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.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

"John Updike's Pennsylvania" Thursday, May 20th at 6:30 PM at Scranton Public Library, Program Will Be Filmed by PCN For Airing At A Later Date

"John Updike's Pennsylvania" with journalist Frank Fitzpatrick (Philadelphia Inquirer) will be presented at Albright Memorial Library in the Periodicals Room on Thursday, May 20th 2010 at 6:30 PM.

The presentation will be filmed as part of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council's series Humanities on the Road (the program will NOT be broadcasted live; it will be aired on Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) at a later date TBA).

John Updike, Pulitzer Prize winner and prolific man of letters was an attentive observer of the dramas of life in small town America. Born and bred in Reading, Pennsylvania, Updike published his first novel, Rabbit Run, in 1960 and published over 60 books before his death in 2009. His elegant writing includes fiction (including The Witches of Eastwick), short stories, poetry, literary criticism , nonfiction and exceptional sports commentaries. He wrote regularly for the New Yorker magazine and is considered one of the most important American writers of his time.

An Updike fanatic, Frank Fitzpatrick has read all of Updike’s work and contributed stories on him for the Philadelphia Inquirer and National Public Radio. He has worked in the Inquirer Sports department since 1980 and has won numerous state and national awards. He is author of three books and was a 2001 Pulitzer Prize finalist. Among his books is The Lion In Autumn: A Season with Joe Paterno and Penn State Football.

Tickets will be avilable at the Circulation Desk shortly.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sex & The City 2, Written & Directed by Scranton Native Michael Patrick King, Opens May 27, 2010

On Thursday, May 27th, 2010 one of the most highly anticipated films of Summer 2010 is set to hit the big screen. Sex and the City 2, the sequel to the 2008 hit film based on the widely popular TV series, is written and directed by Scranton native Michael Patrick King.

Click here to read a previous blog entry on Michael Patrick King.

Click here to watch the trailer for Sex and the City 2.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Office - Scranton or Bust! - Video -

In a video just posted to The Office website, Angela Kinsey (Angela) and Ellie Kemper (Kelly Erin Hannon) answer a viewer's question about when they plan to visit Scranton again. Kinsey is all for it (even saying The Bog is one of "the best bars I've ever been to" and that Scranton itself is "a lovely town and the people there are so warm") and Ellie's never been here before. Check the video out at the link below (or click on the still above).

The Office - Scranton or Bust! - Video -

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Live With Regis and Kelly (Tuesday, April 13, 2010)

On this morning's Live With Regis and Kelly, there was a collection of clips of co-host Regis Philbin and his experience with baseball (mostly outside the studio with guests). However, they did show a clip from a few years back of Regis Philbin on his visit of a Red Barons game. At one moment before the clip, co-host Kelly Ripa exclaimed, "Yeah, Scranton! Who can forget Scranton?"

The video has been posted on the official Regis and Kelly website

Click here to watch the video. The Scranton reference occurs at the 12:19 mark.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

"Rogues' Gallery" Author Michael Gross Cites Scranton Public Library and Scranton/W-B in Entertainment Blog on His Web Site

My mouth is agape at this moment.

Today I posted an entry on the book "Rogues' Gallery" by author Michael Gross, which features a reference to Wilkes-Barre. After lunch, I went to his website (which is awesome, by the way); in a matter of hours, not only has Mr. Gross seen the entry on our blog, but he also made reference to both the Entertainment Blog AND Scranton Public Library on his official web site.

I did a screenshot of his website above. Click on the image for a larger view.

And Mr. Gross? I am absolutely speechless. Thank you :-)

Rogues' Gallery: The Secret History of the Moguls and the Money That Made the Metropolitan Museum by Michael Gross (2009)

Who knew Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania played a part (a teeny, tiny part, but STILL a part) in the one of the most renowned museums in the world--the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City?

My colleague Michele L. read this book late last year and was so excited to tell me about the Wilkes-Barre references in the book.

Rogues' Gallery by Michael Gross tells the compelling true story of the coupling of art with commerce (and mystery) that has made New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art what it is today.

The Wilkes-Barre reference appears on page 267 of the text, among biographical information on Charles Bierer Wrightsman, an art collector whose paintings were acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

"After an elite education (Exeter, Stanford, Columbia), Charlie became a naval pilot and met his first wife, Irene Stafford, a socially prominent girl from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in the winter of 1921 in Miami."

Rogues' Gallery by Michael Gross is available in Hardcover for purchase online from Barnes & Noble and Borders. A paperback edition of the book will be available May 11, 2010.

Kudos to Michele L. for this reference.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Can Anyone Identify The Title of This Book With a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Reference?

Here is something you can maybe help me out with.

Kathy Avvakumovits, a fan of the blog, is trying to remember a book she read as a child that included a reference to both Wilkes-Barre and Scranton. She sent me the following email:

"I am trying to remember a novel I read as a kid – it takes place near W-B and Scranton, it is about a hard-boiled businessman who whistles “A Pretty Girl is like a Melody” (Irving Berlin) and somehow becomes involved with an orphanage (?) run by a courageous priest. I don’t remember the details, but I do remember a dialogue in the beginning when someone asks him if he’s ever been to (town x) and he says “I’ve been to Scranton and Wilkes-Barre,” and then the other person (probably a pretty young woman) goes , “then you’ve been very close to (town x).

I read this book many times over. I think I got it off my parents’ “reject” bookshelf in the garage. I don’t think it is a towering literary achievement but it was a good read, “inspiring.”

Can you help me remember this book?"

Does anyone out there have an idea what this particular book was titled? If so, please email me at and let's give Kathy an answer. Thanks :-)

UPDATED 4/7/10 Mystery solved by Kathy herself. The book she was referring to was The Miracle of the Bells by Russell Janney. There is a previous blog entry about the 1948 film version starring Frank Sinatra, Fred MacMurray and (Alida) Valli. The film was also filmed in several parts of Luzerne County, including Wilkes-Barre, Plains and Glen Lyon. The blog entry is at

Go to the 1:27 mark in the Miracle of the Bells clip below and see the film's first Wilkes-Barre reference.