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Cover Story

Like Finding Money on the Street

by Peter Koch

Tony Masiello slipped out of the mayor’s office two weeks ago to little fanfare. Though he never won any flashy awards during his twelve years as Buffalo’s chief executive, Masiello and his administration ensured their legacy by placing the city among the nation’s “elite” in several categories, including poorest based on median household income (5th), highest percentage of people living below the federal poverty limit (8th, at 25.9 percent), highest percentage of children living in poverty (6th, at 38.7 percent) and worst urban hardship score (10th). The last score is based on factors including income, housing, unemployment and education.

Letters to Artvoice

I really enjoyed reading the article “How Stupid is Your Daily Paper?” [January 5, 2006]. I am a recent graduate of the University at Buffalo where I studied International Business and Geography. What saddens me when I read this article is how accurate you are in what you were stating versus how ridiculous the statements that were made in the Buffalo News about developing the Niagara Falls International Airport were. Western New York has the potential to be an emerging and prosperous economic center. The main things that has held this region back is lack of good leadership, sound decision making, willingness to take calculated risk, and properly investing and re-developing the resources here.

Artist of the Week

Victoria Chatfield

by Peter Koch

Talking to Victoria Chatfield is like dealing with two people in the same body. The 20-year-old founder/executive director of Colloquial Theater constantly flits back and forth between being a young, go-getter college student who periodically bursts into awkward laughter and a well-heeled, forward-thinking arts administrator who knows the seriousness of her work. She is full of raw energy, but has the maturity and clarity of vision of someone twice her age. Since its start at a garage sale in 2002, Colloquial has put on over a dozen productions, each one run solely by students. With each new production, the company becomes more refined, the shows more professional.

In the Margins

A Very Literary Buffalo

by Michael Kelleher

As usual, Buffalo’s Winter/Spring literary calendar brims with a diverse array of readings, talks, conferences, and workshops. Highlights of the season include readings by major poets Paul Muldoon and Lyn Hejinian, and fiction writers Samuel R. Delaney and R.M. Berry.


Howard's World

by Farhad Manjoo

It wasn’t without some embarrassment that I ventured into a couple of consumer electronics stores late last week looking for a Sirius satellite radio. And I couldn’t exactly be sneaky about it, either; buying a satellite radio, unlike, say, a girlie mag, is a complicated thing, with dozens of considerations regarding subscription plans, portability, whether one’s apartment has a clear line of sight to the northeast sky, etc. I had to ask all sorts of questions of the friendly sales staff, and of course, all the while, they knew.


New Walls for Hallwalls

Intimate Textures

With Spiritual Tones

Fine Dining

First Time's a Charm: Brocco's Ristorante

by Arthur Page

Customers of the tire store previously located at 2818 Delaware Ave. would do a double-take if they pulled into the driveway today expecting to get the tires on their car rotated.

Chew On This

A Leg Up

by Lauren N. Maynard

It’s been a long, painful road for Mike Andrzejewski, owner and head chef of Tsunami Restaurant, since he suffered horrendous injuries in a motorcycle accident last August.


by Javier

It won’t be the fabulous Dawn Wells (pictured above) playing Mary Ann in O’Connell & Company’s production of Gilligan’s IslandThe Musical (that would be the also fabulous Susana Breese) which opens this week at Cabaret in the Square, under the direction of Todd Warfield. Based on the popular 1964 (can you believe it?) TV show, the musical version has been having successful runs all over the country. Wells, who was Miss Nevada 1959, has been very active in the theater in recent years, including a stint in Gurney’s Love Letters opposite another TV icon, Adam West.


"Bad Dates" is a Good Gig for Michele Ragusa

by Anthony Chase

Who is Michele Ragusa and why is her name billed above the title of Bad Dates, the one-woman comedy at Studio Arena Theatre? Is she a soap opera star, maybe? Did she write the play? No. No. She’s a hometown girl and a Niagara University graduate who happens to have an impressive list of Broadway and regional theater credits. Ragusa last appeared at Studio Arena in a supporting role in the comedy Noises Off, but this time, her home theater is giving her a boost—star billing in a solo performance. She was even allowed to choose her director.


by M. Faust

In 1996, Microcosmos, the French documentary about the multitude of tiny creatures that inhabit a small patch of grass, became a worldwide hit, paving the way for the recent revival of business for theatrical documentaries, especially nature-oriented ones like Winged Migration and March of the Penguins. So it was a surprise that Genesis (ThinkFilm, $29.99), the new film by the creators of Microcosmos, failed to get anything more than a token release last summer.

Film Reviews

Hype Factor: Hostel

by George Sax

Light in the Dark Ages: Tristan + Isolde

by M. Faust

Left of the Dial

The High Strung: Moxie Bravo

by Matt Barber

New York Dolls: All Dolled Up DVD

by Mark Norris



We are planning a huge CD release party with all new merch, a great lineup of bands and even a few surprises. Look for it early spring.

See You There

Squeaky Wheel Open House

by K. O'Day

Friday the 13th Ghost Toast

by Gore Petersen

"24/12" and "A Life in the Arts" Series Doubleheader

by Lauren N. Maynard

Buffalo Film Seminars

by M. Faust

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

■ Bangkok economics student Panupol Sujjayakorn interrupted his studies in November to defend his World Scrabble Championship in London, one of many non-English-speaking competitors who achieved top-of-the-line ranking by memorizing up to 100,000 words in English without ever knowing their meanings. Like the others, reported the Chronicle of Higher Education, Mr. Panupol learned first those premium words that overuse the prominent Scrabble letter tiles (such as “aureolae”). (Alas, this time around, a native English speaker, Dr. Adam Logan, a number theory researcher, won the title, building actual words like “qanat” and “euripi.”)

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The San Francisco 49ers football team recently endured one of its worst seasons ever. But as the losses piled up, head coach Mike Nolan continued to profess an optimism that seemed deluded to most observers. After an especially galling defeat in the team’s 13th game, however, he finally confessed he was a little down. In response, San Francisco Chronicle sportswriter Ray Ratto exulted, “At least Mike Nolan isn’t calling a chemical fire the Aurora Borealis anymore.” I bring this up, Capricorn, because in recent months you have now and then suffered from the reverse problem: It’s like you’ve been gazing at the Aurora Borealis and theorizing it’s a chemical fire. But this glitch in your attitude is now becoming untenable. Your pretty good luck is evolving into damn fine blessings. It’s time to acknowledge the beautiful truths in all of their glory.