Friday, December 30, 2016

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Gets Pittsburgh Premiere



In Pittsburgh, THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME premieres at Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, January 3-7, 2017, as part of the  2016-2017 PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Symphony, and Broadway Across America.

Fifteen-year old Christopher has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life.  When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever.

Performances are Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Friday evening at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.  On Wednesday, January 4, at 6:30 p.m. PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh patrons are invited to join a free pre-show talk, Know The Show Before You Go, held at the Trust Arts Education Center, 805-807 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.  For more information visit: www.TrustArts.org/KnowTheShow.

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME on Broadway is the
recipient of five Tony Awards including Best Play, six Drama Desk Awards including
Outstanding Play, five Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding New Broadway Play and the Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play.

The production was named among the Top 10 productions of 2014 by amNY, Associated Press, Bergen Record, Broadway.com, Broadway Insider, Chicago Tribune, Daily News, Deadline, Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood Reporter, Huffington Post, New York Magazine, New York Post, NY-1, The New York Times, Playbill, Star Ledger, Time Magazine, Time Out New York and Towleroad.

The production is designed by Tony Award-winner Bunny Christie and Tony Award-winning video designer Finn Ross, with lighting by Tony Award-winner Paule Constable, choreography by Scott Graham and Olivier Award-winner Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, music by Adrian Sutton, sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph and hair and wig design by David Brian Brown. Casting is by Daniel Swee and Cindy Tolan.

CURIOUS INCIDENT transferred to London’s West End, following a sold-out run at the National’s Cottesloe Theatre in 2012. The production received seven 2013 Olivier Awards, including Best New Play and continues to play to sold-out houses at the Gielgud Theatre in London.

A UK Tour launched in 2014 and a second UK tour will embark in February of 2017.

CURIOUS INCIDENT, now the longest running play on Broadway in more than 10 years, opened on October 5, 2014 at the Barrymore Theatre, winning five Tony Awards including Best Play, six Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Play, five Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding Production of a Broadway Play and the Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or off-Broadway Play.

“Truly Amazing. It’s more than brilliant. I have never seen anything like it.” –David Richardson, NPR

“EXTRAORDINARY. A DEMONSTRATION OF THE POWER OF THEATER TO
TRANSPORT US. A play that works on every level – CROWD-PLEASING, EYE-
OPENING, LIFE-AFFIRMING and UNMISSABLE.” – Richard Zoglin, Time Magazine
“EXTRAORDINARY, INVENTIVE, HIGHLY ORIGINAL and DEEPLY ENGAGING.” – Elysa Gardner, USA Today

“A tremendously exciting demonstration of the power of theatre. A reflection on truth, on the ways in which we look at the world, and on the magic of theatrical storytelling.” – David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter.

For tickets, phone 412-392-4900 or visit trustarts.org.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

PSO Kicks Off New Year with Finnish conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste

Jukka-Pekka Saraste Credit: Courtesy Photo


Acclaimed Finnish conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste returns to Heinz Hall for the first time since 1999 to lead the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Seventh and Sibelius’ Fifth symphonies during the BNY Mellon Grand Classics weekend on January 13 and 15.

First performed in 1813, the remarkable, energetic Seventh Symphony from Beethoven was met with immediate acclaim and, over the years, many different interpretations of its meaning, including a recent critically acclaimed recording from the Pittsburgh Symphony on the Reference Recordings Fresh! label.

Composed a little more than 100 years after Beethoven’s symphony, Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5 premiered in celebration of the composer’s 50th birthday in 1915. The work opens with a four-note theme in the horns that is developed seamlessly throughout, expanding into an exhilarating rush of energy to the end.

A pre-concert talk, open to all ticketholders and led by Assistant Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong, will occur on stage one hour before each concert.
Program notes for the weekend are available online at pittsburghsymphony.org/Seven and on the PSO mobile app the day of the concert.

The Youth Chamber Connection ensemble will perform in the Grand Lobby beginning one hour prior to the concert start on Sunday, January 15. This performance is free to ticketholders.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. on Friday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets, ranging in price from $20 to $94, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or visiting pittsburghsymphony.org/Seven.

JUKKA-PEKKA SARASTE has established himself as one of the outstanding conductors of his generation, demonstrating remarkable musical depth and integrity.

Born in Heinola, Finland, he began his career as a violinist before training as a conductor with Jorma Panula at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. An artist of exceptional versatility and breadth, Saraste feels a special affinity with the sound and style of late Romantic music. Equally, he maintains a strong connection with the music of our time, such as that of Dutilleux, Lindberg, Salonen and Saariaho, among others. He recently conducted world premieres by Wolfgang Rihm, Friedrich Cerha, Pascal Dusapin, Philippe Schoeller and Carmine Emanuele Cella.

Saraste has served as chief conductor of the WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne, since 2010. In April 2015, he extended his contract until the 2018-2019 season. He was music director and chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra from 2006 to 2013, and at the end of his tenure there was made conductor laureate, the very first such title bestowed by that orchestra. His previous positions have included BBC Symphony Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He founded the Finnish Chamber Orchestra, of which he is still artistic advisor, and the orchestra´s annual Tammisaari Festival, of which he is artistic director.

His guest engagements have led him to the major orchestras worldwide, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris and the leading Scandinavian orchestras, among others. In the United States, he has conducted the Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic.

Saraste´s extensive discography includes the complete symphonies of Sibelius and Nielsen with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has made a number of critically acclaimed recordings for Toronto Symphony Orchestra of works by Bartók, Dutilleux, Mussorgsky and Prokofiev for Warner Finlandia, most notably a recording of Dutilleux’s Second Symphony. His recordings of Mahler´s Sixth Symphony with the Oslo Philharmonic and Mahler´s Ninth Symphony with the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne have received widespread acknowledgement. His recordings with WDR Symphony Orchestra for Hänssler have earned him high critical praise, and include Schoenberg’s Pelleas and Melisande, Stravinsky’s The Firebird, Brahms’ Symphonies No. 1 and 3 as well as Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.

Saraste has received the Pro Finlandia Prize, the Sibelius Medal, and the Finnish State Prize for Music. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from York University, Toronto and an honorary doctorate from the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki.
Acclaimed Finnish conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste returns to Heinz Hall for the first time since 1999 to lead the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Seventh and Sibelius’ Fifth symphonies during the BNY Mellon Grand Classics weekend on January 13 and 15.

First performed in 1813, the remarkable, energetic Seventh Symphony from Beethoven was met with immediate acclaim and, over the years, many different interpretations of its meaning, including a recent critically acclaimed recording from the Pittsburgh Symphony on the Reference Recordings Fresh! label.

Composed a little more than 100 years after Beethoven’s symphony, Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5 premiered in celebration of the composer’s 50th birthday in 1915. The work opens with a four-note theme in the horns that is developed seamlessly throughout, expanding into an exhilarating rush of energy to the end.

A pre-concert talk, open to all ticketholders and led by Assistant Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong, will occur on stage one hour before each concert.
Program notes for the weekend are available online at pittsburghsymphony.org/Seven and on the PSO mobile app the day of the concert.

The Youth Chamber Connection ensemble will perform in the Grand Lobby beginning one hour prior to the concert start on Sunday, January 15. This performance is free to ticketholders.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. on Friday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets, ranging in price from $20 to $94, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or visiting pittsburghsymphony.org/Seven.

JUKKA-PEKKA SARASTE has established himself as one of the outstanding conductors of his generation, demonstrating remarkable musical depth and integrity.

Born in Heinola, Finland, he began his career as a violinist before training as a conductor with Jorma Panula at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. An artist of exceptional versatility and breadth, Saraste feels a special affinity with the sound and style of late Romantic music. Equally, he maintains a strong connection with the music of our time, such as that of Dutilleux, Lindberg, Salonen and Saariaho, among others. He recently conducted world premieres by Wolfgang Rihm, Friedrich Cerha, Pascal Dusapin, Philippe Schoeller and Carmine Emanuele Cella.

Saraste has served as chief conductor of the WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne, since 2010. In April 2015, he extended his contract until the 2018-2019 season. He was music director and chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra from 2006 to 2013, and at the end of his tenure there was made conductor laureate, the very first such title bestowed by that orchestra. His previous positions have included BBC Symphony Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He founded the Finnish Chamber Orchestra, of which he is still artistic advisor, and the orchestra´s annual Tammisaari Festival, of which he is artistic director.

His guest engagements have led him to the major orchestras worldwide, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris and the leading Scandinavian orchestras, among others. In the United States, he has conducted the Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic.

Saraste´s extensive discography includes the complete symphonies of Sibelius and Nielsen with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has made a number of critically acclaimed recordings for Toronto Symphony Orchestra of works by Bartók, Dutilleux, Mussorgsky and Prokofiev for Warner Finlandia, most notably a recording of Dutilleux’s Second Symphony. His recordings of Mahler´s Sixth Symphony with the Oslo Philharmonic and Mahler´s Ninth Symphony with the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne have received widespread acknowledgement. His recordings with WDR Symphony Orchestra for Hänssler have earned him high critical praise, and include Schoenberg’s Pelleas and Melisande, Stravinsky’s The Firebird, Brahms’ Symphonies No. 1 and 3 as well as Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.

Saraste has received the Pro Finlandia Prize, the Sibelius Medal, and the Finnish State Prize for Music. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from York University, Toronto and an honorary doctorate from the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Cirque Dreasms Holidaze - A Seasonal Winner

Cirque Dreams Holidaze


Cirque Dreams Holidaze lights up the 2016 holiday season with its critically acclaimed holiday extravaganza. Not to be missed…this circus-like holiday stage spectacular features ornaments, costumes and acrobatics that come alive celebrating holiday themes, music and traditions for the entire family. With over 300 costumes, 20 acts and 30 artists from every corner of the globe, Cirque Dreams Holidaze is the greatest variety show on the planet!

CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE, directed and conceived by critically acclaimed director Neil Goldberg, lights up the 2015 holiday season with its newest holiday stage spectacular and returns to the Benedum Center, Tuesday, December 29, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday, December 30, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. and 8 p.m.  This show is produced by Cirque Productions.

From the creators of the groundbreaking Broadway hit CIRQUE DREAMS JUNGLE FANTASY, CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE is “so full of energy it could end our dependence on oil” according to The New York Daily News and “a delicious confection of charm, sparkle and talent by the sleigh load.”

This is a show not to be missed…it’s a cirque show…Broadway musical…holiday spectacular…and family show all in one.

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle raves, “Even the Grinch would be impressed with this Christmas wonderland.”  “Stuffed with so much holiday cheer and audacious acts, Scrooge would exit with a big ol’ smile on his face,” hails the Erie Times News about this “Broadway-worthy spectacle.”

“The perfect way to come in from the cold, forget the holiday stresses and find the magic of the season” proclaims The Oakland Press. Don’t miss this international sensation that “Dazzled…at The Kennedy Center” according to The Washington Post.

In CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE, Broadway director Neil Goldberg re-imagines the holiday season with over 300 costumes, 20 acts and 30 performers from 12 countries showcasing an endless variety of imaginative, heart-pounding and gravity- defying feats you have to see to believe.
Experience gingerbread men flipping mid-air, toy soldiers marching on thin wires along with snowmen, icemen and penguins, balancing, jumping and spinning in disbelief.  The show celebrates the most wonderful time of the year with singers, choreography and exciting production numbers.
Performers twirl, bounce and soar thru the air to original music and seasonal favorites brought to life within a stage setting of gigantic gifts, colossal candy canes and 30-foot towering trees & soldiers creating a wonderland of amazement.

Says Creator/Director Goldberg, “CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE celebrates our brand of over 20 years with this unique holiday stage spectacle for the entire family.  There aren’t enough shows today where mom and dad can bring the kids and grandparents, make it a date night, fun time for teens and entertain so many generations with…‘how did they do that’, ‘wow’ and ‘amazing’.  This show has something for everyone.”

Tickets are on sale for CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE performances ($39.75-$59.75) and available for purchase at TrustArts.org, by calling 412-456-6666, or in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue.

CIRQUE DREAMS and Neil Goldberg
Over 50 million people have experienced a Cirque Dreams show in theatres, casinos, theme parks, cruise lines, and on Broadway.  Now in its 22nd Year, Cirque Dreams shows have garnered the praise of critics around the country from USA Today, Associated Press and The New York Times to CNN, Today Show and Fox & Friends.
Producer and Director Neil Goldberg has been declared “One of today’s leading theatrical impresarios” by The LA Times and “Uniquely ingenious” by the New York Daily News.  The Cirque Dreams franchise is a globally recognized entertainment brand including, Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, Cirque Dreams Rocks, Cirque Dreams Holidaze, Cirque Dreams Unwrapped at Gaylord Palms Orlando Resort and Cirque Dreams & Dinner onboard Norwegian Cruise Line.  For more information, visit www.cirqueproductions.com.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Carnegie Library in Carnegie Hosts Civil War Events

Timothy (center left) & Thomas Calahan (center right). Credit: Ronn Palm’s Museum
of Civil War Images, Gettysburg, Pa.

Those with an interest in the Civil War might want to take advantage of the series of four events scheduled at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library, 300 Beechwood Ave in Carnegie. The library is home to the Capt. Thomas Espy Post 153 of the Grand Army of the Republic, the best preserved and most intact GAR post in the United States

January 14, 2017 - 1:00 p.m. Speaker is Rea Redd. Topic is "Of Altars and Amputations; Gettysburg's Churches Become Battlefield Hospitals" takes you on a tour of the borough and its churches which, during the battle and the aftermath held thousands of wounded soldiers and dozens of nurses and doctors.  This event is free of charge and no reservation is necessary.

February 11, 2017 - 1:00 p.m. Speaker is Kathleen Logothetis Thompson. Topic is "To the Breaking Point: the Toll of War on the Civil War Soldier." The toll of war ranges from physical injury and exhaustion to mental trauma. This presentation examines the experience of war for the Civil War soldier and the impact of those experiences on the individual. This event is free of charge and no reservation is needed.

March 18, 2017 - Civil War Symposium 8:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Two morning lectures and two afternoon lectures, includes hot buffet lunch. Download the brochure at www.carnegiecarnegie.org. There is a fee to attend the symposium. Register online.

April 8, 2017 - Civil War Living History Day 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. This event is free.

Lectures, re-enactors, tours of Chartiers Cemetery and the Capt. Thomas Espy Room. Check our website for more details to follow.


For more information call Diane Klinefelter, 412-276-3456, ext. 9.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Toulouse-Lautrec's Iconic Wioks Coming to the Phillips Collection

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Jane Avril, 1893. Private Collection


In a special exhibition opening on February 4 in our nation's capital, The Phillips Collection presents an extraordinary selection of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s iconic and rare printed works from nearly the entire period of his lithographic career (1891–1899). An inaugural collaboration with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), Toulouse-Lautrec Illustrates the Belle Époque assembles, for the first time in the United States, close to 100 defining images of late-19th-century Montmartre, drawn from one of the leading collections of prints and posters by Toulouse-Lautrec.

The son of a wealthy noble family from Albi, France, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901) is best known for capturing the heart of Parisian nightlife in dynamic cabaret and dance hall scenes inspired by the city’s burgeoning entertainment district. After training with academic painters in Paris, he established a studio in bohemian Montmartre and was regularly seen at lively hot spots like the Chat Noir, the Mirliton, and the Moulin Rouge. His impressions of these local amusements fashioned a portrait of modern life. 

Toulouse-Lautrec’s arrival in Paris also coincided with both revival and innovation in the technology of color lithography. The sheer scale of the posters plastered around the city transformed Paris into an open air exhibition, while limited-edition lithographs and print albums designed for the home catered to collectors. This exhibition highlights Toulouse-Lautrec’s embrace of printmaking and his experiments with the medium that revolutionized the field. 

“I am delighted for the Phillips to exhibit such a rich collection of printed works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who forever changed and shaped the art of lithography,” said Director Dorothy Kosinski. “This is a rare opportunity to see such a large collection that captures a defining moment in the artist’s printmaking career on view in the United States.”

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1893 Jane Avril. Private Collection
Included in the special exhibition at the Phillips is Toulouse-Lautrec’s first lithograph, the poster Moulin Rouge, La Goulue (1891), which made him an overnight success. Produced in some 3,000 impressions, the poster’s massive scale, fragmented forms, compressed pictorial space, and range of colors broke new ground.

By presenting this significant work alongside a unique trial proof in black and white, the exhibition provides a glimpse into the artist’s highly involved printmaking process. Other special features on view include never-before-published trial proofs, unique images, and rare prints displayed with richly colored final impressions.

Many of the posters were commissioned by famous performers like Jane Avril, May Belfort, Aristide Bruant, and May Milton. These personalities, among others, are brought to life through Toulouse-Lautrec’s perceptive skills of observation and caricature. By maximizing the impact of just a few details, their celebrity was immortalized in these masterful works that caught the public’s attention.

“This show is special because it not only features an impressive number of familiar images, but by displaying trial proofs, it also offers visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the genius of Toulouse-Lautrec’s printmaking process.” said Renée Maurer, Associate Curator at the Phillips.

“Having attracted 145,000 visitors to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the exhibition Toulouse-Lautrec Illustrates the Belle Époque was a great success, one that I hope our partners from The Phillips Collection will also enjoy in this first collaboration, thanks to an exceptional collection,” said Nathalie Bondil,  Director General and Chief Curator at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. “The Paris of the belle époque is paraded before our eyes. What a privilege to be able to exhibit these rarely shown unique posters by Toulouse-Lautrec.”

Louis Anquetin, Inside Bruant's Mirliton 1886-1887. Private Collection

The exhibition also includes additional works by Toulouse-Lautrec’s contemporaries, such as Théophile Alexandre Steinlen’s famous poster Tournée du Chat Noir (1896) and Louis Anquetin’s never-before-exhibited painting Inside Bruant’s Mirliton (1886–1887). Once considered lost, with only preliminary drawings as evidence of its existence, Anquetin’s large painting invites viewers inside Aristide Bruant’s lively cabaret Mirliton, where Toulouse-Lautrec, Bruant, and Émile Bernard watch entertainer La Goulue perform. 

Toulouse-Lautrec Illustrates the Belle Époque is on display at the Phillips February 4 through April 30, 2017. 

While the exhibition is on view, several public programs are planned to further celebrate Toulouse-Lautrec, his printmaking, and the art and culture of Montmartre. Along with Phillips after 5, film screenings, workshops, and events inspired by Parisian nightlife, the Phillips invites visitors to further engage through planned lectures featuring curators from both institutions, gallery talks facilitated by local artists, and open conversations on exhibition related topics led by influential thought leaders. For more information about the events planned throughout the spring, please visit www.phillipscollection.org/events.

THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION AND TOULOUSE-LAUTREC
During his lifetime, museum founder Duncan Phillips acquired four works on paper by Toulouse-Lautrec. His first purchase made in 1927 was the lithograph Miss May Belfort (grande planche) (1895). In 1939, Phillips presented the museum’s only previous exhibition of Toulouse-Lautrec’s art, containing 55 works (drawings, prints, and paintings) sourced from the Art Institute of Chicago and private collections.

Toulouse-Lautrec Illustrates the Belle Époque marks the first solo showing of the artist’s work at the Phillips in nearly 80 years. As a complement to the exhibition, an installation of work by Toulouse-Lautrec’s contemporaries will be on view in nearby permanent collection galleries.

The Phillips Collection is located at 1600 21st NW | Washington, DC 20009. For more information, phone 202.387.2151

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Merry Solstice Celebration

Courtesy Photos


On Wednesday December 21, 2016 at 7 p.m., the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Smithton will observe a traditional winter solstice service to mark the return of the light. Those in attendance will mark the solar year that makes its shift, overnight,   and, with it, the rebirth of our hopes and dreams for the coming year.
Celebrate the new Solar Year and the returning of the sun!  Feel enlivened and engaged as participants laugh, love, share tasty food and stories, and listen to live music from around the world, dance…. 

Rich Ermlick will be leading this special service with musical guest Danielle Commisso.  They are looking forward to meeting new friends and seeing its family from all paths.  Everyone is invited to attend. The church is located at 251 Second Street Smithton, Pa.    For more information, please contact the congregation at 724-872-5056.


Favorite Holiday Movie and Wine Pairings



In the midst of the holiday stress, there’s no better relief than cuddling up in a blanket, pouring a big glass of wine and watching a feel-good holiday movie. Here’s a list of pairings from Bottlenotes, an online wine site geared to enthusiasts, aficionados, and all around lovers of wine, craft beer, and artisanal spirits. Its mission is to share interesting news, hidden gems, and recipes, introduce you to unique wine, beer and spirit makers, and generally celebrate life with a good drink in hand! Bottlenotes publishes The Sip, an online newsletter.

Here are a few favorite wine and movie pairings.

Movie: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
Wine: Prosecco
Just looking at Clark Griswold makes us laugh. So pouring a light, bubbly Prosecco seems just perfect.
Try: Bisol Jeio Prosecco Brut, $15

Movie: Home Alone (1990)
Wine: Moscato
We know you’ve probably seen this movie 100 times, but Harry and Marv are still funny every time. And a refreshing white Moscato, with its low alcohol level (like 7%) is a great choice, especially if you want to move on to the sequel.
Try: Castello del Poggio's Moscato Provincia Di Pavia, $14

Movie: Love Actually (2003)
Wine: Barbera d’Asti
This movie, about the lives of nine different couples, has such a cult following and so does Barbera d’Asti. It’s medium-bodied and earthy and so relatable, much like the couples in this classic film.
Try: Michele Chiarlo Barbera d'Asti 2014, $16

Movie: The Family Stone (2005)
Wine: Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is such a diva grape and so it’s the perfect pour as you watch Meredith, the uptight girlfriend meet her eccentric and bohemian boyfriend’s family.
Try: La Crema Monterey Pinot Noir 2014, $18

Movie: The Holiday (2006)
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon
This movie turns 10 and it just keeps getting better, much like your favorite Cabernet. And what could be better watching than Kate Winslet and Jack Black fall in love?
Try: Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, $15


Tracy Byrnes, former FOX Business Network anchor and host of “Wine with Me” for Foxnews.com, is editor-in-chief and chief contributor of The Sip.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

How The Grinch Improved Christmas



It’s Christmas time at the Third Street Gallery. Carnegie Arts Initiative and Carnegie Screenwriters return to the gallery for Brian Edward's hilarious holiday classic "HOW THE BINCH IMPROVED CHRISTMAS - 15th Anniversary Special Edition," with guest vocalist Rebecca Covert! Along with food, drinks, fun, and a retelling of "Twas The Night Before Christmas" written by Michael Buzzelli, Robert Podurgiel, Brian Edward and Marlene Pendleton, performed by Patrick Conner! Come out and celebrate the holidays with us!

7 p.m. on Monday December 19, Third Street Gallery, 220 3rd Street, Carnegie, PA 15106


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Amahl and the Night Visitors - A Christmas Tradition

Robert Frankenberry as King Kaspar, Jacob Churilla as The Page, Daniel Treadt as King Melchior and Jonathan Stuckey as King Balthazar Credit: Alisa Garin




Resonance Works is presenting its holiday tradition of Menotti's "Amahl and the Night Visitors" in a production designed to delight the entire family. The story focuses on a small boy with a disability, his mother and their life-changing encounter with the Three Kings on their way to Bethlehem.


This powerful story of hope, generosity and community is presented once again at the Third Presbyterian Church in Shadyside at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 16 and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, December 18.

This year, "Amahl" is paired with pieces that feature the Renaissance Chamber Orchestra including seasonal favorites Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia on Greensleeves" and Vivaldi's "Winter" from the "Four Seasons" with the spotlight on ResWorks concertmaster, Sando Leal-Santiesteban.

The program opens with "I Add Brillance to the Sun" by American composer and Yale professor, Christopher Theofanidis. 

Join ResWorks for its beloved holiday tradition of Amahl & the Night Visitors!  
Friday December 16, 2016 @ 7:30 pm
Sunday December 18, 2016 @ 3:00 pm

Third Presbyterian Church
5701 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Shadyside
Concertmaster Sandro Leal-Santiesteban

Sandro Leal-Santiesteban, violin
David Gram, stage director
Barbara LeMay, Daniel Teadt, Robert Chafin, Jonathan Stuckey, Joel Goodloe, 
& Rohan Puri as Amahl
Resonance Chamber Orchestra
Maria Sensi Sellner, conductor


THEOFANIDIS                  I add brilliance to the sun
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS     Fantasia on Greensleeves
VIVALDI                            Winter from The Four Seasons
MENOTTI                         Amahl & the Night Visitors

Tickets are $15 to $35. Phone 412-501-3330 or buy online at info@resworks.org

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Chatham Baroque Does Handel and More This Weekend


Patricia Halverson, Andrew Fouts and Scott Pauley -Chatham Baroque

With music the vessel, Chatham Baroque's 26th Season is an aural Grand Tour of Baroque Europe.

Each of four concerts features music from one of the four nations whose distinct national styles characterize the sound of the Baroque - Germany, Italy, France, and England. French-Canadian soprano Pascale Beaudin gives voice to this journey with exquisite and supple interpretations to transport audiences to other times and other lands.

For a fifth concert, its annual trio performance, Chtham Baroque will perform some of its favorite music from all four nations plus something brand new from a little closer to home.

At 8 p.m. this Saturday, December 17 at Calvary Episcopal Church, (McClintick Hall) in Shadyside and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 18 at Chatham College's Campbell Memorial Chapel, Chatham Baroque performs a holiday concert that explores George Frideric Handel and the Italian influences that shaped him.

Major works include Handel’s youthful Italian work Gloria; a Christmas cantata by Alessandro Scarlatti; and sacred works from Claudio Monteverdi’s collection Selva morale e spirituale. With Pascale Beaudin (soprano), David Walker (theorbo and baroque guitar), and a rollicking ensemble of strings and plucked continuo.

Tickets are 10 to $35. and are available at the door or at www.chathambaroque.org/events.

At 8 p.m. on Friday, December 16, the Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka is pleased to present Chatham Baroque as they bring the holiday spirit of the Baroque tradition to St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church, home of the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka.

Guests are invited to a docent-led tour of the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka prior to the performance at 7 p.m. The 8 p.m. performance will be followed by a reception.

Artistic Directors Andrew Fouts (baroque violin), Patricia Halverson (viola da gamba), and Scott Pauley (theorbo and baroque guitar) will be joined by a sumptuous ensemble of guest instrumentalists and the incomparable French-Canadian Soprano, Pascale Beaudin. The concert will feature a charming Christmas Cantata by Alessandro Scarlatti, a trio sonata by Antonio Vivaldi, and Baroque Christmas carols from across Europe.

Admission is $20 per person. For reserved seating, purchase your tickets by December 15th.

Chatham Baroque's wildly popular Peanut Butter & Jam Sessions are designed especially for preschool children and their accompanying grown ups. Peanut Butter & Jam Sessions are hosted by certified Kindermusik teacher Lynda Wingerd, and encourage young children to become active and enthusiastic listeners through music, dance, and games. These informal concerts are fun, lively and educational. All performances feature live music, often with visiting friends and guest artists as noted.

Showtimes at 10:00 and 11:30 a.m. at calvary Episcopal Church in Shadyside.

December 17 - Sing we Noël (back by popular demand)

January 21 - I’ve Got Rhythm!

February 4 - Meet the Baroque Flute, the One-Keyed Wonder

March 4 - Piano and Forte

April 8 - The British are Coming, with music for violins, viols and theorbos

About Pascale Beaudin

Pascale Beaudin began her career on stage with the Atelier Lyrique de l’Opera de Montreal. She appears on operatic stages in Canada (Opéra de Montréal, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Opéra de Québec), in France (Angers-Nantes Opéra, Opéra de Marseille, Opéra National de Lorraine, Opéra de Metz) and the United States (Opera Lafayette) in roles such as Zerlina, Papagena, Fiordiligi, Oscar, Adèle de Formoutiers and Nannetta.

Soprano Pascale Beaudin Credit Courtesy Photo
The New York Times praised her shimmering voice and girlish sassiness, while the Washington Post music critic reported that she sang the aria “Per pietà” with such deliberate quiet elegance and restraint that it was a highlight not just of the evening, but also of my year.

Beaudin’s incomparable diction, intelligent musicality and expressivity make her ideal for concert and recital work. In addition to being a permanent member of the Four Nations Ensemble, Mrs. Beaudin collaborates with many orchestras, namely the Orchestre Métropolitain, l’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, Les Violons du Roy, I Musici de Montréal, the Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal, the McGill Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Francophonie, the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec, Les Idées Heureuses, Montréal Baroque, the Société d’art vocal de Montréal, the Centre international de mélodie française de Tours and the Orchestre régional de Cannes.

She has been invited to perform in music festivals such as the Festival de Lanaudière, the Festival d’opéra de Québec, the Montreal Bach Festival, the Festival des musiques sacrées de Marseille, the Festival du Domaine Forget.

Mrs. Beaudin is one of 6 singers featured on the critically acclaimed 5-disc release « Mélodies complètes de Francis Poulenc » with pianist Olivier Godin, on the Atma label. She is also featured on the world premiere recording of Les femmes vengées, an opera by Philidor, with Opera Lafayette on the Naxos label.

Proud of her Acadian heritage, Pascale Beaudin frequently performs at home, with Symphony New Brunswick and Opera New Brunswick, as well as at the Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival, the Indian River Chamber Music Festival and the Barachois Summer Music Festival.

City of Asylum Presents Three Events This Week

Bassist William Parker Joins Dance Choreographer Patricia Nelson


December is in full swing at the City of Asylum in Pittsburgh's North Side... This week, jazz, films, and films about jazz are being featured! 

Join themat 8 p.m. on Wednesday, December 14th for Studies in Freedom, a jazz concert featuring legendary bassist William Parker with dance collaboration from choreographer Patricia Nicholson. This collaborative set will be followed by a Q&A focusing on “the role of the artist in our community and the importance of maintaining our humanity.”     

This Thursday, at 7 p.m. on December 15th, join them for a screening of Salma courtesy of the Sembène – The Film & Art Festival. Salma explores the life of South India's most famous poet as she discovers her own freedom and challenges the traditions of her village.

Theyve added another great film to thier calendar! At 7 p.m. on Friday, December 16th, the Sembène – The Film & Art Festival hosts a screening of Keep on Keepin' On. Shot over the course of five years, this documentary depicts the friendship of music legend and teacher Clark Terry and Justin Kauflin, a blind piano prodigy suffering from debilitating stage fright.

All three events are free and presented at Alphabet City, 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh. Phone 412-323-0278 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Quebec City - Great Place to Spend the Holidays

Quebec City at Christmas

On December 12, Québec City announced that it won the USA Today online vote for Best Winter Wonderland in North America.

“This is a tremendous honor," ” said Mayor Régis Labeaume. "Those of us who live here have always known Québec City is the best place to spend the holidays. Now, with this latest accolade, the rest of the world is really starting to sit up and take notice. I’d like to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who voted and helped us win this prestigious distinction. We can all be very proud!"

"Topping the list a few weeks before the holidays makes for a great Christmas gift," added André Roy, General Manager of Québec CIty Tourism. "More than ever, travelers across North America are looking to Québec City as the perfect place to join in the end-of-year festivities. This prestigious title gives a terrific boost to the city’s international reputation.” 
Christm,as in Quebec City

Twenty North American cities were nominated for the USA Today contest, all of them popular winter holiday destinations. The short list was drawn up by a jury of ten travel experts.

In the eyes of the jury, Québec City stands out for its rich history, festive ambiance, and German Christmas market, not to mention the myriad lights and decorations that transform the streets of the Old Town into a spellbinding winter wonderland.

Montreal; Frankenmuth, Michigan; Mackinac Island, Michigan; and Lake Tahoe,  California/Nevada, were voted second, third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

PSO Seeking Applicants for Orchestra Training Program for African-American Musicians

Current EQT OTPAAM Fellow Torrell Moss, percussion. Credit: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra


The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has extended the deadlines for its two-year pre-professional program for young African American musicians, which is entering its 10th anniversary year in 2017.

Applications for the Pittsburgh Symphony’s EQT Orchestra Training Program for African American Musicians (OTPAAM) are now due on January 20, 2017. Auditions will be held in April at Heinz Hall in downtown Pittsburgh.

Created in 2007, the EQT Orchestra Training Program for African American Musicians aims to prepare young African American musicians for careers in a professional orchestra. Fellows’ time with the Pittsburgh Symphony will include practice time, education and community engagement opportunities, and audition training. The fellowship, awarded every two years, includes an annual stipend, as well as additional payment toward health insurance, audition expenses and professional development.

To be eligible for EQT OTPAAM, applicants must be African American musicians between the ages of 18 and 30 at the start date of the fellowship, and must also play a standard orchestral instrument (no keyboard). Applicants can find more information at pittsburghsymphony.org/OTPAAM.

A list of repertoire and an application can be found at pittsburghsymphony.org/auditions. This year, EQT OTPAAM applicants will need to submit a prescreening CD in order to be invited to the live audition/interview round. The tape submission deadline is February 17, 2017. Recording guidelines and other information will be sent via email after application submission.


EQT OTPAAM is one of several programs showcasing the Pittsburgh Symphony’s commitment to promoting conversations about diversity in orchestra settings, recruiting leadership and advisors for diversity initiatives, and building opportunities for performance on and off the orchestral concert stage to better reflect the diverse communities and audiences that orchestras serve.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

"Lion in Winter" - Do Yourself a Favor and Add it to Your Christmas To-Do List


Alan Stanford as Henry II and Cary Ann Spear as Eleanor of Aquitaine Credit: Courtesy Photo 

Who remembers the 1968 film "Lion in Winter" with Katherine Hepburn? I did and went to see a staged version last evening that proved a great Christmas gift to myself. Now at the Union Project on Negley in Pittsburgh, this PICT production is extremely polished and well acted and directed. I loved every moment of this witty, comic historical look at the life and times of Henry II and his Machiavellian family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day no less. Cary Anne Spear is a magnificent Eleanor, an equal match for the  crafty king, played regally by Alan Stanford, whose bark proves to be more than his bite.  I'd highly recommend this Plantagenet romp as part of your holiday enjoyment. To fully enjoy the production, you might want to brush up on your English history a bit. Just Google Henry Plantagenet and dive into the past. Then head over to the Union Project for an evening of great theater. You have until December 17 to catch one of the remaining shows. Phone 412-561-6000.

Nutcracker News from Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre


Set in turn-of-the-century Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's "The Nutcracker" is a  holiday tradition that resounds with more than 150 dancers, radiant scenery, astounding magic tricks and new surprises each season.
For tickets, phone 412-456-6666.
Groups 10+ Save: Call 412-454-9101 or email groupsales@pittsburghballet.org.


Marisa Grywalski Makes Debut as Sugar Plum Fairy Credit:  Aimee DiAndrea
Seen above as a snowflake, Corps de Ballet dancer Marisa Grywalski makes her Sugar Plum Fairy debut Friday night! Named one of Pointe Magazine’s “Stars of the Corps,” Grywalski is sure to shine in the regal poses, lingering balances and quicksilver turns that place the Sugar Plum Pas de Deux at the pinnacle of the show's virtuoso dancing.

Battle Scene from PBT's "The Nutcracker" Credit: Rich Sofranko

Did you know Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr mixes up the cast for every single one of our performances? This is your chance to spot rising talents in principal roles and just one of the reasons Orr says "you could watch all 26 shows and discover something new each time."

The Snow Scene from The Nutcracker Credit: Rich Sofranko

 The Post-Gazette says there are few things more "quintessentially Christmas " than the The Nutcracker. And our "sparkling" production is "much like opening a toy chest chock full of Pittsburgh treasures, past, present and...new dance gems." 

2016 PERFORMANCE DATES

Friday, December 09, 2016 7:00 PM
Saturday, December 10, 2016 2:00 PM
Saturday, December 10, 2016 7:00 PM
Sunday, December 11, 2016 12:00 PM
Sunday, December 11, 2016 4:30 PM

Thursday, December 15, 2016 7:00 PM
Friday, December 16, 2016 7:00 PM
Saturday, December 17, 2016 2:00 PM
Saturday, December 17, 2016 7:00 PM
Sunday, December 18, 2016 12:00 PM
Sunday, December 18, 2016 4:30 PM

Tuesday, December 20, 2016 7:00 PM
Wednesday, December 21, 2016 7:00 PM
Thursday, December 22, 2016 7:00 PM
Friday, December 23, 2016 7:00 PM
Saturday, December 24, 2016 11:00 AM
Saturday, December 24, 2016 3:30 PM

Monday, December 26, 2016 7:00 PM
Tuesday, December 27, 2016 2:00 PM Sensory Friendly
Tuesday, December 27, 2016 7:00 PM

RUN TIME:
Act I - 57 minutes
Intermission - 20 minutes

Act II - 53 minutes

Sunday, December 4, 2016

"Lungs," A Romantic Play for Millennials (and Even Older Folks)


Sarah Silk and Alec Silberblatt in "Lungs" Credit: Courtesy Photo

Remember the scene in Monty Python’s "The Meaning of Life?" The one where a middle-aged, working class woman is shown standing at the kitchen sink surrounded by a gaggle of her own children and lets another newborn drop from her womb to the floor with startling nonchalance? What’s another child when you already have 36 of them the woman seems to say.

For an opposite take on the subject of child bearing, playwright Duncan Macmillan’s oft-hilarious, oft- emotionally moving "Lungs" spotlights a couple undergoing a pre-conception analysis of the ramifications of having a baby, and takes it to an uber level of scrutiny.

In the beginning, after a few nebulous moments of terpsichorean twists and turns of interpretive dance on the part of the play’s two actors, (I am still unable to see its relationship to the script), the play opens on a barren stage sans scenery or props, just like the playwright wanted.

A man (Alec Silberblatt) and woman (Sarah Silk), both millennials, in a long term relationship with no immediate intention of marrying, are standing in line at Ikea waiting to check out. Out of the blue, the man mentions the word baby, and it hits the woman like a sucker punch.

On the verge of getting her Ph.D., she freaks out and mentions weighty impacts on her career, life and body (painful breasts that lose their shape after birth not to mention changes in body parts further below). Urbane, intelligent and with-it, they both discourse over the effect another human being will have on the environment which will add an additional 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide to the already environmentally over-stressed Earth.

Cavorting in bare feet over a stage covered in green artificial grass (Is Astroturf a word still used today?), they over-analyze the implications of caring for another child, bringing it into a world they see as often cruel and merciless. Yet their questioning and probing stokes up ambivalent feelings that include the desire of rearing a child despite the challenges is poses.

As a working duality, the two actors have great synergy. Silk gets the lengthier monologues which she renders flawlessly despite the rapid fire and often contradictory thoughts and feelings she ruminates over and expresses to her other half. She criss-crosses her way through a maze of logic, facts, feeling and thoughts to create a certain theatrical pointillism, each dot of her narrative eventually coalescing to form a three-dimensional identity.

Silberblatt’s character is more understanding, patient and accepting of his opposite’s frenetic spontaneity, a port in the emotional storm, but even he, too, has his impetuous breaking points. Both actors are so accomplished take the audience to new plateaus of theatrical connoisseurship.

Director Spencer Whale shows great skill in blocking, moving the characters over the stage, giving the dialogue a kinetic boost, keeping the dynamics fresh and invigorating throughout the 100-minute run time. And yes, there is no intermission.
I especially appreciated Whale’s notes on the play, which are included in the play bill and discuss the issue of climate change and its relationship to the new president-elect’s administration.

It would be unwise to discuss further the outline of the plot, which would trivialize Macmillan’s finely formed, well-thought out text. Be prepared however, for a jolting change of pace near play’s end when the action is telescoped in a sequence that reminded me somewhat of a non-technical rendition of Kier Dullea’s final ride in Kubrick’s "2001: A Space Odyssey."

You probably won’t get the connection between the play’s title and the story line until the end. That’s when you’ll also come to realize that, even though the script deals with two individuals and their relationship to one another and the world in broader context, there’s also an aura of universality that hits home to everyone - millennial or not.

"Lungs," a production of Off the Wall Theater, is at the Carnegie Stage, 25 W. Main Street in Carnegie, through December 17. Phone 724-873-3576.





Saturday, December 3, 2016

Big Daddy deserves a day too.

Have a Glass of Cabernet Franc on December 4. Credit: Bottlenotes
Cabernet Franc, the father of Cabernet Sauvignon, among others, is celebrated on December 4th.
While it is often used as a blending grape, the single varietal Cabernet Franc is a medium-bodied red wine from the Basque region of France, which is in the southwest part of the country near Spain. The wine is known for its savory, bell pepper-like flavors and great acidity so it works great with food.