Annual Gala March 20 Designed to
Keep Irwin’s Lamp Shining

March 02, 2020 |

By Chris Baumann | Posted in: Entertainment

(Chris Baumann photo for Tube City Almanac)

When Mary Reed moved from Maryland to Western Pennsylvania six years ago, she did not know many people in the area. Reed, like many other volunteers, found a home at the Lamp Theatre in Irwin.

“It’s like a family,” said Reed, who has been volunteering at the Lamp Theatre for the last four years. “It's a fun place. I love the people there and value the connection I’ve made with them.”

The Lamp Theatre will host its 5th Annual Lamp Theatre Gala from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. March 20 at Stratigos Banquet Centre, 131 Colonial Manor Road, North Huntingdon Twp. This year the event is titled “Black Tie and Pearls: A Roaring ’20s Affair” and will feature a 1920s theme.

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Groundhog Band Festival Unites
Musicians from Four Area Schools

February 06, 2020 |

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

If you go...


Groundhog Band Festival

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

When: 7 p.m. Monday (Feb. 10) Friday (Feb. 7)

Tickets: $2 for adults, $1 for students

UPDATED: Due to inclement weather and a number of school delays, this event has been moved from Friday (Feb. 7) to Monday (Feb. 10).

Former McKeesport Area Band Director George Lepsch returns as guest conductor when the Groundhog Band Festival continues a tradition now involving four area high school symphonic bands.

On Monday (Feb. 10), musicians from host McKeesport Area will be joined by participants from Serra Catholic, Clairton, and West Mifflin Area following a practice that culminates in a 7 p.m. concert in the high school auditorium.

McKeesport Area Band Director Drew DeCarlo said his predecessor Karen Cole started the festival eight years ago as an opportunity for neighboring band members to join forces performing a variety of pieces and to expand their experience meeting other high school musicians.

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New Organization Slates Fundraiser Thursday in Duquesne

January 22, 2020 |

By Richard Finch Jr. | Posted in: Announcements, Duquesne News, Entertainment

Under the name “Demonstration,” Michael Roberts and Marcus Glover are raising money to build a community center in the East End or Mon Valley by selling apparel. The two are hosting a mixtape party and concert at 24 in Duquesne on Thursday. (Photos via Instagram.)

Marcus Glover and Michael Roberts are working the streets in Pittsburgh's East End and Mon Valley communities, selling athletic apparel from their mobile “storefront,” a small white folding table.

Last summer, the friends started “Demonstration,” a non-profit organization they hope to grow into a brick-and-mortar community center as a safe haven for disadvantaged youths.

They're organizing a mixtape release party to be held at 9 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 23) at 24 (formerly Kanczes City Saloon) on Duquesne Boulevard near Kennywood. The event will feature live music by Aaron Goode and the Goodfellas as well as rap and jazz music, according to Glover.

The desire to reach out and help kids evolved out of the pain that Roberts and Glover experienced as teenagers, each losing a loved one to street violence.

“We started talking and sharing stories,” Glover said. “I told him about how my best friend was murdered at 15, he told me his story, his older brother was murdered when he was 15, we bonded over our similar tragedies. Everything we are trying to do with our organization is from personal experience.”

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Young Performers Bring Fairy Tales to Life at MLT

January 09, 2020 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Colleen Boatright as Jack's mother tells Connor McGrew as Jack that they must sell Milky White, the family cow. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo/special to Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


“Into the Woods” presented by MLT Juniors

Where: McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St.

When: Jan. 10-19, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $12*

Reservations or more information: 412-673-1100 or through the website.

(* — Correction: Ticket price corrected, Jan. 9)

A multi-talented cast of young performers has been rehearsing since October to bring some well-known fairy tale characters to the McKeesport Little Theater stage when the Juniors present “Into the Woods.”

The show opens Friday (Jan. 10) and continues through Jan. 19. Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for the sometimes-complicated and challenging songs – even for seasoned adult professionals.

Characters such as Cinderella (Kaitlyn Majewski), Little Red (Autumn Tavaglione), Rapunzel (Grace Mackowiak), Jack (Connor McGrew), his mother (Colleen Boatright), and a baker (Jonah Higdon) and his wife (Nariah Washington), are joined by a mysterious Witch (Sierra Mitchell) as they journey in and out of the woods.

With more than 20 performers delivering lines, singing, and dancing, producer Jan Gerber explained how the cast was selected.

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Holiday Concert Sunday Celebrates ‘Countdown to Christmas’

December 13, 2019 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements, Entertainment, White Oak News

The Mon Yough Chorale will proudly present its annual Christmas concert, “A Countdown To Christmas,” at 3 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 15), a spokeswoman said.

The concert will be performed at Sampson's Mills Presbyterian Church, 1665 Lincoln Way, White Oak. Tickets are $8 and available at the door. A cookie reception will follow.

(Photo courtesy Mon Yough Chorale)


‘Wonderful Life’ Brings Magic
of Classic Film to MLT Stage

December 06, 2019 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

If you go...


“It’s a Wonderful Life: The Live Radio Play”

Where: McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St.

When: Dec. 6, 7,  13, 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 8 and 15 at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $15 for adults, $10 for students.

Reservations or more information: 412-673-1100 or through the website.

McKeesport Little Theater, with its intimate setting and close proximity of the audience to the stage, is the perfect venue for “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.”

Joe Landry adapted the play from the holiday movie classic, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” which features James Stewart as George Bailey. Landry’s twist was to stage it as a 1940’s radio play, performed before a live audience as a show within a show.

Director Kalee George said the show shaped up “wonderfully, no pun intended. The cast keeps coming back with more and more ideas in layers.”

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McKeesport Area Hosts 9 Marching Bands Saturday During Tournament

October 08, 2019 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Above: On Wednesday, members of the Dougherty and Elash families met with students from the McKeesport Tiger Band to talk about their experiences working in steel mills. The band's 2019 show is entitled "A Day in the Mill." McKeesport's Tournament of Bands begins at 4:45 p.m. Saturday. (Submitted photo courtesy McKeesport Area High School Marching Band, via Facebook.)

If you go...


Tournament of Bands Region 8 competition

Hosted by McKeesport Area High School Marching Band

Where: Weigle-Schaeffer Memorial Stadium, 1960 Eden Park Blvd.
When: Saturday, Oct. 12. Gates open at 4:30 p.m.

Whether a marching band participant or supporter, there are some disadvantages to mostly-Friday-night performances.

There are only so many home football games, and what if it rains and the band doesn’t get to perform? As a supporter, what if your work schedule includes Friday nights?

Or what if your friend or relative is in a marching band in a different school district?

That’s where competitions such as the Tournament of Bands Region 8 Home Show hosted by McKeesport Area High School Marching Band on Saturday, Oct. 12, provide another opportunity not only to see the hometown band perform, but others from the region as well.

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EA Plans to Show Off Its Jazz Skills During Festival

September 14, 2019 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment, North Versailles Twp. News

East Allegheny Wildcats Marching Band members take to the field for a practice session on a beautiful summer evening. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo special to Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


East Allegheny Wildcats band competition

Where: Churchman Stadium, Jacks Run Road, North Versailles Twp.

When: 6 p.m. today (Sept. 14)

East Allegheny Wildcats Marching Band will showcase its jazz-themed show when it hosts eight other units for a competition that begins at 6 p.m. today (Sept. 14) at Churchman Stadium in North Versailles Twp.

“We’ve been doing jazz music since 2015 — we’ve found our own niche — and the students enjoy the music and have become very proficient with it,” band director Justin Rosco said.

The show “New York Dreams” features three main production numbers performed against a New York City skyline for a production that runs approximately eight and a half minutes, he said, and includes vocal performances.

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MLT Brings Classic Peanuts Characters to Life With ‘Good Man’ Revival

September 13, 2019 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Matt Tracy as Schroeder is taken aback by Catherine Hayashi as Lucy. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo, special to Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”

Where: McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St.

When: Sept. 13-29, with Friday and Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $18 for adults, $12 for students.

Reservations or more information: 412-673-1100 or through the website.

McKeesport Little Theater kicks off its new season with three weekends of the family-friendly musical, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

The show made its Off-Broadway debut in 1967, based on characters created by cartoonist Charles M. Schulz in his Peanuts comic strip. It opened on Broadway in 1971, with a revival in 1999 that led to a Tony Award for actor Kristin Chenoweth.

Lora Oxenreiter returns to MLT as director and set designer for the production, which opens today (Sept. 13).

“We are doing the 1999 revival that has a few new numbers,” Oxenreiter said.

Featured are Scott Thompson as Charlie Brown, Adam Wainwright as Snoopy, Ben Blinn as blanket-toting Linus, Matt Tracy as piano prodigy Schroeder, Anneke Elmhirst as Charlie Brown’s sister Sally, and Catherine Hayashi as opinionated Lucy. The producer is Phillip Boatright.

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Tiger Band’s New Show Nods to Region’s Industrial Heritage

August 22, 2019 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

CORRECTION: Names of three members of the color guard were accidentally left out of this story. We apologize for the error. (Aug. 25, 2019)

Tiger color guard members toss their flags up high and execute perfect catches during rehearsal. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


McKeesport Area High School Tiger Band Preview

Where: Weigle-Schaeffer Tiger Stadium, McKeesport Area High School Campus, 1960 Eden Park Blvd.

When: Today (Aug. 22). Gates open for practice at 6 p.m.; preview show starts at 7.

Tickets: Free admission

McKeesport’s industrial heritage is featured with a theatrical twist and condensed to an eight-minute show when the Tiger Marching Band takes to the field in “A Day in the Mill.”

Ryan Raible, the assistant band director and drill designer, said each year is a challenge to create a show that the audience will understand and relate to.

“It’s a lot of pageantry arts, telling a story. I tell the kids it’s like performing an entire musical in only eight minutes,” Raible said.

When considering music, he and band director Drew DeCarlo connected with Randall D. Standridge, a composer, arranger, and drill designer, whose work is performed internationally.

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