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Theater Feature

Good Bye Michael Hake

by Anthony Chase

Michael Hake, an extraordinary musician and vivid theater personality, died on the morning of Thursday, December 3rd. He had been taken to Buffalo General Hospital the night before, after collapsing at Q on Allen Street, a bar popular with theater folk.

News Feature

Cult of NXIVM Series Part 4: Raniere's Harem

by Frank Parlato

Thanks to the recommendation of my friend, G. Steven Pigeon, and following an interview in Albany, I began work for the self-help group NXIVM (pronounced Nexium).

Guest Essay

The City that Oversleeps

by Sean Tuohey

“Every four years this comes up, and every four years it fails,” said the agitated bartender from The Lennox Pub, before walking away to tend to other customers. “The only way this changes is if the county passes a law that the majority of people don’t want,” he adds as he goes. I pay my tab and head back out onto the streets to continue my canvas.

Upon Further Review

Tyrod's Tear

by Dave Staba

When Tyrod Taylor arced a perfect 53-yard throw to Sammy Watkins for the second time during last Sunday’s season-sustaining 30-21 win over Houston, a few questions came to mind:

News Feature

Shmuel Shmueli Says We Lie

by Frank Parlato

This week the extraordinary conman Shmuel Shmueli contacted this publication to inform us that we told “lies” about him and “distorted” and “manipulated facts in amazing ways”.

Local News

Conservative Party's Holiday Breakfast Attracts Full House

by Tony Farina

The Erie County Conservative Party held its annual Holiday Breakfast Get Together last Saturday at Lucarelli’s Banquet Center on Abbott Rd. in Lackawanna, drawing a big crowd of political operatives, state and local officeholders, and family and friends from near and far.

Tap This

Coming Out of The Gate

by Erik Wollschlager

The perpetual growth of the Buffalo brewing industry has ballooned to the point where brewers are setting up shop outside of the city limits. This year has seen the opening of breweries in West Seneca and East Aurora, with even more planned in for the future. As we rest on the cusp of the solstice holidays, another brewery is days away from opening its Williamsville gates.

What's Brewing

Resurgence Bourbon Barrel Aged Sponge Candy Stout & Genesee Brew House Salted Caramel Chocolate Porter

by Erik Wollschlager and Chris Groves

On Thursday, December 10, Resurgence Brewing Company will be releasing their Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Sponge Candy Stout. The third version of their infamous Sponge Candy Stout is by far the best, in my opinion.

Classical Music Notes

A Very Classical Christmas

by Jan Jezioro

This weekend, music director JoAnn Falletta will return to the podium in Kleinhans to conduct the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus in a pair of classical Christmas music concerts on Friday at 10:30am and Saturday at 8pm. It is a safe bet that for classical music purists these concerts are the most eagerly anticipated events of the Christmas music season.

Classical Music Notes

UB Symphony Gets Romantic

by Jan Jezioro

Music Director Daniel Bassin will lead the UB Symphony Orchestra in its final performance of the semester this Friday at 7:30 pm at Slee Hall on the UB Amherst Campus. In the few years that he has been music director, Bassin has consistently managed to make his concerts memorable through innovative programming which is no easy task, especially for a non-conservatory student orchestra.

Film Review


by Jordan Canahai

Along with the usual award-season Oscar bait and big-budget franchise blockbusters that accompany the Holiday season, one can always expect a handful of forgettable Christmas-themed films to cash in on this most festive time of year.

Get Lit

Snowmen and Disc Jockeys

by Heather Cook

On Friday (12/11), the Burchfield Penney Art Center (1300 Elmwood Ave.) will host a reading along with live music. Noah Flack is the author of Snowmen Losing Weight (BatCat Press, 2012).

Graphic Traffic

Bloodshot Reborn, Vol. 1: Colorado & The Sandman, Vol 3: Dream Country

by Michael Hoffert Jr., and Jack Dumpert

Neil Gaiman’s masterpiece, The Sandman, first appeared as a monthly comic book, in a 76-issue run published over six years. The overarching story of Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, was told in arcs, six- to nine-issue episodes, all of which have since been collected into graphic novels.

Featured Events

AV Hit List: Top Event Picks for This Week

See You There!


On The Boards Theater Listings

Film Now Playing

Movie Listings (Friday, December 11 - Thursday, December 17)

You Auto Know

2016 Mazda Miata MX-5

by Jim Corbran

Yes, the accompanying photo is from the actual test drive last week. December in WNY isn’t usually top-down weather, but when you’re in a cabin as cozy as the new Miata’s, and the top is within arm’s reach of putting up or down with one hand while never leaving the driver’s seat, and—and this is a big and—you have side windows and a working heater, of course you put the top down.

Offbeat News

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

After certain takeoffs and landings were delayed on Nov. 7 at Paris’ Only airport (several days before the terrorist attacks), a back trace on the problem forced the airport to disclose that its crucial “DECOR” computer system still runs on Windows 3.1 software (introduced in 1992).


Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): My old friend Jeff started working at a gambling casino in Atlantic City. “You’ve gone over to the dark side!” I kidded. He acknowledged that 90 percent of the casino’s visitors lose money gambling. On the bright side, he said, 95 percent of them leave happy. I don’t encourage you to do this kind of gambling in the near future, Sagittarius. It’s true that you will be riding a lucky streak.