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Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Make a List, Check It Twice

I Want My Sabres Jersey

by Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

Sounds of the Season

by Caitlin Derose

A Bottle of Good Cheer

by Marla Crouse

In the Margins

Repressed Holiday Memories

by David P. Kleinschmidt

Musically Gifted

by Donny Kutzbach

Boxing Day

by M. Faust

Okay, So You Have No Idea

by Kathy Pilney

Secret Santa Gifts

A Gift for Drama

by Anthony Chase

Surprise Attack!!!

by K. O'Day

Keep 'Em Busy

by Nikki Kozlowski

For a Fashionable Christmas

by K. O'Day

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Listen! I will be honest with you. I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes.” Walt Whitman wrote that in his poem “Song of the Open Road,” and now I’m saying it to you. If you expect the events of 2007 to bring you old smooth prizes, you’ll be disappointed. But if you can figure out how to change your attitude in such a way as to actually yearn for rough new prizes, you will be rewarded beyond anything you can imagine. The first hint of how true this is will arrive soon.

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

In November, a judge upheld a rule passed by a condominium association in Golden, Colo., prohibiting owners from smoking even inside their own units (in that neighbors had been complaining for five years that a couple’s cigarette smoke had been seeping into their town houses). A few days earlier, Belmont, Calif., became the first American city to ban smoking everywhere in the city limits, including condominiums and even cars (but not detached, single-family homes). (A day before that, however, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to instruct the police to treat marijuana-smoking as the city’s lowest law-enforcement priority.)


Hospital Closings: For or Against?

by Caitlin Derose

In its effort to balance the costs of health care across the state, the New York State Health Commission has recommended a series of hospital closings, mergers and restructuring across the state. No region is more affected by the provisions than Western New York. Employees and patients at Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital in Buffalo and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Cheektowaga are rallying together in opposition to the recommendations, which will automatically become law on January 1, 2007, unless they are rejected by both houses of the state legislature. With as many as a third of the 60,000 hospital beds in the state empty at any given time, New York State’s current governor and governor-elect both support the provisions of this report. What about the people who live here?

Letters to Artvoice

I am writing to express my dismay about your recent interview with Phyllis Bennis (“Israel and Us,” Artvoice v5n48&49). Somehow, out of all the countries in the world, many of which have brutal, repressive regimes, you felt it important for your readers to hear the distorted view of one “activist” who singles out the only Jewish nation in the world, and excoriates it for a variety of reasons, many of which are factually inaccurate. Israel has struggled against the surrounding Arab populations for almost 60 years, yet still manages to retain a vigorous democracy that includes Arab citizens as well as Jews and Arabs of all races. For some reason, of course not anti-Semitic, you felt that the only Jewish nation in all the world should be scrutinized differently from all other nations and held to an absurd standard not required of any other nation, no matter how benighted, murderous, or un-free. Thanks ever so much for your keen insight, and I’m ever so grateful that the alternative press is right on top of Israel, clearly one of the truly great threats to world peace. Perhaps, if Israel simply ceased to exist, the Middle East would see the sudden outbreak of peace. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Five Questions For…

John Schmidt

by Racquel Ananiadis

John Schmidt has been playing Santa Claus for four years. Though Schmidt clearly has the natural assets the gig requires—he’s jolly, he’s plumpish, his eyes twinkle—his wife talked him into it. She had played Mrs. Claus in the mall and had pestered him to join her. He kept saying no, and then finally, for no good reason, he relented. Now, four years later, he’s thinking big: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.


The Sisters Rosensweig

by Anthony Chase

Wendy Wasserstein’s play, The Sisters Rosensweig, was a hit before it even opened back in 1992. Wasserstein had already won a Pulitzer Prize for The Heidi Chronicles and had endeared herself to New York audiences with her insightful and uplifting comedies about upper-middle-class Jewish women navigating contemporary life. Not only did The Sisters Rosensweig expand on every beloved Wendy Wasserstein theme, it offered all-star everything: direction by Daniel Sullivan; a cast featuring Jane Alexander as Sara, Madeline Kahn as Gorgeous and Frances McDormand as Pfeni, three sisters from Brooklyn having a reunion in London after the death of their mother; Robert Klein as furrier Mervyn Kant; sets by John Lee Beatty; costumes by Jane Greenwood; and lighting by Pat Collins. On top of that, the show was at Lincoln Center. It was a total sell-out and transferred to Broadway.


by Javier

The fabulous Julianne Moore (pictured above) is making her Broadway debut in David Hare’s new play The Vertical Hour which opened on November 30 at the Music Box Theatre. Directed by Sam Mendes, the production also stars British actor Bill Nighy of Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead’s Man Chest fame. Moore was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in the movie The Hours, which had a screenplay by Hare (his only Oscar nomination). Later in the season, Hare will direct Vanessa Redgrave in The Year of Magical Thinking, a new play by Joan Didion based on her memoir. Moore had very fond memories of Buffalo and Studio Arena, where she made her professional debut in The Dresser back in 1984.

Film Reviews

The Devil's Work: Requiem

Mr. Smith Goes to Wall Street: The Pursuit of Happyness

See You There

Mark Norris and the Backpeddlers CD Release Show

by Jason Gusmann

Indie Rock Thursdays featuring Pilot Speed

by Siobhan A. Counihan

Buffalo UnderSound!

by Caitlin Derose

Photographs by Jane Hammond

by K. O'Day

Calendar Spotlight

The Whiskey Daredevils

53 Days

Charles Feelgood


by Caitlin Derose