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Dirty Smile makes Top 10, moves on to final round in Hard Rock Rising competition


More than 10,000 bands entered from around the globe, and some 418,000 votes were cast, and the results are in: Western New York’s Dirty Smile has made it to the final round in the Hard Rock Rising global Battle of the Bands.

Following several intense rounds of competition on the local level, Dirty Smile  will now move on to compete in the final stage of voting, with an opportunity to perform at the Hard Rock Rome festival in Italy this summer. The band will vie for top position against 24 winners from around the world. The results will be decided by a panel of judges that includes E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt, Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit, and songwriter Bonnie McKee.

Additional details are available here.

 - Jeff Miers






Live chat at noon: Miers on Music

Sam Roberts Band, Gord Downie among concerts announced for Canalside

Free Thursday concerts

Shows start at 6 p.m. They still are free, but now VIP tickets ($40) offer front-of-stage access, plus a VIP tent with beer, wine, appetizers and VIP restrooms.

Thursday Theater Roundup: 4 stars for 'Race,' 'Anastasia Trials' and 'Last Confession'

David Suchet stars in the gripping “The Last Confession,” on stage at the Royal Alexandra Theatre. 

The Thursday Theater Roundup features currently running productions that have received three or more stars from our reviewers. Here are this week's picks:

"The Anastasia Trials in the Court of Women," through May 17 in a Brazen-faced Varlets production in Rust Belt Books. ✮✮✮✮

"The Plough and the Stars," through May 18 in the Irish Classical Theatre Company's Andrews Theatre. ✮✮✮

"Race," through May 18 in the Road Less Traveled Theatre. ✮✮✮✮

"Godspell," through May 18 in O'Connell and Company's theater in the Park School. ✮✮✮

"Adrift in Macao," through May 25 in MusicalFare Theatre. ✮✮✮

"Last Confession," through June 1 in Toronto's Royal Alexandria Theatre. ✮✮✮✮

Orchard Park Chorale to sing Brahms, Faure and 'The Sound of Music'

By Mary Kunz Goldman

It is not every day that you get to hear Brahms' beautiful "Liebeslieder Waltzes." (Liebeslieder, in case you are new to the wonderful world of Johannes Brahms, means "love songs.")

The Orchard Park Chorale will be singing this glorious music as part of its upcoming concert called "Rivers of Song: A European Journey." Also on the program is Brahms' dramatic "Nanie" and Gabriel Faure's lovely "Cantique de Jean Racine," performed in the clip above by the Cambridge Singers. A medley from "The Sound of Music" is also promised.

The concert takes place at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 18 at Orchard Park Presbyterian Church, 4369 S. Buffalo St., Orchard Park. Admission is $10, preferred seating $20.

Joining the chorus for this occasion will be the Grand Island Community Chorus. 

A closer look: 'The Eternal Blast' at Eleven Twenty Projects


An architectural rendering of Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester is part of "The Eternal Blast" in Eleven Twenty Projects.

Artist: Ludocivo Centis with University at Buffalo architecture students // Title: "The Eternal Blast" // Through May 18 in Eleven Twenty Projects

The complex and painful legacy of the Manhattan Project was the impetus for this exhibition that documents various buildings and other sites throughout the United States that were involved in the secretive and far-reaching project. The image above depicts Rochester's Strong Memorial Hospital, which, according to project leader Ludovico Centis, UB's 2013-14 Peter Reyner Banham Fellow, "was home during the Manhattan Project years and the following decades to non-consensual human experimentation programs with radioactive solutions." (You can read more about those programs in Andrew Goliszek's book "In the Name of Science.")

The renderings and other material in the "Eternal Blast" show, including interviews with experts compiled in a separate publication, add up to a reconsideration of exactly what a "monument" is and how it functions. For most of us, buildings like Strong Hospital seem to stand for certain easily identifiable things, chief among them the noble pursuit to cure diseases and eradicate human suffering. But this exhibition aims to make viewers aware of the much more complicated legacies of our buildings and other monumental structures, which just as often serve as testaments to more shameful and painful periods in human history. At Strong, where more than a dozen patients were injected with plutonium or uranium without their knowledge, this is especially true.

According to the exhibition's organizers, the renderings in the show are "spinal landscapes," or "places where the ever-increasing tension between nature preservation and collective consciousness, and between the need for secrecy and the demand for participation, is truly tangible."

--Colin Dabkowski

'Menopause the Musical' coming to 710 Main Theatre

MTM-Press Photo

The provocatively titled and wildly popular "Menopause the Musical," which last played Buffalo in 2010, will return to town for eight performances in the 710 Main Theatre starting on July 8.

In her 2010 review, News reviewer Melinda Miller wrote of the show: "It isn't art, it's catharsis, a one-subject party for those whose hourglass figures, as the Earth Mother says, are now a glass of water, who don't wake up with night sweats because they can never fall asleep."

Tickets go on sale Thursday, May 8. Call 800-745-3000 or visit For more info, visit

--Colin Dabkowski

'Adrift in Macao' performance tonight cancelled

MusicalFare Theatre has canceled tonight's performance of "Adrift in Macao" because of a family emergency. Ticket-holders can exchange their tickets for any other performance of the show, which runs through May 25. For more info, call 839-8540.

--Colin Dabkowski

New Age legend George Winston will play Asbury Hall @ Babeville in November

Pianist and composer George Winston will play Asbury Hall @ Babeville on Wednesday, November 14th, at 8 p.m. 

Tickets, priced $30 advance, $35 day-of-show, will go on sale Friday, May 9th, at 10 a.m., through and at the Babeville box office (341 Delaware Ave.) 

- Jeff Miers 

Two new Tralf Music Hall shows announced: Ozric Tentacles, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

The Tralf Music Hall (622 Main St.) has announced two new shows for the month of June.

UK progressive/trance/jam legends Ozric Tentacles will play the Tralf on Saturday, June 21st, at 8 p.,m. Tickets are on sale now, through and at the Tralf box office. They're priced $19 advance and $21 day-of-show.

Roots/Americana outfit Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band will play the Tralf on Wednesday, June 4th. Tickets are priced $14, $16 day-of-show, and can be found through or at the Tralf box office.

- Jeff Miers 

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