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.
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.
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.
It isn't called a laboratory for nothing, even if the light fixtures aren't actually made from converted beakers. At Buffalo Laboratory Theatre, classic plays get experimental makeovers and new works make their stage debuts. Even if an audience believes they are watching a straightforward staging of a time-honored production such as Hamlet, they can rest assured that something is different—the actors might have relied on a unique rehearsal technique, or the director may have devised an entirely new presentational style. By keeping their work fresh and unpredictable, the artists at BLT aim to make every raise of the curtain a magical experience.
Originally a whimsical children's book, and later a popular Disney film, the Broadway stage production of Mary Poppins administers a sugar-spooned dose of dancing chimney sweeps and aerial stunts to audiences on its national tour. Unlike some English nannies who instill discipline with a stiff upper lip and an even stiffer pitchfork, Mary Poppins teaches children with a kinder, albeit unorthodox, arsenal of happy work songs and bottomless carpetbags. Welsh native Caroline Sheen brings the practically-perfect-in-every-way babysitter to life in a nearly three-hour (including intermission) Disney dance-tacular that combines favorite movie songs with all-new numbers and forgotten scenes.