Arts & Culture Featured

OFF ROAD Podcasts: RLTP Interviews with Buffalo’s Creative Community-This week, New Oishei Foundation president Christina Orsi

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The John R. Oishei Foundation made a brilliant move last December when it named Christina Orsi to be its first female president. Though busy planning the activities of this 80-year-old charitable organization, Ms. Orsi sat down for a friendly and comprehensive chat about her life and future.

Listen Now Episode 27

After honing her skills in Chicago, Lynne Koscielniak returned to her home town of Buffalo to wow theater audiences with eye-popping set and lighting designs while mentoring design tech students at UB. Still, this busy lady somehow found the time to chat about her never ending love for her artistic career. 


After contributing so beautifully to the series of podcasts known as “A History of Buffalo Theatre,” it was fairly obvious that a full interview with the knowledgeable and talented Tony Chase had to happen sooner rather than later. So here he is, talking about his life and his love for the theater! It’s his long-awaited, always fascinating and never disappointing interview with Peter!


When LeRoi C. Johnson was managing the business of his brother Rick James, he put his law career and his colorful art career on temporary hold. But since then, he has grown both in status and renown. Today, his paintings can be found all over the world, and he talks to Peter about how his life and his art have evolved and experienced great success!



When he was attending Buffalo State, who would have suspected that the multi-talented Tom Calderone would someday become the leader the MTV/VH1 networks, only to return to his adopted hometown of Buffalo to head the continuing renaissance of PBS and Buffalo Toronto Public Media?


The multi-talented Brandye Merriwe2ther was named the president of the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation in March, an incredibly important and demanding position. But she somehow found time to sit down with Peter to chat about her life, her goals, and her plans to continue Buffalo’s thriving “comeback.”


visit. The discussion with Dan Urtz (and “friend”) includes the joy of re-opening a hit show with great expectations, learning how to manipulate a puppet, and then learning how to avoid having it manipulate you!


A pioneer actor/director/theater manager, David Lamb could arguably be said to have been the father of the modern age of theatre in Buffalo. His journey from British schoolboy with dreams of playing Rugby for the national team to the founding of the Kavinoky Theatre turned out to be a pivotal moment in Buffalo’s history.

John Murphy is well known as the premier local broadcaster who is the voice of the Buffalo Bills. But in this episode of Off Road he uses that voice to talk about his life, his upbringing, and his future with the Bills and other ventures.
S2: Episode 18: Listen Now
Musician Tom Makar is one of many working behind the scenes to give you a more engrossing audio experience at the theater. What does he do and how did he arrive on the scene? Find out in this edition of Off Road!
S2: Episode 17: Listen Now
Jennifer O’Neill and George Pittas join Peter to explain how they turned Buffalo into one of the most desirable film destinations in the world. It didn’t happen by intent, but it did happen practically over night, with a lot of hard work!

S2: Episode 15: LISTEN NOW

How do you go from a multitude of children and grandchildren, to work as a nurse administrator, to volunteer activities at a mission, to the stage? Dave Marciniak does it well…and that includes talking to Peter about all of it!

George Caldwell is a multi-talented jazz pianist, composer, and arranger who has played with some of the greatest musicians in the world. Living here in Buffalo, he spent time talking to Peter about his life at home and on the road.

As an actor, podcaster, producer of YouTube vids, martial artist, and comic book collector, Afrim Gjonbalaj has spread his interests over a wide variety of media and platforms, and he talks about them In this all-inclusive interview with Peter.

Clotilde Dedecker is quietly changing the Buffalo landscape with her leadership of the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo. Hear what she has to say about philanthropy and the importance of giving to our community on a long term basis!
When he’s not busy creating lesson plans for his students, teacher-writer-journalist-blogger Steve Cichon keeps himself even busier promoting Buffalo history…an interest he shares with Peter during a lively conversation.
When she’s not out walking through or writing about Buffalo gardens, Elizabeth Licata is editing Buffalo’s premier lifestyle magazine Buffalo Spree. But she still had time to sit down and talk to Peter about her life and career.
















Stephen McKinley Henderson is equally at home doing television, film, or live theater. And he’s always turning up somewhere! Recently, he turned up on Peter’s computer screen to talk about his life, his career, ad 

It’s a Happy Holiday Special Episode as Peter gets his wish to meet Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra music director JoAnn Falletta who answers questions about her life, her role with the BPO, and her love for Buffalo.



Patti Thomas is a busy woman: managing her husband’s brand, running a construction company, and administering the charitable deeds of the Thurman Thomas Family Foundation. But she took a brief pause from it all to talk about her life!

PLUS! Listen to our surprise guest as she talks about her favorite local take-out restaurants. LISTEN NOW TO EPISODE 31

Listen now to Episode 28 Two more long-awaited interviews highlight this edition of Off Road, as the Jewish Repertory Theater and the proprietors of the very popular theater bar “Matinee” join Peter for fun conversation.

What do you do when you can’t have an audience in your theater? You take your show to them! The star and playwright of RLTP’s “Bigfoot” talk about how they are making it all happen.

OPENING FRIDAY: Starring Jake Hayes, Robyn Horn, Peter Horn and Lisa Vitrano

Listen now to Episode 27


Peter ventures far from the city (virtually, of course) to talk to Seth Wochensky from Springville Center for the Arts, then continues his review of future theater plans with Kelly and Kristin from Second Generation back in Buffalo.

The focus on the arts continues as Peter zooms in to interviews with managers from the Burchfield Penney Art Center and the Theater of Youth as both contemplate re-opening and future plans.

Listen Now Episode 25:

Listen Now Episode 24

Continuing his focus on art and “the arts,” Peter Zooms in to Shirley Verrico, curator of the Buffalo Arts Studio, and MaryKate O’Connell from O’Connell & Co. to talk about their positive outlooks for the future.

Listen Now Episode 22:

From the world of dance, music, and theater, this podcast covers all the bases…no pun intended (you’ll get it when you listen). Peter talks with Heidi Halt, Jim Pace and Michael Murphy from Neglia, Buffalo Musicians’ Union, and Shea’s!

Listen Now Episode 21:

Guests from Hallwalls, Kavinoky, Olmsted and Ujima sit down with Peter to discuss the hows and whys of planning and carrying out a possible reopening…maybe!

Listen Now Episode 20:

Peter plans to convert his summer to a “staycation” after speaking to friends from the Buffalo History Museum, the Martin House, the New Phoenix Theatre, and the Lancaster Opera House.
Listen Now Episode 19:

Buffalo’s cultural community continues to be the focus of this podcast, as Peter learns more from leaders of the RLTP and ICTC theaters, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and the Buffalo Museum of Science.

Listen Now Episode 18:

Peter’s guests teach him plenty about his beloved Buffalo as he zooms in to four different parts of the city to hear about literary activities, theater activities, and arts events of every kind!
Listen Now Episode 17:

In this episode, Peter test-drives a revised format involving multiple interviews, all focused on the new reality of life in WNY. How are several cultural institutions coping and planning for the future?

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