The Update | Rust Belt Theater Presents ‘Miss Tuesday Night: A Drag Pageant Musical’

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Rust Belt Theater Company is bringing back its original show “Miss Tuesday Night: A Drag Pageant Musical” at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20, and April 26 and 27, at Club Switch, 221 Belmont Ave., downtown.

“The last time we tried to stage this was in 2020, and we ended up having to cancel the show due to the Covid pandemic, four days before we were scheduled to open,” said Robert Dennick Joki, director of the theater company.

“We ended up livestreaming parts of the show online with about three-fourths of the cast. Four years later, many of the original cast members have returned, and we are very excited to finally offer the full production.”

Written by Joki and with orchestration by Josh Taylor, “Miss Tuesday Night” gives audiences a glimpse into the world of small-town drag pageants. In the show, warring drag groups compete against each other as contestants struggle to make their “drag mothers” proud, while remaining true to themselves. 

Joki also stars in the musical and directs it.

The play is narrated by Starlett O’Hara, Joki’s well-known drag queen character. She explains the process of the pageant and also gives witty commentary throughout. 

The cast includes Diane Marie, Caitlyn Murphy, Sarah Whitlatch, Shelby Gossick, Charity Bauer, Lisa Torrence, Vasi Sfikas, Keith Stepanic, Brooke Jonas, Jennifer Hutton, Joey Shilot, Jessica Patoray and Joki.  

All tickets are $15. Seating is limited, and reservations are strongly suggested. To reserve seats, call 330 507 2358. 

Writers to Discuss History of Jews in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Two writers will discuss the history of Jews in the Mahoning Valley at a special presentation May 1 at the Jewish Community Center, 505 Gypsy Lane.

Austin Reid of Lancaster, Ohio, and Thomas Welsh of Youngstown will lead the two-hour presentation, which will start at 6 p.m. Admission is free.

Registration is required by April 26; contact Nancy Sentelik at 330 746 3251, ext. 108, or A light dinner will be served.

The event is sponsored by the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation and the JCC in recognition of Jewish American Heritage Month.

Reid has been exploring the stories of Ohio’s smaller and vanished Jewish communities since 2017.

Welsh is a professional writer, historian and educator who has written several books about Youngstown history.

British Designer Named to Kent Fashion Hall of Fame

KENT, Ohio – The School of Fashion at Kent State University has named British designer Dame Zandra Rhodes as its 2024 Hall of Fame inductee.

In its 35th year, the prestigious Kent State School of Fashion Hall of Fame award celebrates the outstanding contributions to fashion made by an individual.

Rhodes joins an illustrious group of inductees that includes Omar Salam, Kenneth Cole, Estee Lauder, Oscar de la Renta, Dana Buchman, Leonardo Ferragamo and Josie Natori.

She launched her brand in the early 1960s, fusing print, textiles and pattern. Originally seen as extreme, her bold designs earned her the nickname “the Princess of Punk,” and led her to dress stars including Freddie Mercury, Diana Ross, Barbara Streisand, Princess Anne and Princess Diana.

After more than five decades of fashion collections, Rhodes has more recently focused on collaborations with lifestyle brands like IKEA of Sweden, Happy Socks and Poppy Lissiman.

Rhodes will give an artist lecture at 11 a.m. Friday, April 26, in Rockwell Hall to Kent State University students, industry and fashion enthusiasts. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Rhodes’ induction into the Kent State School of Fashion Hall of Fame will take place Saturday, April 27, as part of the annual fashion show.

Pictured at top: Robert Dennick Joki in “Miss Tuesday Night,” presented by Rust Belt Theater.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.