‘Let Us Entertain You’

Warren Festival of the Arts intends to do just that July 27 at Struthers

Ann Schwanke

Warren Festival of the Arts presents “Let Us Entertain You” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 27, at Struthers Library Theatre.

For 38 years, the Warren Festival of the Arts has been showing off Warren area talent.

According to Artistic Director Rosalind Hupp, “There is a plethora of talent here, which needs to be seen and heard, especially since we have the historic Struthers Library Theatre as our venue. Our theme this year is ‘Let us entertain you.’ That’s exactly what we intend to do.”

A family-friendly evening of comedy, classical music, dancing, magic and pop music has been put together a show for the public’s entertainment.

The show opens with Rachel Selice, on clarinet, and Ron McEntire, on piano, with Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer.” Then, two music agents who are rivals, Adrianne Hunt and Jeffrey Ewing, each tries to get his/her clientele booked into the Library Theatre. There is a conflict between them.

Adrienne Hunt

Auditioning for the agents are Sara Sokolski, who sings her version of “Over the Rainbow,” only to be told, “Not now.” Logan Johnson, pianist, follows with “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, then Lauren Engallina, soprano, sings Victor Herbert’s “Art is Calling for Me.” James Pearson, cellist, does a rendition of “Caprice” by Braza, both accompanied by Jack Hemink. Ross Bryan sings “Green-Eyed Dragon with the Thirteen Tails.” So, all you little girls and boys beware!

Continuing on with the first act is Rachael Courson, who dances to “I Love Paris.”

After, Alyssa Wismar sings her version of the “Wizard of Oz,” only to be told “Not yet!”

John Beard follows with “Magic Gone Wrong.”

The Molly Dies Dance Express ends the first act with its “Time for Tea.”

Jeff Ewing

The second act begins with Cody Hiller, violin, Rachel Selice, clarinet, and Ron McEntire, piano, playing “Oblivion” by Piazzolla. A third Dorothy, Lyndsey Dippold, auditions her version of the “Wizard of Oz” before one of the agents, yet again, says “No.”

Now Ron McEntire, pianist, plays “Etude in G Flat Major, Op. 10, No.5 by Frederic Chopin. Musetta’s aria, “Quando m’en vo” from LaBoheme by Puccini is sung by Christine Kuntz, soprano, accompanied by Jack Hemink. John Beard follows with more magic “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow.”

While Dave Oberg comments on “Right-Hand Man,” from the Broadway Show “Something Rotten,” Anne Schwanke, and Logan Johnson sing the song.

Next, Molly Dies Dance Express dances to the number “I Awake.” Then, all three auditioning Dorothys are permitted by the agents to sing “Over the Rainbow.” To end the show, the Molly Dies Dance Express presents “Bionic Atomic.”

Warren Festival of the Arts hopes you will all join them for this spectacular display of talent.

John Beard

Rosalind said, “To be fair, the performers are only half the equation!” There are many talented people working behind the curtain. Some are the experienced stage manager Scott Schriner and assistant Carol Guadagnino. Making artistic decisions with the lighting is Barb Crowley. Sound is provided by Sam Bailey. The Festival crew consists of Catherine Hayes, Michael Lyon, Marty Meddock, and Dave Oberg. Chuck Gray designed the posters. Gene Lang is the videographer and Charmaine Check, costumes. Box Office staff are Sue Wolfe and Sue Curtin, who have volunteered with the festival for years. Head Usher is Georgi Rice.

“It really does take a village to put the festival together with so many pitching in with their talent and time,” said Hupp. “Let Us Entertain You.”

Tickets can be purchased at the Library Theater office or at the box office one hour before the show (adults $14, seniors & children under 12 are $12).

Some of the cast:

Anne Schwanke is singing “Right-Hand Man” from Something Rotten with Logan Johnson on the festival this year. She has appeared in many SLT Academy productions and is making her debut on the festival’s “Let Us Entertain You” at the Library Theatre on Friday, July 27, at 7:30 p.m. Anne’s brother, Paul, is assisting her and Logan on this song. Paul teaches at the Warren Conservatory.

Lauren Engallina

Adrianne Hunt plays the other music agent who is in competition with Jeff. Adrianne wrote “The Christmas Spectacular” in conjunction with the Molly Dies Dance Express which was performed two years in a row at the Library Theatre. She has also appeared in several festivals, and many times with the Warren Players. One of her favorite roles there was Lady of the Lake in “Spamalot.”

Jeff Ewing is one of the two music agents who are trying to have their clients heard and seen at the theatre on the 38th annual Warren Festival of the Arts (Let Us Entertain You). Jeff has appeared many times on the festival, the latest being last year when he was the side-kick to the crazy professor who invented a time machine. He has also appeared on stage multiple times with the Warren Players. He is the pastor at the First Lutheran Church in Warren.

The very versatile John Beard is a popular performer with the Warren Players and on the Warren Festival of the Arts. A few of his appearances have been as a magician, a gangster, an opera singer, you name it, he will perform it! On “Let Us Entertain You” he will be amazing us with his magic in “Magic Gone Wrong” and “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow.”

Lauren Engallina, Soprano, was born and raised in Houston Texas and began singing at the age of three. She has been involved in choirs since the 6th grade and is a current member of the Chautauqua Chamber Singers. During high school, she performed in several musicals and, beginning 2008, became a member of the Thespian troupe 686. She went on to receive a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from Lamar University, located in Beaumont, Texas in 2014. While studying there, she performed in several operas including the role of First Lady in Die Zauberflute by Mozart. She moved to Jamestown, NY in 2015 and has performed with the JCC Jazz Ensemble and the JCC Uncommoners. She is currently the Administrative Assistant and a Vocal Instructor at Infinity Visual and Performing Arts.

Ron McEntire, a native of Jamestown, NY, attended Houghton College for three years in the 1960’s. In his junior year, Janice, the new professor of organ, arrived. There was love at first sight and they moved to Los Angeles, California where Ron graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance. He received a Master of Science degree in School Administration from Pepperdine University and a Certificate in Management Accounting in the 1990s. He retired from school administration as Associate Superintendent of Business Services for the South San Francisco Unified School District in 2006 and moved back to Jamestown, NY where he is currently the organist at Christ First United Methodist Church. After ten years of retirement, Ron decided to pursue a life-long dream to go back to college and earn a Master’s Degree in Organ Performance. This dream became a reality in December 2017 when he received the degree from Houghton College and was admitted into the Pi Kappa Lamda musical fraternity. Ron has a passion for health and fitness and has recently attained certifications as a Personal Trainer and Senior Fitness Specialist from the American Council on Exercise. He is most interested in “successful aging” and proper fitness for musicians in order to avoid injury. He is the father of three children and three grandchildren.

Ron McEntire

Returning from Chicago, IL, Cody Hiller is excited to be actively teaching and performing in his hometown once again. He received training both at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, where he received his Bachelor’s in violin performance studying under Dr. Julian Ross, and at DePaul School of Music in Chicago, receiving his Master’s in the same field of study under Professor Janet Sung. Hiller has an extensive performance career, working regularly with the music of the early Baroque through today’s newest compositions. Hiller is currently a member of the Southern Tier Symphony and the Western New York Chamber Orchestra and serves as Concertmaster of the Warren Philharmonic. He teaches privately and has a studio at Infinity, Visual and Performing Arts in Jamestown, NY.

Ross Bryan has worn many hats in theatre through the years. During his years at Albion College in Michigan, he sang with the Briton Singers, did community theatre (Curley in Oklahoma, Officer Kruppkee in West Side Story, the father in Fantastics). Ross has also done the set design and construction for the Christmas Spectacular at the Library Theatre the past two years. This will be his first appearance with the Warren Festival of the Arts, singing “The Green-eyed Dragon with the 13 Tails” on “Let Us Entertain You.”

Cody Hiller

Ross Bryan