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Behind the music

Just musically speaking, a Philharmonic concert is a lot of fun. But Saturday’s, featuring Broadway diva Bernadette Peters, had additional dimensions. Matt Kraemer, conducting the first half, gave a medley from “Oliver!” a personal introduction. “I like to cook, and my son’s been devouring my food. He’s 17 months old,” Kraemer told us. “I have the idea that one day soon he’s going to say, ‘Please, sir, I want some more.’ ” Awww! Kraemer told another baby story later, and Buzz realized we were enjoying this concert subplot. Peters must have liked it, too, because she started a subplot of her own, about a Florida home she was putting on the market. “I’m not supposed to talk about this,” she laughed as she described its features. But she returned to the topic a few songs later. “It’s got five bedrooms and six bathrooms,” she blurted out. Then she giggled: “Sorry.”

The twilight zone

Tom Bauerle held his first ghost show of the season Friday, and aside from those accursed traffic interruptions – Bauerle is crazy about traffic – the tales of Buffalo’s undead are spookier now that WBEN-AM has switched him to twilight time. He retold his famous story about going through the cemetery on All Souls Day with a ghost tape recorder and it picked up the woman saying: “Do you want me?” And he read an email from a guy he trusted who had seen the ghost of a bride, from the torso up. From the torso up! And she evaporated slowly, like smoke. Brrr! Bauerle’s response to that one: “Dude! Awesome!” Eventually, you could tell, we were all in the zone. For a moment, the station’s signal was disrupted, and an unidentified voice cut in. “I don’t know what that was,” Bauerle said. Then he laughed: “That was a ghost.”

Star-crossed

Chinese restaurants are smoky, fragrant woks of the supernatural. Witness a Buzz colleague’s adventure last week at China Star on Sheridan Drive. Phoning for takeout, she asked for scallion pancakes and was told they weren’t on the menu. They had them two weeks before! Not only that, but when she went an hour later to pick up her order, no one had any memory of her call. To top off the mystery, the elusive scallion pancakes were on the menu. A staffer pointed to them. How could this be? As she stared at the menu, she saw the phone number, and a light went on in her head: There are two China Stars! The other is on Hertel Avenue – and she had called that one. For an illustrated version of this story, check the Buzz Blog at buffalonews.com. And rejoice that at least some things in life can be explained.

On the gravy bus

Buzz loves Metro Bus and rides it at least once a week. And Friday evening, we rode it free! We were walking down Washington Street when an off-duty bus pulled up. The door opened. “Get in!” the driver laughed. Buzz didn’t know him. But what the heck, what’s going to happen to us on a huge bus? We hopped on. And we chatted with the driver – it was just us and him – for a few blocks until he dropped us off before heading to the bus station. Is that Buffalo or what? We could have gotten the same free ride a block over on the Metro Rail. But it wouldn’t have been as much fun.

The buzz

Between Bernadette Peters and Sarah Brightman – who came here last week on her “Dreamchaser” tour – Buffalo played host to two magnificent heads of 1980s hair. A special brava to Brightman for keeping alive the spirit of ’80s excess. “Dreamchaser” water bottles were $25. And people were buying them! … Snapshots from RiverRocktoberfest, Saturday in Black Rock/Riverside: Lederhosen-clad accordionist performing outside Wegmans. A menu’s list of spirits: Jagermeister, Baronjager. Best of all, huge draft horses pulling beer-drinkers down Amherst Street. Why do you think they call them draft horses? Most importantly, can we do this again next year?

Quote

“This study does not give carte blanche to use these drugs recreationally.”

– Elizabeth Tracey of Johns Hopkins, on the radio, describing research