Entertainment briefs

‘On the Air: For Christmas’ set

WEIRTON –The Ohio Valley Cloak and Dagger Co., in partnership with Striplight Theatre, will present “Cloak & Dagger On the Air: For Christmas” at 7 p.m. on Dec. 16 at the Ashley Marie Theatre at 3383 Main St.

The production will feature live on-stage recreations of classic radio scripts “The Big .22 Rifle for Christmas” from Dragnet, “Out for Christmas” from Suspense and “Miracle for Christmas” from Grand Central Station, along with original commercial skits for sponsors Iconic of Weirton and Donvernon Heating and Cooling of Steubenville.

Tickets are $7 for general audiences and $5 for seniors, students and military members and can be purchased at the door or by calling (724) 255-5911 or (412) 417-5101.

‘Wooden Heart Follies’ returns

STEUBENVILLE — If it’s holiday time in Steubenville, it’s time for the nutcrackers to come to life.

Last year, the premier of a nutcracker musical, “Wooden Heart Follies,” added a new element to the Steubenville Nutcracker Village, and the play is back again with some new faces in the cast.

Performances continue at 2 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 17 at the Masonic Temple, 127 North Fourth St.

Written and directed by Von and John Holmes, “Wooden Heart Follies” tells the story of the Mad Scientist, played by Dustin Heavilin, falling in love with his creator, Miss Nelson, played by the real-life designer of most of the village’s nutcrackers, Therese Nelson. When the schoolteacher nutcracker, Miss Adelaide, played for the second year by Nicole Janosco, tells him his love is impossible, the scientist schemes to turn Miss Nelson — and all the people of Steubenville — into wood.

The other nutcrackers band together to try to stop him: Vincenzo the Gondolier, played by Mary Engel, another veteran of the 2016 show; Soldier Mark, played by Michael Manocchia; the Prince, played by Garrett Gallaher; the Baker, played by Jenna Johnson; and Patrolman Holiday, played by John Holmes. They are at a loss, however, until little Miss Clara, played by Gemma Nelson, gets an idea how to make the Mad Scientist less mad.

Will Clara’s scheme work? Or the baker’s plan to sweeten up the scientist with a pie? Or will the nutcrackers have to call in St. Nicholas, played in alternate performances by John H. Walker and Matt Walker.

The play puts Tchaikovsky’s familiar holiday music from “The Nutcracker Suite” to modern comic lyrics that fit the nature of the Steubenville nutcrackers.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students, and children under 6 are free. Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance at the Fort Steuben Visitors Center or online at “Brown Paper Tickets.”

‘Taming of the Shrew’ auditions slated

WEIRTON — Striplight Theatre in Weirton welcomes everyone with a love of Shakespeare to audition for a truly unique take on “The Taming of the Shrew.”

Auditions will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at the Ashley Marie Theater, 3383 Main St.

Actors should come with 16 lines from any of Shakespeare’s works for their audition. Everyone — even those who haven’t acted since high school — is welcome.

Director Maura Reiff, who just wrapped Striplight’s “Assassins,” is directing and plans to set her take on “The Taming of the Shrew” in the mid 1940s.

“My artistic decision to place ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ in the 1940s is due to the Rosie the Riveter, “we can do it,” mindset,” Reiff said. “Shakespeare’s Katerina is a very strong woman by her own standards who does not need a man to adhere to those standards. The piece is incredibly misogynistic for these modern times, but we are excited to come at it with a light heart with its serious undertones.”

Several roles are available for male and female characters. The show is set to run in March.

For information about the audition, e-mail mauradaniellereiff@gmail.com. Information can be found on the Striplight Theatre Facebook page.

‘A Wonderful Life’ set at Lincoln Park

MIDLAND, Pa. — This holiday season, Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center will treat local theater audiences to a family-friendly live version of the treasured holiday film “It’s A Wonderful Life,” through Dec. 17 in the Black Box Theater.

Originally scheduled for six performances, eight weekend, evening and matinee performances have been added due to demand, officials said.

Justin Fortunato, Lincoln Park artistic producing director, calls the play a story of redemption that resonates with young and old.

“‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ has become the American ‘Christmas Carol,’ an inspirational take that families share as an anticipated annual event,” he said. “We invite everyone to experience the true spirit of the season with this unique opportunity to see one of the big screen’s most classic and cherished gems come to life.”

The play is adapted from the film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” directed by Frank Capra and starring actors Donna Reed and James Stewart. The

“The holiday season is a time when we as a community can come together and share in meaningful experiences with the ones we love,” said Fortunato. “We are thrilled to provide two great productions that captivate the imagination through inventive and powerful storytelling for all ages.”

The cast features 41 students at the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in Midland.

Because of the popular demand, tickets are limited at $20 and $15 and are available by calling (724) 576-4644 (option 2 for the box office) or online at www.LincolnParkArts.org.

Performances dates and times are Thursday through Sunday and Dec. 14-16 at 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday and Dec. 16-17 at 2 p.m.

National Aviary opens new bird show

PITTSBURGH — A limited run of the National Aviary’s new free-flight bird show Bird Brains has opened with a stellar avian cast showing off their unique natural adaptations and problem-solving skills in front of audiences at the Helen M. Schmidt FliteZoneTM Theater.

Bird Brains will be presented twice daily through Jan. 31.

Bird Brains explores the concept of bird intelligence and the behaviors, traits and skills various species have developed to survive in the wild. Green-winged Macaws, Hyacinth Macaw, Hooded Vultures, an American Crow, American Flamingos, African Penguin, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Silver Gulls and Blue-fronted Amazon Parrot all make appearances within a multimedia setting that incorporates theatrical lighting, video, music and narration by the National Aviary’s professional trainers.

Among the highlights: Audiences will see firsthand the ability of Macaws to use their climbing skills and intelligence to master an obstacle course; and will see how crows – considered one of the most intelligent of the bird species – employ problem-solving skills to get to food.

The show wraps with an appearance by one of the National Aviary’s critically endangered African Penguins and a finale that reminds audiences of the need to protect the planet and the natural habitats of these winsome but vulnerable birds.

Bird Brains will be presented twice daily at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., except on Tuesdays.

Admission is $15 for adults; $14 for children ages 2-12 and seniors age 60 and up; and free for those 2 and under.

Show tickets are not included with admission. Show tickets are an additional $5; discount packages are available.

For information, go to www.aviary.org .

The National Aviary is located at 700 Arch St.

OUE presents ‘A Christmas Carol’

ST. CLAIRSVILLE –The Theater Department of Ohio University Eastern will present Charles Dickens’ heartwarming classic “A Christmas Carol” today, Friday and Saturday in the Shannon Hall Theater.

Adapted by Barbara Field, this version of the Dicken’s novella has been a perennial hit at the famed Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. Field’s take on the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim is theatrical, filled with music and warm holiday spirit.

“A Christmas Carol” was first published on Dec. 19, 1843. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. The book was written and published in early Victorian era Britain, a period when there was strong nostalgia for old Christmas traditions together with the introduction of new customs, such as Christmas trees and greeting cards.

The OUE Theatre production brings Dickens’ tale to life in a staging filled with the magic of Scrooge’s experiences with each of the Christmas spirits.

Director Dennis Fox describes the appeal of the play; “In holiday good spirits, I think we sometimes get so caught up in the story of Scrooge’s redemption that we forget that ‘A Christmas Carol’ is also biting social commentary on the plight of the poor — or as Scrooge calls them “the surplus population.” This is the genius of ‘A Christmas Carol.’ It displays for us the very worst and the very best of humanity, in a story that suggests the possibility of change and hope, for all of us.”

The Eastern Campus Theatre cast and crew have been working since September. Technical Director Beth Casebolt has coordinated the moving scenery and the scene changes, a special challenge given the relatively small Shannon Hall stage.

The OUE Theatre cast includes Mikhail Bady, Chelsey Barnes, Renno Barnes, Howard Blecher, Norah Blecher, Gilby Carpenter, Remmi Carpenter, Derek DeMattio, Briele Fiona Dobson, Maryann Droll, Joel Garcia, Carly Greiner, Cody Kramer, Michael Cory Lane, Rebecca Lewton, Dencil Legg, Peter Lim, Risha Marple, Mitchell Moore, Jana Schodzinski, Ian Sincavich, Charlie Smith, Matthew Smith, Jett Thomas and Connie Wendell.

Performances are at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

General admission tickets are $7, and student and senior discount tickets are $5. All reserved seats are $5. Reservations are encouraged. For information and to make reservations, contact Fox at ouetheater@ohio.edu or at (740) 699-2340 or make reservations online at http://tinyurl.com/ouetheater.