‘Youngstown’ singer in hometown debut

Youngstowners are familiar with budding country singer Sarah Turner, thanks to the airplay her song “Youngstown” has garnered.

Now the city finally will get a chance to see the Boardman singer.

Turner will perform a free outdoor show at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Morley amphitheater in Mill Creek Park’s Wick Recreation Area on the West Side.

She has sung at numerous events in the region, but the Morley show will be the first time Turner has done a full set for the general public in her hometown. The Morley concerts generally attract a sizable crowd, and I’m guessing a few more than usual will turn out for this one.

Turner is excited about the show and said she can’t wait for her “Youngstown”- loving hometown to hear her other songs. The video for “Youngstown” — widely viewed on YouTube — includes a montage of famous residents of the city from the past and present. A few of those faces will be on hand at the Morley show, including former boxers Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and Harry Arroyo; Mayor Jay Williams; Mel Pachuta from ’70s pop band The Human Beinz; and local businessman Bruce Zoldan.

Dan Rivers of WKBN-AM 570 will emcee the show, which will be an hour long.

Linda Kostka, marketing director of Mill Creek Park, invited all those celebrities. Kostka hasn’t finalized the concert format yet, but it’s likely that Turner will sing for an hour and then cap the evening by showing the “Youngstown” video on a large screen and introducing the celebrity guests.

Turner will sing all of her material and mix in a few cover songs. She’ll be backed by an ensemble led by Mike Moritz, who recorded her first songs at his Kontinuous Jams studio in Boardman.

“Youngstown” is the first single off Turner’s eponymously named debut EP, which was released in January.

The song is getting played on 97 stations nationwide — including K-Country 105 in the Mahoning Valley — and is averaging more than 700 plays per week.

Turner has been waiting for its popularity to fade before releasing her next single — which will be “Typical Boy” — but that simply hasn’t happened yet.

She’s going to Nashville in a couple of weeks to shoot a video for “Typical Boy” and also to give a showcase performance for record-industry professionals. The showcase show is a key step in landing a recording contract, which is her next goal, and she’s already had contact from interested producers.

Paurich to direct play at Rust Belt Theater

For the second time this season, Vindicator theater critic Milan Paurich will direct a play.

Paurich is at the helm of Neil LaBute’s “Reasons to be Pretty,” which opens June 17 at Rust Belt Theater in the Calvin Center, 755 Mahoning Ave., Youngstown.

In the fall, Paurich made his directorial debut with “Speed the Plow” at the Oakland Center for the Arts.

“Reasons to be Pretty” is the conclusion of a trilogy of plays written by LaBute. The first, “The Shape of Things,” was staged by Youngstown State University Theater in January 2010; the second, “Fat Pig,” was done in April at the Oakland.

Paurich said he wasn’t sure whether “Reasons” was even going to happen because the licensing rights hadn’t been approved until recently.

The late start has resulted in a mad rush to get the play — which stars Cheney Morgan and Candace DiLullo — ready for the Rust Belt stage.

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