Serra Director Showcases Students on YouTube

May 05, 2020 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Serra Catholic High School was less than two weeks away from opening night of the musical “Mary Poppins” when schools were shut down March 13 to combat spread of the coronavirus.

“When they first announced the two-week closure, I tried to take a positive approach and thought it would be a good break for everyone,” director Jesse Bush said. “It would give us extra time to build props and costumes. I had hoped we would perform the show possibly sometime in May.”

Initially, students continued to rehearse online, he said, and choreographer Cassie Fedor created videos of all the dance routines so they could practice at home.

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’70s Who-Dun-It ‘Night Watch’ Bows Friday at MLT

March 11, 2020 |

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Elaine Wheeler (Cindy Swanson), and her visiting friend and nurse Blanche Cooke (Chelsea Forbes), are paid a visit by outgoing neighbor Curtis Appleby (Ron Clawson). (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac)

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McKeesport Little Theater presents “Night Watch”

Where: 1614 Coursin St.

When: March 13 to 22, with Friday and Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

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

Reservations: (412) 673-1100 or through the website.

McKeesport Little Theater audiences will get to experience a suspense thriller set in the 1970s, with lots of turns and twists in its plot, when “Night Watch” begins its run Friday (March 13).

Written by Lucille Fletcher, it was made into a 1973 movie starring Elizabeth Taylor.

Sean Butler returns in his second major directing role, after appearing in numerous MLT productions and serving on its board of directors.

“I was formerly on the committee to select the shows, and this one left a really good button to land on,” he said. “It was a lot of fun to help the actors develop their characters in depth.”

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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

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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)

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“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

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“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.)

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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)

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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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