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Places to go, things to do

May 3, 2012
From staff reports , The Herald-Star

Livia Sohn with Wheeling Symphony May 11

WHEELING - The Wheeling Symphony's 2011-12 season concludes at 8 p.m. May 11 with internationally renowned violin superstar Livia Sohn performing Tchaikovsky's magnificent "Violin Concerto in D Major" at the Capitol Theatre.

The evening's repertoire under the baton of Maestro Andre Raphel also includes Berlioz's "Overture to Benvenuto Cellini"; Prokofiev's "Symphony No. 1"; and Ravel's "Daphnis et Chloe, Suite No. 2."

Audiences will be thrilled by Tchaikovsky's magnificent melodies as performed by the orchestra with Sohn. Sohn performs widely on the international stage as a concerto soloist, recitalist and festival guest in Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Africa and New Zealand.

Sohn has been a guest soloist in North America with the symphony orchestras of Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Seattle, Milwaukee, Edmonton, Rochester, Austin, Phoenix, San Antonio, Oregon, Dayton, Winston-Salem, Hartford, Cheyenne, Green Bay, Boca Raton, Louisville, I Musici de Montreal, Aspen Festival Orchestra, New York Chamber Symphony, Boston Pops and Brooklyn Philharmonic, among others.

WTOV-TV is media sponsor. This concert is preceded with Concert Talk at 7 p.m., an intriguing and informative look at the stories behind the music to be performed. Hosted by Lea Ridenhour, Concert Talk is free and open to the public. It's held in the ballroom of the theater.

Wheeling Symphony concerts are presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

Tickets prices start at $13.50. For tickets and information, call (304) 232-6191; (800) 395-9241; or visit Tickets are also available at the door the evening of the concert.

Upcoming events at

Historic Fort Steuben

STEUBENVILLE -Events at Historic Fort Steuben include:

The gates of Historic Fort Steuben are open to visitors of all ages. The fort will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Tours with reduced admission are possible if called in advance.

In May the initial presentation of Von Steuben's Treasure Chest of History, a traveling exhibit that will take hands-on history to those who cannot travel to the Fort, will be presented. A generous donation from the Ohio Valley Chapter of the Professional Land Surveyors of Ohio went toward the purchase of a reproduction compass and chain, the tools used by the surveyors at the original fort. A military uniform - suitable for a fourth-grader to try on - soldiers' accouterments, maps, charts, American Indian tools and a PowerPoint Virtual Tour will give visitors a better idea of what life was like on the Ohio frontier in the 18th century. To schedule a visit call the fort. Donations toward traveling expenses can be made on the website, at

The Valley Gospel Music Fest will be held at the Berkman Amphitheater on May from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. May 26. Organized by Dan Wood, the free event features Rick Witkowski and Carrie Oliver, the Mike Duncan Project, Julie Hufstetler and the Experience. For information, go to

For information on the fort, call (740) 283-1787.

Group to perform at

Franciscan University

STEUBENVILLE - The vocal group the Youngstown Connection will perform May 15 during the Franciscan University Women's Scholarship Guild's annual fundraising event on campus.

The group is made up of college and high school age students who sing and dance to Broadway and patriotic tunes. In addition to the musical program, the guild will have activities such as a Chinese auction and drawings. The event begins 5:30 p.m. in the J.C. Williams College Center on the university campus. Proceeds from the event go toward the Rose M. DeFede Scholarship, which aids nontraditional women over age 22 in completing a degree and entering into the work force. The event costs $5 and is opened to the public. Groups are welcome. For reservations and information, call (740) 284-5861.

Three Rivers Art

Festival upcoming

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the Three Rivers Art Festival will take place June 1-10 in Point State Park, Hertz Gateway Center, and throughout the Cultural District.

The 2012 festival highlights include the return of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, a new multimedia show by Squonk Opera, the premiere of Bluegrass Day on June 9 and expansion of the artist market and greening initiatives.

The opening weekend will be enriched by the second-annual Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival from June 1-3, which is produced by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. The indoor/outdoor jazz festival helps kick-off a 10-day celebration of the arts in Pittsburgh. For information, go to

Pittsburgh International Children's Festival

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and programming division Pittsburgh International Children's Theater presents the Pittsburgh International Children's Festival, May 16-20 at the University of Pittsburgh theaters and green spaces surrounding Schenley Plaza in Oakland.

Programming will showcase international and local theater premieres, including a brand new interactive luminarium installation from Architects of Air.

For information and tickets, visit the box office at Theater Square; online at; or call (412) 456-6666. Ticket packages and single tickets are available. Children ages 2 and under are admitted free but require a lap pass for theater performances.

Festival hours are 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sundays. In addition to the featured ticketed performances, the festival will include free hands-on academic, cultural and international activities, as well as performances at the free outdoor community stage in Schenley Plaza.

Symphony Youth Orchestra at Presbyterian Church

WHEELING - The Wheeling Symphony Youth Orchestra will hold its spring concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Vance Presbyterian Church in the Woodsdale section.

The public is invited to attend this free performance. A reception will follow.

The program will feature vocal soloists from West Liberty University and the WLU Concert Choir under the direction of Alfred R. de Jaager. The soloists are Alan Cline, Christopher Hardy, Kassidy Wells, Timothi Williams and Mathias Dotson. The orchestra will be performing Mozart's "Overture" to "The Abduction" from the "Seraglio" and Beethoven's "Symphony No. 9, Fourth Movement."

The WYSO offers young musicians from the Tri-State Area a formal venue in which to train and perform together. Students from junior high school through college are provided with a professional musical environment and tutelage by music Director Benjamin Podolski and Conductor Matt Inkster. Competitive auditions draw students from West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Rehearsals are held weekly from September through April, and the WSYO presents two primary concerts each year. These concerts are free and open to the public.

Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Museum opens Saturday

AVELLA - The Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, the oldest site of human habitation in North America, will kick off its 2012 season at noon Saturday.

Meadowcroft, which is part of the Senator John Heinz History Center's museum system, has become an international destination, welcoming more than 15,000 visitors from 35 U.S. states and 12 countries last year. With new site upgrades and popular annual events, Meadowcroft is poised for another record-breaking season in 2012.

The National Historic Landmark in Washington County, features a massive, 16,000-year-old rock overhang used by the region's earliest inhabitants for shelter. In addition to ancient history at the Rockshelter, visitors can also step back in time at Meadowcroft's Historic Village, which carefully recreates all of the charming qualities of an Upper Ohio Valley Village from the mid-19th century. A recently completed 16th-century Indian Village allows visitors to travel 400 years into the past and relive what life was like for the eastern Woodland Indians.

Throughout this spring, Meadowcroft will finalize construction of two new 1770s era structures that will help spotlight the similarities and differences between the everyday lives of European settlers and American Indians in the Upper Ohio Valley.

Also new this year, a self-guided trail with informational signs on the Meadowcroft property will provide visitors with a new walking trail loop through the woods. Visitors will learn how the forest served as the supermarket, pharmacy, clothing store and much more to American Indians. For example, visitors will learn how poplar trees were used by American Indians to make dugout canoes, or how the Iroquois believed that plants like the maple-leaved viburnum offered special protection against curses and sorcery.

For information, visit and click on the Meadowcroft tab; or call (724) 587-3412.

Manchester Hazard coming to Holy Grounds Cafe, Martins Ferry

MARTINS FERRY - The Holy Grounds Cafe welcomes local bluegrass/country band Manchester Hazard today.

The coffeehouse is open 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m,, and the first hour will feature open mic, with local musicians welcome to perform. Manchester Hazard will take the stage at 8 p.m.

The four comprising Manchester Hazard include Orland Carra, David Miles, Bill Randolph and Walt Warren. The band's upbeat bluegrass style will provide a fun evening for all ages.

Holy Grounds Cafe is run by husband and wife team David and Lisa Buckingham. The cafe also is seeking local musicians to perform at open mic night May 10.

"We are looking for a wide variety of musical styles to perform, not exclusively religious music," said Lisa Buckingham. "It's an all-ages venue, and our stage is not a platform to speak out against race, religion, gender or lifestyle. Other than that, we're excited to experience whatever talent is out there in the Valley. There are several performance slots available, so aspiring musicians - vocal or instrumental - are strongly encouraged to come out and perform. Poetry readings or other performances are welcome as well.

Holy Grounds Cafe is at 410 Hanover St. For information, call (740) 633-2699 or find them on at Holy Grounds Grace Church. There is no cover charge at the coffeehouse, and beverages and snacks are available for a minimum donation.

'Willy Wonka' comes to

Hopedale Players

HOPEDALE - When the Hope Players present "Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka this weekend at Harrison East Elementary in Hopedale, they'll be putting on a musical that was influenced heavily by British author Roald Dahl's early life. "Willy Wonka" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Hope Players Executive Director Andrew Pelegreen III noted that Dahl's own childhood was a major influence in the writing of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," the beloved children's novel from which the story of "Willy Wonka" is taken.

The stage play itself is based on the screenplay for the classic 1971 family film adaptation of the novel starring Gene Wilder, and retains all the well-known songs from the movie by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. It was adapted for the stage by Bricusse and Timothy Allen McDonald.

"The less-than-savory adults and children in the story are based on the people Dahl met and the negative experiences he had as a student in British boarding schools," Pelegreen said. "All the positive things, including Charlie Bucket's loving, eccentric extended family, are based on Dahl's Norwegian relatives, with whom he spent his summers."

Pelegreen also observed that Dahl's own, personal courage as a fighter pilot during World War II also influenced the shaping of Charlie's character.

"Dahl was a flying ace in the early days of the War as an RAF fighter pilot, not only shooting down enemy aircraft in many dogfights, but also walking away from two crash landings," Pelegreen said. "After the second crash, Dahl was unable to fly, and was assigned to British Intelligence in Washington, D.C., where he investigated 'America First' groups and turned out propaganda for the war effort."

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

Andrew Zentner speaks about the universe at Carnegie Science

Center Cafe Scientifique

PITTSBURGH - Andrew Zentner, a professor in the department of physics and astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh, will explore the evolution of the universe at Cafe Scientifique on Monday at Carnegie Science Center.

Free and open to the public, Zentner's presentation on Views of the Big Bang: the History and Future of Our Universe features some of the most breathtaking images ever captured in space and highlights new mysteries posed by the latest astronomical data.

Doors open at 6 p.m. A question-and-answer session will follow the lecture, which begins at 7 pm. Dinner is available for $8, including a vegetarian option. A cash bar is also offered. Register at

'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 today through Saturday 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.

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. Towngate is located across the street from St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in the historic Centre Market district.

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.

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

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.

Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem

Festival coming to First Niagara

BURGETTSTOWN - The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival comes to the First Niagara Pavilion July 28.

Bands slated to perform include Slipknot, Slayer, Motorhead, the Devil Wears Prada, As I Lay Dying and more. For tickets, go to; all Ticketmaster outlets; 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.


activities at

Raccoon Creek State Park

HOOKSTOWN - Upcoming activities at Raccoon Creek State Park will include:

May 12 - Bluebirds of Raccoon Creek, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m

Those attending should meet at the Wildflower Reserve Interpretive Center along state Route 30 and join bluebird trails coordinator Scott Parry for an informative, free program on the bluebirds of Raccoon Creek.

May 13 -Mother's Day wildflower walk, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Those attending should meet at the Wildflower Reserve Interpretive Center along state Route 30 for a relaxing look at wildflowers along the trails of the park's wildflower reserve.

The free walk will cover identification, medicinal/edible uses and folklore associated with various plants.

May 26 -Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Tour, 10 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.

Those attending should meet at the park office on state Route 18 promptly at 10 a.m. The program and walking tour will discuss the history and significance of the park.

May 26-The Hiking Club of Raccoon Creek State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Those attending should meet at the recreation hall on Cabin Road at 10 a.m. Join Raccoon Creek's Hiking Club as they discover the great outdoors along the parks trails during National Hiking Week. Open to anyone interested in exploring the natural wonders and historical places within Raccoon Creek State Park. Hikes range from 4 to 6 miles and can be physically challenging on hilly terrain.

Those attending should dress appropriately and bring water, snacks, bug spray and rain gear if needed.

May 27- Trees of the Wildflower Reserve, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Meet at Wildflower Reserve Interpretive Center.

Though flowers often steal the show, the Wildflower Reserve is also home to many of Pennsylvania's beautiful trees.

Trees can tell a tale, and on this free, guided hike participants will not only learn to identify trees but also hear some of the folklore and history associated with the reserve's trees.

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