Mahoning Valley premiere of “Avenue Q” opens Friday at Playhouse

The Mahoning Valley premiere of “Avenue Q” will open Friday at the Youngstown Playhouse. Here are five things you might not know about the unique musical-comedy:

v Opening: “Avenue Q” opened off-BroadwaySFlbin March 2003, co-produced by The New Group and the Vineyard Theatre.

v Broadway: It transferred to Broadway in July 2003.

v Awards: “Avenue Q” won three Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and spawned Las Vegas and West End productions, two national tours, and a variety of international productions.

v Long run: With 2,534 performances, “Avenue Q” ranks 23rd on the list of longest-running shows in Broadway history.

v Today: The show ended its Broadway run Sept. 13, 2009, and then reopened off-Broadway at New World Stages in October 2009.

“Modern Family” (8 p.m., ABC): In the continuation of a hilarious Valentine’s Day tradition, romance is once again fraught with peril for Phil and Claire’s lusty aliases, Clive and Juliana.

“Survivor: CARAMOAN — FANS VS. FAVORITES (8 P.M., CBS): This season- opening special pits 10 “ultra fans” of the show against 10 former castaways as host Jeff Probst eggs them on the whole way.

“Southland” (10 p.m., TNT): Season 5 of the terrific cop series “Southland” finds Cooper (Michael Cudlitz) at odds with a new trainee, an Afghanistan War veteran. Meanwhile, Lydia (Regina King) tries to juggle the demands of motherhood with detective work.

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Orchestra offers singing competition


The Greenville Symphony Orchestra will have its annual Rising Stars singing competition beginning next week.

The contest is open to solo singers in three age categories: age 10-15, 16-25, and 26 and older. Each age category is limited to 100 initial entrants. All three rounds will take place in Passavant Center at Thiel College.

The first audition, or elimination round, includes a 30-second a capella piece of the singer’s choice. It takes place at 7 p.m. Feb. 22 and 10 a.m. Feb. 23. Twelve contestants in each age category will be selected to move on to the semi-final round.

The semifinal performance, which is open to the public, will be at 7:30 p.m. March 23. Six top vocalists from each age category will continue to the finals, which will be at 7:30 p.m. April 13. A winner will be chosen in each category at the finals, which will also be open to the public.

An entry form and rules are available at Click on “fundraising events.” Vocalists are encouraged to preregister by Friday. Competitors may be accepted at the door Feb. 22 and 23 but only if space is available and at a slightly higher registration fee.

Rundgren tickets are now on sale


Tickets for a May 14 concert by Todd Rundgren at Kent Stage, 175 E. Main St., are now on sale at or by calling 888-718-4352. Prices range from $33 to $46. Limit six per order.

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