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The crack-up

Sergio Neglia, who starred in “The Nutcracker” at Shea's over the weekend, has his own style. Once, in an interview, he told us, “People come up to me at Wegmans and they say 'Sergio, when I see you dance, I do not sleep at night.' ” Ha, ha! Buzz remembered that this weekend because “The Nutcracker” was dazzling. It was fun just watching the kids. When Mother Ginger came out on stage – costumed as a giant cupcake that spawns lots of little cupcakes – a delighted little girl down our row breathed: “Cupcakes!” The only annoying thing was, we were still up at 5 a.m. We were blaming our sleeplessness on holiday stresses – when all of a sudden we burst our laughing, because it finally occurred to us what it was. “You see me dance and you do not sleep at night!” It's true!

Gesundheit!

Singer/songwriter Tom Russell is known for such great, hard-living lyrics as “You don't need no teeth for kissing girls or smoking cheap cigars.” And: “And if we drink ourselves to death, ain't that the cowboy way to go.” But last week, at the Sportsmen's Tavern, he talked happily about his wife, who has put him on the straight and narrow. He said that even here, she managed to fix him his now-customary green tea with organic honey. And he talked about her emphasis on Gesundheit, which he explained was German for health. However, all is not lost: After the show, we saw Russell downing a double at the bar. In a split second the Frau was by his side – but too late! Hey, honey (or should we say organic honey?) forget the “Verboten.” He has his image to consider.

There's the rub

Buzz almost blew Thanksgiving. With 15 people coming over, still we went out every night of the week and decided on Thanksgiving morning – la la la – to go to church. After church we dawdled and gossiped. We got home and, nightmare! It was past noon. The 22-pound Tops turkey had mercifully thawed, mostly in the car trunk, but it was still in its wrapper. Stuffing was unmade. Pie was unbaked. The last time we were this disorganized we were what, 12? Long story short, we poured a big glass of wine, set the oven temp higher than usual, and got through it. But Saturday, we accepted a girlfriend's invitation to do what we never do, which was get a massage. We were not alone. The massage therapist said they were so busy the salon had to stay open late. She said, “People want to relax.”

The buzz

Matt Kraemer, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's resident conductor, did a great job with “Nutcracker.” But when he took a bow among all the Victorian glitz, he wasn't in tails. Maestro, come on! If not now, when? … Buffalo, one big room: At the History Museum's local author book signing Saturday, Michael Rizzo, author of a book on the Mafia in Buffalo, was besieged. They all wanted to know if he was related to other Rizzos. … Buffalo, one big religion: Sunday, a pious Facebook friend was quoting Padre Pio: “Pray, hope and don't worry.” One of his friends wrote: “Are you talking about the Bills?”

Quote

“I hate it when people ask, 'What kind of music do you play?' I say, 'Christian hip-hop. Ever heard about the Rap-ture?' ”

– Tom Russell, at the Sportsmen's