Celebrate the start of the holiday season with Christmas cheer, Santa Claus and some furry friends.
During the annual Santa Parade in downtown Scranton on Saturday, Nov. 17, Dave Ragnacci School of Dance will perform to pop singer/songwriter Sia’s “Puppies Are Forever.” The dancers will march along with two animal rescues, One Life To Live Pet Rescue & Adoption Inc. and NEPA Pet Fund and Rescue. The dancers and their families also will walk their own dogs along the parade route while singing along to the chorus of the song.
The heartwarming fun doesn’t stop there. The all-ages, family-friendly parade steps off at 9:15 a.m. with entertainment, twirlers, marching bands, community groups, Christmas carols and more, concluding around noon. Guests also can peruse Santa’s Gift Shop on Lackawanna County Courthouse Square and meet Santa. This year, the grand marshals will be the 2018 Tunkhannock Girls Little League softball team that finished second in the Little League Softball World Series.
Kids can write a message to Santa, which Times-Tribune elves will collect during the parade. Make sure to include your full name and address to ensure a return letter. If you can’t attend the parade, you can submit letters through Friday, Dec. 7.
Meanwhile, in Wilkes-Barre, the annual Christmas Parade and Tree-Lighting Ceremony will take place Saturday, Nov. 17, with free holiday activities throughout the day including ornament crafting, story time, a chance to meet the Grinch at Barnes & Noble Wilkes-King’s and a performance by Broken Road Duo, presented by Making a Difference Ministries. Young violinists of YOUniversal Suzuki Strings will perform in the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts lobby, and there will be a Christmas carol sing-a-long with Mary Baker in the center of Public Square. The parade steps off at 3 p.m. at South and South Main streets and continues north along Main Street, looping around Public Square and concluding on North Main Street. Immediately following the parade, the tree-lighting ceremony will take place on Public Square with a performance by Wilkes-Barre Mohegan Sun Choir. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.
What: Santa Parade
When: Saturday, Nov. 17, 9:15 a.m.
Where: Throughout downtown Scranton; begins at Spruce Street and Franklin Avenue and ends at Adams Avenue and Spruce Street
Details: Lackawanna Avenue from Cliff Street to Penn Avenue, Mifflin and Franklin avenues from Lackawanna Avenue to Linden Street, and Spruce Street between Mifflin and Franklin avenues will close to traffic for parade line-up that morning. Admission to the all-ages event is free. For more information, visit santaparade.net.
What: Christmas Parade and Tree-Lighting
When: Saturday, Nov. 17, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; parade, 3 p.m.
Where: Wilkes-Barre Public Square
Details: Admission to the all-ages event is free. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.
From snakes to clowns, face your fears this weekend.
West Scranton High School Players present Haunted Hallways of West Scranton High School, a theatrical horror guided tour, on Saturday, Oct. 27, and Sunday, Oct. 28, at the school, 1201 Luzerne St.
The event runs from 6 to 10 p.m. with each guided tour lasting about 40 minutes, said Angela Franek, high school speech and drama teacher and theater arts adviser. Haunted Hallways is different from a typical walkthrough haunted house, as guests are lead from room to room with a scene happening in each, she said. This year’s theme centers on fears, phobias and manias, and, like in the past, the students wrote the scripts and designed the costumes, makeup and more to bring their ideas to life.
“They have a lot of fun with it. They’re doing the research, working on character development, there are storytelling elements — beginning, middle and end — doing the props, the costumes,” Franek said. “They do a really nice job. They really love it.”
Action starts with the tour guide, a “psychiatrist,” leading the group throughout the school hallways. Each scene depicts a different fear or phobia, from coulrophobia (fear of clowns) and claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces) to pediophobia (fear of dolls) and iatrophobia (fear of doctors), and the tour guide will give a little background on the fear. Then, the guests will find themselves immersed inside the fear.
Senior and drama club president Enzo Cicco said he’s playing someone with intense arachnophobia, or fear of spiders. After a short scene between Cicco’s character and his “doctor,” the group will find itself inside his mind and biggest fear. And the more realistic for the audience, the better, Cicco said.
“It’s a really good feeling when people have to leave the room or when they turn back since it’s not for them,” said Cicco, who’s been involved with the event throughout all of high school. “It’s always fun to know something you did was that scary.”
Tickets cost $10 for adults and $8 for students 12 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the door, and proceeds benefit the drama club. A limited number of pre-sale passes for specific times cost $20 and are available through the West Scranton High School Players Facebook page.
Another fun part for the 100-plus students involved is the time they spend together over the weekend. After school Friday, they transform the hallways and rooms into horror scenes, perform all weekend and then tear down the sets on Sunday night before school resumes Monday. It’s a long weekend, but it’s worth it.
“It’s you and all your friends all weekend, so you get close with each other,” Cicco said. “It’s hard work and grueling hours, but it’s cool to see everything come together, working with each other and watching all the ideas come to life.”
If you go
What: Haunted Hallways of West Scranton High School
When: Saturday, Oct. 27, and Sunday, Oct. 28, 6 to 10 p.m.
Where: West Scranton High School, 1201 Luzerne St.
Details: Tickets cost $10 for adults and $8 for students 12 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the door, and proceeds benefit the drama club. A limited number of pre-sale passes for specific times cost $20 and are available through the West Scranton High School Players Facebook page.
This killer fundraiser is sure to be a scream.
Leadership Lackawanna hosts an interactive Murder Mystery Dinner Theater on Thursday, Oct. 25.
With an Old Hollywood theme, guests are encouraged to wear glamorous gowns, Veronica Lake-esque hairstyles, sleek suits, dapper top hats and more to the event inside the Grand Ballroom at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.
Tickets cost $60 and include a buffet dinner, one drink and the show. A cash bar also will be available. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 570-342-7711 or visiting
Kristen Shemanski, vice chairwoman of the nonprofit’s board of directors, said Leadership Lackawanna held a similar event a few years ago and decided to replicate it since it was such a hit. This time, the group hired an outside acting company to spice things up.
“You won’t know who the actors are and who the guests are. Everyone will be intermingled,” Shemanski said. “It will be very interactive and, if you want to play a part, you’ll have the chance to do that.”
The night starts with cocktails at 5:30, and Shemanski said the actors will find specific guests to give them stories and roles to play. At 6:30, guests will sit down for a buffet dinner from Stirna’s Restaurant, and the show will begin. The cultural center’s history and aesthetic will make for an ideal setting for the event, Shemanski said.
The event raises money for Leadership Lackawanna, a self-sufficient nonprofit. Events fund tuition and training for community leaders while also engaging the people in the county they serve. Information on how to get involved with Leadership Lackawanna will be available at the dinner, but overall, the night looks to be a fun way to celebrate the spooky season.
“(We) hope they have a really great time. It’s going to be fun,” Shemanski said. “It’s the perfect time to do it, right around Halloween.”
If you go
What: Leadership Lackawanna’s Murder Mystery Dinner Theater
When: Thursday, Oct. 25; cocktail hour, 5:30 p.m.; buffet dinner and show, 6:30
Where: Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.
Details: Tickets cost $60 and include buffet dinner, one drink and show. A cash bar will be available, and costumes are encouraged. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 570-342-7711 or visiting leadershiplackawanna.com. Proceeds benefit Leadership Lackawanna.
Murder at the Ritz Chicago, an interactive murder-mystery experience, takes place Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Ritz Theater building, 222 Wyoming Ave., Scranton, at 5 and 9 p.m. Hosted by Creative and Performing Arts Academy of NEPA, the event also features basket raffles, a musical performance and after parties at POSH at the Scranton Club and Backyard Ale House. Tickets cost $75 for food, the show, and wine and cocktail tastings and $70 for food and the show only. A cash bar also will be available, and costumes are encouraged. Proceeds benefit CaPAA’s scholarship program. Reservations are required and can be made by visiting murderattheritz.com. For more information, call 570-252-4156.
Scranton residents, meet your colorful neighbor.
Neo-expressionist artist Hunt Slonem, known for his vibrant and colorful paintings, bought the Col. Louis Watres Armory on Adams Avenue in 2015 and gave the space a multicolor makeover that includes bright wall treatments, quirky and rare items, antique furniture and dozens of his paintings. This month, his influence moves into another historic building in the Electric City when an exhibition of his paintings opens at the Everhart Museum.
On display Friday, Sept. 28, through Monday, Dec. 31, the exhibit kicks off with a artist reception today from 6 to 8 p.m. at the museum, 1901 Mulberry St. Tickets cost $50 and include light fare, cocktails and a tour of the exhibit. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 570-346-7186, ext. 510.
Slonem is best known for the way he combines expressionist techniques with mysticism. He focuses on animal subjects, including bunnies and tropical birds in bright colors.
It’s a rare chance to see an influential artist’s work that the public has seldom seen, museum executive director Aurore Giguet said. Slonem’s work hangs in museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim. Now, the Everhart joins that list.
The Scranton museum will display large-scale paintings from early in Slonem’s career that were inspired by time he spent in Mexico, enrolled at Universidad de las Americas. There, Slonem explored archaeological sites of ancient Aztec buildings, which featured colorful and gold-painted canvases as well as pre-Columbian ceremonial objects.
“Hunt uses expressive textural brushstrokes of intense color to create light, playful compositions that are calming and joyful, and you can sense that he has a spiritual connection to the work,” Giguet said. “We are excited to show a series that has been hidden and unseen for many years.”
On Saturday, Sept. 29, Slonem will sign copies of “Gatekeeper: World of Folly,” which will be for sale at the museum along with the artist’s previous books, “Bunnies” and “Birds.” “Gatekeeper” is a 300-page walkthrough of the 102,000 square feet inside the Watres Armory that Slonem has transformed into a vibrant explosion of color, prints and textures. The book also highlights rare and precious items he accumulated over the years from around the world as well as what he calls “collectorating” — or collecting and decorating — that makes his sanctuary a sensory playground. The Everhart will host a dinner with Slonem inside his colorful castle in November, and while that already sold out, Giguet said the museum is thrilled to give residents a peek inside through the exhibit and book signing, as well as the chance to meet the man himself.
“What Hunt has done to the Watres Armory is truly amazing,” Giguet said. “It is a feast for the eyes, and his new book, ‘Gatekeeper,’ really captures the lush, extravagant interiors. It is our pleasure to hold a book signing and to invite the public to meet this remarkable force of nature.”
Artist Hunt Slonem (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
If you go
What: Hunt Slonem exhibition and book signing
When: Preview reception today, 6 to 8 p.m.; exhibition, Friday, Sept. 28, through Monday, Dec. 31; book signing, Saturday, Sept. 29
Where: Everhart Museum, 1901 Mulberry St., Scranton
Details: For more information, call 570-346-7186.
‘American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times’
A look at the 35th president of the United States will go on display inside the Everhart Museum’s Gallery 7 from Friday, Sept. 28, through Monday, Dec. 31. The exhibit, “American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times,” features a collection of photographs of President Kennedy’s public and private life. Curated from public sources to private family albums, some images are iconic, and others have never been seen before. A reception for the exhibit will take place next month.
During Labor Day weekend in Scranton, everyone can be Italian.
La Festa Italiana kicks off its 43rd year Friday, Aug. 31, from 4 to 10 p.m. with additional hours Saturday, Sept. 1, and Sunday, Sept. 2, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 3, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Lackawanna County Courthouse Square, Scranton. The free, family-friendly event is a tradition in Northeast Pennsylvania, with lots of people behind the scenes working toward a weekend of food and fun, said La Festa president Chris DiMattio.
“People come for the food, the entertainment, to meet (up) with friends and meet new ones,” he said. “It’s a great event for everyone to get together with friends and family downtown.”
Weekend Times put together a handy guide to the tastes, sights and sounds of La Festa Italiana. Mangia!
Come hungry. More than 80 vendors will offer a variety of dishes and desserts from Italy and beyond, ranging from pasta, pizza and cannoli to Polish sausage and Greek delicacies.
La Festa favorites such as UNICO National’s porketta sandwiches and Diana’s Pizza, which has catered to crowds since the festival’s first year, will be back along with local staples.
“Nearly all the vendors are family businesses, and just like in each region of Italy, everyone prides themselves on their own recipes. That’s the way it is at La Festa as well,” DiMattio said. “Everyone’s pizza is different, everyone’s cannoli is different, the sauces are different and unique. There’s really something for everyone.”
Fresh fruits and vegetables will be available from John’s Corn. Grown on a farm in Ransom Twp., peaches, tomatoes, Italian beans, prunes and other crops will be ripe for picking up.
Music fans can catch performances from bands, dance groups and more across three stages around the square.
The year’s entertainment includes the return of festival favorite the Cameos. The eight-piece oldies/vocal harmony group will perform its renditions of hits from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. Audiences also have the chance to see performances by Gene Dempsey Orchestra, Black Tie Stereo, Old Friends, Flaxy Morgan, Popstar Drive and more. Jim Cullen, Jim Waltich and Jack Bordo also will perform while strolling around the square.
Aside from music, the Jersey Pizza Boys will display their skills spinning and tossing pizza dough. Brothers Michael and Nicholas Testa’s talents garnered them more than a combined 100 million views on YouTube and appearances on “Today,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Little Big Shots.”
“They’re quite the sensation on YouTube,” DiMattio said. “I haven’t seen them yet (live), but one of our volunteers saw them and said it was an incredible show.”
There also will be a cannoli-eating contest Monday at 3 p.m., and guests can play bocce with Danny Lovaglio. On Sunday night, a fireworks display will light up the sky at approximately 10 p.m.
For the family
La Festa, which does not allow alcohol, offers lots of family-friendly activities, too.
Kids can check out the bounce house and performances. Damien the Magician will perform Sunday and Monday at the Wayne Bank Stage on Adams Avenue at Spruce Street. Juggler Robert Smith will entertain on the square Saturday at the Fidelity Bank Stage and the picnic area on Linden Street, and Presto Pete and Incredulous Chris will perform kid-friendly magic on Linden Street on Saturday and Sunday.
Minicozzi Memorial 5K Run/
On Saturday at 10 a.m., the annual James R. Minicozzi Memorial 5K Run/1-Mile Walk steps off. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. at North Washington Avenue and Linden Street. Proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club of NEPA’s Christmas party and college scholarships. For more information or to sign up, visit lafestaitaliana.org or runsignup.com.
Continuing a tradition, Mass will be celebrated in Italian on Sunday, Sept. 2, at 10 a.m. It will take place at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, 330 Wyoming Ave., since St. Peter’s Cathedral is undergoing construction.
Steamtown National Historic Site will hold its annual Railfest on Saturday and Sunday. Free trolley bus shuttles will run to Steamtown and from Wyoming Avenue and Linden Street during the park’s operating hours.
Street closures and parking
Five parking garages close to the festival will have a special weekend parking rate of $5 per day for La Festa patrons.
The festival will affect traffic surrounding Courthouse Square on Friday, Sunday and Monday. Staring Friday at 4 p.m., North Washington Avenue will close from Mulberry to Spruce streets, Spruce Street will close from Jefferson to North Washington avenues, and the 500 block of Linden Street will close. The 400 block of Linden Street will be open to allow people access to the parking garage and also be available as a space where people with disabilities can be dropped off. One lane of Adams Avenue will remain open to traffic.
As the Vans Warped Tour makes its final full run across the country, fans and musicians come together to celebrate the end of the alternative music festival.
For Northeast Pennsylvania-born metalcore band Motionless in White, a stop in its hometown makes the already poignant tour bittersweet. During a recent phone interview from Charlotte, North Carolina, lead singer Chris “Motionless” Cerulli credited Warped Tour with being the band’s launching point.
“It’s absolutely one of the biggest parts of our story over the past 13 years,” said Cerulli, a Pittston native. “I kind of feel like, without Warped Tour, I’m not really sure the band would have achieved the level of success (it has). That’s amazing to us to be part of the last Warped Tour … (to) help say goodbye to the tour and show our appreciation.”
Motionless in White, along with more than 70 other acts, will storm the Pavilion at Montage Mountain on Thursday, July 26. Gates open at 12:30 p.m., and set times will be announced that day. Tickets start at $45 and are available through the box office and livenation.com.
Before Motionless in White won the chance to play at Warped Tour in 2008 through a Battle of the Bands, Cerulli and fellow band members played at area venues including the Staircase, Cafe Metropolis and Jessup Sports Dome.
During the band’s two-week stint on Warped Tour 10 years ago, a member of another band on the tour offered to manage the group and introduced it to a record label. Since then, Motionless in White has recorded four full-length albums; toured the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia; and signed to Roadrunner Records.
Coming home means a lot to the band. Cerulli recalled the 2016 Warped Tour as the largest crowd the band has ever played to in Scranton. Fans packed the area in front of the stage and were incredibly welcoming, he said. While some fans sang along to every word, others held up signs that read, “Welcome Home” and “570” — the name of a Motionless in White song dedicated its to roots.
“Playing ‘570’ to the Scranton Warped Tour was one of the most insane moments to me,” Cerulli said. “A top moment of my career for sure.”
As for the upcoming Scranton stop, Cerulli noted many friends and family members will attend. That combined with playing for fans will create a memorable experience.
“(The Scranton crowd) will probably see a grown man cry for a few minutes,” Cerulli said, laughing. “I know that it’s going to be [an] insane, overwhelming combining of emotions. Playing [‘570’] will be one of the hardest songs to get through that we’ve ever, ever performed live.”
When Warped Tour ends, Cerulli said, the band plans to take the rest of the year off to focus on writing and recording a new album. With everything on the horizon, Cerulli feels humbled to look back at the band’s roots. Playing the final Warped Tour in its hometown is a perfect way to do that.
“We’re grateful to play to fans new and old and grateful to be given this chance,” he said. “We’re proud to be from this area and spread the word about the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area.”
Camp Bisco music festival features acts ranging from EDM to jam music to hip-hop to rock.
Started in the late ’90s as the brainchild of the Disco Biscuits, a Philadelphia-born jam band, Bisco found a home in Northeast Pennsylvania in 2015. The festival returns to the Pavilion at Montage Mountain from Thursday, July 12, to Saturday, July 14.
The event continues to grow with thousands of music festival lovers — called “festies” — descending on the mountain each year to dance, sing, meet friends and share in a love of live music. Electric City put together a handy guide to the sights, sounds and tastes of Camp Bisco.
Camp Bisco is a three-day long music festival at 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton. Guests with RV passes may arrive Wednesday, July 11, at 4 p.m. Those with VIP camping parking passes can arrive at 8 p.m., and all other guests may arrive at 10 p.m. Single-day passes start at $90.50 for Friday or Saturday. Three-day passes start at $249.50 for general admission and $549.50 for VIP. Camp Bisco guests must be 18 or older with a valid ID.
Camp Bisco takes place rain or shine, so guests should come prepared with sunscreen, bug spray, rain gear, extra clothes and shoes, mud boots, hats for shade and factory-sealed water bottles.
What Camp Bisco provides
There will be refillable water stations on festival and camping grounds, as well as phone-charging stations, ATMs and 24-hour medical service and on-site emergency personnel. Camp Bisco’s General Store also will be stocked with essential items festival-goers may need, including soda, water and ice. Cases of beer also will be available for purchase by those 21 or older.
Dancing to live music works up an appetite, and Camp Bisco fans can grab food and drink at dozens of concession and vendor stands across the festival grounds. There will be typical concert hand-held foods plus some festival and carnival favorites and produce from farmer’s markets. Vegetarian options will be available as well. Guests also can cool off with a variety of beverages from mixed drinks to craft, imported and domestic beers for those 21 and older to soda, water and more.
MIKE RYAN / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Electronic rock jam band Lotus will perform during Camp Bisco music festival at the Pavilion at Montage Mountain, which runs from Thursday, July 13, through Saturday, July 15.
More than 50 acts will perform during Camp Bisco, including five sets from the Disco Biscuits across three days.
The music kicks off Thursday at 3:30 p.m. with performances from Tipper, Bonobo, STS9, Boogie T, Boombox, Buku, G Jones, Jai Wolf, Lettuce, Snails, Ducky, Kidswaste, Naughty Professor, Space Bacon and Squnto (Megachop).
On Friday and Saturday, music begins at 10:30 a.m. Friday will include performances from Bassnectar, Lotus, 12th Planet, Anna Lunde, Desert Dwellers, the Floozies featuring Terminus Horns, the Funk Hunters, Papadosio, Quinn XCII, Space Jesus, Sunsquabi, Bass Physics, Bluetech, Cofreshi, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, the Hip Abduction, King Fu, Let’s Danza!, Mungion and Yheti.
On Saturday, crowds can catch sets from Excision, Illenium, Big Wild, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Ghostface Killah, Liquid Stranger, Mija B2B Justin Jay, Oliver Tree, Space Jesus (Downtempo), Tauk, Zion I x Lespecial, Agent Zero, Flamingosis, Horizon Wireless, Magic Beans, Orchard Lounge, Probcause and Zeke Beats.
Schedule, set times and lineup are subject to change. For updated set times, fans can download the Camp Bisco mobile app for Apple and Android.
Season filled with activities of all kinds
When the weather heats up in Northeast Pennsylvania, events stay cool. Weekend Times gathered all the fun around the region this summer, from theater to festivals to family-friendly events.
All the region’s a stage this summer with performances of musicals, plays and revues. Head to the Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre, 537 N. Main St., to see “Harvey,” from Friday, June 15, through Sunday, June 17; “Seussical the Musical Jr.,” from Friday, July 27, through Sunday, July 29; and “Seussical the Musical,” from Friday, Sept. 7, through Sunday, Sept. 16.
Clocktower Theater Co. presents “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” featuring West Scranton native Jessica Cadden Osborne on Saturday, June 16, at the Theater at North, 1539 N. Main Ave., Scranton, while Gaslight Theatre Company presents “The Taming of the Shrew” from Friday, June 22, through Saturday, June 30, at 200 East End Centre, Wilkes-Barre Twp.
“Showstoppers Cabaret” takes the stage Friday, June 22, through Sunday, June 24, at Diva Theater at Olde Brick Theatre, 126 W. Market St., Scranton, and Gamut Theatre presents its Shakespeare in the Park edition of “Macbeth” on Saturday, June 23, at Tunkhannock Riverside Park, Route 29. Scranton Shakespeare Festival takes over the city with “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” from Thursday, June 28, through Sunday, July 1, and Friday, July 27, at the Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton; “The Tempest & Sycorax,” Friday, July 6, through Sunday, July 8, and Saturday, July 28; “Hansel & Gretel,” on Saturdays, July 7 and 14; “As You Like It,” from Friday, July 13, through Sunday, July 15, and Sunday, July 29; and “Footloose,” from Thursday, July 19, through Sunday, July 22, and Sunday, July 29, all at Scranton Preparatory School, 1000 Wyoming Ave.
There are plenty of places to have fun throughout the region once the sun goes down. Have a laugh this summer at “Summer Yuk Yuks: A Night of Comedy” on Saturday, June 16, at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave. Check out comedy shows Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Wise Crackers Comedy Club inside Seasons Ballroom at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp., and at Comedy open mic night Tuesdays at Hammerjax Bar & Grill, 350 Phillips Road, Clifton Twp. For fun, just add water at Adult Swim Night on Wednesdays, June 20 and July 18, at Montage Mountain Resorts, 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton. Also, sneak a peek at the legendary male revue, “Chippendales: About Last Night,” when it storms Keystone Grand Ballroom at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Friday, July 27.
Family fun is everywhere this summer. Artists of all ages and abilities can express themselves during Art in the Park events Tuesday, July 10, at Merli-Sarnoski Park, Greenfield Twp.; Tuesday, July 17, at Covington Park, Covington Twp.; and Tuesday, July 24, at Aylesworth Park, Jermyn. Head inside for an immersive art experience, Arts Engage, on Tuesday, July 31, at Electric City Trolley Museum, 300 Cliff St., Scranton.
Get ready to rumble at WWE “SmackDown Live!” on Tuesday, July 17, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, 255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Twp., and let your imagination run wild during the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders’ Princess & Pirate Night on Friday, July 27; “The Sandlot” Night on Saturday, July 28; and Superhero Night on Friday, Aug. 17, all at PNC Field, 235 Montage Mountain Road, Moosic.
Catch a family-friendly movie outside during Scranton Tomorrow’s Drive-In Downtown on Lackawanna County Courthouse Square during July and August, and charge full steam ahead into Steamtown National Historic Site, Lackawanna Avenue at Cliff Street, Scranton for its annual Railfest on Saturday, Sept. 1, and Sunday, Sept. 2.
Nothing says Northeast Pennsylvania like a summer festival. Some already began, but you can head to St. John the Evangelist Parish Flea Market at St. Mary Magdalene Church Basement, 416 Church St., Honesdale, from Thursday, June 14, through Saturday, June 16. Next up is the Mary, Mother of God Parish at Holy Rosary Church Block Party, West Market Street and Wayne Avenue, Scranton, from Thursday, June 21, through Saturday, June 23; Tunkhannock Founders Day, Tioga Street, on Saturday, June 23; Elmhurst/Roaring Brook Volunteer Fire Company annual Picnic, 245 Blue Shutters Road, Elmhurst Twp., from Wednesday, June 27, through Saturday, June 30; St. Patrick’s Parish Summer Festival, 1403 Jackson St., Scranton, on Friday, July 13, and Saturday, July 14; Christ the King Parish Picnic, Betty and Main streets, Eynon, from Friday, July 27, through Sunday, July 29; St. Joseph’s Summer Festival, Friday, July 27, through Sunday, July 29, at Marywood University, 2300 Adams Ave., Scranton; Lackawanna Arts Weekend, which combines the First Friday Art Walk, Scranton Jazz Festival and Lackawanna Arts Festival at various venues in downtown Scranton from Friday, Aug. 3, through Sunday, Aug. 5; SS. Anthony and Rocco Italian Festival at St. Rocco’s Church, 122 Kurtz St., Dunmore, from Friday, Aug. 10, through Sunday, Aug. 12; St. John Vianney Barbecue at St. Pius X Church, 3615 Route 106, Clifford Twp., on Saturday, Aug. 11; Rock Lake Picnic at St. Katharine Drexel Parish, 2048 Creamton Drive, Pleasant Mount, on Saturday, Aug. 18; and La Festa Italiana on Courthouse Square, Scranton, from Friday, Aug. 31 through Monday, Sept. 3.
To beat the heat, head inside a cool, dark movie theater such as Dietrich Theater, 60 E. Tioga St., Tunkhannock, which will host its Summer Film Festival from Friday, July 13, through Thursday, Aug. 2 (a preview day takes place Thursday, June 28). Take a trip down memory lane with the “Before the Kirby Was the Kirby” monthly Friday film series at F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, 71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre.
Strike while the iron’s hot over five days in Northeast Pennsylvania.
International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art, or ICCCIA, makes itself at home at various sites throughout the region for Fire at the Furnace Week from Monday, May 28, through Saturday, June 2. Dozens of activities, exhibitions, demonstrations and more will take place around the region that focus on the historical, cultural and technical influence of cast iron. Most events are free.
Weekend Times ironed out the details about the places and events of ICCCIA.
ICCCIA provides a chance for professionals, amateurs and enthusiasts to meet, learn and work with other iron artists and workers through panels, conferences, networking events and demonstrations. Keynote speaker Carolyn Ottmers, a nationally recognized artist and educator, will address the crowd Wednesday, May 30, at 8 p.m. at Radisson at Lackawanna Station hotel, 700 Lackawanna Ave. For a full list of conference events or to register, visit icccia.com.
“Digital Iron,” features student and faculty works produced among Alfred University, National Casting Center and East Stroudsburg University; opening reception, Tuesday, May 29, 3 to 4 p.m., Dansbury Depot, 5 S. Kistler St., East Stroudsburg.
“Confluence” outdoor sculpture exhibition, large iron sculptures installed at several sites along Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, Tuesday, May 29, through May 30, 2019; opening reception, Thursday, May 31, 12:30 to 2 p.m., Love Road at West Olive Street, Scranton
Participating art galleries
A gallery tour coinciding with the opening receptions will take place Thursday, May 31, beginning at Linder Gallery, Keystone College, La Plume, at 4 p.m.
“Data Dreams and Improbable Objects,” exhibit transforms conceptual data forms into tangible sculptures; through July 6, Linder Gallery, Keystone College, 1 La Plume Road, La Plume; opening reception, Thursday, May 31, 4 to 5 p.m.
“New Frontiers,” juried exhibition emphasizes the idea of time, travel, movement, place, space and connections; Monday, May 28, through Monday, Sept. 3, Everhart Museum, 1901 Mulberry St., Scranton; opening reception, Thursday, May 31, 5:15 to 6 p.m.
“Intent: A Tool Show,” highlights tools and materials used to create sculptures such as jigs, patterns, ideas, software and tools; Monday, May 28, through Saturday, June 30, Suraci Gallery at Marywood University, Scranton; opening reception, Thursday, May 31, 6 to 7 p.m.
“Transformed: Digital to Corporeal,” features works created with digital fabrication techniques such as 3-D scanning, 3-D printing, CNC Milling and robotics; Monday, May 28, through Saturday, June 30, Kresge Gallery at Marywood University, Scranton; opening reception, Thursday, May 31, 6 to 7 p.m.
“Ferrous Wheel,” features works by ICCCIA steering committee; Monday, May 28, through Saturday, June 30, Mahady Gallery at Marywood University, Scranton; opening reception, Thursday, May 31, 6 to 7 p.m.
“Partners in Process,” curated works from the Maslow Collection that reflect conference theme; Monday, May 28, through Saturday, June 30, Maslow Study Gallery for Contemporary Art at Marywood University, Scranton; opening reception, Thursday, May 31, 6 to 7 p.m.
“Liquid Earth,” Hope Horn Gallery at Hyland Hall, University of Scranton; opening reception, Thursday, May 31, 7 to 8 p.m.
Luzerne County galleries
A morning gallery trip to Avoca and Wilkes-Barre exhibits begins Saturday, June 2, at 10 a.m.
“Iron Maidens II: Made in Wales,” works by female iron sculptors, through June 3, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, 100 Terminal Road, Avoca
“Solid Gone,” works by 42 international artists whose work addresses impermanence, through Aug. 4, Sordoni Art Gallery, Wilkes University, 141 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre; opening reception, Saturday, June 2, 10 a.m. to noon
Ferrous Flyer train tour, Tuesday, May 29; departs at noon from Scranton; stops in Gouldsboro, Cresco and East Stroudsburg before arriving back in Scranton at 7:30 p.m.; features cast iron performances, food and beverages.
Bethlehem day trip, Friday, June 1; departs at 9 a.m. from Radission at Lackawanna Station hotel; arrives between 10:30 and 11 a.m. at National Museum of Industrial History and includes tours of industrial sites around city and lunch; returns to Radisson at 4 p.m.
For tickets or more information, visit icccia.com.
These events will take place Friday, June 1, as part of Scranton’s First Friday Art Walk, which starts at 5 p.m.
“Burst Mode: Photography and Iron,” second floor, AFA Galley, 514 Lackawanna Ave.
“That’s What She Said,” first floor, AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave.
“Traces of Beauty: Mark Making with Iron,” Marquis Art and Frame, 515 Center St.
“The Days of Ore,” Camerawork Gallery, 515 Center St.
“Size Matters,” conference headquarters, Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave.
“Ef (Fe) ct,” conference headquarters, Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave.
“The Railroad Exhibition,” Steamtown National Historic Site, 350 Cliff St.
“On Track,” Steamtown National Historic Site, 350 Cliff St.
“Temple of the Heart & River of Iron” film screening, Steamtown National Historic Site, 350 Cliff St.
“Behind the Conference,” exhibition of previous and current ICCCIA conference chairs, Bogart Court, 518 Lackawanna Ave.
Live iron pours
Dansbury Depot, 5 E. Kistler St., East Stroudsburg, Tuesday, May 29, 3 p.m.
Gouldsboro Train Station, 543 Main St., Tuesday, May 29, 5:30 p.m.
Bogart Court, 518 Lackawanna Ave., Friday, June 1, 6 to 8 p.m.
Scranton Iron Furnaces, 159 Cedar Ave., Tuesday, May 29, 8 p.m.; Wednesday, May 30, 9:30 p.m.; Friday, June 1, 6 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, June 2, 8 to 10 p.m.
If Scranton looks different than it did 25 years ago, Scranton Tomorrow has something to do with that.
The nonprofit group — which partners with organizations, businesses and volunteers throughout the city to work as a catalyst for change — celebrates its silver anniversary this year.
To mark the occasion, a cocktail party and celebration will take place tonight, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at POSH at the Scranton Club, 404 N. Washington Ave. Tickets are $50 and are for sale in advance online at scrantontomorrow.org and at the door.
“It’s a way to come out for everything that’s grown and changed in the city in the past 25 years,” said Laurie Cadden, who co-chairs the event with Randy Williams. “It’s going to be a fabulous night.”
The night will include a short program and honor past volunteers. Cocktail hour runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and then gourmet dinner stations will open from 7 to 9. Guests can enjoy an open bar and entertainment by Picture Perfect Singers and DJ Edwin.
The organization has a lot to celebrate, noted board member and past president Andrea Mulrine. Scranton Tomorrow started in 1992 to implement and develop initiatives to make the city a better place to live, work and enjoy, she said. For more than 20 years, the organization acted as a liaison between downtown businesses and the city.
The creation of public access channel ECTV continues to be a paramount moment in Scranton Tomorrow’s history, Mulrine said, as it made local government proceedings available to everyone.
The group also is responsible for implementing dozens of initiatives, such as facade grants to local business Horizon Dental, the annual CityPride cleanup, maintenance of planters and street islands, and relighting the Electric City sign atop Electric Building (with the help of UNICO Scranton, which supplied the bulbs).
Scranton Tomorrow’s events include the Downtown Drive-In Movie Series on Lackawanna County Courthouse Square, the Holiday Window Showcase, Winter in the City cocktail parties, Small Business Saturday, Scranton’s 150th Birthday Celebration and the original First Night, a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration.
Incoming president and city business owner Joshua Mast said Scranton Tomorrow’s role in driving people downtown for events and activities makes up part of its mission.
“We want people to come into downtown and know there’s always something going on, that it’s safe and that they can have a great, fun night in Scranton,” said Mast, a longtime board member. “Downtown should be a destination for everyone, and Scranton Tomorrow, along with its partnerships, have continued to do that.”
While the night looks back on the past 25 years, it also celebrates the future, with Scranton Tomorrow taking on a new role as the city’s downtown economic development partner.
The first initiative in its goal of creating a Business Improvement District is transforming a vacant lot at Wyoming Avenue and Linden Street into a pocket park. Scranton Tomorrow will partner with local organizations and government on the project.
“This organization has evolved — and continues to evolve — due to this community’s support and our great partnerships with businesses and organizations,” executive director Leslie Collins said. “Now, as (Scranton Tomorrow) assumes our new role, we’re all working toward the same goal. … It’s like we have a new energy. This is an exciting time for us.”
On Scranton’s most festive occasion, it’s all about the wearing o’ the green from head to toe.
Weekend Times focuses on the former with Parade Day makeup looks.
Keiera Kisel, makeup artist and owner of KeieraLanay MUA in Archbald, gave tips on how to stand out in a sea of green on Parade Day.
From clover green and the colors of the Irish flag to shimmering gold or a bright rainbow, possibilities for Parade Day makeup looks are endless.
To find ideas, look no further than social media. Use hashtags on Instagram or keywords on YouTube to search for tutorials from all over the globe. Also, a trial-run beforehand is a must.
Delicate or dramatic
Whether going big or going small with your makeup, you don’t have to be blah when expressing “Erin Go Bragh.”
Keep it simple by focusing on a single area to go all out, Kisel suggested. Whether it be a dramatic eye or a bright lip, keep the rest of the face basic.
If you don’t want to go too far with your look, Kisel suggested subtle looks to celebrate Parade Day. A simple pop of color or glitter along the crease of your eye or a bright green lip can go a long way.
Whatever you choose, let your imagination take over.
Live in color
Whether serious or subtle, color is everything for Parade Day makeup looks.
Kisel suggested using highly pigmented eyeshadows to create looks. Makeup Geek eyeshadows in shades of green such as Fuji, Shimmermint, Limelight, Voodoo and Jester can be worn on the eyelid for full color, or smudged under the lash line for a subtle pop of color.
Liquid lipsticks — cropping up in beauty shops and drugstores alike in funkier colors — also make for long-lasting, waterproof pigments to use on skin.
Besides pigments, gems, glitter, stickers and stencils are your best tools for taking your look to the next level, Kisel said.
Can’t find the right shade of green lipstick for a Parade Day pout? Create your own. Mix green eyeshadow with petroleum jelly for a custom shade.
Make it last
A good base and a good finish make all the difference. For the best results, use makeup primer to fill in pores, lines and creases and help makeup or paint go on smoother.
On the eyes, start with a primer before you lay down your pigment, Kisel said.
“This ensures colors won’t crease, blend effortlessly and remain vibrant throughout the day,” she said, suggesting a soft, long-wear primer such as MAC Soft Ochre Paint Pot to keep shadow in place.
To ensure your look stays put, set anything liquid- or cream-based with a translucent powder or, for more vibrancy, use eyeshadow.
Take it off
After a day of shamrocks and shenanigans, it’s important to safely and correctly remove the makeup just as carefully as you applied it.
“Removing your makeup at the end of the night is just as important if not more than the actual final look you want to achieve,” Kisel said.
The makeup artist suggested Estée Lauder Gentle Eye Makeup Remover to take away powder eyeshadow and other eye makeup without oily residue. For a handheld option, try Neutrogena Oil-Free Cleansing Wipes to erase any trace of eye and face makeup.
In her teens, Brianna Collins sang along to Dashboard Confessional’s impassioned lyrics and felt moved by the band’s stirring melodies.
This weekend, Collins, along with fellow Tigers Jaw band member Ben Walsh, will share a stage with Dashboard Confessional during the inaugural ALT 92.1 Snow Show.
The show takes place Sunday, Jan. 28, at 6:15 p.m. at F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, 71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre. Tickets to the Times-Shamrock Communications radio station’s concert are $20 to $35 general admission or $92.10 for VIP and Meet and Greet. Tickets can be purchased at kirbycenter.org.
In addition to Dashboard Confessional and Scranton-borne Tigers Jaw, acts on the show also include indie pop band AJR and one-man project SYML.
Dashboard Confessional’s music became synonymous with young love and heartbreak in the 2000s, thanks to its songs — including “Hands Down” and “Vindicated” — appearing on teen TV dramas and movie soundtracks of the time. Walsh became friends with Dashboard’s Chris Carrabba some years ago, Collins said, but this is Tiger Jaw’s first time performing on the same bill as the band.
“It’s just very cool to play with a band you grew up listening to that still makes great music,” Collins said during a recent phone interview from her home in Kingston. “To do it in Wilkes-Barre and have that be a hometown show, that makes it even better.”
Though Tigers Jaw is based out of the region, the band tours throughout the country and parts of the world. Aside from the annual NEPA Holiday Show with fellow natives the Menzingers, Collins said she and Walsh don’t get the chance to play to their hometown crowd often.
“I’m just excited to play the Kirby Center,” she said. “It’s nice to play at a venue that’s literally across the bridge from where I live.”
Tigers Jaw released their fifth studio album “Spin” last spring, which Collins said, after lineup changes, is the first that only included she and Walsh. They’re eager to play songs from their new album, she said, but the band also doesn’t want to disappoint those who enjoy their earlier music. Fans can expect a good mix of both old and new at the Kirby Center stop.
“We’re overall just ecstatic to have new music out and play shows and play the news songs,” Collins said, adding “Spin” also marks the first album she wrote for. “That’s always fun and special to get to do.”
After their hometown gig, Tigers Jaw will get ready to embark on a European tour. When not touring, Collins said she and Walsh (who lives in Philadelphia) are typically working on things to promote the band, which doesn’t allow for much downtime.
Their hard work pays off, however, as fans all over the world who enjoy the band’s melodic indie punk. Collins also recalled her brother, a local high school teacher, told her he notices his students wearing Tigers Jaw merchandise, which makes her happy.
“This is or full time job,” she said. “We’re living our dreams.”
If you go
What: ALT 92.1 Snow Show featuring Dashboard Confessional, Tigers Jaw, AJR and SYML
When: Sunday, Jan. 28, 5 p.m. doors open, 6:15 p.m. show starts
Where: F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, 71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre
Details: Tickets are $20 to $35 general admission or $92.10 for VIP and Meet and Greet. Tickets can be purchased at kirbycenter.org.
Leslie Odom Jr. follows his passion. The man is non-stop.
The Tony Award-winning performer has been on a whirlwind since he rose to fame as Aaron Burr in hip-hop Broadway musical juggernaut “Hamilton.” Odom earned critical acclaim and several accolades including a Tony Award, for his portrayal of the charismatic, vulnerable and complicated founding father.
When he left the show in 2016, Odom kept pushing further, pursuing a solo career and touring to spread his love of performing to fans around the country.
He brings his multifaceted solo show to the area on Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 7:30 p.m. when he performs at Wyoming Seminary’s Kirby Center for Creative Arts, 260 N. Sprague Ave., Kingston.
“I’m kind of lucky I get to bring as much of myself in able to into the work,” Odom said during a recent phone interview, enroute to travel from Los Angeles to Indianapolis. “It’s all deeply personal to me, touring and connecting with fans in a more open way. … I’m up there telling the stories about my life and singing songs I love.”
Since 2016, Odom put out two albums: a self-titled work of jazz standards, showtunes and originals he released just before his exit from Broadway and “Simply Christmas,” which is full the performer’s crisp, smooth take on seasonal classics.
These works can be expected during his stop in Kingston, but Odom promised fans that’s not all. He doesn’t believe in people leaving disappointed after a concert and will perform some songs from “Hamilton” plus selections from other work he’s known for, including NBC’s musical television show “Smash.”
Many of these songs take on different meanings for Odom during his concerts. When performing “Hamilton” songs, like “Dear Theodosia,” a ballad Burr and Hamilton sing about their children, or “Wait For It,” on Burr’s undying determination, he’s singing these as himself, which transports the music into a different realm.
“Songs from the show are really nice to perform out of context,” he explained. “Bringing it in to a concert, you get to color outside the lines. Some songs take on new meaning when it’s not Aaron Burr singing it.”
In between making music and touring, Odom’s kept busy acting, like appearing in last year’s “Murder on the Orient Express” alongside Daisy Ridley, and continues to pursue different avenues. His book, “Failing Up” is due out in March and is written in the style of a commencement speech. The narrative details how Odom’s greatest successes came from his greatest risks and how he allowed himself to be open to defeat.
“The better part of it is the story of how everything in my life turned around the first time I gave myself permission to fail,” he said.
Odom worked as an actor on stage and television before landing his big break but admits it was a challenge. He kept working toward his goal and what made him feel alive but success didn’t happen immediately.
“That can be the biggest eye roll, ‘Yeah, but you had ‘Hamilton,’ but I didn’t know that seven or eight years ago, struggling, trying to get jobs,” Odom said with a laugh. “I didn’t know that the role of a lifetime would come to me. I was just following my passion and my heart. … and eventually found my way to ‘Hamilton.’”
Odom’s advice to young people finding their path echoes his own life. He encourages anyone to surround themselves with what makes them happiest. Whether it be a career in performing arts, math or medicine, keep moving toward it and be open to where it takes you.
“Read about, talk about it, learn as much as you can about it. Follow your passion and those things will love you back,” he said. “Keep walking toward those things that light you up. … I didn’t know take this step, then take this step. I just loved it, you know? I loved it and found a way to dream myself into the world I loved so much.”
Odom took the holidays to unplug and clear his mind and is coming into the new year feeling refreshed, focused and balanced. He’s ready to continue to challenge himself and to reach as many people as he can through his passion.
“(It’s) the fact that I got to express myself in such a way that felt total and complete and now get to sort of be the architect of the rest of my journey and go where my inspiration leads,” he said. “It’s that I get to go around the country and meet fans and people who didn’t have a chance to see the show and some that may never get to go to New York (City) to see the show. We get to bring it to them.”
If you go
What: Sem Presents! featuring Leslie Odom Jr.
When: Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Wyoming Seminary’s Kirby Center for Creative Arts, 260 N. Sprague Ave., Kingston
Details: Tickets are $35-$70 and can be purchased online at wyomingseminary.org/arts/sempresents.
Like many 20-somethings, Adam Spott works several jobs.
The Tunkhannock native living in Santa Monica, California, acts and models, appearing in short films and print campaigns. And with Circle 8 Productions, Spott also works on the production side of things, including lifestyle TV shows in the Los Angeles area.
Though, TV viewers might know him from his side gig as a bartender at West Hollywood hot spot SUR restaurant and lounge, the setting for Bravo reality show “Vanderpump Rules.”
Named for SUR owner and “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” cast member Lisa Vanderpump, the show, now in its sixth season, follows the lives of the staff members as they build their futures. Spott said many service industry workers in Los Angeles are aspiring actors, models, singers, writers and directors, and “Vanderpump Rules” follows cast members outside of work as well. There, relationships between employees and staff members often come to a head.
“They definitely picked a good (main) crew to follow if they wanted drama,” Spott said, laughing, during a recent phone interview. “It’s always entertaining, that’s for sure.”
Spott’s first foray in the service industry came far away from the cameras and lights. As a teenager in Wyoming County, Spott worked at StoneHedge Golf Course in Factoryville and went on to nab jobs and internships at other country clubs, including Glen Oak County Club in Clarks Summit.
A 2007 graduate of Lackawanna Trail Junior-Senior High School, Spott headed to Florida State University to pursue a degree in hospitality management. In Florida, Spott waited tables, bartended and worked other jobs throughout college. He also interned at The Club at Las Camapnas in New Mexico in supervisor positions.
“I always wanted to work in the service industry (and) wanted to do that kind of work,” Spott said.
After college, Spott bounced around the southeast, from Jacksonville, Florida, to Orlando and, finally, Atlanta, where he worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative. When a regional magazine picked him as one of Atlanta’s most eligible bachelors, an Atlanta-based modeling agency approached him about signing a contract, and he started to book print and commercial work.
Soon after, Spott signed with modeling agency Wilhelmina Models nationally and knew he wanted to make the leap to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.
“I figured I always wanted to be out here, and if there was ever a time to go after what I wanted to do, might as well strike while the iron was hot,” he said. “That’s more or less what sent me 3,000 miles across the country.”
Los Angeles’ schedule was a shock to Spott. For someone aiming for a career in the entertainment industry, no work is guaranteed, and Spott quickly had to find a different way to make money with the flexibility to pursue his dream.
“I was so set in a 9-to-5 (schedule), being on salary; that career path was what I was used to,” he said. “I learned pretty quick how expensive (the cost of living is), how people have so many different avenues of income. I needed a part-time job, with the ups and downs of modeling and acting.”
Spott said he didn’t know what “Vanderpump Rules” was initially, but he was aware of SUR and was confident in his service experience to apply to be a bartender. He was selected and sent to bartending classes in the city to hone his skills. He began as a barback and worked his way up to bartender after a few months.
His position at SUR placed him in good company to further his entertainment career, too. Spott’s good friend and fellow employee (and original cast member of “Vanderpump Rules”), Scheana Marie, introduced Spott to his gig with the production company. Restaurant staff know Vanderpump encourages her employees to pursue careers outside of SUR.
“She’s always looking out for you, and she knows how difficult it can be to move to a city like L.A. with no connections,” Spott said. “She always has her employees’ best interests in mind. She’s very intimidating, and she will tell you to button up your shirt and stand up straight, but she is one of the most kind-hearted people I have ever met.”
Adam Spott, with SUR owner Lisa Vanderpump, called his boss one of the most “intimidating yet kindhearted” people he’s ever met.
As a popular Los Angeles hotspot, SUR is a hub for power players in the entertainment industry. This atmosphere offers employees the chance to make connections and advance their careers.
“You meet so many people in the entertainment industry,” Spott said. “That’s what so cool about here. You can shake the right hand, and the next thing you know, you’re working your dream job.”
Pursuing a career in acting or another sector of the entertainment industry can be draining, but Spott attributes his drive to his parents, Sandra Spott and Matthew Spott, and his hometown.
“I love where I was born and raised. That will always be home to me,” he said. “It’s rare to have a blue-collar work ethic in a place like L.A. I am very grateful for that.”
Spott acknowledged that sometimes those who live in small towns find it hard to leave to pursue their dreams. While Spott, who loves to be in front of the camera and hopes to make it to the movie screen someday, set his sights on big dreams in big cities, he knows his small-town roots imparted in him the determination to get there.
“There was a quote I saw, and it always resonated with me: ‘I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night,’” he said. “If you want something so bad and you love it, you can’t be afraid of failure. You can always go home, in my opinion. There’s nothing to be scared of.”
Meet Adam Spott
Residence: Originally from Tunkhannock, Spott lives in Santa Monica, California.
Family: Parents, Sandra Spott, Factoryville, and Matthew Spott, Tunkhannock; brother, Matthew and wife, DeAnna, Philadelphia
Education: Graduate of Lackawanna Trail Junior-Senior High School and Florida State University
Claim to fame: An actor and model, Spott also works in the service industry and is featured on this season of Bravo reality show “Vanderpump Rules.”
If you watch
What: “Vanderpump Rules,” featuring Tunkhannock native Adam Spott
When and where: Mondays, 9 p.m., on Bravo
Whether for food or fun, a number of festivals take place around the region each year. Enjoy the wonders of the Lackawanna River during Shiverfest on Saturday, Jan. 13, then head to Dietrich Theater, 60 E. Tioga St., Tunkhannock, for two film festivals featuring foreign, independent and art films. Winter Fest runs Friday, Feb. 16, through Thursday, March 8, and the Spring Film Festival then takes place Friday, April 13, through Thursday, May 3, with special activities on each opening night. There will be special previews on Thursday, Feb. 1, and Thursday, March 29, and free post-festival discussions Friday, March 9, and Friday, May 4.
Join one of the biggest events in downtown Wilkes-Barre, the annual Fine Arts Fiesta on Public Square, in May. Celebrate a Midvalley tradition, St. Ubaldo Day and Race of the Saints, in Jessup over Memorial Day weekend.
The region celebrates its love of food with the annual Edwardsville Pierogi Festival, June 8 and 9, Plymouth’s annual Kielbasa Festival, held the second weekend of August, while the Pittston Tomato Festival takes place the third weekend in August.
Labor Day weekend offers the chance to commemorate the area’s rich locomotive history during Railfest at Steamtown National Historic Site and its Italian heritage at La Festa Italiana on Lackawanna County Courthouse Square.
Kids and family
Children can learn through a series of free stage shows geared toward grades three to eight at F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, Public Square, Wilkes-Barre: “Four Score and Seven Years Ago” on Wednesday, Feb. 21; “Harriet Tubman & the Underground Railroad” on Friday, March 16; and “Huck & Tom and the Mighty Mississippi” on Tuesday, April 24. The Kirby Center also will host family-friendly fare such as “Disney Junior Dance Party On Tour” on Friday, April 27; animal expert Jack Hanna on Saturday, April 28; “Peppa Pig Live: Peppa Pig’s Surprise” on Tuesday, May 15; and the free “The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told” on Saturday, May 19.
At Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, 255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Twp., families can catch “Disney On Ice presents Dream Big” from Thursday, Jan. 11, through Monday, Jan. 15; AMSOIL Arenacross Series on Saturday, Jan. 20, and Sunday, Jan. 21; “WWE Live” on Friday, Jan. 26; Monster Jam Triple Threat Series from Friday, Feb. 9 through Sunday, Feb. 11; the Harlem Globetrotters on Saturday, Feb. 24; and “Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes” from Thursday, May 3, through Sunday, May 6.
In Scranton, families can get into the Irish spirit with the city’s 57th annual St. Patrick’s Parade, set for Saturday, March 10, while Wilkes-Barre sees green with its parade on Sunday, March 11.
Broadway Theatre League of Northeastern Pennsylvania has five more shows coming to Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave., in the new year: “A Chorus Line,” Friday, Feb. 23, through Sunday, Feb. 25; “The Illusionists Present Adam Trent,” Friday, March 2; “Kinky Boots,” Friday, March 16, through Sunday, March 18; “Chicago,” Friday, April 13, through Sunday, April 15; and “Beautiful — The Carole King Musical,” Tuesday, May 8, through Sunday, May 13. Ticket costs vary.
Five Broadway vocalists — Jeanna De Waal, Jennifer DiNoia, Kara Lindsay, Kevin Massey and Jon Peterson — will perform hits from throughout the Great White Way’s history on Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Theater at North, 1539 N. Main Ave., Scranton. “Broadway Spotlight,” also includes behind-the-scenes stories and a question-and-answer session.
At F.M. Kirby Center, theater fans will find “Dirty Dancing — The Classic Story on Stage” on Wednesday, Jan. 31 and Thursday, Feb. 1; “Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” on Wednesday, Feb. 7; “The Wizard of Oz” on Friday, April 13; and “Cabaret” on Thursday, May 17.
The region’s numerous amateur and student theatrical troupes will present shows throughout the year as well.
Laugh throughout the year with comedy events all over the region.
Residents have the chance to see Jim Breuer at Gypsies Lounge inside Mount Airy Casino, 312 Woodland Road, Mount Pocono, Saturday, Jan. 13. Gypsies also hosts Bob Saget on Saturday, Feb. 3; Tracy Morgan Saturday, March 3; and Vic Dibitetto, Friday, April 6.
Breuer makes another stop in the area Wednesday, Feb. 28, at F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, which then hosts “Blue Collar Comedy” star Ron White on Thursday, March 8. Jerry Seinfeld will deliver two performances there Friday, April 6.
Kevin Hart brings his Irresponsible Tour to the region Friday, March 16, at 7 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre Twp. Crowds also can catch live comedy shows weekends at Wisecrackers Comedy Club inside Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Highway 315, Plains Twp.
Music fills Pavilion at Montage Mountain, 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton, through the summer, with Camp Bisco gliding into the venue Thursday, July 12, through Saturday, July 14, and Peach Music Festival hitting the mountain, Thursday, July 19, through Sunday, July 22. Vans Warped Tour plays Scranton for the final time on Thursday, July 26, according to its website, although a venue was not announced.
Mohegan Sun Arena also will host a couple big-name concerts, with country act Little Big Town, joined by Kacey Musgraves and Midland, coming Thursday, Feb. 22, and Judas Priest playing Tuesday, March 13.
Wyoming Seminary will host “Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr. for a concert Wednesday, Jan. 17, in its Kirby Center for the Creative Arts, 260 N. Sprague Ave., Kingston.
At F.M. Kirby Center in downtown Wilkes-Barre, concert highlights include the inaugural Snow Show featuring Dashboard Confessional, presented by Alt 92.1 on Sunday, Jan. 28; Tedeschi Trucks Band, Thursday, Feb. 8; “American Idol” star Scotty McCreery, Saturday, Feb. 10; America, Thursday, Feb. 15; Blues Traveler, Wednesday, Feb. 28; Alice Cooper, Saturday, March 10; the Beach Boys, Saturday, March 24; Christopher Cross, Wednesday, April 4; the Drifters, Saturday, April 14; and Yanni, July 31.
By Gia Mazur and Caitlin Haney West