In years past, the first day of the Buffalo Infringement Festival has been a relatively quiet affair. Not so this time around. Here are five suggestions from a head-spinning schedule of events on the festival's first day:
"We Shall Overcome," 4 p.m. in Rust Belt Books. Repeats July 28 at 5:45 p.m. in El Buen Amigo, July 31 at 5 p.m. in Rust Belt Books and Aug. 2 at 6 p.m. in El Buen Amigo.
Since its founding, the Infringement Festival has been deeply tied into the social justice movement. So it's no surprise that this year's festival contains plenty of events related to civil rights, advocacy for economic justice and other grassroots causes. To that end, the new musical "We Shall Overcome," presented today at 4in Rust Belt Books, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with '"slave songs and spirituals, abolitionist songs and speeches" complete with period costumes.
"The Infringement is Coming Opening Parade," 4 p.m. at Ol' Wondermoth Co-op House
If you want to catch a bit of the Infringement vibe but don't want to commit to an entire performance, you could do worse than finding an outdoor perch somewhere along Elmwood Avene (Cafe Taza would do just fine) between North and Allen Street and watching the festival's inaugural parade roll by. There will be bizarre costumes. There will be singalongs. There will be at least one acrobat. And there will be musical performances from the Fredtown Stompers and Alassane Sarr. What more could you want?
"Barging into the Burch," 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. in front of the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Repeats 5:30 p.m. July 31.
The first of two Infringement events planned for the front yard of the Burchfield Penney, this absurdly eclectic sampling of theater, music, art and performance is a sampler of sorts meant to whet festivalgoers appetites for what's to come. Like the parade and the Opening Ceremonies later in the evening, it would also make a pretty good introduction to the Infrgement vibe. It features a handful of bands, joined by an all-evening performance from Buffalo Contact Improv, a performance from festival veteran El the Mime, an interactive event in which you can paint using hula hoops and a fire-dancing performance.
"Hecuba Again: Euripedes Deconstructed," 7 p.m. in Rust Belt Books. Repeats Monday at 6 p.m. and July 31 at 7 p.m. in Rust Belt Books.
One of the most exciting theater offerings during this year's festival, Frank Canino's new adaptation of what he calls "perhaps the greatest play ever written about the effects of war" features an all-star, all-female cast of Buffalo theater veterans. The proposed cast list, which may have changed, included Kathleen Betsko Yale, Darleen Pickering Hummert, Verneice Turner, April Jones, Virginia Brannon, Jennifer Gold, Vittoria Perez, Joy Scime.
Opening Ceremonies, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Nietzsche's
No opening day of the Infringement Fest would be complete without a trip to Nietzsche's for the Infringement Opening Ceremonies, an all-night throwdown featuring performances from 12 bands and surely including more than a few surprises. Fest organizers will also be on hand, so this would be a good opportunity to hit them up for their own suggestions for the rest of the festival.