NEPA Scene Podcast Episode 23 - Acting in and working on Wilkes-Barre crime drama 'The Barre'


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In Episode 23, we chat with our own Brittany Boote about her experience as an actress and assistant director on “The Barre,” a new crime drama television series set and produced in Wilkes-Barre. We also planned to interview fellow local actor James Callahan, who played the role of Bryan on the show and is well-known in the local music scene, but he had to cancel due to a family emergency. We still manage to have a good conversation and a great time, though, as always. Beer Boys in Wilkes-Barre is hosting a Founders Brewing Company tap takeover, so we drink some crowlers of three of the beers they have on tap during the show - Frootwood, cherry ale and ages it in oak barrels that held both bourbon and maple syrup, Lizard of Koz, a stout brewed with blueberries, chocolate, and vanilla aged in bourbon barrels, and Backwoods Bastard 2015, a bourbon barrel-aged version of its Dirty Bastard scotch ale. They’re very different than the Founders beers we tried last week, but they’re boozy and rich with flavor. We also take a moment to remember Pittston singer Janet Rains, better known as Jane Train, who died just hours earlier from injuries she sustained in a tragic accident in Florida last month that took the life of Adrenaline Mob bassist David Zablidowsky. Whether you knew her from Wilkes-Barre pop rock band M80, her solo work, Headbanger's Ball, Not by Sight, or just as that awesome lady with the bright red hair, Jane was an integral part of the NEPA music scene for many years, so we share some stories about her before we get into the interview. Then we talk about the premiere screening of the first episode of “The Barre” at the River Street Jazz Cafe in Plains Thursday, Aug. 24, how and why Brittany got involved with the show, the authenticity of the scripts, influences from shows like “The Wire,” what she learned as an assistant director, landing the role of Lydia and how she prepared to play a heroin addict, working with the cast and crew from New York, how Wilkes-Barre became an integral part of the series and what it was like filming in familiar areas, the controversy surrounding the production and responding to those who think it will make the city look bad, comparisons to other drug and gangster stories, the story of how James Callahan ended up in his role at the last minute, acting in an anti-drug commercial and auditioning New York City as a kid, how the show helped her deal with the death of her mother, working on TV distribution of the series, Wilkes-Barre’s HBO connection, and more. Additionally, we answer some questions and comments from live viewers and give away free tickets to the see the I Love the 90s Tour at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain on Saturday, Aug. 26 with TLC, Coolio, Tone Loc, Rob Base, and Young MC. The NEPA Scene Podcast covers arts, entertainment, and the issues that matter to Northeastern Pennsylvania. It airs as a live video stream every Wednesday at 7 p.m. on NEPA Scene’s Facebook page and is available afterward on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, YouTube, and This episode and all previous episodes are available now on NEPA Scene, the award-winning independent arts and entertainment website that combines the accuracy and professionalism of a print magazine with the immediacy and convenience of a blog, offering a wide variety of content to readers in NEPA, Philadelphia, New York, and beyond. The show is made possible by local sponsors Beer Boys, The Keys, and the F.M. Kirby Center, Coal Creative, and viewers who tune in every week.

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