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‘Arthur Award’ Given to Local

March 10, 2012
By Linda Comins , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

All hail Judy Zavatsky, who "found" the Holy Grail in Camelot (aka the Capitol Theatre) during Thursday's Broadway touring production of "Monty Python's Spamalot."

After the sacred vessel was located near Zavatsky's seat, cast members of the hysterically funny musical escorted her onstage, where she was presented with an "Arthur Award." The character of King Arthur then declared to the people of Wheeling that a special festival, a "Jamboree in the Hills," should be given in her honor every year.

The delightful evening of musical theater left audience members "Look(ing) on the Bright Side of Life" with the hilarious antics, clever staging and, of course, the puns and wordplay on display in "Spamalot." Excellent actors and outstanding dancers comprised the cast.


During a recent theater trip to New York City, Wheeling Park High School drama students had an opportunity to meet with Park alumnus Aaron Galligan-Stierle, who has a featured role, that of Monsieur Andre, in the long-running Broadway production of "The Phantom of the Opera."


As noted earlier, another Wheeling Park graduate, Michelle Duffy, will be making her Broadway debut next month.

Duffy, daughter of Laurel Myers and Joe Duffy, both of Wheeling, has been cast in the company of "Leap of Faith," a new Broadway musical opening in April.


Meanwhile, back in the Friendly City, filming has begun for the locally-produced movie, "Random Acts," which is slated for release during the Christmas season.

Filling leading roles in the film are Kevin Sizemore, Claudia Esposito, Terry Kiser, Barrett Carnahan, Emily Capehart, Siomha Kenney, Michael Guy Allen. Jill Whelan, Jennifer Dillon and David William Gray.

Other named cast members are Michael Meredith, Annie Kitral, Robbie Barnes, Angela Blair, Klint Tomlinson, John Williamson, Lou Wegner, Frederick Taylor, Rick Montgomery, Frank D. Wilson, Claire Gomer-Falkov, Ben Watkins, David Cotton, Heidi Wilhelm, Jim Vaughn, Jill Tighe and Erika Toderic.

"Random Acts" is the second film project of Flyover Films and Route 40 Films, the team that produced last year's "Doughboy." Filming began in the Wheeling area Tuesday, March 6.


West Virginia native Xackery Irving has completed his latest film, "Nothing Without You," a psychological thriller shot in Kentucky, New York and his home state.

The movie was shot principally in Louisville, Ky., but Irving said he moved his crew to southern West Virginia and the streets of Charleston to film some of the film's critical scenes.

"Shooting in West Virginia has always been a dream of mine," he said. "The Mountain State affords any filmmaker incredible production value. It was especially rewarding shooting in my home state and we are looking forward to making our next film in West Virginia."

Irving developed the project between television producing assigments for several networks.

His last film, "American Chain Gang," competed as a finalist in a number of film festivals, including the Appalachian Film Festival in West Virginia, before securing international broadcast and DVD distribution. "American Chain Gang" had its Mountain State premiere in Morgantown in 2005.

Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at:

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