Just your luck

Just your luck

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with events and activities across region

The region’s St. Patrick’s parades have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean Northeast Pennsylvania has packed away its green just yet. With St. Patrick’s Day this Sunday, March 17, the area has plenty more ways to celebrate all things Irish this month.

Catch the Celtic Rebels Band on Friday, March 15, from 5 to 8 p.m. for a St. Patrick’s Celebration at Kildare’s, 119 Jefferson Ave., Scranton. (kildarespub.com/scranton or 570-344-4030)
Members of a Harrisburg pipe-and-drum band formed a band known for its high-energy Celtic sound, the Kilmaine Saints. It’ll play March 15 at 8 p.m. at Mauch Chunk Opera House, 14 W. Broadway, Jim Thorpe. Tickets cost $18. (mcohjt.com or 570-325-0249)
Kluster Phunk and Static in the Attic will perform at the Cooperage’s St. Patrick’s Day Party on Saturday, March 16. Doors open at 6 p.m. at 1030 Main St., Honesdale, with music following at 7. The show is open to all ages, and Wallenpaupack Brewing Co. will have beer for guests 21 or older to buy. Tickets cost $7 and are available at Players Row Music Supply, 221 Main Ave., Hawley; through members of the bands; and online at facebook.com/
klusterphunk. They also can be purchased at the door. (thecooperageproject.org, 570-253-2020 or klusterphunk

Eats and drinks
Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar, 7011 Shoppes Blvd., Moosic, presents its Irish Whiskey Dinner on Thursday, March 14, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The meal costs $69, plus tax and gratuity, and includes multiple courses and whiskey pairings. Seating is limited, and reservations are required. (harvestseasonalgrill.com or 570-342-3330)
Italian restaurant Armetta’s Pizzeria & Pub, 2092 Route 848, New Milford, turns Irish for the weekend when it serves Corned Beef and Cabbage, Corned Beef and Cabbage Pizza, and Mint Grasshopper Martinis on March 15 and 16 from 4 to 10:30 p.m. (570-465-5492)
Kol Steakhouse at Hotel Anthracite, 25 S. Main St., Carbondale, offers Irish-style drinks and specials from March 15 through 17. The menu includes Colcannon Soup, Irish Lamb Stew, Corned Beef and Cabbage, and more. Tickets cost $39. (hotelanthracite.com or 570-536-6020)
Dine on an Irish-style dinner including Ruben Stew, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Shepherd’s Pie, Lamb Chops and Soda Bread plus drink specials at Boulder View Tavern, 123 Lake Harmony Road, Lake Harmony, from March 15 through 17. (boulderview
tavern.com or 570-722-9696)
Glass — Wine Bar Kitchen at Ledges Hotel, 119 Falls Ave., Hawley, serves Irish-style specials March 15 from 5 to 11 p.m. Kevin Campion will provide live music. Reservations are suggested. (ledgeshotel.com/glass-wine-bar-kitchen or 570-226-1337)
At Gravity Restaurant & Bar, 40 Gravity Planes Road, Waymart, $14.95 gets you all-you-can-eat Corned Beef, ham, Shepherd’s Pie, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, salad, bread and cake on March 16 from 4 to 9 p.m. (gravityinn.com or 570-488-6918)

Molly O’Shea’s at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp. will offer drink specials, Irish-themed mixed drinks and build-your-own whiskey flights at its St. Patrick’s Day Celebration running from March 15 through 17. Entertainment includes Mama’s Black Sheep on March 15 from 9 p.m. to midnight; Chasing Ashlee Duo, March 16, 9 p.m. to midnight; and a DJ and karaoke, March 17, 8 to 11 p.m. (mohegansun
pocono.com or 570-831-2100)
All three Cove Haven resorts — Cove Haven Resort, 194 Lakeview Drive, Jefferson Twp.; Pocono Palace Resort, 206 Fantasy Road, Middle Smithfield Twp.; and Paradise Stream, 6213 Carlton Road, Paradise Twp. — will offer drink specials and entertainment at the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration from March 15 through 17. And at Pocono Palace Resort, guests can enjoy Guinness and Irish whiskey tastings and a cooking class featuring traditional Irish dishes. (covepoconoresorts.com or 877-500-2080)
At Wallenpaupack Brewing Co., 73 Welwood Ave., Hawley, the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on March 16 starting at noon features a “leprechaun” pouring the brewery’s St. Patrick’s Day Green Cream Ale, Black & Tan, and Nitro Red IPA. There also will be draft and food specials, and festively attired guests 21 and older can compete in the Lucky Charm Challenge at 4 p.m. for a chance to win a prize pack. Then, on March 17, the brewery will offer a St. Patrick’s Day brunch along with food and drink specials.
(wallenpaupackbrewingco.com or 570-390-7933)
The annual Society of Irish Women St. Patrick’s Day Dinner this year features Scranton author Barbara Taylor as the guest speaker March 16 at Radisson at Lackawanna Station hotel, 700 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton. For reservations, call Mamie Eckenrode at 570-498-8363. Tickets will not be available at the door.
Fiddler’s Green Irish Pub, 259 E. State St., Larksville, hosts its annual Pie-Eyed All Paddy’s Eve on Saturday, March 16, at 9 p.m. There is no cover for the event that includes music by the Pie-Eyed Preachers plus food and drinks.
greenirish or 570-714-3220)
Guests at the Jive, 113 Van Brunt St., Moscow, will find Celtic dishes such as Corned Beef along with music, drinks and prizes for the best costumes on March 16 and 17. (570-843-6673)
Wear green and find all-day specials plus dishes such as homemade Ham and Cabbage at Carey’s Pub, 147 Division St., Kingston, on March 17 starting at noon. Special events include music by the Malloy Brothers Bagpipes at 3 p.m., happy hour from 9 to 11 and karaoke at 9:30. The kitchen will stay open until 12:30 a.m. (570-718-1818)
Failte Irish Pub & Steak House, 1492 Route 739, Delaware Twp., marks the holiday with Irish food, drinks and music by the Tara Minstrels on March 17 from 5 to 9 p.m. (failtepa.com or 570-828-6505)
Enjoy live music by the Blarney Boys while you dine on Irish-style specials at the Settlers Inn, 4 Main Ave., Hawley, on March 17 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. (the
settlersinn.com or 570-226-2993)

For all ages
Indoor cycling studio Back Mountain Revolution, 106 S. Lehigh St., Shavertown, hosts the “St. Patrick’s Day Ryde” on March 15 at 5:45 p.m. The ride will include Irish music, and the studio recommends wearing green and reserving a bike in advance. Beginners are welcome. (backmountain
revolution.com or 570-760-4554)
On March 16, Leprechaun Lore features storyteller Hal Pratt sharing such details as how to catch a leprechaun. The free, all-ages program starts at 11 a.m. at the Dietrich Theater, 60 E. Tioga St., Tunkhannock. (dietrich
theater.com or 570-996-1500)
For the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins’ St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, the hockey team will wear special shamrock-themed jerseys at its March 16 game against the Providence Bruins, which it then will auction off that night. Live Irish entertainment will be on hand, too. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre Twp. (wbspenguins.com or 800-745-3000)
The free St. Patrick’s Day Family Party on March 16 runs from 10 a.m. to noon at Waverly Community House, 1115 North Abington Road, and includes crafts, games and raffles. (waverlycomm.org or 570-586-8191)
On March 17 starting at 9 a.m., bowlers at Chacko’s Family Bowling Center, 195 N. Wilkes Barre Blvd., Wilkes-Barre, can pick a prize from a “pot of gold” when they’re done. (chackosfamilybowlingcenter.com or 570-208-2695)
Contact the writer:
cwest@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100 x5107;
@cheaneywest on Twitter

Fab 5 – March 14, 2019

Fab 5 – March 14, 2019

1. Steamtown String Fling
Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave., will hold its second String Fling on Friday, March 15, at 7 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom.
This year’s lineup features bluegrass and folk Americana players Dave Brown and the Dishonest Fiddlers along with Serene Green, Sara Hulse, Peck and Penn, Nick & Braids and Alan K. Stout.
Tickets cost $25 in advance and $30 the day of the show. For tickets or more information, visit the box office or scrantonculturalcenter.org or call 570-344-1111

2. Women’s History Month program
Head to Steamtown National Historic Site, 350 Cliff St., Scranton, for a Women’s History Month program on Friday, March 15, and Saturday, March 16.
The free, family-friendly indoor event starts at noon and 2 p.m. and features “Rosie the Railroader” and friends as they highlight women’s roles on the railroads during World War II and today.
Guests should meet for the program at Steamtown’s theater desk a few minutes prior to its start.
For more information, call 570-340-5200 or visit nps.gov/stea or the Facebook event page.

In this film image released by Universal Pictures, animated characters Lorax, voiced by Danny Devito, left, and Once-ler, voiced by Ed Helms, are shown in a scene from “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.” (AP Photo/Universal Pictures)

3. Dr. Seuss’s Birthday Bash
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday at Lackawanna County Children’s Library, 520 Vine St., Scranton.
Children of all ages can check out crafts along with musical performances by the Creative and Performing Arts Academy of NEPA during the Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash on Saturday, March 16, at 2 p.m.
Registration is required. To register, call 570-348-3000, ext. 3015. For more information, visit lclshome.org.

4. Army Jazz Ambassadors
The 19-member Army Jazz Ambassadors will swing into Northeast Pennsylvania for a performance Friday, March 15, at 7 p.m.
The free concert will take place at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, 71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre.
The Ambassadors, aka “America’s Big Band,” formed in 1969 and perform a range of musical styles, including big band standards, patriotic favorites and contemporary jazz. The group has played in all 50 states and a number of different countries.
For more information, visit kirbycenter.org or call the box office number at 570-826-1100.

JASON FARMER / TIMES-SHAMROCK More than 120 players from across the region participated in the NEPA Cornhole Tournament at PNC Field in Moosic on Saturday.

5. March Bagness Cornhole Tournament
Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp., hosts the March Bagness Cornhole Tournament in its Keystone Grand Ballroom on Saturday, March 16.
Registration starts at 11 a.m., and the tournament follows at 1 p.m. Registration for teams costs $60 in advance and $80 for walk-ins. Participants must be 21 or older.
Teams will compete in the double-elimination tournament for $5,000 in guaranteed payouts. The tournament will have three divisions — advanced, competitive and social — and is open to all skill levels.
For more information and tickets to enter, visit nepacornhole.com.

Fab 5 – March 7, 2019

Fab 5 – March 7, 2019

1. ‘Mona Lisa and the Cross’
Catch the latest drama from local playwright K.K. Gordon on the Diva Theater stage this weekend.
“Mona Lisa and the Cross” will take place Friday, March 8, and Saturday, March 9, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 10, at 2 p.m. at the theater, 126 W. Market St., Scranton. Guests can enter the second-floor theater from the rear parking lot.
The love story features adult material and strong language and is directed by Joe Rettura.
For reservations, call 570-209-7766. Visit the Facebook event page for more information.

the Band, Saving Abel

2. Saving Abel and Tantric
Rockers Saving Abel and Tantric come to the Electric City for a night of music alongside several local acts.
The bands will perform Thursday, March 7, at Stage West, 301 N. Main Ave., Scranton. The 21-and-older show begins at 8 p.m.
Southern rock group Saving Abel is known for such hits as “Addicted,” “Stupid Girl” and “Drowning” and has toured with such groups as Buckcherry, Avenged Sevenfold and Nickelback. Tantric, meanwhile, saw its self-titled album achieve gold status in 2001 and released its seventh studio album, “Mercury Retrograde,” in October.
Also performing at Stage West that night will be Northeast Pennsylvania bands Behind the Grey, Graces Downfall and the Holtzmann Effect.
Tickets cost $22 in advance and $25 the day of the show. For more information or tickets, call 570-343-7100 or visit the Facebook event page.

3. Joe Bonamassa
Guitarist and blues-rock musician Joe Bonamassa will perform Monday, March 11, at F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, 71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 8.
The show comes just five months after the release of Bonamassa’s latest studio album, “Redemption.” The two-time Grammy nominee has had 20 albums reach No. 1 on Billboard’s blues chart, on the back of such songs as “Mountain Time,” “The Ballad of John Henry” and “Sloe Gin.” His backing band includes well-known musicians such as drummer Anton Fig, bassist Michael Rhodes and pianist/organist Reese Wynans plus background singers and horns.
Tickets cost $89, $99, $129, $149 and $199, plus fees. For tickets, visit the box office or kirbycenter.org or call 570-826-1100.

4. Justin Willman: Magic in Real Life
Catch Justin Willman at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp., this weekend.
The St. Louis-born magician/comedian will perform Friday, March 8, at 8 p.m. in the Keystone Grand Ballroom. Tickets start at $25.
Audiences might recognize him from the Netflix series “Magic for Humans with Justin Willman,” which featured his street magic and social experiments, or from his appearances on shows including “The Tonight Show” and “Ellen.” Additionally, he has worked as a television writer and performed for the Obamas at the White House and in the 2015 Comedy Central special “Sleight of Mouth.”
Willman recently announced his residency, dubbed “The Magic Show,” at Los Angeles’ historic Roosevelt Hotel.
For tickets, visit the box office or ticketmaster.com or call 800-745-3000.

R&B singer Brian McKnight, shown in this June 26, 2007 file photo, joins the Broadway cast of “Chicago” Oct. 8. (AP File Photo/Matt Sayles)

5. Brian McKnight
Singer Brian McKnight brings his chart-topping music to Cove Haven Entertainment Resorts, 194 Lakeview Drive, Lakeville, on Sunday, March 10.
McKnight has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and earned 16 Grammy Award nominations during his more than 25-year career. He has had numerous songs chart on the Billboard Hot 100, including “Back at One,” which peaked at No. 2 in 1999. His most recent album, “Genesis,” bowed in 2017 and included the single “Forever,” which landed in the top 25 on Billboard’s adult R&B chart.
Sunday’s show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $65; admission is included for resort guests. For tickets, visit covepoconoresorts.com.

Barrier breaker WWE Superstar Mandy Rose brings ‘SmackDown Live’ to arena

Barrier breaker WWE Superstar Mandy Rose brings ‘SmackDown Live’ to arena

It’s an exciting time to be Mandy Rose.
And according to the World Wrestling Entertainment Superstar, it’s an exciting time to be a woman in sports entertainment in general.
“Every place women are just taking over. It’s only up from here,” Rose said during a recent phone interview. “Women keep achieving new milestones and breaking down barriers.”
Fans can see Rose and other Superstars on “SmackDown Live!” on Tuesday, March 5, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, 255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Twp. Tickets start at $20 and are available at ticketmaster.com and the arena box office and by calling 800-745-3000. There is a $10 fee to park in the arena’s lot.
Rose, aka Amanda Saccomanno outside the ring, entered WWE universe in 2015 through the reality TV show “Tough Enough.” She placed second and was signed to the company’s developmental property that same year. In 2017, Rose debuted on the main roster alongside Superstar Paige with fellow “Tough Enough” alum Sonya Deville.

While Rose didn’t dream of being a pro wrestler since childhood like some, she decided to take a leap of faith into the industry. After earning a degree in speech-language pathology, Rose started to participate in fitness competitions, which “opened up so many opportunities” and helped her find herself. It wasn’t long after that she auditioned for “Tough Enough” and decided to pursue a new path.
“It was something I was doing for myself,” she said. “Seeing the progress in myself and working hard to attain that goal was something I really loved.”
Rose’s advice to young women looking to make it in the sports entertainment world or in any capacity reflects her own journey.
“Always chase your dreams and don’t doubt them,” she said. “Follow your heart. You never know where it might take you.”
The chance she took years ago put her on biggest stage of her life. Her time on the main roster has included several firsts — for her and the other women of WWE. Rose participated in the first women’s Royal Rumble match last January and the first all-women’s pay-per-view, “Evolution,” in October.
“The crowd was just electric,” she said. “Being there in that moment was an unforgettable experience.”

Last week, Rose and Deville competed in an Elimination Chamber match to claim the Women’s Tag Team Championships, where they made it to the final two. Days later, Rose defeated SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka.
While she’s on the road to the largest event of the year, “WrestleMania,” which takes place in April, Rose still stops to take it all in along the way.
“We are having so much fun,” Rose said. “It’s amazing. It’s an exciting time.”

Hazleton native heads to ‘Edge of Extinction’

Hazleton native heads to ‘Edge of Extinction’


Julia Carter had just one month to prepare to be a contestant on CBS’s “Survivor,” which filmed last year in the Mamanuca Islands of Fiji.
“With only a month, I knew I wouldn’t get into stellar shape so I thought about the best ways to use my time,” said Carter, a 2011 graduate of Hazleton Area High School.
Carter wasn’t allowed to discuss the show’s outcome, but she recalled how she went into the season not knowing anything about it or who she would be playing with. She found out right away that she would be playing a very different game.
“As soon as we got there, (host) Jeff Probst lets us know that it was Survivor Season 38 ‘Edge of Extinction,’” Carter recalled. “‘Edge of Extinction?’ I thought, ‘What the heck does that mean? Who’s becoming extinct? What does that mean?’ He didn’t explain it.”
The daughter of Catherine Carter and stepdaughter of Douglas Keen, Wilkes-Barre, Carter now works as a medical assistant in Bethesda, Maryland. To prepare for the show, which debuted last Wednesday on CBS, she studied episodes from the previous 37 seasons. She took notes and tried to determine which strategies worked best, and which contestant’s personality was most like her own.
Like in previous seasons of “Survivor,” 18 contestants are taken to a remote location where they must provide food, water, fire and shelter for themselves. They also compete in challenges for rewards and for immunity from elimination. Contestants then are voted out by their fellow castmates until only one remains.

ROBERT VOETS / CBS Julia Carter competes on “Survivor: Edge of Extinction” when the Emmy Award-winning series returns for its 38th season at 8 p.m. Wednesday on CBS.

But in this installment of the show, a person isn’t eliminated for good. The ousted player receives two options: he or she can quit or get on a boat and continue the game.
The show features newbies such as Carter along with four contestants from past seasons. A longtime fan of the show, Carter recognized the repeat players.
Carter initially applied to the show about three years ago, recording a two-minute video to talk about her life and why she wanted to play.
“And then I submitted it off into the universe,” she said.
She didn’t hear anything, so a year later, she attended a “Survivor” casting call in Wilkes-Barre.
“I thought I might as well go to double my chances,” she said.
In April 2018, she received a call from CBS. At first, she “thought it was a joke” and fired off questions to the caller.
“I had to make sure it was legit,” Carter said with a laugh.
Sure enough, she shipped out to the South Pacific in May.
“Fiji is beautiful. It’s very tropical,” Carter said. “Overall, it had a moderate climate and a typical kind of island vibe. It was very hot, but it wasn’t the rainy season there, so it wasn’t too bad as far as any storms.”
The experience, however, came with a transition.

“Although you’re on a beautiful island, you have to realize that you’re actually in the game,” she said. “You have limited resources, limited food, and you’re really exposed to the elements.”
And, Carter said, you’re surrounded by strangers.
“You’re not sure if you can trust them,” she said.
Carter joked that she plans to watch the show “more times than you can imagine.” It airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
“I am going from being a fan to a player to a fan again,” she said.

Contact the writer:
jwhalen@standardspeaker.com; 570-501-3592

Fab 5 – February 28, 2019

Fab 5 – February 28, 2019

1. Kansas
Legendary rock band Kansas brings its Point of Know Return Tour to Wilkes-Barre on Sunday, March 3.
The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, 71 Public Square. Doors open at 6.
Kansas’ tour coincides with the 40th anniversary of the release of their album “Point of Know Return,” which the group will perform in its entirety. The audience also can expect to hear other hits alongside fan favorites and more from the band, known for such songs as “Carry on Wayward Son” and “Dust in the Wind.”
The concert was rescheduled from Nov. 23, and tickets from the original date will be honored at this show.
Tickets cost $49.50, $69.50, $95 and $126 for general admission and $236 for premium seats, plus fees. The VIP package costs $286, plus fees, and includes a meet-and-greet with the band.
For regular tickets, visit the box office or kirbycenter.org or call 570-826-1100. VIP packages are only available through Ticketmaster; visit ticketmaster.com or call 800-745-3000.

Aaron Carter, Thursday, Feb. 28, 9 p.m. Leon Budrow from Berks County also performs. Call for meet-and-greet details. Levels Bar & Grill, 519 Linden St., Scranton. $18. eventbrite.com.

2. Aaron Carter
Levels Bar & Grill, 519 Linden St., Scranton, will host singer Aaron Carter for a concert Thursday, Feb. 28.
The concert begins at 9 p.m. and also feature hip-hop and pop musician Leon Budrow, a Berks County native.
Carter, the younger brother of Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter, entered the music scene with the release of his self-titled debut album in 1997. His most recent album, “LØVË,” came out last year.
Tickets cost $18 and are available through eventbrite.com. Call 570-209-7811 for more information about meet-and-greet opportunities.

3. Mardi Gras Pub Run
Scranton Running Co. looks to turn Fat Tuesday into Fit Tuesday when it hosts the Mardi Gras Pub Run on March 5.
The run steps off from the shop, 3 W. Olive St., at 6 p.m., and the course will include stops at several pubs. Participants, who are encouraged to wear Mardi Gras-themed attire, can gather at Scranton Running Co. for some fun following the run. They will be able to try some new shoes from Mizuno, enjoy new beer from Great Lakes Brewing Co. and enter raffles.
Registration is open to ages 21 and older with ID and costs $15. Participants can register that day from 5 to 6 p.m. at the shop.
For more information, call 570-955-0921 or visit the Facebook event page.

4. Dave Eggers
Pulitzer Prize finalist and McSweeney’s founder Dave Eggers will speak at Wilkes University on Thursday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m.
The free lecture, which is open to the public, will take place in the Wilkes-Barre school’s Dorothy Dickson Darte Center for the Performing Arts.
Eggers has written 10 books, including the National Book Award finalist “A Hologram for the King” and Pulitzer finalist “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.”
In addition to founding the publishing company McSweeney’s, which releases the writing journal McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and the nonprofit book series “Voice of Witness,” Eggers has helped with social causes through his work. He helped establish 826 National, a group of youth writing and tutoring centers across the country; the nonprofit ScholarMatch, which helps low-income students find resources, schools and funding to help them attend college; and the International Congress of Youth Voices, which brings together young writers and activists each year.
Registration for the lecture is recommended. Guests can park for free behind Henry Student Center, 84 W. South St.
For more information, visit wilkes.edu/eggers.

5. ‘How I Learned to Drive’
Marywood University’s theater department will present the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “How I Learned to Drive” this weekend.
The play will run Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Sette LaVerghetta Center for Performing Arts, 2300 Adams Ave., Scranton.
Paula Vogel won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for drama for the play, which opened off-Broadway in March 1997. The story focuses on a man’s sexual relationship with his niece, which begins in her pre-adolescence and runs into her college years, and addresses issues of control and manipulation. The play is not recommended for young children.
Tickets cost $10 for general admission, $8 for seniors and $5 for non-Marywood students and are free for I.H.M. sisters and people with Marywood ID. For advance tickets, visit marywood.universitytickets.com. Tickets also will be available at the door.
For more information, visit marywood.edu/mtd or call 570-348-6268.

Fab 5 – February 21, 2019

Fab 5 – February 21, 2019

1. Music Fest
JZ Tours’s seventh annual Music Fest will take place Friday, Feb. 22, at Hilton Scranton & Conference Center, 100 Adams Ave.
Doors open at 6:15 p.m., and the opening act, Elvis tribute artist Gino Mercuri, will perform from 6:30 to 7. Other bands set to perform that night include local groups the Fab Three, the Wanabees and the Jeffrey James Band.
Guests will be able to order food from a select menu, and Coors Light will be on special. Tickets cost $10 for standing room only, $15 for a seat at a table and $20 for a VIP seat. Tables seat up to 10, and table packages cost $135 for general admission and $180 for VIPs. Guests also can receive a discounted room if they want to stay at the hotel overnight.
Tickets will be available at the door, but JZ Tours recommends reserving them in advance. For more information, visit jztours.com or call 570-344-2212.

2. Drake Bell
Former “Drake & Josh” star Drake Bell will share his musical side with a concert Friday, Feb. 22, at Stage West, 301 N. Main Ave., Scranton. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Bell, who wrote the theme song for his namesake television show, released his latest studio album, “Ready Steady Go!” in 2014. A new song, “Fuego Lento,” debuted late last year.
Admission costs $15 in advance and $20 the day of the show for general admission standing tickets. VIP tickets with a meet-and-greet cost $100 and include admission, a pre-show hangout with Bell, a selfie video and a signed poster. The show is open to ages 18 and older, but those younger than 21 must pay a $5 surcharge at the door.
For more information or tickets, visit the Facebook event page or call 570-343-7100.

3. ‘Bright Star’
The University of Scranton Players will present “Bright Star,” Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s musical set in the South in the 1920s and ’40s, starting this weekend.
The show will run Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. from Feb. 22 through March 3 in the Royal Theatre of the university’s McDade Center for Literary and Performing Arts.
Directed by Michael O’Steen, the show focuses on lost love in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and features a bluegrass score. The Broadway production was nominated for five Tony awards, five Drama Desk Awards and a Grammy. It won the Drama Desk Award for outstanding music.
Tickets cost $10 for general admission and $7 for students, children, university faculty and staff, and seniors. For tickets, visit the box office or thescrantonplayers.com or call 570-941-4318.

4. ‘Lez Bomb’ screening
The Ritz Theater & Performing Arts Center, 222 Wyoming Ave., Scranton, will host a screening of the feature film “Lez Bomb,” which was produced and cast by Old Forge native Mia Cusumano, on Monday, Feb. 25.
A cocktail hour with complimentary wine will begin at 6:30 p.m., and the movie will follow at 7:30. Tickets cost $5 and are available through showtix4u.com.
“Lez Bomb” stars Steve Guttenberg, Kevin Pollak, Cloris Leachman and Bruce Dern.
“It’s a positive story about a girl coming out of the closet,” Cusumano told The Times-Tribune in November. “(It’s) funny and heart-warming. I’m so proud of it.”

5. Round-Trip Comedy: Scranton
Several New York comedians, including a Scranton native, will present a night of stand-up in the Electric City on Saturday, Feb. 23.
Round-Trip Comedy: Scranton will occur Saturday, Feb. 23, starting at 9 p.m. at Harry’s, 302 Penn Ave. Doors open at 8:30.
Tickets for reserved seats cost $5 and are available online at eventbrite.com.
The lineup includes Scranton’s own Mike Cosgrove as well as host Ralph Anthony of Comic Strip Live, Brian Grossi of TMZ and New York Comedy Festival, and Phill Hunt of “Sway in the Morning” and Carolines on Broadway.

Fab 5 – February 14, 2019

Fab 5 – February 14, 2019

1. Penne for Jenny
Dig in to pasta this weekend and help a woman in need.
The Penne for Jenny pasta dinner fundraiser aims to raise money for Jennifer Fata Grullon, who is undergoing treatment for the rare infectious disease mycobacterial avium intracellare and an autoimmune deficiency. The event will take place Saturday, Feb. 16, from noon to 5 p.m. at Eynon VFW Post 7963, 284 Main St., Archbald. It also will include drinks, basket raffles, a 50/50, live music and a kids corner.
Grullon’s path to a diagnosis took 18 months and involved seeing 14 doctors and specialists; undergoing six biopsies, a surgery, and numerous tests and scans; and visiting either an emergency room or urgent care facility more than 10 times. Insurance has not covered all of her medical bills, which also include copays, medication and travel costs.
All of the proceeds from the dinner will go toward her medical expenses. Tickets are available in advance through the Facebook event page and at the door and cost $12. Guests can eat in or take out their meals.

2. The Mac King Comedy Magic Show
Comedian and magician Mac King will bring his unique brand of entertainment to the Theater at North, 1539 N. Main Ave., Scranton, on Saturday, Feb. 16. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show runs from 7 to 9:30.
King is in his 17th year as an afternoon headliner at Harrah’s Las Vegas and recently was dubbed “Magician of the Year” by the Magic Castle, Hollywood. His act — which includes sleight-of-hand, making himself invisible and audience interaction — has allowed him to break a Guinness world record, participate in numerous NBC television specials and a performance on “Late Night Show with David Letterman.”
Tickets for the all-ages show cost $25 to $35. For more information or tickets, visit the box office; call 570-800-5020, ext. 102; or visit thetheateratnorth.com.

3. Clarks Summit Festival of Ice
A galaxy far, far away, comes much closer this weekend when the annual Clarks Summit Festival of Ice embraces “Star Wars.”
This year’s theme, “Ice Wars,” takes inspiration from the popular sci-fi series and incorporates it into events that include film screenings, trivia, cookie-making, ice-carving demonstrations and much more throughout the borough and surrounding area. The event will run from Friday, Feb. 15, to Sunday, Feb. 17.
The annual parade will begin Friday at 7:30 p.m. and move along South State Street in downtown Clarks Summit.
For more information and a schedule of events, visit theabingtons.org or call the Abington Business & Professionals Association at 570-587-9045.

4. Winter film festival
The Dietrich Theater, 60 E. Tioga St., Tunkhannock, will open its winter film festival with a gala Friday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m.
The gala will include screenings of “Green Book” and “The Old Man & the Gun” as well as popcorn, beer, wine and dessert. Tickets cost $25, and reservations are required. Call 570-996-1500 to reserve.
The festival will continue through Thursday, March 7. Other films guests can catch during the run include “Boy Erased,” “Beautiful Boy,” “Mary, Queen of Scots,” “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” “Colette,” “The Wife,” “Free Solo,” “The Guilty,” “Tea with the Dames,” “Becoming Astrid,” “Shoplifters,” “Bathtubs over Broadway,” “Maria By Callas,” “The Bookshop,” “Studio 54,” “Science Fair,” “Swimming With Men,” “A Private War” and “Liyana.” Tickets for individual movies cost $8.50.
For more information, visit dietrichtheater.com.

5. Fireworks and torch light parade
The ski slopes will alight once again for Montage Mountain Resorts’ annual fireworks and torch light parade on Saturday, Feb. 16.
The action will run from 5 to 9 p.m. at the resort, 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton, and include free live entertainment, “Paw Patrol” character appearances, family-friendly activities and prize giveaways.
About 100 resort employees and friends will hit the slopes at dusk, gliding down the Mainline Trail with torches in a ski parade. A pyromusical firework display will follow.
For details, call 570-969-7669 or visit montagemountainresorts.com.

DCappella brings Disney songbook hits to stage at F.M. Kirby Center

DCappella brings Disney songbook hits to stage at F.M. Kirby Center

When R.J. Woessner takes the stage in Wilkes-Barre, it won’t be the first time his career brought him to Northeast Pennsylvania.
The singer, actor and voice-over actor originally from Indianapolis first traveled to Plains Twp. to appear in a commercial for Mohegan Sun Pocono several years ago. Now as a member of Walt Disney Records’ seven-person a cappella group, DCappella, Woessner was happy to see a familiar stop on the group’s North American tour.
“I got to spend a couple days (in NEPA). It’s a beautiful area,” Woessner said during a recent phone interview. “It will be great to be back there doing something a little different.”
Woessner, Sojourner Brown, Orlando Dixon, Antonio Fernandez, Morgan Keene, Shelley Regner and Joe Santoni make up DCappella, a super-group of a cappella performers who sing reimagined classics from the Disney songbook and more. DCapella will perform Wednesday, Feb. 13, at F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, 71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7.
Woessner described the show as a theatrical concert experience, with skits, dancing, LED screens and a full light show that creates a special night for the audience. While the songs include Disney classics, DCappella performs the music in new arrangements across various genres, including R&B, jazz, rock, pop and electronic.
“The people will get to know all of us individually and our personalties throughout the show,” Woessner said. “You’re not going to a karaoke night. You’re going to a night of nostalgia. … It’s a very interactive experience, and there’s so much versatility. It’s really special to be in a show like that.”
On his road to DCappella, Woessner encountered a few signs that the group was in his future. They included time performing with Berklee College of Music’s a cappella group, Pitch Slapped, which appeared on the TV competition show “The Sing-Off,” and work as a vocalist with Disney orchestral tours. When he got word of auditions for DCapella, he knew it was for him.
Woessner and his fellow singers all come from different parts of show business. Regner appeared in the “Pitch Perfect” films, Keene played Katherine in the “Newsies” national tour, and Dixon was a finalist on NBC’s singing competition show, “The Voice.”
“You have to have versatility, and you have to be an amazing showman, but you also have to have such an understanding of music,” Woessner said. “The show is difficult, and each one of us brings something different to it. You can expect a Broadway-calibur show.”
Fans also should hear some of their favorite Disney songs, such as “I Wanna Be Like You” from “The Jungle Book” and one of Woessner’s favorites, “You’ll Be in My Heart,” the Phil Collins-penned song from “Tarzan.” Younger fans won’t be disappointed, either, as DCappella performs newer Disney hits, including “Remember Me” from “Coco” and songs from “Frozen.”
Woessner stressed the show is for all ages, and making connections with people in the crowd through beloved Disney music is what means the most to the members of DCappella.
“When you see a little girl’s face light up during ‘Frozen’ … or when you see a dad and he’s just like, ‘Wow,’ and totally blown away, that’s indescribable,” he said. “I hope they (leave) feeling inspired and feeling joy and feeling like we allowed them to escape for two hours.”
Contact the writer:
gmazur@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9127;
@gmazurTT on Twitter

Fab 5 – February 7, 2019

Fab 5 – February 7, 2019

1. Shiver by the River 2
Runners and walkers once again will bundle up for a trek through Scranton.
Shiver by the River 2 will take place Saturday, Feb. 9, with the 5K, 10K and two-mile walk all stepping off at 10 a.m. at Scranton Running Co., 3 W. Olive St.
Registration will run that day from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Participants who registered in advance can pick up their packets Friday, Feb. 8, from noon to 7 p.m. at Scranton Running Co.
Registration costs $15 in advance and $20 the day of the event for all races and the walk. Race shirts are guaranteed for the first 150 participants. Proceeds benefit Lackawanna River Conservation Association.
For details or to register, visit runsignup.com/shiverbytheriver2.

2. Winter in the City
Scranton Tomorrow will host its second Winter in the City cocktail party of the year Friday, Feb. 8., from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at POSH at the Scranton Club, 404 N. Washington Ave.
The Valentine’s Day-themed gathering will feature music by Group du Jour with special guest Josette Miles alongside appetizers, drinks and signature dishes donated by more than 40 local eateries. Guests also can snap free pictures in the Mike Walton Entertainment photo booth.
Tickets for the 21-and-older event cost $20 at the door, and proceeds benefit Scranton Tomorrow’s projects.
For more information, call 570-963-5901, email lizbaldi@scrantontomorrow.org or visit scrantontomorrow.org.

3. The Magic Mike Experience
Settle in for a male revue in the style of the hit film “Magic Mike” on Friday, Feb. 8, at Levels Bar & Grill, 519 Linden St., Scranton.
The Magic Mike Experience features men singing, dancing and stripping along to a choreographed routine and light show. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8.
Tickets for the 21-and-older show cost $12 for general admission and $35 for a seat at a table. For tickets, visit ticketfly.com.
For more information, visit the Facebook event page.

4. 18th annual NEPA Home and Garden Show
Break out of the winter funk and look ahead to spring and summer at the 18th annual NEPA Home and Garden Show.
The show will run Friday, Feb. 8, from 2 to 6 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 9, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 10, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre Twp.
Guests can check out home and landscape products and services such as decks, spas, storage, plants, remodeling and more.
Tickets are available at the door only and cost $8 for adults 17 and older and $7 for seniors 65 and older and retired military members with ID. Ages 16 and younger and active-duty military members enter for free.
Visit mohegansunarenapa.com for more information.

5. Bigfoot and Brews
Susquehanna Brewing Co. and Pennsylvania Bigfoot Investigations are teaming up for a program combining their two focuses.
Bigfoot and Brews will take place Sunday, Feb. 10, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the brewery, 635 S. Main St., Pittston.
Guests can hear testimonials about the legendary creature, view evidence and hear about local hot spots and sightings.
For more information, visit the Facebook event page.

Cocktails and cabaret Reality star comes home for benefit drag show

Cocktails and cabaret Reality star comes home for benefit drag show

It’s been three years since Taylor native and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum Mrs. Kasha Davis first shared the story of her ascension to drag diva in a one-woman show that pays homage to her Northeast Pennsylvania roots.
Since then, the Riverside Junior-Senior High School and Marywood University graduate has returned to Scranton numerous times to wow local audiences with the stage persona that has earned her a loyal fanbase around the world.
This weekend marks another homecoming for Davis, who will present an updated version of “There’s Always Time for a Cocktail” on Friday, Feb. 1, at POSH at the Scranton Club. The 90-minute show, which begins at 8 p.m., serves as a partial fundraiser for Ballet Theatre of Scranton, where Davis (then known by the given name Ed Popil) got her start in dance.
The new version of her cabaret-style performance updates those in attendance on everything that has happened in the years since she first enjoyed breakout success following her television appearances on the RuPaul-hosted reality show. Since then, Davis has traveled across the states and to numerous other countries to perform, finally making drag her full-time work (with support from her husband, Steven, who helps behind-the-scenes at shows).

“Thankfully, as life would have it, things continue to evolve and change in terms of my story,” Davis said. “When I first started doing drag, it was a lot about impersonation and lip synch, but after doing ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race,’ I started seeing how many girls do cabaret.
“With my background in theater at Marywood and dance at Ballet Theatre, I started doing this. It tells my coming-out story and my coming-to-accept-and-genuinely-love-myself story,” she said, adding with a laugh, “Shout out to Schiff’s meat market and Old Forge pizza, because of course they had to be in there.”
This isn’t the first time Davis has donated to Ballet Theatre, but it’s a generosity she’s happy to continue extending to the studio, which was formative to the development of her drag character and the person she became offstage as well.
“They really taught me the first lesson of just being myself. I was a little ashamed to admit how much I loved dancing,” Davis said. “When I started with their production of ‘The Nutcracker,’ they helped me find how to move and be proud of the way my body moved.
“Between there and Marywood, those foundations of working hard and developing characterization, plus strong friendships, were built and are still going to this day.”

Davis noted that some of her biggest supporters hail from her hometown and high school, and not just at shows but also on social media, where she has grown her audience and expanded her outreach to other LGBTQ+ people. She recalled the watershed moment that occurred last year when her father attended one of her drag performances in Scranton for the first time, just a few months before he died.
“Even though it’s 2019 and it’s mainstream to do drag or come out, people still have to face those demons with their families. If I can provide an example, then I’m doing something that wasn’t done for me,” Davis said. “It just wasn’t the way it was back then.”

Davis even went on to write a children’s book called “Little Eddie P. Wants to be a Star,” a semi-autobiographical story about a unique youngster who longs to be in the spotlight. She regularly reads to kids during Drag Story Hour in Rochester, New York, where she lives. It all comes down to helping families understand how to greet someone who’s different with kindness and tolerance, and shifting outdated attitudes of intolerance.
It’s not entirely lost on her then, the irony that she portrays a tongue-in-cheek version of a stereotypical 1950s housewife when in drag.
“I’m proud to be an example — some people call it ‘basic’ — of that traditional life, that old-school drag, that shows real-life scenarios,” Davis said.

NEPA film festival announces lineup

NEPA film festival announces lineup

Charles Brandt spent five years interviewing Frank Sheeran, the longtime Teamsters union official, confidant of Mafia chieftain Russell Bufalino — and the man who confessed to killing notorious union leader Jimmy Hoffa.
In March, Brandt will discuss his book, “I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran and the Inside Story of the Mafia, the Teamsters & the Last Ride of Jimmy Hoffa,” and the upcoming star-studded film based on his work at the Northeast Pennsylvania Film Festival, coming to downtown Scranton and Waverly Twp. from Friday, March 22, through Sunday, March 24. The festival announced its lineup Monday at the Ritz.
“After the book came out, I spent a fair amount of time in Northeast Pennsylvania,” Brandt recalled recently by phone from his home in Idaho. “I had not been there while I was researching with Frank Sheeran or while I was writing the book, but afterward I got invited over the course of the years to many functions there, and (I) have developed a rapport with an awful lot of people. … I became kind of adopted by the locals, and that’s how they got me for the film festival.”

Waverly Community House executive director Maria Wilson speaks during a press conference announcing this year’s NEPA Film Festival lineup at the Ritz Theater in downtown Scranton on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Christopher Dolan / Staff Photographer

Film festival screenings will take place at Waverly Community House, 1115 North Abington Road, Waverly Twp.; the Ritz Theater, 222 Wyoming Ave., Scranton; and PNC Auditorium in Loyola Science Center at University of Scranton.
“We’re so excited and grateful for the support of the local filmmaking community,” said Maria Wilson, executive director of the Comm, whose F. Lammot Belin Arts Foundation supports the festival.
More than 50 films will screen during the festival, which will hold a kickoff gala that Friday at the Comm. Dallas film producer, writer and director Robert May will receive the F. Lammot Belin Award for Excellence in Cinema that night, and the festival will show his 2003 film, “The Station Agent,” followed by a question-and-answer session.
Also that night, Waverly Twp. native and Abington Heights High School alumna Lisa Marie Stetler, who produced the 2017 animated feature “Ferdinand,” will receive the festival’s Vision Award. She also will lead a panel brunch discussion, “Pitch, Fund, Cast,” alongside Mountain Top filmmaker Chris Fetchko and casting agent and Old Forge native Mia Cusamano that Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at POSH at the Scranton Club, 404 N. Washington Ave.

Ritz Theater owners Mike and Sheri Melcher speak during a press conference announcing this year’s NEPA Film Festival lineup at the Ritz Theater in downtown Scranton on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Christopher Dolan / Staff Photographer

Brandt’s talk, “When Scorsese Calls,” will take place Saturday, March 23, at 3:30 p.m. in the private event space at the Bittenbender Building, 126 Franklin Ave., Scranton. Books will be available for purchase for Brandt to sign.
Also on Saturday, the festival will screen the documentary “The Pretender,” about Scranton native Mike Kunda as he pursues his dream of becoming a Rocky Balboa impersonator. That will begin at 7 p.m. at the Ritz Theater.
Kunda noted that the “Rocky” part of his life — as not only an impersonator but also manager of “Rocky”-based tours in Philadelphia — didn’t move forward until about 10 years ago, when he was 40.
“For me, if anyone ever had a dream, it’s never too late to go back,” Kunda said of his goal for the film’s message.
And at 9 that night, festivalgoers can catch Fetchko’s film “All in Time,” which was shot almost entirely in NEPA.
On Sunday, the action shifts to PNC Auditorium, where guests can watch student films, catch a panel discussion and see the results of the Mystery Box Challenge.

Popcorn bags with the NEPA Film Festival logo are displayed at a press conference at the Ritz Theater in downtown Scranton on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Christopher Dolan / Staff Photographer

‘Cold-blooded killer’
For Brandt, the path from page to screen began when the attorney took on Sheeran as a client, trying to gain Sheeran’s release from prison because of a medical condition. Sheeran mentioned that he had read one of Brandt’s books behind bars and told him he was “tired of being written about in all the books on Hoffa as one of those who participated in Hoffa’s murder,” Brandt said, “and he wanted to tell his side of it, and he wanted me to write it.”
Brandt said he knew Sheeran actually wanted to confess.
“And so I met with him,” Brandt said. “And boy did it pour out of him.”
But when Brandt showed Sheeran what he had typed up, the gangster was appalled. With Bufalino still alive at the time, Sheeran balked at making his thoughts public. Brandt told Sheeran to come back if he ever changed his mind.
It took eight and a half years, but Sheeran eventually returned. Bufalino had died by then, Brandt noted, and Sheeran wasn’t afraid. “I Heard You Paint Houses” came out in 2004, just a few month’s after Sheeran’s death. It details Sheeran’s interactions with Hoffa as well as Bufalino, who lived in Kingston and may have ordered Hoffa’s assassination. A former Teamsters president, Hoffa disappeared July 30, 1975, and his body has never been found.
Brandt said he hopes readers take away from his book “the humanity of people.”
“This is a cold-blooded killer, Frank Sheeran, who was formed by his 411 combat days (in World War II), but he never stopped feeling remorse,” Brandt said. “He was ordered to do things that if he hadn’t done them, they’d have gotten done anyway, and he’d have been dead.
“Ultimately, this man that determined the life expectancy of many others determined his own life expectancy and committed suicide by stopping eating. And he returned to his religion, his Catholicism, and sought forgiveness for what he had done. And that’s what drove him to confess to me over the five years we spent together.”
This year, Netflix will release “The Irishman,” the Martin Scorsese-directed adaptation of the book that stars Robert De Niro as Sheeran, Al Pacino as Hoffa and Joe Pesci as Bufalino. Bobby Cannavale, Anna Paquin, Jack Huston, Harvey Keitel, Sebastian Maniscalco and Ray Romano round out the cast. It all comes after De Niro’s office called Brandt’s publisher way back in 2007 to see if the film rights to the book were available.
“There’s an old saying: ‘Dear Lord, give me patience, but give it to me right now,’ and that was the philosophy my wife and I had about it,” Brandt said of the 12 years between that call and the film’s release. “We just knew it (that) there was a lesson of patience in there somewhere, and what we were waiting for was the most special thing any writer could hope for. To say it was worth the wait is an understatement. And to be waiting for Martin Scorsese to direct a book that you wrote — holy cow.”

Seated on the far side of the desk from left to right: Russell Bufalino, Angelo Sciandra and James Osticco. The image was taken on May 21, 1959 in Scranton. Times-Tribune Archives May 21, 1959

A long journey
After the initial contact in 2007 and then providing material for the film in 2009, Brandt heard nothing about the movie until 2016, when De Niro got in touch about meeting. Brandt met several times with the film’s creators, read the script (penned by Steven Zaillian, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Schindler’s List”) and provided notes.
“The last script they gave me, I emailed them back that I had no notes, that this was Frank Sheeran’s journey and this captures the Frank Sheeran that I knew,” Brandt said.
The movie began filming in 2017, and Brandt visited the set, which included New York City’s Roosevelt Hotel, where one of Brandt’s uncles was once head of room service, and outdoors in Queens’ Ridgewood neighborhood, where Brandt grew up.
“It was wonderful to be there,” Brandt said.
Brandt said he never doubted the truth of what Sheeran told him. And when it comes to the film, Brandt wants audiences “to be entertained more than anything, I guess, because it’s a very entertaining story to begin with.”
“And the mystery’s been solved, what happened to Hoffa,” he added. “There’s no doubt about it.”

Fab 5 – January 31, 2019

Fab 5 – January 31, 2019

1. Reaper’s Revenge’s Zombie Prom
Embrace you inner undead as Reaper’s Revenge and Stage West team up for the Zombie Prom.
The event will take place Friday, Feb. 1, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Stage West, 301 N. Main Ave., Scranton.
Guests can enjoy music, dancing and drinks and enter to win various giveaways, contests and awards, including a chance for tickets to this fall’s Reaper’s Revenge attraction. Costumes are welcome but not required, and Reaper’s Revenge’s special effects team will be on site to make up guests for a fee.
Shakenbake, Hostyle and K-one will provide the musical entertainment.
Admission to the 21-and-older event costs $10 at the door. Call 570-343-7100 or visit the Facebook event page for details.

2. ‘Wait Until Dark’
Actors Circle will present Frederick Knott’s thriller “Wait Until Dark” starting this week at Providence Playhouse, 1256 Providence Road, Scranton.
The play will run Thursday, Jan 31, through Sunday, Feb. 10, with shows Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $12 for general admission, $10 for seniors and $8 for students.
A preview performance will take place Thursday, Jan. 30, at 8 p.m. Tickets for that show cost $8 for general admission and seniors and $6 for students.
Kaylah Hodgins directs the show about a blind woman who, alone in her apartment, must deal with a group of con-men. The show stars Marnie Azzarelli, Chris Eibach, Peter Miles, Rafe Rickard, Abby Hanson and Michael Madajeski.
For reservations, call 570-342-9707 or email tickets@actorscircle.com. Reservations are held until 10 minutes before show time.

3. Philadelphia Freedom: A Tribute to the Music of Elton John
Settle in for a night of legendary music with Philadelphia Freedom: A Tribute to the Music of Elton John at River Street Jazz Cafe, 667 S. River St., Plains Twp.
The concert will take place Saturday, Feb. 2, at 9 p.m. Doors open at 7.
Admission to the 21-and-older show cost $8 in advance and $12 that day. For more information or tickets, call 570-822-2992 or visit riverstreetjazzcafe.com.

4. Big Game Party
Watch this year’s Super Bowl with members of the International Bikini Team.
Mount Airy Casino Resort, Mount Pocono, will host a party Sunday, Feb. 3, in Gypsies Lounge. Doors open at 5 p.m., and the game, featuring the New England Patriots versus the Los Angeles Rams, kicks off at 6:30.
Tickets for the 21-and-older event cost $15. For more information, call 877-682-4791 or visit mountairycasino.com.

5. Barnes & Noble opening weekend
Barnes & Noble in the Arena Hub, Wilkes-Barre Twp., will celebrate its reopening this weekend with several activities.
The store will welcome the Cat in the Hat for photos with customers, who also can join some crafts and activities. The popular book character will visit Saturday, Feb. 2, from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 3, from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m.
Also on Saturday, the store will host a storytime and book signing with author E.T. Vera from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., a book signing with author Stephanie Longo from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and a reading, discussion and book signing with author Steve Corbett from 4 to 6 p.m.
The celebration comes after an EF2 tornado damaged the store and several others nearby in June, causing the shop to close for repairs. It later opened a temporary pop-up shop in the nearby East End Centre.
For more information, call 570-829-4210 or visit the store’s Facebook page.

A knight to remember

A knight to remember

Towanda native reprises role as Sir Robin for BTL’s run
of ‘Spamalot’ this weekend

Kasidy Devlin spent his teenage years learning his craft in the Electric City.
Now, the Towanda native shows off the fruits of that labor as part of the cast of the national tour of “Spamalot,” which Broadway Theatre League of Northeastern Pennsylvania brings to Scranton for four performances. Shows will take place Friday, Jan. 25, through Sunday, Jan. 27, at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.
Devlin left Towanda in 2010 and joined the national tour of “Spamalot” a year later, acting in about 300 performances until it shut down. Co-creator and Monty Python alumnus Eric Idle then decided to revive the tour a few years later, and Devlin got called in again.
“This is kind of a reunion tour for some of us,” he said.
As before, Devlin plays Sir Robin, Idle’s role from the film upon which the musical is based, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” as well as a few other characters. The audience connects with Robin quite well, Devlin said, noting that his character seems to be the only one who takes some things seriously.

“He is the bravely bold Sir Robin, but he really is kind of a coward,” Devlin said. “I get the great opportunity to soil myself several times on stage. He’s just one of the audience’s favorites because it’s a really crazy world that ‘Spamalot’ lives in. A lot of things can happen.”
The comedy follows the shenanigans of King Arthur as he seeks the Holy Grail, recruiting several knights and meeting numerous unusual characters along the way. “Spamalot” ran for nearly four years on Broadway, earning three Tony awards, including best musical.
“It has a lot of heart,” Devlin said. “It’s a fun, irreverent storyline. It’s apolitical, which is nice today, and … it has just fantastic, catchy songs. It’s a light and easy storyline and it’s just thoroughly enjoyable.”
Devlin brings to the show not just previous experience with the musical but also an education he gained here in Northeast Pennsylvania. Devlin worked with the now-defunct Northeast Theatre, which did business as Electric Theatre Company and staged productions at Keystone College and in downtown Scranton. He also studied with “all these wonderful New York City actors that they were bringing in” through the company’s Griffin Conservatory, an 18-month professional training program for actors.
“By the time I got done with high school, I didn’t feel like I needed to go to a conservatory or college,” Devlin said, although he did further his studies in programs in Italy and California before moving to New York.
Coming back to “Spamalot” has been strange, Devlin said, since he thought he had put to rest that part of his life when the tour closed in 2013, but he pointed out how passionate the fans have been. The show encountered a technical problem on stage during a performance and had to pause for a minute, he said, during which time the entire audience began singing, unprovoked, act two’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” — which the actors hadn’t even performed yet.

“It’s been kind of a joy,” Devlin said. “You feel like a rockstar when you’re in this show, because so many people (know) the lines already.”
Devlin called the musical “a real kind of spiritual experience” for Monty Python fans. He added that Idle “did a really good job of streamlining the original film” and turning into a Broadway show.
“It is so lovingly adapted from the source material, ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail,’ so the Python fans maybe make up half the audience, people who are there who want to relive the experience … and see it live,” Devlin said.
During the tour’s Scranton stop, the audience also will include several of Devlin’s family members, who, alongside fellow Electric Theatre veterans, will make the trip to see him.
Devlin said he enjoys more than anything bringing such a large show into smaller communities that “don’t get to experience theater in this size.”
“I think in New York there’s so much theater,” he added. “When you come into the (smaller towns), the community is so grateful to have a show come in, and that’s probably the most rewarding experience.”

Fab 5 – January 24, 2019

Fab 5 – January 24, 2019

1. World Championship Ice Racing
World Championship ICE Racing returns to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre Twp. on Friday, Jan. 25.
The 2019 Fire On Ice Evolution Tour starts at 7:30 p.m. and features professional motorcycle ICE racers battling it out on Unlimited Outlaw Quads. Aided by studded tires, the racers can go from zero to 60 mph in fewer than three seconds. Ken “The Stuntman” Remer also will be on hand with his pyrotechnics team.
Advance tickets cost $15, $20 and $25, with children’s tickets available for half price. Ticket prices increase by $3 on the day of the show. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com or the box office or call 800-745-3000.

2. Wizardfest
Witches and wizards unite — Stage West, 301 N. Main Ave., Scranton, will host Wizardfest, a Harry Potter-themed dance party, on Saturday, Jan. 26.
The event will run from 3 to 8 p.m. and include music from a DJ; a costume contest with a cash prize; drink specials; Harry Potter-themed drinks such as butterbeer, firewhisky and potent potions; and quidditch pong.
Admission costs $15 in advance and $25 in advance with a wand.
For more information, call 570-343-7100 or visit stagewest570.com.

3. An Evening of Yoga at the Aquarium
Spend the night stretching alongside some of the ocean’s most interesting creatures during An Evening of Yoga at the Aquarium with Nearme Yoga.
The event will take place Thursday, Jan. 24, at Electric City Aquarium & Reptile Den in the Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton. The 45-minute all-levels program is open to ages 16 and older and includes admission to the aquarium in the day leading up to it with re-entry for the event. Check-in begins at 5:50 p.m. at the gift shop, and class runs from 6 to 6:45. Doors close at 7:30. Tickets cost $29.95, and annual pass-holders receive 10 percent off. Admission is limited to 40 people, so reservations are encouraged.

4. International Holocaust Remembrance Day Program
A Harvard University professor will speak about human rights, bioethics and immigration during an International Holocaust Remembrance Day program at Misericordia University, Dallas.
The university’s Center for Human Dignity in Bioethics, Health Care and the Holocaust will hold its second “Commitment to Preserve Human Dignity in Health Care” program Monday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. in Lemmond Theater, Walsh Hall. J. Wesley Boyd, M.D., Ph.D., will give the keynote address, “The Case for Keeping Our Borders Open to Immigrants,” during the free program, which is open to the public. Eligible participants can receive continuing education unit certificates.
Boyd is an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School as well as a staff psychiatrist at Cambridge Health Alliance, where he is the co-founder and co-director of the Global Health and Human Rights Clinic.
The program also will include the Pledge to Preserve Human Dignity in Health Care ceremony. To sign the online pledge, visit bit.ly/dignitypledge.
For more information, contact Dr. Stacy Gallin at sgallin@misericordia.edu or visit misericordia.edu/humandignity.

5. McDermott family fundraiser
An upcoming fundraiser will benefit a family whose patriarch is battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Girl’s Night Out and Kay’s Italian Restaurant are uniting to raise money for the McDermott family on Thursday, Jan. 24, from 4 p.m. to closing at the restaurant, 894 Drinker Turnpike, Covington Twp. The restaurant will donate 10 percent of diners’ check to the fundraiser. The evening also will include basket raffles.
David McDermott — who along with his wife, Dani, has been an active member of the North Pocono community for nearly 15 years — recently received his cancer diagnosis and is undergoing chemotherapy. Additionally, the father of fourth-grader Lawsen has learned from his employer that his contract would not be renewed, leaving the family’s primary breadwinner without an income.
The fundraiser and the David McDermott Family Fund will help the family pay medical, electric and heating bills as well as their mortgage.