MINGO JUNCTION - Former village resident Ron Mitchell has written and published "Broken Collar," an accounting of his observations of the world from growing up in a steel town to his current job as a probation officer in Phoenix, Ariz.
The book, published by Bottom Dog Press, is described as "drawing from growing up in the Catholic church and from his experience training boxers and peace officers," according to a press release from the publisher. "His travel articles, profiles and essays have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers."
The book is on sale at Amazon.com and http//smithdocs,net.
Holy Grounds Cafe
Two in Harmony
MARTINS FERRY - The Holy Grounds Cafe welcomes local acoustic rock/blues group Two in Harmony on May 17.
The coffeehouse is open from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The first hour will feature open mic with local musicians welcome to perform. Two in Harmony will take the stage at 8 p.m.
Gary Roesser and Howie Scott make up the duo of musicians. They met via Facebook and discovered that their musical tastes and talents blend together quite well. Though they are a fairly new band, they are already making quite a name for themselves in the valley and have played multiple times at Holy Grounds Cafe. The Cafe is delighted to be the kickoff for Two in Harmony's multi-state spring tour, which will take the band from Ohio and West Virginia to New Jersey and New York.
Holy Grounds Cafe is run by husband and wife team David and Lisa Buckingham. To support Two in Harmony's tour, the Buckinghams are encouraging guests to bring along an item or two to fill up a cooler with snacks such as drinks and chips.
"We want to show our support to Gary and Howie," said Lisa Buckingham. "Sending them off on their tour with a cooler stocked with snacks and drinks will be a great way to let them know the valley is wishing them the best on their tour."
There is no cover charge at the coffeehouse, and beverages and snacks are available for a minimum donation. Sponsored by Grace Church, Holy Grounds Cafe is at 410 Hanover St. in Martins Ferry. For information, call (740) 633-2699.
Brooke Hills Playhouse begins season
WELLSBURG - The Brooke Hills Playhouse will kick off its 41st season with a variety show and an alumni picnic the weekend of May 19-20, prior to launching another full summer of family entertainment for area residents.
According to Julia Barnhart of Wellsburg, president of the Brooke County Arts Council, parent organization for the playhouse, this is the second year for the alumni picnic, but the first for the variety show.
"The picnic is open to anyone who has participated in a playhouse production as an actor, director or crew member over the past 40 years," Barnhart said. "No reservations are required, but we ask each person to bring a covered dish to add to the celebration," she added.
The picnic begins at 2 p.m. May 20.
"We're hoping to see old friends and new, and encourage them to share their memories of the Playhouse with each other," Barnhart noted.
The playhouse variety show will be held at 7 p.m. May 19. Karen Hendrickson of Wellsburg is the producer, and she said she believes audiences will get more than the $5 price of admission.
"The program will include a salute to the military in honor of Armed Forces Day, performances by the students from the playhouse's drama workshop, a guest appearance by the improvisational comedy group, Highly Improbable, musical performances and a one-act comedy," Hendrickson said.
The one-act play is "The Ugly Duckling" by A.A. Milne, creator of "Winnie the Pooh." Director Charles Calabrese of Wintersville says the comedy has something for everybody in the audience.
"It's a charming fairy tale for children with witty dialogue and interesting characters for their parents and grandparents," he said. "It's also our way of underlining the playhouse's commitment to family entertainment," he added.
The young people from the drama workshop range in age from 7-14, according to workshop director Diana Mendel of Wellsburg.
"These young people are very bright and creative, and their portion of the variety show will be as enjoyable as they are," Mendel said.
The kickoff weekend is designed to call attention to the playhouse's upcoming summer season, which begins at 8 p.m. June 1 with J.M. Barrie's children's classic, "Peter Pan." The show will continue at 8 p.m. June 2 and June 8-9 with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. on June 3 and 10.
The second main stage production, "The Dixie Swim Club" by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, will be presented at 8 p.m. June 22-23, 29 and 30 and 2 p.m. June 24 and July 1. It will be followed by "Zombie Prom," with music by Dana Rowe and book and lyrics by John Dempsey at 8 p.m. July 13-14 and 20-21 and 2 p.m. July 15 and 22.
The season continues at 8 p.m. Aug. 3-4 and 10-11 and 2 p.m. Aug. 5 and 12 with Agatha Christie's classic murder mystery, "The Mousetrap." The final main stage show of the summer will be Ken Ludwig's comic farce "Leading Ladies," to be presented at 8 p.m. Aug. 24-25 and Aug. 31-Sept. 1 and 2 p.m. Aug. 26 and Sept. 2.
In addition to the five main stage productions, the playhouse will offer a series of "Spotlight" productions on the weekends between the major shows. The first of these, "The Marvelous Wonderettes," will be presented at 8 p.m. June 15-16 and 2 p.m. June 17. A readers' theater production of James Montgomery's comedy, "Nothing but the Truth," adapted by Charles Calabrese, has been scheduled for 8 p.m. Aug. 17-18 and 2 p.m. Aug. 19.
Playhouse patrons have an opportunity to save money with pre-season discount plans, which include the Super Star plan, which provides five admissions to any shows at $42 for adults, $34 for senior citizens and students and $26 for children under 12.
The Bright Star plan includes three admissions to nonmusical shows at $25 for adults, $20 for senior citizens and students and $15 for children younger than 12. The Twinkling Star plan offers admission to one musical and two nonmusicals at $27 for adults, $22 for senior citizens and students and $17 for children younger than 12.
The playhouse also is offering a VIP plan for $100, which includes admission to all shows as well as special VIP treatment.
After the season begins, the box office price for musicals will be $12 for adults, $10 for students, senior citizens and groups and $8 for children under 12. For nonmusicals, in-season ticket prices will be $10 for adults, $8 for students, senior citizens and groups and $6 for children younger than 12.
Patrons may order any of the advance discount packages by sending a check or money order payable to the Brooke Hills Playhouse, P. O. Box 186, Wellsburg, WV 26070. Patrons are asked to specify how many packages of each type they are ordering. All pre-season orders must be completed by May 31.
Wellsburg Elks Club
WELLSBURG - The Tri State Wine Makers Club will present samplings of members' vintages during the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley Wine Tasting, slated from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Wellsburg Elks, 834 Charles St.
Tickets are $15 each or two for $25, and are available at WesBanco in Wellsburg; Brooke County Public Library in Wellsburg; and at the Brooke Review offices in Wellsburg. Tickets also are available by calling the United Way at (304) 232-4625. Tickets are limited.
Train day at
Carnegie Science Center
PITTSBURGH - In celebration of National Train Day on Saturday, Carnegie Science Center is offering a free, small popcorn with the purchase of a ticket to see "Rocky Mountain Express" at the Rangos Omnimax Theater.
"Rocky Mountain Express" charts the construction of Canada's first transcontinental railway through the breathtaking, but treacherous Rocky Mountains. Film-goers will board a roaring steam locomotive and journey through deep river canyons and high mountain passes as they retrace the railroad's original route.
Geared for all ages, "Rocky Mountain Express" is playing on the biggest screen in Pittsburgh at 11:15 a.m., 3:15 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday.
Omnimax ticket cost for members of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is $7 for adults and $5 for children. For nonmembers the ticket cost is $8 for adults and $6 for children; nonmembers who purchase admission to the Science Center can add an Omnimax movie for $5 per person. Purchase tickets online at www.CarnegieScienceCenter.org or at the ticket counter. For information, call (412) 237-3400.
Livia Sohn with
Wheeling Symphony Friday
WHEELING - The Wheeling Symphony's 2011-12 season concludes at 8 p.m. Friday with internationally renowned violin superstar Livia Sohn performing Tchaikovsky's magnificent "Violin Concerto in D Major" at the Capitol Theatre.
The evening's repertoire under the baton of Maestro Andre Raphel also includes Berlioz's "Overture to Benvenuto Cellini"; Prokofiev's "Symphony No. 1"; and Ravel's "Daphnis et Chloe, Suite No. 2."
Audiences will be thrilled by Tchaikovsky's magnificent melodies as performed by the orchestra with Sohn. Sohn performs widely on the international stage as a concerto soloist, recitalist and festival guest in Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Africa and New Zealand.
Sohn has been a guest soloist in North America with the symphony orchestras of Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Seattle, Milwaukee, Edmonton, Rochester, Austin, Phoenix, San Antonio, Oregon, Dayton, Winston-Salem, Hartford, Cheyenne, Green Bay, Boca Raton, Louisville, I Musici de Montreal, Aspen Festival Orchestra, New York Chamber Symphony, Boston Pops and Brooklyn Philharmonic, among others.
WTOV-TV is media sponsor. This concert is preceded with Concert Talk at 7 p.m., an intriguing and informative look at the stories behind the music to be performed. Hosted by Lea Ridenhour, Concert Talk is free and open to the public. It's held in the ballroom of the theater.
Wheeling Symphony concerts are presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.
Tickets prices start at $13.50. For tickets and information, call (304) 232-6191; (800) 395-9241; or visit www.wheelingsymphony.com. Tickets also are available at the door the evening of the concert.
Upcoming events at
Historic Fort Steuben
STEUBENVILLE -Events at Historic Fort Steuben include:
The gates of Historic Fort Steuben are open to visitors of all ages. The fort will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Tours with reduced admission are possible if called in advance.
In May the initial presentation of Von Steuben's Treasure Chest of History, a traveling exhibit that will take hands-on history to those who cannot travel to the fort, will be presented. A generous donation from the Ohio Valley Chapter of the Professional Land Surveyors of Ohio went toward the purchase of a reproduction compass and chain, the tools used by the surveyors at the original fort. A military uniform - suitable for a fourth-grader to try on - soldiers' accouterments, maps, charts, American Indian tools and a PowerPoint Virtual Tour will give visitors a better idea of what life was like on the Ohio frontier in the 18th century. To schedule a visit, call the fort. Donations toward traveling expenses can be made on the website at www.oldfortsteuben.com.
The Valley Gospel Music Fest will be held at the Berkman Amphitheater on from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. May 26. Organized by Dan Wood, the free event features Rick Witkowski and Carrie Oliver, the Mike Duncan Project, Julie Hufstetler and the Experience. For information, go to www.valleygospelfest.com.
For information on the fort, call (740) 283-1787.
Three Rivers Art
Festival upcoming, Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the Three Rivers Art Festival will take place June 1-10 in Point State Park, Hertz Gateway Center, and throughout the Cultural District.
The 2012 festival highlights include the return of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, a new multimedia show by Squonk Opera, the premiere of Bluegrass Day on June 9 and expansion of the artist market and greening initiatives.
The opening weekend will be enriched by the second-annual Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival from June 1-3, which is produced by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. The indoor/outdoor jazz festival helps kick off a 10-day celebration of the arts in Pittsburgh. For information, go to www.PittsburghJazzLive.com.
PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and programming division Pittsburgh International Children's Theater presents the Pittsburgh International Children's Festival, Wednesday through May 20 at the University of Pittsburgh theaters and green spaces surrounding Schenley Plaza in Oakland.
Programming will showcase international and local theater premieres, including a new interactive luminarium installation from Architects of Air.
For information and tickets, visit the box office at Theater Square; online at www.pghkids.org; or call (412) 456-6666. Ticket packages and single tickets are available. Children ages 2 and under are admitted free but require a lap pass for theater performances.
Festival hours are 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. In addition to the featured ticketed performances, the festival will include free hands-on academic, cultural and international activities, as well as performances at the free outdoor community stage in Schenley Plaza.
Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Museum open
AVELLA - The Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, the oldest site of human habitation in North America, is currently open.
Meadowcroft, which is part of the Senator John Heinz History Center's museum system, has become an international destination, welcoming more than 15,000 visitors from 35 U.S. states and 12 countries last year. With new site upgrades and popular annual events, Meadowcroft is poised for another record-breaking season in 2012.
The National Historic Landmark in Washington County features a massive, 16,000-year-old rock overhang used by the region's earliest inhabitants for shelter. In addition to ancient history at the Rockshelter, visitors can also step back in time at Meadowcroft's Historic Village, which carefully recreates all of the charming qualities of an Upper Ohio Valley Village from the mid-19th century. A recently completed 16th century Indian Village allows visitors to travel 400 years into the past and relive what life was like for the eastern Woodland Indians.
Throughout this spring, Meadowcroft will finalize construction of two new 1770s era structures that will help spotlight the similarities and differences between the everyday lives of European settlers and American Indians in the Upper Ohio Valley.
Also new this year, a self-guided trail with informational signs on the Meadowcroft property will provide visitors with a new walking trail loop through the woods. Visitors will learn how the forest served as the supermarket, pharmacy, clothing store and much more to American Indians. For example, visitors will learn how poplar trees were used by American Indians to make dugout canoes, or how the Iroquois believed that plants like the maple-leaved viburnum offered special protection against curses and sorcery.
For information, visit www.heinzhistorycenter.org and click on the Meadowcroft tab; or call (724) 587-3412.
Raccoon Creek State Park
HOOKSTOWN - Upcoming activities at Raccoon Creek State Park will include:
Saturday - Bluebirds of Raccoon Creek, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m
Those attending should meet at the Wildflower Reserve Interpretive Center along state Route 30 and join bluebird trails coordinator Scott Parry for an informative, free program on the bluebirds of Raccoon Creek.
Sunday -Mother's Day wildflower walk, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Those attending should meet at the Wildflower Reserve Interpretive Center along state Route 30 for a relaxing look at wildflowers along the trails of the park's wildflower reserve. The free walk will cover identification, medicinal/edible uses and folklore associated with various plants.
May 26 -Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Tour, 10 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Those attending should meet at the park office on state Route 18 promptly at 10 a.m. The program and walking tour will discuss the history and significance of the park.
May 26-The Hiking Club of Raccoon Creek State Park, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Those attending should meet at the recreation hall on Cabin Road at 10 a.m. Join Raccoon Creek's Hiking Club as they discover the great outdoors along the parks trails during National Hiking Week. Open to anyone interested in exploring the natural wonders and historical places within Raccoon Creek State Park. Hikes range from 4 to 6 miles and can be physically challenging on hilly terrain. Those attending should dress appropriately and bring water, snacks, bug spray and rain gear if needed.
May 27- Trees of the Wildflower Reserve, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Meet at Wildflower Reserve Interpretive Center.
Though flowers often steal the show, the Wildflower Reserve is also home to many of Pennsylvania's beautiful trees. Trees can tell a tale, and on this free, guided hike participants will not only learn to identify trees but also hear some of the folklore and history associated with the reserve's trees.
Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller
coming to First Niagara Pavilion
BURGETTSTOWN - Magnetic rappers and live performers Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller team up for the Under the Influence of Music Tour with special guests Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q and Chevy Woods at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 4 at First Niagara Pavilion.
For tickets, go to www.livenation.com; all Ticketmaster outlets; or call (800) 745-3000.
Toby Keith coming to
First Niagara Pavilion July 27
BURGETTSTOWN - Toby Keith will be performing at 7 p.m. July 27 at the First Niagara Pavilion.
For tickets, go to www.livenation.com; all Ticketmaster outlets; or call (800) 745-3000.
The Temptations, Four Tops
coming to Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH - R&B superstar groups the Temptations and the Four Tops will appear on stage together beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Benedum Center.
Both of these groups have been entertaining generations of fans for more than half a century.
Tickets range from $40 to $100 and can be purchased at the box office at Theater Square, 655 Penn Ave.; online at www.TrustArts.org; or by calling (412) 456-6666
Mom 2 Mom Expo at
Fort Steuben Mall upcoming
STEUBENVILLE - The Fort Steuben Mall will host its fifth-annual Mom 2 Mom Expo from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday throughout the mall.
More than 30 local businesses are registered to display their services, all of which cater to area families. In addition to the expo, WCDK-FM will hold its sixth-annual Mother/Daughter Look-Alike contest at the stage in center court beginning at noon. Kurt James Fun and Games will have bounce houses free for kids to play on from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The mall still is taking reservations for the Mom 2 Mom Expo. Spots are exclusive for at-home business owners, so those interested should call prior to sending a registration form. Registration forms are available at www.ftsteubenmall.com or the mall's Facebook page. Spaces are $50 and include one 8-foot table, two chairs and advertising for the event. Additional space is available, and spaces with electric are available on a first- come, first-served basis. The event is sponsored by Fort Steuben Mall, WCDK-FM and the Herald-Star.
For information and to reserve a booth, call Steph McVicker, marketing director, at (740) 264-7781.
Upcoming football exhibit at the
Senator John Heinz History Center
PITTSBURGH - The Senator John Heinz History Center and the Pro Football Hall of Fame are collaborating on a major exhibition focusing on the history of pro football, from its humble beginnings in the early 20th century to its rise as one of the world's most beloved sports.
Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will make its national premiere at the History Center from Oct. 6 through Jan. 6 before embarking on a nationwide traveling tour. When it debuts this fall, Gridiron Glory will be the most comprehensive traveling exhibit ever created on America's most popular sport.
Included in the exhibit are more than 200 football artifacts, rare photos and one-of-a-kind documents from the Pro Football Hall of Fame collections, many of which have never been seen outside of the Hall of Fame. Highlights include:
The 1892 Allegheny Athletic Association accounting ledger featuring Pudge Heffelfinger, known as "Pro Football's Birth Certificate"; artifacts from pro football's pioneers, such as Jim Thorpe's Canton Bulldogs sideline blanket, Knute Rockne's 1919 helmet, Red Grange items from the historic 1925 Chicago Bears barnstorming tour, Johnny "Blood" McNally's canvas football pants, Sammy Baugh's helmet and Bobby Layne's jersey; items from the golden era of pro football, including Jim Brown's jersey, Vince Lombardi's coaching diagrams, Dick Butkus' helmet, Johnny Unitas' jersey, Tom Dempsey's kicking shoe and Tom Landry's iconic coaching hat; highlights from the NFL's greatest running backs, such as footballs from O.J. Simpson and Eric Dickerson, and jerseys from Tony Dorsett, Walter Payton, Bo Jackson, and Barry Sanders; artifacts from record-breaking quarterbacks, including John Elway's jersey from the 1986 championship season, Joe Montana's Super Bowl XXIII MVP football, and Dan Marino's footballs for career yardage and pass completions records; and items from historic receivers, such as Jerry Rice's helmet and career touchdown reception football and New England Patriots -and Woodland Hills High School graduate - Rob Gronkowski's jersey from his record-setting 2011 season.
The history center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the largest history museum in Pennsylvania, presents American history with a Western Pennsylvania connection. The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum is a museum within a museum, comprehensively presenting the region's remarkable sports story through hundreds of artifacts and interactive experiences for visitors of all ages. The History Center and Sports Museum are at 1212 Smallman St. in the city's Strip District and are open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The History Center's museum system includes the Sports Museum; the Fort Pitt Museum in historic Point State Park; and Meadowcroft Rockshelter & Historic Village, a National Historic Landmark located in Avella. For information, go to www.heinzhistorycenter.org.
Chicago, Doobie Brothers
coming to First Niagara Pavilion
BURGETTSTOWN - The First Niagara Pavilion will welcome Chicago and the Doobie Brothers at 8 p.m. Aug. 2.
Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem
Festival coming to First Niagara
BURGETTSTOWN - The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival comes to the First Niagara Pavilion July 28.
Bands slated to perform include Slipknot, Slayer, Motorhead, the Devil Wears Prada, As I Lay Dying and more. For tickets, go to www.livenation.com; all Ticketmaster outlets; or call (800) 745-3000.
Famous painting at Carnegie
Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH - Henri Matisse's "The Thousand and One Nights," is a large, multi-panel, painted paper cutout, but because of its fragile nature, it is only on view for a limited period of time - through July 15 at the Carnegie Museum of Art.
"One Thousand and One Nights" was created in 1950, when the artist was 81 and confined to his bed. Unable to sleep and kept alive by his drive to create, Matisse had much in common with Scheherazade, the legendary narrator of the Arabian Nights. Scheherazade saves her own life from a vengeful king by enthralling him with a story that she always interrupts at a moment of suspense just after dawn, ensuring her survival through 1,001 nights. Like her tales, "The Thousand and One Nights" is a work rich in fantastical imagery and symbolism created during many sleepless, difficult hours.
The composition - with its fanciful magic lamps, dancing plant forms, hearts and cut-out text - evokes the supernatural quality of the heroine's storytelling and also the passage of time through the night.
The complex shapes are interwoven to create a spontaneous, musical rhythm that captures the fascinating rapture of the story that inspired it. The museum is at 4400 Forbes Ave. For information, go to www.cmoa.org or call (412) 622-3131.