Despite spending most of their 125-plus-year history as a minor-league organization, the Bisons began play as a major-league club from 1879–85. All told, nearly 3,000 players and managers have donned the Bisons uniform, including 20 who have been immortalized in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Currently, the Bisons compete every summer for an International League title, as well as the Thruway Cup—a regional- and bragging rights–based trophy chased by the Bisons, the Rochester Red Wings, and the Syracuse Chiefs. The Bisons have done half of their competing since 1988 at Coca-Cola Field, which boasts the largest video board in the minors and an infield kept moist by hoses that spray water and not soda as the field’s name would suggest.
Dipson Theatres celebrates a reputation as a regional movie institution with a network of 12 locations lighting 57 silver screens across Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania. Though the company now spreads across the northeast United States, it began in the small city of Batavia, NY, in 1939—a time when movies were called “picture shows,” Roosevelt was in the White House, and everybody could only see in black and white. Today that tradition underlies the cinematic experience as patrons chomp popcorn and sip sodas, marveling at modern 3-D visual adventures, summer action movies, family-friendly features, or even indie art flicks and footage from world-renowned opera performances.
It's fitting that Alleyway Theatre makes its home in a renovated bus depot—the venue is a destination for local talent. The company focuses on Buffalo artists, frequently staging world premieres and fostering the work of homegrown playwrights. Freshly penned plays and acclaimed shorts entertain audiences in the historic venue, which sports the curved walls, stainless steel trimmings, and distinctive mustache of the Art Moderne architectural style.
Neglia Ballet Artists pirouettes into the hearts of ballet lovers and causal audiences alike with masterfully executed contemporary and traditional ballet pieces. The company's "An Evening of Mixed Repertoire" illuminates the Performing Arts Center with classic and modern showcase dances ranging from a Balanchine piece to an ultramodern robot pas de deux. Heralded last year by Buffalo News reviewer Steve Sucato as “…arguably the finest [production] mounted by a local dance organization in the past decade…,” this year's mixed repertoire will ensnare audiences with the hoofing talents of resident artists as well as national and international guest dancers and choreographers.
An exquisite example of Wright's ranch houses, the Martin Complex was commissioned by Darwin D. Martin of the Buffalo-based Larkin Soap Company in 1902. With this deal, you'll get an extensive guided tour of the historical property, beginning with an examination of the exterior of the main Martin House while your guide discusses the intricacies of Wright's architectural style. Since the interior of the Martin House is currently closed for renovations, the tour has expanded to include several other parts of the complex, starting with a walk down the stunning Pergola, a 100-foot walkway connecting the Martin House to the conservatory. There, a lush indoor garden awaits, showcasing Wright's uncanny ability to combine interior spaces with nature without simply stapling algae to the walls. Then, take a walk inside the first floor of the Barton House, the first building constructed on the complex in 1903. The tour continues with a visit to the first floor of the Gardener's Cottage, built in 1909 and exemplifying Wright's concept of small, affordable housing. Lasting about an hour and a half, the tour includes plenty of walking, so visitors should be sure to bring comfortable shoes.
The staff at Spinner’s Rink dispatch rented roller-skates to feet of all ages and skating abilities so guests can jump, whirl, and boogie across the wooden floor. Packs of rolling revelers lap an oval track under technicolor lights during open skate sessions on Saturdays and Sundays and spin with all the grace of a gyroscope trapped in a blender. On Friday nights, kids ages 16 and younger can mingle in supervised skate and dance celebrations, and adults can skate until midnight on the first Friday of each month. After mastering their dodecatuple axels, skaters replenish themselves at the rink’s snack bar with hot dogs, pizza, and soda.
Ilya's Bellydance & Henna Studio teaches the fine art of tummy undulation and hip-and-shoulder shimmying to abdomens anxious to shuffle their metaphorical belly feet. Eager rug-cutters can strive to improve their poise and self-confidence in a standard belly-dancing, burlesque, or Bollywood workshop. An expert audience mesmerizer instructs on navel-oriented movement techniques, including the classic bellybutton ripple that displays agility and removes any abdomen-attached forest creatures.
Theatre of Youth specializes in kid-friendly performances that engage young minds and captivate grown-up grown-ups. They produce five literary-based productions and two health and wellness productions each year. Since 2000, more than half a million children have gotten their jollies from the popular productions, which are known for their high production value and quality acting. Upcoming plays include the informative Inside Out that wraps an entertaining story around a lesson that encourages healthier eating habits. This Holiday season, catch A Little House Christmas which is adopted from the famed Little House on the Prairie series, or peer into the future and reserve seats for a stage adaptation of Judy Bloom's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, opening next March.
There are more than 2,000 short tracks in the United States. Among them, fewer than 60 are NASCAR-sanctioned. Holland NASCAR Motorsports Complex is one of the few with such distinction. The raceway has guzzled the fumes of that rarified air since 1960, when it was built as a 1/3-mile facility surrounded by just 1,200 seats. In 1964, the course expanded to 3/8 mile, and four years later, asphalt replaced the outdated shag carpeting as the track's surface. Today, Holland packs up to 7,000 spectators into its grandstands. It completes the race-day experience with various amenities, including The Midway, where fans can fuel up on snacks and drinks, and The Village, where fans party under large tents and around picnic tables.
• For $10, you get one general-admission ticket (up to a $20 value). • For $20, you get two general-admission tickets (up to a $40 value). • For $40, you get season tickets for one (an $80 value).
Established in 1982 at a 300-square-foot facility, Center Stage Dance Studio has since widened its walls to include 7,500 square feet of dance rooms and classes that build both rhythm and confidence. Owner and professional dancer Annette Osinski,patrols Center Stage's four studios to helpfully spectate as feet prance atop cushion-suspended floors and limbs stretch across ballet barres. Instructors verse students in such boogying schools as tap, Zumba, hip-hop, and acro—a blend of classical maneuvers and acrobatics featured in Cirque du Soleil performances and many pro-wrestling cage matches. The experienced staff keeps ears attuned to the dance world's pulse by attending various conferences and returning with innovative maneuvers. With courses for guests of all ages and beat-keeping abilities, Center Stage favors communal encouragement over competition, pushing students toward individual goals with personal, positive attention to their form. Scheduled recitals for charities, including the Cerebral Palsy Foundation and the Children's Hospital Telethon, acquaint dancers with the sensation of being on stage while contributing to worthy causes.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Since opening with a Frank Sinatra performance in 1990, the stadium now known as Times Union Center has seen more than 15 million guests pass through its turnstiles. That’s only slightly smaller than the population of the Netherlands and roughly equal to the number of people worldwide who enjoy candy corn. Besides attracting such entertainment titans as the Rolling Stones, U2, Disney’s “On Ice” series, and the Harlem Globetrotters, the multifunction arena is also home to the AHL’s Albany Devils and college basketball’s Siena Saints.
TJ's Dinner Theatre serves up classic American food and entertainment in a casual setting. Cooks prepare burgers, pizzas, and giant soft pretzels while patrons relax and watch movies. Though the theater opened in its current location in February 2013, its centerpiece is much older: "Shirley," the projector that casts movies onto the big screen, has been in use since 1949, reports metroWNY.