Wheeler Heading Off-B’way

Wheeling native Leland Alexander Wheeler will return to an off-Broadway stage next month to reprise his role in the acclaimed drama, “Daniel’s Husband.”

The online news source Broadway.com reported the good news a few days ago: “On the heels of an acclaimed 2017 Primary Stages debut engagement at the Cherry Lane Theatre, ‘Daniel’s Husband,’ a new play by Michael McKeever, will move to off-Broadway’s Westside Theatre this fall for an open-ended run.”

Broadway.com also noted, “The full Primary Stages cast will return for the transfer.”

The returning cast members of “Daniel’s Husband” include Wheeler, Ryan Spahn, Matthew Montelongo, Anna Holbrook and Tony nominee Lou Liberatore. Joe Brancato also is serving again as director of the play.

Wheeler and his castmates are set to begin rehearsals for the play this month. Preview performances of “Daniel’s Husband” start on Oct. 18. An official opening night is planned for Oct. 28.

Because the play’s run at the Westside Theatre is open-ended, it means that there isn’t a definite closing date for the production. In fact, the production of “Daniel’s Husband” could go on for years!

A graduate of Wheeling Park High School, Wheeler is the son of Phyllis Sigal and Bruce Wheeler of Wheeling.

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In another theatrical note, family and friends are preparing to celebrate the life and illustrious career of the late Harold “Hal” O’Leary next weekend.

As noted in the Grapevine a month ago, the celebration will be staged at Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre, 2118 Market St., Wheeling, at 2 p.m. Saturday. Towngate is an appropriate venue for the service because O’Leary was the founder and long-time artistic director of the theater.

Oglebay Institute officials have dedicated this year’s 50th season at Towngate to O’Leary. They named Towngate’s main stage in his honor a few years ago.

O’Leary, a Wheeling Hall of Fame inductee and legendary leader in the area’s theatrical community, died on June 29 at the age of 93.

His son, playwright Sean O’Leary, said Saturday’s memorial program will include reminiscences from family members and other people who worked with his father “over the six decades during which he contributed to the lives of Ohio Valley residents.”

Also during the celebration, some of O’Leary’s proteges plan to perform a medley of songs from musical productions that he directed for Oglebay Institute.

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After 80 years of growing seasons, the Wheeling Civic Garden Center is hanging up its spades and trowels.

The Wheeling Civic Garden Center is closing its gift shop in Oglebay Park and dissolving the nonprofit organization, according to a letter issued by the group’s executive committee.

“On Aug. 7 at the membership meeting the vote was taken to dissolve,” the letter stated. “Unfortunately our purpose and mission is no longer needed due to the changing times, not to mention the financial challenges and struggles.”

The executive committee’s missive continued, “This organization has had an amazing run, 80 years from 1938 to 2018. Our past and present volunteers and employees have made this a wonderful place to spend time and make great friends, and we sincerely thank you.”

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A new exhibit was unveiled Thursday at the Delf Norona Museum, located within the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville.

State officials said the exhibit features renovated cases and information regarding the Grave Creek Mound and the Adena people.

The project began last year and was completed in August.

This new installation replaces cases that had been at the museum since its opening in 1978. New artifacts have been put on display as well as information regarding a ground-penetrating radar survey of the Mound performed in 2016.

Linda Comins can be reached via email at: lcomins@theintelligencer.net

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