A LITTLE ‘KNIGHT’ MUSIC
The British music invasion hits the Capitol Theatre tonight with the “Music of the Knights: The Music of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney” at 7:30 p.m. Friday at The Capitol Theatre. The concert features guest artists Scott Coulter, Kelli Rabke, John Boswell and Lorinda Lisitza, conducted by music director finalist Andrés Franco. Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney are not only knights, they also happen to be three of the most successful songwriters of all time with careers that span decades. “Music of the Knights” honors their lasting musical influence with songs such as Memory, I Don’t Know How to Love Him, Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina, The Phantom of the Opera, Circle of Life, Can You Feel the Love Tonight, Your Song, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, Yesterday, Hey Jude and many more. Guest artists Coulter, Rabke and Boswell return to Wheeling after having performed with the WSO in the 2017-18 season opener, Blockbuster Broadway. 304-232-6191; www.wheelingsymphony.com
KING OF POP
The King of Pop, a Tribute to Michael Jackson is coming to the Wheeling Island Showroom at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22. Tickets at Ticketmaster or the Wheeling Island Gift Shop.
TOUGH IT OUT
Long-time promoter, Jerry Thomas, brings back the 39th annual edition of the Ohio Valley Toughman Contest at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 23, at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling. This two-night event will feature preliminary bouts on Friday night and championship bouts on Saturday night. Tickets available here.
FRIENDS MAKING MUSIC
Live music returns to Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre when Matt Smith and Friends perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23. Matt Smith and Friends, a mixture of old friends and new, consists of Matt Smith, Adrian Niles, Chad Burrall and Ananga Martin. Smith and Niles have been making music together for more than 25 years. Smith has recently returned to his roots, picking up the bass after taking some time to explore Irish folk music. Niles is a legend in the local music scene and is arguably one of the best guitar players in the area. Burrall adds a melodic flowing feel on the mandolin that binds the music together. Martin has emerged as a prolific songwriter whose music transports listeners to another time and place. The group is currently recording an album of music written by Martin, which will be featured in the second set of the performance. The first set will be made up of music from such artists as Townes Van Zandt, The Grateful Dead and The Band. $10; 304-242-7700; www.oionline.com
COUNTRY AT THE CAPITOL
Country legend Dwight Yoakam, along with Dillon Carmichael, will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at The Capitol Theatre. Tickets here.
QUANTUM LEAPS TO TOWNGATE
Towngate Theatre will host a one-night-only performance of Quantum Theatre’s rendition of E.M. Lewis’ timely and topical play “The Gun Show (Can we talk about this?)” at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25. “The Gun Show (Can we talk about this?)” is a thoughtful one-man play excavating the playwright’s own complicated relationship to gun culture. While proponents on both sides talk past each other, “The Gun Show (Can we talk about this?)” explores the many nuanced considerations in that narrative dominated by political sound bytes and simple solutions. Lewis shares five personal stories about her own varied experiences with guns, told by a single actor. The writer hopes that the power of personal storytelling can unite people of differing experiences, backgrounds and opinions. Now in its 28th season, Quantum Theatre is a company of progressive, professional artists dedicated to producing intimate and sophisticated theatrical experiences in uncommon settings, exploring universal themes of truth, beauty and human relationships in unexpected ways. The performance is free, and no reservations will be taken. Seats will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The box office opens one hour before the show. The show runs approximately 60 minutes with no intermission. A facilitated conversation follows the performance. 304-233-0820. Tomorrow on Weelunk, read about Wheeling native Karla Boos, who founded Quantum Theatre 28 years ago.
MYSTERY THEATER ROCKS
Mystery Theatre Unlimited‘s current show rocks! In “Rock’em Dead,” a musical-comedy, murder-mystery, dinner-theater show, a rock band that once enjoyed great success, but dissolved in a bitter break-up, is poised to be inducted in the Rock Hall of Fame. The problem is the surviving band members must reunite, but they hate each other. While androgynous British bassist David Boney (played by Butch Maxwell) has enjoyed some moderate chart success with albums such as “Izzy or Izzn’t He,” guitarist Eli Johnson (played by Ryan Sears) has become a full-time drunk after losing his girlfriend, Binaca Bruja (played by Maria McKelvey), to lead guitarist Gash (played by Rick Call), who has forsaken rock for a religious cult. Manager Morey Schwartzmeyer (played by Dustin Heavilin) must navigate the egos, tempers and old arguments as well as deal with the unexpected death of the band’s drummer, Wrongo Squat. Given the tensions within these characters, this reunion could literally be murder. The show will be performed Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Vue Bar and Grill in Grand Vue Park, Moundsville, and again March 15 at River City Restaurant in Wheeling. For reservations, which include a full meal and the show, call the Vue Bar and Grille at 304-810-2778 or River City Restaurant at 304-233-4555. Mystery Theatre Unlimited
DRUM UP SOME MUSIC
The Wheeling Symphony’s WSO on the GO series, featuring Wheeling Symphony’s percussion ensemble, hits the road for a 7 p.m. concert, Tuesday, Feb. 26, at The Strand Theatre in Moundsville. The WSO on the GO ensemble features musicians Andrew Ferdig, Daniel Zawodniak, Alex Mendoza and is led by WSO musician, Eliseo Rael. The free concert is open to the public. www.wheelingsymphony.com
The West Liberty University Wind Symphony will present its first concert of the Spring Concert Series at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 141 Kruger St., Wheeling. The concert is free and open to the public and will feature works composed by Leroy Anderson, Claude T. Smith, John Philip Sousa and Pierre Le Plante. The student musicians are under the direction of Dr. Gretchen L. Pohlman, assistant professor of music and director of bands at the university. www.westliberty.edu
PICK UP A BRUSH
Make your mark on public art! Join artist Sherrie Mestrovic from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, to help paint a Welcome to Wheeling mural. The activity will take place at Sherrie’s store, Art by Sherrie, at 2194 National Road. Once the mural is complete, it will be placed at Kossuth Park, serving as a welcome to the city. Sherrie’s design received the most votes in a Wheeling Heritage contest.
PICK UP A WINE GLASS
The huge portfolio of red and white wines from Italy’s central belt — Tuscany, Umbria, Le Marche — are near and dear to the Good Mansion family. Enjoy a tour of sparkling Passerina, Verdicchio and Orvieto on the white side and Chianti, Rosso Piceno and Sagrantino on the red side, at the Good Mansion Wines wine tasting, 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22. The wines will be served with central Italian sheep cheeses and French baguettes. $15. Occupancy limited to 40. www.goodmansionwines.com
SAY ‘I DO’ TO WEDDING SHOWCASE
Planning a wedding? Stop by Oglebay’s Banquet View for a one-stop-shop wedding experience from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, for the second annual Oglebay Wedding Showcase. See, sample and experience all the elements needed to plan a memorable wedding. From the rehearsal dinner to the ceremony, reception and farewell brunch, Oglebay’s wedding specialists will be on hand to guide guests through every step of the planning process. Guests will sample delicious hors d’oeuvres and decadent wedding cakes while enjoying complimentary mimosas. View seating solutions, tablescapes, ceiling treatment displays, vendors and more.
An interactive panel discussion, “Just Work,” sponsored by Wheeling Jesuit University’s Appalachian Institute, is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, in the Center for Educational Technologies (CET) Recital Hall. The discussion will focus on the opportunities and challenges facing men and women seeking employment after incarceration or drug rehabilitation. The panelists are four female leaders from government, prisons, social services and business, who work to increase opportunities for employment as an important means to restore men, women and community. The panelists include: Laura Albertini-Weigel, director of YWCA WIND program; Lisa Allen, president and CEO of Ziegenfelder Company; Betsy Jividen, commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Corrections; and Jill Upson, executive director for Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs and former Republican Delegate. This event is free and open to the public. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 304-243-4361.
Project HOPE is hosting its second annual Winter Walk to raise awareness on issues surrounding homelessness and street medicine, 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23. The walk is a mile long, and has been dubbed the “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes.” Walkers will experience part of what homeless men, women and children experience every day — walking through the city in freezing weather and winter elements trying to stay warm because shelter may not be available. The Project HOPE team will lead the walk through downtown Wheeling past community partners, all of whom work together to care for our homeless population. Following the walk, walkers are invited to join the Project HOPE team at the Soup Kitchen for breakfast. Registration includes an event long-sleeved T-shirt, breakfast and entertainment by Bob Gaudio. This event serves to raise awareness of the issues surrounding homelessness.
FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM
Freedom, Citizenship and Equality: The Story of the United States Colored Troops featuring Anthony Gibbs is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at West Virginia Independence Hall. Gibbs has traveled throughout the state of Ohio as a teaching artist and living history performer, portraying living history characters such as John Parker, an Underground Railroad conductor from Ripley, Ohio; Milton Holland, a soldier and Medal of Honor recipient of the 5th U.S.C.T.; and other key figures in African American history. For over 12 years, Gibbs has presented historical workshops and performances on the United States Colored Troops and their participation in the Civil War. A graduate of The Ohio State University, he is employed by the Ohio History Connection as the coordinator of community engagement. He is founder and creative director of Black Historic Impressions, an organization dedicated to the remembrance, appreciation and exhibition of African American contributions throughout history. Almost 200,000 black soldiers fought for the Union during the Civil War. Their story is a unique chapter in the American conflict. These men were freedom fighters who fought for emancipation and for full citizenship rights. Their story is one of courage, determination, and extraordinary achievement.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Wheeling Jesuit University will hold a Black History Month Convocation ceremony at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, in the Center for Education Technologies (CET) Recital Hall. This year’s theme is “Because of Them, We Can.” The Office of Diversity and Inclusion aims to promote cultural awareness, increase student involvement in the community, promote students’ rights and facilitate communication with all of campus. The ceremony will begin in song with “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” followed by remarks and presentations from students in the Black Student Union and a convocation address given by Bruce E. Mitchell II, West Virginia district director-elect for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. email@example.com or 304-243-2390.
LUNCH WITH BOOKS
The Tuesday, Feb. 26, Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library, features Ray Kamalay. A long-time professional musician, Kamalay will trace the development of slavery from ancient times to its links with American society and into the early jazz age, putting American music in the perspective of world history. His discussion will include freedom, ancient and modern slavery, the Haitian Revolution, the origin of blackface, spirituals, blues, minstrel shows, ragtime and jazz and will be punctuated by musical performance on varied instruments. Attendees are welcome to bring a bag lunch, and complimentary beverages are provided. Call the Ohio County Public Library at 304-232-0244 or visit the library’s website at www.ohiocountylibrary.org for more information.
DOWN THE ROAD …
- The Eckhart House will host a Peanut Butter Tea at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 2, in celebration of National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day. The menu includes scones served with sweet cream and jam, assorted confections and gourmet tea. The event is open to the public, and reservations are required. 304-232-5439.
- The Family Service — Upper Ohio Valley Shamrock Dinner Dance is set for Thursday, March 7, at the Wheeling Park White Palace Ballroom. Dinner is at 6 p.m. with dancing beginning at 7 p.m. to the music of 40+. $25. Reservations required by Feb. 22. 304-233-2350, ext 104.
UP THE ROAD …
- Starring a company of women, Pittsburgh Public Theater’s production of “The Tempest” runs through Sunday, Feb. 24, at the O’Reilly Theater. “The Tempest” begins in silence in a patient’s room on the surgical oncology floor of a Pittsburgh hospital. In the bed is Prospero (Tamara Tunie), who is battling late-stage breast cancer. In Shakespeare’s play, Prospero is enraged because his brother and the king stole his dukedom. In this version, the betrayal Prospero suffers is her family’s abandonment during her illness. As Prospero begins to dream, both she and the audience are transported to a magical island where Shakespeare’s story unfolds, but now with a new resonance. 412-316-1600; ppt.org
- The Phantom of the Opera returns to Pittsburgh at the Benedum Center, through March 3, with reinvented staging and stunning scenic design. This new version of “Phantom” is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions on tour in North America. Quentin Oliver Lee will portray the man behind the mask, with Eva Tavares as Christine Daaé, Jordan Craig as Raoul, Trista Moldovan as Carlotta Giudicelli, David Benoit as Monsieur Firmin, Rob Lindley as Monsieur André, Susan Moniz as Madame Giry, Phumzile Sojola as Ubaldo Piangi and SarahGrace Mariani as Meg Giry. TrustArts.org; 412-456-4800