By Brigid Lynett
With construction now complete on Marywood University’s new Michael and Gwen Calabro Delfino Amphitheatre, the college’s popular summer concert series will move back outdoors.
“I am confident the amphitheater at Marywood University will continue our family’s multi-generational commitment to provide entertainment for the people of Northeastern Pennsylvania in perpetuity,” said Michael J. Delfino, who made a gift in support of the amphitheater in honor of his late wife, Guenelda “Gwen” Calabro Delfino, a Marywood alumna of the class of 1947.
Calabro Delfino’s father owned one of the first movie theaters in Pennsylvania and, following in his footsteps, the Delfinos opened the Maple Drive-In Theatre in Honesdale in 1953 before purchasing the Circle Drive-In Theatre in 1969.
Now, free shows presented by Marywood’s music, theater and dance department serve as the first public events in the venue bearing the couple’s name, which the university dedicated in June.
“The amphitheater represents the final phase of a three-year construction process for our Centennial Complex, the first part of which was completed in 2015,” university spokeswoman Sherry Frable said.
Visitors can find the Calabro Delfino Amphitheatre on the east side of Marywood’s Learning Commons. The amphitheater spans approximately three acres and has 80 seats on blue stone benches plus a large area for lawn seats.
“The summer concert series is the beginning of a revised tradition of bringing music and talent to the Marywood campus,” said Sister Mary Persico, I.H.M., an alumna of the class of 1969 and Marywood’s president. “We have a proud music history at the university and want to share it with the broader community any time we have the opportunity.”
The Sunday concert series kicks off Aug. 12 at 6:30 p.m. with vocalist Nicole Rasmus and accompanying pianist Marty Ort. The duo will perform songs from a variety of genres, including country, jazz, Motown, Broadway and standards. In the event of inclement weather, the show moves to the Fireplace Lounge in the university’s Nazareth Student Center.
Up next, retired Marywood music faculty member Bill Weber teams up with noted Frank Sinatra tribute artist Chris DiMattio and Kenneth McGraw to pay tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes on Aug. 19 at 6:30 p.m.
“The three of us did this concert for 25 years,” Weber said. “We haven’t done (the concert) here on campus for eight years, so this is a reunion.”
“A Tribute to Frank Sinatra” shares the many hits of the Rat Pack star with a jazz band for accompaniment. The rain location for that concert is the main stage of Marywood’s Sette LaVerghetta Center for Performing Arts.
The concert series wraps up Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. with Pittston native Mike “MiZ” Mizwinski, a solo artist who performs Americana-style rock on guitar. His performance moves to the Fireplace Lounge if poor weather prevails.
As long as nature allows, the concert series will give audiences a chance to enjoy quality music in a picturesque space at no charge, organizers noted.
“Everyone is welcome to enjoy a relaxing night in the open air in the beautiful setting that is Marywood,” Persico said.