The Buffalo Infringement Festival, the city’s annual compendium of underground arts activity, kicked off a week ago and is entering its final days.
The festival’s last weekend is shaping up to be perhaps the biggest in its eight-year history, with a full slate of theater productions, live music performances, public fire dancing, film screenings and impromptu parades through Allentown. Here’s a look at some of the possible highlights, selected from the full schedule posted at www.infringebuffalo.org:
Today at 6 p.m. in Rust Belt Books (202 Allen St.) and again at 8 p.m. in El Museo (91 Allen St.), gifted local playwright and actress Annette Daniels-Taylor will present her latest project, “Write Out of Here: Voices from East Ferry.” The piece is described as a “gritty theatrical report” from forgotten Western New York teens that Daniels-Taylor works with as a teaching artist with the Erie County Youth Detention Center on East Ferry Street. It attempts to capture the voices and aspirations of the kids Daniels-Taylor has met in her difficult but rewarding work.
There also has been plenty of buzz about tonight’s noise concert at Night House (58 Trinity Place), which features four acts starting at 7 p.m. They are Flut Loops in the Spirit of Play, Eraserhead’s Baby, Sparklebomb and a solo act several Infringers have described as a must-see, Fe Vajean.
At 6 p.m. Friday, the parking lot outside the Great Arrow Industrial Park (255 Great Arrow Ave.) hosts one of the final performances of “Buffalo Car Plays,” a theatrical experiment in which two actors perform a quartet of short plays in the front seat of a car while audience members sit in the back. Feedback has so far been universally positive.
Friday also marks the closing of a pair of Infringement Festival gallery shows, each of which will be celebrated in true Infringement style with loads of musical performances and peripheral events. The festivities start at 7 p.m. in and around Big Orbit Gallery (30D Essex St.) and Coming Home Buffalo (140 Elmwood Ave.).
Anyone who has not participated in the longtime Infringement act “Car Stories,” conceived by Infringement founders from Montreal’s Optative Theatrical Laboratories, can do so from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the parking lot next to Nietzsche’s (248 Allen St.). The concept is what spawned “Buffalo Car Plays,” but it is more improvisational and, at least in my limited experience, more likely to make shy theatergoers uncomfortable.
At 9 p.m. Saturday, Nietzsche’s hosts its “Good Time Saturday Night” show, featuring all manner of Infringement acts, from the fiddlers of Will Folk for Food to the socially conscious blues of singer-songwriter Pete Sorkin. And just a short stumble from Nietzsche’s, the fire-dancing troupe A Buffalo Pyromance performs at 8 p.m. in Days Park – a yearly Infringement tradition.
Sadly for all the Infringementgoers still thirsting for more underground art, theater and music, the 11-day affair wraps up on Sunday. Highlights of the final day include a repeat of Jose Rodriguez’s interactive Pac-Man game, “Pac-Man Park,” at 2 p.m. in Days Park and the closing of the 8BitBuffalo show at the Foundry (298 Northampton St.) at 3 p.m.
Finally, Nietzsche’s hosts its closing ceremonies, featuring the cheeky annual Iffy Awards, along with performances from Infringement vets Erin Sydney Welsh, Savannah King, Sarah Elizabeth and many others.