Pub crawl wrestles with ideas

Expect some luchadores at the Cinco de Mayo pub crawl in downtown Youngstown. The Spanish Heritage Committee is making sure the event has a Mexican flavor.

Hardcore Brutal Wrestling will set up an outdoor ring at B&O Station for the May 5 event, because lucha libre (as wrestling is called in Mexico) has long been popular South of the Border, where Cinco de Mayo is a national holiday. Other Spanish heritage-themed ideas are also in the works.

The pub crawl is as a fundraiser for the second annual Spanish Heritage Festival, Aug. 18-19 downtown.

Pub crawls usually take place on Saturday nights, even if the holiday isn’t that day. But like St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo falls on a Saturday this year.

Registration will begin at 6 p.m. The fee is $10 and includes a T-shirt; rides on a shuttle bus that will loop around to all bars; and admission to all establishments, many of which will feature entertainment and drink specials. The wrestling will start at 7 p.m.

The list of participating bars and restaurants so far includes The Lemon Grove, B&O Station, the Boxcar Lounge, the Draught House, V2, 9ine Lounge, The Royal Oaks, The Old Precinct, Imbibe and University Pizzeria. More will be added.

For information, check out

Opera western reserve completes ‘barber’ casting Opera Western Reserve has completed casting for its Nov. 30 production of “The Barber of Seville” at Stambaugh Auditorium.

The production is drawing exponentially more eyes to the Youngstown-based company because the leading role of Count Almaviva will be played by international opera star Lawrence Brownlee, A Youngstown native, Brownlee will make his hometown debut with this performance.

The cast will include Randa Rouweyha, a coloratura soprano, as Rosina. Rouweyha also is a native of Youngstown and a graduate of Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music. She lives in the Washington, D.C., area and has sung roles with the Washington National Opera. This also will be her hometown operatic debut.

Brian Keith Johnson will play the title character, Figaro; Jason Budd will play Dr. Bartolo; and Timothy J. Bruno will play Don Basilio.

Opera Western Reserve Young Artists Diana Farrell and Robert Pierce will appear as Berta and Fiorello. Local actor Tom O’Donnell will perform the mime role of Ambrogio. “Barber” will be conducted by Susan Davenny Wyner and directed by David Vosburgh.

Tickets go on sale Oct. 1. Call 330-480-0693.

Youngstown theaters REVEAL THEIR 2012-13 season lineups

Schedules for the 2012-13 season are being finalized at area theaters. Though not all theaters have released their lineups, some highlights are starting to emerge. Here’s what to expect at Youngstown’s theaters:

The Oakland Center for the Arts’ offerings include some new Broadway hits and revivals, including the Mahoning Valley premiere of 2007 Tony-winner “Spring Awakening” (Nov. 2-17). Also scheduled are “The Normal Heart” (Sept. 21-Oct. 6); “Hair” (July 26-Aug. 10); “Prelude to a Kiss” (April 5-20); “The Children’s Hour” (May 10-25); and local playwright Michael Dempsey’s farce “Hail to the Chef” (Feb. 22- March 9).

The Youngstown Playhouse’s big schedule includes the local premiere of the adult musical-comedy “Avenue Q” (a Sesame Street spoof, Feb. 15-24) as well as “God of Carnage” (Jan. 11-19); “Cabaret” (Sept. 14-23); “The Women of Lockerbie” (Sept. 28-Oct. 6); “Woman in Black” (Oct. 19-31); “Our Lady of 121st Street” (Nov. 9-17); “Not on This Night” (Dec. 7-16); “Six Nights in the Black Belt” Feb. 1-9); “Shadow Box” (March 1-8); “Death of a Salesman” (March 15-24); either “Spamalot” or “Legally Blonde” (May 10-19); “George Washington Slept Here” (June 14-23); and “A Behanding in Spokane” (July 12-20).

The Victorian Players’ upcoming season looks like this: “The Odd Couple” (Sept. 7-23); “Edgar Allan Poe’s the Masque of the Red Death” (Oct. 12-28); “Finale” (about the family of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth; Feb. 8-24); “Below the Surface” (April 5-21); “The Fantasticks” (May 3-19); and “The Rainmaker” (June 7-23).

Rust Belt Theater Company’s 2012 season will reprise “When I Knew and How It Saved Me” (April 20-21); a summer series featuring works by local playwrights Roger Jones, Robert Dennick Joki and Dempsey; “Living Dead: the Musical” (Oct. 19-Nov. 3, with the second annual Zombie Prom wrapped in on Oct. 26); and the return of two holiday staples, “How the Drag Queen Stole Christmas” (Nov. 30-Dec. 8) and “The Ugly Christmas Sweater Revue” (Dec. 14-16).

Youngstown State University Theater’s 2012-13 lineup is: “Dark Matters” (Sept. 6-9); “The Cherry Orchard” (Oct. 4-14); “Rent” (Nov. 8-18); “Dog Sees God” (Jan. 24-27); “Broke- Ology” (Feb. 21-March 3); “Gemini” (April 4-14); and an opera (April 18-21).

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