Enjoy the Vatican splendors at Heinz
PITTSBURGH - The Senator John Heinz History Center is offering a holiday gift package to enjoy the Vatican Splendors - A Journey through Faith and Art exhibition, which presents unique objects illustrating 2,000 years of art, history and culture.
The gift pack includes a wrapped gift certificate for one ticket to see the Vatican Splendors exhibit through Jan. 9. Also included is a special Vatican Splendors edition of the center's popular Western Pennsylvania History quarterly magazine, which features stories about reliquaries at St. Anthony's Chapel in Troy Hill; the history of brewing at St. Vincent Parish; and an inside look at the favorite foods of Bishop David Zubik.
The exhibit will feature extended hours during the winter holiday season, which will provide additional opportunities for visitors to see the once-in-a-lifetime exhibition.
The cost is $20 per ticket. Tickets are available at the Senator John Heinz History Center Gift Shop, 1212 Smallman St. or by visiting the e-store at www.heinzhistorycenter.org.
Globetrotters coming to Wheeling
WHEELING - The Harlem Globetrotters have implemented the first-ever 4-point shot as part of all of its games on the team's 2011 4 Times the Fun North American tour, the team's record 85th season of touring.
The game-changing innovation will be on display when the Globetrotters take on the Washington Generals at WesBanco Arena at 7 p.m. Jan. 28. Tickets, starting at $15, are on sale at www.harlemglobetrotters.com; the WesBanco Arena box office; or by phone at (800) 745-3000. For information, go to www.harlemglobetrotters.com.
HOPEDALE - When officials with Hope Players hold auditions for its third-annual readers' theater from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Hopedale United Methodist Church, 237 Church St., they will begin the realization of a long-time dream of executive director Andrew Pelegreen III to put a play by William Shakespeare on the local community theater schedule.
The auditions began as a suggestion two years ago to Charles Calabrese of Wintersville, who has adapted and directed the readers' theater presentations since their inception three years ago.
"I had suggested that we do 'Romeo and Juliet,' but Charles had a number of objections, including serious concerns about the fact that the play has plot elements that include teenage suicide and incompetent members of the clergy," Pelegreen said.
"I also want this series to be a painless way to produce and enjoy plays that don't get a lot of exposure locally, so I suggested that we do Oscar Wilde's 'The Importance of Being Earnest,' instead," said Calabrese. "'Romeo and Juliet' is part of just about every high school English literature curriculum."
"We discussed the matter after 'Earnest,' and Charles suggested that, if we're going to include Shakespeare's works in our public domain readers' theater productions, we might start with his shortest play, and also one of his funniest," Pelegreen recalled. "We took the suggestion to the board, and they agreed."
"Some other things about 'The Comedy of Errors' that meet our needs are that the play has parts for people of various ages and many of the parts could be played by males or females, which is a plus if we have more of one gender trying out for the play than the other," Calabrese said.
"The Comedy of Errors" tells the story of two sets of identical twins accidentally separated at birth. Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, arrive in Ephesus, which turns out to be the home of their twin brothers.
When the Syracuse men encounter the friends and families of their twins, a series of wild mishaps based on mistaken identities lead to wrongful beatings, a near-seduction, the arrest of one twin and accusations of infidelity, theft, madness and demonic possession.
Those trying out for the play will be asked to read selections from scripts that will be provided at auditions. Anyone unable to audition at the scheduled time may call Calabrese at (740) 264-4465 to make other arrangements.
Any actor who wants to prepare for auditions by reading "The Comedy of Errors" should have no problem obtaining the text free of charge, according to Calabrese.
"Because the play is in the public domain, the script is available free for download on the Internet at such sites as Project Gutenberg or may be borrowed from any local school or public library," he said.
For information, go to www.hopeplayers.org.
Manchester Hazard returns to cafe
WHEELING - Manchester Hazard will be the featured band at the Vineyard Cafe's Up Close in Concert event Tuesday.
It makes the third time the band has played at the cafe's Christmas party. The cafe will host open mic beginning at 7 p.m. followed by April Childers and a special presentation by Linda Dickinson. Manchester Hazard will play from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Dinner for the evening will include baked ham, mashed potatoes, corn and green beans. Those attending are asked to bring a dessert or sidedish or make a contribution to the cafe.
Childers, who plays violin with the Washington Symphony Orchestra, will be playing along to various rock and Christmas tunes. Dickinson will sing "Mary Did You Know?" syncronized to a video of the Life of Jesus.
Manchester Hazard's members are David Miles, Walt Warren, Orland Carra and Bill Randolph. The band's unusual name was originated by Walt Warren while driving through Kentucky to visit friends. He noticed a sign at an exit for two towns in that state, Manchester and Hazard, Ky.
He thought it would make a good name for a band, and when he returned home Manchester Hazard was born. As time went on they began playing at private parties, benefit concerts, coffee houses, local churches and Wheeling's Waterfront Wednesday series. Over the years the band has added Irish and Celtic tunes, 1960s favorites such as the Beatles, Eagles, John Denver, Gordon Lightfoot, Cat Stevens and an occasional original by song writers Orland Carra and Walt Warren.
After the party the cafe will be closed until Jan. 11 and will feature the Catch Blues Band that evening.
The Vineyard Cafe is at the Wheeling Vineyard Church, 647 Warden Run Road.
For information, go to www.vineyard or call (304) 224-1782.
Dance set at Weirton Knights of Columbus
WEIRTON - The Knights of Columbus will host a dinner and dance on Dec. 18 in the gallery at the knights' hall.
The event, open to knights and their guests, will begin at 7 p.m. with a buffet dinner including spaghetti, meatballs, chicken and salad.
The entertainment features disc jockey Ed Onori playing his favorites along with attendees' special requests. A cash bar will be available.
Admission is $10 per person, and dress is casual. For information and required reservations, call (304) 723-1492.
Holidaze at Heinz
PITTSBURGH - Cirque Dreams Holidaze lights up the 2010 holiday season when it transforms the Heinz Hall stage into a wonderland of fantasy and disbelief Dec. 21-26.
Cirque Dreams brings its critically acclaimed production to Pittsburgh for eight holiday performances. Cirque Dreams Holidaze is a special production of PNC Broadway Across America-Pittsburgh, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Symphony and Broadway Across America.
Tickets range from $22-$64 and are available by calling (412)392-4900; visiting the box office at Theater Square, 655 Penn Ave.; or online at www.pgharts.org.