An opinionated to-do list
By Christopher Schobert

For me—and many of you—April means two things: the start of the National Hockey League playoffs (mid-April) and the National Football League draft (held over three days this year, April 22–24). Shockingly, however, there are other things happening over the course of the month. Here are a few.

1. Pre-Dyngus and Dyngus Day parties
According to the organizers of this oh-so-Buffalo event, Dyngus Day “is historically a Polish tradition which celebrates the end of the often restrictive observance of Lent and the joy of Easter.” Yeah … restrictions certainly do go out the window on DD, replaced by food, drinks, pranks, and general merriment, to the accompaniment of whipping pussywillows. On Easter Sunday—a.k.a. Pre-Dyngus Day—the Leonard Post VFW No. 6251 kicks festivities off with a celebration featuring the “Blessing of the Instruments,” followed by polka music from Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push and Jerry Darlak & the Touch. Gomulka & CP will return for Dyngus Day on April 5, along with the Knewz. Both days will feature Polish-American food, a cash bar, and a lot of post-Lenten behavior.
Pre-Dyngus Day: doors open at 6 p.m., with music 7 p.m.–12:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 4; Dyngus Day: doors open at 5 p.m., music from 6 p.m.–1 a.m. on Monday, April 5; both at the Leonard Post Jr. VFW No. 6251, 2450 Walden Ave., Cheektowaga; e-mail: or call 444-8693 or 894-3499.

Cairo Time still courtesy of the Toronto International Film Festival.
2. Aurora at the Albright: Cairo Time
This film series—produced by Paul Brown of the Aurora Theatre in East Aurora—has quietly become a cinephile must-attend, but you need not know the differences between Hal Ashby and Hal Hartley to enjoy it. This month’s presentation, Cairo Time, received solid reviews at the Toronto Film Festival, especially for its stars, Patricia Clarkson and Alexander Siddig. Director Ruba Nadda’s film tells the story of a woman seduced both by Egypt and the man sent to show her its glories. Nadda is a special guest, and a pre-film talk from the Knox’s curator of education Mariann Smith will explore “The Magic of Cairo.” And since it’s Friday night, the usual Gusto at the Gallery festivities will be in full swing.
Friday, April 16, at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1285 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo; 882-8700 or

3. Historic Linwood tour of homes
It’s time for another look at one of Buffalo’s great neighborhoods, when on Sunday, April 25, properties in the Linwood Historic Preservation District throw open their doors. Over its 160-year history, Linwood Avenue evolved from a large expanse of farmland and open spaces to a tree-lined boulevard of grand residences built for the titans of Buffalo’s golden age. Today, many of these magnificent houses representing the principal architectural styles of their era have been converted back to single family homes by professionals and young families devoted to restoring the luster to their properties and creating a welcoming and civically involved neighborhood. They invite you to come visit and see change happening.
Noon–4:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in advance at Tickets may also be purchased on tour day at Art Dialogue Gallery, 1 Linwood Avenue. All tickets and guidebooks will be available at the Gallery on that day.

4. The work of Adele Cohen
The Western New York Book Arts Center will be the locale for Brought to Light: Rare Prints by Adele Cohen (1922–2002), a show and sale featuring rarely seen artworks from an important Buffalo-based artist. It’s another wonderful presentation from Dean Brownrout and 20th Century Finest. (The Poetry Collection of the University at Buffalo is cosponsoring.) According to Brownrout, “This selection of recently uncovered prints marks the first time many of these pieces have been shown. The exhibit showcases the enigmatic overtones and superb technical finesse that were the twin hallmarks of her work.” The late Cohen has been honored twice before with major exhibitions at the Burchfield Penney, first in 1981, and then with a posthumous retrospective in 2007.
Exhibition from Friday, April 16, through Saturday, May 15, at the WNY Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St.; opening reception: 6–9 p.m. on April 16; 638-0005 or

Cowboy Junkies photo courtesy of Liz Campanile Public Relations.
5. Cowboy Junkies at Asbury Hall
The Cowboy Junkies’ 1988 cover of the Velvet Underground’s immortal “Sweet Jane” is not quite as brilliant as the original—but it’s pretty damn close. Its lazy shuffle graced the soundtracks of everything from Natural Born Killers to an episode of Law and Order, and Lou Reed himself called it “the best and most authentic version I have heard.” It was also the Junkies’ commercial high point, and helped make the glorious Trinity Session album—recorded at a church in Toronto—a modest hit. But the band’s subsequent work has been no less interesting, and they even returned to Holy Trinity Church in 2007 to re-record Trinity with such guests as Ryan Adams, Natalie Merchant, and the late Vic Chestnutt. Given their fondness for houses of worship, I can’t think of a more intimate, ideal venue for a local Cowboy Junkies show than Asbury Hall, and happily, they visit on April 15.
Doors open at 7 p.m. at Asbury Hall, 341 Delaware Ave.; for info, visit; for tickets: 888-223-6000 or

In a stunning act of solipsism, Christopher Schobert recently started blogging about film at


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