Assorted ramblings from the world of entertainment:
The Mahoning Valley Scrappers will kick off single ticket sales for its 2012 season with Fan Fest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Eastwood Field in Niles.
But the reason it's getting play in the entertainment section instead of the sports pages is the Scrappers will be holding auditions for singers to perform ''The Star Spangled Banner'' at home games this summer.
Those who want to show off their best Whitney Houston on the Anthem can try out between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday. Those who don't want to sing can participate in open batting practice at the ballpark, and the first fan to hit a home run will receive two free season tickets for 2012.
For more information, call the Scrappers at 330-505-0000.
National jazz acts will be returning to downtown Youngstown this summer.
The 2012 Youngstown Jazz Festival will feature soprano, tenor and alto sax player Najee and Swiss-born keyboard player and composer Alex Bugnon. Najee has released two platinum and four gold albums in his career and collaborated with such artists as Prince, Stevie Wonder and Quincy Jones.
Three regional jazz acts also will be added to the lineup.
The 2010 event with Spyro Gyra and David Benoit drew more than 4,000 people. The Aug. 11 concert is presented by the HandsOn Volunteer Network of the Valley and festival producer/owner Jerry L. Costa.
Advance tickets are $15 and are available through Ticketmaster.
Blossom Music Center is promising some changes to make the Cuyahoga Falls amphitheater more appealing to concertgoers.
A new sound system has been installed for those watching the show from the lawn as well as new video screens.
The venue also has added concession sales locations, promising a point of sale for every 83 fans to keep the lines shorter. They've also upgrade the food offerings, including the Short Rib One Food Truck operated by Cleveland Chef Rocco Whalen, owner of Fahrenheit. He was featured on the Food Network series ''Fat Chef,'' which documented his weight loss of more than 100 pounds.
Beer prices also have been reduced on some sizes.
Blossom's summer season opens May 28 with Drake, one of several first-time headliners playing the venue this year.
Warren native Sara Elizabeth Timmins, whose movie ''Lake
Effects'' premiered earlier this month on the Hallmark Movie Channel, sent an email this week touting the films's success.
Ratings were up 15 percent on the cable channel for the film's 8 p.m. premiere on May 8, and ratings were up 88 percent compared to normal programming for the replay at 10 p.m. that night. Timmins, the daughter of Bill and Sue Timmins, developed and produced the film starring Jane Seymour, Scottie Thompson, Madeline Zima, Sean Patrick Flannery, Ben Savage, Jeff Fahey and Casper Van Dien.
For those who are reading their newspaper early, the movie can be seen today at 10 a.m. (channel 117 for Time Warner Cable subscribers and channel 150 for Armstrong customers).
Andy Gray is the entertainment writer for the Tribune Chronicle. Write to him at grayareas@ tribtoday.com