Entertainment Digest | Week of Dec. 2

Playhouse Youth Theater to Present ‘Frozen Jr.’

YOUNGSTOWN – The Youngstown Playhouse Youth Theatre will present “Disney’s Frozen Jr.” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 and 7, and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8.

The performance runs approximately one hour, and tickets are $14 for adults and $10 for children 12 years old and under.

Based on the 2013 animated film and its 2018 Broadway musical adaptation, “Frozen Jr.” expands upon the relationship between Princesses Anna and Elsa. It features all of the songs from the animated film, plus five new songs written for the Broadway production. The cast includes local community members ranging from ages 8 to 18.

Natalie Kovacs, Lana Dougherty and Mary Bonamase play the role of Elsa at different ages, and Lena Sophia Dill, Breckan Neuhaus and Lillian Gerst plays the role of Anna.

Rounding out the cast are Ben Doss, Wayne Bonner, Isaac Powell, Aiden O’Bryant in featured roles; Finn O’Hara, Kenny Day, Eden Lesnansky, George Mailis, Paul Staton Jr., and Sophia Latell in supporting roles.

In the ensemble are Rhyan Anderson, Malivia Blackmon, Nichole Carter, Marley Cheff, Kate Congo, Aubrey DeJacimo, Xavier Garcia, Addison Hanousek, Ilisabeth Hernan, Trudi Herrholtz, Kellan Hetzel, Aliyana Jamison, Ava Kuntz, Aubrey Middlestead, Lainie Modarelli, Samantha Moon, Bella O’Bryant, Sadie Ohl, Adriana Trafficante, Leonardo Valente, and Mikey Zoccali.

Sarah Jane Demetruk and Candace DiLullo are the directors, and musical director is Anthony Ruggiero and choreographer is Emelia Sherin

To buy tickets in advance, call 330 788 8739 or go to  TheYoungstownPlayhouse.com.

Opera Western Reserve Receives $3,000 Gift 

YOUNGSTOWN – Opera Western Reserve has received a gift of $3,000 from the Howard and Jeanne Karr Charitable Foundation. 

The donation was made through the Youngstown Foundation Support Fund, thereby increasing it by 10 percent for a total of $3,300. The Karr Charitable Foundation grant supports Opera Western Reserve’s productions.

Mill Creek Park Roads Closed to Traffic for Winter

YOUNGSTOWN – Effective Dec. 6, the following roads in Mill Creek Park will be closed to vehicular traffic for the winter:

  • High Drive, between Chestnut Hill Drive and West Cohasset Drive.
  • Chestnut Hill Drive, between Canfield Road and High Drive.
  • Calvary Run Drive, between Belle Vista Avenue and Milton Avenue.

When closed to vehicular traffic, these roads are available for recreational use, including hiking, cross country skiing and sledding. Aside from recreational opportunities, benefits of winter road closures include cost savings associated with snow removal as well as a reduction of negative environmental impacts from deicing salt. 

All roads will reopen in the spring when weather permits.

Brass Band to Play Free Concert at Church

COLUMBIANA – Brass Band of the Western Reserve will perform a free Under the Dome concert at First Presbyterian Church of Columbiana at 6 p.m. Dec. 8.

The 40-piece Akron-based ensemble plays Christmas classics ranging from a swing version of “We Three Kings” to a sing-along of favorite carols.

For information, go to ConcertsUnderTheDome.org.

Valley Ballet Students Will Perform with Moscow Troupe

YOUNGSTOWN – Each year, more than 6,000 children nationwide take to the stage alongside the Moscow Ballet dancers to participate in “The Great Russian Nutcracker,” on the troupe’s annual holiday tour.

The Moscow Ballet will return to Youngstown on Dec. 18 for a 7 p.m. performance at Powers Auditorium. 

Youngstown-area youths who have been selected to play ancillary roles  are Maria Wilson, Cassidy Hluchan, Jenna Walden, Adrienne Rich, Sofia Caruso, Melena Zervas, Eliza Farr, Rylie Gillespie and Andrea Reillly.

The local ballet students, who study at schools throughout the Mahoning Valley, auditioned in the fall and rehearsed at Jordan School of Ballet in Cortland.

The children’s roles are as Party Children, Small Mice, Little Snowflakes, Snow Sprites, Snow Maidens, and Act II’s Variations of the world’s five great heritages in the Land of Peace and Harmony. 

Lisa Zumpella Jordan, owner and operator of Jordan School of Ballet, is a professional ballerina, artistic director, teacher and choreographer. She performed as a soloist with the Contemporary Ballet Theatre of Williamsburg, Va., and was a principal dancer with Ballet Michigan. She has performed with the original Cleveland Ballet and Pointe of Departure, a professional ballet company constructed of former Cleveland Ballet dancers.

Jordan was also given the honor of performing as the guest ballerina, dancing the role of Cinderella, with the  Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall in Cleveland.

Jordan School of Ballet will give its own performance of “The Nutcracker” at 4 p.m Dec. 22 at Cortland Opera House,  152 Park Ave., Cortland.

Warren Philharmonic Offers Free Violin Lessons

WARREN – The Warren Philharmonic Orchestra is offering free violin lessons to a select group of Trumbull County third through seventh grade students, announced Barry G. Dunaway, executive director of the orchestra. 

The application deadline is Dec. 30  for the next class of students, beginning Jan. 12. An application form and related documents are available at WarrenPhilharmonic.org or can be requested from the WPO office, 154 N. Park Ave., Warren.

The orchestra will loan each Strings of Joy student an age-appropriate violin and provide individual, 20-minute lessons Sunday afternoons through December 2020, with a summer vacation. Occasional group lessons and performance opportunities will be scheduled, as well. 

The Orchestra will provide printed music to the students at no cost. The lessons will be held at Christ Episcopal Church, 2627 Atlantic St. NE, Warren. Lesson instructor is Brendan McEvoy, a student at Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music.

For information, call 330 399 3606 or email warren.philharmonic@gmail.com.

‘A Christmas Carol’ at Salem Community Theatre

SALEM, Ohio — “A Christmas Carol,” the classic Charles Dickens play about a miser who has a reckoning with himself, will open Dec. 6 at Salem Community Theatre and run for six performances over two consecutive weekends.

Curtain time at the at 490 E. State St. theater on Dec. 6, 7, 13 and 14 is 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 8 and 15 at 2 p.m. Tickets for the show are $15 ($11 for senior citizens, $9 for students and $5 for children under 5). To purchase in advance, go to SalemCommunityTheatre.ticketleap.com, or call 330 332 9688.

The play is directed by Tim Gottschling.

Selah Theater Sets Auditions for ‘Thrill Me’

STRUTHERS – Auditions for Selah Dessert Theater’s production of the musical “Thrill Me” will take place Dec. 4 and 5, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Selah Restaurant, 130 S. Bridge St.

The musical, written by Stephen Dolginoff and set in 1920s Chicago, tells the true story of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, two young men who embark on a life of crime and ultimately commit a murder. 

The cast requires two males, with youthful appdearance and strong acting and singing skills.

Performances will be at the end of April.

Auditionees must be prepared to read from the script and  perform a song from the show. 

Mary Ruth Lynn is the director, and Anthony Ruggiero is music director. For information about music or to obtain musical pieces for an audition, contact Ruggiero at eighty8keyz@gmail.com.

Polish Arts Club Presents Wigilia Celebration

YOUNGSTOWN – The Polish Arts Club of Youngstown will present Wigilia on Dec. 8 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Holy Apostles Parish, Sts. Peter and Paul Church, 421 Covington St.

Wigilia, which is Polish for “vigil” or “waiting” for the birth of Jesus, is the club’s annual celebration and recreation of what Poles around the world do each Christmas Eve.

The event will begin with a social hour, with the traditional dinner and dessert beginning at 5 p.m. Cocktails, a 50/50 drawing, basket raffle, singing of traditional Polish carols and more are part of the evening.

The cost is $30 per person ($10 for children 5 to 12; free for children 4 and under). The public is welcome and reservations are mandatory. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

For information, contact club president Sandra Cika at 330 565 0467 or stcika@aol.com. To donate to the basket raffle, contact Michele Jenoff at 330 501 7190 or nursemj@zoominternet.net.

Pictured: Natalie Kovacs as Elsa and Lena Sophia Dill as Anna in Youngstown Playhouse’s Youth Theatre production of “Frozen Jr.”

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