The Update | ‘Drag Queen’ at Rust Belt Theater; Holiday Parade, Gift Market Downtown Friday

YOUNGSTOWN – The Rust Belt Theater Company will present its 16th annual production of “How the Drag Queen Stole Christmas” at 8 p.m. Dec. 2-3, 9-11, 16-17, with an extra midnight show on Dec. 16.

An off-the-wall retelling of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” the musical tells the story of  Starrlet O’Hara, a tyrant drag queen who is visited by three ghostly divas on Christmas Eve. Written and composed by Robert Dennick Joki and Josh Taylor, the show is updated each year to lampoon politics, current events, and pop culture.

The cast includes  Nicole Zayas, Dean LaSalandra, Mia Grimes, Caitlyn Murphy, Holly Anne, Sarah Whitlatch, Vicci Sfikas, Diane Marie, Wesley Miller, Kage Coven, Josh Yohman, Lisa Torrence, Celena Coven, Alicia Wormley, Heather Powell and Joki.

A fully stocked bar will be available, and theatergoers will also be able to purchase handmade jewelry and souvenirs at “Starrlet’s Workshop.”

Following the Friday, Dec. 2, opening night performance, attendees are invited to participate in the after-party, featuring national touring drag artist Denise Russell.

The Saturday, Dec. 3, performance will be followed by the second annual Krampusnacht celebration, which includes performers dressed as dark Christmas spirits, as well as a scavenger hunt for prizes.

All tickets are $20 regular admission. For reservations, call 330 507 2358.  Tickets are also available online.

The Rust Belt Theater Company is located inside Club Switch, at 221 Belmont Avenue, in downtown Youngstown.

Festival of Trees at Fellows Visitors Center

YOUNGSTOWN – The annual Winter Celebration: Festival of Trees will open Saturday, Dec. 3, and run through Dec. 31 at the D.D. and Velma Education and Visitor Center at Fellows Riverside Gardens.

The free, family-friendly event features 50 trees uniquely decorated by local nonprofits. Visitors will be able to participate in a scavenger hunt and view the beautiful seasonal flowers on display. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., with Saturday hours until 7 p.m. for guest to experience the outdoor light display.

There will be a guest appearance by the Disney character Elsa on Dec. 3, and the Grinch on Dec. 17.

Parade, Holiday Flea Downtown

YOUNGSTOWN – The Youngstown Flea will present Flea on Phelps, a special outdoor night market on Friday, Dec. 2, from 4-8 p.m., on the Phelps Street walkway, downtown.

It will take place on the evening of the city’s Holiday Parade, which will begin at 6 p.m. on Federal Street. The lighting of the city Christmas Tree on Central Plaza will take place immediately after the parade.

The Youngstown Flea, known as “a market for makers,” features many unique gifts and items made by local artists and artisans. The regular Youngstown Flea holiday market will take place Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 4, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at its regular location at 365 E. Boardman St., downtown.

It will feature more than 150 vendors.

Robins Theatre Announces 3 Concerts

WARREN, Ohio – The Robins Theatre has announced three concerts that will take place in January as part of the venue’s 100th anniversary celebration.

Tickets for all three will go on sale on Friday, Dec. 2, at 10 a.m. at robinstheatre.com and at the box office, 160 E. Market St.

The shows are:

• American Pop, featuring The Box Tops, The Buckinghams and The Association, Jan. 6, 7 p.m.

• Atlanta Rhythm Section, Firefall and Pure Prairie League, Jan. 7, 7 p.m.

• Count Basie Orchestra, Jan. 8, 6 p.m.

Pictured at top: Rob Joki in “How the Drag Queen Stole Christmas” at Rust Belt Theater.

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.