Same bat channel
Two images to take with us from Artpark’s big birthday bash last week: One was a bat, orbiting the stage in the program’s first half. That is so Artpark! The second was Broadway singer Michele Ragusa, singing in the second half. She wore the best-looking dress we’ve ever seen, long, black and glittering insanely in the lights. It was reflected in the stage. She was a walking sparkler! She also said the funniest thing we’ve ever heard. “I sang in ‘West Side Story’ in the early ’90s,” she reminded us. “And that very same bat dive-bombed me!” Everyone cracked up. “He’s still here, and you’re still here,” she said. “Happy anniversary.”
The two B’s
Buzz likes that WBEN’s Tom Bauerle and Sandy Beach have switched slots, with Bauerle now in the afternoon and Beach in the morning. Bauerle’s ghost shows, which Buzz loves, will be better in the gloaming. Plus, hurried afternoon drivers will be less likely to take the time to anger him by saying, “Thank you for taking my call.” Meanwhile, in the morning, if we seriously oversleep, Sandy Beach’s laugh will prove a good emergency alarm clock. That happened Monday. You would think Sandy would have had an incisive topic to open his new morning shift, but no, he was still the same old Sandy, gabbing about everything from the pope to women mud wrestlers. Oh, and Jeff Simon’s column about him in The Buffalo News – Sandy lamented that his conscience did not allow him to filch extra papers from the honor box. “I’m out of quarters,” he said.
Buffalo comedian Mark Saldana is of Indian heritage (“as in India”), and he knows how to use it. He jokes about if Superman were Indian (it takes time to unwrap that turban in the phone booth). And he greeted one crowd: “Welcome, Indians and eight white people!” But Saturday, when we ran into Saldana at E.B. Green’s, he wasn’t doing the talking. The spotlight in the lounge was on his brother, who was there with his fiancee, celebrating their engagement. The brother has the funny gene too, which came out when piano man Jackie Jocko, in his unique way, congratulated him on his engagement. “She’s been pestering you for five years!” Jocko teased, into the mic. “That’s right,” beamed the groom. “The five-year war is over.”
The informality of Artpark, gotta love it! Sergio Neglia is lifting Silvina Vaccarelli high overhead, the music soars, your eyes fill up – and through your tears, you see a Buffalonian walk past you, indifferent, not even looking, carrying a cup of coffee. Ha, ha! … There must have been a run on R’s, because the Rite Aid at Delaware at Gates Circle was all out of them. The marquee read: XTRA DETE GENT, and underneath, 3 FO 6. … Those Adirondack chairs on the waterfront have set a new Victorian standard. A sign of do’s and don’ts is headlined: “Attention, Ladies and Gentlemen.”
“I want to defend you from all that is mundanity.”
– Pope Francis, at World Youth Day festivities