‘Husband’ Garners Critical Acclaim

The drama, “Daniel’s Husband,” featuring Wheeling native Leland Alexander Wheeler, continues to earn rave reviews for its second off-Broadway production.

It was the featured play on the New York Times’ Ticket Watch on Thursday. “Daniel’s Husband” was declared “one of the New York Times’ plays to see this fall.”

Performances at the Westside Theatre in New York are scheduled through Feb. 3, but the run could be extended.

A review stated, “‘Daniel’s Husband’ is a bold reflection of love, commitment and family in our perilous new world.” The drama also was described as “a tear-jerker and a heart-yanker.”

The Daily Beast said the play offers “a profound look at love and commitment.” Another reviewer, Andy Humm, called it “a gripping drama for our times.”

In addition, well-known actress Vanessa Williams attended a performance Tuesday and posted a photograph and comment on Twitter. She tweeted, “Another night of NYC theater @ ‘Daniel’s Husband’ starring Ryan Spahr and talented cast. Bravo!”

The photo posted by Williams showed the actress posing, arm in arm, with the cast after the performance. In fact, she was standing next to Wheeler, who plays the role of Trip.

Wheeler is a graduate of Wheeling Park High School and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He is the son of Phyllis Sigal and Bruce Wheeler of Wheeling.

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A small, but hearty, audience defied the elements Thursday night to attend the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra’s magnificent Masterworks concert, “A Night in Vienna,” at the Capitol Theatre.

Conductor Andres Franco of Pittsburgh quipped that the concert-goers earned medals for bravery by venturing out to attend the performance despite icy rain and snow falling in the area that evening.

The “brave” audience was rewarded with a superb performance by the orchestra of lively, fiery Gypsy music and a lush opera suite.

Franco, who is one of five finalists for the position of WSO music director, displayed a dynamic conducting style as he led the musicians with tremendous energy.

A high point of the concert was the appearance of guest artist Alexi Kenney, who gave a sublime performance as the soloist for Johannes Brahms’ Violin Concerto. The standing ovations accorded to Kenney, Franco and the orchestra were certainly well deserved.

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We extend kudos to the organizers of the centennial observance of Armistice Day held at the Spirit of the American Doughboy monument in Wheeling Park last Sunday afternoon.

Approximately 120 people attended the program, which featured stirring remarks by Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott, a brief history of American Legion Post 1 given by Commander John Powell and an insightful talk, “A History of Wheeling in World War I,” presented by history professor Dr. Hal Gorby.

After the ceremony, Wheeling Park provided a lovely spread of refreshments for attendees. Event organizers Erin Rothenbuehler and Sean Duffy arranged to have a birthday cake served to surprise Wheeling historian Margaret Brennan, whose special day coincides with Veterans Day. Rothenbuehler also found a birthday card featuring a pop-up poppy, which was appropriate considering the poppy’s symbolic connection to World War I through the poem, “In Flanders Fields.”

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Once again, Wheeling Hospital has stepped up to help military personnel serving far from home by filling 400 Christmas stockings for the Boatsie’s Boxes project.

The stockings, packed with snacks, toiletries, games and candy, are being sent to military installations around the world to brighten the holidays for the brave men and women in uniform.

The hospital and its affiliates have participated in the project since 2007. Since then, Wheeling Hospital employees and auxiliary members have filled and donated nearly 4,000 stockings.

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As we think of the blessings mentioned above and all of our many blessings, it is appropriate that we, as a nation, pause this week to give thanks. Happy Thanksgiving, readers!

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

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