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Acting on Impulse: Hotel reboots club, comedy stage



Published: Thu, September 8, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

The entertainment spots in the Metroplex Hotel in Liberty are getting some overdue attention.

Choices Nightclub is now known as Impulse. And later this fall, comedians will return to the room that once was the Funny Farm comedy club.

A grand opening will be Oct. 22 for Impulse. Troy Napier, who is part of local hip-hop duo DaBoondox (and also known as DJ Dada Fries) is handling entertainment at the club and its ballroom. Jennifer Phelps is manager.

A couple of big shows on the docket include a Sept. 24 date with Dead II Me, Metal Mafia, Daboondox and Danny Hedrix. The annual Bridge the Gap music festival will be at the hotel the day before Thanksgiving.

Plans call for Impulse to be open three nights a week by next month: a Thursday college night, DJs on Friday and live bands on Saturday.

The comedy room has seen on-again, off-again activity in the past year or so but will start to host two shows every Saturday beginning soon.

There is a male revue this Saturday. The following week will be Youngstown’s Total Package Band with Billy Beck. That show will include a 40th-anniversary tribute to TV’s “Soul Train” show — which Beck graced in the ’70s and ’80s when he was with The Ohio Players. Come dressed ’70s style for some “Soul Train” line dancing.

Look for Poland actor in new film ‘Warrior’

Jeff Hochendoner of Poland has a role in the film “Warrior,” which doesn’t open until Friday but already is getting Oscar buzz.

“Warrior,” starring Nick Nolte, Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton, and directed by Gavin O’Connor (“Miracle”), was shown as a sneak preview last weekend in theaters in select cities to generate some word-of-mouth.

The film centers around Nolte, the father of two young men who are on a collision course as mixed martial-arts fighters. Hardy and Edgerton are those battling sons.

Critics are calling it the “Rocky” of mixed martial arts. Some also are saying Nolte’s turn as a recovering alcoholic is his best work since 1991’s “Prince of Tides.”

Hochendoner plays a Marine MP who is pursuing Hardy’s character. Hardy, incidentally, will play the villain Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises,” the upcoming Batman movie which, like “Warrior,” also was filmed in Pittsburgh.

Hochendoner, who worked on the film for a month, said his role is integral to the climactic scene, which was filmed at Petersen Center, the University of Pittsburgh’s basketball arena.

The North Jackson native was recently seen in “I Am Number Four” and “Unstoppable.” He also has roles in four movies due for 2012 releases: “New York Heartbeat,” “Riddle,” “Mafia” and “The Sibling.”

Hochendoner’s son, Jake, a cinema studies major at Oberlin College, also worked on “Warrior” as a production assistant.

Butler museum’s director marks three decades at helm

Louis A. Zona is marking 30 years as executive director of the Butler Institute of American Art this year — an incredible feat of longevity in his line of work, especially when you consider that it all came at one museum. Most museum directors are lucky if they last 10 years in the same place.

The Butler board of trustees will have a reception for Zona at noon Oct. 2 at the Butler. It’s free, but you have to make a reservation; call 330-743-1107, ext. 210.

To mark the event, columns written by Zona and published in The Business Journal over the past seven years are being compiled into a bound volume. The book will be available at the Oct. 2 reception for $15.95, with all proceeds benefiting the Butler.

Singer-songwriter posts Sept. 11 tribute on Youtube

Kirk Kasten, a longtime Mahoning Valley musician who lives in Berlin Center, has posted on YouTube a song he wrote about the Sept. 11 terror attacks titled “I Will Not Forget.” Kasten wrote and recorded the song shortly after the attacks. He recently set it to a slide show and posted it online in time for the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

A Forum Health worker for many years, Kasten doesn’t play gigs anymore, but he used to perform acoustic sets at local nightspots and ran the open-mic nights at the former Gabriel’s on Market Street.

He said posting “I Will Not Forget” is strictly a show of patriotism, and he’s not looking for any self-promotion or to make money off the song.


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