Wednesday, December 29, 2010

According to New Issue of Entertainment Weekly, Blue Valentine Expands Release January 14, 2011

This week's issue of Entertainment Weekly (#1136, January 7, 2011) features not only a rave review of Blue Valentine (pps. 50-51) but also takes the #1 spot on this week's "The Must List"--which also states that the film (partly shot in Scranton, with a pivotal scene filmed at Albright Memorial Library on May 13, 2009) will expand to a wider release on Friday, January 14th. So if you can't get to NYC (now playing at Lincoln Plaza Cinema) or LA to see Blue Valentine in its limited release, it will more than likely be playing at Cinemark in Moosic in about 2 weeks.

Official Website for Broadway Revival of Jason Miller's That Championship Season

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Welcome to Scranton by Greg Halpin (2010)

I recently became aware of a new novel by Scranton native Greg Halpin titled Welcome to Scranton, which is set in the Electric City.

From the website:

It's a wild ride through Scranton in this darkly funny and touching story about friends in their twenties trying to figure out life in their hometown. The boundaries of friendship are tested as one of them hits rock bottom.

Welcome to Scranton paints a portrait of a small town that includes political corruption, a disgraced teacher, and the hilarious antics of young men.

The print edition is available online for $9.95 from Lulu. It will be available from Amazon soon.

Welcome to Scranton is also available for the Kindle device and Kindle App on the iPhone, iPad, Droid, and Blackberry devices for only $4.95.

Click here for the Kindle edition.

Click here for the Nook edition.

The official website for Welcome to Scranton also features some groovy photos of Scranton landmarks.

Thanks to the groovy Bernie Maopolski for this reference.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

1940 Christmas Classic Remember The Night, Featuring A Brief Reference to Scranton, Airs on Christmas Eve on TCM

Turner Classic Movies will be broadcasting the 1940 Barbara Stanwyck/Fred MacMurray holiday film Remember the Night on Christmas Eve at midnight.

Written by Preston Sturges, Remember the Night tells the story of a repeat shoplifter (Barbara Stanwyck) who goes to Indiana for the holidays with the lawyer who is also prosecuting her (Fred MacMurray). The film also features a brief passing reference to Scranton.

Albright Memorial Library also has a copy of Remember the Night available to borrow on DVD. To place a hold, click here.

Also (and I'm not sure how long it will be up), it looks like someone uploaded the entire film on YouTube. To watch Remember the Night from the beginning (Part 1 of 10), click here. The Scranton reference occurs at the 8:30 spot of Part 8.

Check out the trailer below:

For information on another Christmas classic that features a Scranton reference, click here.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Blue Valentine Wins Appeal From MPAA; NC-17 Rating Overturned To An R With Zero Cuts To The Film

Great news. The MPAA has overturned the NC-17 rating on the Derek Cianfrance-directed Blue Valentine (which was filmed in Scranton and partly at Albright Memorial Library). The film will be given an R rating with no cuts after Harvey Weinstein (head of BV's distributor The Weinstein Company) personally argued his position in today's appeal hearing.

For more information, click here.

Blue Valentine opens in limited release December 31st and will expand nationwide in early 2011.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Limited Engagement of Jason Miller's That Championship Season Opens on Broadway March 6, 2011

The upcoming limited engagement Broadway revival of Jason Miller's That Championship Season begins previews February 9, 2011; the show officially opens March 6, 2011 and will close May 29, 2011 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in NYC.

This, the first major Broadway revival of Miller's Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning play (set in Scranton, PA), features the stellar cast of Keifer Sutherland, Jim Gaffigan, Brian Cox, Chris Noth, and Miller's son Jason Patric.

To purchase tickets online, click here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

"John Updike's Pennsylvania," Filmed at Scranton Public Library, To Air on PCN Starting December 3rd

John Updike's Pennsylvania with Journalist Frank Fitzpatrick (Philadelphia Inquirer), which was filmed at Albright Memorial Library on May 20th, will premiere on Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) on Friday, December 3rd at 6 PM. The program will have encore presentations on Saturday, December 4th at 2 PM and Monday, December 6th at 10 AM.

The program is part of PCN's Humanities on the Road series.

Check out a brief preview below:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Official Theatrical Poster For Blue Valentine Released - What Do You Think?

The Weinstein Company has released the original theatrical poster art for their upcoming release of Blue Valentine, filmed partly in Scranton, PA (including scenes filmed at Albright Memorial Library).

I think it looks great. Very striking image of Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling. What do you think?

Click on the image above for a full-size picture of the poster art.

Blue Valentine Article in This Week's Entertainment Weekly (#1129, November 19, 2010)

Check out this week's issue (The Holiday Movie Preview) of Entertainment Weekly. Pages 62-66 feature an excellent article on the upcoming Blue Valentine, which was partly filmed at Albright Memorial Library in Scranton, PA. The article, written by Sara Vilkomerson and titled Michelle and Ryan's Blue Valentine, includes interviews with stars Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, who discuss making the film and its NC-17 rating presently being appealed to the MPAA.

Pages 64-65 of the article states:

"The film wound up shooting in Brooklyn and Scranton, PA."

Blue Valentine opens in limited release December 31st and will expand to movie theaters nationwide at the beginning of 2011.

The full article is presently unavailable online, but the issue is available to borrow from Albright Memorial Library.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Jason Miller's Son Jason Patric, Keifer Sutherland to Star in Broadway Revival of That Championship Season

Official casting has been announced for the Broadway revival of Scranton's Jason Miller's Pulitzer Prize/Tony Winning play That Championship Season...and it's impressive.

The revival, set in Scranton, PA and set to open in March 2011, is the first Broadway revival of That Championship Season since the original 1972 production.

According to, as well as the revival's official Twitter page, the revival will star Jason Miller's son Jason Patric as Tom Daley, Keifer Sutherland (TV's 24) as James Daley, Brian Cox (Rushmore, RED) as Coach, comedian Jim Gaffigan as George Sikowski, and Chris Noth (from the TV/film series Sex and the City, written and directed by Scranton native Michael Patrick King) as Phil Romano.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

That Championship Season to Be Revived on Broadway in 2011?

UPDATED 11/2/10

It is being reported
that That Championship Season, the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play by Scranton's own Jason Miller, is being revived on Broadway in 2011. Tony-nominated director George Mosher (2009 revival of A View From A Bridge) is reported to have signed on as director, and Tony winner Liev Schreiber is said to have been already cast.

This would be the first Broadway revival of Jason Miller's play, which originally ran for nearly 2 year and 700 performances from 1972-1974 on Broadway and is set in Scranton, PA.

UPDATED 11/2/10 It has been confirmed that That Championship Season will indeed be revived on Broadway in March 2011. According to the revival's official Twitter, the cast will include Brian Cox, Jim Gaffigan, Chris Noth, Jason Patric, & Kiefer Sutherland.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"Lackwanna Twilight" from Honey and Salt by Carl Sandburg (1963)

At the conclusion of his profile of his life in the Aug./Sept. 2010 issue of Irish America magazine, the late actor/playwright Jason Miller excitedly pulled a volume of poems off his shelf and reads aloud a poem to the interviewer, Robert Currin. The volume Mr. Miller selected was Honey and Salt by three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Carl Sandburg, and the poem was titled Lackawanna Twilight.

The Scranton and Wilkes-Barre (misspelled in the poem) references occur in the second stanza of Lackawanna Twilight:

"Miner with dinner buckets and
headlamps, state constabulary on
horses, guns in holsters, Scranton,
Wilkesbarre, the Lackawanna Trail.

Honey and Salt by Carl Sandburg is available to borrow from the Lackawanna County Library System; to place a hold, click here. You can also read Lackawanna Twilight on page 4 of the online version of the Jason Miller profile from Irish America by clicking here.

The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by Joyce Magnin (2009)

My friend and colleague Michele L. is an ace at finding Scranton and Wilkes-Barre references in books because she has eagle eyes and reads everything. She recently told me about a number of Scranton and Wilkes-Barre references in the 2009 novel The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by Havertown native Joyce Magnin.

Set in fictional Bright's Pond, PA, The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow tells the story of a reclusive woman, Agnes Sparrow, where she is cared for by her long-suffering sister Griselda. Agnes Sparrow prays and when Agnes prays things happen, setting the small town (and its residents) aflutter--then a new town sign is erected with Agnes's name (which makes Agnes aflutter--and angry).

The Scranton references occur on the following pages:

p. 9 "Milton and his wife, Darcy, were fresh from the big city, if you can call Scranton a big city."

p. 108
"'Good news, Agnes,' he said. 'Your sign is all finished and on its way to Scranton. Be here the day after tomorrow.'"

p. 109
"The sign arrived that Thursday on the back of a long flatbead truck with the name Scranton Sign Company in gold letters on the side of the cab."

p. 143
"'How did this come about?' I asked. 'The Pearly Gates only go to big towns like Scranton and Philadelphia.'"

p. 161 "'Stu was down in Scranton making certain they got the name right this time,' Boris said."

Wilkes-Barre is mentioned in the following two passages in the book:

p. 161 "'I have family in Wilkes-Barre so I spent some time there--got a sister and two nieces.'"

p. 227
"The funeral, one of the saddest I had ever attended, took place down in Wilkes-Barre two days after Easter Sunday."

The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow is available to borrow from the Lackawanna County Library System. Click here to place a hold; if you'd rather read the large print edition, click here.

Much thanks to mega-genius Michele L. for this reference.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blue Valentine Is Showing at the Philadelphia Film Festival This Friday and Saturday (October 15th and 16th) (And YES! SPL IS In The Final Cut)

I just got an email from Rich Drees, Editor and Publisher of, who told me that Blue Valentine will be showing this weekend at the Philadelphia Film Festival. The two scheduled screenings are presumably of the original uncut version which is now being appealed to the MPAA for an R rating.

Blue Valentine will be shown on Friday, October 15th at 7:30 PM and Saturday, October 16th at 5 PM at the Prince Music Theater.

Mr. Drees also told me the festival will also be screening the short film Lebanon, PA.

If anyone happens to catch Blue Valentine this weekend at the Philadelphia Film Festival, please let me know if the scenes filmed in the Reference Department at Albright Memorial Library in Scranton, PA are still in the final cut.

A hearty thanks to Rich Drees of for this reference.

UPDATE: Good news. I just got a tweet from Dan Flosdorf, Sound Designer and Sound Editor of Blue Valentine, regarding if the scenes shot in the Reference Department made the final cut of the film. Two words (and I quote): "It is." Follow Dan on Twitter at

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Aloha Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel by Jennifer Chiaverini (2010)

My lovely colleague Judi Keller recently told me of a couple of Scranton references in The Aloha Quilt, the 15th book of the popular Elm Street Quilt novels by Jennifer Chiaverini.

The Scranton references occur on the following pages of the book:

p. 151 "Because of the time difference their celebrations would already be under way, so after calling her mother at her retirement community in Erie, Bonnie planned to call her mother-in-law in Scranton..."

p. 152 "Barry never have service in the Scranton area, and C.J. was so often harassed with after-hours calls from work that he refused to switch on his cell phone on holidays."

p. 154 "'Did something come up? Will they spend Christmas in Scranton instead?'"

The Aloha Quilt
is available to borrow from the Lackawanna County Library System in various formats; click on the item type to place a hold on the book, the large print edition, the CD audio book, or the Playaway version.

Much thanks again to Judi Keller for this reference.

Jason Miller Profiled in Irish America (August/September 2010)

My colleague Evelyn Gibbons told me that Scranton's late Jason Miller was profiled in the August/September 2010 issue of Irish America (pages 78-80).

The article is an overview of Jason Miller's life and career. Of particular note is that Miller always considered Scranton home, even though he was born in New York. Miller is best known for his Oscar-nominated performance in the classic horror film The Exorcist and for his 1973 Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning play That Championship Season, which was set in Scranton.

The complete article on Jason Miller is available to read online by clicking here. The issue is also available to borrow from Albright Memorial Library.

Much thanks to Evelyn Gibbons for this reference.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Gasland, Directed by Wayne County Native Josh Fox, To Be Released on DVD December 14, 2010

It has been announced that the documentary Gasland, written and directed by Wayne County native Josh Fox, will be released on DVD on December 14th, 2010 by New Video Group. It is available to pre-order on and Barnes & Noble.

The Lackawanna County Library System plans to purchase copies of Gasland as well.

In Gasland, Josh Fox received an offer to drill for natural gas under his property in Pennsylvania; in response, he did what few landowners think to do--he conducted his own research into the drilling process. The film won the 2010 Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Uh Oh! "Blue Valentine," Filmed Partly In Scranton Public Library's Reference Department, Slapped With NC-17 Rating

It is being reported that Blue Valentine, the critically acclaimed film that was the toast of this year's Sundance Film Festival and an official selection for the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, has been given an NC-17 rating by The Motion Picture Association of America, reportedly for some strong sexual content.

What does this mean? Well, Blue Valentine will have to either be re-cut or appealed to the MPAA to lower the rating to an R; many large U.S. theater chains, such as Cinemark in Moosic, have stated they will not screen NC-17 rated films.

Blue Valentine, starring Oscar nominees Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, tells the gripping story of a young couple who fall in and out of love over a span of several years.

The film has garnished HUGE raves at various film festivals around the world; ever since its premiere at Sundance, there has been Oscar buzz for both the film and the two lead performances, which are said to be truly magnificent.

Filming locations included both Honesdale, PA and Scranton, PA. Back on May 19, 2009, the Reference Department at Albright Memorial Library was used as a filming location for several pivotal scenes.

As a matter of fact, on page 18 of the film's official press release, both Scranton Public Library and Jack Finnerty, Library Director of SPL, are given "Special Thanks" in the film's closing credits, which is VERY cool :)

For more information on Blue Valentine's NC-17 rating, click here. For a previous blog entry on the exciting day scenes were filmed in our Reference Department, click here.

Below is the just-released official theatrical trailer for Blue Valentine, which is still scheduled to open in limited release on December 31, 2010. Note that Albright Memorial Library DOES NOT appear in any scenes in the trailer.

UPDATE 10/14/10: The Weinstein Company, who acquired the distribution rights to Blue Valentine, have officially appealed the NC-17 rating and are hoping for an R rating without any cuts. For more information, click here.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Obama Diaries by Laura Ingraham (2010)

The fact that Vice-President Joe Biden was born in Scranton has been included in a number of recent political books, written by both conservative and liberal authors.

Conservative author and radio host Laura Ingraham's latest book, The Obama Diaries, is a collection of entries from diaries "discovered" at the White House. It includes "diary entries" from Joe Biden as well.

The Scranton references occurs on page 337 from a "diary entry" of Biden dated April 14, 2010:

"But I know how to liven up these meetings. I told 'em a few of my funnier stories about life in Scranton--some of the real knee-slappers that get such a good response on the campaign trail."

"I think it went over very well. Although now that I think about it, the interpreter must have messed up the order of my talk somehow, because they were pretty solemn during the Scranton stuff..."

The Obama Diaries is available to borrow from the Lackawanna County Library System. To place a hold, click here.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Percival's Planet by Michael Byers (2010)

My dear friend and colleague (and fellow avid reader), Michele L., just finished the novel Percival's Planet by Michael Byers and told me there were a few references to Scranton in the text.

Byer's second novel Percival's Planet, just published in August 2010, tells the story of the obsessive and ambitious the race to discover Pluto in 1930, pitting an untrained Kansas farm boy against the greatest minds of Harvard at the run-down Lowell Observatory in Arizona.

Michele L. discovered the following four reference to Scranton in Byer's novel, which is the hometown of Mary and Hollis Hempstead, brother and sister, and two of the book's protagonists:

p. 58 "Suddenly she was alone in the world except for her brother, Hollis, who traveled back to Scranton from Massachusetts to stand with her twice..."

p. 60 (referring to Mary's brother Hollis) "He was a boy from Scranton made good."

p. 68 (Hollis speaking to his sister Mary) "'Possibly you know our parents both died within a few weeks of each other, last year, in Scranton.'"

p. 151 (Hollis discussing his sister Mary with her doctor, Dr. Miller) "'Likely she was suffering in some fashion even before your parents died, before she left Scranton to live with you here.'"

Percival's Planet is available to borrow from the Lackawanna County Library System; to place a hold, click here.

A big thanks to Michele L. for this reference.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Family Guy: Season 9, Episode 2: "Excellence In Broadcasting" (10/3/10)

A few minutes ago, my nephew DJ called me and told me there was just a reference to Scranton on the hit animated series Family Guy. On tonight's episode, "Excellence in Broadcasting," Stewie and Brian are sitting in front of the TV watching The Office when, all of a sudden, Brian turns the TV off. Stewie complains, "Aw, but there were going to be more hijinx in Scranton. (laughs) Scranton (laughs). Dunder Mifflin (laughs). Funny words are funny."

The full episode of "Excellence in Broadcasting" is free online until November 27th. To watch it, click here; the Scranton reference occurs at about 5:49.

Thanks, DJ!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Scranton Native Amy Wilson Bringing Her Hit One-Woman Show Mother Load To Scranton Cultural Center Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Author/playwright/actor and Scranton native Amy Wilson will be bringing her acclaimed hit show Mother Load to Scranton Cultural Center on Saturday, February 19th 2011. To purchase tickets, which includes a post-show meet-and-greet, click here.

Wilson is also the author of the bestselling book When Did I Get Like This?, which features tons of references to Scranton. To place a hold, click here.

For more information on her Amy Wilson's upcoming return to Scranton, click here.

Click here for a previous blog entry on Amy Wilson.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Actor Paul Dano (1984 - ), Currently Starring In "The Extra Man" and "Knight & Day", Has Roots In Scranton

The July 30, 2010 issue of The Wall Street Journal featured a review of the new film The Extra Man, specifically praising young actor Paul Dano ((whose film credits include Little Miss Sunshine, There Will Be Blood and Knight & Day) for "stealing" the film from Kevin Kline. Though born in New York City, Dano's father grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania. In addition, Dano's grandfather (a lawyer) and Aunt Olga have also lived in Scranton in the past.

The Extra Man, based upon the novel by Jonathan Ames, is now playing in limited release.

Much thanks to Evelyn Gibbons and Dr. Peter Cupple for this reference.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Former Scranton Resident and Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet W.S. Merwin Named US Poet Laureate

Congratulations to former Scranton resident and two-time Pulitzer Prize winning poet W.S. Merwin for being named the seventeenth Poet Laureate of the United States.

For more information on Mr. Merwin, click here.

Much thanks to Don McKeon for this reference.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Trouble Along The Way (1953)

Fellow classic cinemaphile Don McKeon recently told me about another classic film that mentions Scranton in passing. The film is 1953's Trouble Along The Way.

Directed by Michael Curtiz (Casablanca, Mildred Pierce, White Christmas), Trouble Along The Way stars John Wayne as Steve Williams, a down-on-his-luck football coach and single father who is recruited by struggling St. Anthony's College in New York City to produce a winning team. Along the way, Steve falls in love with Alice Singleton (Donna Reed), the social worker fighting to get Steve's ex-wife legal custody of their daughter. The film also features an uncredited James Dean as a "football spectator".

About an hour into the film, John Wayne's character Steve Williams (who also says "Wilkes-Barre" several times in the 1942 film Reunion In France) is watching 16 mm films of potential football recruits for St. Anthony's football team with his buddies Stan Schwegler (Chuck Connors) and Moose McCall (Bill Nadovich):

Stan: We've been over these films ten times, Steve. We've got everything but a passer.

Steve: What happened to that kid from Scranton?

Moose: One of the California schools got to him first.

Unfortunately, Trouble Along The Way is not available to borrow from the Lackawanna County Library System. But you can purchase a copy for less than $10 from

Much thanks again to the ever-groovy movie buff Don McKeon for this reference.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Broadway's "Next Fall" To End Run July 4, 2010; Includes Reference to Scranton

It has been announced that the Broadway run of the play Next Fall, which features a brief reference to Scranton, will end on Sunday, July 4, 2010 after 26 previews and 132 regular performances.

Next Fall, which opened on March 11, 2010, is a new play written by actor Geoffrey Nauffts (Broadway's A Few Good Men) and produced by Elton John and David Furnish. It tells the humorous and touching story of a gay couple whose five-year relationship is put to the test when an accident changes both their lives and the lives of those around them.

At some point in the play, one of the characters describes another's appearance as "looking like a lesbian from Scranton."

To purchase tickets, click here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Gasland, Directed by Wayne County Native Josh Fox, To Have TV Premiere on HBO Monday, June 21st

It has been announced that the documentary Gasland, written and directed by Wayne County native Josh Fox, will air on HBO on Monday, June 21st at 9 PM as part of a summer-long documentary series on the cable channel. The acclaimed documentary, which will also air June 24, 26, and 30, and July 5 and 9 on HBO, won a Special Jury Prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

In Gasland, Josh Fox received an offer to drill for natural gas under his property in Pennsylvania; in response, he did what few landowners think to do--he conducted his own research into the drilling process.

The Associated Press published an article titled "New HBO Documentary Exposes Gas Drilling Hazards" by AP writer Michael Rubinkam. To read the article, click here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Michael Kuchwara (1947-2010)

We would like to acknowledge the recent passing of renowned reporter and critic Michael Kuchwara, a native of Scranton who died May 22, 2010. Mr. Kuchwara reviewed more than 200 theatrical productions a year throughout his career.

Mr. Kuchwara was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania on February 28, 1947 and was attracted to the theater at a very early age, when he saw his first show at the Pocono Playhouse.

The Reference Department offers its deepest sympathies to his family.

To read Mr. Kuchwara's obituary in the New York Times, click here.

Much thanks to Evelyn Gibbons for this reference.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

When Did I Get Like This? by Scranton Native Amy Wilson (2010)

My groovy colleague Michele L., an avid reader like myself (occupational hazard; after all, we're librarians) and a regular contributor to the Entertainment blog, told me about a book she loved written by a Scranton native that was the basis of a hit Off-Broadway show The Mother Load, which continues to tour the country (yes, even Scranton). The book is When Did I Get Like This? The Screamer, The Worrier, the Dinosaur-Chicken-Nugget Buyer & Other Mothers I Swore I'd Never Be and it features several reference to Scranton and even a couple of landmarks in Scranton; furthermore, its author Amy Wilson is a Scranton native.

Before venturing in the the world of theater and writing, Amy Wilson was familiar to television viewers for her role as Molly Carver on The Norm Show (1999-2001). Amy also made appearances in TV shows such as Felicity, Daddio, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Her film credits include Kinsey and Kissing Jessica Stein. She also starred on Broadway in the Tony and Pulitzer winning play The Last Night of Ballyhoo.

In 1996, Amy was one of the writers and stars of the sketch comedy show Live on Tape.

A mother of 3, Amy used her experiences to write and perform the show The Mother Load, which was a hit off-Broadway and continues to tour the US.

On April 6, 2010, Amy Wilson published her first book titled When Did I Get Like This? The Screamer, The Worrier, The Dinosaur-Chicken-Nugget Buyer & Other Mothers I Swore I'd Never Be. Not only is the book hilarious, but it features lots of reference to her hometown of Scranton, PA.

Page 22
"So we took the two-hour drive to Scranton that weekend, and sat David's parents, then mine, down at their kitchen tables."

Page 56
"Like the majority of my peers, I had not been breastfed. I may have been a '70s baby, but that hippie stuff did not fly in Scranton, Pennsylvania."

Pages 79-80
"Granted, this was a particularly bad weekend, since we had taken our possessed child out of his element to our hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, to attempt an exorcism."

Page 80
"(We had, of course, deflated and packed the ball for our trip to Scranton; I would sooner have left Connor behind than the ball.)"

Page 96
"Growing up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where everyone is Catholic."

Page 104
"In Scranton, Pennsylvania, when I had just turned four..."

Page 109
"Manhattan moms in the know plan their conceptions to occur sometime just after Chinese New Year, so that their children will have an ultra-desirable autumn birthday. Like I said, I'm from Scranton, so I don't know about that."

Page 142
"Each student at St. Clare School (K-6 school located in the Green Ridge section of Scranton) would be send home with a checkbook-green account of his or her progress."

Page 142
"Before I was old enough to get graded on actual subjects, the assessment scale at St. Clare School had a very simple rating system."

Page 172
"Those were the girls at St. Paul's School (Grades 6-8 school in the Green Ridge section of Scranton) who had their act together."

Pages 204-205
"If you needed help, your mother lived next door; at least that's how it happened in Scranton."

When Did I Get Like This?
is available to borrow from the Lackawanna County Library System. To place a hold, click here.

Click here to follow Amy on Twitter.

Much thanks to Michele L. for another great reference.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Double Wedding (1937)

Eagle-eyed Don McKeon, who has regularly contributed wonderful Scranton and Wilkes-Barre references to the movie blog, recently told me about a hilarious screwball romantic comedy from the mid-30s, starring Myrna Loy and William Powell (The Thin Man film series), that prominently features a sign reading "YOU ARE NOW LEAVING WILKES-BARRE. COME AGAIN" throughout the film. The film is 1937's Double Wedding and it was produced by Wilkes-Barre native Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who added references to Wilkes-Barre to almost every film he was a part of---from films he wrote/directed such as Oscar winners A Letter To Three Wives to All About Eve , to films he produced such as Reunion in France.

Double Wedding is the story of dress shop employee Margit (Myrna Loy), who is a major overbearing control freak over her sister Irene's (Florence Rice) life--even over Irene's fiance Waldo's (John Beal) life. When Irene, an aspiring actress, falls under the spell of eccentric film director and painter Charles Lodge (William Powell) and suddenly breaks off her engagement to Waldo, Margit is furious and will do everything in her power to make the wedding happen and distance her sister from the crazy director who lives in an auto trailer with a sign reading "YOU ARE NOW LEAVING WILKES-BARRE. COME AGAIN." pasted on the side.

The final 10 minutes of the film are some the funniest scenes I've ever seen in a movie.

Below are several screen shots taken from the film where the "YOU ARE NOW LEAVING WILKES-BARRE. COME AGAIN." sign is prominently displayed in the scene. There are several other scenes in the film where the sign is displayed but partially obscured. Click on any onf the images below for a closer view.

3:33 Irene (Florence Rice) and Waldo (John Beal) leave Charles Lodge's auto trailer after a rehearsal.
23:10 Margit (Myrna Loy) stares at the curious sign on Charles Lodge's auto trailer as she prepares to confront him about her sister.
31:21 Charles Lodge(William Powell) exits his auto trailer in the rain to answer a phone call at a neighboring business (he is alerted to all calls for him by a gong in his auto trailer).
37:14 Slowly warming up to each other, Margit (Myrna Loy) and Charles (William Powell) have a picnic in front of his auto trailer.
40:32 As Charles lay sleeping outside after the picnic, Margit (Myrna Loy) hops into his car and drives off with it and the attached auto trailer.
45:44 Margit (Myrna Loy) angrily storms into Charles's auto trailer after seeing him with her sister, after he promised to stay away from her.

Double Wedding is included on the DVD box set The Myrna Loy and William Powell Collection and is available to borrow from the Lackawanna County Library System. To place a hold, click here.

Much thanks again to Don McKeon for another great reference.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin (2010)

Over this lovely Memorial Day weekend, I am finishing up the bestselling controversial book Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, the behind-the-scenes peek into the 2008 presidential election. Surprisingly, I came across a Scranton reference; even more surprisingly is that the Scranton reference is attributed not to Scranton native and Vice President Joe Biden, but to Republican Vice President nominee Sarah Palin.

On page 372 of Game Change (in the chapter "Sarahcuda"), the book discusses Palin's speech at the Republican National Convention after accepting the nomination of Vice President from Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

"'I guess a small town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities,' she quipped. She said, 'We tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.'"

Game Change is available to borrow from the Lackawanna County Library System. To place a hold on the book, click here; to place a hold on the unabridged CD audiobook, click here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Brian Baumgartner, The Office's Kevin, To Attend "Swingin' On Vine" Block Party to Benefit Albright Memorial Library Friday, May 28th, 5-8 PM

There really ain't no party like a Scranton party!

Actor Brian Baumgartner, Kevin from NBC's hit sitcom The Office (set in Scranton, PA) will be a very special guest at "Swingin' On Vine," a block party that will benefit Albright Memorial Library on Friday, May 28th from 5 PM to 8 PM at Scranton Public Library.

Admission to the event (21 and over) is $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

For more information, call (570) 348-3000.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Wilkes-Barre native Santo Loquasto Nominated for TWO 2010 Tony Awards

UPDATED 5/14/2010

Congratulations to Wilkes-Barre native Santo Loquasto for his TWO (count 'em, TWO) 2010 Tony Award nominations, one for Best Costume Design for a Musical for the revival of Ragtime on Broadway, and the other for Best Scenic Design for a Play for the revival of Fences.

For more information on Santo Loquasto, click here.

We'll be rooting for you, Santo, when the 2010 Tony Awards air Sunday, June 13th on CBS!

UPDATED 5/14/10 It has been announced that Mr. Loquasto's nomination for Best Costume Design for Ragtime has unfortunately been withdrawn. According to sources, Loquasto's designs for the revival were deemed too similar to the original Broadway production of Ragtime, which were also designed by Loquasto. For more information, click here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Recording Artists Launching National/World Tours in Wilkes-Barre, PA

This past week, The F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in announced an upcoming concert from bestselling recording artist and American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert; Lambert will be stopping in Wilkes-Barre, PA with Orianthi ("According To You," lead guitarist for the ill-fated Michael Jackson This Is It Tour) and fellow American Idol alumni Allison Iraheta.

However, what wasn't announced is that Adam Lambert is actually kicking off his first solo nationwide tour (The "Glam Nation" Tour) in Wilkes-Barre on Friday, June 4th.

This announcement is not only undeniably groovy, but it also brings to mind that Lambert isn't the first recording artist who have launched major tours in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

On Tuesday, October 28, 2008, legendary hard rockers AC/DC kicked off their highly anticipated Black Ice World Tour at the Wachovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre, PA.
Similarly, on Thursday, October 16, 2003, Simon & Garfunkel launched their Old Friends Tour at Wachovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The Old Friends Tour was the legendary duo's first tour together since 1983...and they kicked it off in Wilkes-Barre.

Are any blog readers out there aware of any other major concert tours launched in Wilkes-Barre, PA or Scranton, PA? If you know of any others, please email me.