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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Mar. 27, 2017

DSO String Trio concert 3-26-17

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra String Trio entertained a small audience at First Presbyterian Church on Sunday afternoon with a program of music from composers Josef Haydn, Ludwig Van Beethoven, and Hungarian Erno Dohnanyi. Trio members Yoonshin Song on violin, Eric Nowlin on viola, and Wei Yu on cello, all principal players with the DSO, played Haydn’s Divertimento for String Trio in G Major No. 2, Beethoven’s String Trio in D. Major No. 2, and Dohnanyi’s Serenade for String Trio in D. Major, Opus 10. The concert was sponsored by The Van Wert County Foundation. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 03/27/17 at 7:10 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

A.J. KOCH/for the Van Wert independent

9 to 5: The Musical, what a terrific surprise to the theatre-going person unfamiliar with the movie. This performance is set in 1979 and goes back to the days of the “boys club” type of office setting, where men were the bosses and the “girls” were the workers. The movie even references a part of history with the liberation of more than just the female movement!

9 to 5 is about a trio of female office workers who take revenge on their “lying, hypocritical, sexist, bigot” boss. This talented cast of Mary Ann Falk, who plays widowed single mother Violet Newstead; Stacy Rife, who plays the divorced mousy housewife, Judy Bernly; and Victoria Recker, who plays the hated blond bombshell, Doralee Rhodes; pool their wits together to get back at their boss, Franklin Hart, played by Steve Lane.

Doralee (Victoria Recker) takes dictation from boss Franklin Hart (Steve Lane) during Van Wert Civic Theatre's production of 9 to 5: The Musical. Monica Campbell/for the VW independent

Doralee (Victoria Recker) takes dictation from boss Franklin Hart (Steve Lane) during Van Wert Civic Theatre’s production of 9 to 5: The Musical. Monica Campbell/for the VW independent

Lane plays the unlikable boss so convincingly the audience actually gasps at some of his statements about “the girls”. You know the acting is spectacular when the audience reacts in this manner. He also gives an outstanding performance in delivering his song, “Here for You” to an unsuspecting Doralee, the Dolly Parton lookalike.

The development of the main characters Doralee, Violet, and Judy is excellent. They start as co-workers and as Violet says to Judy, “we hate her”, referring to Doralee, the one accused of sleeping with the boss. The three friends finally unite over a “party” at Violet’s house and they fantasize how they’ll take revenge on their boss. Furthermore, they accidently take their fantasy revenge out on their boss in real life.

The vocal harmony of the three women is absolutely amazing: pay particular attention to the song “Shine Like the Sun”, it will have the audience sitting on the edge of its seat. Another highlight of the performance comes from Joe the Accountant, played by Chad Kraner, who is in love with the widowed Violet, but she won’t give him the time of day because he’s “in his thirties”. Joe sings an absolutely incredible love song to Violet.

Then there’s Roz, played by Kari Gall. We all have that one person at the office who grates on our very last nerve; well Kari does it and does it well and her rendition of “Heart to Hart” is exceptional. Keep an eye out for Margaret (Jan Miller): she is a cameo but commands the stage and the audience’s attention whenever she takes the stage.

The cast also includes Ed Eichler as Tinsworthy, Daniel Sanderson as Judy’s husband Dick, Shelby Merkle, Darcy Hitchcock, Lisa Eichler, Faith Maurer, Josh England, Daileas Duclo, and Cory Ream. This very talented cast gave everything with their singing and dancing and added superb support to the performance.

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POSTED: 03/25/17 at 8:22 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

Submitted information

Off Stage Productions Inc. concludes its 2016-2017 season and announces the cast for its upcoming dinner theatre show, Farce of Nature, a Jones Hope Wooten comedy. The two-act comical farce will be directed by Mandy Fifer, with plans for seven performances, opening on Saturday, April 22.  Additional show dates are Sunday April 23; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday April 28-30; and Friday and Saturday, May 5-6.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 12:30 p.m. for Sunday matinees at the Van Wert County Senior Center (220 Fox Road in Van Wert). A buffet style meal provided by Romer’s Catering will be served, starting at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 1 p.m. on Sundays, and the show will begin at 8 Friday and Saturday evenings, and 2 p.m. on Sundays.

Fifer, a first time director at Off Stage Productions, has also announced the cast for Farce of Nature. The cast of nine includes eight veteran performers, as well as a new actor, Jonathan Dennie, making his debut performance in community theatre with this production.

The cast is as follows: Jewell Kurtz (Wanella Wilburn), Dan Bulau (D. Gene Wilburn), Kelly Smith (Jenna Sealy), Terri Stevens (Maxie Wilburn Suggs), Matt Krol (Carmine DeLuca), Jonathan Dennie (Ty Wilburn), Mary Yackey (Lola Barbosa), Travis Nihiser (Sonny Barbosa), and Staci Kaufman (Roxanne Thorne).

Cast members for Farce of Nature include (seated, from the left) Kelly Smith, Jewell Kurtz, Dan Bulau, Staci Kaufman; (standing) Jonathan Dennie, Matt Krol, Terri Stevens, Travis Nihiser, Mary Yackey, and Director Mandy Fifer. (photo submitted)

Cast members for Farce of Nature include (seated, from the left) Kelly Smith, Jewell Kurtz, Dan Bulau, Staci Kaufman; (standing) Jonathan Dennie, Matt Krol, Terri Stevens, Travis Nihiser, Mary Yackey, and Director Mandy Fifer. (photo submitted)

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POSTED: 03/13/17 at 7:14 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

VW independent/submitted information

The public is invited to the Healing Hearts and Nature exhibit opening party, to be held from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, March 11. A mini-painting art activity will be provided, along with free appetizers and cash bar. Ezra Miller of Bryan will provide live acoustic music. The exhibit will be on view through April 2.

A variety of mosaic artwork will be on display during a show that runs from March 11 to April 2. (photo submitted)

A variety of mosaic artwork will be on display during a show that runs from March 11 to April 2. (photo submitted)

The Healing Hearts and Nature exhibit is a collection of contemporary mosaic art from the Mosaic Artists of Michigan (MAM). The theme represents the capacity of both hearts and nature to heal during difficult times. The artists of MAM are dedicated to the creation and promotion of the ancient art of mosaic. As artists, they strive to express the artistic in the language of the 21st century.

The Mosaic Artists of Michigan began in 2003 with a small group of mosaic and tile artists. The group’s vision became its commitment to share, educate, and promote the resurgence of fine art mosaics. The style of each member’s work is unique, as the art of mosaic presents a world of endless possibilities in color, texture, shape, and expression.

As an art organization, MAM embraces all achievements in the artist’s journey, from beginner to professional. Members include professional artists, hobbyists, and patrons. Many of the members have achieved recognition in the art community from solo and international juried exhibits, publication in mosaic and other art books and magazines, and public and private commissions.

For more information on classes, exhibits, and events, call the Wassenberg Art Center at 419.238.6837, email info@wassenbergartcenter.org, or on the web at http://www.wassenbergartcenter.org.

POSTED: 03/06/17 at 8:50 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

Submitted information

Van Wert High School Theatre is preparing for its upcoming production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid on April 6-8 at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio.

Music is by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, while the book was written by Doug Wright. Disney’s The Little Mermaid is based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and Disney film produced by Howard Ashman and John Musker and written and directed by John Musker and Ron Clements. This musical was originally produced by Disney Theatrical Productions.

The audience will join Ariel, Prince Eric, King Triton, Sebastian, Flounder, Scuttle, and Ursula and many other recognizable characters as they discover life on land and under the sea are different, yet intriguing. Will Ariel get her voice back from Ursula and find true love? Bring the whole family as famous songs such as “Under the Sea” and “Part of Your World” will be featured.

Little Mermaid logo 2-2017The cast and crew for the production include the following students: Mikayla Hernandez, Michaella Johnson, Austin Carnahan, Cade Chiles, Noah Miller, Zach Blakeley, Marshall Healey, Austin Voors, Madison Buecker, Anna Reichert, Emma Verville, Julianna Vanbrabant, Aeris Blakeley, Cloey Spry, Korey Oechsle, Brady Place, Dante Jones, Gabe Steyer, Bradley Wilder, Storm Matthews, Jenna Covey, Gabby Bollenbacher, Alaina Arney, Alisha Terhark, Hannah Kraner, Natalie Riethman, Kaylin Bledsoe, Madison Turnwald, Hannah Springer, Kaylena Kelly, Alli Morrow, Makenzie Laney, Katie McVaigh, Rebekah Fast, and Katie Able. Joining the cast are 12 Van Wert Middle School students and nine Van Wert Elementary students.

The stage crew consists of stage manager Erin Richardson, assistant stage manager Erienne Cassidy, Alaina Alvarez, Lexi Allmandinger, Erin Gemmer, Camryn Nouza, Abbey Bradford, Zach Stevens, Sterling Rigdon, Wesley Wagner, Allison Hauter, and Kendall Rauch.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid is being directed by Melissa Bloomfield, assistant and choreographer Katey Gamble, technical director Hugh Saunier, lighting director Matt Saunier, set artist Sam Tindall, and costume manager Caitlin Walker. Show time for the production is 7 p.m. on April 6-8 at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.

Parents of students in the cast and crew, along with VWHS Theatre patrons, can purchase tickets starting March 1. All tickets are $8 each. The general public will be able to purchase tickets starting March 8. Tickets may be purchased by stopping by or calling the NPAC box office at 419.238.6722. Tickets will also be sold at the door. Disney’s The Little Mermaid is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI (www.MTIShows.com).

POSTED: 02/18/17 at 8:28 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

Submitted information

They’ve performed over the decades with favorite artists, now they will perform live at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio.

Releasing tickets at noon today is The Hit Men, as part of the 16-17 Community Concert Series presented by Unverferth Okuley Dentistry. The Hit Men will perform at the Niswonger at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 6.

The Hit Men

Tickets are available today for The Hit Men.

A group of amazing performers, superb musicians, superior vocalists, great arrangers, and creative composers, The Hit Men are hit makers of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s — including performing and recording members of superstar acts like Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, Tommy James and the Shondells, The Critters, and bandmates who played and performed with Jim Croce, Cat Stevens, Carly Simon, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Cheap Trick, and more.

On the road touring as The Hit Men, this brotherhood of musicians — keyboardist and group founder Lee Shapiro, lead guitarist/vocalist Jimmy Ryan, keyboardist/percussionist/vocalist Russ Velazquez, and new members: bassist/vocalist Jeff Ganz and drummer/vocalist Steve Murphy — relive the magic they created on world stages and in recording studios years ago, bringing audiences a night of mega-hit, after mega-hit, after mega-hit.

Reliving the magic they created on stages around the world, and in recording studios with some of the greatest and most famous of the royalty of rock, when The Hit Men now take the stage, it’s easy to see why their music has transcended generations.

Now touring across the country, the group has performed at prestigious theatres such as Town Hall in New York City, the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers, Florida, the Gallo Theatre in Modesto, California, and with symphony orchestras in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Allentown, Pennsylvania, Birmingham, Alabama, and Des Moines, Iowa.

Get ready to rock down memory lane and back as The Hit Men share their love and passion for an era of music they themselves helped create. The stories they’ll tell are unbelievable!

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POSTED: 02/08/17 at 12:01 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

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The Niswonger Performing Arts Center’s 2016-2017 Ten Years of WOW! Season reaches its halfway point, more and more events for 2017 are releasing — and just in time for Christmas. Thursday, December 15, at noon marks another release for one of the most unique events included in this season with Artrageous! This one of a kind, cross-over multimedia event, presented by TAG Menswear, comes to the Niswonger on Saturday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m., presented by TAG Menswear.

artrageous-3

Tickets for Artrageous! on sale staring this Thursday at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio. (photo submitted)

Artrageous is an event that engages the creative senses. Imagine an artist creating a masterpiece before your eyes in mere moments. With a palette that also mixes captivating vocals, intricate choreography and exciting audience interaction, Artrageous takes you on a unique visual journey packed with wild inspiration, creativity and fun. The Artrageous troupe of artists, musicians, singers and dancers pay tribute to a variety of art forms, pop icons and musical genres culminating in a gallery of fabulous finished paintings. The result? A one of a kind crossover experience. The signature of the Artrageous Troupe is interaction and engagement, so be prepared to be a part of the show!

Arts and music gone wild in the streets of Van Wert. Through a unique collaboration with The Wassenberg Art Center, Main Street Van Wert, TAG Menswear, and other Van Wert businesses, this day will bring additional activities that will color your world. Stay tuned for details of downtown exhibits and attractions, preshow dining options and more.

This wonderful mashup of media will be something completely new the Niswonger making it one of the can’t-miss events of the season. And don’t forget, tickets and NPAC gift cards make great Christmas gifts!

This event is made complete with the generous sponsorship support of Bee Gee Realty and 2016-2017 Season Sponsors Van Wert Federal Savings Bank, Statewide Ford-Lincoln, and Chuck and Karen Koch.

Tickets for Artrageous! will be available at noon Thursday, December 15, and can be purchased online at NPACVW.ORG or through the Box Office, from noon-4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 419.238.6722.

The Niswonger Performing Arts Center is located at 10700 Ohio 118 on the south edge of Van Wert.

POSTED: 12/13/16 at 8:57 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

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Many have wanted to jump forward in time so they could get tickets, and now the wait is over. Today at noon, tickets can be purchased individually for The Time Jumpers, featuring Vince Gill, Kenny Sears, “Ranger Doug” Green, and Paul Franklin, presented by Kenn-Feld Group.

Tap any member of multi-Grammy nominated The Time Jumpers on the shoulder and the face that turns to greet you will be that of one who’s made major contributions to the richness and vigor of country music.

The current edition of The Time Jumpers includes 10 members, each a master of his instrument. They are Vince Gill (vocals, electric and acoustic guitars), “Ranger Doug” Green (vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar), Paul Franklin (steel guitar), Brad Albin (upright bass), Larry Franklin (fiddle), Andy Reiss (electric guitar), Kenny Sears (vocals, fiddle), Joe Spivey (fiddle, vocals), Jeff Taylor (accordion, piano) and Billy Thomas (drums, vocals).

The Time Jumpers was established in Nashville in 1998 by an assemblage of high-dollar studio musicians who wanted to spend some spare time jamming with their sonically gifted buddies. The notion of building a rabidly devoted following was the last thing on their minds, but that’s what happened. Experience this Who’s Who of Country music on the Niswonger stage.

It will be just like a night at the Grand Ole Opry on the Niswonger stage. And don’t forget, tickets and NPAC gift cards make great Christmas gifts!

Supporting Sponsors for The Time Jumpers are Hoffman Plumbing & Heating and Mercer Landmark.

This event is made complete with the generous support of the 2016-2017 Season Sponsors Van Wert Federal Savings Bank, Statewide Ford-Lincoln, and Chuck & Karen Koch.

Tickets for The Time Jumpers are now available and can be purchased online at NPACVW.ORG or through the Box Office from noon-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 419.238.6722.

The Niswonger Performing Arts Center is located at 10700 Ohio 118 on the south edge of Van Wert.

The Time Jumpers

The Time Jumpers

POSTED: 11/08/16 at 8:59 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

Submitted information

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio.

October has been an entertaining ride at the NPAC, leaving fans of all ages looking forward to what’s in store. Well, the wait is over for “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”.

daniel-tiger-promo-pic-10-2016Daniel and his friends will transport the audience to the “Neighborhood of Make-Believe” on Saturday, February 25, 2017, with two kid-friendly showtimes of pure Tiger-ific Fun at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Jeffery-Mohr Family Dentistry has been presenting family shows at the Niswonger for the past five seasons and is pleased to bring this very popular PBS Kids show to northwest Ohio.

The legacy of the beloved “Mister Rogers” lives on with the hit television series, “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”. Kids and parents alike rave about the lively show that is produced by The Fred Rogers Company and airs daily on PBS Kids.

Now, Daniel and all of his friends are hopping aboard the trolley to delight live audiences with “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live!” Donning his iconic red sweater, Daniel takes the audience on an interactive musical adventure as he and his friends explore the vibrant world of their much-loved Neighborhood of Make-Believe, sharing stories of friendship, helping others, and celebrating new experiences. This live theatrical production is filled with singing, dancing, laughter, and “grr-ific” surprises that will warm the hearts of multiple generations.

This event is made complete with the generous support of the 2016-2017 Season Sponsors: Van Wert Federal Savings Bank, StateWide Ford-Lincoln, and Chuck and Karen Koch.

Tickets for “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live!” are now available and can be purchased online at www.npacvw.org or through the Monday through Friday, noon-4 p.m. at the NPAC Box Office: 419.238.6722.

The Niswonger Performing Arts Center is located at 10700 Ohio 118 on the south edge of Van Wert.

POSTED: 10/27/16 at 7:06 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

VW independent/submitted information

Lincolnview Theatre will present as its fall production “A Frightening Night of Comedy” at the Van Wert Civic Theatre.

This will be a fun, entertaining show that includes a comical one-act play, several funny skits, and two hilarious dance routines. The show will be hosted by Dylan Neate and Alana Williams, who are featured throughout the production as they provide comic banter and some crazy antics.

Alana Williams and Dylan Neate will host Lincolnview Theatre's upcoming fall production: "A Frightening Night of Comedy." (photo submitted)

Alana Williams and Dylan Neate will host Lincolnview Theatre’s upcoming fall production: “A Frightening Night of Comedy.” (photo submitted)

The one-act play is a comedy titled Good Night, Caroline by Conrad Seiler, which is about a husband and wife, played by Josh England and Frankie Carey, dealing with a burglar, played by Cameron McAbee, who is robbing their house. The husband, Alfred, is continuously annoyed by his nagging wife, Caroline, while their home is being robbed. The dialogue gets pretty crazy, with Caroline and her absurd, yet priceless, moments with both Alfred and the burglar.

There will also be some skits about trick or treating, a pumpkin fairy, and a mysterious UFO. Some junior high and elementary students will join the high school students as they present a final skit about a Halloween dance. Comedy will be abundant throughout the frightening night.

Cast and crew include Frankie Carey, Josh England, Lainie Jones, Cameron McAbee, Dylan Neate, Braxten Robey, Alana Williams, Ryanne DuCheney, Allison Berryman, Ashton Hilleary, Claira Rhoades, Kathy Tate, Storm Whitaker, Jack Snyder, Jayna Roberts, Connor Johnson, Ariel Pruden, Sami Sellers, Landon Moody, Zadria King, Miah Miller, Adalee Purk, Conner Baldauf, Kaden Hohman, Breck Evans, Jayce Schimmoeller, Dane Ebel, MaKayla Jackman, Jayden Welker, Corbin Evans, Maceyn Snyder, Keagan Farris, Summer Karbowiak, and Grace Sadowski.

The stage crew includes Lakin Clemons, Maddie Gorman, Thad Walker, Haley Pollock, Hunter Maunz, Derick Doner, and Anoryia King. Special guest performers include Lincolnview alumni Beth Evans and Taylor Hesseling.

Chad Kraner directs the show, assisted by Stacie Korte, with Kim Pollock as choreographer and Kinsey Miller as the set artist.

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POSTED: 10/24/16 at 3:16 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News