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Serra Brings to Life Creepy, Kooky, Funny ‘Addams’

April 19, 2024 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Sometimes a little drink can make people do strange things, as can be seen when Taylor Betzner as Alice Beineke imbibes during a dinner party to introduce her family to the Addams family. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


“The Addams Family”

Where: Serra Catholic High School gymnasium, 200 Hershey Drive

When: Friday, April 19 at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 20 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 21 at 2 p.m

Tickets: $10 for adults, $5 for students and anyone under 18, available from any cast or crew member, at the door, or at

Boy and girl meet and fall in love. Seems like a normal theme for a musical, right?

But when the boy is from a normal suburban Ohio family and his girlfriend happens to be Wednesday from the Addams family, both seek just “One Normal Night” when their parents meet for the first time.

Serra Catholic High School presents “The Addams Family” for its spring musical, which opens Friday, April 19.

Through music and dance, it tells the story of what happens when the Addams family hosts a dinner party for grownup Wednesday’s boyfriend and his parents.

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All-Singing ‘Dreamcoat’ Brightens MAHS Stage

April 12, 2024 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment, McKeesport and Region News

During a rehearsal, Anastasia Bakaturski as Pharoah has a heart-to-heart talk with Lucas Sotereanos as Joseph about the importance of correctly interpreting certain dreams. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”

Where:  McKeesport Area High School Auditorium, 1960 Eden Park Blvd.

When: Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13 at 7 p.m., with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 13

Tickets: $10 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens. Available at

McKeesport Area High School’s spring musical is a story about jealousy, betrayal, revenge, and forgiveness — with plenty of lighter moments, too — all in a setting “way, way back many centuries ago.”

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” opened Thursday night with a stellar cast of high school and younger students singing and dancing their way through a show with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice.

It is based on the story of Jacob and his 12 sons, including his favorite, Joseph.

What makes this musical so different and challenging is the story is told almost exclusively through song from beginning to end.

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‘Wedding Singer’ Takes Audiences Back to the ’80s

April 10, 2024 |

By Kristen Keleschenyi | Posted in: Entertainment

Daniel Cipcic (Robbie Hart) and the cast of “The Wedding Singer” are ready to rock the house.

If you go...


“The Wedding Singer”

Where: East Allegheny High School Auditorium, 1150 Jacks Run Road (Route 48), North Versailles Twp.

When: Thursday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. and two shows on Saturday, April 13 at 2:00 p.m. and at 8:00 p.m. The show does have a PG-13 rating for mild language, sexual references and drinking scenes.

Tickets: Tickets can be purchased online at or at the box office before the show.

Break out the Aqua Net and your jelly bracelets, because “The Wedding Singer” is about to open at East Allegheny High School. The musical will take audiences back to 1985 and tells the story of Robbie Hart, a wedding singer, and how sometimes true love is right in front of your eyes.

Amanda Rosco, EA’s musical director, said the cast they had to work with this year is quite diverse with a variety of skill sets. It was time to take a break, she said, from the “Disney-esque” productions of the past few years and do something a little bit different.

“This is not a year where we looked at them (the cast) and went ‘Wow, we need to do something really serious,’” Rosco said.

Senior Alauna Carter plays one of the female leads, Holly, and she was excited to change things up after doing the musical “Anastasia” last year and “Newsies” the year before. “I feel like with it being a comedy it gives more freedom and there is less pressure on everybody,” Carter said.

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Fast-Paced Comedy Comes to MLT Stage

March 08, 2024 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Cast members of McKeesport Little Theater's latest production, the comedy "Nana's Naughty Knickers," in front from left, are Terri Davis as Vera Walters, Matt Tracy as Tom O'Grady, Emily Buckel as Bridget Charles, and Lindsey DiBattista as Sylvia Charles, aka Nana. In back are Nate Perrin as Clair Schmidt, Cory Sigler as Gil Schmidt, and Mandy Eckenrode as Heather Van Pree. (Photos by Bonnijean Cooney Adams for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


“Nana’s Naughty Knickers”

Where: McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St.,, (412) 673-1100

When: Friday, March 8, Saturday, March 9, Friday, March 15, and
Saturday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays March 10 and March 17 at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $15 for adults, $12 for students, available through the MLT
website or by calling the theater.

Law student Bridget Charles has no idea what awaits her when she moves in with her grandmother in New York City for the summer.

But she soon finds out her Nana is running a questionable business from her apartment, providing sexy lingerie for senior citizens.

Written by Katherine DiSavino , the comedy “Nana’s Naughty Knickers” opens Friday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. at McKeesport Little Theater.

MLT board members and actors Eddie Kunz and Sierra Mitchell teamed up, under the guidance of executive producer Jan Gerber, to co-produce the theater’s latest show.

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MLT Juniors Conjure Lively ‘Aladdin’ Adaptation

January 12, 2024 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Members of the cast of Disney’s “Aladdin Jr.” at McKeesport Little Theater prepare for the show’s opening on Friday. (Photos by Bonnijean Cooney Adams for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


Disney’s “Aladdin Jr.”

Where: McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St.,

When: Friday, Jan. 12 and Saturday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m.;
Sunday, Jan. 14 at 2 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. and Friday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m.;
Sunday, Jan. 21 at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $15 for adults, $10 for students. Tickets available
through the MLT website or by calling the theater.

Those who love the story of Aladdin should thoroughly enjoy the latest Juniors’ show at McKeesport Little Theater.

Disney’s “Aladdin Jr.” musical stage production features an expanded storyline that includes Aladdin’s fellow street urchins Babkak, Kassim, and Omar, who become his best friends, supporters, and rescuers.

There are some different songs in the stage version, but plenty of familiar tunes, too.

The theater is transformed into the town of Agrabah just in time for opening night, Friday (Jan. 12) with a colorful production complete with stunning costumes and great musical selections performed by a live pit.

Some of the actors are veterans of the Juniors program and have performed together there or elsewhere, while others are just getting their feet wet in theater.

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MLT Brings Back ‘Rocky Horror’ For Halloween

October 27, 2023 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Kat Grosso as Frank-N-Furter's golden creation Rocky, far right, and cast rehearse a scene from the cult favorite “Rocky Horror Show,” returning to McKeesport Little Theater for one weekend only. (Photo courtesy MLT)

If you go...


“Rocky Horror Show”

Where: McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St.,

When: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Pre-show activities begin at 6:45 p.m.

Tickets: $20 for adults, $12 for students, available by calling the theater at (412) 673-1100 or online.

When patrons of McKeesport Little Theater’s 2022 debut of “Rocky Horror Show” made it clear they’d like to see it become an annual event, director Heather Atkinson took it to heart.

“We got a lot of response last year that people wanted us to do this every year, so we put in for the rights again the day after ‘Rocky Horror’ closed, and found out we were approved again the day before Thanksgiving,” she said.

With show rights acquired and Atkinson on board to return to direct, she said she started thinking about things that would carry over from the 2022 production and others she wanted to change.

The 2023 MLT edition of “Rocky Horror Show” opens today (Oct. 27), and continues for one weekend only on Saturday (Oct. 28) and Sunday (Oct. 29). All shows are at 7:30 p.m., with pre-show activities starting at 6:45 p.m.

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MLT Takes on Ambitious ‘SpongeBob’ Musical

September 13, 2023 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

From left, Nyjair Wilkerson hones his skills as Squidward Q. Tentacles, with Michael Stanley and Dylan Stramaski, who play dual roles in the show. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


“The SpongeBob Musical”

Where: McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St.,

When: Sept. 15-17 and Sept. 22-24. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday matinees at 2 p.m

Admission: $20 for adults, $12 for students. Tickets available through the MLT website or by calling the theater at (412) 673-1100

The show that director Will Dixon calls “the hardest show I’ve ever done” is about a sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea.

“The SpongeBob Musical” opens Friday at McKeesport Little Theater and runs for two weekends. Rehearsals started in June. Dixon said the musical’s intense choreography, music and dancing makes it an ambitious show for a small community theater.

The beloved children’s cartoon show — which held plenty of humor for parents as well — was adapted to a musical for all ages that opened on Broadway in 2017. That’s when Dixon and a few others who eventually became part of the MLT cast decided to take a road trip and headed to New York City to see it.

“I had not slept for 36 hours,” he said. “Still, I was on the edge of my seat. After that, I knew I wanted to direct it.”

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Serra Band Corrals Western-Themed Show

September 05, 2023 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Serra musicians and color guard fine tune the drill during summer evening band camp. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


Serra Catholic Marching Band presents “Wanted”

Tournament of Bands Region 8
Preview of Champions Show

Where: Penn-Trafford High School, 3381 Route 130, Harrison City

When: Saturday, Sept. 9. Gates open at 5 p.m. Serra Catholic performs at 6 p.m., followed by local bands East Allegheny at 7:15 and McKeesport Area at 8:15. Awards begin at 8:50.

Admission: $10 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens

Serra Catholic High School's band director said fans and audiences can expect a “lighthearted, very upbeat show” when the official competition season kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Penn-Trafford High School.

Jesse Bush described “Wanted” as a “cowboy-inspired show” with musicians and color guard featured in duets, solos, and even a vocal selection.

Music includes several songs by Randall Standridge, the Eagles, Johnny Cash, and others, Bush said.

Drum major Vincent Brown said he taught himself how to play the harmonica, which is featured at the very beginning of the production. His character is the protagonist cowboy searching for antagonist wanted man Michael Aland.

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Locals Cheer Grads During Broadway Awards

June 27, 2023 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Students who have performed with Kaitlyn Majewski in high school or at McKeesport Little Theater joined the watch party for the 2023 Jimmy Awards to show their support. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac)

An enthusiastic group of friends, family and fellow performers gathered at McKeesport Area High School’s auditorium on Monday night to view a live stream of the 2023 Jimmy Awards.

The collaborative effort between McKeesport Little Theater and McKeesport Area School District enabled those who could not travel to New York City to support 2023 grad Kaitlyn Majewski to cheer her on as she performed as part of the competition that recognizes excellence in high school musical theatre.

Majewski and Elizabeth Forward High School student Tyler Guinto-Brody qualified for the Jimmys after being named best actress and best actor, respectively, during Pittsburgh’s Gene Kelly Awards in May.

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Wartime Drama Set on U.K. Island Offers Intrigue

May 04, 2023 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Entertainment

Cast of McKeesport Little Theater’s “Gabriel.” (Tabitha Bowman photo courtesy MLT)

If you go...


“Gabriel” by Moira Buffini

Where: McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St.

When: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, through May 14

Tickets: $15 for adults, $10 for students, $5 for members. Sold at the door, online at, or by calling (412) 673-1100

At the height of the second World War on the Nazi-occupied British island of Guernsey in the English Channel, one family struggles to survive. In a twist of fate, an incoherent young man washes up on the beach. Unable to locate identification, the family names him “Gabriel” and decides to harbor him despite facing possible consequences of the commanding officer of the German forces, Major Von Pfunz.

The McKeesport Little Theater is presenting “Gabriel” by Moira Buffini, beginning this week. The play was first published in 1997 and was described by The New York Times as a “deftly woven plot” that “begins generating suspense early on.” Buffini is an English playwright born in Cheshire, United Kingdom.

Another reviewer wrote that “Buffini, a daring and almost shockingly inventive playwright, derives suspenseful plot turns from these characters thrust into a dangerously close situation.”

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