Performing Arts

Shea's Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St. (tel. 716/847-1410), is a gorgeous former movie palace dating from 1926 and built in the style of a European opera house. It now hosts touring shows, concerts, opera, and dance performances. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra performs at the architecturally and acoustically impressive Kleinhans Music Hall, 1 Symphony Circle (tel. 800/318-9404), most every week from mid-September to the end of July. The Studio Arena, 710 Main St. (tel. 800/77-STAGE), is one of the finest regional theaters in the country, with several productions each season (Sept-May). The Paul Robeson Theatre, 350 Masten Ave., (tel. 716/362-0230), showcases works of African-American playwrights, directors, and actors, while the Irish Classical Theater Company at the Andrews Theater, 625 Main St. (tel. 716/853-ICTC), performs classic and modern works in the round. Both seasons run September through June.

Nightclubs & Live Music

Downtown on Chippewa Street, you'll find loud bars pouring local brew Genesee and others. Try the down-home Big Shotz, 45 W. Chippewa St. (tel. 716/852-7230), or the more upscale La Luna, 52 W. Chippewa St. (tel. 716/855-1292). Around the corner, you can party at the Skybar, on the roof of D'Arcy McGees, 257 Franklin St. (tel. 716-853-3600). For the well-dressed, over-25 crowd, try Crocodile Bar, 88 W. Chippewa St. (tel. 716/853-CROC), which offers an extensive martini menu. Allen Street is a bit quieter, but you can also find some good bars like Colter Bay, at Delaware and Allen (tel. 716/882-1330). This is also where you'll find Buffalo's gay scene, in bars like Cathode Ray, 26 Allen St. (tel. 716/884-3615). Another good bet for gays: Club Marcella, 622 Main St. (tel. 716/847-6850), which features drag shows and underwear contests, along with DJs spinning tunes 'til the wee hours.

For live music, check out the Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (tel. 716/852-2860), which hosts a wide assortment of local and (inter-)national acts, tending toward classic and indie rock, with some jazz and experimental music thrown in. They also have touring theater shows, like Shear Madness, and the occasional comedy performance. On a smaller scale, Nietzsche's, 248 Allen St. (tel. 716/886-8539), offers Celtic sessions, songwriter showcases, local bands, and comedy. The Colored Musicians Club (yes, you read that right) at 145 Broadway (tel. 716/855-9383) has hosted countless jazz greats -- such as Dizzy Gillespie and Billie Holiday -- in its 80-odd years, and still offers jazz regularly. A good bet for blues is the Lafayette Tap Room, 391 Washington St. (tel. 716/854-2466), where a variety of local and national acts grace the stage.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.