The Update | ‘Beauty Queen of Leenane’ at Selah Theater; Irish Tenor Cahill at Cathedral

STRUTHERS, Ohio – “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” will open Thursday, Feb. 29, at Selah Dessert Theatre and run for three weekends.

Written by Martin McDonagh (“The Banshees of Inisherin”), the play focuses on a mother and daughter who are locked in a dysfunctional relationship that is both funny and shocking.

Mag, a 70-year-old woman, is growing frail in body but ever more focused on keeping her daughter at home to care for her.

Maureen, a 40-year-old virgin, meets a local man and has a last chance at love.

Through manipulation and lies, Mag destroys Maureen’s hopes and dreams, which moves the story to its tragic conclusion.

The play is the first in McDonagh’s Leenane trilogy. Each is set in Connemara, County Galway, Ireland, with characters who are isolated and no longer conform to societal norms.

Directed by Mary Ruth Lynn, the cast includes Amy-Anne Kibler as Mag, Jeanine Rees as Maureen, Jeff Carey as a local construction worker who wants Maureen to come to America with him and Frank Carsone as Raymond, a young man who wants no responsibility.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Feb. 29 and March 1-2, 8-9 and 15-16.

Tickets are $19.50 (which includes dessert at intermission) and are available at Reservations are required.

The opening night performance is sold out.

The theater is located upstairs at Selah Restaurant, 130 S. Bridge St., and is accessible by stairs only.

Emmet Cahill to Perform at Renovated Cathedral

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Emmet Cahill will return to Youngstown on March 14 for a 7:30 p.m. performance at St. Columba Cathedral, 159 W. Rayen Ave.

Tickets are $35 (general admission) and $50 for the concert and a meet and greet with Cahill at 6 p.m. and can be purchased in advance at

Proceeds directly support future cathedral concerts.

The Irish-born tenor and former star of “Celtic Thunder” has performed four previous times at the cathedral.

The 33-year-old has also appeared on PBS and the “Today” show and made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2018. Cahill’s “Ireland” album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard world music chart.

At his Youngstown concert, Cahill will perform traditional Irish favorites, church hymns and Broadway classics.

Attendees will also enjoy the recent renovations to the cathedral’s sanctuary, which enhance the beauty of its mosaic.

Art Exhibit Features Works of Late YSU Professor

WARREN, Ohio – “This is Not Nostalgia,” an exhibition of artworks by James and Adrien Lucas and a reunion tribute of works by colleagues, will open Saturday, Feb. 24, at Trumbull Art Gallery, 158 N. Park Ave., with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m.

The exhibition, curated by Robyn E. Maas and Adrien Lucas, will run through March 29.

It features paintings and sculptures by James Lucas, a Youngstown State University art professor who died of Covid in 2020. Lucas was known for his detailed, textured style in both paintings and artwork. Unfortunately, he destroyed much of his artwork over the lengthy years of his lengthy career. It was only by accident that his daughter Adrien found a box of slides containing images of his work that was headed for the trash. She asked her father if she could have the slides digitized, and he agreed.

Adrien Lucas had been working on portraits of famous people who died in tragic endings, a body of work she calls “Bad Exits.” When she looked through her father’s art, she was inspired to recreate some of the pieces she remembered from her childhood hanging in their homes or pieces from the ’90s that he had destroyed.

The exhibition features numerous pieces of artwork by colleagues from YSU who worked with him from the 1960s until his retirement in the 1990s.

Student Poets Can Compete for Scholarship

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Lit Youngstown, in partnership with Youngstown City Schools and Stambaugh Auditorium, will present CityVerse: a Youth Poetry Showcase. 

Thirty students from Chaney and East high schools and Rayen Early College will be selected from poetry workshops through May.

Students will read their original work at Christman Hall in Stambaugh Auditorium at 7 p.m. June 4, where community judges Debbie Allen, Ahmed Sutton and Jimmy Sutman will select five students to win $100 cash prizes. One student will win a $5,000 scholarship. The reading is free and open to the public.

Interested students may contact school coordinators Kristen DeToro at East High School, Shaunda Yancey at Rayen Early College or Maria Pappas at Chaney High School for more information.

Pictured at top: Amy-Anne Kibler, seated, and Jeanine Rees star in Selah Dessert Theatre’s production of “The Beauty Queen of Leenane.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.