‘Season of hope’

‘Season of hope’

The spirit of French beauty and decadence makes its way into the convention center at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Sunday for the 30th annual Gourmet Gala.
Under the theme “Springtime in Paris,” more than 40 local restaurants present sumptuous appetizers, entrees and desserts for the major fundraiser that benefits Ronald McDonald House of Scranton.
Organizers set a goal of $80,000 this year, which will fund the house at 332 Wheeler Ave., Scranton, plus satellite rooms in three area
hospitals that provide respite for families of pediatric patients.
Picture Perfect Band provides entertainment from 5 to 8 p.m., and the casino offers free valet parking for guests. Admission is $45 at the door, which grants guests access to a wide variety of samples from area eateries.
Waverly Twp. resident Kathy Nelson co-chairs the event this year with Peggy Hennemuth and expects upward of 1,000 people to attend. Nelson worked on the annual fundraiser for the last four years, first by rounding up restaurants to participate and then by taking on a greater role with Ronald McDonald House after she toured the Scranton home.
“Once I did that, I was hooked. It’s a great cause,” Nelson said. “They help families really when they need it most.”
The Parisian theme came to mind in light of a trip to France she made with her husband a few years back.
“I loved it. First of all, it’s a beautiful city, and from what I hear, springtime there is spectacular,” she said. “Spring, to me, is a season of hope, so that’s kind of what we’re looking for.”
To bring Paris to Northeast Pennsylvania, she hired designer John Mackey to transform the event space with flowers and decorations. Nelson also reverted back to the original floor plan of years past, which makes room for several aisles of vendors and offers better traffic flow. Last year’s setup didn’t work as well for guests, she said, so she hopes they’ll return to enjoy the redesigned pattern, which also includes two entrances.
Mostly, she and Hennemuth look forward to seeing (and tasting) the creative ways restaurants interpret the theme.
“There will be a little bit of everything,” Nelson said. “Some really get into it. They often dress up and make it fun.”
— patrice wilding


If you go
What: “Springtime in Paris” — 30th annual Ronald McDonald House Gourmet Gala
When: Sunday, 5 to 8 p.m.
Where: Mohegan Sun Pocono,
1280 Route 315, Plains Twp.
Details: Admission is $45 at the door, or call 570-969-8998 for tickets. For more information, visit www.rmhscranton.org.


Restaurants Include:
• A Little Pizza Heaven
• Angelo’s Italian Ristorante
• Ambers Restaurant & Bar
• Andy Gavin’s Eatery & Pub
• Arcaro & Genell
• Bazil Ristorante Italiano
• BBQ by Barry’s B3Q Smokehouse
• Bartolai Winery
• Bella Faccias Personalized
Chocolates & Gifts
• Cafe Rinaldi
• Camelot Restaurant & Inn
• Constantino’s Catering & Events
• Cooper’s Seafood House
• Cusumano
• Down Home Rice Pudding
• Edible Arrangements
• Fire and Ice on Toby Creek
• The French Manor:
Pocono Bed & Breakfast
• Gerrity’s Supermarkets
• Gertrude Hawk Chocolates
• Glider Restaurant
• Harvest Seasonal Grill
& Wine Bar
• Holiday Inn Wilkes-Barre —
East Mountain
• Isabella Restaurant and Bar
• La Buona Vita
• LongHorn Steakhouse
• Loose Moose Cottage
at Great Wolf Lodge
• Manning Farm Dairy
• Market Street Bar & Grill
• McDonald’s restaurants
of Greater Scranton
• Mendicino’s Italian Specialities
• Moses Taylor Hospital Culinary
• Nibbles & Bits
• Nimble Hill Vineyard & Winery
• Nosh
• Olde Brook Inn
• Peggy’s Wing Sauce
• P.J. Brown’s Restaurant
• Pocono Provisions
• POSH at the Scranton Club
• Rustic Kitchen
• Ruth’s Chris Steak House
• State Street Grill
• Stirna’s Restaurant
• Terra Preta
• Truly Scrumptious
• Villa Maria II
• Wolfgang Puck Express

Magic Moment: Cinderella

Magic Moment: Cinderella

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘Cinderella’ transforms with help from NEPA native

Cinderella and her prince finally found their happily ever after on Broadway in 2013 after decades of televised productions, tours and community theater. And they did so in an updated story from Wilkes-Barre-born Douglas Carter Beane, who invigorated Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical for a new audience.
Now, the fairy tale’s national tour comes to cast its magic at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave., where Broadway Theater League of Northeastern Pennsylvania presents five performances from Friday through Sunday.
“The minute the Broadway version was happening and going successfully, people were wanting it for their theaters across America. … The story had enough of a twist and relevance — and now, since the most recent election, even more relevance — that it was wonderful,” Beane said recently by phone. “We did one year of touring, and a lot of the cities rebooked it.”
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II originally created “Cinderella” for television, and an estimated 107 million people watched Julie Andrews play the heroine when CBS broadcast it live in 1957. The work eventually hit stages around the world and returned to television twice more before reaching Broadway for the first time with the help of Beane.
The five-time Tony Award nominee, who grew up near Reading and who has a home in Wyoming County, initially said no to producer Robyn Goodman when she approached him about working on the project. Beane thought “Cinderella” had a great score but that its story bore a message he didn’t want to share with his young daughter or nieces.

He headed to his home on Lake Carey over Christmas and happened across the original French version of “Cinderella.” He discovered how much it differed from what he knew of the story, as later versions cut out what he called “wonderful parts” in which Cinderella met the prince several times and affected change in him.
“She brought kindness to the court, and one of the stepsisters turned out to be her friend and helped her,” Beane said.
He told Goodman he’d found a way in to the story, but he needed more music to turn “Cinderella” into a two-act musical. In their long careers, Rodgers and Hammerstein created few songs they didn’t use, Beane said, but he and music arranger David Chase went through song fragments and notes at the duo’s library and crafted new works from the masters’ ideas. New songs such as “Me, Who Am I?” join such favorites as “In My Own Little Corner” and “Impossible/It’s Possible.”
“It really was whipping out a Ouija,” Beane said. “It’s all their work. We just arranged (new pieces).”
The basics of the classic tale remain: an orphaned girl, Ella, toils for her wicked stepmother, falls in love with a prince, attends a grand ball with the help of a fairy godmother and — spoiler alert — lives happily ever after. But Beane incorporated the “social satire” element of the French version throughout, along with other plot points, including making the prince, Topher, an orphan like Ella, and giving him help from a court member, whom Beane turned into a negative influence. He took a formerly unnamed stepsister — who now helps Ella — and named her Gabrielle after his daughter.
A piece of the “Cinderella” ballet also snuck in, showing Ella’s kindness toward a homeless woman, who turns out to be her fairy godmother.
“That was sort of just irresistible. … Isn’t that just a fabulous lesson to be teaching your kids?” Beane said.
Beane has heard from parents about how the show “was a great lesson for the kids, and it’s not shoved down their throat. It’s done with humor.”
“There was a wonderful review … which was very meaningful to me, which is about how happy (the reviewer) was to take her daughter to the show and that the lesson of kindness and tolerance and acceptance and different points of view coming to a common conclusion were meaningful to her,” said Beane, who hopes to make it to Scranton for part of the show’s run. “And the kids just enjoyed it. And it was about how a hero can be a hero through sensitivity, through kindness. It was my intent.”
— caitlin heaney west

If you go
What: “Cinderella,” presented
by Broadway Theatre League of Northeastern Pennsylvania
When: Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, 1 and 6:30 p.m.
Where: Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.
Details: The show runs about 2 hours, 10 minutes, including an intermission,
and is recommended for all ages. Tickets are $37 to $65, available at the box office, ticketmaster.com and 800-745-3000.



St. Patrick’s Parade survival guide

St. Patrick’s Parade survival guide

Plenty of festivities from morning to night on the greenest date of the year

As spring emerges this month with the promise of all things green, the Scranton St. Patrick’s Parade, a proud local tradition, returns to the downtown Saturday.
Presented annually by the St. Patrick’s Parade Association of Lackawanna County since 1962, Parade Day celebrates the culture of the Emerald Isle and a heritage shared by many families in Northeast Pennsylvania.
As of press time, AccuWeather forecasts indicated a few more prayers may be needed for the luck of the Irish to be with the more than 12,000 marchers set to fill the streets of Scranton with music, dance and revelry. Temperatures are expected to peak in the mid-30s F with cloudy skies and a chance of snow in the afternoon.
Festivities kick off Saturday with a special Parade Day Mass in St. Peter’s Cathedral, 315 Wyoming Ave., at 10 a.m., followed by the Brian P. Kelly Memorial St. Patrick’s Parade 2-Mile Footrace at 11 a.m.
The course starts in front of Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave., and is run entirely on the parade route. Registration will be held from 9 to 10:30 a.m. the day of the race at Lackawanna College Student Union Center, 600 Jefferson Ave., and costs $15. The first 250 registered runners receive souvenir T-shirts, and medals will be awarded to the top two male and female finishers in several age categories.
The parade steps off at 11:45 a.m. from Mulberry Street and Wyoming Avenue, then continues for three blocks to make a left onto Lackwanna Avenue for about three more blocks. The route then curves onto Jefferson Avenue briefly and makes a left onto Spruce Street for three blocks, followed by a final right turn onto North Washington Avenue for two blocks, where it comes to an end at Vine Street.
Parade Day typically draws tens of thousands into the city, making it one of the busiest and most crowded weekends for downtown Scranton. Parking is available in the Marketplace at Steamtown garage and paid lots throughout the city, though guests are encouraged to arrive early before streets close at 10:30 a.m.
For more information, visit the Scranton St. Patrick Parade Facebook page or www.stpatparade.com.
— patrice wilding

Highlights from
line of march
Bagpipers, marching bands, dignitaries, Irish cultural groups, step dancers and much more will make up this year’s line of march.
Pop singer and former reality television star Aaron Carter will travel along the city’s streets, too, performing on the KRZ float in the parade. He also will meet and take photographs with fans at Levels Bar & Grill, 519 Linden St., Scranton. VIP tickets are available for his bar appearance.
Carter released his self-titled debut in 1998 and found success with such songs as “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It).” He starred with his family in the reality docu-series “House of Carters” in 2006 and competed on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2009.
Last month, Carter was hurt at his concert in Bradley, Illinois, when his opening act attacked him, accused him of making a racial slur and damaged his equipment.
— caitlin heaney west
There’s plenty to do in downtown Scranton on the greenest day of the year.
At Ale Mary’s, 126 Franklin Ave., check out entertainment by Eric Rudy, Black Tie Stereo, and Reach for the Sky. Cover charge is $10, and the kitchen will be closed, but folks can grab a bite to eat at a food stand outside.
Doors open at 9 a.m. at Kildare’s Irish Pub, 119 Jefferson Ave. The pub offers three ways to enjoy the day: a $15 cover charge that grants general admission; a $25 pass, which allows guests to skip the line, score a free T-shirt and get their first 12-ounce drink free; and a $75 VIP pass that also lets folks skip the line but grants access to a heated tent, private bathrooms and complimentary food and drink from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., along with a free T-shirt. Entertainment continues all day with four DJs, including DJ Jay Velar and DJ Rich Steele, and four bands: Madison Avenue, Pink Slip, Jigsaw Johnny and Flaxy Morgan.
Levels Bar & Grill, 519 Linden St., opens at 9 a.m. with entertainment by five DJs, including, DJ EFX and DJ Fritz and five bands: Crashing Aperture, Exit Sixxx, Graces Downfall, Madison Avenue and That ’90s Band.
The Leonard Theater, 335 Adams Ave., opens at 9 a.m. with no cover charge until 11. After 11, a $10 cover grants access to a day filled with entertainment by Southside Bandits, DJ Jay Velar and Pearl Jam tribute Lost Dogs. Radisson at Lackawanna Station hotel, 700 Lackawanna Ave., offers two parties, with a $25 VIP pass granting inside and outside access. Inside at Trax Platform Lounge, DJ WD40 and Tribes perform and, outside will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with entertainment by Nowhere Slow. For a more intimate setting, the Keys Beer & Spirits, 244 Penn Ave., hosts an invite-only event as a way to thank the venue’s loyal customers. Anyone interested in attending can contact the Keys for details, thekeysbarpa@gmail.com, through the bar’s Facebook page or by stopping by during regular business hours.

Outside downtown
It’s no doubt downtown will burst with the Irish spirit Saturday. For those who don’t want to brave the crowds, there are other places to celebrate around NEPA. Head to Andy Gavin’s Eatery & Pub, 1392 N. Washington Ave., Scranton, for traditional Irish meals and entertainment by Fab 3 and TakenBack. In the Midvalley, party at Thirst T’s Bar & Grill, 120 Lincoln St., Olyphant, opening at 8 a.m. with entertainment by Sellout Soundtrack or Bud’s Bar & Grill, 402 Main St., Archbald, opening at 11 a.m., with entertainment by DJ Dennis.

Early-bird specials
For early risers, Backyard Ale House, 523 Linden St., offers no cover charge from 9 to 10 a.m. After 10, there is a $10 cover. Sing along all day with entertainment by Mace in Dickson, Ale House Funk Band, Bogyard Chugg Band, Light Weight and Tom Graham. Fuel up at Cooper’s Seafood House’s Parade Day Breakfast Buffet at 701 N. Washington Ave., from 7 to 11 a.m. The party continues throughout the day as EJ the DJ spins in the ship section starting at 9 a.m. followed by the Wanabees. Jack Bordo and Jim Cullen perform on the restaurant side. Tickets are $15, and reservations are recommended. Reservations can be made by calling 570-346-8049 or visiting coopers-seafood.com.

Family-friendly events
Don’t forget about the kids. Family-friendly fun can be found at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave., at St. Patrick’s Parade Day Party from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the ballroom. Food and drink will be available for purchase. Entertainment will be provided by Old Friends Celtic Band, with additional performances from parade acts. The whole family can warm up inside St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 232 Wyoming Ave., grab some hot chocolate or get something to eat like pulled pork sandwiches, chili, hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, green-themed-desserts and the church’s famous Welsh cookies. POSH at the Scranton Club, 404 N. Washington Ave., hosts St. Paddy’s Day Stache Bash to benefit the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. A gourmet breakfast will be served, and a draft bar will be available. Guests can dance to music provided by a DJ and participate in games and the mustache awards. Tickets are $37 for breakfast and drinks from the bar and $23 for breakfast with non-alcoholic drinks. Tickets for kids 6 to 12 are $15, and admission is free for children under 5. To purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com.
A Parade Day tradition, keep an eye out for Greater Scranton Black Diamonds Pipe Band as it stops at venues around NEPA, including Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, Andy Gavin’s Eatery & Pub, Bud’s Bar & Grill and Thirst T’s Bar & Grill.
— gia mazur

Scranton’s St. Patrick’s Parade Line Up

Scranton’s St. Patrick’s Parade Line Up

Scranton’s St. Patrick’s Parade Line Up

100 John Joly Division Staging Area: 300 Block of Wyoming from St. Peters to the old Holy Cross/Bishop Hannan High School Staging Time: 11:10 a.m.
101 Color Guard
103 U.S. Fleet Forces Band
105 State Police
107 Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Office
109 Scranton Police
111 Dunmore Police
113 Knights of Columbus
115 Penn York Highlanders
117 Grand Marshall & Aides
119 Honorary Grand Marshall & Aides
121 Parade Marshall & Aides
123 Honorary Parade Marshall & Aides
125 Humanitarian Award & Aides
129 Parade President & Aides
131 Parade Dedications
132 Scranton Black Diamonds Pipe Band
133 Parade Committee
135 Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Lackawanna County
137 Society of Irish Women
139 Elected Officials
141 Gilbride Limousine Inc

200 Arthur Leared Division Staging Area: 400 Mulberry b/t Wyoming and Washington Staging Time: 11:15 a.m.
201 Abington Heights Marching Band
202 Happiness Hive Learning Academy
203 R.J. Walker
205 DePietro’s Pharmacy
207 Mount Airy Casino Resort
209 Pa. Grand Lodge of FreeMasons
211 Irem Temple
212 Toyota of Scranton
213 The Hudson Valley Regional Police Pipes and Drums
215 Society for Creative Anachronism: Barony of the Endless Hills
216 Jack Williams Tire
217 The Victorian Highwheelers of Tamaqua
219 Tux the Penguin

300 Robert Mallet Division Staging Area: 300 Mulberry b/t Wyoming and Penn (inbound lanes) Staging Time: 11:20 a.m.
301 Lakeland Marching Band and Drill Team
303 Dempsey Uniform & Linen Supply
304 NEPA Scholarship Pageant Association, Inc.
304 Irish Cultural Society
305 Lackawanna County Ancient Order of Hibernians
305 Lackawanna County Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians
305 LAOH Division 4 Maude Gonne McBride
306 Kane Trucking
307 Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick
309 Emerald Isle Step Dancers
310 Friends of Shannon McDonough
313 Eyewitness News WBRE, WYOU & Pahomepage.com
314 Scranton Dance Center
315 Quiet Man Society
317 U.S. Air Force
319 Crossmolina School of Irish Dance and Lee Ann Perry’s Academy of Learning
320 Weis Markets
321 Community Bank
323 Kiwanis Club of Scranton
325 Ulster Scottish Pipe Band
326 Project 505
327 Times Shamrock Communications
328 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders Baseball
329 Optimus Prime Fan-Built Replica from Transformers
331 Keystone Community Resources
333 Irish Boxing Club

400 John Holland Division Staging Area: 300 Mulberry b/t Wyoming and Penn (outbound lanes) Staging Time: 11:30 a.m.
401 Riverside Jr/ Sr High School Marching Band
403 Kost Tire and Auto Service
404 Pawsitively for the Animals
405 Wilkes Barre Scranton Junior Knights
407 Edward P. Maloney Memorial Pipe Band
409 Scranton Fire Department
410 Confederation of Union generals, Lackawanna historical society.
411 Arts in Movement Academy of Dance
413 Cedar BMX
415 Gerrity’s Supermarkets
417 Carbondale Marching Chargers
419 District 14-h Lion’s Club
421 Scott Township Hose Company & Boy Scout Troop 265
423 Prima Elite Academy of Dance
425 Gift of Life Donor Program – Northeast PA Coalition for Organ and Tissue Donation
426 Therapy Dogs International (TDI) Chapter 254 of NEPA
427 NEPA Writers Artists and Musicians
429 Krispy Kreme NEPA
431 Griffin Pond Animal Shelter
433 Nunzi’s Automotive

500 Frank Pantridge Division Staging Area: 400 Wyoming b/t Mulberry and Vine (IBEW Building) Staging Time: 11:30 a.m.
501 Dunmore High School Marching Band and Crimsonettes
503 Sherry’s Royalettes
505 Lackawanna County Library System Bookmobile
507 Sword Of Light Bagpipe Band
508 IBEW
509 Ironworkers Local 404 (Formally Ironworkers Local 489)
511 Scranton Central Labor Union
513 United Brotherhood fo CArpenters & Joiners of America Local Union 445
514 Young’s Funny Farm Therapy Animals
517 DSNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums
519 Teresa’s Angels
520 Northeast Military Vehicle Group
521 Troop 236 Boy Scout Band
522 Willowbrook Place Senior Living
523 All About The Kids Bicycles
524 Western Wayne Marching Band
525 Allied Services dePaul School
527 NHS School Scranton
529 Cigars On State
531 Jude Zayac Foundation

600 John O’Sullivan Division Staging Area: 500 Wyoming b/t Vine and Olive (Human Services Building) Staging Time: 12:00
601 West Scranton Marching Invaders and invaderettes
602 West Scranton High School Drama Club
603 Cycle Playground
605 Cumulus Media
607 Double “R” Twirlettes
609 BMC Office Furniture
613 Scranton High School Marching Band
614 Lamar Advertising
615 Wilkes-barre/Scranton Roller Radicals
617 Lake Scranton Urgent CAre
618 Commonwealth Health
619 St Mary’s Villa ( non-profit)
620 Entercom Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, LLC
621 Shamrock Custom Cycles , and Auto Collision
622 PS Bank
623 Pennsylvanians For Human Life Scranton Chapter
625 The Chinelos
627 Park Place River Association

700 Henry Archer Division Staging Area: 700 Wyoming b/t Pine and Gibson (Sandones) Staging Time: 12:45
701 Woodland String Band
703 Honesdale Fire Equipment
705 Light the Night Leukemia and Lymphoma Society volunteers
707 Ceol Neamh Pipe Band
709 Matt Burne Honda
710 D and S Auto Sales llc
711 Presence from Prison
712 Jesus – A Love That Feeds All
713 LHVA-Anthracite Bicycle Coalition
715 Tro Reality Radio
717 Operation Mercy Relief
719 WC Malia CH.1 Disabled American Veterans(DAV) SCR>)
720 Dutch Hollow neighborhood Association
721 Circle Drive In/ Circle of Screams
723 Rommel Harley-Davidson
724 Toczydlowski Law Office

800 Francis Rynd Division Staging Area: 800 Wyoming b/t Gibson and New St. (Avenue Diner) Staging Time: 1:15
801 The Skyliners Drum & Bugle Corps
802 MetroPCS
803 Planet PreOwned Moosic
805 Scranton PoolLeague
807 Mondelez International
811 American Celtic Pipe Band
814 Bob Bolus Trucking
815 SCAN–Susquehanna Clean Air Network
817 Dracula’s Forest
819 AJ Limo Coach

900 Hans Sloane Division Staging Area: 900 Wyoming b/t New St and Ash (Wendy’s) (DO NOT BLOCK FIREHOUSE) Staging Time: 1:15
901 Montage Mountain Resorts
907 The Honesdale National Bank
913 Frank Callahan Company
915 Justus Vol Fire Co
917 Burgits electric city taxi

1000 George Stoney Division Staging Area: STAGING AREA: 900 block of Wyoming Avenue from just beyond Firestone to Wendy’s at the intersection of Ash Street. Please do not block access to the Fire Station. Staging Time: 1:30
1001 Mitchell Cohen Orthodontics
1003 N&L Transportation
1005 NET Credit Union
1007 Riverside Marching Band
1011 UniFirst Corporation
1013 Sun Buick GMC
1015 Robert McPhillips
1017 C3 Homeschool Group

Wilkes-Barre Parade: Shamrocks in the streets

Wilkes-Barre Parade: Shamrocks in the streets

Wilkes-Barre celebrates its 37th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Sounds of drummers, cheers and Celtic music mark the annual Wilkes-Barre St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which takes to the streets Sunday.
The 37th annual parade steps off at 2 p.m. at South and South Main streets. Participants march down South Main Street, around Public Square and finish off at North Main and Union streets.
Grand marshal Joseph Moran leads dozens of organizations marching in the parade, including hallmarks such as Wyoming Valley and Ceol Mor pipe and drum bands, the Irem String Band, Broken Road Duo plus James M. Coughlin, E.L. Meyers and G.A.R. Memorial high school marching bands, the David Blight School of Dance and dozens of floats covered in balloons.
But while the day’s celebration of Irish heritage culminates with the parade, the festivities begin much earlier.
On North Main Street, the celebration at Senunas’ gets going from 9 to 11 a.m. with its annual Kegs and Eggs.
Irish pipe and drum bands make their way in and out of the bar throughout the day as the Hibernian lunch and dinner menus roll out. Specialty items include Guinness stew, lager-braised corned beef and corned beef sandwiches. Drinks range from “Irish car bombs” to adult Shamrock Shakes served by the shot. Senunas’ also snagged a limited release keg of Nimble Hill’s Mysteria No. 9 Shamrock Porter.
The Renal Race 5K Run and 1-Mile Fun Walk hits the pavement at 10 a.m. on Public Square. Registration for the run begins at 8 a.m. at Genetti’s Hotel and Conference Center on Market Street. The entry fee is $20 or free to children under 5 years old.
Medals and race gear will be awarded to the top three male and female winners per age group. The first 100 participants in the race will receive free T-shirts. During the race, a Chinese auction, raffle baskets, refreshments and entertainment are held to further benefit research to fight kidney cancer.
To keep kids busy before the parade begins, Barnes & Noble on South Main Street hosts activities, including coloring and story time. At 11 a.m., a table with leprechaun coloring pages will be set out for kids to color and hang in the windows of the book store. At noon, Nanticoke author Fran Spencer presents her book, “Ian-John and the Leprechaun,” in the store while reading in a traditional Irish brogue.
For more information, call the Wilkes-Barre city office of special events at 570-208-4149.
— charlotte l. jacobson

Parade Day Fashion

Parade Day Fashion

From classic to cliché, parade fashion all about taste

For many, a true hallmark of Parade Day is dressing in theme with the celebration.
Walking through downtown on Saturday will have most seeing green — in a spectrum of shades, such as Kelly green, hunter green, fern, avocado, lime, shamrock and chartreuse. Add hints of orange and white, and you hit the triad of colors found in the Irish flag.
Plenty of local costume and party-supply stores, such as Cal-Ideas in Dunmore or Party City in Dickson City, offer zany accessories such as green wigs, buttons, beads, socks, feather boas, stickers and temporary tattoos. Graphic T-shirts with Irish puns, phrases and mascots are big sellers, too.
But showing your pride doesn’t mean you need to buy everything green in the store. Many area residents prefer a more classic, traditional approach to celebrating their heritage.
Timeless pieces such as cable-knit Aran
or merino wool sweaters and cardigans, claddagh jewelry, tweed suits and newsboy caps
all hark back to the culture of the Emerald Isle, and can be found online or locally in shops such as Cronin’s Irish Cottage in the Marketplace at Steamtown.
Take an even more subtle approach and honor Irish designers — wear a fascinator in homage of famed milliner Philip Treacy, whose detailed, delicate hats and head accessories made him a favorite of European royalty. Or, for those who know their ancestral history and can trace it back to a specific region or county in Ireland, kilts carry the story of lineage through specific tartan designs and colors.
Whether showy or restrained, Parade Day fashion can make for great conversation starters.
— patrice wilding

Blast from the Past

Blast from the Past

Rat Pack Tribute Show pays homage to legends

Scranton receives a blast from the past Friday and Saturday as the music of the Rat Pack steps out of the ’60s and into Radisson at Lackawanna Station hotel, 700 Lackawanna Ave.
Organized by JZ Tours, the Rat Pack Tribute Show features Las Vegas-based trio Brian Duprey as Frank Sinatra, Kenny Jones as Sammy Davis Jr. and Mark Verabian as Dean Martin. The show starts at 8:30 p.m., and doors open at 6 for cocktail hour followed by dinner of chicken portabella, short ribs or West Coast sole. Old Forge musician Nicole Rasmus, known for her performances of Patsy Cline songs and pop standards, will perform during cocktail hour. Tickets also are available for just the show.
Verabian, who also fronts the band Mark and His Martinis, decided to start his tribute to the Rat Pack about 15 years ago.
“I’m, by trade, a professional singer,” Verabian said. “And someone walked by one of my shows and said, ‘You know, you look like a young Dean Martin,’ and I said ‘Thank you,’ and that’s how it all got started.”
The tribute group tours worldwide with its live big band, often playing the same haunts as the original group of actors and performers.
Verabian enjoys makes a living playing some of his favorite classic tunes. He stressed the importance of authenticity in his performances.
“To deliver it right, you have to be a fan of the music,” Verabian said.
While members have left, been replaced and returned over the years, interplay and camaraderie between the trio is as important for the group as it was for the original Rat Pack.
“We try to stick together,” Verabian said. “Chemistry is very important for the show.”
The group played at Scranton Cultural
Center at The Masonic Temple about a decade ago, Verabian said, and he is excited to return
to “a great town” and visit friends in the area.
He expects those who come out will enjoy his band’s performance.
“I know there’s a lot of Italians out there, so the show’s gonna be well-received, I’m sure,” Verabian said.
— peter shaver


If you go
What: The Rat Pack Tribute Show 
When: Friday and Saturday. Doors open at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., and show at 8:30 p.m.
Where: Radisson at Lackawanna Station hotel, 700 Lackawanna Ave, Scranton.
Details: Tickets with dinner are $75 for general admission, $95 for the VIP package, $675 for a general admission table and $855 for a VIP table. Tickets for the show only are $39.95 for general admission and $59.95 VIP seats.

Edgy Art

Edgy Art

First Friday party looks to boost interest in rappelling event

People passing the Bank Towers on Friday may notice an unusual sight: a 6-foot-tall wire figure suspended in motion as it rappels down Scranton’s tallest building.
The sculpture is part of NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Over the Edge launch party taking place at 321 Spruce St. from 5 to 8 p.m. as part of the First Friday Art Walk. The party seeks to raise awareness about June’s Over the Edge event, during which people can rappel down the building to support the local nonprofit. Friday’s exhibit showcases Plymouth artist Sean Brady’s adventure- and rappelling-themed wire sculptures, which he has made since 1998.
“I was out in Oregon, just playing with wire in a greenhouse that I worked in, and I made a little figure and somebody liked it,” Brady said. “So, I just kept going.” 
After returning to the East Coast a decade ago, wire sculpture became Brady’s full-time job. He exhibits throughout the Northeast and sells his work in Philadelphia, New Jersey, at On&On in Scranton and at Earth and Wears in Dallas.
Brady described his work as well-aligned with the launch party’s theme. Portraying sports and action in his art always interested him.
“I lean toward figures with movement, so it’s not so stagnant,” Brady said.
Sandra Snyder, development and events coordinator for NeighborWorks NEPA, described the charity’s focus as “improving neighborhoods through improving individual homes.” The organization offers painting and landscaping assistance to people in need as well as help with critical home modifications, such as walk-in showers, wheelchair ramps and other safety installations.
Last year, the group began Over the Edge to generate attention and support its causes. Along with quickening the pulse of participants, Snyder said, the event aims to better the wellbeing and independence of NEPA’s older residents, specifically supporting “projects that help people remain in their homes as they age.”
The Rev. Jeffrey Walsh of Scranton, a previous attendee, said organizers “invested a lot of effort into making everyone feel comfortable, even though there’s a fear factor in rappelling down twelve flights of a building.” Theresa Collins rappelled at the event and can’t wait to do it again this summer.
“It was awesome,” Collins said. “I mean, I was a little nervous to do it. I’ve never done anything like that before.”
The Over the Edge launch party is free and open to the public, and it offers free wine, snacks and trivia games with prizes. Snyder hopes it attracts anyone interested in NeighborWorks or rappelling for a cause.
“If anyone’s even thinking about it, we’d love for them to come out,” she said.
— peter shaver

If you go
What: Over the Edge launch party
When: Friday, 5 to 8 p.m.
Where: Second-floor lobby, Bank Towers,
321 Spruce St.
Details: Admission is free. Event includes wine, snacks and Game Show Mania trivia play
with DJ Mike Walton for prizes.


First Friday Events

“12 x 12: The Color of Sound,” works by NEPA Design Collective
members; karaoke; the Workshop, 334 Adams Ave.
“Aegean Streets,” works by David Elliott, CameraWork Gallery, 515 Center St.
“Aquarelles: A Collection of European Watercolors,” works by Emily Gibbons, Northern Light Espresso Bar, 536 Spruce St.
“Art for All Seasons,” works by local student artists, The Scranton Times Building, 149 Penn Ave.
“The Art of Antiquing,” works by Bill Naughton, Trinity Studio & Gallery, 511 Bogart Court
“The Art of Michael Lloyd,” with music, Bar Pazzo, 131 N. Washington Ave.
Artist pop-up, works by Dan Sheldon; music by Sugar Ray; Hilton Scranton and Conference Center, 100 Adams Ave.
Cecelia Mecca reading and book signing, Library Express, the Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave.
“Chiaroscuro,” works by multiple artists; music by Tom Murray; STEAMworks, 300 Lackawanna Ave.
“Collage of Color,” student exhibition with works by Tommy Hennigan, Paul Triolo and Mark Pettnati; music by Aiden Jordan; ArtWorks Gallery & Studio, 503 Lackawanna Ave.
“Collective Dissent: Still Constructing a Praxis of Gender,” works by Amy Kizer; music by DJ Honeyman Lightnin’; Terra Preta Restaurant, 222 Wyoming Ave.
Elevate Your Game: Over the Edge Scranton Launch Party; wire sculptures by Sean Brady; music by DJ Mike Walton Game Show Mania; fashions; wine and food; Bank Towers, 321 Spruce St.
“Festival of Bows,” community collaborative project by multiple artists; music by various artists; Globe Gallery, 123 Wyoming Ave.
First Friday Steamtown Market, works by various artists and vendors; music by Gene Badwak, Paul Martin and Tony Halchak Duo; the Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave.
Fly Me Home pop-up shop, with upcycled silverware, jewelry and mixed-media artwork, NOTE Fragrances, 401 Spruce St.
“Home,” handmade furniture, ceramics and decor by Cole Hastings, Oliver Pettinato, Skip Sensbach and more; with music; Electric City Escape and Hnat Designs, 507 Linden St.
Karaoke with DJ Peter Rawstron, Love the Arts! Music, 300 Lackawanna Ave.
Kennedy Creek Strummers ukulele troupe, Green Ridge Om & Wellness LLC, 222 Wyoming Ave.
“Nacirema,” works by multiple artists, Duffy Accessories, 218 Linden St.
“Organisms,” neotraditional
illustrations and acrylic paintings by Andrew Riedinger, Loyalty Barbershop, 342 Adams Ave.
Paintings by Matt Montella, Eden — a vegan cafe, 344 Adams Ave.
Perfectly Pinup models; works by Stone Faux Studio and other handmade, repurposed and vintage pieces; On&On, 518 Lackawanna Ave.
Scranton Preparatory School Alumni Art Exhibit; works in various disciplines by multiple artists; music by Kyle Brier; 137 Wyoming Ave.
Sip and shop for the NEPA Youth Shelter, Lavish Body & Home, 600 Linden St.
“Sounds on That Corner,” works by Vince Bonitz and various artists; music by Little Plastic Raleigh; Analog Culture, 349 N. Washington Ave.
“Stella Blue: Music-Inspired Art by Faith Hawley,” New Laundry, 127 N. Washington Ave.
Works by Lisa Forman, Ramona Jan and Alex Tomlinson, AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave.
Works by Sam Kuchwara; music by Eric Rudy; Ale Mary’s, 126 Franklin Ave.

Up Close: Jennifer Barrett

Up Close: Jennifer Barrett

Jennifer Barrett is the owner and operator of Woven, a self-operated business that specializes in handmade jewelry and dreamcatchers. Her products are available at The Wonderstone Gallery in Dunmore and The Velvet Maple in Honesdale. She is also a director at the child care center at Keystone College. Barrett is a graduate of Abington Heights High School and Keystone College, where she received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in early childhood leadership. She lives in Clarks Summit.
Meet Jennifer Barrett…

Your Facebook page for Woven describes your work as being “created with my bohemian spirit and soul and inspired by the world around me. There are endless opportunities for inspiration in our world and I hope to continue to show that through my artwork.” That’s a pretty good description, but can you elaborate?
I really don’t know how to explain “bohemian” style. It’s kind of a different take on “hippie.” Though that’s usually associated with tie-dye or ’60s, where as bohemian is more of a “free spirit” type of person. It kind of fits that style.

When did you first start making jewelry and dreamcatchers?
I started doing the dream catchers first, probably almost two years ago, just as a hobby and for fun. My friend used to make jewelry, and she had a table at Arts on The Square, so I set up with her one day, and a few things sold, and I thought, “OK. Maybe I can actually make this into something.” And it just kind of expanded from there.

For those unfamiliar, can you describe a dreamcatcher?
They’re home décor. There’s a Native American tradition where you hang one above your bed and it catches the bad dreams and lets the good ones pass through. Mine are a bit different. They’re more bohemian.

When did you first start making jewelry?
Not too long ago. Just over the last few months. I use a lot of stones. I like very earthy pieces. I think it just fits the style of what I’m going for with all of my stuff. I enjoy making both earrings and necklaces. And I also make pillows.

What do you enjoy about it the most?
It’s relaxing. I work at a pre-school so it can be chaotic and loud and stressful. (Laughs) I can just go home, sit in my room, put some music on, and make them.

What do you enjoy doing it your free time?
I’m an amateur photographer, and I like taking pictures of friends and family on the weekends. And just hanging out and spending time with friends and family.

Do you have any hobbies?
My hobby would really just include Woven. And photography. That’s what I like to do to relax.

Who are some of your favorite musical artist?
Right now, I love Alt-J, Milky Chance and Matisyahu. They’re my top three right now. I listen to them constantly.

All-time favorite movie?

Favorite TV show?
“The Office.” I love TV, but I usually don’t watch shows until they come on Netflix. But once I finish something, I go right back to “The Office.” I can watch it over and over again. It will never not be funny.

Favorite city?
I haven’t been to a lot, but out of the ones I’ve been to, Boston is definitely my favorite. It wasn’t overwhelming or too crowded. You go to New York City and there are people everywhere. I just felt more comfortable in Boston.

Favorite vacation spot?
I just went, last year, to the Dominican Republic, so right now that’s my favorite. But I’m going to Mexico in June. And I can’t wait for Mexico.
Favorite thing about NEPA?
It’s my home. I’m comfortable here. Everyone kind of knows everyone. You’re not really afraid to walk anywhere. You can have the city, in Scranton, or be hiking in the woods. It’s just comforting to be here.

Favorite quote or catchphrase?
It’s from the movie “Blow.” The father says to his son: “Sometimes you’re flush, and sometimes you’re bust. When you’re up, it’s never as good as it seems, and when you’re down, you never think you’ll be up again. But life goes on.”

Do you have any pets?
Three pit bulls and a black Lab. Four big dogs.

Guilty pleasure?
Maroni’s Pizza and Manning’s Ice Cream.

Biggest pet peeve?
Tardiness. People that are late. I’m always on time or at least a few minutes early.

Is there anything about you that might really surprise people?
I’m pretty open, so everyone that knows me pretty much knows me in and out. But I am a vegetarian. I haven’t eaten meat in over a year. I was a vegetarian in high school, and then I stopped, but I’ve started again.

Have you had a moment in your life that has helped define you as a person. Or is there someone that has had the greatest influence on you?
My parents really shaped who I am. They’ve just supported me with everything. For a while, I struggled with finding out who I was. You almost feel lost sometimes, especially if you see other people you know that are extremely successful. And whether I was sad, or down, or even with Woven, if I’ve been frustrated and think that I’m not doing well, they’re always the ones to say, “No, you’re not. You’re really good.” They keep me motivated. My parents are definitely the two people that I look up to the most.

UP CLOSE & PERSONAL with ALAN K. STOUT is a regular feature in electric city, profiling people from all walks of life throughout NEPA. Reach Alan at alankstout@comcast.net.
photos by emma black

This is Country Music

This is Country Music

Brad Paisley takes tour to Mohegan Sun Arena with Lindsey Ell, Chase Bryant

Canadian-born musician Lindsay Ell always admired Brad Paisley’s guitar skills. She event worked through the guitar solo of “Old Alabama” on repeat until she could play it perfectly.
“If you told me I would be standing on stage trading licks with Brad Paisley, even a few years ago, I wouldn’t believe it,” Ell said.
The Grammy Award-winning country superstar strums his way into the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza tonight with support acts Ell and Chase Bryant for a show chock-full of country music and spectacular guitar performances.
“People can definitely expect surprises throughout the show,” Ell, 27, said. “It’s a really cool concept. … We were talking backstage, and (Paisley) mentioned that it would be so cool to have a tour of just guitar players. I mean, who else has done that before? It’s a really special lineup. People can definitely expect to be well-entertained for the show.”
Paisley, 44, captured the nation’s attention after releasing his first album and receiving the Academy of Country Music’s Top New Male Vocalist of the Year award in 1999. Since then, the singer-songwriter added three Grammy awards, two American Music Awards, 13 Academy of Country Music Awards and 14 Country Music Association Awards to his shelf.
For Ell and Bryant, the chance to tour with Paisley immediately shot to the top of their favorite memories as musicians.
“We’re all nutcases on stage,” Bryant said. “If you’re not, it’s not fun. Most of my stuff is all high-energy on stage. We give people what they came to see.”
Like many musicians, Orange Grove, Texas, native Bryant, 23, grew up in a musical family. His grandfather played piano in Roy Orbison’s first two bands and later for Waylon Jennings, while his uncles co-founded the country group Ricochet.
“As a songwriter, going out every night, hearing the fans sing back to you and getting to play some of your favorite songs, including stuff you haven’t written, it’s always a fun thing to do,” Bryant said. “Playing songs that inspire you on a daily basis is great.”
Randy Bachman, founding member of the Guess Who, discovered Ell when she was just 15. Although she picked up the guitar at 8, she said Bachman truly taught her how to play it. Her musical tastes changed from country to jazz and blues during this time, but her style reverted back to her country roots after moving to Nashville eight years ago.
Now, the artist is working toward finishing her new record with Kristian Bush of Sugarland.
“I feel like I have been writing this album for the last 15 years,” Ell said. “The way we are putting this record together, I feel like I’m finally finding me and recording it in concrete.”
Although neither Bryant nor Ell experience true nerves when performing, they both agreed that the rush of adrenaline that comes from walking on stage is beyond thrilling.
“I feel very grateful to wake up every morning and do what I love,” Ell said. “To write about my life and have people connect with it — that’s a crazy concept to imagine, let alone live it.”
— charlotte l. jacobson


If you go
What: Brad Paisley with Lindsay Ell and
Chase Bryant
When: Tonight, 7:30
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, 255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Twp.
Details: Tickets start at $39.50, available at the box office, 800-745-3000 and ticketmaster.com.

Cool Off at Festival of Ice

Cool Off at Festival of Ice

Clarks Summit’s Festival of Ice returns this weekend with a theme sure to give you chills — and multiply them.
The 13th annual festival kicks off Friday with a variety of family-friendly activities and attractions. Visitors can check out close to 50 ice sculpture variations on the “Ice, Lights, Broadway!” theme, including homages to “Grease,” “Hamilton,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “West Side Story,” among other beloved musicals.
Admission and parking are free all weekend. For an official map, sculpture list and updates, visit the Facebook event page. Addresses listed below are in Clarks Summit unless otherwise noted.

Noon to 2 p.m.: Live music by Just Us Duo, Citizens Savings Bank, 538 S. State St.
1 to 3 p.m.: Live music by Ken McGraw and Joe Cole, Abington Community Library, 1200 W. Grove St.
2:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Live ice-carving demonstration, MetLife, 1028 Morgan Highway
3:30 to 4:30 p.m.: Live ice-carving demonstration, Toyota of Scranton, 3400 N. Main Ave., Scranton
5 to 6 p.m.: Live ice-carving demonstration, Crystal Cabin Fever, Purdytown Turnpike, Lakeville
5 to 7 p.m.: Live music by Tom Rogo, Golden Coast, 535 S. State St.
5:30 to 7 p.m.: Complimentary trolley tour of the festival with on/off stops at Everything Natural, 426 S. State St.; Depot Street; and First Presbyterian Church of Clarks Summit, 300 School St.
6 to 8 p.m.: Northeast Photography Club art show opening reception, First Presbyterian Church
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Family Fun Faire with DJ Jack Martin, storytelling with Chris Archangelo, children’s complimentary face painting by Happy Faces and post-parade juggling performance by Rob Smith, the Gathering Place, 304 S. State St.
7:30 p.m.: Festival of Ice Parade throughout downtown along South State Street

10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Live music by Mark Woodyatt, Peoples Security Bank & Trust Co., 1100 Northern Blvd., South Abington Twp.
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Live ice-carving demonstration, Peoples Security Bank & Trust Co.
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Northeast Photography Club art show, First Presbyterian Church
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Children’s Art Show (with Northeast Photography Club), Barry’s Art Room, First Presbyterian Church
Noon to 2 p.m.: Photobooth by Dynamic Duo Entertainment, the Gathering Place
Noon to 1:30 p.m.: Live ice-carving demonstration, Frontier Communications, 108 N. State St.
Noon to 5 p.m.: Horse-and carriage-rides, outside the Gathering Place (tickets are $3, available at Clarks Summit borough building, 304 S. State St.)
1 to 3 p.m.: Live ice-carving demonstration plus live music by Von Storch Project, Everything Natural
1 to 3 p.m.: Live music with Mike Waskovich, Clel’s Place, 120 Barrett St.
1:30 p.m.: All About Theatre special adult theater group original play performance, the Gathering Place
2 p.m.: Broadway Musical Revue with Erin Malloy Marcinko, First Presbyterian Church
2:30 p.m.: Jill and Gehred Wetzel dance performance, the Gathering Place
3:30 to 5 p.m.: Live ice-carving demonstration, Toyota of Scranton
4 to 5 p.m. Live ice-carving demonstration, Gerrity’s Market, 100 Old Lackawanna Trail
5 to 7 p.m.: Live music by Lights Out, La Tonalteca Mexican Restaurant, 821 Northern Blvd.
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.: Live ice-carving demonstration, State Street Grill, 114 S. State St.

11 to 12:30 p.m.: Live Broadway Brass with Brass Reflections, the Gathering Place
Noon to 5 p.m.: Horse-and-carriage rides from the Gathering Place (tickets are $3, available at borough building)
1 to 3 p.m.: Drop-in children’s craft, Abington Art Studio, 208 Depot St.
1 to 3 p.m.: Live music by Dixieland All Stars, Gerrity’s Market
1 to 3 p.m.: Live music by Doreen Coleman, Everything Natural
1:30 p.m.: All About Theatre Junior Actors original play performance, the Gathering Place
2:30 p.m.: All About Theatre Senior Actors original play performance, the Gathering Place
3 to 5 p.m.: Live music by Old Man River Band, the Gathering Place
4 p.m.: “Ice, Lights, Cabaret!” performance, First Presbyterian Church

Festival of Ice Golden Ticket Scavenger Hunt: Pick up entry form at any location with an ice sculpture, then visit all nine Festival of Ice zones to find the hidden Golden Ticket. List each ticket location and drop off completed entries by Monday at 5 p.m. at any participating location. Random drawing from completely correct entries will be held after the festival.
Also, check with Clarks Summit-area businesses throughout the weekend for specials and giveaways.

— patrice wilding

Dietrich Film Festival looks to open viewers’ eyes

Dietrich Film Festival looks to open viewers’ eyes

Dietrich Theater’s second Winter Fest transports viewers through reality and fiction with its selection of independent and international movies.
The festival curators assured they would open audiences’ eyes to some lesser-known films while also presenting several Oscar-nominated pictures among the 14 films the Tunkhannock theater will screen from Friday, Feb. 17, through Thursday, March 2.
“We want to serve the community with the art and independent films that they are looking for,” assistant general manager Ronnie Harvey said. “By doing (festivals) seasonally, we are able to give people the product we may have not gotten to, that they would have missed out on seeing in theaters.”
The festival features Oscar and Golden Globe nominees, including “Hell or High Water,” “Moonlight” and “Loving.” Other festival films include “The Beatles: 8 Days a Week,” “The Brand New Testament,” “Denial,” “The Dressmaker,” “The Eagle Huntress,” “Embrace,” “Harry & Snowman,” “Peter and the Farm,” “Queen of Katwe” and “Seasons.” Tickets for matinee and evening screenings are $8.50, excluding the opening night gala and preview day, and do not require reservations.
“I’m personally excited about all of the films because I pick them, let’s be real,” Harvey joked. “But what we try to do with the film festival is to mix in a lot of different genres and a lot of different subject matters to appeal to a broad swath of people. There is something here for everyone.”
The gala kicks off the festival Friday, Feb. 17, at 6 p.m. and includes beer, wine, hors d’oeuvres and screenings of “A Man Called Ove” and “Loving,” with dessert during intermission. Tickets are $25 and must be reserved in advance.
A post-festival film discussion takes place Friday, March 3, at 1 p.m. and gives people a chance to discuss the films with other movie enthusiasts. Harvey will facilitate the discussion.
“I think what I like most is just seeing the reaction from the audience,” he said. “It validates that we’re doing the right thing and we’re giving them what they want. That’s why we’ll continue to do these festivals. They not only help us financially but also benefit the community.”
— charlotte l. jacobson

If you go
What: Winter Fest
When: Feb. 17 to March 2; opening-night gala is Friday, 6 p.m., and $25 (advance only)
Where: Dietrich Theater, 60 E. Tioga St., Tunkhannock
Details: Tickets for matinee and evening screenings are $8.50. Call 570-996-1500 or visit dietrichtheater.com for more information.

Saturday, Feb. 18
Noon: “Harry & Snowman”
2 p.m.: “Peter and the Farm”
4 p.m.: “The Eagle Huntress”
7 p.m.: “The Beatles: 8 Days a Week”
9:45 p.m.: “Hell or High Water”
Sunday, Feb. 19
Noon: “Queen of Katwe”
2:30 p.m.: “A Man Called Ove”
5 p.m.: “The Beatles: 8 Days a Week”
7:45 p.m.: “Denial”
Monday, Feb. 20
Noon: “Seasons”
Noon: “Peter and the Farm”
2:15 p.m.: “The Dressmaker”
2:30 p.m.: “Harry & Snowman”
5 p.m.: “Hell or High Water”
7:15 p.m.: “The Brand New Testament”
Tuesday, Feb. 21
Noon: “The Eagle Huntress”
Noon: “A Man Called Ove”
2 p.m.: “Loving”
2:30 p.m.: “The Beatles: 8 Days a Week”
5 p.m.: “Embrace”
7 p.m.: “Harry & Snowman”
Wednesday, Feb. 22
Noon: “Peter and the Farm”
2:30 p.m.: “Loving”
5 p.m.: “Queen of Katwe”
7:30 p.m.: “The Dressmaker”
Thursday, Feb. 23
Noon: “Harry & Snowman”
Noon: “Embrace”
2 p.m.: “Denial”
2:15 p.m.: “Moonlight”
4:30 p.m.: “A Man Called Ove”
7 p.m.: “Queen of Katwe”
Friday, Feb. 24
Noon: “The Beatles: 8 Days a Week”
Noon: “The Dressmaker”
2:30 p.m.: “Loving”
2:45 p.m.: “The Brand New Testament”
5 p.m.: “Seasons”
7:15 p.m.: “Hell or High Water”
9:30 p.m.: “Moonlight”
Saturday, Feb. 25
Noon: “Peter and the Farm”
2:15 p.m.: “Embrace”
4:15 p.m.: “The Eagle Huntress”
7 p.m.: “A Man Called Ove”
9:30 p.m.: “The Beatles: 8 Days a Week”
Sunday, Feb. 26
Noon: “Moonlight”
2:30 p.m.: “Queen Katwe”
5 p.m.: “Loving”
7:30 p.m.: “The Dressmaker”
Monday, Feb. 27
Noon: “The Brand New Testament”
Noon: “Hell or High Water”
2:15 p.m.: “The Beatles: 8 Days a Week”
2:30 p.m.: “Denial”
5 p.m.: “Peter and the Farm”
7 p.m.: “A Man Called Ove”
Tuesday, Feb. 28
Noon: “Seasons”
Noon: “Loving”
2:30 p.m.: “The Dressmaker”
2:45 p.m.: “Harry & Snowman”
4:30 p.m.: “The Eagle Huntress”
7 p.m.: “Embrace”
Wednesday, March 1
Noon: “Moonlight”
2:30 p.m.: “Denial “
5 p.m.: “Queen of Katwe”
7:30 p.m.: “Hell or High Water”
Thursday, March 2
Noon: “A Man Called Ove”
Noon: “The Eagle Huntress”
2:15 p.m.: “The Brand New Testament”
2:30 p.m.: “Seasons”
4:30 p.m.: “The Beatles: 8 Days a Week”
7:15 p.m.: “Loving”
Friday, March 3
1 p.m.: Post-festival discussion

Maniscalco brings observational comedy to the Kirby Center

Maniscalco brings observational comedy to the Kirby Center

Sebastian Maniscalco began his career in comedy by sharing stories around his childhood kitchen table.
“I was never a class clown, but I was always an observer of people’s behavior,” he said. “So I’d relay them to my family.”
The 2016 Laughs’ Stand Up Comedian of the Year brings his “Why Would You Do That?” tour to F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts for two performances on Saturday, at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Tickets start at $42.75, and Maniscalco will donate $1 from each ticket sold to his charity, “Tag You’re It,” which supports research in Alzheimer’s disease, children’s education and the U.S. military.
Pulling from influences ranging from Jerry Seinfeld and Johnny Carson to Eddy Murphy, Maniscalco said his on-stage persona mirrors his true personality, but amplified.
“Off stage, I’m just kind of mellow and laid-back,” he said. “But on stage, I like to be animated and act out some of my bits. People enjoy that part of my act. But it’s a heightened reality.”
After moving from his working-class family home in Chicago to Los Angeles in 1998, the comedian said, he “hit the ground running.” Maniscalco worked as a waiter in the Four Seasons hotel while simultaneously trying to build a name for himself as a legitimate comedian.
Eventually, he caught the attention of actor Vince Vaughn, who cast him in “Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show.” And from then on, Maniscalco has worked non-stop.
Some of the comic’s standout moments include doing an episode of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” with Jerry Seinfeld, appearing on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and traveling to places around the world.
One of the challenges that remains true for Maniscalco is the ability to keep people coming back to watch him, even now after a nearly 20-year career.
“You don’t want to come out and have a bad show,” he said. “I keep writing new material, keep it current, keep it fresh. That’s the challenge. With YouTube and Netflix, the audience wants to see new stuff when they come to see you. I’m always writing.”
But certain aspects of his life come as a blessing when it comes to writing. Maniscalco and his wife are expecting a baby in May, so on tour he talks through his experience as a soon-to-be father.
“The more relatable it is for the audience, the more they enjoy it,” he said. “I’m not the type of guy that writes stuff on a piece of paper. I’ll re-enact a story that hopefully relates to the audience.”
In order to reach a wider audience and “broaden (his) creative juices,” Maniscalco said, he hopes to appear in more television and movies in the future. Also, his podcast with Pete Correale, “The Pete and Sebastian Show,” recently moved to Sirius XM radio on Friday nights.
“There’s nothing better than making a room full of people laugh,” Maniscalco said. “It’s an energy you feed off of, almost a teeter-totter of laughter and performance.”
— charlotte l. jacobson

If you go
What: Sebastian Maniscalco — Why Would You Do That? tour
When: Saturday, 7 and 9:30 p.m.
Where: F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, 71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre
Details: Tickets are $42.75 to $253 (with meet-and-greet), available at the box office, kirbycenter.org and 570-826-1100.

Punk Rock Flea Market

Punk Rock Flea Market

Local art, vintage goods available at Punk Rock Flea Market

Iterations of the punk rock flea market popped up in cities across the country, from Philadelphia and Seattle to Asbury Park and El Paso, for many years. So it’s no surprise that Northeastern Pennsylvania wants to join the trend.
The inaugural NEPA Punk Rock Flea Market takes over Wyoming Hose Company No. 2 on Sunday for an all-day event touting dozens of art vendors, live music and more. Entry is $2, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to support the Walk to Cure Arthritis in New York City.
Although the idea may be recycled from similar events around the country, Mike Campas said the initial response overwhelmed him and fellow event organizer Mike Vee. What started out as a small flea market to be held in Campas’ Larksville glassworking studio quickly grew too large for both that location and Coal City Tavern, the second proposed venue.
“There was immediately a much larger interest than we ever imagined, and the interest continues to grow,” Campas said. “Venue changes have been the bigger challenge. Challenging, but fun and rewarding as well.”
For the first NEPA Punk Rock Flea Market, patrons can expect a wide variety of goods from art and handmade pieces to vintage wares, vinyl records and crafts, among other vendors. Beverages for adults and children, as well as baked goods, will be available for purchase.
Scranton artist Ariell Stewart plans to sell her custom mandala art under the name Mandalas by Ariell. Stewart creates hand-painted mandalas primarily on wood but also on wine glasses, mugs and keychains. She also offers do-it-yourself kits for people to create mandala art on their own.
“I’m always thrilled to be part of the art community and be involved in events like the Punk Rock Flea Market,” Stewart said. “I think any time a group of artists and artisans come together to show their work and skills is amazing.”
Campas, a self-taught glass artist, also intends to set up a booth to sell his glass pieces, including borosilicate glass marbles.
Live entertainment is scheduled throughout the day, including balloon animals for the kids, magician and illusionist Alister Black, music by Janson Harris and comedian Elliott Elliott.
“The best part has been the large interest and response from the local community,” Campas added. “Personally, I’ve reconnected with some old friends, which is great. I love that this started as an idea and manifested into something physical without large expense. Motivation and focus go a long way, and this is an example of such.”
For now, the duo hopes to hold this event on a semi-annual basis, with the next one a two-day market for Memorial Day weekend.
“This event’s focus is creativity and community,” Campas said. “Anyone and everyone is encouraged to engage.”

— charlotte l. jacobson



Comic books reflect culture in Everhart Museum’s latest exhibit

It’s a bird!
It’s a plane!

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

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