavia! We will have over 40 board and card games for you to play: you only need to bring your gaming spirit and be prepared for hours of fun! Don’t know how to play a game or want to learn a new game? Decks, Dice, and Meeple’s Gaming Guides will be happy to teach you any of the games.
Moonjava Cafe’s friendly staff will be selling baked goods, coffees, and sandwiches. There will be a $5 cover charge to play as many games as you would like!

December 8, 2017 - 9:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in entertainment.
Event Date and Time: 
August 23, 2017 - 5:00pm to 7:30pm

You are invited to come to “August Fun Fest”
Theme: “Finding the Light of the World”
Wednesday, August 23, 2017, 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Batavia First United Methodist Church, 8221 Lewiston Rd., Batavia, NY
Activities: Interactive Games, Skits, Craft Projects, Emmanuel UM Church Worship Leaders Song Fest, Playground, Sand Table, Basketball Hoops, Praise Singing with Music & Motion DVD
Food: Pasta Dinner provided & S’mores!
No charge for food or event activities.
Public Welcome – All children must be accompanied by an adult.

December 8, 2017 - 9:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in entertainment.
Event Date and Time: 
September 1, 2017 - 6:00pm to 10:00pm

Batavia High School Class of 1987 • 30th Reunion
Friday September 1st from 6-10pm
Batavia Country Club
Open Bar and Appetizers from 6-8
Band Rise Again (Ray Eighmey) 8-10pm
$35 per person

Contact Joe Fiannaca, [email protected]
or Stephanie Mogavero Choate, [email protected]

December 8, 2017 - 7:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in entertainment.
Event Date and Time: 
April 15, 2017 - 8:00pm to 11:00pm

On Saturday (April 15), O’Lacy’s Irish Pub will celebrate 20 years of business in Downtown Batavia.
The all-day celebration will feature specials and giveaways. Live Celtic music will kick off at 8 p.m. by the Rochester group called “Himself.”
The public is invited to come celebrate at the pub and enjoy anniversary cake, which will be served at about 8:30 p.m.
The celebration and band will continue until 11 p.m.
O’Lacy’s is located at 5 School St. in the City of Batavia.
 

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