By Wendy Schreiner
Special to the Courier
Master of ceremonies Kelli Carson, of WCJW-CJ Country Radio, opened the inaugural Wyoming County Senior Idol contest with a powerfully voiced national anthem Nov. 25. The competition, hosted by Nugent Entertainment, saw 11 competitors belt out renditions of classic songs on Nov. 25 at The Stage in Warsaw.
The first performer of the night, Robert Glenn, of Mount Morris, took home the Senior Idol title. If it were up to me, he also would’ve been awarded the “Comic Relief Provider” and “Contestant Inspirer,” as he yelled out numerous positive comments to the other performers throughout the evening’s performances.
Glenn sang “I’ll Go Crazy” by Paul Davis, choosing to start out the night with a slow love song. During his second song, James Taylor’s “How Sweet It Is,” Glenn walked off the stage and sang right to the audience, prompting applause from the crowd. Glenn wore a black, leather jacket for his third song, a version of “Beyond the Sea,” and it looked like he was ready to leave – though he had to wait for 10 more contestants and three hours to take his winnings home.
By Wendy Schreiner
Beginning around 5 p.m. on Nov. 14, a crowd began lining up in front of The Stage on South Main Street eventually extending around the corner onto West Buffalo Street. Standing in the cool air, these folks were anxiously waiting for the doors to open at 6:00 pm for the sold-out WCJW Made in America Harvest Hoedown Concert featuring Lonestar. Over four hundred people packed The Stage to capacity, meaning despite the name, Lonestar was not alone.
Ricky Lee, who was fantastic, opened for Lonestar and sang five songs including “WeAll Bleed Red,” “You Won’t Be Lonely Long,” “Back Then,” “Hard Secret” and “The House That Jack Built”.
The stage crew did their final set up, and at 7:45 p.m., Lonestar took the stage.
Richie McDonald sang lead vocals and strummed his guitar.MichaelBritt played lead guitar and provided background vocals while Keech Rainwater beat on the drums. Dean Sams played keyboard and sang harmony.
“Front Porch Looking In” was the very popular opening song, and the crowd went wild singing along. “Everything’s Changed” followed that, and the keyboardist Sams said, “What an amazing place y’all (sic) got here!”
By Wendy Schreiner
Mountain Run played for two wonderful hours at The Stage in Warsaw on Nov. 14. For only $10, our ears were treated to the tunes of Doug Yeomans’ and his Hot Bluegrass Band.
Yeomans has been performing since 1970, was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2004 and won the first International Guitar Competition sponsored by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Jim Whitford, also a member of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, sang and played dobro, acoustic bass and guitar.
Twenty-four songs rambled on for the small group of attendees, who thoroughly enjoyed the show. Opening with “I Just Think I’ll Stay Around” the bluegrass show began. Yeomans brought out his “good time banjo” for “My Home’s Across the Blue Ridge Mountains.” This song took me away on a peaceful retreat. Some sad songs covered were “Bluest Man in Town” by Bill Monroe, “Mr. Bo Jangles,”Johnny and Jack’s “Poison Love” and “Hard Times Come Again No More.”
I got my love of country/bluegrass music from my father. We have seen Yeomans plenty of times and as always, he put on a fantastic show. Even with a throat cold going on, his voice was amazing. “The Buffalo Gals” got me to sing along as I’m originally from West Seneca and a “Buffalo Gal” at heart. The “St.Anne’s Reel” instrumental played smoothly.
By Bryan Jackson
Last weekend, the first Western New York Hispanic Heritage Festival gave locals a chance to experience – and taste – some Hispanic culture.
Although the first portion of the festival, a performance of the play “In the Time of the Butterflies” by Spanish-language theater company Repetorio Español, had to be canceled due to complications from Hurricane Sandy, there was still plenty to celebrate throughout the weekend.
On Saturday morning, a Zumbathon at Kuhl Gym at SUNY Geneseo raised approximately $200 for the Geneseo Migrant Center, and Saturday night provided one of the highlights of the weekend.
Famed a cappella group Nota performed at The Stage in Warsaw. Hailing from Puerto Rico, Nota won the first season of NBC’s “The Sing-Off.” The performance earned high praise from the audience, and Paul Penner, president of WNY Performance Center Inc., said their ability to make almost any sound a full band would make simply with their voices was spectacular.
There was also a selection of Puerto Rican food provided by a café in Buffalo available at the Nota Show, giving attendees another way to immerse themselves into a bit of Hispanic culture.
By Bryan Jackson
The Stage is hosting a special, one-night screening of “Doughboy,” an independent film about today’s generation’s understanding of the cost of freedom, at 7:30 p.m. on Veterans’ Day.
The show will cost $5, though additional donations will be accepted, and proceeds will benefit Castile’s Doughboy Restoration Fund. Additionally, Paul Penner of The Stage said a representative from the “Doughboy” production team will be on hand to introduce the film and answer questions after the show.
The “Doughboy” screening in Warsaw is part of an eight-state event aiming to build interest for the movie’s limited, national release in 2013, according to Ty DeMartino, the film’s writer and co-producer. The distribution company sought out places with “Spirit of the American Doughboy” statues, and in doing so, it is generating awareness for the statues themselves, as well as the movie.
“There’s a lot of news about the statues being vandalized or in need of repair, and when we thought about offering the screening for the fundraiser, we thought it was a natural match to maybe find a theater close to one of these statues that needed help or needed assistance,” DeMartino said.
Castile is home to a “Spirit of the American Doughboy” statue – one of dozens cast in the 1920s and ’30s to pay homage to American World War I veterans. Although the statues were mass produced, many have fallen into disrepair in the decades since the Great War. The money raised through the “Doughboy” screening will help make sure the doughboy memorial in Castile doesn’t become another casualty of time, neglect and lack of funds.