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Holiday Feature

Give Unto Those Who Need It Most

by Jamie Moses

I suppose we all should be inspired by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan’s recent decision to give away 99 percent of their Facebook stock, a charitable giving worth $45 billion. Zuckerberg and fellow billionaires Bill Gates ($31 billion given already) and Warren Buffet ($22 billion given) have inspired another 130 billionaires to follow suit.

News Feature

Conman Extraordinaire Shmuel Shmueli Comes to Niagara Falls

by Frank Parlato

This week we return to the extraordinary conman Shmuel Shmueli, who defrauded dozens of local lawyers along the way to making me his chief victim.

News Feature

Keith Raniere, self proclaimed smartest man in the world and spiritually evolved guru

by Frank Parlato

I lived and worked with NXIVM for several months as their round-the-clock consultant, staying in their properties and communicating closely day and night with their top officials. That included leaders Keith Raniere, hypnotist and president of the organiztion, Nancy Salzman, and the wealthy Seagram heiresses, Clare and Sara Bronfman who fund the operation.


Eichel vs. McDavid... Delay of Game

by Andrew Kulyk and Peter Farrell

Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid, the two hot prospects who people have been talking about for years, were all set to face each other on the NHL stage for the very first time. Buffalo and Edmonton, playing at Rexall Place, had all the makings of a media circus and a league-wide sensation.

Upon Further Review

Rexual Inadequacy

by Dave Staba

It would be easy, maybe even fun, to spend the next few hundred—or thousand—words ripping Rex Ryan for the managerial inattention that led to going 0-for-5 in replay-challenge situations, which at least played a major role in Sunday’s gut-twisting loss to Kansas City.

Tap This

From Grain to Charcuterie and Back Again

by Michael Chelus

The much heralded Farm-to-table movement has been bringing locally grown produce and livestock directly to local diners in Western New York for many years. Another movement—or cycle—that delivers the same increased quality in production and involves local farms, restaurants and breweries, has not received the same popularity.

What's Brewing

Southern Tier Old Man Winter & Sierra Nevada Coffee Stout

by Erik Wollschlager and Chris Groves

Outside of Buffalo, if one mentions Southern Tier Brewing Company, the first thing out of anyone’s mouth is “PUMKING!” and rightfully so—the creamy pumpkin ale has almost single handedly driven an entire beer style to a crazed national fandom. Unfortunately for STBC, many of their other, more fantastic beers often get overlooked, as is the case with the rarely mentioned Old Man Winter.

Theatrically Speaking

Three Is A Charm

by Anthony Chase

The debut of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House in 1879 is generally regarded as marking the arrival of the Modern Drama. Nora’s defiant gesture, asserting her own humanity by slamming the door on a suffocating marriage has resonated across the globe and across time.

Film Review


by Jordan Canahai

I wouldn’t blame some audience members for walking out during the first hour of Room; the Canadian-Irish independent drama-thriller is so depressing and difficult to watch that many won’t want to endure it.

Film Review


by Jordan Canahai

Like many critics who found themselves surprised by how moved they were by the period drama Brooklyn, I’ve been struggling to find the best adjectives to convey my feelings toward it.

Art Scene

Next Door Neighbors

by Jack Foran

Len Kagelmacher’s photos of Buffalo and near environs on view at Art Dialogue Gallery focus on architectural features hidden in plain sight. But a telephoto lens helps.

Classical Music Notes

Die Fledermaus at BOU

by Jan Jezioro

On Friday December 4 at 8pm and Sunday December 6 at 2:30pm, Buffalo Opera Unlimited will end its 30th anniversary season with a fully staged production, sung in English, of Johann Strauss II’s operetta Die Fledermaus under the direction of Tim Kennedy, in Rockwell Hall Performing Arts Center on the Buffalo State Campus.

Theater News


by Javier

The fabulous Marlee Matlin (pictured above) is making her Broadway debut in the revival of the musical Spring Awakening which is playing a limited engagement through January 24th. First presented in Los Angeles, this production is performed simultaneously in American Sign Language and spoken English.

Get Lit

Holiday Book Sale & Exhibit and Chapbook Launch

by Heather Cook

Need to find the perfect gift for your favorite book lover—or maybe yourself? Why not shop local at Talking Leaves...Books. Don’t know what fits your current reading needs? Just take a look at the Staff Picks shelf for inspiration.

Featured Events

AV Hit List: Top Event Picks for This Week

See You There!


On The Boards Theater Listings

Movie Listings (Friday, December 4 - Thursday, December 10)

Film Now Playing

Graphic Traffic

Dark Knight III: The Master Race & Jessica Jones: Alias Vol. 1

by Brian Kearney and Joe Tell

Meet Jessica Jones. One part hard boiled private detective, one part street level super hero, Alias is one of the quintessential comic books for adults of the last twenty years.

Offbeat News

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

Budi Waseso also mused that crocodiles would make better prison guards than humans because crocs can’t be bribed and later added tigers and pirhanas to the proposed guard roster. Even so, Waseso’s boss reiterated that the government is committed to rehabilitation over punishment.


Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “Like all explorers, we are drawn to discover what’s out there without knowing yet if we have the courage to face it.” Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön said that, and now I’m telling you. According to my divinations, a new frontier is calling to you.