Point Park’s Conservatory Theatre Company closes 2013-2014 season with classic Irish comedy, ‘The Playboy of the Western World’

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Preview is April 10, show runs April 11-19 in Rauh Theatre

PITTSBURGHPoint Park University’s Conservatory Theatre Company closes its 2013-2014 season with a production of John Millington Synge’s classic Irish comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, April 11-19 in the Rauh Theatre at the Pittsburgh Playhouse.

Performances will be at 8 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Please note, there will be no performance on Easter, April 20. Instead, there will be a performance at 8 p.m., Wednesday, April 16. Tickets range from $18 to $20 and can be purchased by calling the Pittsburgh Playhouse box office at 412.392.8000 or online at www.pittsburghplayhouse.com. There will be a preview performance at 8 p.m., Thursday, April 10, with tickets discounted at $12. Patrons can take advantage of the “Pay what you will” performance at 2 p.m., Saturday, April 12, subject to availability.

Directed by Kim Martin, The Playboy of the Western World is set in the early 1900s in a country tavern, where Christy Mahon hilariously enjoys his celebrity amongst townsfolk while, unbeknownst to him, the truth will soon be revealed. When this play first appeared on stage in 1907, it started the Playboy Riots in Dublin and, years later, more controversy in its 1911 New York appearance.

Martin has directed The REP’s productions of Becky’s New Car, The Lonesome West, and Mojo. A graduate of Point Park University, Martin has directed, acted in, and stage-managed more than 150 productions. Some favorites include Glengarry Glen Ross, Guys & Dolls, Drinking in America, Deathtrap, The Dumb Waiter, Annie, La Ronde and Three Sisters. Martin is the Director of Production at the Playhouse, and serves as an adjunct faculty member instructing students pursuing a technical theatre degree.

The Conservatory Theatre Company’s production features scenic design by Gianni Downs, costumes by Joan Markert, lighting by Scott Nelson, and sound by Steve Shapiro.

Phipps Celebrates Ancient Tradition with Tropical Forest India Ayurveda and Wellness Festival

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Premier Pittsburgh public garden to offer day of wellness activities free with admission.

Pittsburgh, Pa. — As part of its Tropical Forest Conservatory exhibit highlighting India, one of the most botanically rich regions of Earth, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will present a special Ayurveda and Wellness Festival on April 5, 2014 set against a backdrop of lush plants and exotic flowers, cascading waterfalls, and a serene fish pond in one of Pittsburgh’s most spa-like environments.

Free to attend with regular paid admission to Phipps, the Ayurveda and Wellness Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and feature presentations from local instructors on a variety of wellness-themed topics, family-friendly discovery and activity stations, Indian-inspired food tastings and more.

While visiting for the festival, guests are also encouraged to explore the wonderful and colorful world of the Tropical Forest India exhibit, which includes a spice and tea market display, Ayurvedic healing gardens, a field research station and a gorgeous temple façade. Visitors may also step out onto the terrace and continue their journey into the Center for Sustainable Landscapes, a new addition to the Phipps campus that has emerged as one of the greenest buildings on the planet.

Details on the Ayurveda Wellness Festival are available at phipps.conservatory.org. Phipps admission is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors and students, and $11 for children (2 – 18). Members and kids under 2 enter free. Regular hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and until 10 p.m. Fridays.

About Phipps: Founded in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pa. is a green leader among public gardens with a mission to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse. Learn more: phipps.conservatory.org.

The “Buzz” from Buzzelli – Pittsburgh’s top To-Do’s THIS WEEKEND (3/27 – 3/30)

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by Mike “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant contributor.  

Here are the Top Five Fun Things to do in Pittsburgh the weekend of March 27 to 30. This week we go from being “In the Heights” to being “Grounded,” and I’ll fill in all the blanks along the way.


Hit the Heights

There’s a lot going on at a Washington Heights bodega and the citizens are willing to sing about it. University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Theatre Arts is producing “In the Heights.” Usnavi will tell you all about it.

Come down to the “Heights” at the Charity Randall Theatre, 4301 Forbes Avenue, Oakland.

For more information, go to http://www.play.pitt.edu/content/heights


Bohemian Rhapsody

If the Puerto Ricans from Washington Heights just aren’t downtrodden enough for you, you can see “La Boheme” at the Pittsburgh Opera. It’s the story of two down-and-out artists, Marcello and Rudolpho, having trouble paying the RENT. Puccini beat Jonathan Larson to the story by a century, but it still holds up.

“La Boheme” is at the Pittsburgh Opera, 2425 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh.

Find out more at www.pittsburghopera.org.


Let’s Play Ball

Spring is in the air, and its baseball season. See photographs of baseball history from Pittsburgh legend Teenie Harris. The Carnegie Museum of Art has a fairly straight-forward exhibit titled, “Teenie Harris Photographs: Baseball in Pittsburgh.”  See some of the greatest moments in the Negro League, the Major League and good old-fashioned sandlot baseball from behind the lens of a master.

The exhibit runs all season (till September 22) at the Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh.

For more information, check out www.cmoa.org


On the Ground

A gutsy fighter pilot’s unexpected pregnancy puts her career on hold. When she gets back in the game, flying has a whole new meaning: operating remote-controlled drones in Afghanistan from an air-conditioned trailer near Las Vegas. Hunting terrorists by day and being a wife and mother by night, the pilot’s struggle to navigate her dual identities is her toughest mission.
“Grounded” opens March 29 at the City Theater, 1300 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh.

For more information, go to www.citytheatrecompany.org/play/grounded



Remember Gene Rayburn in Match Game? Joe King is bringing it back to Pittsburgh. He is going to fill in all your blanks at Match Gayme (an added Y for fabulous reasons).  His celebrity panelists are drag queens , Mahogany La Piranah, Lola Le Croix, Anna Steezia and Blade Matthews.  He’s also brining a special guest celebrity, real life Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. So get off your blank and get down there.

Match Gayme is at 9:00 pm Sunday March 29, at Cruze Bar, 1600 Smallman Street, in the Strip.



DIXIE’S TUPPERWARE is back by popular demand at CLO Cabaret

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Pittsburgh, PA • March 24, 2014 –Pittsburgh CLO is pleased to announce the return of the off-Broadway sensation, Dixie’s Tupperware Party, to the CLO Cabaret September 4 – October 12, 2014. Tickets go on sale Thursday, March 27 and start at $34.75.  Purchase tickets online at pittsburghCLO.org, by calling 412-456-6666 or at the Box Office at Theater Square.

About the Show

Not Your Grandmother’s Tupperware Party!
Dixie Longate, the fast-talking Tupperware Lady, packed up her catalogues, left her children in an Alabama trailer park and took Pittsburgh by storm in 2012! Now, join Dixie as she returns to Pittsburgh to throw a good ol’ fashioned Tupperware Party filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, FREE giveaways, audience participation and the most fabulous assortment of Tupperware ever sold on a theater stage. Loaded with the most up-to-date products available for purchase, see for yourself how Ms. Longate became the #1 Tupperware seller in the U.S. & Canada as she educates her guests on the many alternative uses she has discovered for her plastic products!  Recommended for adult audiences.

Group Sales & Special Events

Pittsburgh CLO has designed special group discounts and corporate ticket programs to accommodate any size group.  Interested parties should call Group Sales at 412-325-1582 or email Groups@pittsburghCLO.org to learn more about these fantastic opportunities.

Dixie’s Tupperware Party Performance Schedule

Wednesdays    7:30pm
Thursdays        1:00pm* & 7:30pm * Thursday matinees – 9/25, 10/9
Fridays            7:30pm
Saturdays        2:00pm & 7:30pm
Sundays          2:00pm


Tickets start at $34.75 and are available online at CLO Cabaret.com, by calling 412-456-6666 or at the Box Office at Theater Square. Groups of 10 or more can call the Group Sales Hotline at 412-325-1582 to learn more about special discounts, priority seating and corporate discounts. Visit CLOCabaret.com for more information.

2014 CLO Cabaret Series

Dixie’s Tupperware Party joins the world premiere of Judge Jackie Justice, Now – April 27 and Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash, May 22 – August 17  to complete the 2014 Cabaret Series.  Three-Show Cabaret Series Subscriptions are on sale now and can be purchased for $100 by calling 412-281-2822. 

Media members may also access photos and other show materials by visiting the Press Room at pittsburghCLO.org. When prompted, simply enter “pressroom” as the username and “pittstadium” as the password.

The REP presents Hollywood satire, ‘By the Way, Meet Vera Stark’

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Directed by Tomé Cousin, show previews March 20, runs March 21- April 6 at Pittsburgh Playhouse.  Photo by Jeff Swensen.

PITTSBURGH – The REP, Point Park University’s professional theatre company, continues its compelling 2013-2014 season with Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage’s Hollywood satire, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark.

Directed by Tome’ Cousin, the show previews Thursday, March 20, and runs Friday, March 21 – Sunday, April 6, in the Studio Theatre at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, 222 Craft Ave. Performances are 8 p.m., Thursday – Saturday, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets range from $24 to $27; preview tickets are $15. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Pittsburgh Playhouse box office at 412.392.8000, or online at www.pittsburghplayhouse.com. Patrons can take advantage of the “Pay what you will” performance at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 22, subject to availability. New in 2013-2014, The REP’s Talkback series, where the audience is invited to stay after the performance and discuss the show, has been moved to the matinee performance on the second Saturday of every show. For By The Way, Meet Vera Stark, the Talkback session will be held after the 2 p.m. performance on Saturday, March 29.

Vera Stark is a budding actress in an era where the only roles for African-American women are maids. When she is cast in the same Southern epic as her employer, an aging star grasping at her dwindling career, sparks fly. By the Way, Meet Vera Stark is a hilarious satire of race in the glamorous days of Old Hollywood.

The REP’s production of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark features Maria Becoates-Bey as Vera Stark, Kelly Trumbull as Gloria Mitchell, Bria Walker as Lottie/Carmen, Corinne Scott as Anna Mae/Afua Assata Ejobo, Tru Verret-Fleming as Leroy Barksdale/Herb Forrester, Jeff Howell as Fredrick Slasvick/Brad Donovan, and Andy Kirtland as Maxmillian Von Oster/Peter Rhys-Davies. Scenic design by Britton Mauk, lighting by Andrew David Ostrowski, sound design by Steve Shapiro, and costumes by Don DiFonso. Caitlin Roper is the stage manager.

Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined premiered at Manhattan Theatre Club and Goodman Theatre (OBIE, Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Audelco, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play).  She won the 2010 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, Horton Foote Prize for Outstanding New American Play (Ruined), and Helen Hayes Award (Ruined). Her other honors include the 2007 MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant, National Black Theatre Festival’s August Wilson Playwriting Award, 2005 Guggenheim Grant for Playwriting, and the 2004 PEN/Laura Pels Award for Drama.

Point Park University graduate Tome’ Cousin is an internationally recognized director, choreographer, educator, performer and creator of musical theater works, ballets, films, new opera, song cycles and art installations, as well as a published author. Cousin has appeared on Broadway in ContactA Free Man of Color, and Dreamgirls, national tours of DreamgirlsMy One and Only, and A Chorus Line, and internationally in Bob Fosse’s Sweet Charity (Switzerland), The Who’s TommyLa Cage aux FollesStarlight Express, and Tabaluga und Lilli (Germany). He serves as the directing supervisor for original director/choreographer Susan Stroman’s Tony Award-winning musical Contact, having staged 12 companies worldwide including premieres in Hungary, Korea and Poland. In 2007-2008, he directed the revival of the Susan Stroman, David Thompson, Harry Connick Jr. musical, Thou Shalt Not, at the Pittsburgh Playhouse. Last season, he co-directed/co-authored the workshop revival of June Havoc’s Marathon 33 (M33), at the Pittsburgh Playhouse. Cousin teaches at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama and has been commissioned by the estate of the famed Harlem Renaissance photographer James VanDerZee to create and direct an original new multimedia opera based on his life and works.

Carnegie Carnegie hosts homage to Pete Seeger

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Ferla-Marcinizyn Guitar Duo at Carnegie Carnegie Hall with contralto Daphne Alderson

The Ferla-Marcinizyn Guitar Duo will perform at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall on Monday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m.  The concert will feature special guest Daphne Alderson and conclude with homage to legendary folk singer, activist and song writer Pete Seeger.  Seeger died on January 27 of this year at the age of 94.

Jim Ferla and John Marcinizyn have been performing together since­­­­­­­­­ 1989. Their repertoire spans five centuries and includes music by traditional and contemporary composers as well as folk, jazz, and popular arrangements.  They have performed throughout the United States as both soloists and ensemble players, including at the Smithsonian, the University of Akron, Arizona State, the Chautauqua Institution, Oberlin College, Florida State University, New York University, and Notre Dame. The have been heard on NPR, Voice of America, USIA, Chukyo TV-Nagayo, Japan, and locally on WQED-FM.

The Duo will be joined by frequent collaborator contralto Daphne Alderson.  Daphne Alderson’s diverse, eclectic career as lyric contralto includes opera, oratorio, chamber music and cabaret throughout the United States, Canada and Italy.  She performed two world premieres for the Library & Music Hall’s annual benefit: Songs that Oscar Taught Me (2009) and All Judy, All Heart (2010), tributes to Oscar Hammerstein, II and Judy Garland respectively.

“It’s really wonderful to come back to the Carnegie.  It’s such a beautiful hall, and I look forward to being mostly unplugged!” said Alderson.

“Those of us who had the privilege of hearing Daphne sign at Carnegie Carnegie Hall are thrilled to welcome her back,” says Executive Director Maggie Forbes.  “And I am blown away by the eclectic program that Jim, John and Daphne have put together for March 31!”

The program includes works ranging from virtuoso classical guitar pieces to French Renaissance and Portuguese art songs to traditional English folk songs to works by John Lennon, Hoagy Carmichael, an original composition by John Marcinizyn, as well as the tribute to Pete Seeger.

In addition to their extensive performance careers all three musicians are committed educators.  Ferla teaches guitar at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh; Marcinizyn, who also plays the banjo teaches guitar and composition at Carnegie Mellon and Seton Hill University and also teaches a class on slide guitar techniques at the Duquesne University Guitar and Bass Summer Workshop.  Alderson, who is married to Marcinizyn, teaches voice at Seton-Hill University.

The Ferla-Marcinizyn Guitar Duo is the penultimate concert in the ACFL&MH’s 2013-2014 Listen Locally series.  Matt Murchison Mutiny (euphonium, flute, piano, bass, and drums) will perform the final concert on of the season on April 28.

Tickets for the Listen Locally are $15 and may be purchased in advance at the ACFL&MH during library hours or at the box office the night of the concert.  A reception with the musicians follows the concert.  Please visit www.carnegiecarnegie.org  or call 412-276-3456 for more information.


Listen Locally

at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall

The Ferla-Marcinizyn Guitar Duo

With Daphne Alderson, Contralto


Nowhere Man (1965)                                               John Lennon (1940-1980)

Dance of the Corregidor                            Manuel De Falla (1876-1946)

La Vida Breve

Trovas (Ballads)                                           Francisco de Lacerda  (1869-1934)

Em Cima Do Alto Monte

Nem de Chorar Sou Senhora

Quando Tu Abres Os Olhos

O Amor E Como A Sombra

Silhouette                                                     John Marcinizyn (b.1963)

Lo Que Vendra                                             Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)

Tango I




Tant que vivray                                            Claude de Sermissy (1490-1562) 

Que ne puis-je la fougere                          Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736)       

Scarborough Fair                                         Traditional English

Anthem                                                         Ralph Towner (b. 1940)

G Blues                                                          Joe Pass (1929-1994)

I found a new baby                                      Jack Palmer (1900-1976)/Spencer Williams (1889-1965)

Where Have All The Flowers Gone                      Pete Seeger (1919-2014)

We Shall Overcome

Turn, Turn, Turn

City Theatre presents 2012 Smith Prize Winner GROUNDED

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“Gripping” —The New York Times

“A searing piece of writing”—The Guardian

“Compelling and provocative” —San Francisco Chronicle

Directed by Jenn Thompson

March 29 – May 4, 2014

PITTSBURGH, PA (March 17, 2014)—City Theatre continues its 2013-2014 season with Grounded, a high-intensity drama by George Brant. Directed by Jenn Thompson, Grounded runs from March 29 to May 4, 2014 in City Theatre’s Hamburg Studio, with an Opening Night performance on Friday, April 4 at 8pm.

This powerful one-woman show follows a gutsy fighter pilot whose unexpected pregnancy puts her career on hold. When she gets back in the game, flying has a whole new meaning: operating remote-controlled drones in Afghanistan from an air-conditioned trailer near Las Vegas. Hunting terrorists by day and being a wife and mother by night, the pilot’s struggle to navigate her dual identities is her toughest mission yet.

Grounded is a riveting drama filled with powerful storytelling about the dualities of war and family,” says Tracy Brigden, City Theatre’s Artistic Director. “Both relevant and original, George Brant’s award-winning script tackles issues of surveillance, drones, and the ambiguities of warfare in the twenty-first century. This vivid play demands a strong female actor who can own the show, and we’re thrilled to welcome Kelly McAndrew back to perform. Last seen at City in Precious Little, Kelly embraces commanding roles with intensity and authenticity.”

Kelly McAndrew returns to City Theatre, having last been seen in 2011’s Precious Little. Most recently she has been seen Off-Broadway in Almost, Maine (Transport Group) and Good Television (Atlantic Theatre Company). On Broadway, she played Maggie the Cat in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Additional Off-Broadway credits include: Still Life (MCC), The Cataract (The Women’s Project), and Book of Days (Signature Theatre). Other New York theatre credits include: My California (Here Arts), Greedy (Clubbed Thumb), Topsy Turvey Mouse (Cherry Lane Mentor Project), Trout Stanley (Culture Project), Lyric is Waiting (kef productions). Recent regional credits include: Other Desert Cities (The Guthrie), Good People (Pittsburgh Public), August: Osage CountyAlive and Well, Dividing the Estate, and Sight Unseen (The Old Globe). Other regional theaters include: ART, Huntington, Cincinnati Playhouse, Denver Center, Shakespeare on the Sound, Arena Stage, Baltimore Centre Stage. TV: “Smash,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Gossip Girl.” Film: Appropriate Behavior (Sundance 2014), In the Family (2011 SPIRIT nomination), Everybody’s Fine (with Robert DeNiro), SuperheroesNew Guy, Out of the Darkness. Training: UMKC. Member: TACT.

George Brant’s plays include Elephant’s Graveyard, The Mourners’ Bench, Any Other Name, Salvage, Grizzly Mama, Three Voyages of the Lobotomobile, and Dark Room. A Core Writer at the Playwright’s Center, his scripts have been produced internationally by Trinity Repertory Company, the Studio Theatre, the Gate Theatre of London, Cleveland Play House, Page 73, and the Traverse Theatre, among others. He has received a Kennedy Center National Playwriting Award, the Smith Prize, an Edinburgh Fringe First Award, a Creative Workforce Fellowship, an NNPN Rolling World Premiere, two OAC Individual Excellence Awards, and the Keene Prize for Literature. He has been awarded writing fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the McCarter Theatre Center, Blue Mountain Center, the Djerassi Resident Artist’s Program, and the Michener Center for Writers. He is published by Samuel French, Oberon Books, and Smith & Kraus.

Grounded features Kelly McAndrew as the Pilot. The creative team includes Anne Mundell (Scenic), Sabrina Zain (Costume), Martin Vreeland (Lighting), Toby Algya (Sound), and Larry Shea (Projections).



By George Brant
Directed by Jenn Thompson

When: March 29 – May 4, 2014

Preview Schedule

Saturday, March 29 at 5:30pm

Sunday, March 30 at 7pm

Tuesday, April 1 at 7pm

Wednesday, April 2 at 7pm

Thursday, April 3 at 8pm


Friday, April 4 at 8pm

Regular Run Schedule

Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7pm

Thursdays and Fridays at 8pm

Saturdays at 5:30 and 9pm

Sundays at 2pm

Weekday matinees will be performed on Wednesday, April 9 and Wednesday, April 16 at 1pm.

There will be no performances on Wednesday, April 30 and Thursday, May 1.

Where: City Theatre, 1300 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (South Side)

Tickets: $35 to $55

Box Office: 412.431.CITY (2489) or citytheatrecompany.org

Audiences under 30 may reserve $15 tickets in advance for all performances except Fridays 8pm and Saturdays 5:30pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, rush tickets are available two hours prior to show time and based on availability.

Seniors age 62 and older may purchase $22 rush tickets at the Box Office beginning two hours before show time. Based on availability.

Groups of 10 or more are eligible for discounts.  Call Kari Shaffer at 412.431.4400 x286.

As a participating Blue Star Theatre, City Theatre offers 25% off to U.S. military personnel, veterans, and their immediate families. Inquire for details.

City Theatre is now in its 39th season. Located on Pittsburgh’s historic South Side, City Theatre specializes in new plays, commissioning and producing work by playwrights including Daniel Beaty, Jessica Dickey, Christopher Durang, Michael Hollinger, Willy Holtzman, Tarell McCraney, and Theresa Rebeck. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Tracy Brigden, Managing Director Mark R. Power, and a 45-member Board of Directors, City Theatre’s mission is to provide an artistic home for the development and production of contemporary plays of substance and ideas that engage and challenge a diverse audience.  CityTheatreCompany.org

The “Buzz” from Buzzelli: Pittsburgh’s Top To-Do’s THIS WEEKEND (3/20 – 3/23)

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by Michael Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant contributor.

Get Dirty Earlier

Every year, Attack Theater hosts THE event of the season, The Dirty Ball.  It’s not until April 12, but you can get dirty earlier by going to the Kick Off for the Dirty Ball at a Happy Hour with Attack Theatre at the Up Modern Kitchen on Tuesday March 18th.

Up-Modern Kitchen is located at 5500 Walnut Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15232

For more information go to www.attacktheatre.com


Grown Man Business

Pittsburgh Comedian Aaron Kleiber will be “Talking Shop” with Brian Gray on the eponymous podcast. Kleiber recently made his national television debut on “Gotham Comedy Live,” but is known locally as for his multiple film roles (P.S. He’s hilarious in “Escape from Saint Quentin’s”), his comedy hosting skills (Monday’s at Pleasure Bar, Wednesday’s at the BeerHive…etc.) and his extremely funny concert film DVD (“Grown Man Business”).

Listen to him yuk it up with improviser and talk show host Brian Gray in a live recording of the “Talking Shop” podcast Thursday, March 20 at the Arcade Comedy Theater at 8:00. The event is only five dollars! Five dollars!

For more information, go to www.arcadecomedytheater.com


Hollywood Un-glamourized

It’s 30’s Hollywood and it’s tough out there for actresses of color. Lynn Nottage’s “By the way, Meet Vera Stark” is a hilarious satire about race set in the glamorous days of Old Hollywood.

“By the way, Meet Vera Stark” opens Friday, March 21 at the Studio Theater at Point Park University’s Pittsburgh Playhouse.

For more information, head to www.pittsburghplayhouse.com


By the way, Meet Annette Dashofy

Celebrate the debut of the Zoe Chambers Mystery Series, “Circle of Influence” at the Mystery Lover’s Bookshop in Oakmont. Dashofy is a former member of the staff at the Mystery Lover’s Bookshop. She’s about to go from stocking the shelves to flying off the shelves. Come meet the Pittsburgh mystery writer on Saturday March 22 before she goes on a national tour!

You can find out more about the book, the author and the store at http://www.mysterylovers.com/books/events/20140322dashofy.php


Not in Kansas Anymore

Things get even weirder for Dorothy Gale. Turns out Dottie Gale (Adrienne Fischer) is really in a mental institution and meets three lunatics each representing the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion.  Rage of the Stage Players presents the “Wizard of Oz” with a darkly comic twist.

Playwright James Michael Shoberg might be on his own acid trip when he wrote this popular play. It returns to Off the Wall Theater for a second time.

You can find Off the Wall Theater at 25 W. Main Street, Carnegie. For more information go to www.insideoffthewall.com/archives/1691


– MB.


“The Gods Must Be Crazy” – review of AN ILIAD at Pittsburgh Public Theater

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by Michael Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant contributor

A one man show is a lot like eating an apple. If the first bite is mushy and tasteless, you’re stuck with it. It’s not going to get any better. The Pittsburgh Public Theater’s production of “An Iliad” is a crisp, clean bite. More than that, its ambrosia; it is the food of the gods.

The one man show rests on the shoulders of one performer, Teagle F. Bougere (always use the middle initial to distinguish him from all the other Teagle Bourgere’s out there). Luckily, Bougere has broad shoulders.

“An Iliad” was written by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare, with a little help from Homer.


Teagle F. Bougere as The Poet in AN ILIAD.  Photo:  Pittsburgh Public Theater.

Homer is known by one name (like Cher). He may not have even been a real person, but the Iliad is attributed to the storyteller, real or fictitious.  Peterson is a real, she is the former resident director to Los Angeles’ Mark Taper Forum.  O’Hare is also a real, but he is best known for his fictitious identities such as the Vampire King of Mississippi, Russell Edgington, in television’s “True Blood,” and Dr. Sevard from the Oscar-nominated “Dallas Buyers Club.”

The playwriting duo worked from Robert Fagles translation of the Iliad, an epic poem of the horrors of war, written with lyrical beauty. Metaphors spill out like the blood of a freshly-stabbed Trojan soldier.

The show is directed by Jesse Berger, Artistic Director of NYC’s Red Bull Theater, and known to Pittsburgh audiences as the director of “Circle Mirror Transformation” and some other Public shows. Drachmas to donuts, “An Iliad” will be a defining moment in his career.

“An Iliad” is a story of war and remembrance. It’s a story of heroes and villains. Actually, it’s the story of the Olympian gods playing chess with living pieces. All the mortals suffer with trauma and grief, pain and death.  The gods are most definitely crazy.

It begins on a near-barren stage. It looks like the Production Stage Manager, Fred Noel, and Assistant Stage Manager, Kelly Haywood, weren’t finished constructing the set. The Poet (Bougere) trod on a, dare I say, Spartan stage. After a while, the seemingly random location, a dilapidated warehouse, becomes an integral centerpiece.

Before he recants his tale, he invokes the Muses, and bids them to aid him in the telling of his story. After seeing the entirety of the play, it can be easily assumed that the Muses smiled upon him.

The Iliad is an epic poem, a story about the final days of the nine-year Trojan War. The protagonist does not take sides. He talks of heroes both Trojan and Greek; the virtuous Achilles and righteous Hector.

Our poet does not speak in dactylic hexameter, but the modern cadence of an American storyteller like Spalding Gray. This version of the Iliad is more Moth than myth. It’s both funny and tragic in a way all good stories are.

There is a long moment when the Poet recites the names of wars fought around the globe. It’s a somber diatribe about the human condition. It seems to go on for far too long, and then you realize, that’s exactly the point. Wars go on and on, from the sea of Troy to the French-Indian War, the Korean War, to Afghanistan and back again; a continual battle drum beating rhythmically as steady, constant and unknowable as the human heart.

The play is history and literature combined with masterful stagecraft. It is a stunning performance. Bougere is amazing, transforming into warriors, kings, gods and goddesses before your eyes.  His Achilles is a commanding force of nature; his Priam is grief-stricken old man; his Hermes is fleet and fey. It is a song that should be sung in schools, educational and dramatic; a great work for the ages.

Go to “An Iliad” and let the Poet take you on a sensual odyssey.

“An Iliad” runs from April 6 at the O’Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA.

For more information, tickets and pricing contact the Pittsburgh Public Theater at www.ppt.org

iliad021 Teagle F. Bougere as The Poet in AN ILIAD.  Photo:  Pittsburgh Public Theater. 

Lidia’s Italy Pittsburgh and Wigle Whiskey join forces for pairing dinner

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On Tuesday March 25, 2014 Lidia’s Italy Pittsburgh will present a 4-course Wigle Whiskey Pairing Dinner with their Strip District neighbors, Wigle Whiskey. Executive Chef Jeremy Voytish has prepared a menu featuring classic Italian dishes to be paired with the many nuances of various locally distilled whiskeys.

WATCH/LISTEN: ‘Burgh Vivant’s interview with Executive Chef of Lidia’s Italy Pittsburgh, Jeremy Voytish.

Reservations required. $48 per person plus taxes and gratuities. 

Antipasti:  Gorgonzola stuffed Arancine with shaved Proscuitto San Danielle, extra virgin olive oil.  PAIRING: Ginever – Double Barrel Negroni

Primi:  Bucatini all’Amatriciana, bucatini pasta, crushed tomatoes, smoked bacon.  PAIRING: Wheat – Aged, Neat

Secondo:  Grilled Lamb Scottadito, spinach and herb spaetzel, whiskey balsamic reduction.  PAIRING: Rye – Aged, Rocks

Dolci:  Sicilian Cassata Cake, Landlocked rum soaked cake, sweet ricotta & pistachio crema, chocolate rum pastry cream, candied orange.  PAIRING: Rum – Hot Rum Cider

Reservations may be made by calling 412.552.0150

WATCH/LISTEN: ‘Burgh Vivant’s interview with chef, restauranteur, and author Lidia Bastianich.