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WRITER: Andy Gray

‘Dark’ lights up Robins

WARREN — It’s ironic that the play to end eight months of darkness at area theaters is called “Wait Until Dark.” Seeing actors on an indoor stage — and a live audience watching them — hasn’t happened locally since March, when COVID-19 wiped out the remainder of 2019-20 seasons and forced theaters to radically rethink their plans for 2020-21. Trumbull New Theatre only was able to do Frederick ...

Arts organizations in Mahoning get $240K in funding

Six Mahoning County arts organizations will receive money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act in awards announced Thursday. The federal funds were designated for the arts and culture sector by Gov. Mike DeWine and state legislative leaders and administered by the Ohio Arts Council. “This investment will go a long way in supporting the recovery and resilience of Ohio’s creative ...

Graduating art students exhibit at McDonough

Art majors who graduated from Youngstown State University in May didn’t get their exhibition at the McDonough Museum of Art, one of the multitude of events canceled due to COVID-19. The fall 2020 graduates will get their exhibition ... with a few changes. The Fall Graduating Bachelor of Fine Arts exhibit opens Friday at the Youngstown museum, but there won’t be an opening reception. “We’re going ...

‘La Traviata,’ ‘Elegies’ prove show can go on despite virus

Area arts organizations continue to make some tasty lemonade from these COVID-19 lemons. Both Opera Western Reserve and Youngstown State University Theatre premiered alternatives to their normal programming on Friday. Now a man needs to know his limitations, and I’ll be the first to admit that my knowledge of opera is limited. Don’t expect an assessment of the vocal prowess of Mackenzie Whitney and ...

Find joy with light display

A drive-thru holiday lights display is an event that seems tailor-made for a social-distancing world. But even Joy of Christmas at Harvey S. Firestone Park in Columbiana had to make some changes for 2020. One casualty is the gingerbread house display, according to Tricia Offenburg, executive secretary with the Columbiana Area Tourism Bureau. “Last year we had over 167 gingerbread houses, but we lost ...

Teachers sing praises for prior student

Easy Street Productions cofounder Maureen Collins sees Julia Cooper as the one who got away. Cooper, a 21-year-old performer from Poland who is on John Legend’s team on the NBC singing competition “The Voice,” was one of Easy Street’s Little Rascals and appeared in its “Miracle on Easy Street” holiday production for eight or nine years, but she remained one of the ensemble players. “I’ve been ...

TNT will light up Robins with ‘Wait Until Dark’

What once was the norm will be a rarity next week — a local theater group will take the stage and perform a show in front of a live audience. Of course, nothing in the arts is normal these days, so Trumbull New Theatre had to find an alternative site in order to stage the Frederick Knott thriller “Wait Until Dark.” TNT, which has called Niles homes since 1957, will do five performances starting Nov. ...

OWR brings ‘A Taste of Traviata’

Opera Western Reserve Production Director Scott Skiba is a movie buff, and he put that knowledge to use to create “A Taste of Traviata.” The online presentation includes highlights from Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata” (sung in the original Italian with English super titles) as well as behind-the-scenes extras and other educational materials. It premieres at 7 p.m. Friday. Skiba said the term ...

Foo Fighters debut new song and announce album

Assorted ramblings from the world of Dave Grohl: l Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters were all over the television Saturday night and announced some big news Sunday morning. Warren native Grohl opened the 130-minute HBO special created in place of the traditional Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. A few hours later, Foo Fighters was the musical guest for “Saturday Night Live,” which became ...

Concert dedicated to deceased conductor

There will be no one at the podium for the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra’s first event since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Saturday’s concert will be dedicated to conductor and music director Randall Craig Fleischer, who died in August at age 61. “This is one of the concepts Randy and I came up with as the first season after the pandemic started,” Youngstown Symphony Society President Patricia ...