The Update | Drive-By Truckers, ‘Jokers’ Comedian Joe Gatto Coming to Valley

WARREN, Ohio – The Drive-By Truckers, with opening act American Aquarium, will come to Packard Music Hall on Sept. 21.

Tickets are $25, $35, $49.75 and $65 and will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at (fees apply) and the Packard box office.

An online-only presale will take place Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; use the password PACKARD.

The band released its 14th studio album, “Welcome 2 Club XIII,” in June 2022. The Americana rock act consists of Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley, Jay Gonzalez and Brad Morgan.

The album’s title cut is about the Muscle Shoals, Alabama, bar where the band got its start. It looks back on their formative years with pragmatism and tenderness, and features background vocals by Margo Price, R.E.M.’s Mike Mills and Schaefer Llana.

Arriving as the band entered its 26th year, “Welcome” marked a sharp departure from the trenchant commentary of “The Unraveling” and “The New OK” (both released in 2020). “All our records are political to some extent, but after making three overtly political records in a row, we wanted to do something much more personal,” Hood says.

Joe Gatto Coming to Powers Auditorium

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Comedian Joe Gatto, formerly of the hit TV show “Impractical Jokers,” will come to Powers Auditorium at 7 p.m. Oct. 26. 

Tickets will go on sale Friday, May 5, at

Gatto is one of the founding members of The Tenderloins Comedy Troupe, and also a co-host of the “Two Cool Moms” podcast.

‘The Gruffalo’ Children’s Stage Show

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – Westminster College Celebrity Series for Kids will present “The Gruffalo” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 15, in Orr Auditorium on the campus.

Based on the classic picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, “The Gruffalo” follows Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood. Searching for hazelnuts, Mouse meets the cunning Fox, the eccentric old Owl and the high-spirited Snake. Will the story of the terrifying Gruffalo save Mouse from ending up as dinner for these hungry woodland creatures? After all, there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo – is there?

The show is full of songs, laughs and scary fun and is recommended for ages 3 and up.

To reserve tickets, call the Celebrity Series Box Office at 724 946 7354, or go to

Free Family Day for Trumbull History

NILES, Ohio – The Trumbull County Historical Society is hosting a free family day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at the Ward-Thomas House, 503 Brown St., Niles.

Visitors can have fun trying tools and technology that people have used throughout history. Those who visit each station will receive a prize.

“We hope that families take advantage of this hands-on event where children can both have fun and learn some local history at the same time,” said spokesman Ryan MacLennan.

Family Day is a collaborative effort between the Trumbull County Historical Society, the Niles Historical Society, the Harriet Taylor Upton Association, the Sutliff Museum, the National Packard Museum, the McKinley Memorial Library, the McKinley Birthplace Museum and Memorial, Fowler Historical Society, Leavittsburg Historical Society, Braceville Historical Society and the Newton Falls Public Library.  Each organization will have a station with an activity geared toward children.

This event is free and open to the public. The day includes a free slice of pizza from Niles Belleria. 

For information, go to

Films Scheduled at Robins Theatre

WARREN, Ohio – The Robins Theatre will screen three classic movies this month: “The Departed,” May 13, 7 p.m.; “Gone with the Wind,” May 20, 6 p.m.; and “American Graffiti,” May 27, 7 p.m.

Tickets are $7 and available in advance at and the box office, 160 E. Market St.

Poetry Readings at Westside Bowl

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Lit Youngstown’s First Wednesday Readers Series will present poets Richard Ferris of Cleveland and B. Elizabeth Beck of Lexington, Kentucky, originally of Canfield, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, at Westside Bowl, 2617 Mahoning Ave.

An open mic will follow the featured readers.

The May reading will be the first since the closing of Soap Gallery, which hosted Lit Youngstown for the past six years. Future readings will also take place at Westside Bowl’s downstairs room.

The June 7 reading will feature Arya F. Jenkins of Youngstown and Rose Smith of Columbus, co-hosted by Mari Alschuler. For information, go to

Tax Credit for Filmmakers in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Is your downtown picture perfect? Have you ever wanted to use film to share the story of your hometown? Now there’s a tax credit that can help.

The application for the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit program is now available. Go to

The program provides a refundable tax credit of 30% on production cast and crew wages and other in-state spending for eligible productions, including feature-length films, documentaries, pre-Broadway productions, miniseries, video games and music videos.

“Ohio’s big cities, distinctive neighborhoods and historic small towns can be the perfect backdrop for your next production,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development. “This investment supports Ohio’s thriving arts and culture scene, brings good jobs to our state, and creates income for local businesses.”

More than $36 million in funding is available. Applications are accepted online now through 5 p.m. June 1. Projects will be awarded on or before July 31.

A $4.9 million tax credit supported the 2021 Russo brothers’ film “Cherry,” starring Tom Holland, which was shot in and around northeastern Ohio. And more than $12 million will support the upcoming film “The Bikeriders,” directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Austin Butler and Tom Hardy, which was filmed in Butler County in fall 2022.

Applications are reviewed and awarded in two rounds each year; $40 million is available annually, evenly divided between the two rounds, plus any rollover amounts from the preceding period. Projects are awarded first to television series or miniseries, then to all others, based on the extent of positive economic impact in Ohio and the effect on developing a permanent workforce in motion picture or theatrical production industries in Ohio.

The Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit was created in 2009 to encourage and develop a film industry in Ohio.

Ekphrastic Poems Sought for Event

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Lit Youngstown seeks poets and poetry for summer ekphrastic collaborations with the YWCA and the Youngstown Area Community Concert Band.

The YWCA Women Artists: A Celebration! annual juried art exhibition showcases works by local and regional artists. Interested poets will receive an electronic image of a painting, photograph, ceramic work or artwork of other media that has been accepted into this year’s show. Poets will write an ekphrastic poem, or a poem responding to the artwork. A reading of the poems will take place Thursday, June 29, at 6 p.m. at the YWCA.

This year’s concert series by the Youngstown Area Community Concert Band will be a celebration of film scores by John Williams. Lit Youngstown seeks poets to write poems after any film with a John Williams score. The poem might be written in the voice of a character, depict a movie memory or describe a scene. A reading of the poems will take place during the community band’s annual summer concert Tuesday, July 25, at 7 p.m. at Austintown Township Park.

To register, go to It is free to participate, and both reading events are free and open to the public.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.