Juniors Return to MLT Stage With ‘Seussical’

January 11, 2022 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Dylan Stramaski plays Horton in the MLT Juniors’ production of “Seussical.” The show opens this Friday. (Submitted photo courtesy Jennifer R. Vertullo, McKeesport Little Theater)

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MLT Juniors present “Seussical”

Where: McKeesport Little Theater
1614 Coursin St.

When: Friday, Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 15 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 16 at 2 p.m., with a special Thursday show at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 20, then Friday, Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 23 at 2 p.m.

Tickets: 412-673-1100 or at mckeesportlittletheater.com

Bright sets and colorful costumes reflect the enthusiasm of young actors — veterans and newcomers alike — as they take the stage for McKeesport Little Theater Juniors’ production of “Seussical,” which opens Friday, Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Although adult productions have resumed, this is the first time the Juniors have performed as a group since their 2020 show, “Into the Woods.”

The family-friendly show features familiar Dr. Seuss characters as the Cat in the Hat (Jonah Higdon) narrates the tale of Horton the Elephant (Dylan Stramaski), and his adventures as he tries to save a population of tiny Who people living in a speck of dust on a clover.

Lori Stramaski and Amy Majewski teamed up to co-produce “Seussical,” under the leadership of Dorothy Fallows as director. Their children, Dylan and Kaitlyn, senior members of the Juniors, not only have lead roles, but took on the task of choreographing the show.

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Serra Band Celebrates Successes, Seeks Alumni

November 16, 2021 |

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

Strains of “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” greeted visitors to Serra Catholic High School as the band prepared for a playoff football game — while also getting in some practice for McKeesport’s Salute to Santa Parade.

The band is seeking alumni — even those who have not picked up a flag or an instrument in years — to march along with current students in this Saturday’s parade.

It was also a time to reminisce and celebrate a successful competition season, where the group was named the 2021 Tournament of Bands Western Expansion Region Group 1A champions for “El Matador.”

“I am unbelievably proud of them,” band director Jesse Bush said. “I couldn’t be happier with how they performed this season.”

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MLT Presents Musical Cabaret This Weekend

November 08, 2021 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment


(Submitted photo courtesy McKeesport Little Theater)

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Musical Theatre International’s “All Together Now! A Global Event Celebrating Local Theatre”

Where: McKeesport Little Theater
1614 Coursin St.

When: Evening performances Friday, Nov. 12, and Saturday, Nov. 13. Doors open at 6 p.m. Dinner at 6:30, show at 8.
Matinees Saturday, Nov. 13 and Sunday, Nov. 14. Lunch at 12:30 p.m. and show at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $25 for show and meal. Reservations must be made online by Wednesday, Nov. 10. Do not call the theater to reserve.

Tickets purchased after 1 p.m. for matinees and after 7 p.m. for evening performances will be $15 for the show only. Those tickets can be purchased at the box office.

A cabaret-like atmosphere will welcome guests to McKeesport Little Theater’s fundraising show, “All Together Now!” that runs for four performances on Friday, Nov. 12 through Sunday, Nov. 14.

With Edward Bostedo at the helm as director, the performances are part of Music Theatre International’s global event celebrating local theatre that weekend.

As is happening in theaters around the world, “All Together Now!” at MLT will feature songs from a variety of MTI’s extensive collection. They include “Newsies,” “Mama Mia!”, “Junie B. Jones, the Musical,” “James and the Giant Peach,” “Sister Act” and others.

“It’s a cabaret-style, very classy show,” Bostedo said. “There will be sheer curtains on the stage with lights, and dinner or lunch prior to the performances.”

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Serra Band Show Has Romantic, Spanish Flavor

August 16, 2021 |

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

Serra Marching Band student leaders are, in front from left, drum major Abigail Bernick, tenor sax soloist Maigen McGinty, and flute soloist and heroine Paige Rock. In back are Joe Crossen, drum major, trumpet soloist, and matador; bass clarinet soloist Jordan Premozic; and color guard captain Madalyn Peairs.

Surprises and finishing touches still were being tweaked as Serra Catholic High School’s marching band students and adult personnel completed the first week of camp for “El Matador” on Aug. 13.

“This year’s show is about a matador who falls in love with a beautiful lady in the crowd,” band director Jesse Bush said. “There is of course a bullfight in the show, and hopefully a really awesome ending that I don’t want to spoil.”

Drum major Joe Crossen has a trumpet solo. In addition to his musical talents, he’s tasked with bringing the story of the matador to life.

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Tiger Band’s Fall Show a Ray of Sunshine

August 16, 2021 |

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

Some of the Tiger Band musicians prepare to step off during a short break from intermittent heavy rain during their annual camp. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac)

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“SOLARbration!” parent and public preview night

Where: Weigle-Schaeffer Memorial Stadium
At McKeesport Area High School

When: 6 p.m. Aug. 26

More information: Twitter and Facebook

A giant sun prop stage in the middle of the field will be featured when McKeesport Area High School Marching Band kicks off its 2021 season with a return to competitions, festivals, and home and away football game performances.

“We wanted it to be exciting, festive, happy, a celebration of life,” band director Drew DeCarlo said of the “SOLARbration!” theme.

Band booster Mark St. Clair designed the sun prop, with painting by Anna Chapell.

A trailer for the show in May on the band’s YouTube site showcased how different cultures throughout history have celebrated the sun. “After last year (with COVID-related performance restrictions and other difficulties), we wanted something very different,” DeCarlo said. “There is a lot of percussion, even a rainforest-like sound.”

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ICYMI: International Village, Day 1

August 11, 2021 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Entertainment

Some afternoon thunderstorms didn’t dampen enthusiasm on Tuesday as McKeesport residents celebrated the return of International Village following a one-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coverage of International Village by Tube City Online is being supported this year by donations from the public, as well as the following individuals and organizations:

Allies for Health + Wellbeing

Candelore’s Barking Beauties

Carriage Inn Restaurant & Catering

State Rep. Austin Davis

Legion Arms

State Rep. Nick Pisciottano

White Oak Rotary Club


Locally Made Slasher Film Makes Big Screen Debut

August 02, 2021 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: Entertainment

Cast and crew of “Massacre Academy” celebrate the film’s premiere at the Lamp Theater in Irwin. (Sarah Turnbull photo for Tube City Almanac)

When director Mark Cantu was deciding on a topic for his next movie, horror seemed like the perfect choice.

“I’m a child of the ‘80s. I made my own horror movies as a kid, and the slasher films of that era have everything I loved as a kid, like practical special effects and strong female characters,” Cantu said. “It’s easy to do when you have classics like “Halloween”, “Jaws”, and “Alien” to go off of.”

Cantu’s latest film, horror-comedy “Massacre Academy,” made its world premiere at the Lamp Theatre in Irwin on Saturday. Filmed in and around McKeesport, the cast and crew consist mostly of locals.

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Local Favorite ‘Dracula, A Musical’ Returns to MLT

July 16, 2021 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

"Dracula, a Musical" cast members gather on the McKeesport Little Theater stage during a rehearsal break. The show, which made its debut on the same stage in 1993, opens today. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac)

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“Dracula, A Musical”

Where: McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St.

When: July 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, with Friday and Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $20 for adults and $12 for students with a valid ID or under 18.  To make reservations, call the theater at (412) 673-1100 and leave your name, phone number, the date of the performance you wish to see, and how many tickets you need. There are no online reservations for this show.  No one will call you back about your reservation unless there is a question or concern.  After 5 p.m. for same-day viewing, you will need to purchase tickets at the box office.

More information: www.mckeesportlittletheater.com

When the cast of “Dracula, a Musical” takes the stage at McKeesport Little Theater, it will mark only the third run for the show — all at MLT.

Roughly based on the 19th-century novel by Bram Stoker, it premiered on July 9, 1993, a collaborative effort among Carnegie native songwriter/lyricist Paul Michael Brown, his mother Rita Brown, who was the original executive producer, and family friend Al Snyder, who owns a Pittsburgh-based recording and production studio.

The well-received show was performed a second time in the late 1990s, and was to have been the MLT season finale in May 2020.

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EA Sets Sail For Summer Musical Adventure

July 13, 2021 |

By Kristen Keleschenyi | Posted in: Announcements, Entertainment, North Versailles Twp. News

East Allegheny graduates Taylar Getsy (2020) and Chris Rayman (2021) return to the high school stage for a summer musical “A Pirate’s Tale” July 15-17. The musical was supposed to be the spring show in 2020, but was cancelled due to the pandemic. (Submitted photo)

If you go...


“A Pirate’s Tale”

Where: Online and live shows, East Allegheny Junior-Senior High School, 1150 Jacks Run Road, North Versailles Twp. Patrons are asked to wear a mask while at the performance if they are not fully vaccinated. Seating will be every other row to provide some distancing for patrons.

When: July 15, 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on the 17th. Streaming is available July 15-17 and 22-24.

Tickets: https://easd.booktix.com/

High school musicals aren’t usually performed in the summer months.

But this week, “A Pirate’s Tale” is about to set sail at East Allegheny Junior-Senior High School. The show was supposed to be performed during the spring of 2020, then was postponed to summer, but COVID-19 thwarted every attempt to get it out of port, says director Amanda Rosco.

“I knew this was kind of the last shot if we were ever going to get it up with that semi-original cast. It was going to be this summer, because (after) this summer we would have had two classes of alumni that were off and doing other things,” she says.

The cast is smaller than the original one planned for 2020, she says — not everyone was able to recommit — but with the help of one guest actor and three staff members they make the show work.

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Local Slasher Film to Get Big Screen Debut

July 05, 2021 |

By Siana Emery | Posted in: Entertainment, McKeesport and Region News

Scenes from the “Massacre Academy” trailer.

A horror film that pays tribute to classic slasher movies of the 1980s — and which was produced by a largely Mon Valley cast and crew — will get its big screen debut this month.

“Massacre Academy” will premiere July 31 at the Lamp Theatre in Irwin. A feature-length slasher-comedy, the film was created by Mark Cantu, a San Antonio, Texas, native turned McKeesport resident.

Much of “Massacre Academy” was shot in and around McKeesport, with city officials happy to provide access to numerous locations, including the former site of the McKeesport Daily News.

“From industrial and modern to vintage, urban architecture, McKeesport truly does have everything you’re looking for as a filmmaker and I am proud to call it my home,” Cantu said.

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