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Places to go, things to do

April 26, 2012
Staff reports , The Herald-Star

Hope Players to

present 'Willy Wonka'

HOPEDALE - The Hope Players will fly again in its upcoming production of "Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka," thanks to two local men who've been helping local schools and community theaters with that special effect for years.

Audiences can see their efforts when "Willy Wonka" is presented at 7:30 p.m. May 4-5 and 2 p.m. May 6 at Harrison East Elementary School in Hopedale.

Roger Hilty of Steubenville and Jerry Emley of Bloomingdale first worked with the Hope Players to "fly" actors in "Peter Pan," but they came with extensive experience working on productions for the Indian Creek Local School District, including "Fiddler on the Roof."

"Basically, we use rock-climbing harnesses and cables that we've adapted into a flying apparatus," Hilty said. "Our equipment isn't as fancy as the ones used in professional theater groups, but its just as safe, if not safer, he added.

Safety also was on the mind of Hope Players' Executive Director Andrew Pelegreen III, who is directing the musical comedy.

"I wouldn't let any actors get into the harness until I was convinced it was safe," he said, adding two of the three actors who have to fly are under 18, which meant that parents had to give permission for participation in the special effect.

The young fliers are Skyler Dye of Bloomingdale, who plays Golden Ticket holder Charlie Bucket, and his understudy, Robbie Leek of Cadiz. Shawn Hervey of Cadiz, who recently stepped into the role of Grandpa Joe, also will fly, although he did not take wing the night Hilty and Emley tested the equipment with Dye and Leek.

"Willy Wonka" is based on Roald Dahl's classic children's book, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," and the beloved 1971 family film starring Gene Wilder, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." It retains the well-known songs from the movie by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, including "The Candy Man." It was adapted for the stage by Bricusse and Timothy Allen McDonald.

Advance tickets for "Willy Wonka" are $5 for adults and $3 for students. Prices at the door are $7 for adults and $5 for students. Advance tickets are available from any cast member or at the Hopedale Village Building from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets also may be purchased by calling Hope Players president Donna Runt, at (740) 937-2208 or Pelegreen at (740) 937-2629.

Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller

coming to First Niagara

BURGETTSTOWN - Magnetic rappers and live performers Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller team up for the Under the Influence of Music Tour with special guests Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q and Chevy Woods at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 4 at First Niagara Pavilion.

For tickets, go to; all Ticketmaster outlets; or call 800-745-3000.

'Don't Drink the water' at Towngate Theatre, Wheeling

WHEELING - "Don't Drink the Water," Woody Allen's Cold War farce about a New Jersey family forced to hide in a U.S. Embassy behind the Iron Curtain after being mistaken for spies, will be staged for two weekends -Friday through Sunday and May 3-5 at Oglebay Institute's Towngate Theatre.

A cascade of comedy and a solid hit on Broadway, this show features a witty script with bright dialogue and lots of laughs in the style of Woody Allen's early comedy films.

The plot is simple - an American tourist, a caterer by trade, and his wife and daughter from New Jersey are finishing up their visit of a reclusive, unnamed country behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War when they start taking pictures of a military outpost and are branded as spies by the secret police. They seek refuge in the American Embassy but soon find it's not much of a refuge. The ambassador is absent, and his son, now in charge, has been expelled from a dozen countries and the continent of Africa. Nevertheless, they carefully and frantically plot their escape, and the ambassador's son and the caterer's daughter even have time to fall in love.

"Don't Drink the Water" is Woody Allen's first play of note. It was produced on Broadway in 1966, running more than 600 performances. At the time, Allen was a young, little-known comic fresh off Sid Caesar's "Your Show of Shows."

The show is directed by P.D. Gregg. Cast members include Joe Heatherington, Rob Desantis, Vincent Marshall, Dave Zanieski, Dee Gregg, Frank Wilson, Meghan Ross, John Reilly, Jim Weekly, Evan Oslund, Tim Thompson, Jody Battaglia and Emily Good.

Towngate's curtain is at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. April 29, as well as 8 p.m. May 3-5.

For reservations, call (304) 242-7700. For those buying seats at the door, Towngate's box office opens one hour before all shows and can be reached at (304) 233-4257.

Refreshments are available at Towngate Theatre, and parking is curbside or in the nearby Center Wheeling Parking Garage. Located at 2118 Market St., Wheeling, Towngate is located across the street from St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in the historic Centre Market district.

Toby Keith coming to First Niagara Pavilion July 27

BURGETTSTOWN - Toby Keith will be performing at 7 p.m. July 27 at the First Niagara Pavilion.

For tickets, go to; all Ticketmaster outlets; or call (800) 745-3000.

The Temptations, Four Tops coming to Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH - R&B superstar groups the Temptations and the Four Tops will appear on stage together beginning at 7 p.m. May 13 at the Benedum Center.

Both of these ever-popular groups have been entertaining generations of fans for more than half a century.

Tickets range from $40 to $100 and can be purchased at the box office at Theater Square, 655 Penn Ave.; online at; or by calling (412) 456-6666

Mom 2 Mom Expo

at Fort Steuben Mall upcoming

STEUBENVILLE - The Fort Steuben Mall will host its fifth-annual Mom 2 Mom Expo from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 12 throughout the mall.

More than 30 local businesses are registered to display their services, all of which cater to area families. In addition to the expo, WCDK-FM will hold its sixth-annual Mother/Daughter Look-Alike contest at the stage in center court beginning at noon. Kurt James Fun and Games will have bounce houses free for kids to play on from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The mall still is taking reservations for the Mom 2 Mom Expo. Spots are exclusive for at-home business owners, so those interested should call prior to sending a registration form. Registration forms are available, at or the mall's Facebook page. Spaces are $50 and include one 8-foot table, two chairs and advertising for the event. Additional space is available, and spaces with electric are available on a first- come, first-served basis. The event is sponsored by Fort Steuben Mall, WCDK-FM and the Herald-Star.

For information and to reserve a booth, call Steph McVicker, marketing director, at (740) 264-7781.

Upcoming football exhibit at the

Senator John Heinz History Center

PITTSBURGH - The Senator John Heinz History Center and the Pro Football Hall of Fame are collaborating on a major exhibition focusing on the history of pro football, from its humble beginnings in the early 20th century to its rise as one of the world's most beloved sports.

Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will make its national premiere at the History Center from Oct. 6 through Jan. 6 before embarking on a nationwide traveling tour. When it debuts this fall, Gridiron Glory will be the most comprehensive traveling exhibit ever created on America's most popular sport.

Included in the exhibit are more than 200 football artifacts, rare photos and one-of-a-kind documents from the Pro Football Hall of Fame collections, many of which have never been seen outside of the Hall of Fame. Highlights include:

The 1892 Allegheny Athletic Association accounting ledger featuring Pudge Heffelfinger, known as "Pro Football's Birth Certificate"; artifacts from pro football's pioneers, such as Jim Thorpe's Canton Bulldogs sideline blanket, Knute Rockne's 1919 helmet, Red Grange items from the historic 1925 Chicago Bears barnstorming tour, Johnny "Blood" McNally's canvas football pants, Sammy Baugh's helmet and Bobby Layne's jersey; items from the golden era of pro football, including Jim Brown's jersey, Vince Lombardi's coaching diagrams, Dick Butkus' helmet, Johnny Unitas' jersey, Tom Dempsey's kicking shoe and Tom Landry's iconic coaching hat; highlights from the NFL's greatest running backs, such as footballs from O.J. Simpson and Eric Dickerson, and jerseys from Tony Dorsett, Walter Payton, Bo Jackson, and Barry Sanders; artifacts from record-breaking quarterbacks, including John Elway's jersey from the 1986 championship season, Joe Montana's Super Bowl XXIII MVP football, and Dan Marino's footballs for career yardage and pass completions records; and items from historic receivers, such as Jerry Rice's helmet and career touchdown reception football and New England Patriots -and Woodland Hills High School graduate - Rob Gronkowski's jersey from his record-setting 2011 season.

The history center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the largest history museum in Pennsylvania, presents American history with a Western Pennsylvania connection. The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum is a museum within a museum, comprehensively presenting the region's remarkable sports story through hundreds of artifacts and interactive experiences for visitors of all ages. The History Center and Sports Museum are at 1212 Smallman St. in the city's Strip District and are open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The History Center's museum system includes the Sports Museum; the Fort Pitt Museum in historic Point State Park; and Meadowcroft Rockshelter & Historic Village, a National Historic Landmark located in Avella. For information, go to

Pittsburgh Dance Council to present Lar Lubovitch Dance Company

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Dance Council, a division of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, presents Lar Lubovitch Dance Co. at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Byham Theater.

One of America's most versatile, popular and highly acclaimed choreographers, Lubovitch founded the Lubovitch company in 1968 in New York City. Throughout the years, the company has been referred to as one of the world's most leading modern dance companies. In addition to performing in every state across the United States, the company has performed in more than 30 foreign countries worldwide. The company has been referred to as a national treasure by Variety Magazine. Lubovitch's work is extolled for its musicality, rhapsodic style and sophisticated formal structures. His radiant, highly technical choreography and deeply humanistic voice have been celebrated throughout the world.

Tickets range from $19 to $45 and are available at the box office at Theater Square; online at; or by calling (412) 456-6666.

Chicago, Doobie Brothers

coming to First Niagara Pavilion

BURGETTSTOWN - The First Niagara Pavilion will welcome Chicago and the Doobie Brothers at 8 p.m. Aug. 2.

For tickets, go to;; or call (800) 745-3000.

Yanni coming to Benedum Center

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents an "Evening with Yanni" at 8 p.m. May 9 at the Benedum Center.

Yanni brings his tour to North America, followed by a South American tour in the fall and a multi-city tour of China in 2013. The concert will feature Yanni and his world-class musicians and vocalists performing many selections from his extensive music career.

Yanni is known throughout the world as one of this century's most original and successful composers and musicians. His powerful compositions have come to define a new genre of music and more than 500 million people in more than 140 countries have seen his live performances. Yanni's concerts are legendary. Yanni's concerts have also been seen on public broadcasting television stations around the country as part of station pledge drives and "Yanni: A Living Legacy" was broadcast on television around the globe.

Tickets range from $52.25 to $152.25 and are on sale at the box office at Theater Square, 655 Penn Ave; by calling at (412) 456-6666; or online at

Famous painting at Carnegie

Museum of Art

PITTSBURGH - Henri Matisse's "The Thousand and One Nights," is a large, multi-panel, painted paper cutout, but because of its fragile nature, it is only on view for a limited period of time - through July 15 at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

"One Thousand and One Nights" was created in 1950, when the artist was 81 and confined to his bed. Unable to sleep and kept alive by his drive to create, Matisse had much in common with Scheherazade, the legendary narrator of the Arabian Nights. Scheherazade saves her own life from a vengeful king by enthralling him with a story that she always interrupts at a moment of suspense just after dawn, ensuring her survival through 1,001 nights. Like her tales, "The Thousand and One Nights" is a work rich in fantastical imagery and symbolism created during many sleepless, difficult hours.

The composition - with its fanciful magic lamps, dancing plant forms, hearts and cut-out text - evokes the supernatural quality of the heroine's storytelling and also the passage of time through the night. The complex shapes are interwoven to create a spontaneous, musical rhythm that captures the fascinating rapture of the story that inspired it. The museum is at 4400 Forbes Ave. For information, go to or call (412) 622-3131.

Three Rivers Art Festival upcoming

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announced the headline performers for the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Art Festival set June 1-10.

The Wailers, who performed with Bob Marley, will appear June 1. They have sold more than 250 million albums and also have performed with Sting, the Fugees, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, Alpha Blondy, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and Burning Spear. The reggae band has played for an estimated 24 million people across the world.

Kathleen Edwards will perform June 2. She is touring to support her album "Voyageur."

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will perform June 3. Last year, the orchestra performed for a crowd of 15,000 in its first performance at the festival since 1977.

The Los-Angeles-based Dawes will perform June 5. The group finds inspiration in rock and roll, folk and country.

The Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops will perform June 8. The group used fiddle- and banjo-based music from the Piedmont region of the Carolinas to create new interpretations while highlighting African-Americans' roles in shaping popular music.

Bluegrass Day will premier June 9 with regional and local bluegrass musicians on the second stage and other activities. The Del McCoury Band will perform. McCoury has been performing bluegrass for 50 years. Grammy-Award winning Peter Rowan, who has performed with Bill Monroe and Jerry Garcia, also will perform, as will Michigan-based quintet Greensky Bluegrass.

Grammy Award-winning Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers will perform June 10. Hornsby has produced more than 100 records over his 25-year career and participated in several collaborations.

All concerts are free and will take place on the Dollar Bank Stage at Point State Park. All headline concerts will take place at 7:30 p.m., except Sunday concerts, which will begin at 6 p.m.

Additional acts and other festival attractions will be announced. Musicians will perform on three stages in the Cultural District during the second-annual Pittsburgh International JazzLive Festival slated June 1-3.

For information, visit;; or call (412) 456-6666.

Pittsburgh Irish, Classical Theatre 2012 season

PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre launches its 2012 season with the Pittsburgh premiere of Sarah Ruhl's Pulitzer finalist "In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play."

The production features Brad Heberlee as Dr. Givings, Megan McDermott as Catherine Givings, Jessica Frances Dukes as Elizabeth and Melinda Helfrich as Sabrina Daldry. Alan Stanford directs.

Dr. Givings is obsessed with the marvels of technology and what they can do for his patients. His wife, Catherine, is only a bystander in her husband's world - listening at the door from the next room as he treats patients.

The play will be performed through May 5 in the Charity Randall Theatre.

Single tickets are available now through PICT's new online ticketing system at; or by calling ProArtsTickets at (412) 394-3353 for a $1.50 phone fee.

Upper Ohio Valley

Opera Guild

STEUBENVILLE - The Upper Ohio Valley Opera Guild will host performances by several Pittsburgh-area artists beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Steubenville Country Club.

In its quest to host a variety of quality entertainment in the Tri-State Area, the Upper Ohio Valley Opera Guild once again will host its neighbors, the Pittsburgh Opera Director of Musical Studies for the prestigious Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist Training Program - formerly known as Pittsburgh Opera Center -with a program led by Mark Trawka.

The evening will consist of arias as well as Broadway music. Trawka will bring with him three Pittsburgh Opera rising stars. Baritone Kyle Oliver has performed such roles as Baron Douphol in "La traviata"; Father in "Hansel and Gretel" and Sciarrone in "Tosca." Oliver holds a master's degree in music from the Julliard School and a bachelor's degree in music from Northwestern University.

The evening also will include music by tenor Juan Jose DeLeon. DeLeon has performed such roles as Gastone in "La traviate"; Spoletta in "Tosca" and Belmonte in "The Abduction from the Seraglio."

DeLeon received his master's degree in music from Southern Methodist University as well as a bachelor's degree in music from the University of North Texas.

Rounding out the evening's performance will be virtuoso mezzo-soprano Stephanie Lauricella. This is her second year with the Pittsburgh Opera and she has performed such roles as Flora in "La traviata"; Hansel in "Hansel and Gretel"; and Shepherd Boy in "Tosca." She also appeared as a guest artist in Beethoven's "Symphony No. 9" with Eric Philharmonic. Upcoming engagements include Rosina with New Jersey State Opera in June. In the 2010-11 season she performed as Rosina in "The Barber of Seville"; the title role in "Rinaldo" and Sister Mathilde in "Dialogues of the Carmelites." In the summer of 2010, Lauricella spent the summer at the Santa Fe Opera, covering the role of Kate Pinkerton in "Madam Butterfly"; Second Lady in "The Magic Flute"; and Estrella in the world premiere of "Life is a Dream."

For reservations, call club President Joyce Ryan-Orlando at (740) 264-0292 or program coordinator Anita Jackson at (740) 284-5861. The price per person is $35, with a student rate of $20.

Other members on the committee include Liz Morelli, Mary Jo Rinaldi, Carleen Scurti, Barbara Wilinski, Kathy Antinone, Lil Ferguson and Joe Leonard.

'THE NEWS' comes to area

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, in collaboration with the Andy Warhol Museum's Off the Wall performance series, will present the world premiere of "THE NEWS," a 90-minute "reality opera" by avant-pop Dutch composer JacobTV based on nonfiction footage from the international media.

This special premiere sponsored by Joan Humphrey is part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Distinctively Dutch Festival, which runs through May 20.

"THE NEWS" is a remix of musical composition, video production and social commentary through live performances designed for two vocalists, nine musicians, soundtracks and videos.

The drama is constructed using broadcasts, sampled speeches and sound bites from newscasters, politicians, scientists, televangelists, athletes and more.

Tickets range from $20-$30 and are available at the box office at Theater Square; online at; or by calling (412) 456-6666.

Straight No

Chaser a cappella group returns

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents the return of the popular male a cappella group Straight No Chaser at 8 p.m. Wednesday to the Benedum Center.

Since the group first formed more than a dozen years ago at Indiana University, Straight No Chaser has achieved musical success in the U.S. and abroad through views on YouTube, numerous national TV appearances, concert tours, three holiday CDs and three nonholiday recordings including their latest 2011 release, "Six Pack: Volume 2." Straight No Chaser's recordings have consistently reached top placement on Billboard 200 charts throughout its career. The group takes the audiences on a musical journey each time it tours and has sung everything from holiday favorites and classics, to doo-wop and contemporary pop, all performed with the distinctive Straight No Chaser twist.

For tickets, go to the box office at Theater Square, 655 Penn Ave.; online at; or call (412) 456-6666.

Upcoming events at Historic

Fort Steuben

STEUBENVILLE -Upcoming events at Historic Fort Steuben include:

Through Sunday -The annual Spring Quilt Show is open to anyone who has a quilt to share. Quilts can be self-created or from a friend or relative. Old or new, each quilt is a unique reflection of the maker and the time it was created. A quilt display form is available at the visitors center as well as online at

A meet-the-quilters reception will be held from noon to 2 p.m. April 21. There also will be a special presentation by historian Patty Cooper - "Darn It! The History and Romance of Darning Eggs" at 2 p.m. April 21.

Sunday - The spring vendor show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. will feature at least six popular products. The exhibit is free, but donations are welcome.

Sacred music concert Saturday at university

STEUBENVILLE - The Franciscan University of Steubenville's Sacred Music Program will end the spring semester with three free performances to be held at the University and in Pittsburgh.

On Saturday the Franciscan University Chorale, the Franciscan Chamber Orchestra and the Schola Cantorum Franciscana, the University's liturgical choir, will perform "Sacred Music of the Holy Roman Empire: Church Music in Salzburg, Vienna, and Munich," at 7 p.m. in Christ the King Chapel. Directed by Paul Weber, associate professor of music and director of the program in organ, the performance will feature the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his father, Leopold Mozart, as well as Austrian brothers Joseph and Michael Haydn.

On Sunday the Schola Cantorum Franciscana will perform compositions by the Italian Renaissance composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Joseph and Michael Haydn. Directed by Weber, the program will be held at 3 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, 206 Mary St., Carnegie, Pa. Free-will donations for the parish music program will be accepted.

On Monday a piano recital will be held in the Tony and Nina Gentile Gallery of the J.C. Williams Center at 5:30 p.m.

The recital will feature advanced students from the studios of professors George Melhorn and Ronald W. DuBois, Jr. The program will include pieces by Mozart, Bach, Debussy, Gershwin and more. The performances are free and open to the public.

Indian Creek Jazz Band to perform at mall Saturday

SATURDAY - The 2012 Indian Creek High School Jazz Band along with the Indian Creek High School Percussion Ensemble will be performing at center court at Fort Steuben Mall beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The performance will encompass 11 classic songs, including "Virtual Insanity," "Hawaii Five-O Theme," "Fly Me To The Moon," "Swing, Swing, Swing," "Take The 'A' Train," "Pennsylvania 6-5000," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "In The Mood," "Zoot Suit Riot," "It Don't Mean A Thing" and "When The Saints Go Marching In."

The band will be led by Donald Llewellyn Jr., jazz band director, and the concert is free.

National Pike Pickers coming

to cafe

MARTINS FERRY - The Holy Grounds Cafe welcomes local bluegrass band National Pike Pickers today. The coffeehouse is open from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m

The first hour will feature open mic, with any local musicians welcome to perform. The National Pike Pickers will take the stage at 8 p.m.

The National Pike Pickers include John Angius, guitar; Dave Visnic, fiddle; Jim Simpson, mandolin; and Jeff Strautmann, doghouse bass. Members have have performed together in the Wheeling area for more than 30 years. In 2011, the three other members joined Simpson, who has performed in several Philadelphia area bands and recently in the local favorite the Cabin Fever Band.

Holy Grounds Cafe is run by husband and wife team David and Lisa Buckingham.

There is no cover charge, and beverages and snacks are available for a minimum donation. Holy Grounds Cafe is sponsored by Grace Church, 410 Hanover St. For information, call 740-633-2699.

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