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Spring at UB Center for the Arts features diverse lineup


Wed, Jan 17th 2024 04:40 pm

Music, comedy, dance, opera, distinguished speakers representative of UBCFA’s rich history of presenting variety of top-notch offerings to Western New York community

Submitted by the University at Buffalo

This spring, The University at Buffalo Center for the Arts (UBCFA) offers audiences an eclectic array of performances and events on its Mainstage and Drama Theatre. Located on the university’s North Campus, the UBCFA is Western New York’s largest and most diverse multidisciplinary arts organization, where art is made and experienced.

“We are eager for our Western New York and Southern Ontario audiences to discover the diverse spring lineup at UB's arts hub, with fresh offerings spotlighting opera and dance, plus a roster of top-notch comedians," said Jamie Enser, executive director of the UBCFA.

The spring offerings kick off Saturday, Feb. 3 (7:30 p.m.), with the modern chamber opera “Lotus Lives,” a co-presentation of the UBCFA and UB’s department of music. Featuring vocalists, dancers and a brass ensemble, “Lotus Lives” tells the story of a Chinese American woman exploring her heritage. This eclectic, contemporary piece incorporates a variety of musical genres, including rap and dance club, with elements of Chinese folk music, resulting in an exuberant performance accompanied by a dazzling display of electronics. Performed in the UBCFA’s intimate Drama Theatre, advance tickets are recommended for this extraordinary presentation.

On Wednesday, March 13 (7 p.m.), Urban Bush Women takes the Mainstage with “Legacy + Lineage + Liberation,” celebrating the company’s 40th anniversary in an evening of new and classic works that transcend genres and amplify the voices of Women (+) of color. A collaboration of the UBCFA and the UB department of theatre and dance, the company will also be in residence, led by Chanon Judson, Urban Bush Women’s co-artistic director and visiting associate professor. Urban Bush Women offers students and Buffalo community additional opportunities to interact with and experience this multi-award-winning professional dance troupe.

Saturday, March 16, comedian Leanne Morgan will perform two shows at 4 and 7 p.m. Morgan’s “Just Getting Started” tour showcases the hilarious observations and storytelling that have made her one of today’s most popular stand-up comics.

Grammy Award-Winning recording artists Nickel Creek take the Mainstage on Saturday, March 23 (7:30 p.m.). Comprised of mandolin player Chris Thile, violinist Sara Watkins and guitarist Sean Watkins, the group revolutionized bluegrass and folk music, ushering in a new era of what is now known as Americana music. The evening will feature hits from their chart-topping albums along with tunes from their latest recording, “Celebrants.” Advance tickets are highly recommended for this not-to-be-missed concert.

April 5 at 8 p.m., Matteo Lane’s “Al Dente Tour” brings his comedy to the UBCFA. The New York-based stand-up has been featured on major television shows such as “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” “This Week at the Comedy Cellar” and “The Comedy Jam.”

Mark Normand, who Jerry Seinfeld has dubbed as the “best young, up-and-coming comic,” takes the Mainstage on April 13 (7 p.m.). “Ya Don’t Say” is one of the most talked about tours of the year, following his top 10 Netflix special, “Soup to Nuts.”

Since 1987, UB’s Distinguished Speakers Series has presented an impressive list of noteworthy individuals who are leaders in their respective fields. This spring, the series continues this legacy with New York Times bestselling author Heather McGee on Feb. 28 and the nation’s first-ever Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, on March 26. Both evenings begin at 7 p.m.

(Please note that individual tickets for Gorman are sold out.)

Spring Into Art” wraps up the diverse entertainment offerings. “Spring Into Art” is a collaboration between the departments of art, arts management, UB Art Galleries, media study, music and theater and dance. This free event takes place on Tuesday, April 30, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., and showcases the broad spectrum of artists and creators housed in the UBCFA. The evening offers performances, art installations, music and interactive activities for the public to enjoy. Complimentary refreshments are offered.

For additional information on upcoming shows, to buy tickets, or view the full schedule of programs and activities in the UBCFA, visit the events and exhibitions web page.

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