Assorted ramblings from the world of entertainment:
Covelli Enterprises is looking for ''soldiers'' in the fight against cancer who want to meet Pat Benatar.
Benatar and her husband Neil Giraldo are performing at the Covelli Centre on Aug. 16 as a kickoff to this year's Panerathon, a 10K/2-mile run/walk that raises money for the HMHP Foundation in support of the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center.
The contest is searching for inspirational stories, not only from cancer survivors, but from current patients, care givers, medical personnel, researchers or family and friends affected by any form of cancer. The purpose of the contest is to honor those individuals who are on the "battlefield" fighting against or fighting to end cancer in our Valley.
A panel will pick the top 10 entries, with each author receiving a $50 Panera gift card. The top three finalists will get two tickets for the concert, a meet-and-greet with Benatar and Giraldo and a $100 Panera gift card. They also will be honored at Panerathon on Aug. 25.
Entries will be accepted through July 8, and submissions should include a story of 250 words or less.
All entries should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to 229 E. Front St. Youngstown, OH 55503 Attn: Love is A Battlefield Contest. A full list of contest details and regulations can be found at covellicentre.com.
After a one-year absence, Vexfest is returning to downtown Youngstown.
The outdoor festival is slated for Aug. 11 and will feature two stages for live music showcasing local and regional acts. And, as in the past, admission will be free.
Acts interested in performing can submit electronic press kits through Sonicbids at sonicbids.com/vexfest9. The deadline for submissions is July 15.
Stambaugh Auditorium kicks off its ''Bands at the Baugh'' outdoor concert series today, although there has been a change in the lineup.
Teddy Pantelas, who originally was scheduled to open the series, has been replaced by the acoustic duo Davis & McKay, who will perform starting at 5:30 p.m. today at the auditorium's formal garden.
Tickets are $10, which includes one drink from the cash bar. The concerts are presented by the Stambaugh Pillars group, and proceeds will go toward its annual fundraising efforts to support the venue.
Opening Friday in the Cleveland area is ''Made in Cleveland,'' billed as the ''largest-ever independent film shot in Cleveland by a local film crew.'' It features five writers, six directors and more than 150 actors in nine short films. Like most anthology films, the end result is uneven, but there are several highs.
''Book of Love,'' written by Robert Mason and directed by Robert Banks, is one of the less Cleveland-centric tales, but it's a cute, clever silent film about a courtship that plays out in the library with the prospective couple communicating solely through book titles pulled from the shelves.
The biggest names in the cast, Busy Philipps (''Freaks & Geeks,'' ''Cougar Town'') and Gillian Jacobs (''Community''), star in the opening film (which has an unprintable title), a scruffy tale about two hotel maids dealing with personal issues and winter on the North Coast.
WKYC anchor Robin Swoboda is surprisingly good in ''Love Interrupted,'' and there's a nice rapport between Derek Koger and Joe Zamora as EMTs in the film ''Domestic Disputes'' (although a true Clevelander knows that you never would go to the arthouse Cedar-Lee Theatre to see ''the new Vin Diesel movie'').
It will be playing at all five Atlas Cinemas (the closest to Trumbull County is Eastgate 10 in Mayfield Heights). I can't honestly say it's worth an hour drive for Mahoning Valley residents, but it's fun to see familiar sites like Slyman's Restaurant and The Grog Shop on screen. And it will be worth checking out when it eventually arrives on DVD.
Andy Gray is the entertainment writer for the Tribune Chronicle. Write to him at email@example.com.