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Yanni coming to Pittsburgh

July 24, 2014
Weirton Daily Times

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the Yanni: World Tour 2014.

Yanni's orchestra composed of top musicians and vocalists from around the world will perform music selections from the beginning of his career to his latest album. Tickets currently are on sale ranging from $42.25 to $152.25. The performance begins at 8 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Benedum Center. To purchase tickets and for information, visit; or call (412) 456-6666.

Beer tasting event Aug. 8 features local home brewers

WHEELING - Oglebay Institute opens its 2014-15 Art & Ale series at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 8 at the Stifel Fine Arts Center with a special beer tasting and food pairing event featuring a variety of ales crafted by local home brewers.

Nine guest brewers will serve their finest home brews, and food will be provided by Ye Olde Alpha.

Last year's event sold out, so early reservations are recommended. Call (304) 242-7700. Admission is $30.

Farm-to-table event at Oglebay upcoming

WHEELING - Tickets currently are on sale for the fourth-annual Farm to Table event set from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 17 at the Stifel Fine Arts Center.

Oglebay Institute teamed up with local farmers and chefs to present a farm-to-table culinary tasting event for the public to enjoy fresh, locally-grown food and learn about the advantages of buying food locally.

The event features some of the area's top chefs as they use the region's freshest ingredients and their fertile imaginations to whip up delicious menu items. Guests will enjoy tent hopping from chef-to-chef tasting sweet and savory dishes - all prepared onsite from locally grown food.

Featured chefs and presenters include Matt Welsch of the Vagabond Kitchen; Charlie Schlegel of Ye Olde Alpha; Ami Dodd and Julie Cartright from Wheeling Country Day School; Chris Kefauver and culinary arts students from West Virginia Northern Community College; and Martin Galloway, executive chef at Oglebay Resort. Guests can shop a farmers' market and enjoy live music. Wine pairings with select dishes also are available.

Tickets are $20 per person for general admission; $25 per person, including wine pairings; and $10 for children age 10 and older. Children younger than 10 are admitted free.

Space is limited, and the event has sold out the last three years. To register, call (304) 242-7700.

Pat Benatar, Neil Giraldo coming to Mountaineer

CHESTER - Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort will feature rock duo Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo in a trailblazing performance at the Harv on Oct. 11.

The inimitable rock duo are celebrating their 35th anniversary in music and 32nd year of marriage.

Tickets for the show are on sale. Mountaineer Casino now offers a limited number of prime, reserved seats for sale in the Harv in the first four center rows. The remainder of Harv seating is general admission by section.

Together, Pat Benatar's mezzo-soprano vocal range and Neil Giraldo's trail-blazing work as a guitarist, producer and songwriter have sold more than 26 million albums and charted 19 Top 40 singles including "Love is a Battlefield," "Hit Me with Your Best Shot," "Heartbreaker," "We Live For Love," "Promises in the Dark," "We Belong" and more.

Tickets begin at $25 plus taxes and fees. Reserved seating is available in the first four center rows. Tickets can be purchased at;; at Mountaineer's Players Club; or by calling 800-80-40-HOT extension 8297.

Gospel Xplosion coming to Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH - In partnership with Iron Cross Community Ministries, Kelly Strayhorn Theater presents Gospel Xplosion, a family-friendly gospel music concert at 2 p.m. Aug. 2 at Kelly Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty.

Admission is what an atendee can afford. Gospel Xplosion celebrates the diversity in gospel genres with rap, dance, poetry, singing and drumming. The event, formerly called Rep the Cross Gospel Explosion, started in 2010 as a partnership between Larry Fielder of Iron Cross Community Ministries and Kelly Strayhorn Theater. Iron Cross' mission is to "Reach the Unreachable and Teach the Unteachable." With that message, Gospel Xplosion promotes positive music and energy in hopes to decrease violence in Pittsburgh neighborhoods, especially with local youth.

The event features performances and activities, including face painting, an open mic session, a rap cypher, samba band Timbeleza, gospel singer LaLeita Small and gospel rap artist Reconcile. Comedian Comma'Dee returns to lead the crowd through the evening as Gospel Xplosion's host.

Shaker Woods Festival scheduled during August

COLUMBIANA - Shaker Woods Festival, a nationally recognized craft festival, marks its 32nd year with three weekends Aug. 9-10, 16-17 and 23-24.

Shopping, food and entertainment are featured during this six-day event. The festival, founded to honor the 18th century Shaker community, will offer more than 200 craftspeople representing artists and crafts from all across the country.

Crafters demonstrate their unique skills without the use of modern conveniences - not even electricity. The diverse crafts include basket weaving, blacksmithing, broommaking, leather work, paintings, pottery, quilts, custom garden stones, plants, toys, jewelry and woodwork. The items for sale range from small miniatures to rooms of custom-made furniture and hand-carved masterpieces. Some of the crafters exhibit only at the Shaker Woods Festival.

The name is derived from the Shaker community, a group of industrious and devout people whose inventions include the washing machine, spinning wheel and flat broom, as well as clothespins and packaged seeds. Shaker furniture is known for its simple, beautiful lines and fine workmanship.

An extensive selection of food also is available, from soups and sandwiches to complete meals - some cooked over an open fire. Snack foods and delicious desserts also are available.

Entertainment, from bluegrass to cloggers, is featured on all three stages throughout the festival.

Darryl Gatlin, a native of Beaver County, returns to Shaker Woods Aug. 9-10 and 23-24 performing on the Meeting House Stage. The Cedar Valley Cloggers from Wooster will perform on the Simple Gifts Stage on Aug. 16. Performing on the Meeting House Stage on Aug. 16-17 is Zach Paxson, a country singer/songwriter from northeast Ohio. Black Horse from Washington, Pa., will be featured on the Simple Gifts Stage on Aug. 23. Making his Shaker Woods Festival debut is American country music singer/songwriter Cody Gibson performing on Aug. 9-10 on the Garden Stage.

Additional performers and events include Vanessa Campagna, Northwest Territory, Craig Thomas, Blue Shades, Legends of Music, Herb Classes by Jeanette Thompson and caricature artists.

Robert Griffing will be signing autographs on Aug. 10. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Daily general admission tickets are $8 for adults and will be sold at the gate. Children 12 and younger are admitted free of charge. No pets or alcoholic beverages are permitted on the grounds. Children's strollers are not recommended.

Bluegrass band coming to science center

PITTSBURGH - Border Ride, a band from Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio, will bring its traditional bluegrass and progressive, non-traditional "newgrass" tunes to Carnegie Science Center Saturday as part of the BLUE! performance series.

The performance will begin at 1 p.m. in the BLUE! exhibit gallery.

Free with general admission to the Science Center, BLUE! performances are sponsored by Dollar Bank and are held every Saturday in July and August. For information, go to

Folk music club accepting applications

FRANKFORT SPRINGS - The Appalachian Folk Music Club, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving, promoting, playing and teaching Appalachian mountain music, is accepting applications for new members.

The club welcomes folk music enthusiasts. It is not a country music jam session. Only acoustic instruments, such as dulcimers, guitars, fiddles, banjos and autoharps, are played. The group meets at 6 p.m. Wednesdays at the Frankfort Springs Grange Hall, 1476 state Route 18.

For information, call Alice Whitehill at (724) 573-9109 or e-mail

Open auditions set for Christie's 'The Mousetrap'

HICKORY - The Old Schoolhouse Players will hold open call auditions for "Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap" from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 3-4 at the Mount Pleasant Township Community Center, 20 Wabash Ave. David Grande will direct. The performance will be held Oct. 10-12 and 17-19.

Those auditioning will give cold readings from the script. A monologue is not necessary, although those auditioning may give one. There are roles for three young men, two young women, two older men and an older woman. For information, visit or the group's Facebook page.

Free outdoor concerts planned by Paris Presbyterian Church group

PARIS - Paris Presbyterian Church's Gathering Place Coffee Shop will hold a series of free outdoor concerts, "Music on the Deck," throughout the summer at the coffee shop, at 127 Steubenville Pike.

The Donohues will perform at 7 p.m. Friday. They will perform easy listening 1950s, '60s and '70s music.

Kelly Ward will lead a bluegrass jam at 7 p.m. today.

Circle of Faith will perform at 7 p.m. Aug. 1.

The Christian rock and praise band plays contemporary Christian music, worship songs and hymns.

Those attending are asked to bring lawn chairs or blankets.

Beverages will be served. In the case of inclement weather, the event will be moved indoors into the coffee shop.

For information, call (724) 729-3450.

Yes brings pioneering progressive rock to Benedum Center Oct. 11

PITTSBURGH - Progressive rock pioneer band Yes will be coming to the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 11.

For tickets, go to

Jackson Browne coming to Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH - Renowned rocker Jackson Browne will be coming to the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 12.

For tickets, go to

Travis Tritt to play Sept. 27 at Mountaineer, Chester

CHESTER - Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort will feature country superstar Travis Tritt in an unforgettable performance Sept. 27 at the Harv.

Tickets currently are on sale. Mountaineer now offers a limited number of prime reserved seats for sale in the Harv in the first four center rows. The remainder of Harv seating is general admission by section.

Tritt's unique blend of southern rock, blues and gospel led to a sound that skyrocketed his career in the early '90s and carved out his spot amongst the country elite. His outlaw image and conspicuous lack of a cowboy hate set him apart from his contemporaries and amassed him a devoted fan base that continues to fill venues coast-to-coast.

Tritt has experienced wide-spread success in his career with a string of number one hits including "Help Me Hold On," "Anymore," "Can I Trust You With My Heart," "Foolish Pride," and "Best of Intentions."

Tickets are general admission by section and begin at $20 plus taxes and fees. Reserved seating is available in the first four center rows. Tickets can be purchased at;; in person at the Mountaineer's Players Club; or by calling 800-80-40-HOT extension 8297.

Gladys Knight coming to Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort

CHESTER - Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort will feature the legendary Gladys Knight in a soulful performance at the Harv Sept. 13.

Tickets for the show are on sale. Mountaineer now offers a limited number of prime reserved seats for sale in the Harv in the first four center rows. The remainder of Harv seating is general admission by section.

Gladys Knight's career has spanned more than five decades, making her a true musical icon and performer. The seven-time Grammy winner boasts No. 1 hits in pop, R&B and adult contemporary and also has made her mark in film, television and live performances.

Georgia-born Knight debuted in 1960 as the front-woman of the band Gladys Knight & The Pips. Their lush harmonies and graceful choreography led the group to achieve iconic status, having recorded some of the most memorable songs of the 1960s, '70s and '80s. Hits such as "Every Beat of My Heart," "Letter Full of Tears," "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" and "If I Were Your Woman" set the stage for an amazing run in the mid-1970s. Gladys & The Pips solidified their status as a first-class musical ensemble with several Top 10 gold-certified singles like "Neither One of Us (Wants to be the First to Say Goodbye)," "I've Got to Use My Imagination" and "Midnight Train to Georgia."

In 1995, Knight earned her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the next year, Gladys Knight & The Pips were inducted into the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame.

In 1997, Gladys Knights & The Pips were honored yet again when presented with the lifetime achievement award from the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame. In 2004, Knight received the lifetime achievement award at the annual BET awards ceremony.

Tickets are general admission by section and begin at $30 plus taxes and fees. Reserved seating is available in the first four center rows. Tickets can be purchased online, at; and www;; in person at the Mountaineer's Players Club; or by calling 800-80-40-HOT extension 8297.

Art of Jo-Anne Bates on view in new exhibit

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents a visual art exhibition of vibrant and abstract mixed-media monotype prints.

Artist Jo-Anne Bates was inspired to create the works in Monotype Prints: An Exploration of Color from her travels in South Africa nearly 10 years ago. The exhibition is on view at the Trust's 709 Penn Gallery today through Aug. 31. An opening reception is set for 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. today.

Bates, a Pittsburgh-based artist, was inspired by "the incredible colors and textures of the land, the people, and their clothing" throughout her travels in South Africa.

She visited such places as Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Seal Island, Soweto, Pilanesberg, Robben Island, Table Mountain, Cape of Good Hope and Kruger National Park, among others.

For information, go to

'Ring of Fire' continues its run

PITTSBURGH Due to popular demand, "Ring of Fire the Music of Johnny Cash" has been extended through Aug. 24 at the Civic Light Opera's Cabaret.

The show previously was scheduled to close Aug. 17. Tickets for all remaining performances are on sale at; by calling (412) 456-6666; or visiting the box office at Theater Square.

Cultural Trust adds restaurant

PITTSBURGH-The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announced today that Simple Ingredients, a moderately priced take-out restaurant, will offer fresh salads and wraps made daily as well as homemade soups available this fall. Simple Ingredients will open this month in a storefront on Liberty Avenue, between the Harris Theater and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Education Center at 807 Liberty Ave. in a property owned by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

The owner of the Simple Ingredients, Michael Tarquinio, also owns Sal's City Deli, which was founded in 2012 and opened in Pittsburgh's Cultural District with success. The Pittsburgh City Paper called Sal's City Deli the "perfect getaway for lunch" outside of New York. Simple Ingredients will be a sister location to Sal's City Deli and will also include higher end fresh and organic ingredients within its menu options.

For information, go to

ECC3913 at Merrick Gallery

NEW BRIGHTON, Pa. - ECC3913 is a solo art exhibit, whose title references the God-given task from Ecclesiastes 3: 9-13, which begins, "What gain has the worker from his toil?"

It features current and retrospective works by the artist Nick Orell, who's been a Beaver County resident for the past 25 years. With a passion for expression with canvas and brush, while afield, he seeks to capture moods of the moment as light converges upon nature.

Orell's background also includes 25 years experience in the graphics arts world, both as a senior creative designer/3-D specialist with Matthews International, Pittsburgh, and as an instructor at Pittsburgh Technical Institute, Oakdale.

He has an associate degree, visual communications and is a graduate of Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

The opening reception is set from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 1, and the show runs through Aug. 21.

The Merrick Art Gallery is at 1100 Fifth Ave., New Brighton.

For information, call (724) 846-1130.

Also at the gallery are the following summer art classes:

Aug 4-7 - Cartooning Through Time: Following the theme of Cartooning Through Time, children will use drawing, painting, printmaking, paper-making and hand-built clay sculpture to create various projects during the week. Projects change each week, and hours are 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and the class is for ages 5-12. The cost is $60 per week.

Wheel-thrown Pottery Class: Children will learn the basics of hand built pottery and using a potter's wheel to make a cylinder and other cartoon related projects from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The class is for ages 9-12 years at $30 per week per child. The child must be enrolled in regular art class, and class size is limited. Children wear old clothing and shoes for both classes. For regular art class children should bring a lunch.

All classes must be registered and paid in advance, at No phone reservations will be taken. Class fees are refundable up to 24 hours prior to first date of class.

For information, call (724) 846-1130.

Science Center unveils BodyStage

PITTSBURGH - Carnegie Science Center has unveiled its new live demonstration theater to offer programs related to nutrition, healthy lifestyle choices and physical fitness.

The new theater, called BodyStage, is presented by Allegheny Health Network.

BodyStage replaces the science center's former Kitchen Theater, which closed May 30. The space was re-themed, revamped and technologically updated for the transformation to BodyStage.

The entrance to the theater has been redesigned to allow for easier access from the galleries and to give the center's theater team the opportunity to go beyond the limits of the room to present science demos in the galleries to visitors from a chance to handle a 5-pound block of "fat" to exploring MRI images or a live microscope image of their skin on an iPad.

All BodyStage shows will be crafted to be enjoyable for all ages and geared to the Next Generation Science Standards for particular grade levels. Whereas Kitchen Theater shows focused on foods, BodyStage will add presentations spotlighting diet, nutrition and exercise; basic anatomy; and medical technology.

All BodyStage shows are free with general admission to the science center. Each day's offerings at BodyStage are listed on the calendar on the science center's website, at

Free concert in New Cumberland

NEW CUMBERLAND - The New Cumberland Veteran of Foreign Wars and the Hancock County Arts Council under the wing of the Hancock/Brooke Convention Visitors Bureau are working together to present a free concert at the New Cumberland Pavilion/Overlook on River Avenue.

Weed Rags, a bluegrass band from, California, Pa., will perform at 6 p.m. on Aug. 2. Those attending are encouraged to bring a lawn chair.

Shakespeare in the Park coming

WHEELING -The Independent Theatre Collective, in collaboration with the Oglebay Foundation, will produce the inaugural Shakespeare in the Park production, "Two Gentlemen of Verona," Thursday and Aug. 7 at the Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater in Oglebay Park.

Under the direction of John E. Reilly, William Shakespeare's "Two Gentlemen of Verona" will anchor Oglebay's weekly Summer Artist Series. "Two Gentlemen of Verona" is a comedy about the adventures of two bosom buddies, Valentine and Proteus. When Proteus falls in love with his best friend's girlfriend, the guys find themselves between the bonds of male friendship and romance.

Written as early as 1590-91, "Two Gentlemen" has been debated to be Shakespeare's first play. The cast includes Woody Pond, Brendan Sheehan, Cassandra Hackbart, Karissa Martin, Nate Foster, Vince Marshall, Josh Fromhart, Justin Swoyer, Dana Applegate, Liz Richter and Isa Campbell.

The Independent Theatre Collective is a Wheeling-based, nonprofit theater company that has consistently produced new, original work in New York City's Theatre District, most recently the co-written 10-minute play, "Changing Game" by Jeremy F. Richter and Ron Scott Jr.

Upcoming exhibit at 7070 Penn Gallery, Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH-The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the opening of Some Begins, an exhibition exploring the associative and myth-making capacities of objects and text from the collaborative practice of artists Meg Shevenock and Jamie Boyle.

The exhibition currently is on view through Aug. 24 at 707 Penn Gallery.

Some Begins, a collection of primarily sculptural works that exemplify what Shevenock and Boyle call their "belief in the crazy spirit world of objects," marks the first exhibition devoted solely to their collaborative practice.

Only very briefly, over the past seven years, have the artists lived in the same city.

This physical distance between them serves as a crucial layer to their belief in the power of objects, their artistic process and the works on view in Some Begins.

The gallery is at 707 Penn Ave. in downtown Pittsburgh's Cultural District.For information, go to

Bluegrass festival continues in Hopedale

HOPEDALE - Mickey's Mountain Bluegrass in the Hills continues its sumer of bluegrass series later this month.

The August festival will be July 31 and Aug. 1-2. Nationally known bands that will be performing will include James King Band, Remington Ryde, Bluegrass Brothers, Phillip Steinmetz, Matt Efaw, the Stevens Family, Kody Norris, Joe Williams and the Wayfarers.

For information, go to or call (740) 391-5631.

Striplight schedules its upcoming plays

WEIRTON - Striplight Theatre, in conjunction with the Weir High School Theater Department, has announced the upcoming season.

The season will include "The Diary of Anne Frank," by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, Nov. 6-8 and 13-15; and "Flora the Red Menace," with book by George Abbott and Robert Russell, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, March 12-14 and 19-21.

"Anne Frank" auditions will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 30 and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 31 in the band room. Callbacks will be held 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 31 at the band room.

"Flora the Red Menace" auditions will be held in December, with dates and times to be announced.

For information, visit

Amateur art featured

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the opening of "The Takeaway: Made With Love," an exhibition of nearly 100 amateur artworks handpicked from thrift store collections across several states with an opening reception from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at 937 Liberty Ave.

The exhibition, organized by Robert Raczka, will be on display through Aug. 1.

Throughout the run of the exhibition, visitors are able to enter into a free lottery for a chance to take home their favorite piece from the show.

Raczka purchased the exhibition's artworks - paintings, hand-knit afghans, handmade ceramics and objects crafted in wood - for their aesthetic appeal and all-around interest, though they are artworks not generally presented in a fine art context. Among the works included are painted landscapes, pet portraits, spiritual imagery and a wood mosaic Mayan calendar.

Raczka uses the exhibition budget, generally reserved for shipping and materials, to buy the art in thrift stores while exercising his curatorial eye. He sees the distribution of the artwork to the audience through a free lottery as a gift from the gallery as well as from himself.

"I have a genuine appreciation for amateur art at its unselfconscious best, and I wanted to share that with the audience," Raczka said. "I had noticed that when someone is in an art gallery contemplating a purchase, they really look closely and think about the art. I have found that if the audience feels that they might end up taking the art home, they consider it more deeply."

At the conclusion of the exhibition, Raczka will select the winners at random, who will be notified and able to pickup their artwork at the closing party from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 1, with an additional pick-up time from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 2.

This is the forth in a series of exhibitions of thrift store art, the first held at Future Tenant in 2008, and combines Raczka's roles as artist and curator. He incorporated ideas artists have been working with in relational aesthetics, or the practice of artist-constructed social experiences where the artist becomes the facilitator rather than the focal point. Raczka's lottery is designed to reconsider and make use of art's social and institutional context and to create a nontraditional social interaction between artist/curator, the gallery and the audience.

Raczka is a Pittsburgh-based artist, writer and curator and he was a gallery director for 20 years. He earned an master's degree in photography from the University of Florida. His artwork is photography, collage and exhibitions of found objects. In 2013, Raczka curated Crowdsourced at SPACE, featuring 12 artists who included public input - either directly or through suggestions - into their artworks.

Raczka is an art critic for the Pittsburgh City Paper. He is emeritus professor of art at Allegheny College, Meadville, and he recently taught the graduate studio art seminar at Carnegie Mellon University.

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