Art on Park gets Dark for Halloween

Assorted ramblings from the world of entertainment:

l Dark on Park returns to downtown Warren on Saturday with a few changes.

The show still will feature work that deals with dark, morbid, surreal, bizarre and beautifully strange subject matter, the kind of work artists might have trouble showing in many juried exhibitions.

But James Shuttic of the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County said this year’s show won’t be juried.

“Some artists are really self conscious and worry about being judged,” Shuttic said. “We did it last year just to try to push people, maybe to do better work. But some artists, it just deterred them.”

To make it accessible to everyone, this year’s show had no entry fee and no juror.

“As long as it fits the theme, we will hang it and let the public decide,” Shuttic said.

More than 40 works were submitted, and participating artists include Molly Anderson, Terry Polonsky, Johnathan Ruple, Chris Wynn, Shannon Fee, Craig Latchaw, Marsean Coleman, Erica Benchia, Gary W. Barnes, Carlos Rivera, Jessica Porter, Jeff Vargo, Josh Kronauer, Robert Johns, Jason Harris, Rindi Hanna, Juliann Kish, M. Young, Amber Serrano, Carl Henneman and Shuttic.

Also open on Friday will be the upstairs gallery at the building on the corner of North Park Avenue and High Street NE. Called “A Safe Space for Bad Ideas,” it is described as “An art experiment by a group of anonymous local street artists that will explore urban issues of addiction, trauma, poverty, the environment, social anxiety and more.”

“Dark on Park” runs from 8 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday and will include live music by Chris Lunce and the grand opening of Urban Artz Studios. Admission is free.

l Rocktopia, a show was co-created by Youngstown Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Conductor Randall Craig Fleischer and debuted by YSO, is heading to Broadway.

The production, which did a national tour last year, will open March 20, 2018, for a six-week run at the Broadway Theatre.

Fleischer created the show with Trans-Siberian Orchestra vocalist Rob Evan and much like TSO, Rocktopia blends rock and classical influences. The production features the music of Mozart, Journey, Handel, U2, Tchaikovksy, Heart, Beethoven, Foreigner, Rachmaninoff, Queen and Copland.

The Broadway production will feature Evan and vocalists Chloe Lowery, Tony Vincent (“Rent” and “American Idiot” on Broadway), Kimberly Nicole (NBC’s “The Voice”), and Alyson Cambridge. They will be backed by a five-piece rock band, Celtic Woman violinist Mairead Nesbitt, a 20-piece orchestra and a 40-voice chorus.

Tickets for the Broadway run go on sale next month. Additional information can be found at

l Ghoulardi Fest, the annual celebration of the 1960s Cleveland movie host and the shows that he inspired, returns to LaVilla Conference and Party Center in Cleveland this weekend.

Ernie Anderson, who went on to become the voice of ABC, created Ghoulardi in the early 1960s. Big Chuck Schodowski got his start on that show, and many of the performers featured there and on subsequent WJW shows will be in attendance, including Lil’ John Rinaldi. Other WJW-TV personalities will be featured this year, including Neil Zurcher and Jan Jones.

Local music duo Bob Walton and Ellie Kovell, better known as the Take II Band, will be performing again on the final day of the festival, with sets at 10 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. Sunday. Walton has been instrumental in bringing Big Chuck and Lil’ John to the area for fundraisers for the National Packard Museum.

Ghoulardi Fest runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $15 each day or $30 for three-day pass with children 12 and younger admitted free. For more information, call 440-230-4500 or go to