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From Buffalo to Broadway, and Back to Buffalo 

Many eager event enthusiasts have been patiently awaiting, for over a year, to watch their beloved cultural arts performances (in any format). Likewise, artists and performers have been waiting it out, anticipating on sharing their talents and passions with audiences once again. While the pandemic is not over, many of these performers are preparing to get back to their routines. For one group of local artists, their performing hiatus is coming to an end, as they take to the virtual stage for a spectacular event this coming Sunday. The free, virtual event is part of Made in Buffalo’s “From Buffalo to Broadway: Waiting in the Wings.” 

Cheryl Stern | Photo by Billy Bustamante

From Buffalo to Broadway: Waiting in the Wings will be hosted by Broadway and television actress Cheryl Stern, who happens to be a Buffalo native. Stern will also be performing, where she will take to the stage at Amherst High School, her alma mater.

Stern, whose performing accomplishments include appearances in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “The Women,” starring alongside Cynthia Nixon, will be accompanied by a litany of local and New York City-based talents. 

Chairperson Marjorie Godin Bryen (Made in Buffalo) and her committee established the event series to showcase the talents of accomplished artists who launched their careers in Buffalo.

Jeremy Appelbaum (Big J Blues)

Bryen’s committee kicked off Made in Buffalo in 2017 with the help of Bryen’s brother, best-selling author, entrepreneur and speaker, Seth Godin, widely known for his keen insights in marketing and leadership. 

Now, more than ever, the Made in Buffalo series intends to raise the bar for WNY performers, while showcasing their talents for broader audiences.

Saranaide | Photo by Devin Chavanne

“[This event is important because it brings] the wonderful powers of music, dance and performance to Buffalo, as we continue to manage through this long period of social isolation,” Bryen said. “[This event will celebrate] those in the performing arts and how they have managed to stay hopeful throughout the pandemic.”

Artwork by Scotty Bye and layout by Walfredo Creative

The New York City-based Broadway talent line-up includes performances by Bobby Daye, Adam Heller, Karen Mason, and Juliet Shatkin. The array of local entertainers is just as impressive, with appearances by Big J Blues, Devi Bollywood Performing Arts, Nancy Fernandez, Saranaide, and Slyboots Circus. Viewers can anticipate a multitude of African drumming and dancing, blues music, Bollywood-style dancing, piano playing and singing. 

Nancy Fernandez | Photo by Julie Towner

Pianist Nancy Fernandez will be performing an original song that she wrote when the pandemic first hit, and then rewrote in time for Sunday’s performance. Fernandez offers viewers a new perspective – a sense of what time in isolation has meant to her family. She’s excited to be able to share this new work with the virtual audience.

“Buffalo doesn’t just export talent, but nurtures it and celebrates it here, right now,” Fernandez said. 

Devi Bollywood Performing Arts | Photo by Paul Fanara of Living In The Buff

With similar inspiration, Gaitrie Devi of Devi Bollywood Performing Arts will dance to the song “Ghar More Pardesiya” from the Bollywood movie “Kalank.” She watched the movie and listened to the song endlessly during the pandemic. Therefore, she feels very connected to this piece that she equates to her own personal journey.  

“I am most excited about being able to share dance and music with an audience again,” Devi said. “It fills my heart to share a part of who I am and something that I am passionate about with others, and having them experience something they may not have ever seen before. I love each one of the participating artists – [collectively] their talent is incredible.”

Aside from presenting the diverse set of talents, Made in Buffalo is also raising money to support Art Services Inc. of Western New York (ASI), an organization that aims to empower the region’s artists and arts organizations via connections to funding, learning opportunities, and community access to the arts. 

For more information about the event, to sign up for a free ticket, and/or to donate to ASI, visit: madeinbflo.org 


Made in Buffalo presents “From Buffalo to Broadway: Waiting in the Wings” powered by the Buffalo Jewish Federation

Sunday, April 25 at 7:30 – Live, Free, Virtual Event 

Participants include:

Big J Blues | Facebook | Instagram: @bigjblues

Devi Bollywood Performing Arts | Facebook | Instagram: @devibollywood

Saranaide | FacebookInstagram: @saranaidemusic 

Slyboots Circus | Facebook | Instagram: @slybootsbuffalo

ASI | FacebookInstagram: @asiwny

Written by Vilona Trachtenberg

Vilona Trachtenberg

Spotlight Professional in 2020. Freelance journalist, traveler, dancer, music fanatic, volunteer enthusiast. Loves meeting new people in any and all capacities and helping our beloved city flourish.

View All Articles by Vilona Trachtenberg
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