Fine Arts Taken Across The Globe

The international reputation of artist Joseph Hughes, a native of Moundsville, continues to grow.

Abstract paintings by Hughes, who lives and works in San Francisco, are featured in an exhibition, “Color Based Paintings IV,” at the Bergner and Job Galerie in Mainz, Germany. The show, which opened in late November, continues through Saturday, Jan. 30.

Hughes is the only American among the 12 artists participating in the exhibition. Ten of the artists are from Germany (although one, Jerry Zeniuk, also works in New York) and one, Piero Dorazio, is from Italy.

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Area residents have been doing interesting things all over the globe in recent months. For example, Wheeling musician Kathy Shaw Sacco, associate director of music at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Washington, Pa., and her choir made a pilgrimage to Rome in November.

The choir sang at the Vatican for a public Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI and the group presented a concert at a church in Rome. While visiting Italy, the choir members also sang in Florence and Venice.

While Sacco and her husband, Harry, are from Wheeling, most of the choir members are Washington residents and some are from Claysville.

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We had the pleasure of attending the touring company production of “The Drowsy Chaperone” at the Capitol Theatre Tuesday, Jan. 12. The show was thoroughly delightful, and the cast members gave an outstanding performance. It was easy to see why “The Drowsy Chaperone” won more Tony awards than any other musical of the 2006 Broadway season.

Of course, it was great to see another crowd of people inside the reopened theater and it was encouraging to see throngs gathering in downtown Wheeling again. The throngs, though, were freezing their extremities as long lines waited in the cold for the doors to open.

As had been the case with the previous show in the Broadway at the Capitol series, the producers apparently wanted the theater doors to be opened only 30 minutes before curtain time, to build “excitement” for the performance. To many theater-goers Tuesday night, it seemed that the delay was longer than usual. We were part of a group that had purchased a block of tickets.

One of our folks, who had gone on ahead to pick up our tickets at the will-call window, called from the lobby and told our group that “technical difficulties” were said to be delaying the opening of the hall.

When the doors did open, the crowd streamed in, moving in an orderly fashion, and took their seats quickly. The experience also goes to show that filling a theater takes exactly as long as the time allotted.

It was pleasing to observe that the audience was well behaved: people stayed in their seats, no one’s cell phone rang, people weren’t talking during the show and, at least where we were seated, texting didn’t seem to occur.

In “The Drowsy Chaperone,” the script called for the musical’s narrator, known as “Man in Chair,” to address the issue of theater etiquette. The character talked of telephone calls “destroying the moment” during performances, and he acted out a scenario of a caller -who couldn’t go out that night – calling a friend in the audience and “destroying the moment by proxy.”

Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at: