‘Frozen Jr.’ Breezes Into MLT This Weekend

December 02, 2022 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

The cast of Disney’s “Frozen Jr.” at McKeesport Little Theater takes a quick break from rehearsal. (Photo by Bonnijean Cooney Adams for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


Disney’s “Frozen Jr.”

Presented by McKeesport Little Theater Juniors

Where: McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St.

When: Fridays and Saturdays Dec. 2, 3, 9 and 10 at 7 p.m.; Sundays Dec. 4 and 11 at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $15 for adults and $10 for students. Available through the MLT website, by calling the theater at 412-673-1100, or via onthestage.com.

There are two special, pre-show activities requiring advance reservations set for Dec. 4 and Dec. 10, but spots are going quickly, as are tickets for the shows. The first is Olaf’s Character Brunch, and the second is a Coronation Day Ball. MLT management recommends those planning to attend should call the theater at 412-673-1100 for availability and pricing.

There’s a lot of pressure on the young performers in McKeesport Little Theater’s Juniors program as they undertake the latest production, which opens tonight (Dec. 3).

That’s because the show is Disney’s “Frozen Jr.,” with a storyline and songs familiar to audiences of all ages from the movie and Broadway production.

The most experienced performers with lead roles — and even director Dorothy Fallows, who has been in charge of the Juniors’ program and affiliated with McKeesport Little Theater for at least 30 years — said it’s definitely challenging to give audiences what they know and expect, while adapting the show to fit MLT’s unique venue and talents of the cast.

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New Director Puts Heart, Soul Into MLT’s ‘Rocky’

October 27, 2022 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, the photos on this story were incorrectly credited. They were supplied courtesy of Edward E. Bostedo Jr.

Jacob Hecht as Dr. Frank-N-Furter (center), makes his first appearance to his unexpected visitors Brad and Janet, while members of his household and others look on. His creation Rocky (Ayden Freed), has not yet been revealed at this point in McKeesport Little Theater's production of "The Rocky Horror Show." (Submitted photos courtesy of Edward E. Bostedo Jr.)

If you go...


“The Rocky Horror Show”

Where: McKeesport Little Theater
1614 Coursin St.

When: All shows are at 7:30 p.m. Friday (Oct. 28), Saturday (Oct. 29) and Sunday (Oct. 30).
Tickets: $25 for adults, or $30 with prop bag.

Recommended for ages 18 and older. Ages 17 or younger must be accompanied by an adult over 21.

Once Heather Atkinson found out McKeesport Little Theater had acquired the rights to “The Rocky Horror Show,” she knew she had to be part of it.

“I’ve been an avid ‘Rocky Horror’ fan most of my life,” she said.

That began when she and her father, who also is a big fan of the cult classic, went to a midnight viewing of the 1975 movie “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” She said she was approximately 12 years old at the time.

An avid performer at McKeesport Little Theater and other venues, Atkinson applied to direct “Rocky,” with veteran director Edward E. Bostedo Jr. as her mentor and director.

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Lively Tunes, Dance Shine in MLT’s ‘Newsies’

September 15, 2022 |

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

From left, Anderson Miller as Les, Ayden Freed as Davey, Dylan Pal as Jack Kelly, and Camryn Hall as Katherine Plumber, rehearse a musical number from “Newsies.” (Photo by Bonnijean Cooney Adams for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


Disney’s “Newsies: The Broadway Musical”

Where: McKeesport Little Theater
1614 Coursin St.

When: 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays Sept. 16, Sept. 17, Sept. 23, Sept. 24, and matinees at 2 p.m. on Sundays Sept. 18 and Sept. 25
Tickets: $20 for adults and $12 for students, available through the website or by leaving reservation information at the theater

When Disney’s “Newsies: the Broadway Musical” opens at McKeesport Little Theater on Friday, Sept. 16, audiences will get to see the results of transforming a huge production to a community stage for an up-close-and-personal experience.

The Broadway version evolved from the 1992 film of the same name featuring a young Christian Bale as newsboy leader Jack Kelly. It is based on real events and people involved in the famous 1899 newsboys strike in New York.

The newsies peddled papers produced by media moguls Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. The strike occurred when the publishers tried to change the way the young workers were compensated.

The show features lots of catchy tunes, likeable characters, and lively dance numbers. It’s been portrayed on the big movie screen, Broadway stages and national tours.

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Serra Band’s Fall Show Sets Sail

August 30, 2022 |

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

Director Jesse Bush (with back to camera) provides input as band members get familiar with the music and drill for “X Marks the Spot” during the first week of camp. (Photo by Bonnijean Cooney Adams for Tube City Almanac)

Serra Catholic Marching Band will transport its audiences on a search across the Seven Seas in pursuit of buried treasure through the pirate-themed “X Marks the Spot.”

Director Jesse Bush said while exploring options for the band’s competition season, he was drawn to music written and arranged by Randall D. Standridge, whose work has been featured in previous years.

He said he and the students liked the music, so created a theme through “Setting Sail,” “The Mysteries of the Sea” and “Battle for the Gold.”

With a preview show under their belt, the band is looking forward to the Sept. 10 start of their Tournament of Bands competition season as the performance evolves, is tweaked, and finishing touches added.

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Renzie Ramble Celebrates Rich Local History

July 10, 2022 |

By Elizabeth Laughlin | Posted in: Entertainment, McKeesport and Region News

At Saturday’s Renzie Ramble, Olympic gold-medalist and WNBA half-of-fame champion Swin Cash will be portrayed by Nya O’Neil, presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation. Olympic gold-medalist and Baltimore Orioles southpaw Rick Krivda will be portrayed by Mason Gergely, presented by DTI Development and Marc Gergely. (Submitted photos courtesy McKeesport Little Theater)

The Renzie Ramble is returning to Renziehausen Park this Saturday from 12 noon to 4 p.m.

Sponsored by McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center, the event celebrates McKeesport history with a walking tour of local and national figures. They will be portrayed by 11 actors from the McKeesport Little Theater.

All of the people represented contributed to McKeesport’s history. This is the second year for the event.

National figures include Langston Hughes, the playwright and poet from the Harlem Renaissance, who will be played by Dellen Morton and presented by Allen Come Get Wright. Hughes traveled to McKeesport to visit his mother.

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Duquesne to Honor Jazz Legend “Fatha” Hines

July 07, 2022 |

By Tom Leturgey | Posted in: Duquesne News, Entertainment

In a clipping from the San Francisco Examiner, Duquesne native Earl “Fatha” Hines poses with San Francisco nightclub owner Leonard Martin after signing a lifetime guaranteed contract in 1967. Hines, who died in 1983, is regarded as one of the most influential jazz and pop music piano players of all time. (Tube City Almanac file)

When then-city councilman Scott Adams first took office in Duquesne, longtime resident Arnold Staples handed him a folder filled with history and information regarding the city’s favorite son and jazz legend Earl “Fatha” Hines.

Sitting right next to Adams was Councilwoman Elaine Washington, who caught a peak of the exchange. Intrigued, she told Adams, “I’ll take that” and grabbed the folder.   

While she personally likes different artists of that music genre, Washington wanted to ensure that Hines, who is far more instrumental in jazz than many might realize, was properly recognized in his hometown.

He always called Duquesne home, said Washington. “He didn’t say Pittsburgh. He said, ‘Duquesne’.” As a result, Washington has been working with the Pennsylvania State Historical Preservation Office to designate Hines’ childhood home at 600 Priscilla Ave. as a historical landmark.

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Youth Breathe Life Into Bard’s ‘Twelfth Night’

June 23, 2022 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Some “Twelfth Night” cast members have more than one role. From left, assistant director Kinsley Beachler also portrays Feste and a priest, in a scene with Ella Mizera (Sebastian/Officer) and Madeline Sclichter (Olivia/Valentine). (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


William Shakespeare’s ”Twelfth Night,” presented by
Young Shakespeare Society of Pittsburgh

Where: McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St.

When: Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25 at 7 p.m.; Sunday, June 26 at 2 p.m.

Tickets: General admission, $10, available through YSSP’s website at https://youthshakespearepgh.org

One of William Shakespeare’s classic comedies soon will grace the stage at McKeesport Little Theater, with several twists to definitely provide audiences with a different perspective.

Back in The Bard’s day, Twelfth Night marked one last hurrah as the official end of the winter holidays on the twelfth night after Christmas.

Cast and crew of Young Shakespeare Society of Pittsburgh present their interpretation of “Twelfth Night” beginning Friday (June 24) and running through Sunday (June 26). There’s definitely some partying going on, but with contemporary clothing for costumes befitting teen and college-age revelers.

YSSP was co-founded in 2019 by Theo Fantozzi and Ella Mizera, to provide teens and young adults with performing, directing and designing experience in Shakespeare productions.

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Concert Saturday Set for MLT

June 04, 2022 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements, Entertainment

The Little Wretches will give a benefit concert Saturday (June 4) to support the McKeesport Little Theater Juniors.

A spokesman said the concert also will showcase the folk-rock group’s album, “Red Beets & Horseradish.”

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St. Tickets are available at Eventbrite.

“Red Beets & Horseradish” is named after a relish or side-dish usually served around the holidays of Easter or Passover by various ethnicities of Eastern Europe. The Little Wretches are an acoustic ensemble whose songs tell stories of their Mon Valley roots.

The songs on the album involve vignettes and portraits of people who’ve suffered—old people, sick people, crazy people, people who are alone—but the heart of the songs lies not in the suffering of the characters but in the indomitable faith and humor that sustains them.

For more information about The Little Wretches, visit their website or find them on Facebook.


Highly Requested ‘Beast’ Comes to Serra Stage

April 27, 2022 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Members of the cast of Serra Catholic’s “Beauty and the Beast” rehearse the entertaining “Gaston” dance scene. (Photo courtesy Serra Catholic High School)

If you go...


Serra Catholic High School presents:
“Beauty and the Beast”

Where: School gymnasium, 200 Hershey Drive, McKeesport

When: Friday, April 29 at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 30 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, May 1 at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $8 for adults, $5 for students, available from any cast or crew member, in the main office, at the door, or by contacting fedorc@serrahs.org.

With the available talent of this year’s Serra Catholic High School musical cast, director Jesse Bush said it seemed appropriate to grant a request.

“‘Beauty and the Beast’ has been highly requested over the years,” Bush said. “This seems like the right year to perform it.”

A full house is anticipated for each performance of the family-friendly show, which opens at 7 p.m. this Friday (April 29) at the school along Hershey Drive in McKeesport. It continues at 1 and 7 p.m. April 30, with a concluding matinee at 2 p.m. May 1.

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New Play Has Strong McKeesport Ties

April 04, 2022 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Frances Dell Bendert as Mom and Bailey Lee as herself rehearse a scene from "Papa." (Coleman Ray Clark photo courtesy New Hazlett Theater)

If you go...


‘Papa’ by Bailey Lee

Where: New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, Pittsburgh

When: 8 p.m. April 7; 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. April 8

Tickets: General admission $25, artists $15 with promo code, students $15 with valid ID. (412) 320-4610 or at www.newhazletttheater.org

An original play with strong ties to the McKeesport area is making its world debut this Thursday at the New Hazlett Theater in Pittsburgh.

Papa” is the story of Hall Lee, who came to the United States from the farmlands of China when he was approximately 15 years old, settling and living most of his life along Jenny Lind Street in McKeesport.

Bailey Lee, his granddaughter, wrote the play, created the concept, and stars as herself in the production. It’s about things her grandfather suppressed to protect the family and assimilate into American culture, plus the sometimes complicated relationship among three generations of Asian Americans, Lee said.

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