Well, that was certainly an eventful weekend.
I don’t know that I could rightly include everything I did and saw during my two-and-a-half day stint in and around the Big Apple, but I can give a condensed rundown of the highlights while confidently saying I achieved pretty much all that I wished and more.
For starters, the Thursday night Bills game at Metlife Stadium. Woof. I’m not sure what I can contribute other than it was a pretty ugly display on the field. Off the field, things were a bit more interesting.
I noticed pretty quickly that there’s an entirely different dynamic and demeanor among Jets fans, especially when the only live NFL experience I’ve ever had was at Bills home games. Things were pretty reserved before and during the game by comparison, and I got the sense that a lot of people were there just because it was something to do. Not at all like Buffalo, where the fans are nuts and live and breathe football during the fall season.
But anyway, while the game was awful, there were also a lot of empty seats, which meant exploring and constantly bringing myself into closer proximity of the field as time progressed. By the end of the fourth quarter, when all hope was lost, I found myself about three rows behind the Bills bench and right next to the players. Also, I’m pretty sure I made an appearance on NFL Network’s post-game show because I watched the commentators do their thing from about 20 feet away and there was a camera pointed in my direction for a good chunk of that time.
As for my Manhattan experience, that was a bit more well-rounded. Aside from the subway. I never could get the hang of that thing.
Some of the highlights, in some particular order, included visits to: Tiffany & Co., because Audrey (see my column photo for reference); Rockefeller Center; The Dakota, where John Lennon was shot, and Lennon’s “Imagine” memorial in Central Park; Times Square; the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Broadway, where I saw the new “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” musical; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the observation deck of the Freedom Tower; and Tom’s Restaurant, which made several appearances as “Monk’s Cafe” in Seinfeld.
By the time Sunday morning rolled around, and I was hastily making my way across Manhattan and Brooklyn to catch my flight out of JFK Airport, I felt I was starting to get a pretty good feel for the layout and the general atmosphere over there. I actually learned quite a lot about the city and myself, and found a pretty decent comfort level with the crowds and traffic. I can’t say I’d ever want to live there, nor could I likely afford to, but I would definitely be interested in regular return visits.
But for now, it’s back to Jamestown and back to reality. It’s nice to be back on my home turf and hanging out with my people again, but I think I’m starting to contract this “travel bug” I hear people talking about. Ideally, I can satisfy my wanderlust and my musical needs all at once if Cold Lazarus ever takes to the road — which is looking like it could be a real possibility in the not too distant future.
And so, here’s some of what you can expect to find in the area this week.
‘Hairspray’ To Continue At JCC This Weekend: The JCC Uncommoners will present the former Broadway musical “Hairspray” this weekend — with 8 p.m. showtimes today, Friday and Saturday. There was also be 2 p.m. matinee performances this Sunday and Sunday.
The musical “Hairspray” is an adaptation of the 1988 non-musical John Waters film of the same name. JCC’s production stars Teal Weatherley as Tracy Turnblad, a high school student whose only dream is to be on a local Baltimore teen dance program. While her father Wilbur (Steve Wendell) tells her to follow her dreams, her mother Edna (Adam Owens) reminds her that she doesn’t look like the girls on that show. After impressing the show’s host Corny Collins (Christopher Switala), Tracy earns a coveted spot on the program. But when she becomes a popular addition to the cast, she earns the wrath of the prettiest girl in school Amber VonTussle (Kayle Volpe) — a girl whose mother Velma VonTussle (Holly Weston) just happens to operate the local television station. Tracy’s visit to detention hall opens her eyes to the racial tension on the television show, as does the budding relationship between her best friend Penny (LeighAnne Shaffer) and an African-American boy named Seaweed (Daman Holland). Empowered, Tracy attempts to integrate the races on her favorite program.
JCC’s “Hairspray” is directed by Julie Costantini, choreographed by Jennie Cross and conducted by Mary Ann Harp. Costantini said she has been impressed with the cast and crew she has assembled.
Tickets to JCC’s “Hairspray” are $18, and can be purchased by calling the Scharmann Theatre box office at 338-1187 or online at campusstore.sunyj cc.edu. Senior citizens and Faculty-Student Association cardholders will receive $2 off, at a limit of 2 tickets per transaction, if paying in person.
‘Wits ‘N Giggles’ To Feature Charlie Wiener, JC Clarke Saturday: Northwest Arena’s “Wits ‘n Giggles” stand-up comedy series will return Saturday at 7:30 p.m. to feature headliner Charlie Wiener and feature performer JC Clarke.
Wiener is the consummate entertainer, having been in the music and comedy industry for over 40 years. He has headlined clubs across the U.S. and Canada for well over a quarter of a century, and has performed everywhere from Atlantic City to Las Vegas. The father of two adult daughters and three very odd dogs, Wiener has lived a full life, but isn’t ready to cash in his chips just yet. He has shared the stage with Ellen DeGeneres, Bobcat Goldthwait, George Lopez, Meatloaf and Randy Newman, and has appeared on A&E, Comedy Central, CBC, NBC, ABC and CBS.
His fast pace, extreme hilarity and impressive resume make him one of the most requested stand-up comedians working today.
Clarke grew up in a small town in Kentucky. Since his youth, he had always wanted to perform on stage in some capacity. After graduating college, he spent 20 years in retail before deciding to fully commit to being a stand-up comedian. Clarke’s comedy is best described as stories and observations about life in a self-deprecating style. He was a finalist in the Pittsburgh Improv’s “Last Comic Standing 2013.”
“Wits ‘n Giggles” is held in the Jamestown Mattress Arena Club located on the top floor of the Northwest Arena. Tickets for the event are $10 presale, $12 day of show and $5 for students. Attendees must be 18 years of age and up to attend. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling 484-2624, visiting northwestarena.com, or at the Northwest Arena’s Landmark Chevrolet Box Office.
Ron White To Perform At Seneca Allegany Saturday: Ron White, also known by his alias, “Tater Salad,” is set to perform at the Seneca Allegany Events Center at 7 p.m. Saturday. Best known as the scotch drinking, cigar smoking member of the world-famous Blue Collar Comedy Tour, White has built a career by telling brutally honest stories brimming with punch lines and bursting with laughs. His resume includes Grammy nominations, a gold record, three top-rated one-hour comedy specials, a book on the New York Times Best Seller List and CD and DVD sales in the tens of millions. Tickets to Saturday’s show start at $40.
The Seneca Allegany Events Center is located at 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd. in Salamanca. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 1-877-872-6322 or visit senecaalleganycasino.com/events/ron-white/.
To include an upcoming show or event in this column, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 487-1111, ext. 243 by Monday.
The Karl-Marks Show (it’s revolutionary!): 7 p.m., Good Time Saloon, 590 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown
Comedy open mic: 8 p.m., The Q, 104 W. Second St. in Jamestown
Karaoke with DJ Xcite: 9 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Karaoke with Felony Entertainment: 10:30 p.m., Forte, 114 E. Third St. in Jamestown
Bill Ward: 6 p.m., The Wine Cellar, 309 N. Main St. in Jamestown
DJ Karaoke: 8 p.m., Big Shots, 674 Route 394 in Kennedy
Karaoke with Felony Entertainment: 9 p.m., Shawbucks, 212 W. Second St. in Jamestown
The Freeze: 9 p.m., Good Time Saloon, 590 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown
Splitfoot: 10 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Revelation with Slow Motion Breakdown: 10 p.m., Mojo’s Music Bar, 104 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Scroggins: 2 p.m., The Vegas Pad, 1064 Route 394 in Kennedy
The Kates Brothers Band: 2 p.m., Southern Tier Distilling Company, 2051A Stoneman Circle in Lakewood
Bryan Moore: 7 p.m., Celoron Moose, 52 Dunham Ave. in Celoron
Juli Bessey and Warren Sischo: 7 p.m., Craft Burgers and Brews, 60 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood
Straight Shooter: 8 p.m., The Vegas Pad, 1064 Route 394 in Kennedy
Smokehouse: 8:30 p.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Jamestown
Ion Sky: 9 p.m., Big Shots, 674 Route 394 in Kennedy
Jules-R-Us Karaoke featuring Tami T: 9 p.m., Good Time Saloon, 590 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown
1980 Something: 10 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Refuge: 10 p.m., Shawbucks, 212 W. Second St. in Jamestown
Open Jam: 9 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Karaoke: 10 p.m., Mojo’s Music Bar, 104 E. Second St. in Jamestown
“Planes, Trains and Automobiles” screening: 7 p.m., Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown
Karaoke: 10 p.m., The Q, 104 W. Second St. in Jamestown.