Nothing but the truth – Scranton StorySlam returns with real tales to benefit local Fringe Festival

Nothing but the truth – Scranton StorySlam returns with real tales to benefit local Fringe Festival

Five years ago, a group of residents took the stage one-by-one to tell a story to a room full of friends and strangers and a tradition was born: Scranton StorySlam.
On Saturday, June 3, 10 storytellers take the stage for the 16th StorySlam, which is the third version of the event to fall under the Scranton Fringe Festival’s umbrella of programming.
The slam’s theme, “Taking the Fifth,” is a nod to the event’s fifth anniversary and also gives storytellers a myriad of directions to take, said Fringe board member Camille Reinecke, who helps to coordinate the festival.
“The way I interpret it is something that was withheld … you refrained from saying something and vowed never to speak of it again,” Reinecke said. “But, people can interpret it however they want, and it’s exciting to see what they come up with. It’s interesting how completely different the stories could be with the same theme.”
The show takes place inside Craftsmen Hall on the third floor Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave., Scranton. Doors open at 8 p.m. and stories begin at 8:30. Tickets are $7 and proceeds benefit Scranton Fringe Festival. Tickets can be purchased at eventbrite.com in advance or at the door.
The Slam follows the same format as in past years. Community members from actors to writers to comedians share a true, five-minute-long story without notes in front of an audience and a small group of judges that can be taken in any direction from poignant to hilarious. Actor and DJ Conor McGuigan will emcee the evening.
Those slated to share their stories include writer and actor Joe McGurl, motivational speaker and writer Garry Melville, writer Alicia Grega, who was part of the very first StorySlam, and more. Like in past years, two “wild card” storytellers will be chosen from the crowd to tell their stories, too. The winner will take home a “Slammy,” the official StorySlam trophy, and $50.
Some stories will break hearts, some will evoke laughter and some will simply make the audience smile but all stories will connect the storytellers with the audience, and Reinecke said that’s what the evening is all about.
“I love this event because it gives a diverse group of storytellers the opportunity to take the audience on an adventure,” Reinecke said. “They only get five minutes, but by the end of the night, you know so much about everyone up there. Especially this one — it’s like you’re learning their deep dark secrets.”
— gia mazur


If you go
What: Scranton StorySlam: Taking The Fifth
When: Saturday, June 3; 8 p.m. doors open, 8:30 p.m. stories start
Where: Craftsmen Hall, third floor, Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.
Details: Tickets are $7 and proceeds benefit Scranton Fringe Festival. Tickets can be purchased at eventbrite.com in advance or at the door.

Veteran’s Promise group plans bike ride, day of activities to help vets

Veteran’s Promise group plans bike ride, day of activities to help vets

Veteran’s Promise wants to shed light on local veterans and the community that helps them.
Comprised of veterans and vet supporters that provide outreach and support to service members and their families, the group’s event, Rock the Night on Shine the Light, is an all-in-one ride, vigil and benefit that promotes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder awareness and suicide prevention.
Veteran’s Promise president and founder Dave Ragan said the event aligns with the group’s mission to start a dialogue about the struggles military members face when they come home and to educate the community and advocate for them.
“People are so afraid of the word or stigma and the only way to change that is to just it it out there,” said Ragan, a Pennsylvania Army National Guard veteran, who also is a suicide survivor himself. “When (military members) come home, they struggle … It takes a lot of work to put that back together again and when we reach out to those veterans, that’s a way to help.”
The event kicks off Sunday, June 4, at Thirst T’s Bar & Grill, 120 Lincoln St., Olyphant. A day-long schedule of events is planned, beginning with the ride to honor fallen soldier Staff Sgt. Joseph Granville. Registration is from 10 a.m. to noon and kickstands come up at 12:15 p.m. The pack will ride to Granville’s former home, where a flag will be lowered and presented to Granville’s mother. Then, the pack and limos filled with Granville’s family members, led by police escorts, will ride back to Thirst T’s. The flag will fly at the event for the rest of the afternoon.
Though the event is a fundraiser, Veteran’s Promise will give back by saying thanks to the community members who are there for them. At 2 p.m., the vigil and ceremony starts during which local people, businesses and police officers who support the group will be honored. A veteran also will be honored with an award in Granville’s name.
From 3 to 7:30 p.m., the day loosens up a bit and bands will play inside the bar, with food for purchase, basket raffles and tattoos by the Rock Shop Tattoo Gallery available for guests, as well.
The event differs from last year, Ragan said, as it was just a vigil and ceremony then. With the poignant activities occurring earlier in the day, it allows the group members and the crowd to relax and catch up with each other to end the night, he added.
“We tackle those deep, dark secrets that people don’t want to talk about, hence, ‘Shine the Light,’” Ragan said. “But, we’re also letting people know that we want to have fun and do things that are lighthearted.”
The group is always looking for new members and serving is not a requirement, Ragan said, adding anyone that loves their country and its military is welcome to join. The group looks to expand their reach and services offered, and give back to those who support them. They help many local families and individuals and, in turn, receive kindness from the community, like Thirst T’s owner Thomas Tell Jr., who donated the space to host the benefit.
Going forward, Ragan hopes Veteran’s Promise will work with more leaders, businesses and neighbors and, hopefully, solidify a permanent home for the group to work out of as well as hold meetings and events.
“As long as people need our help, we will be there to do it however we can,” Ragan said. “We try to dream big. It’s not just about promoting Rock the Night, it’s about making a difference.”
— gia mazur


If you go
What: Veteran’s Promise Rock the Night on Shine the Light
When: Sunday, June 4; Ride registration, 10 a.m. to noon; best bike contest, 11:30 a.m.; kickstands up, 12:15 p.m.; vigil and ceremony, 2 p.m.; benefit with entertainment, 3 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Thirst T’s Bar & Grill, 120 Lincoln St., Olyphant
Details: Ride registration is $20 for riders, $10 for passengers and admission to the benefit portion is $10. All proceeds benefit Veteran’s Promise. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

How to help
To donate, including baskets, please contact Veteran’s Promise through the group’s Facebook page.

Fight Night – ‘WWE Raw’ returns to area after near decade-long absence with Superstar champ Alexa Bliss

Fight Night – ‘WWE Raw’ returns to area after near decade-long absence with Superstar champ Alexa Bliss

When “WWE Raw” last rolled through Northeast Pennsylvania, women wrestlers were referred to as “Divas” and no woman had ever held two women’s division titles.
Neither statement applies to Alexa Bliss, who will appear on “Raw” on Monday, June 5, during the show’s first stop in the region in nearly a decade at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, 255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Twp.Tickets start at $18 and are available at ticketmaster.com, the arena box office, or by calling 800-745-3000.
Bliss, who was selected for the roster of “SmackDown Live!” last July during WWE’s draft, won the blue brand’s women’s title before she moved to the company’s other weekly live show, “Raw,” as part of the Superstar Shake-up in April. Later that month, Bliss cemented herself in the WWE history books when she won the Raw Women’s Championship and became the first woman to hold both the SmackDown and Raw Women’s titles.
“It’s amazing and something that will go down in history,” Bliss, known as Alexis “Lexi” Kaufman outside the ring, said during a recent phone interview from Orlando, Florida. “It’s awesome to have this opportunity WWE has given to me, and I couldn’t be anymore thankful. And I’ve never made history before, either, so it’s definitely amazing.”
Bliss also is a Superstar, just like her male counterparts on the roster, another change WWE made in 2016 during what was dubbed as the “Women’s Revolution,” where more emphasis was put on women wrestlers and their talent and matches. Gone are the days of 30-seconds-long women’s matches for the pink butterfly-emblazoned Diva’s Championship belt.
Though Bliss said she was not part of the “Four Horsewomen” (Superstars Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Bayley) who worked to usher in the new era of women’s talent, Bliss follows their lead.
“It’s our turn to take it to the next level of the revolution,” said Bliss, who signed to WWE’s developmental property NXT in 2013. “We’re constantly stepping our game up. Every time I’m out in that ring, I take every opportunity and just try to run with it.”
A lifelong athlete, Bliss competed in kickboxing, track and professional bodybuilding and also was a gymnast and cheerleader. The latter two helped with Bliss’ air and body awareness in the ring, but she admits there’s no sport like pro wrestling.
“(Cheer) and gymnastics helped that, absolutely, but nothing can ever prepare you for what your body goes through in the ring,” she said. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
Bliss, a bad guy, (or “heel”) will defend her title against good guy (or “face”) Bayley, whom she said she loves to work with, the day before the stop in Wilkes-Barre. The pair are feuding and Bayley is known for hugging her opponents while Bliss is known for her attitude and sass. Though Bliss was hesitant to play the villain, she quickly settled into the role.
“It’s so much easier to get people to hate you than to like you,” she said, laughing. “It’s so much more fun.”
Bliss’s work in WWE is far from done. She feels excited to be part of the new generation of Superstars who continue the evolution of women’s wrestling. For girls who want to follow in the footsteps of Bliss and her fellow women on the roster, she advised not to be discouraged if success doesn’t come right away, and echoed the sentiments a coach once gave to her.
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” she said. “Learn the process and respect the process and love the process.”
— gia mazur


If you go
What: “WWE Raw Live” featuring Superstar Alexa Bliss
When: Monday, June 5, 8 p.m.
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, 255 Highland Park Boulevard, Wilkes-Barre Twp.
Details: Tickets range from $18 to $103 and are available at ticketmaster.com, the arena box office, or by calling 800-745-3000. There is a $10 fee to park in the arena’s lot.

Sounds of summer – Party on the Patio returns to Mohegan Sun Pocono with top musical tribute acts

Sounds of summer – Party on the Patio returns to Mohegan Sun Pocono with top musical tribute acts

Party to your favorite songs all summer long at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
The casino’s seasonal mainstay, Party on the Patio, offers popular tribute bands from across the country for 14 weeks throughout the summer.
Every Thursday from June 1 to Aug. 31, acts saluting some of music’s most legendary players take the stage at the Mohegan Sun Pocono racetrack apron, 1280 Highway 315, Plains Twp.
The summer concerts come back — in black — with AC/DC tribute, Halfway to Hell, on June 1, before Bon Jovi tribute, Bon Jersey, rides in on steel horses on June 8. Mötley 2, a Mötley Crüe tribute, kick-starts the crowd on June 15, Tom Petty tribute Damn the Torpedoes free falls into June 22 and Parrot Beach, a tribute to Jimmy Buffet, offers an escape to Margaritaville on June 29. The Eagles tribute, 7 Bridges, takes it to the limit July 6 and partygoers will twist and shout with the Beatles tribute, Beatlemania Again, on July 13.
Audiences can get what they want with Satisfaction, a Rolling Stones tribute band, on July 20, and dance in the dark with Tramps Like Us, a Bruce Springsteen tribute act, on July 27. Fleetwood Mac tribute Tusk runs in the shadows on Aug. 3, Ring of Fire, a tribute to Johnny Cash, walks the line Aug. 10, and, on Aug. 17, it goes on (and on, and on and on) with Journey tribute, Separate Ways the Band.
Finally, catch night fever with the Bee Gees tribute Stayin’ Alive on Aug. 24, and sing for the year with Draw the Line, an Aerosmith tribute, on Aug. 31.
Gates open at 6 p.m. and the bands perform two hour-long sets from 7:30 to 8:30 and 9 to 10. The shows are free and open to those 21 and older. For information, call 570-831-2100 or visit mohegansunpocono.com.
— gia mazur


Party on the Patio 2017
June 1 — Halfway to Hell (AC/DC tribute)
June 8 — Bon Jersey (Bon Jovi tribute)
June 15 — Mötley 2 (Mötley Crüe tribute).
June 22 — Damn the Torpedoes (Tom Petty tribute)
June 29 — Parrot Beach (Jimmy Buffet tribute)
July 6 — 7 Bridges (the Eagles tribute)
July 13 — Beatlemania Again (the Beatles tribute)
July 20 — Satisfaction (the Rolling Stones tribute)
July 27 — Tramps Like Us (Bruce Springsteen tribute)
Aug. 3 — Tusk (Fleetwood Mac tribute)
Aug. 10 — Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash tribute)
Aug. 17 — Separate Ways the Band (Journey tribute)
Aug. 24 — Stayin’ Alive (the Bee Gees tribute)
Aug. 31 — Draw the Line (Aerosmith tribute)

Exhibit Branches Out – First Friday collection celebrates 10th anniversary of Nay Aug’s Wenzel Treehouse

Exhibit Branches Out – First Friday collection celebrates 10th anniversary of Nay Aug’s Wenzel Treehouse

On May, 25, 2007, Scranton offered a view from the top — for everyone.
The completely accessible David Wenzel Treehouse celebrates its 10th anniversary this month, and will commemorate the occasion during May’s First Friday Art Walk with a collection of works that feature the treehouse.
Stretching 150 feet in the sky above Nay Aug Gorge, the treehouse provides a view of the canyon and an outlook of the park. Equipped with a long ramp system and supported by real and camouflaged steel “trees” plus handrails, anyone, regardless of age or ability, can take in the breathtaking view. The treehouse was named for former Scranton Mayor David Wenzel, a disabled veteran.
The treehouse has been the subject of many local artists’ works, including Austin Burke and Mark Ciocca. Through the David Wenzel Treehouse Facebook page, residents also were asked to share their treehouse memories to be used for the celebration.
The exhibit, which will include artwork, photography, news articles, awards and more, will be on display from 5 to 9 p.m. at Green Ridge Om & Wellness LLC (GROW), 222 Wyoming Ave., Scranton.
The event is free and wine and chocolates will be available. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.
— gia mazur

If you go
What: David Wenzel Treehouse 10th Anniversary exhibit and celebration
When: Friday, May 5, 5 to 9 p.m.
Where: Green Ridge Om & Wellness LLC (GROW), 222 Wyoming Ave., Scranton
Details: The event is free. For more information, visit the event’s page on Facebook.

May First Friday
• Marywood in Paris, works by various artists; AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave.
• Works by Pamela Parsons, AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave.
• Photo de Mayo, works by Tom Cat Photography; Ale Mary’s at the Bittenbender, 126 Franklin Ave.
• Analog Funk & Breaks, works by various artists; Analog Culture, 349 N. Washington Ave.
• Fabric Artists, AOS Metals, 527 Bogart Court
• Peg McDade Fiber Artworks: Then And Now, ArtWorks Gallery & Studio, 503 Lackawanna Ave.
• 1950s Sock Hop with Villa Capri Cruisers Car Club Inc., Bella Faccias Personalized Chocolates & Gifts, LLC, 516 Lackawanna Ave.
• Live music and group show presented by Mountain Sky, DaVinci Pizza, 505 Linden St.
• Washed out: Introspection through watercolor, works by Daring Damsel; eden-a vegan cafe, 344 Adams Ave.
• Zeta Omicron Empty Bowl Project 2017, Electric City Escape, 507 Linden St.
• Empyres: Bloodblind Reading Tour with John Koloski, Library Express, second floor, The Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave.
• A collection of classic comics with Eric Toffey, Loyalty Barber Shop, 342 Adams Ave.
• “The Friday Girls,” works by Marty Carr; New Laundry, 127 N. Washington Ave.
• Prismacolors: Portraits and Prints by Amber Lovell, Northern Light Espresso Bar, 536 Spruce St.
• 1950s Sock Hop at On&On, music and works by various artists; On&On, 518 Lackawanna Ave.
• Creativity Unleashed, multi-media and Cinco de Mayo-themed works by EOTC participants and volunteers, Radisson at Lackawanna Station hotel, 700 Lackawanna Ave.
• ARTS Engage! at the SCC, Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.
• The Inner Beauty of West Mountain Stone, works by Mark Zander; St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 232 Wyoming Ave.
• Landscape and Form, works by Earl Lehman and Emma Pilon; STEAMworks, first floor, The Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave.
• Jennifer Blewitt Photography, Terra Preta Restaurant, 222 Wyoming Ave.
• Oil Paintings by Beth Lockhart & Deborah Hamby, Trinity Studio & Gallery, 511 Bogart Court
• Recent works by Michael Sorrentino, Trinka’s Gallery & Artisan Gifts, 523 Bogart Court
• Scranton Trivia by Shutterbug Photography, Wayne Bank, 216 Adams Ave.
• Walking Juarez, works by Bruce Berman; The CameraWork Gallery, 515 Center St.
• Mother’s Day Treasures, Opulence on Spruce, 310 Spruce St.
• Cast in Stone, works by Concrete Thinking; Duffy Accessories, 218 Linden St. 

Electric City Craft Brew Fest: Spring Session

Electric City Craft Brew Fest: Spring Session

An annual beer tasting event will feel — and taste — a bit different this year.
Electric City Craft Brew Fest not only offers more than 100 types of craft beer, but, for the first time, guests also have the chance to grab a bite from local food trucks and peruse wares from locals vendors. Brew Fest takes place Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29, at Montage Mountain’s lodge, 100 Montage Mountain Road.
“We want to keep growing the event,” Jeff Slivinski, Montage Mountain director of marketing, said. “We know by now people are expecting a certain craft beer style and offering food and more things to do is only going to elevate that.”
Food vendors like Peculiar Culinary Company, Notis the Gyro King, Jerkey Hut, Sweet Lush Cupcakery plus about a dozen more will serve up their specialities for the crowd while it samples brews from all over the country. Guests can look around and shop items from local retail vendors like AOS Metals, On A Whim Jewelry, Jerky Hut, Keystone Cheese Farms and more.

VIP sessions
Electric City Brew Fest provides two types of tasting experiences. The VIP session, on Saturday, April 29, from 12:30 to 4 p.m., makes for more of an exclusive offering with food pairings, a $5 food truck voucher, swag bags and the opportunity for beer lovers to immerse themselves in malts, stouts, ales and more and chat with experts on all things hops and barley.
“There’s a lot of cool opportunities with VIP sessions,” Slivinski said, adding that the VIP sessions are capped at 300 tickets, so potential guests should secure them as soon as possible. “It’s a little bit of a more intimate opportunity for guests to talk with brewers, sample some food and beer choices, and just relax and have a good time.”

General admission
As for general admission sessions, Slivinski said they carry more of a “party atmosphere” where guests have the chance to taste more than 100 beers from 65 different local, state and national breweries. General admission sessions are Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29, 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Tickets to the 21-and-over event are $59 in advance and $70 at the door for the VIP session, or $29 in advance and $40 at the door for the general admission session.
Great beer is something guests expect each year, Slivinski said, but the presence of local breweries is something festival organizers strive to expand each year.
From Wilkes-Barre Twp.’s Breaker Brewing Company and Pittston’s Susquehanna Brewing Co. to North Slope Brewing Co. from Dallas and Irving Cliff Brewery from Honesdale, Slivinski said the local brewers rise to the occasion.
“The list is extensive at this point,” he said. “They’re the guys that everyone wants to see at Brew Fest.”
Weather permitting, crowds can enjoy parts of Brew Fest outside and around the property at Montage Mountain. With so many beer options, plus the addition of food and shopping, the festival aims to provide all guests with a great day out that keeps them coming back for more.
“We get the diehards each year but there’s always some new faces in the crowd,” he said. “The Brew Fest is definitely something we and the area have come to look forward to year after year.”
— gia mazur

If you go
What: Electric City Craft Brew Fest spring session
Where: Lodge at Montage Mountain, 1000 Montage Mountain Road
When: Friday, April 28, general admission session, 5:30 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, April 29, VIP session, 12:30 to 4 p.m., general admission session, 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Details: Tickets to the 21-and-over event are $59 in advance and $70 at the door for the VIP session, and $29 advance and $40 at the door for the general admission sessions. They can be purchased online at ecbrewfest.com or by calling 855-754-7946.

photos by jesse faatz

KAPOW!

KAPOW!

Comic books reflect culture in Everhart Museum’s latest exhibit

It’s a bird!
It’s a plane!

No, it’s science — the science of superheroes and villains, that is, and the cultural significance behind these characters.
Everhart Museum’s newest exhibit, “Here I Come To Save the Day! The Science, Culture & Art of Superheroes,” opens Friday and looks at comic book classics’ roots in nature and the ways comics affect society and change with the times.
“Comics are seen all over the world, but there is something uniquely American about comic book superheroes,” curator Nezka Pfeifer said. “Comics are a reflection of American culture being more diverse and interesting.”
An exhibition preview and cocktail party takes place Thursday at 6 p.m. with tours starting at 7. Tickets are $75 or $100 for patron level and include themed cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres. The exhibit runs through July 17 in the Maslow Galleries.
Most superheroes and supervillains are based on animals or plants found in nature, taking their powers and other dispositions from those origins, Pfeifer said. The exhibit will feature these specimens from the museum’s collection.
“It’s the key characters that we can represent through our collections and the scientific and cultural look behind why and how they were created,” Pfeifer said.
The exhibit explores the development of characters and comics from the 1930s to present day in addition to tracking the impact comics had on society and vice versa. Dave Romeo Jr., owner of city comic book shop Comics on the Green, thinks the combination of science, art and cultural reflection plays a huge role in the public’s interest in comics.
“The best characters always have some tie to the real world,” he said, adding that comic books also promote literacy in young children and follow them through adolescence and adulthood. “There’s cool characters, and they’re also visually interesting. It fuels the imagination more.”
Romeo and local artist Mark Schultz offered their expertise, materials and guidance to the show, Pfeifer said. Aside from specimens, “Here I Come To Save the Day” features pieces from 12 contemporary artists who “all interpret comics in personal and socially interesting ways,” Pfeifer said.
“(The art explores how) we need to be superheroes of our own lives to conquer our own challenges,” she added.
In tandem with the main show, the museum’s Gallery One hosts “Animal Powers Activate,” an exhibition of works by community artists, adults and children who each created a new superhero or supervillain based on an animal.
To completely immerse guests in the superhero and supervillain theme, Pfeifer said, the museum will offer activities that tie in with the exhibit throughout its run. These include a superhero- and supervillian-themed tasting on Thursday, Feb. 23; the annual free Community Day, which will feature superhero-themed activities, workshops and more on Saturday, April 22; and the monthly museum book club, Everhart Reads. The club reads selections related to exhibit subject matter and meets the first Thursday of each month at Library Express, on the second floor of the Marketplace at Steamtown, at 6 p.m. (except for February).
While the exhibition is not a large overview of the history of comics, Pfeifer said it is an interesting and distinct look at a staple of American popular culture.
“Comic book themes and the stories themselves are universal,” she said. “They’re uniquely poised because of their extreme popularity and accessibility to culture.”
— gia mazur

If you go
What: “Here I Come To Save the Day! The Science, Culture & Art of Superheroes “
When: Friday through July 17
Where: Maslow Galleries, Everhart Museum, 1901 Mulberry St.
Details: Exhibit preview and cocktail party takes place Thursday at 6 p.m. with tours starting at 7. Tickets are $75 or $100 for patron level and include themed cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres. For tickets or more information, call 570-346-7186, email general.information@everhart-museum.org or visit everhart-museum.org.

Local musicians, landmarks featured on new albums

Local musicians, landmarks featured on new albums

Charles Havira and his collaborators hope fans “turn the volume up quite loud” to listen to his recently released album, “Actual.”
The new work came together over the past few years, mostly because of coordinating the schedules of the other musicians who appear on the folk, rock and roots artist’s album.
“I hope they enjoy it and stop and really listen,” said Havira, an Archbald resident. “I hope it strikes them in some way and makes them think. … Stops them and kind of catches them off-guard.”
Artists Havira collaborated with on “Actual” include guitarist Justin Mazer and drummer Al Smith from varied-genre group Tom Hamilton’s American Babies and bassist Dylan Skursky from bluegrass band Cabinet. Hariva not only admires their talent but also said their dedication to the songs on the album makes him want to collaborate with them more.
The musicians also accompanied Havira during his most recent performances. He enjoys the moments when everything and everyone come together on stage.
“Sometimes, it feels like you’re playing the guitar, and it seems like a challenge,” he said. “Sometimes it feels effortless. … That makes me very happy — definitely fulfilled.”
Fans can catch Havira on Saturday when he and guitarist Jon Nova open the show at a benefit for Standing Rock Indian Reservation beginning at 4 p.m. at Sandy Valley Campground, White Haven. Havira also takes the stage Sunday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m. at Turkey Hill Brewing Co., Bloomsburg.
“Actual” is available for purchase at Joe Nardone’s Gallery of Sound, Wilkes-Barre. For online availability, visit charleshavira.com or his artist Facebook page.
Meanwhile, folk rock musician Timothy Underberry, known to NEPA folks as Tom “T.L.” Lavelle from the Green Ridge section of Scranton, recently released his third album, “Nantucket Sound.” Now a Boston resident, Lavelle said the album was two years in the making. It follows a similar style to his previous albums, “Ketty’s Kitchen: A Tale in 12 Songs” and “The Moviegoer,” in that he first wrote the songs then enlisted musicians and vocalists to play and sing on the tracks. He hopes fans are ready for this new batch of songs, all sung by “American Idol” contestant Jesse McCullagh.
“It’s better for the listener, because singing is not my strong suit,” Lavelle joked. “I’m a ‘behind-the-scenes guy.’”
Lavelle said he wanted a more homegrown, raw tone on “Nantucket Sound,” available on iTunes, Spotify and his website, timothyunderberry.com. Fans also can find physical copies at Joe Nardone’s Gallery of Sound locations.
Listeners hear acoustic and electric guitars, cellos, accordion and fiddle on the album as well as something else that might be particularly special to locals. He wrote the song “A Scranton Girl” for his wife, Pat, but the playful, nostalgic song that mentions Green Ridge, South Side and Marywood University is devoted to the “loveliest, funniest and most genuine women” he has ever known who hail from NEPA.
“Being from Scranton is the gift that keeps on giving,” Lavelle said.
— gia mazur

Shoppin’ Around the Christmas Tree

Shoppin’ Around the Christmas Tree

Holiday Marketplace ignites nostalgia at old Globe Store

For ScrantonMade, home is where the holiday marketplace is.

The marketplace changed venue again this year, moving from Marketplace at Steamtown to the former Globe Store on Wyoming Avenue. The event stretches across three days this year, Friday, 5 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Globe Store building soon will convert to Lackawanna County offices, but in the meantime, ScrantonMade’s Cristin Powers said, her group saw a chance to bring life into an old building — especially one locals associate with Christmas magic.
“We’re hoping that the nostalgia will get people out,” said Maureen McGuigan, the county’s deputy director of arts and culture, which partners with ScrantonMade on the event.
For a full throwback experience, youngsters can visit Santa Claus or walk through Make-A-Wish Wonderland, a play on Santa’s Workshop from the Globe’s heyday. Children can buy small, affordable gifts for their family and friends in a shopping area, too.
Valley View and Scranton High School choirs perform starting at 5 p.m. in a ceremony to kick off the marketplace. Organizers then flip the switch to light up the Globe Store on Friday at 5:30 p.m.
In conjunction with the First Friday Art Walk, a trolley will make multiple stops throughout downtown Scranton, including one right in front of the holiday marketplace. Carolers will roam downtown and sing holiday tunes, and guests can ride a horse and carriage around the city.
With more than 150 vendors inside the marketplace, shoppers can snag something for everyone on their list. In recent years, Scranton-centric art and gifts popped up more frequently at the marketplace, and those items will be on hand this weekend as well.
“More artists saw people come through who wanted Scranton merchandise,” Powers said.
“I think more (vendors) have jumped on board with that.”
Hungry guests can drop by Terra Preta’s pop-up restaurant for small plates and cocktails each night. Local musicians provide entertainment all three days, and a large model train and scenery display by Anthracite High-Railers Club begins in the foyer and travels through part of the marketplace.
In the four years since its inception, the marketplace cemented itself as a one-stop destination for shopping, food and holiday activities.
“(When it started), we knew it was going to be a unique event and you were going to go and experience something really special,” McGuigan said. “People are finding a real interest in Scranton and Lackawanna County again, and we wouldn’t be able to (continue this event) without that support.”
Shoppers can give back this holiday season, too, at a food and essentials drive inside the market. Scrantonmade, along with Valerie Kiser Designs and the Century Club of Scranton, will collect items for local food pantries and charity organizations. Non-perishable items like peanut butter and canned tuna or chicken will be accepted, as well as toothpaste, soap, hats, gloves and socks.
Holiday Marketplace welcomes change each year to better serve guests. Though, ScrantonMade never loses sight of why the event began.
“The goal is to support local artists, crafters and designers, and branch out to regional (ones),” Powers said. “We’re excited about it and that people want to buy local and support their community.”
— gia mazur

If you go
What: Scrantonmade Holiday Market at the Globe Store
When: Friday, 5 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: The former Globe Store,
123 Wyoming Ave., Scranton.
Details: The first 200 shoppers on Saturday will receive a free goodie bag. For more information, visit www.scrantonmade.com or the event’s Facebook page.

Arts for All

Arts for All

Everhart Museum’s free Community Day offers programs, relaunches gift shop

Aurore Giguet wants to change the notion that museums are stuffy.
The executive director of the Everhart Museum, its staff and volunteers welcome all to its upcoming free Community Day, set for Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m., filled with presentations, workshops, a re-launch of the museum’s gift shop and more.
“People perceive museums to be static spaces,” said Giguet, who assumed her new role in July. “Having presenters, educators, people in the gift shop really brings the space alive.”
Community Day, possible through a Lackawanna County Arts Engage grant, started as a partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters. The organization still participates and will have a sign-up for prospective Bigs at the event, but the day also offers interactive crafts, visual art and story workshops, a magic potion scavenger hunt and guided tours of museum exhibits for the entire community.
Artist Mark Ciocca will draw caricatures, Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple’s youth theatre program will perform scenes from “Shrek the Musical Jr.,” and stylists from Alexander’s Salon & Spa will braid hair into Rapunzel-inspired designs.

Amy Everetts, Aurore Giguet, Dawn McGurl, Anthony Grigas, Michael Sorrentino, Elizabeth Davis, Stephanie Colarusso, Jen Shoener, Miranda Morgan, Zak Zavada, BethBurkhauser, JoAnna McGee, Valerie Kiser, Tiffany Rose Harris and Mary Ann Kapacs are participants of Community Day at Everhart Museum gather inside the gift shop that is in the final stages of renovation. MIchael J. Mullen / Staff Phtoographer

Amy Everetts, Aurore Giguet, Dawn McGurl, Anthony Grigas, Michael Sorrentino, Elizabeth Davis, Stephanie Colarusso, Jen Shoener, Miranda Morgan, Zak Zavada, BethBurkhauser, JoAnna McGee, Valerie Kiser, Tiffany Rose Harris and Mary Ann Kapacs are participants of Community Day at Everhart Museum gather inside the gift shop that is in the final stages of renovation. MIchael J. Mullen / Staff Phtoographer

“It’s a day to show what the Everhart has to offer all year round, and it’s a showcase of all of the different organizations, businesses and people in the area we partner with for these programs,” said Stefanie Colarusso, director of interpretive programs. “The day is all of what makes up the Everhart coming together.”
The museum will unveil a new shopping experience for visitors, too. During the gift shop’s re-launch Saturday, guests can shop body products, accessories, home goods and more from vendors, which will change every few months.
“You can purchase items from artists who may not have storefronts, and (Community Day) is an opportunity to meet these artists,” said Amy Everetts, director of development and marketing.
Exclusive items from Valerie Kiser Designs will there, too, as well as ornaments by fine artist Jack Puhl. Puhl will sign ornaments, unveil some new designs and bring some old favorites. The ornaments then will be available in the gift shop, with all proceeds going to the museum.
“(Everhart Museum) is amazing to a child, but as you get older, you appreciate the artworks and understand a little more about culture and diversity and how art relates to your life,” Puhl said. “It’s so wonderful to me, professionally and personally, to give back to that.”
This event kicks off a year-long transformation of the museum, which also offers 200-plus educational, all-ages programs that take place regularly, Giguet said. Pending grants, the Everhart plans to add more dynamic programming, exhibits and events.
“You think because you’ve been here when you were a kid that that’s what it is, but we’ve really grown and will continue to grow,” Giguet said.
— gia mazur

If you go
What: Community Day and gift shop relaunch
When: Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m.
Where: Everhart Museum, 1901 Mulberry St.
Details: Admission is free, but some workshops require reservations. There will be a Fidelity Bank tote bag giveaway for the first 350 people.
For more information, visit
www.everhart-museum.org.