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Connick's 'Happy Elf' Offers Holiday Fun for Kids at MLT

December 05, 2018 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Cast members of "The Happy Elf" rehearse a scene. (Photo courtesy of McKeesport Little Theater Juniors)

If You Go:

Harry Connick Jr.’s “The Happy Elf”

Where: McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St., McKeesport, 15132

When: Dec. 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $12 for adults, $7 for children 12 years and younger.  Reservations at (412) 673-1100.


Santa will be taking a break from all his duties at the North Pole to spend some more time in the old Tube City as he meets and greets patrons of all ages – and even has lunch with some of them – when McKeesport Little Theater Juniors present “The Happy Elf.”

A musical creation by Grammy Award-winning composer and lyricist Harry Connick Jr., “The Happy Elf” features Eubie, who has set his sights on becoming part of Santa’s sleigh team.

His extremely bubbly personality actually rubs some the wrong way, and he finds himself assigned to checking the naughty-or-nice lists instead.

 
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Half-Century Later, 'Hair' Remains Relevant at MLT

November 01, 2018 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

The cast of McKeesport Little Theater's production of "Hair," which opens Friday. (David P. Adams photo special to Tube City Almanac)


If You Go: “Hair”

McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St., (412) 673-1100
When: Nov. 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays
Ticket information: www.mckeesportlittletheater.com or www.showclix.com


Most of the cast of McKeesport Little Theater’s production of “Hair” knew very little about the musical – except maybe a popular song or two – when they were offered their roles.

At the center of the original musical, co-written by Pittsburgh native Gerome Ragni and James Rado, were issues surrounding the war in Vietnam, with a country deeply divided about the conflict and what America’s role should be.

But after researching and rehearsing since September, cast members came to agree with director Edward Bostedo that issues presented in the rock musical when it premiered in 1967 remain relevant.

 
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Dark Comedy 'Sordid Lives' Brings Plenty of Laughs at MLT

September 13, 2018 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

The cast of McKeesport Little Theater's season-opening "Sordid Lives" rehearses a scene from the funeral of Peggy Ingram, whose unexpected death prompts some soul-searching among family members and friends. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo)


A comedy --- albeit a dark one --- is sure to bring plenty of laughs to the audience as McKeesport Little Theater kicks off its 58th season with a strong ensemble cast in “Sordid Lives.”

If the title sounds somewhat familiar, it probably is. Del Shores originally wrote “Sordid Lives” as a play, then directed an independent film with the same name in 2000, followed by a television series in 2008 called “Sordid Lives: The Series.”

Producer Anthony Gomez, who also is president of McKeesport Little Theater’s board of directors, said “Sordid Lives” is all about family and acceptance.

The play is set in Winters, Texas, and was nominated for more than 30 awards. Family matriarch Peggy Ingram, known in the community as an upright, Christian woman, dies in an unfortunate accident when she trips over her lover’s wooden legs and hits her head, causing quite a stir.

 
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Mon Valley Author Expo Connects Local Writers, Readers

September 04, 2018 |

By Charlotte Hopkins | Posted in: Entertainment

Editor's Note: Charlotte Hopkins was one of the hosts of this event.

Local authors --- including two from McKeesport and one from Pleasant Hills --- met with readers and members of the public at an event in Washington County last month.

The Monongahela Area Library and the Just Write Literary Group held the first-annual Mon Valley Author Expo on Aug. 25. Also in attendance was Rebecca Benston, the CEO of Springfield, Ohio, based Higher Ground Books and Media.

The authors who attended the event shared their background and motivation behind their published work.

Yasmin Brown

Last year, Yasmin Brown of McKeesport released her memoirs in a two-part series. Her first book, “The Silent Destruction,” tells how, as a young girl, she was forced into silence regarding sexual assaults that she suffered by a close friend and family member.

 
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Dravosburg Celebrates 115th Birthday -- With a Bang

August 29, 2018 |

By Vickie Babyak | Posted in: Entertainment

(All photos: Vickie Babyak, special to Tube City Almanac)


Dravosburg Borough celebrated its 115th anniversary on Saturday with daylong festivities, including a parade, a carnival, a lantern launch at dusk, and fireworks.

Above, the Syria Shrine Highlanders Pipes and Drums from Pittsburgh.

Doug Baxter served as event coordinator. More photos after the jump.

 
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MLT Stages One-Act Drama During New Works Festival

August 29, 2018 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Darrin Mosley as graduate student James Stevens exchanges heated remarks with Andy Pivarnik as Holocaust denier William Whitehead during a rehearsal of "The Survivor," McKeesport Little Theater's entry in Pittsburgh New Works Festival. (David Adams photo special to Tube City Almanac)


If you go

What: “The Survivor,” produced by McKeesport Little Theater for Pittsburgh New Works Festival
When: 8 p.m. Aug. 30, 4 p.m. Sept. 1, 2 p.m. Sept. 2, 8 p.m. Sept. 7, 8 p.m. Sept. 8
Where: Carnegie Stage, 25 W. Main St., Carnegie
Tickets: Single tickets available for $17 online or $20 at the door; $15 for students with valid ID. Festival passes and other ticket options available online


At the helm as director of “The Survivor,” McKeesport Little Theater’s production for Pittsburgh New Works Festival, Ed Bostedo is pleased with how his luck of the draw turned out.

The festival, in its 28th year, is an opportunity for regional theater companies to introduce a series of new, one-act plays. The catch? After directors review available scripts and get a chance to see actors complete generic auditions, is they have to bid on the play, then the cast, of their choice.

“I was second to last to bid (on the play) and got the show, then was second for the cast and got my first choice both times,” Bostedo said.

 
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Serra Band Has Big Plans For 2018-19 Season

August 24, 2018 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Members of Serra Catholic High School's colorguard practice their moves during band camp. (David Adams photo special to Tube City Almanac)


(* -- Correction made, Aug. 25. See editor's note.)

With most of his students in choir and musicals, in addition to playing instruments, Serra Catholic High School marching band director Jesse Bush said he was looking for something different and unique to match their skillset when selecting a theme for the season.

“I wanted to do a Latin-themed show,” he said. “I watched the Disney movie ‘Coco’ last year and thought the Day of the Dead holiday was something that could work.”

Following their appearance in Kennywood’s Fall Fantasy Parade on Aug. 18, the band kicks off its season tonight when the Eagles open their football season at Yough in a non-conference game starting at 6 p.m.

 
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Serra High Ready to Have a Ball With 'Cinderella'

April 17, 2018 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Paige Thatcher as Cinderella (right), tries to meet all the demands placed upon her. From left are Madette Kusic as Stepmother, Sarah Brammell as Stepsister Portia and Abby DiLonardo as Stepsister Joy.


Although the ladies are thrilled that the prince is giving a ball, the king’s really the one paying for it and has some financial concerns when Serra Catholic High School presents Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical version of “Cinderella.”

The musical opens Wednesday (April 18) and continues nightly at 7 p.m. through Saturday (April 21).

“‘Cinderella’ was a good choice for us because Serra Catholic has never performed this musical,” director Jesse Bush said. “Since I’m new here, I decided to pick a show I’m familiar with to help me get to know the students.”

Bush said Serra’s “Cinderella” is the fourth high school musical he has directed. In addition to his director duties, he teaches music, music appreciation, and is the band and choir director.

 
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'Peach' of a Musical Takes Stage This Week at MAHS

April 11, 2018 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Members of the cast and orchestra pit rehearse a number from McKeesport Area High School's production of "James and the Giant Peach."


McKeesport Area High School graduate Carolyn Carreiro was hired by her alma mater in 2012 to design the program for the spring musical.

Now she’s producing her third musical there – “James and the Giant Peach” – based on the children’s book of the same name by Roald Dahl.

The musical, which opens Thursday and runs through Saturday in the high school auditorium, relates the story of a young orphan named James, who is taken in by two not-so-nice aunts, his only living relatives. He discovers the recipe for a magic potion that causes a peach tree in their yard to produce a giant fruit.

 
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EA Prepares Non-Traditional Choice for School Musical With 'Once on This Island'

April 09, 2018 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Above: The cast of "Once on This Island" at East Allegheny High School rehearses a scene from the upcoming show.


Amanda Rosco decided to depart from more traditional offerings and cross one item off her bucket list through East Allegheny’s spring musical, “Once on This Island.”

Running this Thursday, Friday and Saturday with shows at 7:30 p.m. daily, plus a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday, the musical is set in the Caribbean and focuses on the life of a peasant girl named Ti Moune, who falls in love with a young man from her island’s upper class.

The musical includes elements of “Romeo and Juliet” in the tale of the star-crossed lovers, plus a wager among the four gods who watch over the inhabitants of the island.

“These shows are my babies and major project each year,” said Rosco, who serves as director, producer and music director.

 
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