Entertainment Digest | Week of Sept. 23

Stage Left Players Open Season with ‘The Explorers Club’

LISBON – Stage Left Players open their 27th season with Nell Benjamin’s comedy farce “The Explorers Club” on Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Trinity Playhouse, 234 E. Lincoln Way.

The play is set in 1879 London, when Explorers Club acting president Lucius (played by Paul Dahman) throws the club in crisis when he proposes a woman scientist for membership: Phyllida Spotte-Hume (Renee Marple Schreffler) who has discovered a lost city, has returned with NaKong warrior Luigi (Aaron Hinchliffe).

The play runs Saturdays, Sept. 28 and Oct. 5, at 7 p.m.; and Oct. 12 at 8 PM; and Sundays, Sept. 29, Oct. 6 and 13,  at 2 p.m.

Admission is $14 ($12 for seniors and $10 for students). Recommended for ages 10 and up.

For reservations, go to  StageLeftPlayers.org. For information, call 330 831 7249.

YSU Theater to Present ‘Speech & Debate’

YOUNGSTOWN – Youngstown State University Theatre will open its season with “Speech & Debate,” a dark comedy by Stephen Karam. The play opens Friday, Sept. 27, in Spotlight Theater, lower level of Bliss Hall. YSU alumnus Connor Bezeredi is the director.

The play is about three teenage misfits in Salem, Oregon, who discover they are linked by a sex scandal that’s rocked their town. When one of them sets out to expose the truth, secrets become currency, the stakes get higher, and the trio’s connection grows deeper in this searching but funny play with music. Patrons should be aware that the show contains strong language and adult themes.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 and 218, and Oct. 4 and 5; and 2 p.m. Sept. 29 and Oct. 6.

Tickets are $16 ($8 for non-YSU students, YSU faculty and staff with valid ID, YSU alumni, senior citizens, Penguin Club members and groups of eight or more. Call 330 941 3105 or go to YSU.tix.com to purchase show tickets.

The cast includes Matthew Ellis, Halla Henry, Tristan Kile and Lexi Cerny.

Final Weekend for ‘Mamma Mia!’

SALEM – There are three performances left in Salem Community Theatre’s run of the musical “Mamma Mia!”

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. For tickets or information, call 330 332 9688 or go to TicketLeap.com. The theater is at 490 E. State St.

Oktoberfest Street Festival at Rhine Haus

YOUNGSTOWN – Rhine Haus Bier Hall’s second annual Oktoberfest, featuring German food, beer and dance, will take place this weekend, Sept. 27-29.

The festival will take place outside of Rhine Haus at 28 N. Phelps St. Hours are 6-11 p.m. Friday; noon to 11 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 ($10 for weekend pass); free for children 12 and under.

Oktoberfest will be a family-oriented event by day but evolve into a party in the evening.

The entertainment schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, Fred Ziwich and ISM, 5:390 p.m.; Old Skool, 9:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Kosmix and Bob Kravos, with special guest Walter Ostanek and the STV Bavaria Dancers, 5:30 p.m.; and The Prince Project, 9:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Saxon Band and Alpen Schuhplattler Dancers, 2 p.m.; The House Band, 8 p.m.

Oktoberfest will also include games for children and adults, including a bratwurst toss and stein-holding and yodeling competitions.

Motivational Speaker at YSU

YOUNGSTOWN – Author, comedian and motivational speaker Ken Davis will give a free presentation at 2 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Williamson College of Business Administration Auditorium at Youngstown State University.

Davis is the creator of the SCORRE public speaking method. Intrigued by the principles that made a communicator effective, Davis sought to determine the common characteristics of all great communicators, and after extensive research he created SCORRE

“Davis is more than just a funny guy, he’s incredibly adept at public speaking methods,” said Adam Earnheardt, chair of YSU’s communications department. “He created the SCORRE speaking method and he directs one of the largest speaker training conferences in the country each year.”

For information, call 330 941 2307.

Music at Noon Concerts at Butler Institute of American Art

YOUNGSTOWN – The Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University has announced the Music at Noon series concerts for October. All performances are free and begin at 12:15 p.m. at the Butler Institute of American Art.

  • Oct. 2: Musical theater students
  • Oct. 9: Voice department
  • Oct. 16: Faculty chamber music ensemble
  • Oct. 23: Percussion ensemble
  • Oct. 23: Horn studio

Shelton Concert Was a Sell-out

YOUNGSTOWN – The Sept. 21 Y-Live concert featuring country superstar Blake Shelton at Stambaugh Stadium was a sellout, with attendance just over 20,000, according to a news release from promoter JAC Live. It is the second year in a row that the Y-Live concert sold out, following 2018’s performance by Florida Georgia Line.

“The support the Valley has shown for this event is truly overwhelming,” said Eric Ryan, president of JAC Live. “We wanted to create an event that was a staple in our community, and in three short year it has come to fruition.”

‘This Is Us’ Writer to Speak at YSU

YOUNGSTOWN – Vera Herbert, a writer and co-executive producer of NBC’s “This Is Us” and a Mahoning Valley native, will give a free presentation at noon Friday, Sept. 27, at Williamson College of Business auditorium at Youngstown State University.

Vera Herbert

Herbert will deliver a short talk on her journey, opportunities and challenges in the entertainment industry, and tips for working in Hollywood. Her talk will be followed by a question and answer session. 

Herbert is a three-time Emmy-nominated writer for the acclaimed drama series. Her episode “The Trip” won the Writers Guild Award for Outstanding Writing for episodic drama and her episode “Still Here” was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series.

Herbert holds a bachelor’s degree in screenwriting from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and is a graduate of Ursuline High School. 

She started her writing career as an intern on the first season of MTV’s “Awkward” while she was a senior in college. Herbert spent three seasons on the show, until at age 23 she wrote and produced an original pilot, “Blink,” for the CW. She has since sold pilot scripts to the CW, Fox and NBC.

For information, call 330 941 2307.

Oktobeerfest returns to Hollywood Gaming casino

AUSTINTOWN –The third annual Oktobeerfest at Hollywood Gaming casino and race course will take place from 3-6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased in advance at HollywoodMahoningValley.com.

New this year is a one-hour VIP session that begins at 2 p.m. VIP guests will have the opportunity to mingle with local brewery personnel and taste new and exclusively released beers. This package is $30 and includes admission to the regular tasting session.

More than 30 breweries will be in attendance and serving their seasonal beverages. Guests can also enjoy a live DJ, photo booth, complimentary snacks, outdoor games and more. The event will take place outdoors at the trackside entertainment area.

Selah Dessert Theater Presents ‘People Along the Way’

STRUTHERS – Selah Dessert Theater will open it 2019-20 season Thursday, Sept. 26, with the premier of a play, “People Along the Way,” written by local actor and playwright Terry Shears.

In “People,” Shears reflects on those who influenced his life. The idea for the play started out as short essay type pieces that Shears posted on social media.

“I suggested to Terry that he had the makings of a staged piece,” said director, Mary Ruth Lynn, “and he finally made it happen.”

The cast includes Rob Morris, Jeanine Rees, Denise Sculli, and Brian Suchora. Shears plays the main character, Average Joe. Each of four actors creates four unique characters that range in age from 10 to 95.

Among the people we meet are Dad, who lost the use of his legs in the polio epidemic of the 1950s, a 95 year old great grandmother who immigrated to America from Ireland, Bobby, a 12-year-old who is several grades behind and whose goal is to be the second coming of Elvis, and Coach D, who illustrates Civil War battles with questionable graphics and sees himself as a second dad to his athletes.

Performances are at at 8 p.m.Sept, 26, 27 and 28, and Oct. 4 and 5. Tickets are $18.50 and include dessert and coffee at intermission. Opening night features a Premier Night Package which includes a 4 course dinner and show for $36.

Go to SelahRestaurant.com or call 1 800 838 8006. Pre-show dinner reservations can be made by calling the restaurant at 330 755 2759
The theater is located upstairs at Selah Restaurant, 130 S. Bridge St.

Canvas and Cork art show at St. Patrick’s

YOUNGSTOWN – The parish life committee of St. Patrick Church, 1420 Oak Hill Ave., will host an art exhibit titled “Canvas and Cork from 6-8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29 in the parish social hall. The exhibit will feature the art work of 16 parishioners and local artists, and will include wine and hors d’oeuvres. Admission is $20. For reservations, call 330 743 1109.

Detroit Symphony Trombonist to Give Master Class

YOUNGSTOWN – Kenneth Thompkins, principal trombone of the Detroit Symphony, will give a recital and masterclass at 3 p.m. Sept. 29 in Bliss Recital Hall. Both events are free and open to the public.

Dana School of Music students who will also perform are Daniel Patrick, Zak Rahal, Dominic Gentile, Daniel Sager and Brandon Hackimer.

Gross to Speak Before Library’s Literary Society

YOUNGSTOWN – Bestselling author Andrew Gross will be the guest speaker at a Literary Society event Sept. 26 at the Main Library, 305 Wick Ave.

Gross is the author of “No Way Back,” “Everything to Lose” and “One Mile Under,” and co-author of five No. 1 The New York Times bestsellers with James Patterson, including “Judge & Jury” and “Lifeguard.”

Doors open at 6 p.m. for a cocktail and heavy appetizer/dessert reception. The author presentation will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $65 for this library fundraising event. The price includes membership in the Literary Society, an autographed copy of “The Fifth Column” and a complimentary glass of wine.  

For information, call 330 740 6086. To attend, send a check made payable to the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County – Literary Society to Attn: Mark Mrofchak, Fiscal Officer, Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, 305 Wick Ave., Youngstown, OH 44503.

The Main Library will be closed all day on Sept. 26, to prepare for the event.

MVHS Starts Cultural Event Series 

YOUNGSTOWN – The Mahoning Valley Historical Society will begin a new event series that celebrates the diversity of cultures in the region. First up is a Hispanic evening on Oct. 7.

All of the events will honor the cuisines, traditions and entertainment of ethnic groups.

Here is the schedule:

  • Hispanic night, Oct. 7, 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Organizacion Civica y Cultural Hispana Americana (OCCHA) Hall, 3660 Shirley Road, Youngstown. The event will offer food, mariachi entertainment by Felipe Torres, and remarks provided by Hector Colon, Youngstown’s former fire chief.
  • Christmas in Many Lands, Nov. 4,  Tyler History Center, 325 W. Federal St., Youngstown.
  • German night, April 6, 2020, at Saxon Club, 710 S. Meridian Road, Austintown.
  • Romanian night, May 4, 2020 at Holy Trinity Romanian Orthodox Church, 626 Wick Ave., Youngstown, OH
  • Italian night, Sept. 14, 2020, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Social Hall, 343 Via Mt. Carmel Ave., Youngstown. 
  • African night, Oct. 5, 2020, at Tyler History Center, 325 W. Federal St., Youngstown.
  • Greek night, Nov. 2, 2020, at Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church, 401 12th St., Campbell.

 For information, go to MahoningHistory.org.

Hoyt Accepting Submissions for Juried Art Competition

NEW CASTLE, Pa. – The 47th annual Hoyt Regional Juried Art Competition will take place March 31-June 11. 

Adult artists within a 250-mile radius of New Castle are invited to submit entries. The deadline is Jan. 25. Up to $1,500 in cash awards will be given to the winners. 

This year’s juror is Tyler Cann, curator of contemporary art and head of exhibitions at the Columbus Museum of Art.

All entries must be original, completed within the last three years, and not previously shown at the Hoyt. Size and weight restrictions apply.  While most media will be considered, video and installation will not be accepted. 

To enter or for information, go to HoytArtCenter.org or contact Patricia McLatchy at exhibits@hoytartcenter.org

The Hoyt Center for the Arts is a regional arts center and museum in  New Castle, Pa.

YSU’s Pipino Arts Series Kicks Off Oct. 12

YOUNGSTOWN – The 2019-20 Donald P. Pipino Performing Arts Series at Youngstown State University will open Oct. 12 with the National Marionette Theatre’s production of “Pinocchio.”

The show will begin at 11 a.m. in Ford Theater, lower level of Bliss Hall. 

Geared to families, this performance is part of YSU’s Homecoming activities and will feature appearances by YSU President Jim Tressel and Pete the Penguin.

The National Marionette Theatre is one of the oldest continually running marionette theaters in the United States. Founded in 1967, this award-winning company specializes in adaptations of popular stories using marionettes as the performance medium and travels with a fully self-contained theater complete with lighting and sound systems

Tickets are $12 ( $5 for children up to age 18 and free for YSU students with a valid ID). A discount is available for groups of 10 or more. Go to YSU.tix.com or call 330 941 3105.

Additional events in the series include:

  • The Rhythm Method String Quartet: November 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the Butler Institute of American Art – North
  • American Brass Quintet: January 24, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. at the
    Ford Family Recital Hall, DeYor Performing Arts Center, downtown.
  • Dance Theatre of Harlem: February 12, 2020, at 7:30 p.m., at Powers Auditorium.
  • Good Humor Radio Hour: March 31 and April 1, 2020, at 7 p.m. at the
    Youngstown Playhouse
  • “Ekmeles”: April 21, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. at the McDonough Museum of Art.

Opera Western Reserve Receives Ohio Arts Council Grant

YOUNGSTOWN – Opera Western Reserve has been awarded a grant of $2,861 by the Ohio Arts Council in support of the Murder, Mayhem & Macbeth fest, a series of events in October in collaboration with local partners. 

The Warren Philharmonic Orchestra will perform a selection from Verdi’s “Macbeth” at 3 p.m. Oct. 6 at First Presbyterian Church of Warren.

David Vosburgh, OWR director, will lecture on bringing the opera to the stage at 1:30 p.m. Oct 16 at the Public Library in Canfield. 

The Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St., dpwntown, will feature a beer tasting, appetizers and “Macbeth” readings and arias at the Witches Brew event at 6 p.m. Oct. 25.

The Rust Belt Theater Co. is producing ‘”Red Masquerade,” an immersive “Macbeth” experience at the B&O Station at 9 p.m. Oct. 26.

At 7:30 pm. Oct. 30, YSU Professor Tim Francisco will lecture on “Witches, Daemonologie & Macbeth” at the Jewish Community Center, 505 Gypsy Lane.

These events lead up to OWR’s regional premiere of Verdi’s opera “Macbeth” at 7:30 p.m. Nov.15 at Stambaugh Auditorium.

For tickets, go to OperaWesternReserve.org.  

Symphony in Free Concert at St. Elizabeth’s

YOUNGSTOWN – The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra will

perform in a free concert at 4 p.m. Sept. 29 in Finnegan Auditorium at St Elizabeth Hospital, 1044 Belmont Ave.The concert is the first in the YSO’s annual Stained Glass series of performances that take place primarily in houses of worship.The public is welcome. Free parking is available in the hospital’s Park  Avenue deck.

This is the second year in a row that the YSO gave a Stained Glass concert at the hospital. Last year’s took place in the chapel and was over capacity. This hear, the hospital is switching venues to the

Finnegan Auditorium to accommodate the expected audience.

Yambar Exhibition at the Tyler

 YOUNGSTOWN – An exhibition of works by Youngstown-based pop artists is on display at the Tyler History Center, 325 W. Federal St., downtown.

“For As Long As We Remember: Selections from Chris Yambar’s Gothika Collection” will run through Jan. 5 in the Tyler’s community history gallery.

The exhibit showcases historical imagery from Mahoning Valley cemeteries. It captures the icons and statuary that can inspire, haunt and comfort. Familiar effigies include Carrie Arms, the Wicks, angels, and other religious icons. 

Yambar has suffered health issues in recent years. He has lost sight in one eye and 40 percent of his vision in the other, but continues to produce art at a rapid pace.

The Tyler is open Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. 

Pictured at top: NaKong warrior Luigi (left, played by Aaron Hinchliffe) listens as botanist Lucius Fretway (right, Paul Dahman) talks to  Phyllida Spotte-Hume (center, Renee Marple Schreffler) in a scene from Stage Left Players’ production of “The Explorers Club.”

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