Some of Scranton’s best actors, producers and directors want to push the limit of what audiences consider theater.
The sixth annual Scranton Shakespeare Festival, which starts Saturday, June 17, brings productions of the Bard and others to new venues as it begins its month of free performances.
According to Festival Artistic Director Michael Bradshaw Flynn, audiences are in for a completely different experience than previous years. The festival offers everything from intimate performances of one-act plays at Olde Brick Theatre, 126 W. Market St., to an immersive performance of baseball-themed musical “Damn Yankees” at PNC Field, 235 Montage Mountain Road, Moosic.
The ballpark spectacle, based on the 1954 novel “The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant” by Douglass Wallop, takes place Friday, July 14, and Saturday, July 15, at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays, July 16 and 23, at 5 p.m. Flynn said the musical production showcases the great dancing abilities of this area in a way past festivals could not.
“I wanted to do a show with more of an all-American feel, a little sexier, but still appropriate for all ages,” Flynn said. “There’s going to be hot dogs, beers, and even a seventh inning stretch. We want to push the limits of what people in this area think of theater.”
Before “Damn Yankees,” the festival kicks off with Shakespeare comedy “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” directed by Randy Rand, at Scranton Preparatory School’s St. Robert Bellarmine Theater, 1000 Wyoming Ave., Thursday, June 29, through Saturday, July 1, and Saturday, July 22, all at 8 p.m., and Sunday, July 2, at 3 p.m.
Next is the Bard’s “Measure for Measure,” (directed by Maura Malloy) also at Scranton Prep, which runs from Thursday, July 6, through Saturday, July 8, and Friday, July 21, all at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 9, at 3 p.m.
Each show offers a unique casting twist. “Two Gentlemen” features an all-male cast, and “Measure for Measure” an all-female cast.
“An all-male cast (for ‘Two Gentlemen’) is great to explore how ridiculous the scenarios really are in it,” Flynn explained. “And there is a lot a company of all female actors for ‘Measure for Measure’ can explore in a way that hasn’t been done before.”
Considered one of Shakespeare’s more-criticized works, “Two Gentlemen” is quite funny when done with the right cast, Flynn said, which he believes the festival has assembled. As for “Measure for Measure,” known for both its hilarity and dark moments, the play contains relevant themes including justice, social issues and conflicting viewpoints. Flynn acknowledged it is performed more throughout the country due to the current political climate.
“They’re both shaping up to be very multi-layered productions with a lot of comedic and serious moments,” Flynn said.
The festival also brings back its Youth Theatre Lab production, a performance created and written entirely by students with help from company professionals. The performance takes place on Saturday, June 17, at 6 p.m.at Scranton Prep.
The festival’s “second stage series,” as Flynn calls it, of one-act plays “Skin of the Teeth” and “Cheeks,” will be staged at Olde Brick Theatre on Friday, June 23, and Saturday, June 24, at 8 p.m.
The one-person plays garnered international recognition with “Cheeks” heading to one of the world’s largest fringe festivals, Scotland’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, this year, and “Skin of the Teeth” performed in Edinburgh last year.
With such diverse and acclaimed performances featured this season, Tamara Sevunts, director of public relations for the festival, hopes Scranton continues to land on the map of theatergoers.
“The larger vision for the festival is to become an event that draws enough tourism and activity to Scranton to help give the city’s economy a boost to its heyday glory,” Sevunts said. “Anyone who comes out to the shows is able to get something great for free, and it encourages local business.”
And to those who may be hesitant to attend a festival with the Bard’s moniker, Flynn believes the theater company’s lineup can appeal to anyone.
“We want to offer as much of a plethora of options for theatergoers as we can, and we’re always trying to push the line of our programming,” Flynn explained. “We believe theater should be a place for everybody, and we want to program things for people who may not like Shakespeare or musicals.”
— paul capoccia
Scranton Shakespeare Festival
Youth Theatre Lab performance: Saturday, June 17, at 6 p.m. at St. Robert Bellarmine
Theater at Scranton Preparatory School, 1000 Wyoming Ave.
“Two Gentlemen of Verona”: Thursday, June 29, through Saturday, July 1, and Saturday, July 22, at 8 p.m.; Sunday, July 2, at 3 p.m., Scranton Prep.
“Measure for Measure”: Thursday, July 6, through Saturday, July 8, and Friday, July 21 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, July 9, at 3 p.m., Scranton Prep
“Damn Yankees”: Friday, July 14, and Saturday, July 15, at 7:30 p.m., Sundays, July 16 and 23, at 5 p.m., PNC Field, 235 Montage Mountain Road, Moosic
“Skin of the Teeth” and “Cheeks”: Friday, June 23, and Saturday, June 24, at 8 p.m., Olde Brick Theatre, 126 W. Market St.
Tickets are free but reservations for groups are suggested. For reservations or more information, visit www.scrantonshakes.com.
When he looks back on the 40 years together as a band, Toto founding member David Paich said he still cannot believe the group’s success.
“It’s gone by so quickly,” Paich said in a recent phone interview. “We only thought we’d do it maybe 10 years if we were lucky, but because of the loyalty and our good fortune … We’ve had great fans that keep asking us to play globally and around the world. It’s gone by in the flash of a pan.”
The multi-Grammy Award-winning rock band visits F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, June 18, at 7:30 p.m. for “An Evening with Toto.”
Toto’s two-hour performance will feature repertoire from their latest studio album, “Toto XIV,” as well as classic hits and both band and fan favorites from their vast catalog, including singles like “Africa,” “Rosanna” and “Hold the Line.”
“We know we have to play some of our hits, but we’ll also reach back and do some of our deeper cuts,” Paich said. “For those who have been fans for the 40 years, we want something that someone hasn’t heard in a while. It won’t be the same show that we did last year. We do something different when we play in the same places. It’s new and fun and exciting for us, so it should be exciting for the crowd.”
Paich, who plays keyboards and sings for the American rock group, said the first time he fully realized the breadth of Toto’s fame when their eponymous debut album went double platinum.
“When we heard the words ‘double platinum,’ we were excited, like little kids,” Paich admitted. “Like it was our first day of the music business. Here we were, experienced professionals, calling each other on the phones about the radio. It couldn’t have been a more innocent or exciting time. Looking back on it, it was just a thrill.”
Throughout the years, Toto’s band members and ensemble have rotated and changed, but the group remained strong throughout. For the Wilkes-Barre show, the core members — Paich, Steve Lukather, Steve Porcaro and Joseph Williams — will be joined by Lenny Castro, Shannon Forest, Shem von Schroeck and Warren Ham.
As individuals, the band members can be heard on a whopping 5,000 albums that together amass a sales history of half a billion albums. With four decades together and more than 14 studio albums, Toto remains one of the top-selling touring and recording acts in the world.
In 2015, they released the first new studio album in ten years, “Toto XIV,” which debuted Top 10 in nine countries around the world and became their most successful album since 1988 in the United States and the United Kingdom. But even with all of the success, Paich noted some minor changes he would have made when they first started touring.
“I wish, being the nature of the ’70s and ’80s, if I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself,” Paich said. “I wish we toured the United States more in the earlier days. We found that the U.S. was so big, we were having to be an opening act, whereas in Europe or Japan we were headlining. But we’re trying to make a speedy catch-up (in the states) now.”
Over the years, the band performed in top-ranked venues, ranging from Zenith Paris, the Forum and the Staples Center to smaller, local clubs in various countries around the world — all of which are considered “magical moments” for Paich and the rest of the group.
And even though Paich admits to disliking the business side of the music industry, he thinks that the current lineup has been performing better than ever, and he aims to keep it that way.
“I’ve got a band full of guys that are eager to get out there,” Paich said. “I can sit by the ocean and look for shells, myself … I will always love making music and playing for people, but the music business wears on you after a while.
“We’re going to do this as long as we can. We’re going to be having fun as long as our fans want us. When we’re on that stage, there’s nothing more fun than playing in a band like ours for people.”
— charlotte l. jacobson
Scranton musical trio Take 3 brings rock and roll to events all around Northeast Pennsylvania, from weddings to backyard summer parties.
Specializing in hits from the ’70s to the ’90s, the group dubs itself the “biggest little band in NEPA,” and promises big music in a small package.
Tony Bouselli, the group’s drummer and vocalist, went On The Record this week to discuss the history, style and success of Take 3.
Q: How did Take 3 meet?
A: Mike and I were members of Take 5, a Scranton party band that played the area for over 30 years. One night in September 2009, our keyboard player at the time, Frank Gruden, and Mike decided to form a duo to play some smaller venues. They were going to call themselves ”Take 2.” At the last minute, they asked me to join them on drums and Take 3 was born.
Q: How many years have you been performing together?
A: We have gone through numerous bass players, but Mike and I have been together over 15 years between Take 5 and Take 3. Dave Arnell has been our bass player for over 2 years.
Q: Do you remember your first performance with Take 3?
A: Our first gig was at Merts (now Harry’s) in Scranton. We did it mostly for fun never thinking it would last this long. The owner immediately gave us more dates to play.
Q: What are some of your favorite memories with the group?
A: Too many memories to single out, but we enjoy when former band members and other local musicians stop by and sit in with us. We also are the “official rock band” of the Steamtown Marathon and have played the after-race party since its inception, starting as Take 5 and currently as Take 3. This is special to us because the Marathon benefits St. Joseph’s Center in Scranton.
Q: Your website describes Take 3 as a group that can adapt to many different types of events. Do you believe this has helped your success?
A: Absolutely. We all have been playing music for so long and have a wide variety of songs in our library so we can adapt to almost any event. We play weddings, picnics, car shows, clubs, etc., each one requiring a different mix. We can play a polka at a wedding that we wouldn’t play at a club (unless requested).
Q: Who are some of the band’s musical influences?
A: My musical influences would be John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater Revival), Elvis and The Eagles. Dave and Mike like a little different rock, such as Journey, The Outfield, Radiohead and stuff like that.
Q: Does the group have a target audience?
A: We don’t have a target audience, because you never know who is going to show up at a club. We play a little something for everybody.
Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
A: Enjoy every moment that you can and keep playing as long as you have fun doing it.
Q: Why is Take 3 dubbed the “biggest little band in NEPA?”
A: We say we’re the biggest little band because although we are only a three-piece band, we have a full sound. It’s all live music; nothing is taped. Bass, drums and guitar — rock ‘n’ roll.
Q: Do you have any plans for the future?
A: I always say that as long as there is work and people still enjoy us, we will keep playing. All three of us have day jobs, so sometimes playing can be a lot. But once we set up and start playing, we leave the work week behind. We’re three friends who have a ball making music together and having a good time.
— jacqueline kurovsky
Meet the band
Members: Tony Bouselli, drums and vocals ; Mike Bertha, guitar and vocals; Dave Arnell, bass and vocals
Genre: Classic rock
Based out of: Scranton
Up next: Friday, June 16, Minooka Pub. 2934 Birney Ave., Scranton; Thursday, June 22, Elmhurst-Roaring Brook Twp. Volunteer Fire Co.’s Annual Picnic
- ‘White Matter Surplus’
Community Play Factory’s presents “White Matter Surplus” Friday, June 16, through Sunday, June 18, at the Olde Brick Theatre, 126 W. Market St.,
Tickets are $12, and the show starts at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. It is recommended for mature audiences.
Set in a “fictional but familiar” Scranton circa 2010, “White Matter Surplus” is about a restless young woman and her meddling aunt struggling to repair their relationship as a couple of con artists come to town and change the course of their destiny.
The production premiered with two shows in the Koppleman Auditorium at the Jewish Community Center of Scranton in March.
For more information or to buy tickets, call Diva Productions at the Olde Brick Theatre at 570-209-7766.
- Holy Rosary Block Party
Mary Mother of God Parish at Holy Rosary Church hosts its summer block party at 316 W. Market St., Scranton, on Thursday, June 15, through Saturday, June 17.
Open to the public, the block party features a variety of food, a beer tent, games, raffles and live music. Entertainment starts at 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and at 5 p.m. on Saturday, including the Shiloh Baptist Church Show Choir and the Chatter (pictured).
For more information or to sign up to be a volunteer at the event, call the rectory at 570-342-4881 or visit the event’s Facebook page.
- Brews, Blues & BBQ
On Sunday, June 18, music lovers can enjoy tunes with a side beer and barbecue at Blues, Brews & BBQ on the deck at Glass-wine.bar.kitchen at Ledges Hotel, 119 Falls Ave., Hawley, from 6 to 9 p.m.
The evening features live music from Bobby Kyle Band along with outdoor barbecue-style dining and a selection of craft beers from a local brewery. Buffet menu is $32.50 per person. For more information, visit ledgeshotel.com/glass-wine-bar-kitchen.
- South Side Neighborhood Block Party
A block party on Saturday, June 17, takes over Alder Street at Cedar Avenue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Hosted by the Elm Street Project, the event features food vendors, like Manning’s Mobile Ice Cream Shop and Mexican restaurant Tortilleria El Buen Amigo. Also, kids’ activities, games, face painting and more will be offered. The South Side Farmers Market will be open, live Music will be provided by Jim Cullen and Jack Bordo.
For more information, contact Chrissy at 570-346-6203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 23rd annual Father’s Day Car Show at Nay Aug Park
On Sunday, June 18, the 23rd annual Father’s Day Car Show takes place at Nay Aug Park, 500 Arthur Ave., from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Admission for show cars is $10 in advance or $15 day of show. The event is free for spectators.
The event features food, awards and trophies for winning show cars and giveaways. All kinds of cars, trucks, motorcycles and specialty vehicles are welcome.
The car show is organized by the Villa Capri Cruisers Car Club Inc., a non-profit organization that works to benefit children’s charities. All proceeds and donations from the event go toward these charities.
For more information or to preregister, visit the event’s Facebook page or
Mention Scranton to James “Murr” Murray, and the memories rush back.
“I’ve spent more time in Scranton than some residents there,” the Tenderloins comedy troupe member and truTV’s “Impractical Jokers” star joked in a recent phone interview. “I’m a huge, huge fan of the city, I’ve spent countless days there and I’m a big fan of the trains.”
Murray returns, not to sightsee or to help his sisters move in or out of the University of Scranton, but with his best friends, the Tenderloins — Joseph “Joe” Gatto, Brian “Q” Quinn and Salvatore “Sal” Vulcano — for their “Santiago Sent Us” tour Friday, June 9, at 8 p.m. at the Pavilion at Montage Mountain, 1000 Montage Mountain Road.
Tickets starts at $28 and are available at
livenation.com or by phone at 800-745-3000.
Formed in 1999 in New York, the Tenderloins originally performed improvisational comedy and did sketch shows for years before moving their act online. After receiving millions of views, their popularity surge ultimately resulted in the group’s success today on “Impractical Jokers.”
“Our friendship on display is the magic of the show because it’s really a buddy comedy,” Murray explained. “It’s what everyone does with their best friends, and this upside-down prank show with the jokes on us instead of the public was enough of a twist to make the show pop.”
Along with his friends and co-stars, Murray is an internationally recognized jokester through the hit comedy TV show. Now in its sixth season, “Impractical Jokers” follows the group’s antics through hidden cameras as they play public pranks on each other.
The magic many see on television comes out during their live shows in a blend of what the Tenderloins have done together for nearly two decades.
“The tour is what you love about our TV show, but live,” Murray said. “We’re all on stage at all times, and it’s kind of like a stand-up show. We’re telling stories, ripping into each other, and we show videos made specifically for the show you can’t see anywhere else.
“There’s a giant screen up behind us, we put up clips and it’s really a rock-concert-meets-a-stand-up-show. And it’s family friendly too,” Murray added.
All the Tenderloins’ years together molded their work into what it is today, a journey best described by Murray as a “ten-year overnight success story.” That story continues across the United States and Europe with a stop once again in Northeast Pennsylvania for an evening of high jinks and laughs.
“If we were stand-up comedians that were not touring together as best friends, I think it’d be a lonely life,” Murray said. “But these guys are my best friends, I’ve known them since 1990. If we weren’t touring together, I know we’d still just be hanging out.”
— paul capoccia
If you go
What: Impractical Jokers “Santiago Sent Us” Tour starring the Tenderloins
When: Friday, June 9, at 8 p.m.; gates open at 6:30 p.m.
Where: The Pavilion at Montage Mountain, 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton
Details: Tickets start at $28 and can be purchased at livenation.com or by phone at
800-745-3000. For more information, visit thetenderloins.com.
Paul Praino began his career in pizza at the tender age of 12.
The Blakely native used to walk to Duke’s sports bar and pizza parlor at its former location in Peckville every day when he got out of school at Valley View, where he would work as a stockboy and kitchen prep cook for his uncle, Andy Venosh, who owned the business with a couple friends. From the start, the Midvalley establishment was known for its square trays, hot and cold hoagies, crisp salads and tasty wings.
But the standout on the menu became the Steak and Cheese Pizza, which was borne from a request by one of the bar’s best customers.
“It blew up, and it’s the reason we’re still here,” said Praino.
By 16 years old, Praino became a partial owner in the business. When his uncle fell ill and passed away, his other uncle, Bobby Venosh, took over and encouraged Praino to step in authority with Duke’s. They eventually opened a second location at 620 S. Blakely St., Dunmore, in April 2016, where Praino took the lead while Venosh stayed behind to manage the Peckville joint.
Praino long desired getting out of the bar business, though, so when Venosh died unexpectedly shortly after in May, Praino decided to leave the original Duke’s behind to build up the Dunmore carry-out spot.
With less than 10 seats around a handful of small tables, the space lends itself to more of a grab-and-go style, which suits Praino’s ideal business model. By eliminating waiting on people, he’s able to focus on the product, and making it the best it’s been in years.
He serves all square pizza, from the traditional red to the Polish pierogi-style Pagash to the Fresh Tomato, Basil and Garlic. The famous steak-and-cheese pies come double-crusted and can be customized with onion, peppers or mushrooms.
Praino also perfected his own wing sauce, the Peno, which is a sort of hot honey garlic flavor, and serves it up hot to order on the regular wings or boneless, which can be made baked for a healthier option.
The 12-inch hoagies come in all the standard varieties, while his homemade pierogies are rolled fresh in numerous combinations, like Potato and Cheese, Buffalo Chicken, Steak and Cheese and Jalapeno.
His newest addition to the menu is the invention of Duke’s Snackatizer, which is a sort of appetizer sampler pizza. It pairs cheese and a double-crust with onion rings, French fries and fried mozzarella and comes with a choice of dipping sauces.
“Some people do that with sandwiches and I thought, ‘Man, this could be good in a pizza. You could say the customers also helped with the idea.”
For help, Praino leans on his mother, Julia Venosh, and longtime pizza-making partner Gary Frisbie, who worked at the original Duke’s for 15 years and has known Praino’s family for more than two decades. They offer delivery during lunch to schools and local businesses, and do their best to stay active with local community groups, which was standard practice at the old Duke’s.
They’ve offered athletic scholarships and served pizza at games for years, and regularly help dance academies, kids’ groups and more with fundraisers. They donate pizzas often, and have been a popular presence at the annual St. Ubaldo festivities.
“Duke’s has always been heavily involved with the community. Very close-knit with the neighbors,” Praino said.
He also offers weeknight specials Mondays through Thursdays so that customers can try the food and various specials at discounted rates.
His greatest obstacle in the past year has been spreading the word about where he is now, but he credits his longtime faithful customers and the welcoming new faces he sees with making the business a continued success.
“The biggest challenge is being in one location for 27 years, and now people don’t realize we’re here,” Praino said. “But I want to thank all the loyal people who stuck with us, and the new Dunmore/Scranton customers who have given us a shot.”
— patrice wilding
Address: 620 S. Blakely St., Dunmore
Owner: Paul Praino
Cuisine: Pizza, hoagies, wings and salads
Hours: Mondays, 2 to 8 p.m.; Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 9 p.m.
Online: Follow the Duke’s Pizza Dunmore page on Facebook.
Garden State native Marco Benevento is no stranger to Northeast Pennsylvania. He has shared his singing and piano-playing talents with the area since 2004, and continues to come back because of the area’s hospitality.
“The hospitality from (local promoter) Tom Moran is the main reason we come back, “ he said. “He is a great host, and the crowd we play for is great as well. It has been over a year since we played there, so it will be nice to go back.”
Benevento hails from Livingston, New Jersey, and is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, Boston, where the pianist physically received his college diploma from Ziggy Stardust himself: David Bowie.
“I was touched by magic,” he said with a laugh. “It was very cool to shake his hand and have him hand me my diploma. But actually, (saxophonist and composer) Wayne Shorter was another guest speaker at the graduation, and, at the time, I was way more into jazz, so I knew about him. (But) I am going through a big Bowie phase now, so it is cool to look back on.”
Benevento will perform his own blend of psych-jazz-jam rock at the River Street Jazz Cafe in Plains Twp. on Friday, June 16, when he takes the stage at 10 p.m. to promote his first live record, “Woodstock Sessions.”
“We are playing side A of the album in its entirety,” he said. “We will mix in some older tunes but it will be mostly our newest album. This one has some longer-ended jams in it because we loved recording it. All that energy, the live audience, everything.”
Benevento will belt out the vocals and jam on piano while Karina Rykman strums the bass and Andy Borger pounds out a rhythm on the drums. “Woodstock Sessions” represents a different sound for the trio thanks to Benevento taking on vocal duties.
“I have a little studio next to my house, and after the kids go to bed, from about 10 p.m. to midnight, I turn on everything and just record,” he said. “I sort of just go instead of having something to play, and then I go back and edit what I improvised. Just trim the fat.”
The rock trio finds influence in groups like Gorillaz and the Talking Heads, and feels excited to get back to the Jazz Cafe where everyone is “in your face.”
“We take a bit of that edge, on-your-feet sort of music, and get people dancing,” Benevento said. “We like the Jazz Cafe because it is like we are partying with the people.”
— samantha stanich
If you go
Location: River Street Jazz Cafe, 667 N. River St., Plains Twp.
Date: 10 p.m., Friday, June 16; doors at 8 p.m.
Details: Tickets for the 21-and-over show cost $15, and can be purchased by visiting www.riverstreetjazzcafe.com.
The last time Bryan Adams visited Wilkes-Barre, he performed a solo acoustic set at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts.
This time, his appearance calls for a bit more of a production.
The 57-year-old musician brings his “Get Up” tour to the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Tuesday, June 13, at 8 p.m. as a part of a cross-promotion between the arena and the Kirby Center.
The Canadian singer-songwriter promised his show would feature a mix of his chart-topping hit songs like “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” and “Summer of ‘69,” as well as newer material from his latest album, for which the tour is named.
Over the years, Adams made a name for himself as one of the top hit-making artists in rock and pop, beginning with his eponymous debut album spanning to his 13th and most recent album, “Get Up.” This 2015 release features nine new songs plus four acoustic versions of those songs.
“The album was a series of demos I’d made with my songwriting partner, Jim Vallance, and we would send the parts one by one to Jeff Lynne (of Electric Light Orchestra), who turned them into records in his studio,” Adams said. “It wasn’t meant to be a record, it just turned into one.”
In the last four decades, Adams garnered a multitude of awards and prestige, with his worldwide sales topping more than 65 million albums. He was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011 and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2006, and toured six continents. Adams also has been nominated for and won several Academy Awards, Golden Globes and Grammy Awards for his songs.
But those milestones and awards are not what he claims to be the cherry on top.
“It’s the freedom mostly, and knowing what I’m doing now is for my kids and building a legacy for them to be proud of,” he said.
Although Adams released thirteen studio albums, five compilation albums, two soundtracks, four live albums and 69 singles, he still wishes he could tell his 21-year-old self to release as much music as possible.
“I would have released more music, straight up,” Adams admitted. “I was too precious about not releasing too much. Now I wish I had.”
In 2014 and 2015, the singer celebrated the 30th anniversary of “Reckless,” which boasted hits like “Heaven” and “Run To You,” with a special reissue of the album and an anniversary tour around Europe, Canada and the United States.
After so many years in the spotlight, Adams maintains his drive to create and write as much as ever.
“Making the music was the highlight (over the years), creating the songs,” Adams said. “Even now, as I’m creating a musical for Broadway of the film ‘Pretty Woman,’ the joy of getting the right song in the right spot is a thrill.”
When asked why he continues to tour after his rousing success over the years, rather than retire, his response was simple:
“Well for starters, I’m not dead yet, and I quite enjoy singing,” he joked. “Also because I have an international following thanks to certain songs, which means I get invited to perform all over the world.”
For those hoping to discover more about the singer, he encourages fans to follow his Instagram account, @BryanAdams, which he calls his “diary” on both his music and his life.
— charlotte l. jacobson
If you go
What: Bryan Adams “Get Up” tour
When: Tuesday, June 13, 8 p.m.
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, 400 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre
Details: Tickets start at $19.69 and can be purchased at the NBT Bank Box Office at Mohegan Sun Arena, Kirby Center box office, Ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000.
Sometimes, bands find success and thrive in the music industry. Other times, success cripples creativity and causes a rift between musicians.
For the founding members of Falling From Eden, prior success caused them to stay grounded in their current goals: to play music and enjoy the ride.
About a decade ago, Jay Green, Tom Godin and Brian McDonald formed a group called Absolution, which garned a decent following and allowed the trio to travel the country in hopes of obtaining a record deal.
“The band eventually separated for a few different reasons,” Godin explained. “It was a tough time for most of us and some of us didn’t really talk for a long time. After a few years, the three of us decided to start jamming again with the goal of just having fun with it and not really pushing for a career like we did in the past. Everything felt more natural and it was fun again.”
With Godin playing guitar, Green on guitar and vocals, McDonald on bass and newcomer Jordan Cross on drums, the group continued to jam and enjoy their time playing music. From the ashes of Absolution, Falling From Eden was born.
Q: Where did your band name come from?
Tom Godin: We kicked a few ideas around but nothing really stuck. For some reason I thought the word Eden was cool, more so for literal definition not necessarily religious context. Jay came up with Falling From Eden and we all really liked it. A lot of the lyrical content can be tied back to a theme of losing something or falling from a place of beauty, so it kind of fits with everything.
Q: How did you each get involved in music?
TG: Since I was a toddler, my dad had a drum set in the house that he just messed around with … I feel like it was always a part of my life. When I was in high school, I was really shy about doing things in front of people and a couple of these kids found out I played drums and asked me to jam with them. I was so nervous, I wouldn’t even look up at anybody while I played. I was probably 13 or 14 at the time. From that moment until I was about 26, music was the only thing I ever wanted to do with my life and I learned everything I could about how to make a successful career out of it. Eventually my priorities evolved as I got older, and I took a step back and just made it more of an outlet or hobby for me, which I am now content with.
Q: What do you remember about the first time you performed in public together?
TG: In this band, being really nervous about my first time playing guitar on stage. The nerves started to wear off after a few songs, and I was just happy that the crowd seemed to enjoy what we were doing.
Q: Do you write your own music or do you perform covers? What is the process like for writing your music and choosing the songs you cover?
Jay Green: A mixture of both. We usually write collectively together. Myself or Tom may come into practice with a guitar riff that either of us were jamming or working on or just came up with spontaneously on the spot and then the song is built from there. Or it may be a drum beat that Jordan plays, or a bass line that Brian plays that sparks interest and a song is created. We normally choose (cover) songs from bands that we love and follow and that have influenced us as well as playing songs that not many bands would play or attempt to play based on difficulty or popularity.
Q: How have you changed as musicians over the years?
JG: I think we have all grown as musicians over the years. For myself, Tom and Brian, we have challenged ourselves each with our own instruments, and some of us, with other instruments besides our current instrument. Jordan, although still somewhat new to this project, is making great strides and continually learning and making great music on his instrument.
Q: What are some of your favorite memories as a part of this band?
JG: Our first show. The nerves, the jitters, the years of missing that feeling of being on stage and performing in front of a crowd and rocking out together and having fun. Also, making new memories together, making new friends, gaining new fans and having our music be heard — to see where our music takes us.
Q: How has the NEPA music scene changed over the years?
All: The NEPA music scene is not the same as it use to be years ago … People used to go out and support original music or cover bands in NEPA, but it seems that the bars or night clubs or bigger venues have closed, or have been forced to close, causing bands to not have a place to play locally. Some popular local NEPA bands throughout the years have disbanded due to the scene not being what it once was. But, we think that the local NEPA music will make its comeback. We just don’t know when … But, there are still great places for bands to play in NEPA, that support the local NEPA music scene and bands or artists themselves.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a musician?
All: Finding time to practice. Although, we do make up for missed time or days that we can’t practice. Practice only makes yourself — and your band — tighter and better at what you do.
Q: What are your future goals for the band?
TG: Make killer music and have fun.
Q: Do you have anything else you’d like to add that is important for people to know about your band?
All: We are just four guys writing, creating and playing music and doing what we love to do. As a career, as a hobby, or just for fun. We don’t know where this project will take us, but we are excited to see where.
— charlotte l. jacobson
Meet the band
Band members: Jay Green, guitar and vocals; Tom Godin, guitar and backup vocals; Brian McDonald, bass; and Jordan Cross, drums
Genre: Hard rock/metal
For fans of: Sevendust, Alter Bridge, Static X, Korn, A Skylit Drive
Online: Falling From Eden on Facebook; reverbnation.com/fallingfromeden
F.M. Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre
Shadows of the 60s — a tribute to Motown, Saturday, June 10
Vince Gill, Thursday, June 15
TOTO, Sunday, June 18
Blackberry Smoke, Friday, June 23
The Ultimate Queen Celebration, Saturday, July 1
Robbie Fulks, Friday, July 14
Daughtry, Saturday, July 15
Amos Lee, Sunday, July 30
Dweezil Zappa, Aug. 3
Gypsies Lounge and Nightclub, Mount Airy Casino Resort
DJ Pauly D, Saturday, June 10; Saturday, July 15; Saturday, Aug. 26
International Bikini Team, Saturday, June 10
1964 the Tribute, Saturday, June 24
Freestyle Explosion, Friday, June 30
Kool & The Gang, Sunday, July 2
Fourth of July Fireworks, Monday, July 3
The Midtown Men, Friday, Sept. 29
Mohegan Sun Pocono, Plains Twp.
Richard Marx, Friday, July 7
Mauch Chunk Opera House, Jim Thorpe
Al Stewart, Friday, June 16
Romeo Delight, Saturday, June 17
Craig Thatcher’s Eric Clapton Retrospective, Saturday, June 24
Dwight & Nicole, Thursday, June 29
Splintered Sunlight — Summer of Love 50th anniversary party, Friday, June 30
Eaglemania, Saturday, July 1
The David Bromberg Quintet, Friday, July 14
The Elovators, Saturday, July 15
The Birdie Busch Band, Thursday, July 20
Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre
Bryan Adams, Saturday, June 13
The Pavilion at Montage Mountain
Dierks Bentley, Cole Swindell and Jon Pardi, Saturday, June 10
Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Young, Sunday, July 9
Vans Warped Tour, Monday, July 10
Camp Bisco, Thursday, July 13; Friday, July 14, and Saturday, July 15
Boston & Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Saturday, July 25
OneRepublic, Fitz and the Tantrums and James Arthur, Wednesday, July 26
Peach Music Festival, Thursday, Aug. 10; Friday, Aug. 11; Saturday, Aug. 12
Penn’s Peak, Jim Thorpe
Craig Thatcher Band, Thursday, June 8
George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Sunday, June 11
Jake Kaligis Band, Thursday, June 15
Lou Gramm — Voice of Foreigner, Friday, June 16
Happy Together Tour, Thursday, June 22
The Airplane Family & Friends with Live Dead ‘69, Friday, June 23
Fuel with Marcy Playground and Dishwalla plus Another Day Dawns, Saturday, June 24
Becky and the Beasts, Thursday, June 29
Back to the Eighties Show With Jessie’s Girl, Friday, June 30
River Street Jazz Cafe, Plains Twp.
Start Making Sense — Tribute to the Talking Heads, Friday, June 9
Marco Benevento, Friday, June 16
Dustin Douglas and the Electric Gentlemen, Saturday, June 17
Dead Winter Carpenters, the Dishonest Fiddlers and JP Biondo, Wednesday, June 21
Trippin on Nothing — Pre-Bakers Dozen Party, Friday, June 23
Hank and Cupcakes, Friday, June 30
Aaron Fink & the Fury, Friday, Aug. 18
Suze, Saturday, Aug. 26
Steal Your Peach, Saturday, Sept. 23
Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg
Three Dog Night, Sunday, June 11
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Thursday, June 15
Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti, Saturday, June 17
Water Street, Saturday, June 17
Crispy Light/Charles Infamous, Thursday, June 22
I Hate Heroes, Friday, June 23
Mac Seal, Monday, June 26
Maverick MMA II, Saturday, July 1
The Fillmore Philadelphia
Blurrred Featuring Graves X. Josh Pan, Thursday, June 8
Taake, Friday, June 9
Dawes, Saturday, June 10
Circa Waves, Saturday, June 10
Jeremy Enigk, Sunday, June 11
Electric Factory, Philadelphia
Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Saturday, June 10
Michael Franti & Spearhead, Saturday, June 17
Sevendust, Friday, June 23
Method Man + Redman, Thursday,
Kehlani, Monday, July 10
Lupe Fiasco, Saturday, July 15
Slayer, Sunday, July 23
Die Antwoord, Tuesday, Aug. 8
BB&T Pavilion, Camden, New Jersey
Train, Thursday, June 8
Jack Johnson, Saturday, June 10
Fast Lane: WRRF 2, Sunday, June 11
Florida Georgia Line, Saturday, June 17
Avenged Sevenfold, Wednesday, June 21
John Legend, Thursday, June 22
Lady Antebellum, Friday, June 23
Dead and Company, Sunday, June 25
Vans Warped Tour, Friday, July 7
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
Iron Maiden, Sunday, June 4
Neil Diamond, Tuesday, June 20
New Kids on the Block, Saturday, June 24
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Saturday, July 1, and Saturday, July 29
James Taylor, Sunday, July 9
Ed Sheeran, Tuesday, July 11 and Wednesday, July 12
Kendrick Lamar, Wednesday, July 19
Hans Zimmer, Saturday, July 22
Queen + Adam Lambert, Sunday, July 30
Earth, Wind & Fire, Tuesday, Aug. 1
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, New York
Train, Friday, June 16
K104’S KFest 2017, Saturday, July 2017
Neil Diamond, Thursday, June 22
Zac Brown Band, Friday, June 23
John Mellencamp with EmmyLou Harris and Carlene Carter, Friday, July 7
An Evening with Ann Hampton Callawat, Saturday, July 8
Luke Bryan, Thursday, July 13
Foreigner, Friday, July 14
Incubus with Jimmy Eat World and Atlas Genius, Sunday, July 16
Rod Stewart with Cyndi Lauper, Friday, July 21
Madison Square Garden, New York City
El Gran Combo De Puerto Rico, Saturday, June 10
Neil Diamond, Thursday, June 15 and Saturday, June 17
Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull, Friday, June 30, and Saturday, July 1
Billy Joel, Wednesday, July 5
Gloria Trevi vs. Alejandra Guzman, Saturday, Aug. 12
Lionel Richie: All The Hits with Mariah Carey, Saturday, Aug. 19
Miel San Marcos, Sept. 2
Eric Clapton, Thursday, Sept. 7, and Friday, Sept. 8
Depeche Mode: Global Spirit Tour with Warpaint, Saturday, Sept. 9, and Monday, Sept. 11
Earth, Wind and Fire and CHIC featuring Nile Rogers, Friday, Sept. 15
Beacon Theatre, New York City
An Evening with Pat Metheny, Saturday, June 10
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Tuesday, June 13, and Wednesday, June 14
Jermaine Dupri presents SoSo Summer 17 Tour, Friday, June 16
The Ultimate Doo-Wop Show, Saturday, June 17
Diana Krall, Wednesday, June 21
Jason Isbell, Thursday, June 22 to Saturday, June 24
Sheryl Crow, Wednesday, June 28
Jerry Seinfeld, Thursday, July 13; Thursday, June 27; Friday, Sept. 22; and Thursday, Oct. 5
Blondie & Garbage: the Rage and Rapture Tour, Tuesday, Aug. 1
Gillian Welch The Harrow & The Harvest In Concert Vinyl Release Tour, Wednesday, Aug. 2
World Cafe Live (downstairs), Philadelphia
Southern Culture on the Skids, Friday, June 9
Casey Abrams and Gina Sicilia, Thursday, June 15
Peter Asher and Albert Lee, Monday, June 19
Robert Glasper Experiment, Tuesday, June 20
Marshall Crenshaw Y Los Straitjackets, Thursday, June 22
The Joe Trainor Trio and Friends — An Evening of Billy Joel Songs, Saturday, June 24
Cloud Cult, Tuesday, June 27
Ed Palermo Big Band, Zodd Zundgren — the Music of Frank Zappa and Todd Rundgren, June 30
Thursday, June 8
Augustine’s Club 17, 518 N. Main St., Old Forge: Line Dancing with Chris and Darlene
Bar Louie at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Flaxy Morgan, Flaxy Morgan
Bart & Urby’s, 119 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre: Trivia Night
Chacko’s Memory Lane Lounge, 195 N. Wilkes-Barre Blvd., Wilkes-Barre: Kartune
Grotto Pizza/Skybox Sports Bar, Wyoming Valley Mall, Wilkes-Barre Twp.: Know Limit Trivia
Irish Wolf Pub, 503 Linden St., Scranton: Calligans Throwback in Time Extravaganza
Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Bon Jersey (Bon Jovi tribute)
O’Leary’s Pub, 514 Ash St., Scranton: E57, Katie Evans and the Charming Beards
OSE (Oak Street Express), 601 N. Main Ave., Taylor: DJ Famous
The V-Spot Bar, 906 Providence Road, Scranton: Jackson Vee
Friday, June 9
Arlo’s Tavern, 10340 Route 171, Union Dale: Asialena
Augustine’s Club 17, 518 N. Main St., Old Forge: Two for the Road
Backdraft Sports Bar & Restaurant, 1256 Hamlin Highway, Lake Ariel: Marilyn Kennedy
Backyard Ale House, 523 Linden St., Scranton: Tom Graham
Bar Louie at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Dustin Drevitch & the Electric Gentlemen
The Beaumont Inn, 4437 Route 309, Dallas: Dymond and Cutter
Cooper’s Seafood House, 701 N. Washington Ave., Scranton: Q-Ball
Cove Haven Resort, 194 Lakeview Drive, Lakeville: DJ BK, Rob Ryan, Mike Gaffney and Stephanie Peters
Franklin’s Bar & Grill, 53 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre: Mike Edward
Grotto Pizza, 36 Gateway Shopping Center, Edwardsville: A Pair of Nuts
Grotto Pizza/Grand Slam Sports Bar, RR 415, Harveys Lake: Outta the Blue
Grotto Pizza/Skybox Sports Bar, Wyoming Valley Mall, Wilkes-Barre Twp.: Torri Viccica Duo
Heat Bar & Nightclub, 69-71 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre: Inferno Drag Show
Irish Wolf Pub, 503 Linden St., Scranton: Das Black Milk, Honeybear Forest, Piece of Mind
JJ Bridjes Restaurant, 925 Northern Blvd., Clarks Summit: Alyssa Lazar
O’Leary’s Pub, 514 Ash St., Scranton: Pink Slip
OSE (Oak Street Express), 601 N. Main Ave., Taylor: Aim & Fire, Jeff Lewis
Paradise Stream Resort, 6213 Carlton Road, Mount Pocono: Somethin’ Else and RC Smith
Pocono Palace Resort, 5241 Milford Road, East Stroudsburg: DJ Chris, Brad Lowry, Chris Monty and Mike Burton
River Street Jazz Cafe, 665 N. River St., Plains Twp.: Start Making Sense (Talking Heads tribute)
Senunas’ Bar & Grill, 133 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre: AJ Jump and John Smith
Streamside Bandstand at the Woodlands, 1073 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Boomer Happy Hour with Frankie and Toby, Group du Jour
Thirst T’s Bar & Grill, 120 Lincoln St., Olyphant: Used Car Cowboy and Project 90
The V-Spot Bar, 906 Providence Road, Scranton: Nova City
Waldo’s, 406 Green Ridge St., Scranton: Dashboard Mary
Wise Crackers Comedy Club at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Melvin George, Dave Cooperman and Scott Bruce
The Woodlands Inn & Resort, 1073 Route 315, Plains Twp.: 25th Hour
Saturday, June 10
Ale Mary’s at the Bittenbender, 126 Franklin Ave., Scranton: Jackson Vee and Lissa
Ariel View Inn, 1400 Lake Ariel Highway, Lake Ariel: Marilyn Kennedy
Augustine’s Club 17, 518 N. Main St., Old Forge: The Control Freaks
Bar Louie at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp.: DWest
Breakers at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Big Bang Baby
Cove Haven Resort, 194 Lakeview Drive, Lakeville: Somethin’ Else, DJ Trex and RC Smith
Evan’s Roadhouse, 330 N. Hunter Highway, Drums: Dirty Hand
Evolution Nightclub at the Woodlands, 1073 Highway 315, Plains Twp.: Dance Party
Franklin’s Bar & Grill, 53 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre: Kevin n Bevan
Grotto Pizza/Grand Slam Sports Bar, RR 415, Harveys Lake: Irrefutables
Harry’s Bar, 302 Penn Ave., Scranton: Streetlife Serenaders
Irish Wolf Pub, 503 Linden St., Scranton: Fly Band
Levels Bar & Grill, 519 Linden St., Scranton: The Chatter
O’Leary’s Pub, 514 Ash St., Scranton: Giants of Science
OSE (Oak Street Express), 601 N. Main Ave., Taylor: DJ Famous, Speaker Jam Karaoke
Paradise Stream Resort, 6213 Carlton Road, Mount Pocono: Brian Dean Moore, DJ Chris and Mike Burton
R Place, 482 Hamlin Highway, Hamlin: Dashboard Mary
River Street Jazz Cafe, 665 N. River St., Plains Twp.: Dustin Arbuckle & the Damnations
Sidney’s Lounge, 820 Northern Blvd., Clarks Summit: Firp Edmunds
Skytop Lodge, 1 Skytop Lodge Road, Skytop: Doug Smith Orchestra
Streamside Bandstand at the Woodlands, 1073 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Bosco & the Storm
The Summit, Route 11, New Milford: Driven
Thirst T’s Bar & Grill, 120 Lincoln St., Olyphant: Buzz and Better Than Bad Duo
The V-Spot Bar, 906 Providence Road, Scranton: Nowhere Slow
Wise Crackers Comedy Club at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Melvin George, Dave Cooperman and Scott Bruce
Sunday, June 11
Arlo’s Tavern, 10340 Route 171, Union Dale: The Soul Shakers with Jesse Mower
The Beaumont Inn, 4437 Route 309, Dallas: Jordon Ramirez
Grotto Pizza/Grand Slam Sports Bar, RR 415, Harveys Lake: Great Rock Pair
Heat Bar & Nightclub, 69-71 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre: Not Yo Granny’s Bingo
OSE (Oak Street Express), 601 N. Main Ave., Taylor: DJ Devil Dog
Monday, June 12
Duffy’s Coffee House, 306 S. State St., Clarks Summit: Open jam session
Skyy Vu Deckbar at the Woodlands, 1073 Route 315, Wilkes-Barre: Strawberry Jam
The V-Spot Bar, 906 Providence Road, Scranton: DJ APTRIK
Tuesday, June 13
Backyard Ale House, 523 Linden St., Scranton:
OSE (Oak Street Express), 601 N. Main Ave., Taylor: Paul LaQuintano
Streamside Bandstand at the Woodlands, 1073 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Streamside Karaoke
The V-Spot Bar, 906 Providence Road, Scranton: Adam McKinley
Wednesday, June 14
Bazil, 1101 Northern Blvd., Clarks Summit: Marko Marcinko Jazz Trio
The Crimson Lion Hookah Lounge, 37 E. South St., Wilkes-Barre: Trivia Night
Irish Wolf Pub, 503 Linden St., Scranton: Open mic with Tim the Woodman Woody
Levels Bar & Grill, 519 Linden St., Scranton: Open Mic with JR Huffsmith
Ole Tyme Charley’s Restaurant & Pub, 31 S. River St., Plains Twp.: Karaoke
O’Leary’s Pub, 514 Ash St., Scranton: Jam Band
OSE (Oak Street Express), 601 N. Main Ave., Taylor: Speaker Jam Karaoke
Ruth’s Chris Steak House at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp.: Live Music Wednesdays
Skyy Vu Deckbar at the Woodlands, 1073 Route 315, Wilkes-Barre: Smoke On The Water featuring Marty Edwards & Heartbeat
The V-Spot Bar, 906 Providence Road, Scranton: Mike Dougherty
Whiskey Dick’s, 308 N. Washington Ave., Scranton: Trivia Night
- NEPA Yoga Festival
On Saturday, June 10, the third annual NEPA Yoga Festival takes place at Montage Mountain Resorts, 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton.
The festival, hosted by Nearme Yoga, features live music, lectures, vendors, meditations and classes. Classes include topics like Vinyasa, Kundalini and Chakra Flow yoga.
Tickets are $69 general admission and $50 for students and veterans. Children age 3 and younger get in for free, and tickets for children ages 4 to 16 are $25 and includes a water park ticket.
The festival runs from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Class times, subject to change, occur hourly from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit nepayogafestival.com or the event’s Facebook page.
- Everhart Honors
The Everhart Museum hosts the inaugural Everhart Honors fundraising event on Saturday, June 10, at the Everhart Museum, 1901 Mulberry St., Scranton.
Tickets are $125 to the 6 p.m. event.
The event is being held to raise funds for the museum and to honor an exemplary supporter. The evening features hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, live music and an art sale featuring local artists.
The event’s honoree is regional artist and former Everhart Museum trustee Lois Kearney. A painting by Kearney is part of the museum’s current exhibition “Women of the Everhart,” a collection of works by female artists.
For more information and to purchase tickets, call 570-346-7186 ext. 510 or visit everhart-museum.org.
- Dierks Bentley
On Saturday, June 10, country superstar Dierks Bentley takes the stage at the Pavilion at Montage Mountain, 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton, with special guests Cole Swindell and Jon Pardi, as part of “What the Hell” world tour.
Tickets start at $26 for the 7 p.m. show.
Bentley rose to fame in 2003 with his debut self-titled album, featuring songs like “My Last Name” and “What Was I Thinkin’?” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. His newest studio album “Black,” debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.
For more information and to purchase tickets, call 800-745-3000 or visit ticketmaster.com.
- Pittie Palooza Festival
Lehigh Valley Pitbull Awareness Club and Pittie Chicks host Pittie Palooza on Saturday, June 10, at Maiolatesi Wine Cellars, 32 Cabernet Drive, Scott Twp.
Tickets are $10 for designated drivers or $20 for adults by Friday, June 9, and $25 at the door. All proceeds benefit rescues in attendance.
The festival, which takes place from noon to 4 p.m., features wine, dogs for adoption from local rescues, vendors, food trucks and live music by Blue London.
All friendly, well-socialized breed dogs welcome. One dog per handler and retractable leashes are not allowed. Attendees must be 21 and over to drink.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit pittiepalooza.com or the event’s Facebook page.
- Scranton Shakespeare Festival Tony Awards Viewing Party
On Broadway’s biggest night, Scranton Shakespeare Festival offers fans of the Great White Way to celebrtae in style.
The festival hosts Tony Awards Viewing Party on Sunday, June 11, at The Scranton Club, 404 N. Washington Ave.
The event kicks of at 7:30 p.m. and will feature a red carpet, live entertainment cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
Tickets are $35 per guest and $50 to be listed as a patron. Reservations recommended, but tickets can be purchased at the door by check, cash, or credit card. To reserve, call 570-230-7277.
For more information, visit Scranton Shakespeare Festival’s Facebook page.
Donovan Leitch racked up plenty of honors over his career that indicate the power of his pop music, which listeners could describe as trippy, catchy, folky, poetic and transcendental all at once.
Among the Scottish-born singer/songwriter/guitarist’s credits are spots in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Mojo Maverick Award, the Ivor Novella Award and LifeTime BBCFolk Award, not to mention his numerous Top 20 hit songs, including “Sunshine Superman” and the follow-up, “Mellow Yellow.”
On Sunday, Donovan brings his 50th Anniversary Celebration tour to Wilkes-Barre for an intimate show at F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts. He recently spoke with electric city by email about some of the events and inspirations that shaped his storied musical catalog from the last five decades.
Q: Your tour celebrates 50 years. Tell us about how it feels to watch your music endure through every fad, emerging style or major culture shift of the last half-century. Why do you think it has survived the tests of time and taste?
A: The human journey remains the same from ancient times to now. My songs are of the same human journey. The ways to distribute music, art, literature and films have new platforms, but one thing never changes: the need for live music and the need of artists to create. Age has nothing to do with it, really; my songs are timeless.
Q: What design and vibe do you have in mind for this tour as far as the live performance planned?
A: Solo; cross-legged on my sheepskins; acoustic. Most all of the great songs are written on one instrument we songwriters all sat in parties on the floor playing. I know, as I asked Jimmy Page and all my other song pals. So, I decided to do my 50th (anniversary shows) as if you are sitting with me, at ease. The essence of the songs and some stories, too, that my best pal, Gypsy Dave (Mills), said, “No one will believe them. But then, truth is always stranger than fiction.”
Q: Tell us something about your days spent with John Lennon and other musical contemporaries and luminaries, and what it’s like to hear the influence of your music, your style and your presence incorporated into others’ work.
A: The Beatles and I know we come from the ancient Gaelic past: the Irish-Scots-Welsh. This heady Gaelic mix powers popular songs over the centuries. Gaelic poetry, music, theatrical and radical skills are evident on both sides of the Atlantic. It was obvious we five would be on the same path and invade popular culture with the Bohemian manifesto. Don’t be fooled by folk songs and pop suits and haircuts — there is a deeper flux that is loosely called the “British Sixties,” and it is Gaelic energy that has been preserved, as the Romans did not invade Ireland or Western Scotland. We five read the same books of the mysteries and sought out a guru to show us how to enter the Fourth Level of Consciousness within us all, to check what all the Vedic and mythic teachers reveal and open the Third Eye, to view the true reality with what is called (in the Indian Upanishads) Transcendental Super Conscious Vision.
In the Gaelic Mysteries, the invisible true reality within is called Avalon and the Living Crystal Faery Realm. We are poets in service to the tribes of man. We know that all change begins within. And we place in our songs guiding sounds to awaken the millions who have reincarnated into the planet to be done with the Lower Consciousness and be awake to and aware of the future: preservation of all life. Most humans live on three levels of consciousness: Waking, Dreaming and Dreamless Sleep. The Fourth Level is our natural Evolution of Consciousness unfolding, and we five — and many others — are involved in enlivening it sooner than later, for obvious reasons. For, to realize we are all the Unified Field within, dispels duality, and we see we are all the one indivisible wholistic event. I knew when I was making the “Sunshine Superman” album, it was the benchmark for all that would follow in folk, Celtic, jazz, psychedelia, rock, poetic, mythic and meditational music. All were announced on “Sunshine Superman,” I the herald of things to come. And my muse and wife, Linda, by my side, we two destined to meet again this life and continue the Great Work.
I was brought up by my Scots-Irish father reading me poetry of noble thought: Burns, Shelley, Wordsworth, Keats, Yeats, and the rambling poets, Service and Davies. And I listened to the songs of my family, songs handed down. I am aware of the immense influence of our Gaelic tradition. And I intuitively know that the poet’s role is to reunite the tribe with the source. It is always the shaman poet’s role to heal the invisible wounds. The teachings of the Northwestern shores of Europe — Scotland, Ireland Wales, Cornwall and Brittany — are well-known throughout history, and reincarnation a reality. And so my influence on others is because I incorporate and fuse the traditions of the Gaelic teachings. My students know they are receiving the real thing from the source. At the age of 14, I remembered who I had been in the previous life, and saw clearly I am a teacher of the future fusion of the world of spirit, art and culture.
Q: Is there a certain moment during a show you strive for each time? When you know you’ve officially connected with your audience?
A: When I walk onstage, it is a reconnection that happens. Not because they know the songs, moreso because the solo poet sings to the Inner Consciousness of the audience. And with the sounds of my mellifluous voice and moving vibrations of the guitar, it harmonizes all of us and heals any imbalances, which is why I like to go out in concert, because I need this as much as my audience. This means the audience and I, we balance each other. It’s symbiotic. And really should be — the true effect of art on us all.
Q: Will you share some of your favorite moments, anecdotes or memories from the last 50 years?
A: 1968: Twenty-thousand people in Madison Square Garden, just back from India, dressed in my Ashram gear. I walk onstage solo, and a wave of attention moves me like a strong wind, and I need to immediately sit cross-legged in case I fall over. I sing my softest song I know, “Isle of Islay.” Very rare New Yorker silence, and the audience are in awe. That night, I “broke the gate” at the Garden, earning more than any other solo artist in the Garden’s history (at the time). Before the concert, my New York Irish cops drove me through the traffic jam around the Garden. Later, one cop backstage told me, “(Ronald) Reagan was in his limo in the traffic jam on his campaign for California governor, and Reagan thought the traffic jam was for him.” My 10 Irish cops backstage all laughed.
Q: What would you like to say to your most faithful listeners and fans of the last 50 years? To your newest and youngest?
A: I thank all my friends who have followed me, and say welcome to my new, younger friends who have just discovered my poetic music. Many times I am thanked for helping, with my music and poetry, those difficult times on the journey through one’s present life. The ancient book of changes, the “I Ching,” says, “Music releases the obscure emotions of the heart.” If you come to my concert, you can experience it in person.
— patrice wilding
If you go
What: Donovan in Concert: 50th Anniversary Celebration
When: Sunday, June 4, 7 p.m.
Where: F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, 71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre
Details: Tickets are $25, $35 and $45, plus fees, and are available through the box office, online at kirbycenter.org or by calling 570-826-1100.
Five years ago, a group of residents took the stage one-by-one to tell a story to a room full of friends and strangers and a tradition was born: Scranton StorySlam.
On Saturday, June 3, 10 storytellers take the stage for the 16th StorySlam, which is the third version of the event to fall under the Scranton Fringe Festival’s umbrella of programming.
The slam’s theme, “Taking the Fifth,” is a nod to the event’s fifth anniversary and also gives storytellers a myriad of directions to take, said Fringe board member Camille Reinecke, who helps to coordinate the festival.
“The way I interpret it is something that was withheld … you refrained from saying something and vowed never to speak of it again,” Reinecke said. “But, people can interpret it however they want, and it’s exciting to see what they come up with. It’s interesting how completely different the stories could be with the same theme.”
The show takes place inside Craftsmen Hall on the third floor Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave., Scranton. Doors open at 8 p.m. and stories begin at 8:30. Tickets are $7 and proceeds benefit Scranton Fringe Festival. Tickets can be purchased at eventbrite.com in advance or at the door.
The Slam follows the same format as in past years. Community members from actors to writers to comedians share a true, five-minute-long story without notes in front of an audience and a small group of judges that can be taken in any direction from poignant to hilarious. Actor and DJ Conor McGuigan will emcee the evening.
Those slated to share their stories include writer and actor Joe McGurl, motivational speaker and writer Garry Melville, writer Alicia Grega, who was part of the very first StorySlam, and more. Like in past years, two “wild card” storytellers will be chosen from the crowd to tell their stories, too. The winner will take home a “Slammy,” the official StorySlam trophy, and $50.
Some stories will break hearts, some will evoke laughter and some will simply make the audience smile but all stories will connect the storytellers with the audience, and Reinecke said that’s what the evening is all about.
“I love this event because it gives a diverse group of storytellers the opportunity to take the audience on an adventure,” Reinecke said. “They only get five minutes, but by the end of the night, you know so much about everyone up there. Especially this one — it’s like you’re learning their deep dark secrets.”
— gia mazur
If you go
What: Scranton StorySlam: Taking The Fifth
When: Saturday, June 3; 8 p.m. doors open, 8:30 p.m. stories start
Where: Craftsmen Hall, third floor, Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.
Details: Tickets are $7 and proceeds benefit Scranton Fringe Festival. Tickets can be purchased at eventbrite.com in advance or at the door.
In less than two months, Nanticoke residents welcomed their newest neighbors at the French Quarter restaurant with open arms.
Owner and chef Kelli Fritz worried that opening a restaurant far away from her Berwick home might be a disadvantage to the business, but the locals proved her wrong.
“I know my people (in Berwick) will follow me here to eat, but I don’t have many friends up here,” she said. “But through word of mouth, we’ve been busy.”
The restaurant hugs the corners of South Walnut and East Union streets, which sat vacant for four years prior. Customers who enter the establishment are immediately greeted by the scent of Cajun spices and a cozy atmosphere. A menu full of variety sits on the chalkboard wall with different options written in brightly colored chalk, and Mardi Gras-themed decor covers the restaurant in the signature green, purple and gold color scheme.
Fritz said after so many years working for other people she decided it was finally time to open her own restaurant, with her style of food.
“I lived in New Orleans until I was eight, and my uncle had a restaurant down there,” she said. “For years, people told my mom and I to open a New Orleans-styled restaurant, but we’d been busy working for other people, making them money.”
In November, an opportunity to lease the restaurant South Walnut Street presented itself to Fritz and her husband, Larry, and they couldn’t pass it up.
“It was a long time coming,” Fritz said.
But she couldn’t do it alone. With help from her family and friends, they opened the restaurant after five months of revamping the interior and decorating it to their liking.
Now, the restaurant specializes in various New Orleans- and Cajun-styled cuisine, from the famous Po’Boys — both hot and cold — to Crawfish Etouffee and Jambalaya. But most notably, the French Quarter serves Alligator Bites as an appetizer, to really bring something new to the area.
“We allow people to have samples of gator before ordering,” Fritz said. “And 90 percent of people like it.”
“It’s like a fishy chicken with a steak texture,” her husband added.
Although they are still a budding restaurant, the food spoke for itself when it came to Facebook reviews, which have been mostly five-stars. Fritz said she fears the day they receive a bad review, but said, “you can’t please everyone.”
Even with the more unique dishes, the couple said locals keep returning to the restaurant to try new things. Within the few months they’ve been open, they said many people are repeat customers, from the 911 call center employees that order lunch to the neighbors across the street that eat dinner at the restaurant several times a week.
“The best part is meeting all of the new people, from the people across the street to any new customer that walks in daily,” Fritz said.
— charlotte l. jacobson
The French Quarter
Address: 701 S. Walnut St., Nanticoke
Owners: Kelli and Larry Fritz
Cuisine: New Orleans-styled sandwiches and dinner entrees
Hours: Mondays, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays, 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturdays, noon to 11 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 8 p.m.
Online: Visit the French Quarter on Facebook.