Lots of action on screen and stage (and polka radio)

Michael Timlin is not a drunk punk, but he played one on TV.

The Poland native, who now lives in Chicago, had a brief appearance on the Showtime series “Shameless” a couple of weeks ago. His character was descriptively titled Drunk Punk in the credits.

“I did a lot of research for it,” deadpanned Timlin, of the non-recurring role. “Shameless” is filmed in Chicago.

Timlin does stand-up comedy in the Windy City and also auditions for acting jobs. But his day job is a butcher. It’s a skill he learned back home when he worked at Catullo Prime Meats while he was still going to Poland Seminary High School.

Timlin met the woman who would become his agent last year while on a train to Chicago.

“She asked why I moved to Chicago to work in a butcher shop, and I said I do stand-up,” said Timlin. “She said, ‘I’m an agent, and if you’re not horrible, I’ll sign you.’”

Timlin hopes to show up on the small screen more in the near future. He recently auditioned for a spot on “Chicago Med.”


Also in Chicago, two Youngstown natives are working together on a new musical.

Bernie Appugliese, who was the operations manager of the Youngstown Playhouse until he moved to Chicago this spring, and Kayla Boye are teaming up on creating a one-woman musical titled “Noir.”

Appugliese has written and is directing the show, which he describes as “dark and sexy with that 1930s black and white film look and feel.”

Boye (who starred in the Playhouse’s production of “Mary Poppins” last year, and, coincidentally, also starred in “Chicago” at the South Side theater a few years prior) plays several characters. She does quite a bit of dance and singing in the musical, which incorporates songs from the era.

“[Kayla] is in top-notch form,” said Appugliese. “She has never sounded better. It is an honor to be creating something for her.”

Boye has been doing professional theater in Chicago for a few years.

“Noir” is tentatively scheduled to open in the spring. Playhouse set designer and actor John Pecano is designing the sound.

Appugliese is planning a sneak-peek performance early next year.


Two former Youngstowners are about to start filming a movie in their hometown.

Crystal Cotton and Jammie Patton, who now split time in New York and Los Angeles, are slated to start shooting “Welcome to Youngstown” (that’s the working title) on Nov. 18.

It’s a coming-of-age story about two friends growing up on the South Side of Youngstown.

Cotton and Patton wrote the script to tell a meaningful story against the backdrop of their hometown. Both have been working in theater, television and film for the past 15 years.

Cotton can be seen in BET’s “RoomieLoverFriends,” while Patton just wrapped on the film “Solace.”

The pair are seeking actors. To audition for “Welcome to Youngstown,” send a photo and resume to welcometoyoungstown@gmail.com. Performers of all ethnicities are needed.


On the same day that shooting will begin on “Welcome to Youngstown,” a movie already made in this city will get its premiere.

“The Refractor” will open Nov. 18 at Movies 8 in Boardman, with screenings scheduled for three straight days.

The film was written and directed by Kwai Daniels of Youngstown, who owns DP Visual Media production company.

“The Refractor” is a comic-book-type action movie about a real bad dude who is strong-arming business owners. It was shot all over downtown Youngstown; the trailer shows a scene inside Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts on North Phelps Street.

The cast of first-time actors from the area includes Brad Miller, Bryan Sharper, Billy Greenawalt, Chauncey Ortiz and Jim Gessner.

In an interview he posted on YouTube, Daniels said the idea for the film grew from a skit he came up with as part of marketing work he was doing for some local businesses.

The story takes elements of Youngstown’s rough-and-tumble past – mobsters, violent crime, steel mills – and is couched in superhero style.

To purchase tickets ($10) in advance, go to refractormovie.com.


Christopher Mele of Canfield has become a go-to guy for major films shooting in the Pittsburgh and Cleveland areas seeking a certain type of character actor.

Mele, who had a small role in “Draft Day” (2014, starring Kevin Costner), will appear in “Fences” (opening Christmas day) and “Marshall” (opening in January).

He also will appear in “My Friend Dahmer,” slated for release sometime next year, and is currently involved with shooting the thriller “Legacy” in Cleveland. Mele plays a detective in “Legacy,” which stars Justin Chatwin (“Shameless”).

He plays a deputy commissioner in the Oscar buzz-worthy “Fences,” which stars Denzel Washington, who also directs, and Viola Davis. “Fences” is an adaptation of the August Wilson play and was shot in Pittsburgh.

“Marshall,” which was shot in Buffalo, NY, is the story of Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court justice. Mele plays a judge in the film, which stars Chadwick Boseman and Kate Hudson.

In “My Friend Dahmer,” Mele plays a school teacher who had Jeffrey Dahmer – the notorious serial killer – as a student.

Mele also will appear in an episode of the the WGN America series “The Outsiders” in January.


Local polka radio queen Val Pawlowski has moved her long-running weekly show down the dial, from WKTX to WPIC-AM 790. It airs Sundays from 3 to 5 p.m. and will soon be expanding to Saturdays. The move came after WKTX flipped its format.

Pawlowski’s next polka event will take place Sunday at Aulizio’s Banquet Center, 4395 Youngstown-Warren Road, Warren. It’s dubbed Perch, Pierogi, Peach and Polka Party and will feature the Del Sinchak Band. Admission is $10.

By the way, the peach part of the title refers to peach cobbler, said Polka Hall of Famer Pawlowski. Trumbull County Commissioner Dan Polivka, who is seeking re-election, is a sponsor.

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