The Update | Theater Presents ‘Gay Wedding’; Lowellville Author to Give Presentation

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Rust Belt Theater Co. will bring back its original musical comedy “My Big Fat Gay Wedding” this weekend and next.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. March 18, 19, 25 and 26 at the theater’s new location in Club Switch, 221 Belmont Ave. The musical, written by Robert Dennick Joki and Josh Taylor, tells the story of Steven, a middle-aged event planner.  

It begins on June 26, 2015, moments after the Supreme Court voted in favor of marriage equality. Parades and celebrations break out across the country. But as the LGBTQ community takes to the streets to celebrate, Steven cannot. He is too busy planning weddings for straight couples.

Then a surprise proposal from his fiancé, Adam, sends his world into a tailspin. Steven is faced with task of planning his own perfect wedding. Along the way he encounters a hilarious host of obstacles, including ex-partners, Christian bakers, body-shaming retail employees and eccentric performance artists.  

The cast includes Nicole Zayas, Jeremy Grimes, Dean LaSalandra, Kage Coven, Celena Coven, Caitlyn Murphy, Sarah Whitlach, Vicci Sfikas, Taylor Love, Jash Yohman, Jessica Patoray, Rachel Clifford, Gabriel Kremm, Lisa Torrence and Joki. Tickets are $15 (all seating is general admission).  For reservations, call 330 507 2358 or click HERE.

‘Lowellville Murders’ Author to Speak

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Local author and historian Roselyn Torella will discuss her book, “Lowellville, Ohio: Murders, Mayhem & More,” at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 19, at Chad Anthony’s Grille meeting room, 4698 Belmont Ave.

Admission is $10 ($5 for members of the McGuffey Historical Society). Reservations are suggested; call 330 726 8277.

Torella’s book is a collection of newspaper articles on the surprisingly large number of crimes that occurred in Lowellville from the 1850s to the 1920s, along with additional research by the author.

While researching the book, Torella fell in love with the way reporters reported the news a century ago. She wanted readers to be able to enjoy the colorful and descriptive reporting, so she included the full text of the stories. She then added her personal touch, by using her family history research skills to provide the backstory. 

Evening of Magic at Salem Theater

SALEM – The Salem Community Theatre will present “In Cahoots… An Evening of Magic and Mentalism with the Alans” at 8 p.m. March 25. This will be a 21 and over event. 

Jason Alan is a magician and sleight of hand artist and his wife, Amy, is a former therapist turned mentalist. They combine their skills to deliver an evening of illusions, personal stories, magic and audience interaction.

The duo has appeared on The CW’s “Penn and Teller Fool Us.”

This is a 21 and over event. Tickets will be sold at the door and in advance at

Espresso Bar and Café to Open

NEW CASTLE, Pa. – 3 Thirty-Three Apothecary espresso bar and café will open Friday, March 18, at 121 Enclave Drive, Neshannock Township.

Owned by Shannon and Christian Elliott, who previously owned Mugsie’s Coffee House in New Wilmington, the café will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The café will offer baked gods from Two Fat Guys and an Oven.

Event to Feature Poetry of Walt Whitman

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Hopewell Theatre and Lit Youngstown will present “I Sing the Body Electric: Whitman’s America in Words and Song” at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 20, at The Hopewell, 702 Mahoning Ave.

The event will feature excerpts of poetry from Whitman’s iconic collection “Leaves of Grass.” Thoughts from letters and journals will be performed by Tim Francisco, Carla Gipson, James Hain, Adrianna Lamonge, Niki Latsko, Frank G. Martin, Martin Moore, Nick Mulichak, Jeanine Rees, Charles Rumber, and Brenda Zyvith.  

The readings will alternate with American and European music of the mid-19th century, performed by Youngstown Sheet & Tube Quartet. 

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance at

Pictured: Robert Dennick Joki is co-writer and cast member of “My Big Fat Gay Wedding.”

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