Record Store Day enters its 10th year on Saturday, April 22, as music lovers throughout Northeast Pennsylvania engage in the worldwide celebration by gathering at participating local record stores to buy and listen to music.
Joe Nardone Jr., co-owner of Gallery of Sound — which has locations in the Fashion Mall in Dickson City, Laurel Mall Strip Center in Hazleton and at 186 Mundy St. in Wilkes-Barre — has participated in the event since its inception and witnessed it change and grow over the years.
“The first year we only had a few (special releases). … It’s blown up into a 300-release day for all different types of music,” Nardone said. “Some people find different things on the list and try to get a copy for themselves. It’s kind of evolved into a treasure hunt kind of day.”
Nardone believes there’s something for everybody. He noted that most of the day’s special releases are vinyls, but there also are a few CD and cassette releases. In addition to free items at stores, the day features merchandise releases, such as a “Star Wars”-themed turntable, while Record Store Day’s official beer, Dogfish Head, puts out a special compilation album.
“There’s a few things from the Cure, there’s a Grateful Dead release that’s never been out before, (and) there’s a Smiths special single that hasn’t been around in a long time,” Nardone said.
Additionally, from 2 to 7 p.m. at Gallery of Sound’s Mundy Street location, audiences can hear live music from Aaron Fink, Death Valley Dreams, Charles Havira, Rockology All Stars and Inner Temple. The morning and night feature vinyl DJs.
R.J. Harrington, owner of Embassy Vinyl, 352 Adams Ave., Scranton, also has participated in Record Store Day for the past decade. He said the event always creates a great atmosphere in the store. People go to record stores to see free live music and end up making purchases, or they go to buy something and listen to bands they might not have otherwise heard.
“It’s a door that opens both ways, in a good way,” Harrington said. “You go out to it with the right attitude, to support small business … and you also go out and support local musicians.”
Embassy Vinyl plans to pack the store with new vinyl releases and eclectic live music from Westpoint, Poison Thorn (a DJ set), Spur, Rest, University Drive, Gold Gauze, Old Charades and Worn.
“We’re going to be having live bands here pretty much all day, from noon till when we close,” Harrington said.
Jay Notartomaso, owner of Musical Energi, 24 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre, said the store is excited about this year’s Record Store Day releases.
“There’s a lot of good stuff this year,” Notartomaso said. “It’s a lot better than the last two years.”
Musical Energi, which has existed for roughly 30 years and began celebrating Record Store Day years ago after transitioning from selling used to new and used items, opens early on Saturday and features live music later in the day. Notartomaso plans to raffle off gift certificates and merchandise, and customers also can expect to find giveaways and discounts on certain items.
Notartomaso urged music fans to “come out and hang out in the record store for a while.”
Nardone stressed the significance of the day, which has turned into a celebration of independent record stores and local music.
“When this started 10 years ago, the number of record stores was in huge decline, and since that time the decline sort of stopped and more shops opened,” Nardone said.
— peter shaver
The Claypool Lennon Delirium, “Lime and Limpid Green”
“I like this title because the group featuring Sean Lennon and Les Claypool has already released some pretty interesting music so far. The release is special because these songs are cover songs put together specifically for Record Store Day on a green 10-inch vinyl record.”
— Joe Nardone Jr., owner of the Gallery of Sound
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, “Hammersmith Odeon London ‘75”
“It doesn’t get any better than Bruce and the band live. Following the release of the classic ‘Born To Run’ album, this was the band’s first concert appearance outside of the United States. Recorded Nov. 18, 1975, this album roars with ‘Thunder Road,’ ‘Backstreets,’ ‘Kitty’s Back,’ ‘Detroit Medley’ and more.”
— Jim Reeser, The Citizens’ Voice sports editor
“I’m a sucker for picture discs, and this 12-inch includes two of the bands greatest hits — ‘Africa’ and ‘Rosanna.’ This limited edition, special release also marks the band’s 40th anniversary, and with their 40th anniversary tour coming to the F.M. Kirby Center on June 18, I suggest scooping this one up and trying to get it signed at the concert.”
— Will Beekman, executive director of the F.M. Kirby Center
Jason Isbell, “Welcome To 1979”
“As much as I love Jason Isbell’s original work, I’m very excited about this vinyl-only, live covers album he’s releasing for RSD. It features covers of John Prine, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones and others. It also features a live version of ‘Never Gonna Change,’ an Isbell original which he wrote when he was with the Drive-By Truckers. This is a must-have for any Jason Isbell fan. Hey, Joe Nardone, help a brother out!”
— Will Beekman
The Claypool Lennon Delirium, “Lime and Limpid Green”
“So many to choose from, but I’m really looking forward to the Claypool Lennon Delirium’s 10-inch EP, mostly because their release last year was one of my favorites and I can’t wait to hear more from them.”
— Jay Notartomaso, owner of Musical Energi
“Dr. Who and the Pescatons”
“This vinyl reissue of the soundtrack makes a great addition to any Whovian’s collection, and I hope to secure it on Record Store Day.”
— Kristen Gaydos, The Citizens’ Voice assistant city editor
Plenty of festivities from morning to night on the greenest date of the year
As spring emerges this month with the promise of all things green, the Scranton St. Patrick’s Parade, a proud local tradition, returns to the downtown Saturday.
Presented annually by the St. Patrick’s Parade Association of Lackawanna County since 1962, Parade Day celebrates the culture of the Emerald Isle and a heritage shared by many families in Northeast Pennsylvania.
As of press time, AccuWeather forecasts indicated a few more prayers may be needed for the luck of the Irish to be with the more than 12,000 marchers set to fill the streets of Scranton with music, dance and revelry. Temperatures are expected to peak in the mid-30s F with cloudy skies and a chance of snow in the afternoon.
Festivities kick off Saturday with a special Parade Day Mass in St. Peter’s Cathedral, 315 Wyoming Ave., at 10 a.m., followed by the Brian P. Kelly Memorial St. Patrick’s Parade 2-Mile Footrace at 11 a.m.
The course starts in front of Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave., and is run entirely on the parade route. Registration will be held from 9 to 10:30 a.m. the day of the race at Lackawanna College Student Union Center, 600 Jefferson Ave., and costs $15. The first 250 registered runners receive souvenir T-shirts, and medals will be awarded to the top two male and female finishers in several age categories.
The parade steps off at 11:45 a.m. from Mulberry Street and Wyoming Avenue, then continues for three blocks to make a left onto Lackwanna Avenue for about three more blocks. The route then curves onto Jefferson Avenue briefly and makes a left onto Spruce Street for three blocks, followed by a final right turn onto North Washington Avenue for two blocks, where it comes to an end at Vine Street.
Parade Day typically draws tens of thousands into the city, making it one of the busiest and most crowded weekends for downtown Scranton. Parking is available in the Marketplace at Steamtown garage and paid lots throughout the city, though guests are encouraged to arrive early before streets close at 10:30 a.m.
For more information, visit the Scranton St. Patrick Parade Facebook page or www.stpatparade.com.
— patrice wilding
line of march
Bagpipers, marching bands, dignitaries, Irish cultural groups, step dancers and much more will make up this year’s line of march.
Pop singer and former reality television star Aaron Carter will travel along the city’s streets, too, performing on the KRZ float in the parade. He also will meet and take photographs with fans at Levels Bar & Grill, 519 Linden St., Scranton. VIP tickets are available for his bar appearance.
Carter released his self-titled debut in 1998 and found success with such songs as “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It).” He starred with his family in the reality docu-series “House of Carters” in 2006 and competed on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2009.
Last month, Carter was hurt at his concert in Bradley, Illinois, when his opening act attacked him, accused him of making a racial slur and damaged his equipment.
— caitlin heaney west
There’s plenty to do in downtown Scranton on the greenest day of the year.
At Ale Mary’s, 126 Franklin Ave., check out entertainment by Eric Rudy, Black Tie Stereo, and Reach for the Sky. Cover charge is $10, and the kitchen will be closed, but folks can grab a bite to eat at a food stand outside.
Doors open at 9 a.m. at Kildare’s Irish Pub, 119 Jefferson Ave. The pub offers three ways to enjoy the day: a $15 cover charge that grants general admission; a $25 pass, which allows guests to skip the line, score a free T-shirt and get their first 12-ounce drink free; and a $75 VIP pass that also lets folks skip the line but grants access to a heated tent, private bathrooms and complimentary food and drink from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., along with a free T-shirt. Entertainment continues all day with four DJs, including DJ Jay Velar and DJ Rich Steele, and four bands: Madison Avenue, Pink Slip, Jigsaw Johnny and Flaxy Morgan.
Levels Bar & Grill, 519 Linden St., opens at 9 a.m. with entertainment by five DJs, including, DJ EFX and DJ Fritz and five bands: Crashing Aperture, Exit Sixxx, Graces Downfall, Madison Avenue and That ’90s Band.
The Leonard Theater, 335 Adams Ave., opens at 9 a.m. with no cover charge until 11. After 11, a $10 cover grants access to a day filled with entertainment by Southside Bandits, DJ Jay Velar and Pearl Jam tribute Lost Dogs. Radisson at Lackawanna Station hotel, 700 Lackawanna Ave., offers two parties, with a $25 VIP pass granting inside and outside access. Inside at Trax Platform Lounge, DJ WD40 and Tribes perform and, outside will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with entertainment by Nowhere Slow. For a more intimate setting, the Keys Beer & Spirits, 244 Penn Ave., hosts an invite-only event as a way to thank the venue’s loyal customers. Anyone interested in attending can contact the Keys for details, email@example.com, through the bar’s Facebook page or by stopping by during regular business hours.
It’s no doubt downtown will burst with the Irish spirit Saturday. For those who don’t want to brave the crowds, there are other places to celebrate around NEPA. Head to Andy Gavin’s Eatery & Pub, 1392 N. Washington Ave., Scranton, for traditional Irish meals and entertainment by Fab 3 and TakenBack. In the Midvalley, party at Thirst T’s Bar & Grill, 120 Lincoln St., Olyphant, opening at 8 a.m. with entertainment by Sellout Soundtrack or Bud’s Bar & Grill, 402 Main St., Archbald, opening at 11 a.m., with entertainment by DJ Dennis.
For early risers, Backyard Ale House, 523 Linden St., offers no cover charge from 9 to 10 a.m. After 10, there is a $10 cover. Sing along all day with entertainment by Mace in Dickson, Ale House Funk Band, Bogyard Chugg Band, Light Weight and Tom Graham. Fuel up at Cooper’s Seafood House’s Parade Day Breakfast Buffet at 701 N. Washington Ave., from 7 to 11 a.m. The party continues throughout the day as EJ the DJ spins in the ship section starting at 9 a.m. followed by the Wanabees. Jack Bordo and Jim Cullen perform on the restaurant side. Tickets are $15, and reservations are recommended. Reservations can be made by calling 570-346-8049 or visiting coopers-seafood.com.
Don’t forget about the kids. Family-friendly fun can be found at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave., at St. Patrick’s Parade Day Party from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the ballroom. Food and drink will be available for purchase. Entertainment will be provided by Old Friends Celtic Band, with additional performances from parade acts. The whole family can warm up inside St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 232 Wyoming Ave., grab some hot chocolate or get something to eat like pulled pork sandwiches, chili, hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, green-themed-desserts and the church’s famous Welsh cookies. POSH at the Scranton Club, 404 N. Washington Ave., hosts St. Paddy’s Day Stache Bash to benefit the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. A gourmet breakfast will be served, and a draft bar will be available. Guests can dance to music provided by a DJ and participate in games and the mustache awards. Tickets are $37 for breakfast and drinks from the bar and $23 for breakfast with non-alcoholic drinks. Tickets for kids 6 to 12 are $15, and admission is free for children under 5. To purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com.
A Parade Day tradition, keep an eye out for Greater Scranton Black Diamonds Pipe Band as it stops at venues around NEPA, including Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, Andy Gavin’s Eatery & Pub, Bud’s Bar & Grill and Thirst T’s Bar & Grill.
— gia mazur
Scranton’s St. Patrick’s Parade Line Up
100 John Joly Division Staging Area: 300 Block of Wyoming from St. Peters to the old Holy Cross/Bishop Hannan High School Staging Time: 11:10 a.m.
101 Color Guard
103 U.S. Fleet Forces Band
105 State Police
107 Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Office
109 Scranton Police
111 Dunmore Police
113 Knights of Columbus
115 Penn York Highlanders
117 Grand Marshall & Aides
119 Honorary Grand Marshall & Aides
121 Parade Marshall & Aides
123 Honorary Parade Marshall & Aides
125 Humanitarian Award & Aides
129 Parade President & Aides
131 Parade Dedications
132 Scranton Black Diamonds Pipe Band
133 Parade Committee
135 Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Lackawanna County
137 Society of Irish Women
139 Elected Officials
141 Gilbride Limousine Inc
200 Arthur Leared Division Staging Area: 400 Mulberry b/t Wyoming and Washington Staging Time: 11:15 a.m.
201 Abington Heights Marching Band
202 Happiness Hive Learning Academy
203 R.J. Walker
205 DePietro’s Pharmacy
207 Mount Airy Casino Resort
209 Pa. Grand Lodge of FreeMasons
211 Irem Temple
212 Toyota of Scranton
213 The Hudson Valley Regional Police Pipes and Drums
215 Society for Creative Anachronism: Barony of the Endless Hills
216 Jack Williams Tire
217 The Victorian Highwheelers of Tamaqua
219 Tux the Penguin
300 Robert Mallet Division Staging Area: 300 Mulberry b/t Wyoming and Penn (inbound lanes) Staging Time: 11:20 a.m.
301 Lakeland Marching Band and Drill Team
303 Dempsey Uniform & Linen Supply
304 NEPA Scholarship Pageant Association, Inc.
304 Irish Cultural Society
305 Lackawanna County Ancient Order of Hibernians
305 Lackawanna County Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians
305 LAOH Division 4 Maude Gonne McBride
306 Kane Trucking
307 Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick
309 Emerald Isle Step Dancers
310 Friends of Shannon McDonough
311 CEOL MOR PIPE & DRUM BAND, LUZERNE CTY.
313 Eyewitness News WBRE, WYOU & Pahomepage.com
314 Scranton Dance Center
315 Quiet Man Society
317 U.S. Air Force
319 Crossmolina School of Irish Dance and Lee Ann Perry’s Academy of Learning
320 Weis Markets
321 Community Bank
323 Kiwanis Club of Scranton
325 Ulster Scottish Pipe Band
326 Project 505
327 Times Shamrock Communications
328 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders Baseball
329 Optimus Prime Fan-Built Replica from Transformers
331 Keystone Community Resources
333 Irish Boxing Club
400 John Holland Division Staging Area: 300 Mulberry b/t Wyoming and Penn (outbound lanes) Staging Time: 11:30 a.m.
401 Riverside Jr/ Sr High School Marching Band
403 Kost Tire and Auto Service
404 Pawsitively for the Animals
405 Wilkes Barre Scranton Junior Knights
407 Edward P. Maloney Memorial Pipe Band
409 Scranton Fire Department
410 Confederation of Union generals, Lackawanna historical society.
411 Arts in Movement Academy of Dance
413 Cedar BMX
415 Gerrity’s Supermarkets
417 Carbondale Marching Chargers
419 District 14-h Lion’s Club
421 Scott Township Hose Company & Boy Scout Troop 265
423 Prima Elite Academy of Dance
425 Gift of Life Donor Program – Northeast PA Coalition for Organ and Tissue Donation
426 Therapy Dogs International (TDI) Chapter 254 of NEPA
427 NEPA Writers Artists and Musicians
429 Krispy Kreme NEPA
431 Griffin Pond Animal Shelter
433 Nunzi’s Automotive
500 Frank Pantridge Division Staging Area: 400 Wyoming b/t Mulberry and Vine (IBEW Building) Staging Time: 11:30 a.m.
501 Dunmore High School Marching Band and Crimsonettes
503 Sherry’s Royalettes
504 SCRANTON DODGE CHRYSLER JEEP
505 Lackawanna County Library System Bookmobile
507 Sword Of Light Bagpipe Band
509 Ironworkers Local 404 (Formally Ironworkers Local 489)
511 Scranton Central Labor Union
513 United Brotherhood fo CArpenters & Joiners of America Local Union 445
514 Young’s Funny Farm Therapy Animals
515 WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (AVP)
517 DSNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums
518 PIPEFITTERS AND PLUMBERS LOCAL 524
519 Teresa’s Angels
520 Northeast Military Vehicle Group
521 Troop 236 Boy Scout Band
522 Willowbrook Place Senior Living
523 All About The Kids Bicycles
524 Western Wayne Marching Band
525 Allied Services dePaul School
527 NHS School Scranton
529 Cigars On State
531 Jude Zayac Foundation
600 John O’Sullivan Division Staging Area: 500 Wyoming b/t Vine and Olive (Human Services Building) Staging Time: 12:00
601 West Scranton Marching Invaders and invaderettes
602 West Scranton High School Drama Club
603 Cycle Playground
605 Cumulus Media
607 Double “R” Twirlettes
609 BMC Office Furniture
613 Scranton High School Marching Band
614 Lamar Advertising
615 Wilkes-barre/Scranton Roller Radicals
617 Lake Scranton Urgent CAre
618 Commonwealth Health
619 St Mary’s Villa ( non-profit)
620 Entercom Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, LLC
621 Shamrock Custom Cycles , and Auto Collision
622 PS Bank
623 Pennsylvanians For Human Life Scranton Chapter
625 The Chinelos
627 Park Place River Association
700 Henry Archer Division Staging Area: 700 Wyoming b/t Pine and Gibson (Sandones) Staging Time: 12:45
701 Woodland String Band
703 Honesdale Fire Equipment
705 Light the Night Leukemia and Lymphoma Society volunteers
707 Ceol Neamh Pipe Band
709 Matt Burne Honda
710 D and S Auto Sales llc
711 Presence from Prison
712 Jesus – A Love That Feeds All
713 LHVA-Anthracite Bicycle Coalition
715 Tro Reality Radio
717 Operation Mercy Relief
719 WC Malia CH.1 Disabled American Veterans(DAV) SCR>)
720 Dutch Hollow neighborhood Association
721 Circle Drive In/ Circle of Screams
723 Rommel Harley-Davidson
724 Toczydlowski Law Office
800 Francis Rynd Division Staging Area: 800 Wyoming b/t Gibson and New St. (Avenue Diner) Staging Time: 1:15
801 The Skyliners Drum & Bugle Corps
803 Planet PreOwned Moosic
805 Scranton PoolLeague
807 Mondelez International
811 American Celtic Pipe Band
814 Bob Bolus Trucking
815 SCAN–Susquehanna Clean Air Network
817 Dracula’s Forest
819 AJ Limo Coach
900 Hans Sloane Division Staging Area: 900 Wyoming b/t New St and Ash (Wendy’s) (DO NOT BLOCK FIREHOUSE) Staging Time: 1:15
901 Montage Mountain Resorts
907 The Honesdale National Bank
913 Frank Callahan Company
915 Justus Vol Fire Co
917 Burgits electric city taxi
1000 George Stoney Division Staging Area: STAGING AREA: 900 block of Wyoming Avenue from just beyond Firestone to Wendy’s at the intersection of Ash Street. Please do not block access to the Fire Station. Staging Time: 1:30
1001 Mitchell Cohen Orthodontics
1003 N&L Transportation
1005 NET Credit Union
1007 Riverside Marching Band
1011 UniFirst Corporation
1013 Sun Buick GMC
1015 Robert McPhillips
1017 C3 Homeschool Group
Wilkes-Barre celebrates its 37th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Sounds of drummers, cheers and Celtic music mark the annual Wilkes-Barre St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which takes to the streets Sunday.
The 37th annual parade steps off at 2 p.m. at South and South Main streets. Participants march down South Main Street, around Public Square and finish off at North Main and Union streets.
Grand marshal Joseph Moran leads dozens of organizations marching in the parade, including hallmarks such as Wyoming Valley and Ceol Mor pipe and drum bands, the Irem String Band, Broken Road Duo plus James M. Coughlin, E.L. Meyers and G.A.R. Memorial high school marching bands, the David Blight School of Dance and dozens of floats covered in balloons.
But while the day’s celebration of Irish heritage culminates with the parade, the festivities begin much earlier.
On North Main Street, the celebration at Senunas’ gets going from 9 to 11 a.m. with its annual Kegs and Eggs.
Irish pipe and drum bands make their way in and out of the bar throughout the day as the Hibernian lunch and dinner menus roll out. Specialty items include Guinness stew, lager-braised corned beef and corned beef sandwiches. Drinks range from “Irish car bombs” to adult Shamrock Shakes served by the shot. Senunas’ also snagged a limited release keg of Nimble Hill’s Mysteria No. 9 Shamrock Porter.
The Renal Race 5K Run and 1-Mile Fun Walk hits the pavement at 10 a.m. on Public Square. Registration for the run begins at 8 a.m. at Genetti’s Hotel and Conference Center on Market Street. The entry fee is $20 or free to children under 5 years old.
Medals and race gear will be awarded to the top three male and female winners per age group. The first 100 participants in the race will receive free T-shirts. During the race, a Chinese auction, raffle baskets, refreshments and entertainment are held to further benefit research to fight kidney cancer.
To keep kids busy before the parade begins, Barnes & Noble on South Main Street hosts activities, including coloring and story time. At 11 a.m., a table with leprechaun coloring pages will be set out for kids to color and hang in the windows of the book store. At noon, Nanticoke author Fran Spencer presents her book, “Ian-John and the Leprechaun,” in the store while reading in a traditional Irish brogue.
For more information, call the Wilkes-Barre city office of special events at 570-208-4149.
— charlotte l. jacobson
Chacko’s Memory Lane Lounge, 195 N. Wilkes-Barre Blvd., Wilkes-Barre: Kartune
Elixir Bistro Bar at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Gerard Demarco
Gin’s Tavern, Route 107, Factoryville: Q-Ball
J & J Deli, 659 Memorial Highway, Dallas:
Levels Bar & Grill, 519 Linden St., Scranton: DJ Fritz and DJ NRG
O’Leary’s Pub, 514 Ash St., Scranton: E57 and Days in Transit
OSE (Oak Street Express), 601 N. Main Ave., Taylor: DJ Famous
279 Bar & Grill, 279 S. River St., Wilkes-Barre: No Vacancy
The American Grille at Bomb Bay Cafe, 1044 Main St., Dickson City: Marilyn Kennedy and Jiggzy
Andy Gavin’s, 1892 N. Washington Ave., Scranton: Ron Schoonover
Augustine’s Club 17, 518 N. Main St., Old Forge: Two for the Road
Bar Louie at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Halfway To Hell
Bartolai Winery, Route 92 and Coolidge Avenue, Falls: amRadio
The Beaumont Inn, 4437 Route 309, Dallas: Steve Corcoran Duo
Blu Wasabi, 223 Northern Blvd., Clarks Summit: Jeffrey James Band
Cove Haven Resort, 194 Lakeview Drive, Lakeville: DJ Mike Philip, Mark DeMayo, Tom McTiernan and Kevin Downey Jr.
Creekside Inn, 406 Route 92, Tunkhannock:
Elixir Bistro Bar at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp.: John Strasburger
Franklin’s Bar & Grill, 53 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre: Zayre Mountain
Grotto Pizza, 36 Gateway Shopping Center, Edwardsville: Flatland Ruckus
Grotto Pizza/Grand Slam Sports Bar, RR 415, Harveys Lake: Shelly’s Underground
Grotto Pizza/Skybox Sports Bar, Wyoming Valley Mall, Wilkes-Barre Twp.: John Smith
JJ Bridjes Restaurant, 925 Northern Blvd., Clarks Summit: Erich & Tyler
O’Leary’s Pub, 514 Ash St., Scranton: Keet
OSE (Oak Street Express), 601 N. Main Ave., Taylor: Jeff Lewis
Paradise Stream Resort, 6213 Carlton Road, Mount Pocono: Somethin’ Else and J.J. Ramirez
Pocono Palace Resort, 5241 Milford Road, East Stroudsburg: DJ Chris, Pat O’Donnell, Chris Coccia
River Street Jazz Cafe, 665 N. River St., Plains Twp.: Stronger Than Dirt
Streamside Bandstand at the Woodlands, 1073 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Boomer Happy Hour with Frankie and Toby
Thirst T’s Bar & Grill, 120 Lincoln St., Olyphant: The Wanabees and Kevin Vest
The V-Spot Bar, 906 Providence Road, Scranton: Booze and Bruise Ball with Beyond Fallen, Royal Hell and the Aegean
Wellington’s Pub & Eatery, Routes 6 and 11, Clarks Summit: Jay Luke
Wise Crackers Comedy Club at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Mitch Fatel, Adam Lucidi and Scott Bruce
The Woodlands Inn & Resort, 1073 Route 315, Plains Twp.: The 25th Hour
279 Bar & Grill, 279 S. River St., Wilkes-Barre: J.P. Williams Blues Duo
Ale Mary’s at the Bittenbender, 126 Franklin Ave., Black Tie Stereo, Eric Rudy and Reach for the Sky
The American Grille at Bomb Bay Cafe, 1044 Main St., Dickson City: DJ Mark
Andy Gavin’s, 1392 N. Washington Ave., Scranton: TakenBack, Fab Three
Ariel View Inn, 1400 Lake Ariel Highway, Lake Ariel: Marilyn Kennedy
Arlo’s Tavern, 10340 Route 171, Union Dale: Dem Guyz
Backyard Ale House, 523 Linden St., Scranton: Ale House Funk Band, Bogyard Chugg Band, Light Weight, Mace in Dickson, Tom Graham
Bar Louie at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Dustin Douglas & the Electric Gentlemen
Bar Pazzo, 129 N. Washington Ave., Scranton:
The Beaumont Inn, 4437 Route 309, Dallas: Don Shapelle Duo
Benny’s Sports Bar, 1216 Main St., Peckville: FullCircle
The Bog, 341 Adams Ave., Scranton: Tom Graham, Indigo Moon Brass Band, Panked! and Saturbae Parade Bae
Boozer’s Sports Bar, 635 Main St., Avoca: Facing
Breakers at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Kartune
Bud’s Bar & Grill , 402 N. Main St., Archbald: DJ Dennis
Chet’s Place, 1778 E. Mountain Road, Union Dale: Wallace Brothers Band
The Colliery, 901 Meadow Ave, Scranton: Some Other Guy
Cooper’s Seafood House, 701 N. Washington Ave., Scranton: Jack Bordo, Jim Cullen, EJ the DJ,
Cove Haven Resort, 194 Lakeview Drive, Lakeville: Somethin’ Else, DJ Mike Philips, J.J. Ramirez
Elixir Bistro Bar at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Sugar Ray
Fiddler’s Green Irish Pub, 259 E. State St., Larksville: Pre-Paddy’s Day Show
Franklin’s Bar & Grill, 53 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre: Anthony Picataggio
Hilton Scranton and Conference Center, 100 Adams Ave., Scranton: Brian Dean Moore Band, M80
Honky Tonk Restaurant & Saloon, 763 E. Drinker St., Dunmore: Them Boys, Luke Caccetta
Kildare’s, 119 Jefferson Ave., Scranton: DJ Jay Velar and Rich Steele, Madison Avenue, Pink Slip, Jigsaw Johnny, Flaxy Morgan
The Leonard Theater, 335 Adams Ave., Scranton: Southside Bandits, DJ Jay Velar, Lost Dogs
Levels Bar & Grill, 519 Linden St., Scranton: DJ
McGrath’s Pub and Eatery, 112 E. Main St., Dalton: Jonny D, Erich Aten and Tyler Crawford, Mace in Dickson, Edward P. Maloney Memorial Pipe Band
Mert’s Piano Bar, 302 Penn Ave., Scranton: Pat Finnerty, Pat Flynn, Mark Kessinger
O’Leary’s Pub, 514 Ash St., Scranton: BStreet Band, Giants of Science, the Third Nut
OSE (Oak Street Express), 601 N. Main Ave., Taylor: Ceol Pipe and Drum Band, DJ Devil Dog, DJ Famous
Par Glass House, 760 Ridge Road, Shickshinny: LMI, Vltrpk, I Trust You To Kill Me, Tusko
Paradise Stream Resort, 6213 Carlton Road, Mount Pocono: Cassandra, Soul City, DJ Chris, Mugga
Parker House Tavern, 12 E. Parker St., Scranton:
Pocono Palace Resort, 5241 Milford Road, East Stroudsburg: Pete Begley, Epic Soul, Kevin Downey Jr.
POSH at the Scranton Club, 404 N. Washington Ave., Scranton: DJ Matt Micaylo
Radisson at Lackawanna Station hotel, 700 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton: DJ WD40, Tribes, Nowhere Slow
Renegades Saloon, 1058 Main St., Newfoundland: Pave the Way, uMan ERA
River Street Jazz Cafe, 665 N. River St., Plains Twp.: Divinity Roxx
Rocky’s Lounge, 141 Jefferson Ave., Scranton: DJ Jason Miller, DJ Nellz
Sidney’s Lounge, 820 Northern Blvd., Clarks Summit: Robbie Walsh, Jack Foley
Skytop Lodge, 1 Skytop Lodge Road, Skytop: Doug Smith Orchestra
Streamside Bandstand at the Woodlands, 1073 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Hoopla
The Tauras Club, 106 W. Market St., Scranton: Back Flash
The V-Spot Bar, 906 Providence Road, Scranton:
Waldorf Park Social Club, 13 Waldorf Lane, Scranton: DJ Pat Dougher
Wise Crackers Comedy Club at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Mitch Fatel, Adam Lucidi, Scott Bruce
Arlo’s Tavern, 10340 Route 171, Union Dale: The Soul Shakers
Bottlenecks Saloon & Eatery, 3 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre: Ostrich Hat
CrisNics Irish Pub, 189 Barney St., Wilkes-Barre: The Pickups Duo
Franklin’s Bar & Grill, 53 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre: Parade Day Celebration, Whiskey ‘n Woods Band, Mike Elward and Nick Pilski, Robb Brown
Heat Bar & Nightclub, 69-71 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre: Not Yo Granny’s Bingo
Omnia Bar Grill and Bottle Shop, 223 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre: DJ E Dub, DJ Rich Steele
Duffy’s Coffee House, 306 S. State St., Clarks Summit: Open jam session
Arlo’s Tavern, 10340 Route 171, Union Dale: Trivia Night
Streamside Bandstand at the Woodlands, 1073 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Streamside Karaoke
Bazil, 1101 Northern Blvd., Clarks Summit: Marko Marcinko Jazz Trio
The Crimson Lion Hookah Lounge, 37 E. South St., Wilkes-Barre: Trivia Night
Levels Bar & Grill, 519 Linden St., Scranton: Open mic with J.R. Huffsmith
Ole Tyme Charley’s Restaurant & Pub, 31 S. River St., Plains Twp.: Karaoke
O’Leary’s Pub, 514 Ash St., Scranton: Village Idiots
OSE (Oak Street Express), 601 N. Main Ave., Taylor: Speaker Jam Karaoke
River Street Jazz Cafe, 665 N. River St., Plains Twp.: Holly Bowling
Ruth’s Chris Steak House at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Live Music Wednesdays
Stir Nightclub & Bar, 41 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre: Karaoke with Tony Piazza
Whiskey Dick’s, 308 N. Washington Ave., Scranton: Trivia Night
Rat Pack Tribute Show pays homage to legends
Scranton receives a blast from the past Friday and Saturday as the music of the Rat Pack steps out of the ’60s and into Radisson at Lackawanna Station hotel, 700 Lackawanna Ave.
Organized by JZ Tours, the Rat Pack Tribute Show features Las Vegas-based trio Brian Duprey as Frank Sinatra, Kenny Jones as Sammy Davis Jr. and Mark Verabian as Dean Martin. The show starts at 8:30 p.m., and doors open at 6 for cocktail hour followed by dinner of chicken portabella, short ribs or West Coast sole. Old Forge musician Nicole Rasmus, known for her performances of Patsy Cline songs and pop standards, will perform during cocktail hour. Tickets also are available for just the show.
Verabian, who also fronts the band Mark and His Martinis, decided to start his tribute to the Rat Pack about 15 years ago.
“I’m, by trade, a professional singer,” Verabian said. “And someone walked by one of my shows and said, ‘You know, you look like a young Dean Martin,’ and I said ‘Thank you,’ and that’s how it all got started.”
The tribute group tours worldwide with its live big band, often playing the same haunts as the original group of actors and performers.
Verabian enjoys makes a living playing some of his favorite classic tunes. He stressed the importance of authenticity in his performances.
“To deliver it right, you have to be a fan of the music,” Verabian said.
While members have left, been replaced and returned over the years, interplay and camaraderie between the trio is as important for the group as it was for the original Rat Pack.
“We try to stick together,” Verabian said. “Chemistry is very important for the show.”
The group played at Scranton Cultural
Center at The Masonic Temple about a decade ago, Verabian said, and he is excited to return
to “a great town” and visit friends in the area.
He expects those who come out will enjoy his band’s performance.
“I know there’s a lot of Italians out there, so the show’s gonna be well-received, I’m sure,” Verabian said.
— peter shaver
If you go
What: The Rat Pack Tribute Show
When: Friday and Saturday. Doors open at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., and show at 8:30 p.m.
Where: Radisson at Lackawanna Station hotel, 700 Lackawanna Ave, Scranton.
Details: Tickets with dinner are $75 for general admission, $95 for the VIP package, $675 for a general admission table and $855 for a VIP table. Tickets for the show only are $39.95 for general admission and $59.95 VIP seats.
First Friday party looks to boost interest in rappelling event
People passing the Bank Towers on Friday may notice an unusual sight: a 6-foot-tall wire figure suspended in motion as it rappels down Scranton’s tallest building.
The sculpture is part of NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Over the Edge launch party taking place at 321 Spruce St. from 5 to 8 p.m. as part of the First Friday Art Walk. The party seeks to raise awareness about June’s Over the Edge event, during which people can rappel down the building to support the local nonprofit. Friday’s exhibit showcases Plymouth artist Sean Brady’s adventure- and rappelling-themed wire sculptures, which he has made since 1998.
“I was out in Oregon, just playing with wire in a greenhouse that I worked in, and I made a little figure and somebody liked it,” Brady said. “So, I just kept going.”
After returning to the East Coast a decade ago, wire sculpture became Brady’s full-time job. He exhibits throughout the Northeast and sells his work in Philadelphia, New Jersey, at On&On in Scranton and at Earth and Wears in Dallas.
Brady described his work as well-aligned with the launch party’s theme. Portraying sports and action in his art always interested him.
“I lean toward figures with movement, so it’s not so stagnant,” Brady said.
Sandra Snyder, development and events coordinator for NeighborWorks NEPA, described the charity’s focus as “improving neighborhoods through improving individual homes.” The organization offers painting and landscaping assistance to people in need as well as help with critical home modifications, such as walk-in showers, wheelchair ramps and other safety installations.
Last year, the group began Over the Edge to generate attention and support its causes. Along with quickening the pulse of participants, Snyder said, the event aims to better the wellbeing and independence of NEPA’s older residents, specifically supporting “projects that help people remain in their homes as they age.”
The Rev. Jeffrey Walsh of Scranton, a previous attendee, said organizers “invested a lot of effort into making everyone feel comfortable, even though there’s a fear factor in rappelling down twelve flights of a building.” Theresa Collins rappelled at the event and can’t wait to do it again this summer.
“It was awesome,” Collins said. “I mean, I was a little nervous to do it. I’ve never done anything like that before.”
The Over the Edge launch party is free and open to the public, and it offers free wine, snacks and trivia games with prizes. Snyder hopes it attracts anyone interested in NeighborWorks or rappelling for a cause.
“If anyone’s even thinking about it, we’d love for them to come out,” she said.
— peter shaver
If you go
What: Over the Edge launch party
When: Friday, 5 to 8 p.m.
Where: Second-floor lobby, Bank Towers,
321 Spruce St.
Details: Admission is free. Event includes wine, snacks and Game Show Mania trivia play
with DJ Mike Walton for prizes.
First Friday Events
“12 x 12: The Color of Sound,” works by NEPA Design Collective
members; karaoke; the Workshop, 334 Adams Ave.
“Aegean Streets,” works by David Elliott, CameraWork Gallery, 515 Center St.
“Aquarelles: A Collection of European Watercolors,” works by Emily Gibbons, Northern Light Espresso Bar, 536 Spruce St.
“Art for All Seasons,” works by local student artists, The Scranton Times Building, 149 Penn Ave.
“The Art of Antiquing,” works by Bill Naughton, Trinity Studio & Gallery, 511 Bogart Court
“The Art of Michael Lloyd,” with music, Bar Pazzo, 131 N. Washington Ave.
Artist pop-up, works by Dan Sheldon; music by Sugar Ray; Hilton Scranton and Conference Center, 100 Adams Ave.
Cecelia Mecca reading and book signing, Library Express, the Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave.
“Chiaroscuro,” works by multiple artists; music by Tom Murray; STEAMworks, 300 Lackawanna Ave.
“Collage of Color,” student exhibition with works by Tommy Hennigan, Paul Triolo and Mark Pettnati; music by Aiden Jordan; ArtWorks Gallery & Studio, 503 Lackawanna Ave.
“Collective Dissent: Still Constructing a Praxis of Gender,” works by Amy Kizer; music by DJ Honeyman Lightnin’; Terra Preta Restaurant, 222 Wyoming Ave.
Elevate Your Game: Over the Edge Scranton Launch Party; wire sculptures by Sean Brady; music by DJ Mike Walton Game Show Mania; fashions; wine and food; Bank Towers, 321 Spruce St.
“Festival of Bows,” community collaborative project by multiple artists; music by various artists; Globe Gallery, 123 Wyoming Ave.
First Friday Steamtown Market, works by various artists and vendors; music by Gene Badwak, Paul Martin and Tony Halchak Duo; the Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave.
Fly Me Home pop-up shop, with upcycled silverware, jewelry and mixed-media artwork, NOTE Fragrances, 401 Spruce St.
“Home,” handmade furniture, ceramics and decor by Cole Hastings, Oliver Pettinato, Skip Sensbach and more; with music; Electric City Escape and Hnat Designs, 507 Linden St.
Karaoke with DJ Peter Rawstron, Love the Arts! Music, 300 Lackawanna Ave.
Kennedy Creek Strummers ukulele troupe, Green Ridge Om & Wellness LLC, 222 Wyoming Ave.
“Nacirema,” works by multiple artists, Duffy Accessories, 218 Linden St.
illustrations and acrylic paintings by Andrew Riedinger, Loyalty Barbershop, 342 Adams Ave.
Paintings by Matt Montella, Eden — a vegan cafe, 344 Adams Ave.
Perfectly Pinup models; works by Stone Faux Studio and other handmade, repurposed and vintage pieces; On&On, 518 Lackawanna Ave.
Scranton Preparatory School Alumni Art Exhibit; works in various disciplines by multiple artists; music by Kyle Brier; 137 Wyoming Ave.
Sip and shop for the NEPA Youth Shelter, Lavish Body & Home, 600 Linden St.
“Sounds on That Corner,” works by Vince Bonitz and various artists; music by Little Plastic Raleigh; Analog Culture, 349 N. Washington Ave.
“Stella Blue: Music-Inspired Art by Faith Hawley,” New Laundry, 127 N. Washington Ave.
Works by Lisa Forman, Ramona Jan and Alex Tomlinson, AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave.
Works by Sam Kuchwara; music by Eric Rudy; Ale Mary’s, 126 Franklin Ave.
With David Falchek
Turn to Piedmont region’s fizzy brachetto for a Tasty, low-alcohol treat
Brachetto, a red grape from Italy’s Piedmont region, makes a middling red wine but really shines when it puts on some bubbles.
As a red wine with no bubbles (or a still wine), brachetto d’aqui isn’t bad. If you find one, it smells of roses and red fruit and has a nice flavor and texture. But it is simple, showing little in the way of tannins, structure or acids.
Italy — and the Piedmont — have plenty of great red wines at a variety of prices. Why bother to make a mediocre one?
It was someone’s genius, a generation ago, to make a low-alcohol brachetto and zap it with some carbonation. It sounds like a cheap route to get some attention, but the bubbles seemed to lift even more fruit and floral notes from the grape. Add a touch of sweetness and you can’t go wrong.
In Italy, the term “frizzante” means a drink has some bubbles but at a low-enough pressure to take just a standard cork or screw cap and bottle. A spumante has more pressure and bubbles and therefore comes with a cage cap and heavy glass, like a conventional sparkling wine, that pops when you open it. You see brachetto in both styles.
For a decadent pairing, go for a Gertrude Hawk black raspberry Smidgen and a sparkling brachetto. Fruit tarts or berry pastries make for good pairings as well. Sweet wines can take the place of dessert.
Banfi’s Rosa Regale brought a lot of attention to this style even though it fails to mention brachetto on the front label of its fluted bottle. Banfi probably doesn’t want fans to know they could go out and find similar styles of wine at a lower price. Still, Rosa Regale is a benchmark for sparkling brachetto. It jumps out of the glass with smells of roses and strawberries, and the flavor brings in some ripe berry and white pepper character. While it goes in with a strong suggestion of sweetness, Rosa Regale finishes clean and balanced, inviting the next sip and making it appealing to many dry-wine drinkers. $22. **** 1/2
For those who might enjoy an even sweeter version, Bersano Brachetto d’Aqui is ripe and sweet from beginning to end. With an almost imperceptible level of alcohol, it pours into the glass like bubbly grape juice. Even the foam is purple. The flavor is raspberry and strawberry with ripe, sweet flourishes all the way through. $14. *** 1/2
Fizz 56 Brachetto has ripe blackberry and cranberry with an edge of caramel. It’s a special-order wine in Pennsylvania, so you may see it in restaurants or in supermarkets. $14. ***1/2
Sparkling brachetto offers a tasty, low-alcohol treat, ideal for brunches or as a fun dessert in itself.
GRADE: Exceptional *****, Above average ****, Good ***, Below average **, Poor *.
David is the executive director of the American Wine Society and reviews wines each week.
with DAVID FALCHEK
Bordeaux often linked with reds, but inexpensive whites worth a try
When people hear “Bordeaux,” their minds wander to grandiose châteaux, stratospheric wine auctions and Chinese millionaires buying it all up.
That seems like great brand-image building. But, in fact, it probably hurts most of Bordeaux. The region is vast, and the majority of what it produces is very affordable.
Bordeaux’s ranking system, appellations and even its distribution and sales systems are Byzantine. The region has more than three dozen sub-appellations, including some, such as Moulis and Loupiac, that have little recognition even among avid wine drinkers. While the so-called First Growth producers, identified way back in 1855, get the headlines with futures sales and auction prices, those are a small fraction of total Bordeaux production. Less growths, or classification, fill in luxury levels, but the rest are quite affordable.
People only see red when they talk or drink Bordeaux, but white Bordeaux wines are reliable and often exceptional go-to, all-purpose selections. Most Bordeaux labels look the same, too, with old-style fonts and the obligatory sketch of a château. Sadly, all of this creates a barrier between Bordeaux and the casual wine drinker.
That’s not to say all Bordeaux wines are great. Bordeaux makes its share of bulk wines of varying distinction.
If you spend more than $25, however, you can get an exceptional red Bordeaux. A class of Bordeaux known as Bordeaux Superieur offers some guarantee of better wine. Government and industry guidelines require Superieur producers to limit vine spacing, which makes for riper, better fruit — and lower yields. Also, Superieur has some oak aging rather than being rushed into the bottle. Many of these come from Pomerol and Saint-Émilion areas, Bordeaux’s Right Bank, so they tend to have plush, drinkable, merlot-dominated wines. (Left Bank regions are cabernet sauvignon-heavy.)
La Chateau Peyfaures Dame de Coeur 2010 Bordeaux Superior is a big, buxom wine. Instead of the label showing a masonry building or family crest, it has feminine curves: a woman in a red shawl in the shape of heart. Complex and well-built, the wine comes from a hot year that resulted in big wines. Dame de Coeur is 95 percent merlot and 5 percent cabernet franc, showing merlot’s blueberry and cocoa notes intermingled with a spicy edge. The wine is complex with fine tannins in the finish — a perfect match for chili or other meat dishes. $28. HHHH 1/2
If you see a color option in the Pottery Barn catalogue called “Bordeaux,” it is probably some type of red-brown. Until the 1970s, most of the wine produced in Bordeaux was white. When I took a swing through Bordeaux about a decade ago, the most eye-opening tasting I had was a line-up of affordable white wines from Entre-Deux-Mer — “Between the waters” — a reference to the location between two great rivers.
Even stateside, much of the Entre-Deux-Mer available is inexpensive and tasty. White Bordeaux blend crisp sauvignon blanc with a plump sémillon, and the two fit together like yin and yang. Some white Bordeaux, such as Entre-Deux-Mer, include a touch of the floral muscadelle for an even more brilliant blend.
Chateau Bonnet 2013 Bordeaux is an excellent example of reasonably priced white Bordeaux. Some vintages are better than others, but 2013 was a better one. It still tastes fresh with honeydew and white pepper smells followed by flavors of kiwi and grapefruit with a hint of tropical and coconut before a mouth-watering finish. $15. HHHH 1/2
The 2010 vintage was famously hot and resulted in unconventional wines that were riper, fruitier and, some noticed, less ageable. Chateau Le Noble 2010 Bordeaux, a so-called “chairman’s selection” in Pennsylvania, showed how uncharacteristic a vintage it was. The wine starts off well enough, with birch and dried-leaf smells preceding black raspberry flavors, but it ghosts out after that, lacking structure and not showing any tannins to keep interest. $14.*** 1/2
Any inexpensive white Bordeaux is worth a try. When you read about great vintages in Bordeaux, that means great wines from all of the region, offering a buying opportunity.
GRADE: Exceptional *****, Above average****, Good ***, Below average **, Poor *.
— david falchek
David is the executive director of the American Wine Society and reviews wines each week.
A look at the year ahead in local entertainment
Some of Broadway’s most beloved shows drop into Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave., in 2017, starting with Tony-winning musical “Jersey Boys.” Broadway Theatre League of Northeastern Pennsylvania presents the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons from Jan. 17 to 22. Then follows “Cinderella,” which features a new book by Northeast Pennsylvania native Douglas Carter Beane, from March 17 to 19; “The Illusionists” magic show April 22 only; and “Pippin” from May 5 to 7.
Among community theater troupes, Actors Circle presents “Terra Nova” from Feb. 2 to 5 and 9 to 12, “The Women” from March 23 to 26 and March 30 to April 2, and “The Uninvited” from May 25 to 28 and June 1 to 4 at Providence Playhouse, 1256 Providence Road, Scranton.
Diva Theater, 126 W. Market St., Scranton, presents its fourth annual program of original one-act plays, featuring 10 shows from five directors, from Jan. 26 to 29.
At the Dietrich Theater, 60 E. Tioga St., Tunkhannock, the After School Players present “Third Class” on March 4 followed by a community production of “George Washington Slept Here” from April 28 to 30.
F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, Wilkes-Barre, hosts four major theatrical performances this year, starting with the ABBA musical “Mamma Mia!” on Sunday. Neil Simon’s “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” takes the stage Feb. 17, presented by Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theater. Iconic musical “Annie” visits Feb. 23 followed by the quintessential backstage musical comedy, “42nd Street,” on March 29.
— caitlin heaney west and charlotte l. jacobson
Leesa Bailey, 17, of Binghamton, N.Y., is surrounded in a sea of people as she watches Scranton band Motionless in White perform on Monday during the Vans Warped Tour 16 held at Montage Mountain in Scranton. Butch Comegys / Staff Photographer
The concert calendar already is filling up with a range of genres at venues across the region.
Scranton native rockers the Menzingers celebrate their newest album, “After the Party,” with a free, all-ages release show and meet-and-greet Feb. 4 at Gallery of Sound, 186 Mundy St., Wilkes-Barre.
Soul singer and Broadway veteran Morgan James shares songs from her full-length debut album, “Hunter,” during a March 31 show at Peoples Security Bank Theater at Lackawanna College, 501 Vine St., Scranton.
F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre ushers in a year of robust talent, starting with a trio of tribute acts: Elvis Lives on Feb. 1, in honor of the King; God Save the Queen on Feb. 3, paying homage to Queen; and “Rain: A Tribute To the Beatles” on March 26.
The Kirby also welcomes country superstar Martina McBride on March 11 and bagpipe-playing rock band Red Hot Chilli Pipers on March 25. Blues group Alexis P. Suter Ministers of Sound celebrates the release of a live album with a performance March 31, while Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame brings his “Pet Sounds: The Final Performances” tour May 2.
The NEPA Philharmonic’s chamber concerts include “The Enchanting Harp” on Jan. 19; “Meet Laura Gilbert,” March 2; and “Unbuttoned Dvorak,” April 20, all at Sordoni Theater at WVIA, Pittston. The Pops series continues with “A Night at the Oscars” on Feb. 4, and “The Piano Men” on April 1, both in Keystone Grand Ballroom at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Plains Twp. The Masterworks concerts resume with “Orchestra Spotlight: Passion” at Lackawanna College on March 4 and wrap up with “Season’s Grand Finale: Heroes. Passion. Inspiration.” on May 5 at the Kirby.
Grammy-winning country star Dwight Yoakam supports the recent release of his first bluegrass album with a show on Feb. 3 in Keystone Grand Ballroom at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The country craze continues with Brad Paisley on Feb. 16 and Thomas Rhett on March 9 at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre Twp.
Cove Haven Resort, Lakeville, also offers a year of diverse musical talent, starting with Ja Rule and Dru Hill on March 5. Summer welcomes country singer and “The Voice” champion Cassadee Pope on June 25, while Grammy-winning band Blues Traveler arrives Sept. 3.
Vans Warped Tour plays Scranton again July 10, according to its website, although a venue was not announced.
— charlotte l. jacobson and patrice wilding
After a year that left many feeling pretty down, locals could use a few good laughs. The region serves up some big names and variety with comedy shows in 2017.
Superstars Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy are ready to get ’er done at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre Twp., on Friday, Jan. 20, at 7:30 p.m. as part of their “We’ve Been Thinking” tour.
Comedy legend John Cleese engages his audience in a Q&A after a screening of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” at F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, Wilkes-Barre, on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 7:30 p.m.
The next night, Jan. 29, catch “America’s Got Talent” judge and “Bobby’s World” creator Howie Mandel at Cove Haven Resort, Lakeville.
Just for Laughs’ Stand-Up Comedian of 2016, Sebastian Maniscalco, stops by F.M. Kirby Center on Feb. 11 at 7 and 9:30 p.m.
Stand-up comic Kathleen Madigan takes her “Bothering Jesus” tour to Peoples Security Bank Theater at Lackawanna College, 501 Vine St., Scranton, on Friday, March 10, at 8 p.m. as part of the Community Concerts series.
Wisecrackers, meanwhile, continues to host comedians on Friday and Saturday nights at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Plains Twp.
— patrice wilding and charlotte l. jacobson
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 Jan. 14, then head to Dietrich Theater, 60 E. Tioga St., Tunkhannock, for two film festivals featuring foreign, independent and art films. Winter Fest runs Feb. 17 through March 2, and the Spring Film Festival then takes place April 7 through 27 with special activities on each opening night and free post-festival discussions March 3 and April 28.
Clarks Summit hosts the Annual Festival of Ice from Feb. 17 to 20. Join one of the biggest events in downtown Wilkes-Barre, the annual Fine Arts Fiesta on Public Square, from May 18 to 21. On May 27, 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 fourth annual Edwardsville Pierogi Festival, June 9 and 10; the Pittston Tomato Festival, Aug. 17 to 20; and Plymouth’s annual Kielbasa Festival, the second weekend of 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.
— charlotte l. jacobson and gia mazur
Families have a wide selection of events in the area this year, from parades to children’s theater, sports events and circus acts.
At Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre Twp., events include “Disney on Ice: Passport To Adventure,” Jan. 12 to 16; “Monster Jam,” Feb. 24 to 26; and the Harlem Globetrotters, March 12.
F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts on Public Square, meanwhile, hosts several free children’s events, including “Doktor Kaboom Live Wire! The Electricity Tour” on Jan. 12; Bill Blagg’s “Science of Magic,” Feb. 13; “Story Pirates” interactive stage show, April 7; and “Elephant and Piggie’s We Are in a Play,” May 16.
In addition to the free shows, family-friendly productions coming to the Kirby Center include Cirque du Soleil-type show “Cirque Zuma Zuma,” Feb. 16; percussion sensation “Stomp,” March 15 and 16; “Odd Squad Live,” March 24; Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, April 1; and rhythmic circus “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now,” April 30.
Back in Scranton, families can get into the Irish spirit with the city’s 56th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, set for March 11.
At Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave., see a favorite TV shows come to life with “Paw Patrol Live! Race To the Rescue” today at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live!” on March 22 at 2 and 5:30 p.m.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins play at the arena through April, with the next home game occurring Friday against the Hershey Bears, and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders hold their home opener April 10 against Lehigh Valley at PNC Field, Moosic.
— charlotte l. jacobson and caitlin heaney west
Partygoers who haven’t quite decided on New Year’s Eve plans didn’t drop the ball yet. There are dozens of parties, dinners and concerts happening in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton region. Here are a few suggestions to get your plans started.
Get ready to moonwalk
Beat it to Mohegan Sun Pocono for the Bash in the Ballroom. The Plains Twp. casino’s annual New Year’s celebration features Who’s Bad, a tribute to Michael Jackson. The fun starts at 10 p.m. and runs through 1 a.m. There is no cover.
Mohegan Sun has several other events that night as well, including Gerard Demarco at Elixir, Shorty Long and the Jersey Horns at Breakers and Graces Downfall in Bar Louie. At 9 p.m., Stephanie Peters and Mike Gaffney take the stage at Wise Crackers, where the $25 cover includes hats and noisemakers.
Treat yourself to a sumptuous dinner and entertainment at upscale local eateries. POSH at the Scranton Club, 404 N. Washington Ave., offers $49.99 seatings from 5 to 5:30 and 9:30 to 10 p.m., which include a four-course dinner and Champagne toast plus music by DJ Matt Michaylo in the Oak Bar; call 570-955-5890 for reservations.
Elsewhere in Scranton, Terra Preta Restaurant, 222 Wyoming Ave., has two-, three- or four-course farm-to-table dinners (with vegetarian options available) priced between $65 and $90, plus music by DJ Honeyman Lightnin’; call 570-871-4190 to save a seat.
Or, head up the valley to Plate d’Azure, 26 S. Main St., Carbondale, for a three-course, BYOB dinner for $29.95. Seatings are at 5, 7 and 9 p.m. Call 570-536-6543.
If you’re looking for some country tunes to highlight your festivities, head to the Woodlands Inn & Resort, Plains Twp., for South by South West New Year’s Eve with the Tommy Guns Band in the Whiskey Creek Ballroom. Tickets are $30 and include a complimentary beverage, hors d’oeuvres and a Champagne toast along with the band’s rollicking take on country music. Doors open at 9 p.m.
Dine, party and stay with package deals available at local hotels. JZ New Year’s Bash at Ramada Clarks Summit, 820 Northern Blvd., begins at 6:30 p.m. and includes music by the Fab Three and Ron Morgan & Crossroads, plus a cocktail hour, dinner stations, desserts, sandwich buffet and dancing priced at $99 or $149 per person with hotel room, or $249 for a couple’s package with a room. Call 570-344-2212 or visit jztours.com for reservations.
Four Points by Sheraton, 300 Meadow Ave., Scranton, offers a New Year’s Eve Party with Dashboard Mary from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. It costs $189 per couple for the full package and overnight stay or $55 per person for dinner and dancing only. Call 570-344-9811 for more information.
Dine and dance
Want some food with your fun? Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Sperazza Band at the Dupont Hose Company Banquet Hall, 308 Main St. The event costs $45 per person for an open bar (sans shots), Champagne at midnight and a full meal with dessert. Guests can choose between chicken scampi, breaded pork chops or penne with meat sauce for their entree. The dinner starts at 8 p.m., and doors opening at 7. The energetic cover band then performs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Hats, horns and noisemakers for midnight also will be available.
Hit the road
Looking to get away from it all for a night? Visit Mount Airy Casino Resort in Mount Pocono, where Sinbad performs his stand-up comedy at 8 p.m. in Gypsies Lounge; admission is $50 to $65. Or, ring in the new year with DJ Skribble at the resort’s Get Wet Ultra Pool starting at 9 p.m. for $45. Call 877-682-4791 or visit mountairycasino.com for more information on events.
Nearby Cove Haven Entertainment Resorts also offer a variety of entertainers and combination packages that include events, dinner and overnight stays customized to taste. See Pete Begley, Chapter 2 and Paul Bond at Pocono Palace in East Stroudsburg; catch tarot card reader Cassandra, Byrd Presley Band, DJ Chris and RC Smith at Paradise Stream in Mount Pocono; or enjoy Kartune and Mike Burton at Cove Haven in Lakeville. Visit covepoconoresorts.com or call 800-432-9932 to book.
Flux Capacitor plays River Street Jazz Cafe, Plains Twp., on Saturday, Jan. 9.
Jam at the Jazz Cafe
Flux Capacitor takes its electric sound to River Street Jazz Cafe, 667 N. River St., Plains Twp. Doors open at 10 p.m. for the show. Tickets are $10. The band, which originated outside Philadelphia and has played all over the country, has developed a strong following in the region for its lively and energetic performances that mix rock and electronica elements with improvisation.
If you’re interested in a more relaxed kickoff to the new year, seek peace of mind through yoga and meditation during Mindful New Year’s Eve at the Wonderstone Gallery, 100 N. Blakely St., Dunmore, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Call 570-344-2360 or visit thewonderstonegallery.com for more information.
Like a Rolling Stone
You can’t always get what you want, but Mauch Chunk Opera House has what you need. The Jim Thorpe venue kicks off the year with its New Year’s Eve Start Me Up Classic Rolling Stones Show featuring the Glimmer Twins, often referred to as the best Rolling Stones tribute band in the country. Doors open at 8:30 p.m.; the show starts at 9:30 with jamming running through 1 a.m. Tickets cost $25 and include a Champagne toast at midnight. Check out mcohjt.com for tickets.
Fun for little ones
Kids get a head start on festivities Thursday at the Noon Year’s Eve celebration with “Minute To Win It”-style games and other activities that lead up to a countdown to noon at Pittston Memorial Library, 47 Broad St. The free program is for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Call 570-654-9565, ext. 26, to register; space is limited.
— charlotte l. jacobson and patrice wilding
The Best of the Best
It’s time to announce Electric City’s Best of 2016 Readers’ Poll winners.
Each year, we highlight the fantastic people, places and things we love in Northeast Pennsylvania. Voters registered online at www.the570.com, created a user profile and filled out their online ballot. Each category started completely blank, and users entered the names of nominees in each category. Once a name was entered, it became part of the ballot. Voters then cast their ballots for favorites within nine categories: Love and Romance, Eats and Drinks, Goods and Services, Arts and Entertainment, Nightlife, Media, Health and Recreation, and Superstars. We also wanted our readers to let us know their WTF Moment of 2016. Online voting kicked off early in the morning on Nov. 4, and the votes kept flooding in until noon on Nov. 18. This year’s voting smashed previous records with votes tallying in at more than 245,000. And now the results are in.
Congratulations to all the winners and a sincere thank you to all of the readers who took the time to cast their votes.
We hope to see you at our annual Best of Bash, taking place Wednesday Jan. 11, at 7 p.m. at The Backyard Ale House, 523 Linden St., Scranton. It’s always a legendary party with a room packed full of winners celebrating the best of the best our area has to offer.
Keep on reading Electric City every week as we continue to provide you with exclusive features, photo galleries, columns, a robust calendar of local events and so much more. – tom graham, managing editor
Love & Romance
Best Place To Buy an Engagement Ring – Boccardo Jewelers
Best Flower Shop
Best Limo Service
Nasser Limousine Service
Best Place for a Bachelor Party
Mohegan Sun Pocono
Best Place for a Bachelorette Party
Mohegan Sun Pocono
Best Place for a First Date
Electric City winner: Market Street Bar
Diamond City winner: Fire and Ice on Toby Creek
Best Place To Buy an Engagement Ring
Best Place To Buy Lingerie
Best Wedding Gowns
Best Wedding Registry
Live with It by Lora Hobbs
Best Wedding Venue
Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple
Arts & Entertainment
Best New Local CD – “Monsters” — Pat McGlynn
Best All Ages Venue
The Pavilion at Montage Mountain
Best Art Venue
Mohegan Sun Pocono
Best Concert Venue
Electric City winner: The Pavilion at Montage Mountain
Diamond City winner: The F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts
Best Dance Company
Dave Ragnacci School of Dance
Best Local Band Name – Clever Clever
Best Theater Production – “Hamlet” — New Vintage Ensemble
Best Local Festival
Electric City winner: La Festa Italiana
Diamond City winner: Pittston Tomato Festival
Best Movie Theater
Electric City winner: Cinemark 20 and XD
Diamond City winner: RC Wilkes-Barre
Best New Event
Best New Local CD
“Monsters” — Pat McGlynn
Best Ongoing Cultural Event
Electric City winner: First Friday Scranton
Diamond City winner: Fine Arts Fiesta
Best Open Mic
Best Original Band
Best Party Cover Band
Best Original Band and Best Band Name – Clever Clever
Best Place To Shoot Pool
The V Spot
Best Theater Production
“Hamlet” — New Vintage Ensemble
Eats & Drinks
Best Sushi – Osaka Restaurant
State Street Grill
Best Beer Menu
Electric City winner: Backyard Ale House
Diamond City winner: Sabatini’s Bottleshop and Bar
Best Boneless Wings
Electric City winner: Nina’s Restaurant
Diamond City winner: The Tipsy Turtle
The Eatery by Jessica
Backyard Ale House
Best Chinese Restaurant
China Palace Inn
Gertrude Hawk Chocolates
Best Coffee Shop
Best Cup of Coffee
Northern Lights Espresso Bar and Cafe
Cara Mia’s Delicatessen
Market Street Sweets
Best Food Truck
Electric City winner: The Bitemobile by Nina’s
Diamond City winner: Peculiar Culinary Co.
Best French Fries
Five Guys Burgers and Fries
Best Frozen Yogurt
Manning Farm Dairy
Five Guys Burgers and Fries
Best Hot Dogs
Coney Island Lunch
Best Ice Cream
Manning Farm Dairy
Best Italian Food
Best Italian Ice
Rita’s Italian Ice
Best Japanese Restaurant
Electric City winner: Osaka Japanese
Diamond City winner: Mirakuya Japanese Restaurant
Best Liquid Lunch
Backyard Ale House
Best Long Lunch
The Loading Dock Bar and Grill
Best Lunch on a Budget
Best Lunch on the Go
Best Mexican/Southwestern Restaurant
La Tonalteca, Scranton
Best New Restaurant
Best Patio Dining
State Street Grill
Best Place To Eat Organic
Terra Preta Restaurant
Best Potato Pancakes
Electric City winner: Market Street Bar
Diamond City winner: Aurants
Best Romantic Restaurant
Electric City winner: POSH at the
Diamond City winner: Pazzo
Best Round Pizza
Buona Pizza, Inc.
The Loading Dock Bar and Grill
Cara Mia’s Delicatessen
Best Seafood- Electric City winner: Cooper’s Seafood House
Electric City winner: Cooper’s Seafood House
Diamond City winner: J J Banko’s Seafood
Zuppa Del Giorno
Best Square Pizza
Maroni’s Pizza House
Electric City winner: Carl Von Luger Steak
Diamond City winner: Ruth’s Chris
Fratelli’s Pizza and Pasta House
Best Thai Restaurant
Thai Rak Thai
Best Vegetarian Menu
Eden — a vegan café
Best Wine Menu
Kelly’s Pub and Eatery
Goods & Services
Best Barbershop – Loyalty Barber Shop
Best Animal Hospital Veterinarian
Dr. Robert Noto at Memorial Veterinary Hospital
Loyalty Barber Shop
Best Bicycle Shop
Sickler’s Bike and Sport Shop
The Daisy Collective
Best Car Dealership
Toyota of Scranton
Best Car Wash
Wizard Car Wash
Best Cigar Shop
Big House Tobacco
Best Comic Book Store
Electric City winner: Comics on the Green
Diamond City winner: Rubber Mallet Comics
Best Day Spa
Alexander’s Salon and Spa
Best Dry Cleaner
Best Farmers Market
Farmers’ Co-Op Market
Best Garden Store
Jerry’s for All Seasons
Best Animal Hospital Veterinarian – Dr. Robert Noto at Memorial Veterinary Hospital
Best Hair Salon
Hez Studio Salon and Spa
Best Health Food Store
Best Jewelry Store
Best Local Brewery
Electric City winner: 3 Guys and a Beer’d
Diamond City winner: Susquehanna
Electric City winner: Alexander’s Salon and Spa
Diamond City winner: The Sapphire Salon
Best Men’s Clothing Store
Burlap and Bourbon
Best Grocery Store
Best Pet Supply Store
Pet Supplies Plus
Best Pipe Shop
Headdies Pipe and Vape Shop
Best Place To Buy Beer
Electric City winner: Backyard Ale House
Diamond City winner: Sabatini’s Bottleshop and Bar
Best Place To Buy Music
Joe Nardone’s Gallery of Sound
Best Shoe Store
Scranton Running Co.
Best Ski Shop
The Ski Corner
Best Women’s Clothing Store and Best Boutique – The Daisy Collective
Best Store for Music Equipment
Electric City winner: Magdon Music
Diamond City winner: Rock Street Music
Best Tanning Salon
Tanfastic Sun Tan Center
Best Tattoo Parlor
Electric City Tattoo
Best Unique Gift Shop
Willow Tree Shop
Best Vintage Clothing Store
On & On
Best Women’s Clothing Store
The Daisy Collective
Best Bar in a Restaurant
Backyard Ale House
Best Bar You Can Smoke In
The V Spot
Best Bike Night
Thirst T’s Bar and Grill
Billy B’s Martini Bar and Restaurant
Best College Bar
Electric City winner: The Green Frog
Diamond City winner: Senunas’ Bar & Grill
Best Corner Bar
The Roosevelt Beer Garden
Best Drink Specials
Best Gay/Lesbian-Friendly Bar
Electric City winner: 12 Penny Saloon
Diamond City winner: HEAT
Best Happy Hour
Backyard Ale House
Best Happy Hour Food
Ale Mary’s at the Bittenbender
The V Spot
Best-Looking Bar Crowd
Backyard Ale House
La Tonalteca, Scranton
Alfredo’s Pizza Cafe
Best New Bar/Club
Levels Bar and Grill
Best Place To Shake It
Panked! Dance Party
Best Pub Trivia
Best Sports Bar
Happy Valley Sports Bar
Best St. Patrick’s Day Parade Bar
Best Strip Club
The Grandview Gentlemen’s Club
Best Venue To Hear Live Music at
Electric City winner: O’Leary’s Pub
Diamond City winner: Breakers at Mohegan Sun Pocono
Best Young Professionals Bar
Ale Mary’s at the Bittenbender
Best Local Filmmaker – Lindsay Barrasse
Best College Radio Station
Marywood VMFM 91.7
Best Local Website
Best Morning Radio Show
Prospector on Rock 107
Best Radio Station
Health & Recreation
Best Bowling Alley
South Side Bowl
Best Gym/Health Club
Best Place To Picnic
Electric City winner: Lackawanna State Park
Diamond City winner: Kirby Park
Best Place To Go Camping
Ricketts Glen State Park
Best Trip Just an Hour Away
Best Bartender – Brian Craig
Rich DePoley at the Bog
Electric City winner: Stirna’s Restaurant
Diamond City winner: Peculiar Culinary Co.
Electric City winner: Rory Flynn (Ale Mary’s)
Diamond City winner: Gene Philbin
(Peculiar Culinary Co.)
Dr. Corey Chmil
EJ the DJ
Dr. Linda Barrasse
Best Local Actor
Best Local Actress
Best Local Author
Best Local Blogger
Best Local Comedian
Here We Are in Spain
Best Local Dancer
Best Local Visual Artist – Allison LaRusso
Best Local Filmmaker
Best Local Radio Personality
Prospector on Rock 107
Best Local TV News Personality
Best Local Visual Artist
Best Newspaper Reporter
Electric City winner: Dr. Eric Blomain
Diamond City winner: Dr. Ira Krafchin
Best Pet Groomer
Shampooch Grooming Salon
Eli Gerrity (Electric City Tattoo)
Best Solo Musician
Thomas Frable (Alexander’s Salon and Spa)
Best Tattoo Artist
Tyler Pawelzik (Black Casket)
Best Travel Agent
John Madden of Travel World
Best Wedding DJ
Mike Walton Entertainment
Best Wedding Photographer
Amanda Krieg Photography
Best Wedding Planner
Kelly Trapper (Constantino’s Catering
Best Wedding Singer/Band
Daddy-O and the Sax Maniacs
WTF Moment of 2016
Winning, at least here, in the popular vote, by a landslide, Donald J. Trump and his controversial rise to the oval office is the WTF Moment in Electric City’s Best of 2016 Readers’ Poll. Coming in at a close second were the presidential campaigns — including the debates and scandals — of both Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Honorable mention once again goes to two of our repeat offenders: Disgraced former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane — sentenced to 10 to 23 months in prison for her conviction on charges she leaked grand jury information then lied about her actions — and the ever-frustrating traffic, accidents and construction on Interstate 81.
And last but not least, congratulations to the creepy killer clowns who did their best to scare up media attention while roaming dark city streets and wooded areas throughout the country. Your fleeting 15 minutes of fame may have ended, but you still made Electric City readers think, “WTF?!?”
The first title win often becomes the most memorable for professional wrestlers.
Dolph Ziggler, however, cherishes his fifth time winning the WWE Intercontinental Title. After all, it means he can keep doing what he loves.
“It usually is special for a minute, and then you gotta get back to work,” he said. “This one, I had to put my career on the line for one more chance. So it really was special.”
Ziggler (aka Nicholas Nemeth outside the ring) began clashing with then-Intercontinental champion the Miz earlier this year, challenging him for the title several times. It all came down to the “No Mercy” event in early October, when Ziggler put his career on the line.
If the Miz won, Ziggler would’ve been forced to retire. But he overcame the odds — and interference from Miz’s wife, Maryse, and Spirit Squad members Mikey and Kenny — to become Intercontinental champion.
“It’s bigger than any World Title match, or WrestleMania match, I’ve ever had,” Ziggler said. “I had to put my entire career on the line against the title for one more shot, or leave the WWE. So it definitely is special. More special than any other moment I had. I mean, I could be sitting in a hammock somewhere sipping a pina colada, but working’s cool too.”
Ziggler and the WWE Superstars of “SmackDown Live” — with multi-time WWE and World Heavyweight champion the Undertaker — come to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre Twp., on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. The event marks the 900th episode of “SmackDown.”
The card, subject to change, includes Dean Ambrose, Becky Lynch, WWE World Champion AJ Styles, Randy Orton, the Miz and Natalya.
Ziggler came to the “SmackDown” brand after the WWE Draft in July, when the company split its lineup between “Smackdown” and “Monday Night Raw.” It let him concentrate more on his character.
“For someone like me to get a chance to revamp, start over and let them know that I put it all on the line — I’m a changed man, I’m a winner now — it’s something that’s really helped me out,” he said. “I’ve gotten some freedom on the microphone. I’m actually playing off someone and investing my time more than ever. It’s such a great show.”
After winning accolades as an amateur wrestler, Ziggler signed a developmental contract with WWE in 2004 and hit the main roster under his current ring name in 2008. The Cleveland native wrestled in high school and at Kent State University, where he graduated in 2003 (with a political science degree) as the university’s career leader in victories and was a three-time Mid-American Conference champion. The university inducted Ziggler to its Varsity “K” Hall of Fame this fall.
Now that he’s an “old-timer” at 36, Ziggler enjoys mentoring up-and-coming wrestlers, such as one-time partner Big E. They worked together a few years ago when Big E was enforcer for Ziggler and then-storyline girlfriend AJ Lee.
“Big E was ready to learn; he works really hard,” Ziggler said. “You can tell right away when you meet somebody that they’re ready to go, to learn and to listen. It was a really fun time. I got to pass down some knowledge to an up-and-coming guy, and no one deserves it more than him.”
Ziggler said he’s never worked with such hardworking people in his life as he does in the WWE. Everyone strives to make “Smackdown” great and outdo each other.
“So when I constantly get told, ‘It looks like you’re giving it your all, above and beyond everybody else,’ it’s a huge compliment, because everybody works so hard,” he said. “That’s what makes this business fun and that’s what makes it great for the fan.”
— kristen gaydos
When: Tuesday, 7:15 p.m.
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, 255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Twp.
Details: Tickets are $15 to $100. For more information, visit wwe.com and mohegansunarenapa.com.
photos by jesse faatz
Haunted Attraction Reviews by Joe Rovinsky
2016 Halls of Horror Blood Experience
320 Delaware Ave., Palmerton
Halls of Horror is a hidden gem, and we are shocked by how many haunt fans are unaware of this special attraction. So many so-called extreme haunts pop up on various web pages, review sites and paid advertisements, none of which ever live up to their advertised hype. We have visited many of the so-called “extreme” events, and nothing compares to the level of twisted creativity, pure aggression and psychological torment doled out by the house of torment known as Halls of Horror.
Every single season this attraction continues to deliver with an adult, mature-themed attraction that creates an impressive horror experience coupled with a traditional haunted attraction. This is not an attraction for those easily offended and unable to let down their guard and become direct participants in a horrific show that is mentally and physically exhausting.
Halls of Horror is almost indescribable in its ability to generate real fear, yet it never crosses the line between an “extreme” haunt and all-out assault. “Extreme” haunts seem to use violence and torture to garner their reputations, yet these experiences are not exactly entertaining. Halls of Horror strikes the perfect balance between “extreme” and “traditional/classic” haunted attractions, as while physical, the operators are extremely professional in how they run it. Limits are pushed even further this year, and Halls of Horror prides itself on scaring guests to the point of submission. At times it’s hard to differentiate between reality and the show, as the attraction has mastered the art of cultivating a sense of vulnerability as a scare tool. Guests are at the mercy of each demented actor, and there is no doubt that this is an aggressive, mature attraction.
The actors never let up on the guests and make the experience memorable. It’s hard to forget the mental imagery of a disturbed pregnant woman “ejecting” her fetus into a pile of empty pills and beer cans, and a twisted clown who had us play a “game” in a dark ball-pit scene.
The interactive scenarios presented by Halls of Horror are not for those easily scared or unable to complete an aggressive haunted attraction. You will either have to let go of any inhibitions and “submit” to the experience or quit.
The Final Word
Respect the Halls of Horror and you will experience a once-in-a-lifetime horror experience unlike any other. Allowing yourself to take part in the “Blood Experience” is allowing yourself to engage in a horror movie come to life, featuring nonstop action, aggression and torment. This is a mature, adult-themed attraction geared to fans who want more from their run-of-the-mill attractions. Halls of Horror is a perfect mix of extreme and classic haunts, creating a show that is terrifying, humorous and always engaging. There isn’t an attraction that comes close to the organized chaos created by this innovative attraction, and we hope to continue to see it grow and prosper.