Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Pick 3 BALLETS for just $123

Don't Miss Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's  Most Popular Season Offer!

Pick any three 2017-2018 Season ballets, and save up to 50% over single ticket prices! Now is your chance to lock down premium seats and savings before single ticket sales open to the public in August.


Dracula | The Nutcracker | Swan Lake
PBT: New Works | West Side Story Suite + In the Night

Use Promo Code: 3FOR123
Visit: | Call: 412-454-9107

*Valid only for zones 3 & 4. Offer ends July 28, 2017


Free and flexible ticket exchanges
20% off additional single tickets
50% off Community Division dance and fitness classes at PBT School

And more!

​Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council Awarded $580,000 for Artists

The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council (GPAC) announces an award of $580,000 from the Hillman Foundation, allowing for greatly expanded funds, resources, and services to creative professionals in our region over the next two years. The grant represents a significant investment in artists and smaller nonprofits that make positive contributions to communities across Southwestern Pennsylvania, specifically in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland counties.

This award includes directly distributing $300,000 more in grants to artists and smaller arts nonprofits over the next two years; establishing an emergency fund for artists; and expanding GPAC’s audience development programs to support the sustainability of the arts in our region.

Mitch Swain, CEO of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, said, “Our research shows that while regions like ours across the country average 149 artists per capita, Greater Pittsburgh averages 248.  Annually in Allegheny County alone, the arts generate $115 million in tax revenue, $641 million in household income, and 32,211 full time equivalent jobs.

Arts and culture is undeniably a contributing factor to the vibrancy of this region and well worth our investment – this grant will make it possible to better serve the creative people who live and work here, every day.”  Starting in September, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council will offer information sessions throughout the region on the upcoming expanded programs and services. Dates, times, and locations for these information sessions will be released in August.

Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council is one of the few arts service organizations in the country that has a focus on individual artists. This includes full-time staff dedicated to supporting individual artists, and a portfolio of services, resources, grants, pro bono legal and business consulting to support the lives of working artists in Southwestern Pennsylvania. More information may be found at

Monday, July 24, 2017

News From the New Hazlett Theater

John Petrocelli - Part of New Community Supported Art Series at the New Hazlett Theater

John Petrucelli's
Part of the New CSA Performance Series

The New Hazlett Community Supported Art Performance Series introduces you to the freshest, most original artists in the Pittsburgh area. A new season of the CSA is just around the corner, and we'd like you to meet the artists that we're bringing to you this coming year. The first artist the series is introducing is John Petrocelli 

Described by All About Jazz as “a musician with a burning desire to explore,” John Petrucelli is an award-winning saxophonist and composer who has performed alongside internationally renowned artists such as Terence Blanchard, Geri Allen, and Victor Lewis. John received critical acclaim for his debut album The Way. John’s performances present an enthralling mix of technique and rhythmic invention.

To view a video clip of Petrocelli, go to

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Viva XXXII Tequila - A Great way to Celebrate National Tequila Day

Viva XXXII Tequila Donates10% of Net Profits to Prevent Animal Abuse

The tequila gods must have looked down on me favorably for, by coincidence, I got my hands on two taste expressions of Viva XXXII just a couple of weeks before National Tequila Day, July 24.

Both varieties, a Joven and a Reposada, are premium sipping tequilas not meant for pounding down as shots with a squeeze of lime or a beer chaser. This pair is meant to be savored. Personally, I like my tequila neat or chilled, but would avoid serving these two over ice to avoid diluting their flavor or adding whatever tastes the water itself might add to the mix. Instead, I’d suggest letting the tequila sit in the freezer at least an hour before enjoying it ice cold.

The brand founder, Yvonne Niami, had as a goal to bring a premium sipping tequila to the market at an accessible price. Bottled in clear glass decanters with a ziggurat design that evokes (in my mind) the ancient Aztec culture, the blue agave-based  beverage is distilled in the Mexican town of, what else, Tequila. If you’re wondering about the image of the Chihuahua (affectionately called Phil) on the side of the bottle, he’s the brand mascot and represents the 10% of the net proceeds donated to prevent animal abuse.

If you’re the type influenced by the medal awards given out at competitions, both domestic and international, Viva XXXII Tequila recently took home a silver at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition. It’s also gotten some really great reviews from connoisseurs long in the spirits industry.

The first of the two varieties, a Joven Tequila ($40), is a 100% estate grown blue agave blanco blended with Viva XXXII’s 3-year-old extra anejo that is filtered to a point as clear as water. Once in the mouth, the feel is smooth with pronounced notes of pepper, lime and vanilla along with a pleasant sweetness. Later nuanced flavors of lemon peel, baking spices and herbs such as rosemary emerge.

The pale golden colored Reposado is somewhat smoother and sweeter than its Joven cousin and comes with a subdued peppery impact nicely balanced by vanilla and caramel with further notes of lime, roasted almonds and oak from its six month stay in new American oak barrels.

For those who like their tequila in creative cocktails, Viva XXXII collaborated with professional mixologists in Los Angeles and New York for their signature cocktails in time for National Tequila Day enjoyment. What follows is a portfolio of six cocktails along with recipes, directions and tasting notes.

VIVA Summer Solstice by TocaMadera (8450 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048)

2 oz. of VIVA XXXII Reposado Tequila
1 oz. of Citrus Mix (equal parts lemon and lime)
¾ oz. of Aperol Spiked Agave Syrup (3:1 Agave Nectar to Aperol). You could also do 1/2 normal Agave Syrup and 1/4 Aperol
Tajin Rim
Directions: Place all ingredients into a shaker, add ice, and give a long hard shake. Take a coupe glass and rim with a salt/pepper/tajin mix. Double strain the cocktail (to remove ice chips) in the coupe and garnish will a rolled Grapefruit peel “flower".

Tasting Notes:  The balance of summer in a glass: bright, refreshing and with just a bit of heat. This cocktail hits all of the major palate areas. It is tart, sweet, earthy, and just a bit spicy. It is perfect for sipping away the long nights of summer.

VIVA Rip Tide by Seamore’s (390 Broome St, New York, NY 10013)

2 oz. VIVA XXXII Reposado Tequila
1 oz. Fresh Juiced Pineapple
½ oz. Fresh Lime Juice
½ oz. Agave Syrup (3:1 Agave to Water)
Directions: Place all ingredients into a shaker and give a short “dry” shake. Then, add crushed ice to shaker. Pour ice and cocktail into a highball glass and top with a float of Angostura Bitters and Pineapple Frond.

Tasting Notes: TIKI Tequila! The freshness of the juices is what brings out the natural flavors of the tequila here. A slight bit on the sweet side, it won’t leave you with a tooth ache, but rather aching for another. The softer more rounded flavor notes of the Reposado Tequila dance in this cocktail.

VIVA Crisp made by Chris Kramer @celebratedspirits of The Larchmont (5750 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038)

2 oz. VIVA XXXII Joven Tequila
3 fresh slices of Cucumber
2-3 fresh slices of Jalapeno (deseed to control spice factor)
¾ oz. Agave Syrup

Directions: Place all in a tin and lightly muddle. Do not crush ingredients just press to express oils and flavors. Add ice and give a short and soft shake. Pour all into a Double Old-Fashioned Glass. Garnish with some something fresh and fragrant. We use a lime peel and cucumber wheel. But a large basil sprig is also recommended.

Tasting Notes: This is a very fresh and big cocktail. The cucumber and Jalapeño serve as the stage for the bright notes of the tequila to shine through. The agave gives the cocktail balance. It’s a garden in a glass!

VIVA Tourist made by Chris Kramer @celebratedspirits of The Larchmont (5750 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038)

2 oz. VIVA XXXII Joven Tequila
¼ oz. Mezcal
¾ oz. Fresh Lime Juice
½ oz. Fresh Pineapple
¾ oz. Fresh Orgeat (Almond Syrup)
2-3 fresh Jalapeño Slices

Directions: Place all in a tin and add ice. Give a long hard shake then double strain the cocktail into a single Old-Fashioned Glass. Garnish with a Jalapeño slice.
Tasting Notes: Like any good trip, this cocktail is an experience. It has big mouth presence and will linger in your mouth and memory like any good vacation. The lime, pineapple, and almond give a nice tropical vibe while the Joven and the Jalapeno jump in, keeping the drink from getting to sweet. The mezcal comes in right at the end for a lasting, smokey finish.

VIVA Las Peaches made by Blaine Adams of Barrel & Ashes (11801 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604)

2 oz. VIVA XXXII Joven Tequila
¼ Fresh Ripe Yellow Peach
1 Rosemary Sprig
¾ oz. Fresh lemon juice
½ oz. Cinnamon Simple Syrup
2 oz. Soda Water

Directions: Place all ingredients in a tin and muddle until the peaches have expressed a decent amount of juice. Next, add ice and give a medium strength, medium length shakes and add 2 oz. Soda Water. Double strain onto fresh ice into a Highball Glass and garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig.

Tasting notes: Peaches and tequila are quite a pair. The bright citrus notes in the Joven latch onto the fresh peach and take off running. The cinnamon and rosemary are there to help balance out the flavor profile adding some spice and bitter earthy qualities. It’s refreshing, different, and will leave you asking for another. It’s not as crazy as a Vegas shotgun wedding but it is as good of a time!

VIVA Cooler by Cocina Condesa (11616 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604)

2 oz. VIVA XXXII Joven Tequila
2 Fresh Cucumber Slices
Pinch of Mint Leaves
Small pinch of cilantro leaves
1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
½ oz. Agave Syrup
Tonic Water

Directions: Place all ingredients into a tin and lightly muddle. Next, add ice and give a short and soft shake. Take a Double Old-Fashioned Glass and rim with salt. Then, pour contents into the glass and top with a float of tonic water.

Tasting Notes: This drink is cool under pressure. The fresh herbs and citrus are bright and refreshing giving this drink an almost cooling sensation. The Joven stands as the backbone giving the drink just the right amount of heat. It’s familiar and different all at the same time. No peer pressure here but seriously be cool.

"Sex Werque" on Stage at Off The Wall

Moriah Ella Mason in "Sex Werque" Credit: Carnegie Stage

In Sex Werque, an autobiographical  movement theater piece about working as a former stripper in Pittsburgh, performer/choreographer Moriah Ella Mason explores attitudes and misconceptions about the industry, and how we perform eroticism and consume intimacy, both in the club and at home.  Through theater and dance, she unpacks the world of sex work: the emotional and economic forces, the movement vocabulary, the masks, and the moments of authentic connection.  A powerful work, at times funny, at times unsettling, providing a unique insider perspective.

From the play: “If you want to be a stripper, you don’t need a resume, which is good…and you don’t need a cover letter, which is even better…”

Mason is joined by collaborating sound artists J.F. Winkles, Eric Weidenhof,  video artist Liz Barentine, and the voices and expertise of other sex workers.

Conceived by and starring Moriah Ella Mason.
Produced by The Off The Wall Charitable Trust

Four  performances only: July 27-29 @ 8:00 Pp.m. and July 30 @ 7 p.m.
For Mature Audiences Only
Tickets: $ 10.00 - $ 20.00

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Mama Mia Opens July 28 at Benedum Center for 11 Performance, Eight-Day Run


Over 54 million people around the world have fallen in love with MAMMA MIA! since its Broadway debut in 2001, after which it ran for a staggering 5,758 performances. Now, Pittsburgh CLO will produce this international sensation for the first time, July 28 - August 6 at the Benedum Center.
Tickets are now available by phone at 412-456-6666, online at or by visiting the Box Office at Theater Square.

On the eve of her wedding, a daughter's quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. Starring as our super-sleuth Sophie is Broadway and Pittsburgh CLO alum ERIKA HENNINGSEN, who last charmed Pittsburgh CLO audiences as Nellie in SOUTH PACIFIC. The possible papas to her Sophie are MATT BOGART as Sam (Broadway’s Jersey Boys, Aida and Miss Saigon), CHRISTIAN WHELAN as Bill (National Tours of Flashdance, Mamma Mia! and Aida) and RICK NEGRON (Broadway’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Man of La Mancha, The Goodbye Girl) as Harry.

There’s certainly no question who the Mom is…Donna – played by Pittsburgh CLO newcomer SALLY ANN TRIPLETT, who last appeared on Broadway in Finding Neverland, The Last Ship and Carrie. Watch this story unfold with the full complement of ABBA hits: “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance on Me,” “Waterloo” and many more!


Matt Bogart (Sam Carmichael) returns to Pittsburgh CLO where he last played Curly in Oklahoma! alongside Shirley Jones. Mr. Bogart’s Broadway credits include Nick Massi in Jersey Boys, Radames in Aida, Chris in Miss Saigon, The Civil War, Smokey Joe’s Café (also filmed for television and DVD) and Lancelot in Camelot (National Tour). Off-Broadway: James Joyce in Himself and Nora in Dublin, Ireland. He has premiered leading roles at La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe, Goodspeed and Cincinnati Playhouse. He is a proud Affiliated Artist with Arena Stage. His roles there include Val in Orpheus Descending, Lancelot in Camelot (Helen Hayes© Award Nom.), Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees and the upcoming new Georgia Stitt musical, Snow Child. Mr. Bogart has sung solo roles at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and with the Oklahoma City, Philly Pops, Columbus, Wichita and Kentucky Symphony Orchestras. TV credits include HBO’s Vinyl as Robert Goulet, Smash as JFK and Law and Order: SVU. He earned his B.F.A. from Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

Will Branner (Pepper) was recently seen in October Sky (The Old Globe), Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat (Adirondack Theatre Festival), Jesus Christ Superstar (MTW) and Dogfight (Farmers Alley). Along with acting, Will is an aspiring director. Recent directing credits include John Barrett Salon (Film), Gruesome Playground Injuries and Rock of Ages. B.F.A. University of Michigan.
Michelle Dawson (Tanya) will be returning to Pittsburgh CLO after previously being seen as Rizzo in Grease, Lucy in Jekyll & Hyde and Petra in A Little Night Music. Her Broadway credits include Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark (Arachne/Emily/Aunt May s/b), Mamma Mia! (Donna & Rosie u/s), Ragtime (Evelyn Nesbit), Showboat (Magnolia u/s) and Cyrano: The Musical. National Tours: Mamma Mia! (Donna & Tanya), Seven Brides... (Milly), The Secret Garden and The Music Of ALW. Pre-Broadway: First Wives Club (Elise & Annie u/s). Regional Credits: Evita (Eva) at Pioneer and Man of La Mancha (Aldonza) at WBT among others. TV: Law & Order, All My Children and Tony Awards® 2009 (featured performer). Carnegie Mellon B.F.A.

Lori Hammel (Rosie) was featured in the Broadway production and on the National Tour of Mamma Mia!. Other National Tour credits include 9 to 5 and I Love Lucy Live (Ethel Mertz). Off-Broadway credits include: Forbidden Broadway, I Love You, You’re Perfect…, Unbroken Circle and Bardy Bunch. Lori was the recipient of the NY Fringe Acting Award in 2015. Her Regional credits include The Bikinis (Goodspeed/Long Wharf), Happy Days, Forbidden Hollywood (Jeff/After Dark Award), Little Me (Jeff nomination) and Singin’ in the Rain (Jeff nomination/After Dark Award). TV: 30 Rock, Colbert Report, The Following and Master of None. Film: Coen Brothers’ Burn After Reading, She's Lost Control and Coney Island Queen (Cannes).

Erika Henningsen (Sophie Sheridan) was last seen at Pittsburgh CLO as Nellie Forbush in South Pacific. Broadway credits include Les Miserables (Fantine). New York: Show Boat: PBS Live from Lincoln Center with the NY Philharmonic (Kim Ravenal) and Dear World (Nina) starring Tyne Daly at the York Theatre. She originated the role of Beth in the world premiere of Barry Levinson’s Diner at Signature Theater. Other regional credits include Found (Becka, Philadelphia Theater Company) and Hairspray (Penny, Woodminster Amphitheater). Recordings: The Theory Of Relativity. Concerts: 54 Below, Jazz at Lincoln Center. She is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan and recipient of the Alan Eisenberg Actors’ Equity Award.

Beth Stafford Laird (Ali) was last seen playing Katherine in Pittsburgh CLO's Newsies and is returning to the stage for Mamma Mia!. National Tour credits include Newsies (1st Nat’l), Belle u/s in Beauty and the Beast (Internat'l) and Molly U/S in Ghost the Musical (1st Nat'l). Regional Credits: Nikola Tesla Drops The Beat (Anna/White Pigeon), The Little Mermaid (Ariel), Sweeney Todd (Joanna) and NSMT's A Christmas Carol (Meg/Ensemble). Film: Disney’s Newsies Live! (Nun/Bowery Beauty).

Billy Mason (Eddie) returns to Pittsburgh CLO after recently being seen in IN THE HEIGHTS, NEWSIES, THE TOXIC AVENGER, AIDA and SOUTH PACIFIC. Other favorite roles include Jesus Christ Superstar (Judas), Shrek the Musical (Shrek) and Seussical (Horton).
Rick Negron (Harry Bright) made his Pittsburgh CLO debut in IN THE HEIGHTS as Kevin Rosario. He was born and raised in Puerto Rico and received his BA from Sarah Lawrence College. Broadway credits: Leader of the Pack, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Legs Diamond, Man of La Mancha, The Goodbye Girl, Ragtime (L.A.), Mamma Mia! (Las Vegas), Kevin Rosario in In the Heights. National Tours: West Side Story (Action, Riff, Bernardo), Man of La Mancha. Danced in Michael Jackson’s Bad video and Chicago the movie.

Sally Ann Triplett (Donna Sheridan) is joining Pittsburgh CLO for the first time. Broadway: Finding Neverland (Mrs. Du Maurier), The Last Ship (Peggy White), Carrie (Sue Snell). West End: Follies (Young Phyllis), Grease (Rizzo), Jolson (Ruby Keeler), Anything Goes (Reno Sweeney and winner of What’s On Stage), Chicago (Roxy), Guys And Dolls (Miss Adelaide), Mamma Mia! (Donna),Viva Forever (Lauren), Cats (Grizabella). International: Life Of The Party with Andrew Lippa, Next To Normal (Diana Goodman with Pangdemonium in Singapore), My Judy Garland Life (nominated for Best Actress for regional UK awards), Damsel In Distress (Chichester Festival). TV: Eastenders, Holby City, Doctors, Down To Earth.

Zurin Villanueva (Lisa) has been seen on Broadway in Shuffle Along and The Book of Mormon. Her regional credits include Ruined (Everyman Theater), Josephine Tonight! (Metrostage), Good News (Goodspeed Opera House), Ain’t Misbehavin' (Crossroads) and Crowns (Arena Stage). She received her B.F.A. from Howard University.

Ryan Vona (Sky) makes his Pittsburgh CLO debut with Mamma Mia! A native of Boston, MA, he has been seen on Broadway as Andrej in Once and this year creating the role of Joey Green for Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour.
Christian Whelan (Bill Austin) returns to Pittsburgh CLO for Mamma Mia! after previously appearing in Oliver! as Bill Sykes. His Broadway/National
Tours credits include: Flashdance, Mamma Mia!, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Aida, Ragtime, Little House On The Prairie and Camelot. Off B'way: Ministry of Progress, Trolls and Emerald Man. Regional: The Little Mermaid, Little Shop of Horrors,110 In The Shade, Footloose, Johnny Guitar, Pollock, The Miracle Worker, Unsinkable Molly Brown and Working, Utah! Film/TV: Beach Ratz (Sundance Award winner), Nowhere Ever After, Celebrity, TomCats, Angel Town, Blacklist, General Hospital, Guiding Light, All My Children and Delaventura. He received his B.F.A. from University of Southern California.

MAMMA MIA! is completed with a talented ensemble including Sky Bennett, Kellyann Coyle, Lydia Ruth Dawson, Alex Dorf, Hailie Lucille, Cameron Anika Hill, Jessica Ice, Michael James, Cassie Levine, Carina-Kay Louchiey, Javier Manente, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, Kevin Paul, Isaac Cole Powell, Taylor Kellas Warren and Davis Wayne.

Mamma Mia! is a jukebox musical containing some of ABBA’s greatest hits including “Dancing Queen” and “The Winner Takes It All.” Worlds collided when Judy Craymer, who would become Mamma Mia! ’s creative producer, was working with Sir Tim Rice and met Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson who were collaborating with Rice on their first musical, Chess. Craymer had an idea for a new musical containing ABBA music, but when she pitched it to Ulvaeus and Andersson, they were initially hesitant about the new project. When the duo finally agreed, Mamma Mia! began to pick up speed. Craymer enlisted the help of Catherine Johnson to write the book for the show and requested that Phyllida Llyod join the team as director for their production. Mamma Mia! was on the fast track to becoming a smash hit.

Mamma Mia! opened at the Prince Edward Theatre in London’s West End on April 6th 1999, which happened to be the be the same day that ABBA had won the Eurovision Song Contest with “Waterloo” 25 years before. After an incredibly successful five year run in London, Mamma Mia! hit the road and travelled to New York where it played for 12 years and 5,000 performances. Mamma Mia! ended its Broadway run in September of 2015, but not until after being named the 8th longest running show in Broadway history.

The female trifecta did not stop here. In June of 2008, Craymer, Llyod and Johnson teamed up with Universal Pictures to bring Mamma Mia! to the big screen. Starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Amanda Seyfried, Mamma Mia! quickly made history as one of the highest grossing films of the year.

Performance Schedule for Mamma Mia!

Friday, July 28, 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 29, 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 30, 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Tuesday, August 2, 8 p.m.
Thursday, August 3, 8 p.m.
Friday, August 4, 8 p.m.
Saturday, August 5, 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Sunday, August 6, 2 p.m.

Tickets are available online at, by calling 412-456-6666 or at the Box Office at Theater Square. Tickets start at $25. Groups of 10 or more enjoy exclusive discounts and specialty packages. Call our Group Sales Hotline at 412-325-1582 for more information. Visit for further information.

PSO Offers Free Concert Prior to European Tour

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Manfred Honeck invite the public to a free concert at Heinz Hall on August 19 at 8 p.m. The program will include highlights from the tour repertoire. The Pittsburgh Symphony’s newest disc from Reference Recordings, Shostakovich 5, will be available for the first time at this concert.

The concert will celebrate the orchestra’s departure for its 2017 European Festivals Tour on August 25. The tour will take the orchestra to Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Romania. Highlights include the orchestra and Maestro Honeck performing at the Salzburg Festival together for the first time (the only American orchestra performing there this year) and a return trip to the BBC Proms (where the symphony’s performance is already sold out).

The program includes selections from works the orchestra will perform on the European Festivals Tour —Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, Dvorak’s Violin Concerto and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1.

Tickets to the send-off concert are free, but reservations are required. Call 412-392-4900 to reserve tickets.

The Pittsburgh Symphony would like to thank and recognize BNY Mellon for its supporting partnership of the Rheingau Music Festival concert in Wiesbaden, Germany. The engagements at the Rheingau Music Festival, Salzburg Festival, BBC proms and Lucerne Festival are supported by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International in partnership with National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This tour is made possible, in part, by a gift from Pat and Michele Atkins. International Touring is made possible, in part, by the Hillman Endowment for International Performances.

Heinz Hall

Ludwig Van Beethoven                                      Symphony No. 7 in A major, Opus 92
I. Poco sostenuto – Vivace

Antonin Dvorak                                                   Concerto in A minor for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 53
I. Allegro ma non troppo
II. Adagio, ma non troppo
Mr. Black

Gustav Mahler                                                     Symphony No. 1 in D major
I. Langsam Schleppend


Ludwig Van Beethoven                                      Symphony No. 7 in A major, Opus 92
II. Allegretto

Antonin Dvorak                                                   Concerto in A minor for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 53
III. Finale: Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo
Mr. Black

Gustav Mahler                                                     Symphony No. 1 in D major
IV. Stürmisch bewegt

About the Artists

Renowned for his distinctive interpretations, MANFRED HONECK has served as music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since the 2008-2009 season. He and the orchestra are consistently recognized for their performances and are celebrated both in Pittsburgh and abroad. To great acclaim, they regularly perform in major music capitals and festivals, among them the BBC Proms, Musikfest Berlin, Lucerne Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Grafenegg Festival, Carnegie Hall and the Musikverein in Vienna. This successful collaboration has also been extensively documented on recordings. The SACDs released by Reference Recordings, most recently the Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 in D minor and the Barber Adagio for Strings,  have received numerous rave reviews, as well as two Grammy Award nominations.

Born in Austria, Honeck received his musical training at the Academy of Music in Vienna. Many years of experience as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra have given his conducting a distinctive stamp. He began his career as assistant to Claudio Abbado and was subsequently engaged by the Zurich Opera House, where earned the prestigious European Conductor’s Award in 1993. Other early posts include Leipzig, where he was one of three main conductors of the MDR Symphony Orchestra, and Oslo, where he was appointed principal guest conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. He went on to become music director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm and principal guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. From 2007 to 2011, Honeck was music director of the Staatsoper Stuttgart, where he conducted premieres of operas by Berlioz, Mozart, Verdi, Strauss, Poulenc and Wagner. Other operatic guest appearances include Semperoper Dresden, Royal Opera of Copenhagen and the Salzburg Festival.

As a guest conductor Honeck has worked with the world’s leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome and the Vienna Philharmonic. Orchestras he conducted in the United States include New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra. He has been artistic director of the International Concerts Wolfegg in Germany for more than 20 years.

Honeck has received honorary doctorates from St. Vincent College, Carnegie Mellon University and the Catholic University of America. Most recently, he was awarded the title of honorary professor by the Austrian federal president.

Violinist JEREMY BLACK was applauded for his “musical fire” and “effortless technique” by the Chicago Tribune for his debut performance with the Chicago Symphony at age 12, winning first prize in the nationally broadcast 1991 Illinois Bell/WTTW Young Performers Competition. More recently, his “fabulous tone” and “polished, reliable virtuosity” were noted by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in his “sensational” solo debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Black has been a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's first violin section since 2002 and concertmaster of the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago since 2005. He has also performed as a guest concertmaster with the Minnesota Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Blossom Festival Orchestra, and in the violin sections of the Chicago Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra.

An avid fan of chamber music, Black performed and recorded the world premiere of Eugene O'Brien's Algebra of Night with the 21st Century Chamber Consort in Washington, D.C.  (CD release expected in 2016), and has performed numerous recitals throughout the Pittsburgh region, including Carnegie Mellon, Chatham and Duquesne universities, West Liberty State College and the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Black also has made solo appearances with the Grant Park Orchestra, Pittsburgh Live Chamber Ensemble and in subscription concerts with the Chicago String Ensemble and Evanston Symphony. His other awards include first prizes in the University of Michigan and Case Western Reserve University concerto competitions, the Society of American Musicians Competition, the Nordic Musical Arts Competition and the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition.

A native of Evanston, Illinois, Black studied with Mark Zinger, currently professor emeritus at DePaul University and a former student and colleague of David Oistrakh. Black's secondary education began in 1996 at Case Western Reserve University where he studied with Linda Cerone at the Cleveland Institute of Music. After graduating, he moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to pursue his master’s degree with Paul Kantor at the University of Michigan.

Black resides in Pittsburgh's Highland Park neighborhood with his wife, Kate, and their two sons. He plays a violin made by Lorenzo and Tommaso Carcassi, dated 1783.PSO

Science is Brewing at 21+ Beer Night

Beer is the Focus At Carnegie Science Center on Friday Credit: Courtesy Photo

Drink in the science at Carnegie Science Center’s next no-kids night. Explore the chemistry of beer and enjoy free samples from local breweries on Friday, July 28 from 6 to 10 pm at Science After Dark 21+ Beer.

Free samples of beer from more than 10 local breweries will be on tap at the event. The brewers scheduled to attend include:

Block House Brewery
Penn Brewery
North Country Brewing
Southern Tier Brewery
Couch Brewing
Lavery Brewing
Pilsner Urquell
Fury Brewing Company
Four Seasons Brewery
Copper Kettle Brewing
Samuel Adams
Butler Brew Works
Rusty Gold

Learn about the science of beer with presentations from experts such as Beer Guru Mark Brewer. The Three Rivers Alliance of Serious Homebrewers (TRASH Homebrewers) as well as Copper Kettle Brewing Company will offer demonstrations and information about the home brewing process and experience.

The Brew Museum will offer a presentation on the history of beer and how the beverage helped push civilization forward. Other tasty treats for guests include information about beer/cheese pairings, samples of different types of jerky, and pretzel necklace crafting.

Visitors will also have the chance to participate in beer-themed science demonstrations and interact with all four floors of Science Center exhibits, while enjoying the music of Mickey and the Snake Oil Boys.

Admission for 21+ Beer is $24 and includes free beer samples and a special souvenir glass.

Proper identification is required, and all guests must show ID at the door.

21+ Nights are sponsored by PPG and Steel City Media.

For more information and to register, visit

Friday, July 21, 2017

Next Week Only: "Miss Julie, Clarissa and John" is Back for Just Three Performances!

Chrystal Bates, Tami Dixon and Kevin Brown in "Miss Julie, Clarissa and John" Credit: Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater

Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater Company's  acclaimed 2016 production of Miss Julie, Clarissa and John will be on tour during the entire month of August, first at the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina, and then at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland! But first, Pittsburgh has three more chances to see it, July 27th and 28th at 8 PM and July 29th at 5 PM!

Next week only: Miss Julie, Clarissa and John is back for just three performances!
Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater Company's  acclaimed 2016 production of Miss Julie, Clarissa and John will be on tour during the entire month of August, first at the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina, and then at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland! But first, Pittsburgh has three more chances to see it, July 27th and 28th at 8 PM and July 29th at 5 PM!

To help raise funds for the tour, the company will present just three performances at the end of July, right here in Pittsburgh, immediately before the show heads to North Carolina. Seating is limited, so buy your tickets now!

For tickets, go to

Monteze Freeland returns to direct the original cast:

These will be full productions, including set and costumes, presented in Bricolage's theatre space (entrance right next to ours). We've very proud of this show, and can't wait to show it off in these national and international venues. So we'd appreciate any donation you can make toward our tour of this show.

More about our original 2016 production:

"A tremendously theatrical event — a celebration of the enormous and unique power of drama and how a brilliant playwright writing at the top of his game can levitate an audience." - Ted Hoover, City Paper

"A riveting reinvention ... an inspired transfer." - Sharon Eberson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

More about Miss Julie, Clarissa and John...

A Note From Tami Dixon ("Miss Julie")

Dear friend,
Last year I had the privilege of performing in Mark Clayton Southers' new play Miss Julie, Clarissa and John, inspired by Strindberg's classic text Miss Julie. This year we have been given two amazing opportunities to tour this piece to audiences all over the world. First we land at The National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina and then we head to Scotland for The Edinburgh Festival!! I am so excited and honored to be able to tell this incredible story again for new audiences.

Before we head out we are doing three special Pittsburgh performances to get us ready for the road and to raise the last bit of funds we need to make our tour a success. I'm hoping you might consider buying tickets to one of the shows on July 27, 28 or 29, or making a donation (of any size) to our GoFundMe campaign. Your support is important to our success and will be greatly appreciated.

Below are all the details. Thank you for your consideration and I hope to see you at the theatre. It's really a special piece written by a wonderful writer (a native son of the burgh) and I have the honor of playing Miss Julie alongside actors whom I love and respect. The subject matter will get you talking, the performances will get you feeling and the idea that we will represent Pittsburgh to the world will get you fired up!!
Much love and gratitude,

To donate, go to

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Help Bring Wagner's Ring Back to Pittsburgh

Time is Running Out:
Become a Ring Leader!

Thanks to a very generous grant, every donation up to $70,000 made to The Ring Fund during our summer festival season will be matched. This special fund was established to help Pittsburgh Festival Opera bring back its critically acclaimed production of Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle. But this opportunity to have your donation doubled doesn't last forever:

You only have until July 31, 2017 to become a Ring Leader!

In addition to having their donations to the Ring Fund matched, Ring Leaders enjoy these exclusive perks:
Early access to Ring Cycle tickets all four years
Special recognition in Ring Cycle programs and lobby signage
Complimentary tickets (perk available to Ring Leaders donating at the $1,000 level or above)

With your support, we can make the return of the Ring Cycle an even bigger success than when we first staged these grandest of operas over a decade ago.

Make a gift that will make a difference for the next four years: Become a Ring Leader today.
DONATE online at

Donations may be made via mail, phone, or online.
Please email or call Roxy MtJoy at or 412-621-1499 with any questions.

Mark your calendars for the return of Richard Wagner's epic Ring Cycle to  Pittsburgh, beginning next year!
2018 Rhinegold
2019 The Valkyrie
2020 Siegfried
2021 Twilight of the Gods
         and Complete Cycle

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Flight 93 Speaker Series on July 22 at Flight 93 National Memorial

Flight 93 LOearning Center Credit: National Park Service

Flight 93 first responders Louis Veitz, John Weir, and Stacy Schmitt will be the featured guests at a Flight 93 Speaker Series event on Saturday, July 22, at Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County.

Veitz, Weir, and Schmitt were among the first people on the scene after Flight 93 crashed near Shanksville on September 11, 2001. Veitz and Schmitt were officers with the Pennsylvania State Police, and Weir was an executive with PBS Coal, which owned part of the crash site.

The three men will give their unique perspectives of that day at two sessions on July 22, scheduled for 1 pm and 3 pm. The events are open to the public free of charge and will be held in the Learning Center, adjacent to the Flight 93 Memorial Visitor Center.

The moderator will be Tom McMillan, a member of the board of directors of the Friends of Flight 93 and author of the book Flight 93: The Story, The Aftermath and The Legacy of American Courage on 9/11.

New this year, the Flight 93 Speaker Series is a joint effort of the National Park Service and Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial. The summer long series is presented by Somerset Trust.

The fourth and final Speaker Series event of the summer will be held on August 19 and 20 and will feature Flight 93 family members Deborah Borza (mother of passenger Deora Bodley) and Calvin Wilson (brother-in-law of First Officer LeRoy Homer).

Established in 2009, the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial is the official non-profit supporting partner of Flight 93 National Memorial. The Friends focus on awareness, education, volunteer support, preservation, and stewardship. The Friends of Flight 93 is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit, donations to which are tax deductible. To learn more about the Friends, make a donation to support the memorial, or become a member, visit

On September 24, 2002, President Bush signed into law the Flight 93 National Memorial Act. The Act created a new national park unit to commemorate the passengers and crew of Flight 93 who, on September 11, 2001, courageously gave their lives thereby thwarting a planned attack on our nation’s capital. The memorial is near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where Flight 93 crashed with the loss of its 40 passengers and crew. For more information on Flight 93 National Memorial visit

More than 22,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at:

Farhad Moshiri: Go West Opens October 13 at the Warhol

Iranian Artist Farhad Moshiri Courtesy Photo

The Andy Warhol Museum announces Farhad Moshiri: Go West, opening October 13, 2017. This exhibition, the first solo museum exhibition of Iranian artist Farhad Moshiri, addresses contemporary Iran’s traditions and historic isolationism while simultaneously acknowledging the powerful appeal and influence of Western culture in his homeland. He spent a portion of his formative years in the United States during the Iranian Revolution, returning years later as a young adult and artist. Encompassing several bodies of work created over decades, this mid-career survey focuses on Moshiri’s varied Pop subject matter, deft use of language, and wide-ranging materials and methods.

Farhad Moshiri, Once Upon a Time (detail), 2011, courtesy of The Third Line, Dubai, photographed by Christopher Pike

Tranquility 2017 Gallerie Perrotin Credit: Claire Dorn
Moshiri’s interest in Pop art and kitsch resonates throughout his work. Many of his visuals are pulled from cartoons, films, comic strips, children’s books, and advertisements, while phrases appropriated from classical poetry, soap operas, and pop songs blur the lines between art and cliché. By selecting ambiguous source images that reference both American and Iranian popular culture, Moshiri’s work takes a complex look at how we define our own cultural identity.

"It is important that The Warhol continue cultural exchanges with artists from diverse backgrounds. This exhibition introduces Farhad Moshiri to new audiences and presents him as one of the most important contemporary artists based in Iran," says José Carlos Diaz, chief curator.

Tranquility (detail) 2017 Gallerie Perrotin Credit: Clair Dorn

The artist transforms mundane materials such as plastic pearls, glass beads, acrylic paint, crystals, knives, and machine-made Persian rugs into intricate, laborious works of art. While they function as a response to modern Iranian society, they are also strangely familiar to most Western viewers. Comprised of kitschy keychains, Mountains & Rivers is a pictorial representation of mountains along with the word "rivers" spelled out in cursive. Originally commissioned as a window display, Once Upon a Time resembles a lush white layer cake with frosted borders and decorative toppings. Using an antique cake decorating kit, Moshiri applied thick acrylic paint to the canvas, much in the way a pastry chef might. Close inspection also reveals the elaborate beadwork used to construct a menagerie of images sourced from vintage postcards: sweethearts in love, domesticated animals, and exotic flower arrangements.

The exhibition brings together paintings and sculptures that have never been displayed together, many of which are traveling to the United States for the first time. Highlighting Moshiri’s artistic techniques and the subtle transformations unfolding in his work, Go West reveals his evolution as both a painter and a sculptor.

"Having an exhibition at The Warhol museum is like being invited to the Warhol family house," says Moshiri.

Born in 1963 in Shiraz, Iran, Moshiri studied art and filmmaking at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) before moving back to Tehran in 1991. His work has been acquired by many collections including The British Museum, London; the Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar; the Guggenheim, Abu Dhabi, UAE; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; and the François Pinault Foundation, Venice. Moshiri currently lives and works between Tehran and Paris.

Moshiri has had solo exhibitions with galleries in New York, Hong Kong, Salzburg, Paris, Brussels, London and Dubai. His upcoming solo exhibition, Snow Forest, will be on view at Perrotin gallery in New York, New York from November 4 – December 30, 2017.

 Farhad Moshiri Crash, 2011 Courtesy of the Farjam Collection, UAE

The Farhad Moshiri: Go West exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue which includes essays by contemporary art history scholars, Dr. Shiva Balaghi and Mitra M. Abbaspour, and an interview with the artist by José Carlos Diaz, chief curator. The 120-page volume is richly illustrated with full-color illustrations of the works in the exhibition as well as documentary photographs of the artist at work. The publication will be available at The Warhol Store; call 412-237-8303.

Exhibition-related public programs will be announced at a later date.

The exhibition is curated by The Warhol’s Chief Curator, José Carlos Diaz.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Newsies Opens Wednesday at Benedum Center

Pittsburgh CLO is proud to produce Disney’s NEWSIES for the first time, July 18-23 at the Benedum Center.

Inspired by the Newsboy Strike of 1899 and based on the cult-hit Disney film, NEWSIES tells a tale of strife and triumph with Tony Award®-winning music, daring choreography and a touch of New York City grit. Tickets are available online at, by calling 412-456-6666 or visiting the Theater Square Box Office.

In the role of reluctant rebel Jack Kelly is JOEY BARREIRO, who is reprising his role from the National Tour in his Pittsburgh CLO debut. Joining him is fellow NEWSIES alum DANIEL QUADRINO as his “tougher than he looks” buddy, Crutchie. The foe to their friendship, Joseph Pulitzer, will be played by Pittsburgh CLO and Broadway veteran EDWARD WATTS. At the helm of this production as Director/Choreographer is Broadway’s RICHARD J. HINDS, who is currently serving as Associate Choreographer in the smash-hit Come From Away.

“We are so fortunate to welcome a team of gifted performers and musicians, under the direction of Broadway's Richard J. Hinds, to mount this incredible production for the first time. I welcome audiences of all ages to delight in the heart-pounding music, electrifying dance and inspirational story of NEWSIES, ” exclaimed Pittsburgh CLO Executive Producer, Van Kaplan.


The story of Disney’s NEWSIES is inspired by the Newsboy Strike of 1899, during which newsboy Kid Blink led a two-week long strike against the newspaper giants of New York City. In 1992, Disney made a film of this classic plight of underdogs fighting for justice and eventually went on to bring the magic of Disney’s NEWSIES to the stage.

After a four-week preview in 2011, the original musical production opened on Broadway in 2012 with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, choreography by Christopher Gattelli and book by Harvey Fierstein. The show ran for two years with a standout cast, including Jeremy Jordan, for a total of 1,005 performances. The show was nominated for countless awards, earning two Tony Awards® in addition to two Grammy® awards for the show’s choreography and the music. Disney’s NEWSIES continued to thrill audiences across the nation during the First National Tour.
Due to its overwhelming success, Disney released a movie version of the stage production in 2017. The movie was shown for three days in movie theaters and then was made available to the general public, allowing all to experience the spectacular choreography, music and story of the New York City newsboys.


Joey Barreiro Credit:Courtesy Photo

Joey Barreiro (Jack Kelly) is back with Disney’s Newsies after recently wrapping up the first National Tour. Regional credits include Witches of Eastwick (Ogunquit), Ragtime (Westchester Broadway), A Chorus Line (Connecticut Rep) and Into the Woods (Studio Tenn).

Beth Stafford Laird Credit: Courtesy Photo

Beth Stafford Laird (Katherine Plumber) joins Pittsburg CLO from the first National Tour of Newsies as the Female Swing, and filming Newsies Live! in the roles of “Nun” and “Bowery Beauty.” She will be making her Pittsburgh CLO debut with the role of Katherine. Other National Tours include Beauty and the Beast (Internt’l) and Ghost (1st Nat’l). Additional Regional credits include Nikola Tesla Drops The Beat, The Little Mermaid, Sweeney Todd and A Christmas Carol.

Stephen Michael Langton (Davey) will be reprising the role of Davey after performing around the country with the first National Tour of Disney’s Newsies. He is a proud Pace MT graduate.

Billy Mason (Seitz) was recently seen as Piragua Guy in Pittsburgh CLO's IN THE HEIGHTS, Black Dude in THE TOXIC AVENGER; and last summer in Aida and as Henri in South Pacific. Other favorite roles include Judas in JCS, Shrek in Shrek the Musical and Horton in Seussical.

Patricia Phillips (Nun/Medda Larkin) is a long-time Pittsburgh CLO alum and Carnegie Mellon graduate. She marks among her many accomplishments her debut as the first African-American woman to play the role of Carlotta in the The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Her recent Broadway credits include Kinky Boots, Live from Lincoln Center: Sweeney Todd, and she was a member of the original Broadway casts of La Boheme, The Secret Garden and The Sound of Music. Television credits include two Tony Award® telecasts, The Sopranos and Everybody’s Fine with Robert De Niro. Ms. Phillips has also been a featured soloist with The Pittsburgh Symphony, The Minnesota Orchestra, The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Indianapolis Symphony and The River City Brass Band.

Daniel Quadrino (Crutchie) will be making his Pittsburgh CLO debut after understudying the role of Crutchie on Broadway. Some of his other Broadway credits include Wicked and the 2009 revival of Bye Bye Birdie. He has also appeared on television in Peter Pan Live! (Lost Boy).

William Sendera (Les) is a student at Pittsburgh CAPA in his third year of training at the Pittsburgh CLO Academy. He recently performed at Carnegie Mellon University (Ragtime), Kinetic Theater (3 Days…), Prime Stage (The Giver) and PICT (Oliver Twist). He has also performed in Austin, TX with ZACH Theatre (Tommy, Les Mis, Ragtime, Christmas Story), UT Austin (ZM) and St Edwards (Merrily We Roll Along).

Edward Watts Credit: Courtesy Photo

Edward Watts (Joseph Pulitzer) has been seen on Broadway and in NYC in Scandalous (Robert/David), Finian’s Rainbow (Woody stand-by), It’s a Bird..Plane..It’s Superman (Superman) at Encores!, The Fantasticks (El Gallo), The Most Happy Fella (Joe) at the NYC Opera, Show Boat (Steve) at Lincoln Center and Transport (Delamare) at The Irish Rep. His National Tour credits include: The Book of Mormon (Joseph Smith/Mission President), Disney’s The Little Mermaid (King Triton), 7 Brides for 7 Brothers (Adam Pontipee) and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Gaston).

Disney’s NEWSIES is complete with a talented ensemble, including Sky Bennett, Matthew Boyd, Christopher Campbell, Alex Dorf, Grant Haralson,

Cameron Anika Hill, Jeffrey Howell, Michael James, Carina-Kay Louchiey, Javier Manente, Connor McCanlus, J. Alex Noble, Gavan Pamer, Kevin Paul, Isaac Cole Powell, Vinnie Smith, Trent Soyster, Taylor Kellas Warren, James Allen Washington and Davis Wayne.
Pittsburgh CLO is proud to welcome CLO Academy students Benjamin Godley-Fisher and Noah Kies in their professional debuts as members of the NEWSIES cast! Benjamin is a student at Obama High School in his third year of training at the CLO Academy. Noah joined the Academy this year and is a student at Propel East.


Richard J. Hinds (Director/Choreographer) joins the Pittsburgh CLO team for the first time while also currently serving as Associate Choreographer for Come From Away on Broadway. Other Broadway credits include Jekyll & Hyde (Associate Dir./Chor.) and Il Divo: A Musical Affair (Assistant Dir.). Off Broadway credits of his include Here Lies Love (Associate Dir./Chor.) and Frankenstein (Assistant Dir.). National Tours: 9 to 5 (Associate Dir.) and Disney’s High School Musical (Associate Chor.). Regional: La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, Paper Mill Playhouse, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Flat Rock Playhouse, Ogunquit Playhouse, Gateway Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre and Seattle 5th Ave. Theatre. TV: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, America’s Got Talent, The Bethenny Show and Bring It.

James Cunningham (Music Director) recently made his Pittsburgh CLO debut as Music Director for IN THE HEIGHTS. Mr. Cunningham’s New York credits include Avenue Q, music director for Bunnicula (TheaterworksUSA and original cast recording), Hot Mess In Manhattan (The Araca Project) and Happy Birthday (TACT) for which he also provided original music. His National Tour credits as pianist/conductor include Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Spamalot, Evita and Cats. For the past three seasons he has been a frequent music director for Casa Mañana where his credits include Million Dollar Quartet, Spamalot, Rent, Fiddler on the Roof, Les Misérables, Buddy…The Buddy Holly Story, Always…Patsy Cline and Cats. Regionally, he has also conducted productions for North Carolina Theatre, Sharon Playhouse, Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Engeman Theater, Paper Mill Playhouse, The MUNY and Cape Fear Regional Theatre. He holds degrees from Manhattan School of Music and New York University.


Alan Menken (Music) is the man behind the music of countless beloved films and shows, especially in the world of Disney. He has composed for Disney films such as Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Enchanted, Hercules, Home on the Range, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Little Mermaid, Pocahontas and Tangled. His work in film apart from Disney includes Leap of Faith and Little Shop of Horrors. On stage, he has composed the music for A Christmas Carol, Disney’s Aladdin, King David, Little Shop of Horrors, Sister Act and Disney’s Newsies. His work has garnered him countless prestigious awards, including a Drama Desk™ Award, a Tony Award®, The Frederick Lowe Award and an Audience Choice Award for his work with Disney’s Newsies.

Jack Feldman (Lyrics) has written for television, film and Broadway. He is best known for writing the lyrics for Barry Manilow’s Grammy Award®-winning song "Copacabana." His work in theater includes The Madwoman of Central Park West; written for multiple films, such as Oliver & Company, Thumbelina, Disney’s Newsies, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, A Goofy Movie, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and 102 Dalmatians. His work with Alan Menken on Disney’s Newsies garnered him the Tony Award® for Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) written for the Theatre.
Harvey Fierstein (Book) is a four-time Tony Award®-winning writer and actor. He has written for a plethora of shows, including Kinky Boots, La Cage aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy, Safe Sex, Legs Diamond and A Catered Affair. As an actor he has delivered unforgettable performances in Hairspray, Fiddler on the Roof, La Cage aux Folles and Torch Song Trilogy, as well as in the films Mrs. Doubtfire and Independence Day. Over the course of his successful career in both writing and acting, he has received and been nominated for numerous awards, including nominations for a Tony Award® and an Outer Critics Circle Award for his contributions to Disney’s Newsies.

Jeff Calhoun (Director) was the director of the original Broadway production and the First National Tour of Disney’s Newsies. He has directed and choreographed multiple Broadway shows, including Tony Award®-winning Big River, Jekyll & Hyde, Bonnie & Clyde, Brooklyn, Bells Are Ringing, Annie Get Your Gun, and Grease, to name a few. Among his Off-Broadway and Regional work are shows such as 9 to 5 the Musical, High School Musical and Strike Up the Band, among others. Along with his roles as director and choreographer, Mr. Calhoun also has performed in the Off-Broadway production of One More Song/One More Dance and the Broadway productions of My One and Only and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. He has been nominated and awarded many honors, including two Tony Award® nominations for his direction of Disney’s Newsies.

Christopher Gattelli (Choreographer) has choreographed for prominent Broadway shows, including South Pacific, War Paint, Amazing Grace, The King and I, 13, the Musical, Sunday in the Park with George, The Ritz and High Fidelity, among others. Mr. Gattelli has choreographed and directed for multiple Off-Broadway and Regional productions as well, such as Altar Boyz, Bat Boy, How To Save The World… and Radio Girl. He was the resident choreographer for The Rosie O’Donnell Show for three seasons. As a performer, he appeared in How to Succeed…(Revival) and in the role of Pouncival in Cats. Mr. Gatelli’s work with Disney’s Newsies garnered him the Tony Award® for Best Choreography in 2012.

Performance Schedule for Disney’s NEWSIES

Tuesday,July 18  8 p.m.
Wednesday, July 19 8 p.m.
Thursday, July 20, 8 p.m.
Friday, July 21, 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 22, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 23, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.


Tickets are available online at, by calling 412-456-6666 or at the Box Office at Theater Square. Tickets start at $35. Groups of 10 or more enjoy exclusive discounts and specialty packages. Call our Group Sales Hotline at 412-325-1582 for more information. Visit for further information.

Concert and Exhibit Celebrate Pittsburgh Jazz

Whether it's a downpour, a  sizzler or just right, the Carnegie Carnegie is the cool  place to be.
Bring friends, have a beer, enjoy the music and photography, then head down to Main Street in Carnegie for more.

Sgt. Pepper and Beatles Showcased at Heinz Hall

Mystery Tour Credit: Courtesy Photo

Celebrate 50 years of the groundbreaking Beatles album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Classical Mystery Tour on Friday, July 21 at 8 p.m. at Heinz Hall.

This concert, led by Assistant Conductor Andrés Franco, offers many Beatles fans an opportunity that they may never have had — to experience the classic songs of John, Paul, George and Ringo live! The first half of the concert will feature the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album performed in its entirety and the second half will showcase the Beatles’ greatest hits, such as “Come Together,” “Imagine,” “Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da” and many others!

The four musicians of Classical Mystery Tour — Jim Owen, David John, Tony Kishman and Chris Camilleri —look and sound just like The Beatles, but Classical Mystery Tour is more than just a rock concert. The Beatles tunes have been transcribed note-for-note and are performed exactly as they were originally recorded but are enriched with live trumpet sections, string quartets, orchestral crescendos and more provided by the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Tickets, ranging from $29 to $69, are available at the Heinz Hall Box Office, via phone at 412-392-4900 or online at

About the Artists

MYSTERY TOUR has become the #1 symphony pops attraction over the last decade. The group has been performing consistently for nearly 20 years with more than 100 orchestras in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. The group played to packed houses at the Sydney Opera House, and has performed with America’s most prestigious orchestras: The Cleveland Orchestra, The Boston Pops, The Philadelphia Orchestra and The San Francisco Symphony, among many others.
Mystery Tour Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Los Angeles Times called Classical Mystery Tour "more than just an incredible simulation...the swelling strings and soaring French horn lines gave the live performance a high goose-bump quotient...the crowd stood and bellowed for more."

Andres Franco
Having completed highly successful first seasons as music director of Tulsa’s Signature Symphony at TCC, as well as assistant conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, ANDRÉS FRANCO has established himself as a conductor to watch. While maintaining his roles as principal conductor of the multimedia project Caminos del Inka, and artistic director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s summer festival “Concerts in the Garden,” he continues to delight audiences with his imaginative programming and energetic style.

During the 2016-2017 season, Franco made debuts with the Boise Philharmonic, Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Texas Music Festival, and will return to conduct the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. A frequent guest conductor in the United States, Europe and South America, Franco has appeared with the Columbus, Elgin, El Paso, Eugene, Fort Worth, Houston, Lake Forest, Mississippi, Saginaw Bay, Springfield, St. Louis and Stockton symphony orchestras; the Chicago Sinfonietta; Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León/Spain; the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru, as well as with the National Symphony, Bogota Philharmonic, Medellin Philharmonic and EAFIT Symphony Orchestra in Colombia.  Festival appearances include the Cabrillo, Grant Park, OK Mozart and Oregon Bach Festivals. Franco formerly served as music director of the Philharmonia of Kansas City, as associate and resident conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony, and as Leonard Slatkin’s assistant conductor during the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

A native of Colombia, Franco is dedicated to preserving and performing the music of the Americas. As principal conductor of Caminos del Inka, he has led many performances of works by Latin American composers, such as Jimmy López, Diego Luzuriaga and the famous Argentine composer Ástor Piazzolla. Born into a musical family, Franco began piano studies with his father, Jorge Franco. An accomplished pianist, he studied with Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Jose Feghali, and attended piano workshops with Rudolph Buchbinder in Switzerland, and Lev Naumov in France.  He studied conducting with Marin Alsop, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Kurt Masur, Gustav Meier, Helmut Rilling, Gerard Schwarz and Leonard Slatkin.

Franco holds a bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, as well as master of music degrees in piano performance and conducting from Texas Christian University. Franco is married to Victoria Luperi, associate principal clarinetist in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Since its initial performance at the Orange County Performing Arts Center (now renamed Segerstrom Center for the Arts) in 1996, CLASSICAL MYSTERY TOUR has become the #1 symphony pops attraction over the last decade. The group has been performing consistently for nearly 20 years with more than 100 orchestras in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. The group played to packed houses at the Sydney Opera House, and has performed with America’s most prestigious orchestras: The Cleveland Orchestra, The Boston Pops, The Philadelphia Orchestra and The San Francisco Symphony, among many others.

The Los Angeles Times called Classical Mystery Tour "more than just an incredible simulation...the swelling strings and soaring French horn lines gave the live performance a high goose-bump quotient...the crowd stood and bellowed for more."

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Outrageous “Alternative Facts” are Rewarded with Hearty Laughter in THE LIAR

Patrick Halley as Cliton and Ethan Saks as Dorante in Kinetic Theatre's THE LIAR Credit: Rocky Raco
Note: I managed to catch a performance at the Sunday matinee and highly recommend this to my readers. What a great play! The writing by David Ives is brilliant, the cast is superb and Andrew Paul's direction again shows his genius and talent. DON'T MISS THIS ONE - or you'll be sorry!

Kinetic follows up hit production of The Christians with David Ives’ fresh and funny adaptation of Corneille’s timeless farce featuring mischievous servants, mistaken identities, and (of course!) passionate young lovers

The Kinetic Theatre Company continues their 2017 season with the Pittsburgh premiere of David Ives’ The Liar. A marvelous adaptation of Pierre Corneille’s lively farce, this summertime treat for the whole family plays July 13th through 30th in the Henry Heymann Theatre, Oakland. 

From a series of misunderstandings and breathtakingly intricate lies springs one of the Western world’s greatest comedies! This sparkling urban romance is set in Paris, 1643, and features Dorante, a charming young man newly arrived in the capital in search of a wife. The challenge? He has a little problem with the truth. Even when it serves no discernible purpose, he compulsively and ceaselessly – er, how shall we say it? Makes false statements? Proffers unsubstantiated assertions? Presents alternative facts? This sublimely funny adaptation, written in rhymed iambic pentameter, is packed full of verbal ingenuity and has thrilled audiences in New York and across the country. 

Ethan Saks as Dorante and Charlie Murphy as Alcippe Credit: Rocky Raco
Playwright David Ives is as well-known for his original comic one-act plays as he is for breathing new life into 17th and 18th century classical French 
comedies. His award-winning collection of short comedies, All in the Timing, was the most performed play in the country (after Shakespeare) in the 1995-1996 season, and his play Venus in Fur was adapted for film. Other adaptations of note include George Feydeau’s farce A Flea in Her Ear, and The School for Lies, an adaptation of Moliere’s The Misanthrope.

Pierre Corneille (1606-1684) was a contemporary of Moliere and Jean Racine. He is best-known for one of his earliest plays, the tragedy Le Cid, which broke the Neoclassical guidelines for the structure of tragic drama in 17th Century France and was denounced by the French Academy. 
Controversy over the play rose to the level of scandal, as accusations of immorality and plagiarism leveled at the play were countered by Corneille’s release of poems boasting of his talents and defaming a rival author’s character. In spite of all this, Corneille went on to have a long and prolific career, 

Julianne Avolio as Isabelle and Patrick Halley as Cliton Credit: Rocky Raco
The Kinetic Theatre production features Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama alums Ethan Saks and Erika Strasburg as Dorante, the title character, and Clarice, the object of his affections, with Kinetic associate artist Sam Tsoutsouvas as Dorante’s clueless father, Geronte. Sumptuous scenery by Gianni Downs and costumes by Kim Brown make this a visual feast to match Ives’ hilarious text 

Andrew Paul has directed all eight of Kinetic Theatre’s Pittsburgh premiere productions: Joe Penhall’s Blue/Orange, David Mamet’s Romance, Conor McPherson’s adaptation of Strindberg’s The Dance of Death, Charles Marowitz’s Sherlock’s Last Case, Mike Bartlett’s Cock, Peepolykus’ adaptation of Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, the American premiere of Patrick Marber’s Three Days in the Country, and Lucas 
Hnath’s The Christians. 

Paul recently directed extended runs of Peepolykus’ The Hound of the Baskervilles at Nevada Conservatory Theatre in Las Vegas and the Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples, Florida. His production of David Ives’ The School for Lies at San Diego’s North Coast Repertory Theatre was one of five nominees for the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Production of 2014 - as voted upon by the San Diego Theatre Critics – and his production of of George Brant’s award-winning play Grounded at Cockroach Theatre in Las Vegas garnered actress Mindy Woodhead Best Actress at last year’s Vegas Valley Theatre Awards. 

This September he will direct Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out at Nevada Conservatory Theatre and next year he will direct the West Coast premiere of Patrick Marber’s Three Days in the Country at the Antaeus Theatre in Los Angeles. Paul previously co-founded the acclaimed Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre (PICT) and served as the company's producing artistic director from 1996 to 2013.  

Under his leadership, PICT produced more than a hundred plays, festivals devoted to the plays of Samuel Beckett, John Millington Synge, Harold Pinter, and Anton Chekhov, and two successful international tours: Andrew's 2002 production of Brian Friel's Faith Healer starring Bingo O'Malley played to acclaim at thirteen venues in Ireland and Northern Ireland and he appeared as an actor in the 2003 PICT production of Shaw's Major Barbara which performed 14 sold-out performances at the Galway Arts Festival and transferred to Dublin for three weeks of performances at the Pavilion Theatre.  

In 2008, he directed and collaborated with Sir David Hare on the non-English language premiere of his play Stuff Happens at the Slaski Theatre in Katowice, Poland.  In 2010, Andrew was a featured speaker at the World Theatre Conference in Baku, Azerbaijan.  
Erika Strasburg as Clarice and Sarah Silk as Lucrece Credit: Rocky Raco
Ethan Saks makes his Kinetic Theatre debut as the title character in The Liar. His previous Pittsburgh credits include Peribanez (Quantum Theatre), as well as The History Boys and The Mask of Moriarty (PICT). An accomplished classical actor, he has performed with Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. 

Erika Strasburg won the 2015 Broadway World Award for Performance of the Year for her role in the Off-Broadway production of St. Joan of the Stockyards, directed by Peter Kleinert. She has appeared with Kinetic Theatre last season in the critically-acclaimed productions of Cock and Three Days in the Country, and has also appeared locally with Pittsburgh CLO, City Theatre, Quantum, and barebones productions.

Sam Tsoutsouvas has performed leading roles on Broadway and at many of America’s finest regional theatres.  His notable Pittsburgh appearances include Ed Dixon’s L’Hotel and Caryl Churchill’s A Number at Pittsburgh Public Theatre, and Frank Lloyd Wright in Worksong at City Theatre.  His many productions with director Paul include Kinetic Theatre’s Three Days in the Country, Cock, The Dance of Death, & Blue/Orange, and Max in Stoppard’s Rock’n’Roll, and Hirst in Pinter’s No Man’s Land for PICT.

The Liar also features cast members Patrick Halley, Sarah Silk, Charlie Murphy, Julianne Avolio, and John Michyna. Scenic design is by Gianni Downs with properties by Johnmichael Bohach, sound by Angela Baughman, and costumes by Kim Brown. The Liar performs July 13 – 30 in the Henry Heymann Theatre, Oakland.

FACT SHEET – The Liar by David Ives, from Pierre Corneille
Pittsburgh Premiere
Directed by Andrew Paul
The Henry Heymann Theatre in the Stephen Foster Memorial
4301 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Cast: Juliane Avolio, Patrick Halley, John Michnya, Charlie Murphy, Ethan Saks, Sarah Silk, Erika Strasburg, and Sam Tsoutsouvas
Design Team: Gianni Downs (scenic design); Kim Brown (costume design); Cat Wilson (lighting design); Angela Baughman (sound design)
First Week:         Thursday – Friday, July 13, 14 – Previews, 8:00 p.m
            Saturday, July 15 – Opening Night, 8:00 p.m.
            Sunday, July 16 – 2:00 p.m.
Second Week:         Wednesday – Saturday, July 19, 20, 21, 22 -  8:00 p.m.
            Sunday, July 23 – 2:00 p.m.
Third Week:        Monday, July 24 – 8:00 Pay What You Can performance
            Thursday – Saturday, July 27, 28, 29 - 8:00 p.m.
            Sunday, July 30 – 2:00 p.m. Closing
Tickets:        $36 in advance
        $40 at the door
        $20 for persons 25 and younger, at the door with valid I.D.
        $25 artist rate
Tickets available at ShowClix by calling 1.888.718.4253, or online at