Arts Features

Megan Leigh Barnard

Hanif Abdurraqib left Connecticut in the spring of 2017, after a painful breakup. Now he was back in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio. A wounded writer. Perfect. Anger and bitterness have filled many, many library shelves.

Except, it was too easy to be bitter, he says. “I don’t really write well when I’m bitter. And so I needed to figure out something for myself that served my writing.”

The Cinema Theater to show movies again

Apr 13, 2021
David Andreatta / CITY

Not long after the operators of the Cinema Theater announced in February that Rochester's oldest movie house would close for good, the marquee began flashing a mysterious message that suggested a second showing: “The Cinema Theater Will Return.”

Now, new operators, spouses Kristina Dinino-Jeffords and Damon Jeffords, say they are delivering on the marquee’s cryptic promise.

Joan Marcus/Hamilton National Tour

The Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s elusive 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons have once again disappeared -- and reappeared -- in the course of one press release.

The city’s marquee theater organization, presenting hit Broadway shows, announced on Tuesday morning a once-again reworked schedule that pushes the remains of both seasons back to a fall restart, including the return of “Hamilton” in late 2022.

Hollywood Records

It is such a simple morning ritual. 

Daniel Armbruster gets out of bed. His own bed, after years of so many unfamiliar ones. He pours himself a bowl of granola, sets out the butter and bread for toast. 

There’s some sugar and vitamin C in the cupboard. What’s this, a bottle of C24H28ClN5O3? A chemical formula, better known as Dramamine. The date on the bottle says it’s expired, and it's no longer needed since the high-speed rock-and-roll life has slowed to a more manageable pace. Throw it out. 

And then, on to what “After Coffee" is really about.

Catherine Rafferty

One of the final acts of John Borek, one of many acts of his life, was to send 5-foot-tall cardboard cutouts of chocolate rabbits to friends in celebration of Easter, one of his favorite holidays.

Borek, a man of many hats known for his zany theatrics and serious commitment to the Rochester arts and cultural scene, died Saturday. He was 71 and had been ill with leukemia.

He was many things to many people in the city.

Max Schulte/WXXI News

Imagine a hard-to-find, intensely Instagrammable houseplant, and something like the monstera deliciosa albo variegata, with its iconic broad-split leaves streaked with white, might come to mind.

Samantha Mills has one in a gold pot on the counter of her shop. “Her name is Betty,” Mills said, a tribute to "The Golden Girls" star Betty White.

Mills is a co-owner of Stem, a new shop at the corner of Alexander Street and Park Avenue specializing in plants like Betty: hard to find and all the rage.

Aaron Winters

With New York giving the OK for capacity-limited openings of entertainment venues throughout the state starting on Friday, the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival confirmed that it is moving ahead with plans for the fall.

But with caveats.

“Everything changes on a dime from week to week, so we are staying flexible,” says festival President Erica Fee.

Provided by Abilene

Danny Deutsch is watching the charts. Not the Billboard magazine charts. But The New York Times charts, tracking the new COVID-19 cases. And the COVID-19 deaths.

“It’s not something to trifle with,” he says.

Deutsch is the owner of Abilene Bar & Lounge, the tiny downtown Rochester club that’s offered a stage to local musicians -- and small but intriguing national acts -- for more than a dozen years now. But Abilene has been open and closed and open again throughout this coronavirus pandemic year. And closed again since November.


The Rochester Music Hall of Fame class of 2020 is on hold once again. 

Last year’s induction ceremony and concert was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic and had been rescheduled for April 25.

“Right now, obviously, we can’t have it in April because of the protocols,” says Hall of Fame President Jack Whittier. “I think right now the number of people we can have at the Eastman Theatre is 150, that obviously doesn’t work for us.”

Provided by Lyric Theatre

Rochester Lyric Opera confirmed Thursday that it has completed the sale of the Lyric Theatre to Grace Road Church.

Lyric Opera bought the building at 440 East Ave. for $1.2 million in 2015, with the intention of using the 900-seat auditorium for its own performances and renting it to outside organizations. While the building was indeed a home for opera, as well as by the Rochester International Jazz Festival and the Rochester Fringe Festival, it never reached the levels of use envisioned by Lyric Opera.