Saturday, December 30, 2017

Pittsburgh First Night Moving Indoors

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust welcomes New Year’s Eve revelers inside with just-announced schedule updates for Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2018. The modifications will accommodate visitors with a comfortable and memorable celebration, largely indoors, in light of forecasted low temperatures. With 90 percent of Highmark First Night Pittsburgh programming already taking place inside the theaters, galleries, and unique spaces of the Cultural District, attendees this Sunday evening will now be able to enjoy more of the festivities while remaining warm.

“Come on in! We are moving many performances indoors to provide a warmer and safer experience. We encourage attendees to celebrate the New Year indoors while still enjoying our announced programming and entertainment,” said Sarah Aziz, Director of Highmark First Night Pittsburgh at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

All schedule updates are live at, including:

Lee Fields & The Expressions will perform on the Benedum Center Stage from 10:30–11:30 p.m. This performance requires an admission button, but does not require advance seat reservations. Seating is general admission, first-come, first-served. Guests wearing admission buttons will be issued a free ticket upon entry.
Byron Nash and PlanB will perform at the Highmark Stage beginning at 11:30 p.m. to ring in the New Year with The Future of Pittsburgh Grand Finale, featuring a Zambelli Fireworks display!

Barrels to Beethoven will kick-off the musical celebrations with a set from 6:00–6:30 p.m. on the Highmark Stage.

River City Brass will now perform from 6:00–6:45 p.m. in the grand lobby of the Benedum Center.
Ice Creations and Steel Town Fire will still perform on the Fire and Ice Stage located at the corner of 9th St. and Penn Ave. They will be performing shortened sets from 6:00–10:30 p.m.
The Williams SING-OFF Finalists will perform in the Peirce Studio of the Trust Arts Education Center from 6:30–7:00 p.m.

We are moving the parade’s high-energy highlights inside and extending the fun from 7:30–9:00 p.m. with a Puppet Party which will take place in the August Wilson Center for African American Culture.
Crowd-favorite, Soul Line Dancing with Roland Ford, will take place in the Highmark Room at the August Wilson Center during the scheduled times.

Visit the Allegheny Health Network Family Tent! This perennially popular heated tent will still provide a variety of activities and fun for the whole family.

The Highmark Warming Station scheduled to be on the corner of 9th St. and Penn Ave. is moving to 7th St. and Penn Ave. outside of the Benedum. Highmark and Allegheny Health Network will be providing free hot chocolate, while supplies last. The Warming Station scheduled to be at Katz Plaza will now be in the Allegheny Health Network Family Area.

The Benedum will remain open throughout the event. The Benedum Center Box Office will operate as an information and box office location, and you can find your favorite merchandise in the Benedum Lobby.

Admission buttons are $10 each (children 5 and under FREE) and grant access to all attractions in the Cultural District on New Year’s Eve. First Night Friend VIP experiences ($40) are also available and provide access to seating, parking, a private lounge, and more! Admission Buttons and First Night Friend
VIP Packages are now available for sale at, in person at the Box Office at Theater Square (655 Penn Avenue), or by phone at 412-456-6666.

Additionally, participating Giant Eagle store locations will have Admission Buttons available for sale at a $1 discount with Advantage Card®. If you purchase Admission Buttons at participating Giant Eagle locations, you will be directed to register your button at Some indoor performances also require free reserved seating, events requiring vouchers are listed at

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Last Chance for Half-Off memberships to Cultural Trust

Support the arts.
Enjoy behind-the-scenes access.
Become a Trust Member AT HALF-PRICE today!

Become a Member CLICK HERE

Year-end special offer makes your membership go further.

Make a donation by December 31 and receive membership benefits. Plus, your gift may qualify for 2017 tax deductions.* Check out more membership benefits here.
Gifts of $50 include a $100 Sustaining Partner Membership
Gifts of $125 include a $250 Sponsoring Partner Membership
Gifts of $250 include a $500 Lead Partner Membership
Gifts of $500 include a $1,000 Director’s Circle Membership  
You can make an annual gift with appreciated securities—publicly traded stocks, bonds and mutual fund shares. It is simple to do, a great way to avoid potential capital gains taxes and can provide you with wonderful benefits and a charitable tax deduction in return.

For questions, email or call 412-471-3518.

Traffic and Parking Info for First Night Pittsburgh

Highmark Stage and Fireworks

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is working diligently to ensure that both residents and visitors can experience a safe and enjoyable environment for Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2018 that takes place on Sunday, December 31, 2017, 6:00 p.m. to Midnight, in downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District.  Highmark First Night Pittsburgh, our city’s arts-focused New Year’s Eve celebration, is produced by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.  In order to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment, we would like to make you aware of the following traffic and parking provisions.

Most major streets leading into and out of downtown’s Cultural District remain open to traffic before, during, and following the event. All Pittsburgh Parking Authority and other nearby parking garages remain open with one exception for the convenience of daytime commuters and event visitors later in the evening. Additional planning information is available for visitors at Real-time parking availability can be referenced at

Please note the following exceptions, including street closures and one garage closure, in effect to help ensure a safe event.

All closures begin at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 31, 2017 and reopen at 1:00 a.m. on Monday, January 1, 2018, unless otherwise noted:

Penn Avenue at Stanwix Street to midblock at 9th Street, will be closed for the duration of the event.

Sixth Street will be closed from 8:00 p.m.-8:45p.m. for the Allegheny Health Network Ground Parade, but will otherwise remain open throughout the event.

10th Street will be closed from Fort Duquesne Boulevard to Penn Avenue for the duration of the Allegheny Health Network Ground Parade starting at 7:30 p.m.

Stanwix Street Northbound from Liberty Avenue to Fort Duquesne Boulevard will be closed at 10 a.m. on Sunday, December 31, 2017 through 2 a.m. on Monday, January 1, 2018.

Stanwix Street Southbound from Liberty Avenue to Fort Duquesne Boulevard will be closed at 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 31, 2017 through 2 a.m. on Monday, January 1, 2018.

11 Stanwix Street Garage, operated by Alco Parking Corporation, can only be accessed from the garage’s Fort Duquesne Boulevard entrance.

EQT Plaza garage will be closed and inaccessible from Noon on Sunday, December 31, 2017 through 2:00 a.m. on Monday, January 1, 2018.

Sixth & Penn Garage located at 542 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 will be closed and inaccessible from Noon on Sunday, December 31, 2017 through 2:00 a.m. on Monday, January 1, 2018.

Fifth Avenue Extension will be closed from Fifth Avenue Place to Fort Duquesne Boulevard. (Fifth Avenue Place Parking garage is still accessible from Liberty Avenue.)

Seventh Street will be closed from Liberty Avenue to the entrance of Theatre Square Parking Garage. (Parking garage access only accessible from Fort Duquesne Boulevard).

Maddock Place will be closed from Penn Avenue to Fort Duquesne Boulevard.

Eighth Street will be closed from Liberty Avenue (Tito Way) to Ft Duquesne Boulevard (parking lot access only accessible from Fort Duquesne Boulevard).

Ninth Street will be closed from Liberty Avenue to the Ninth and Penn Garage (parking garage access only accessible from Fort Duquesne Boulevard).

Garrison Place will be closed from Exchange Way to French Way (parking lot access only accessible from Fort Duquesne Boulevard).

Exchange Way will be closed from Garrison Place to 8th Street (parking access only accessible from 10th Street).

       All alleys leading into the footprint from Penn Avenue, Liberty Avenue, 6-10th Streets,
       including, Cecil CLO Academy Way, Barkers Place, Scott Place and French Way.

Uber/Pittsburgh transportation drop off and pick up points will be available at the following locations in downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District on Sunday, December 31, 2017 beginning at 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m. on Monday, January 1, 2018.

Corner of Liberty Avenue at Stanwix Street
Corner of Liberty Avenue at 6th Street
Corner of Liberty Avenue at Tito Way
Corner of Liberty Avenue at 10th Street
Corner of Fort Duquesne Boulevard at 6th Street
Corner of Fort Duquesne Boulevard at 9th Street

For information on Port Authority bus stops that may be affected by the street closures, please call the Port Authority Customer Service center at 412-442-2000 or the TTY number 412-231-7007, for the speech and hearing impaired, or visit

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Make a Snowball Today for a Summer Solstice Bargain

With snow on the ground and snow in the forecast, it’s time to get ready for Carnegie Science Center’s annual Snowball Day!  Bundle up, put on some warm gloves or mittens, and go out there and make snowballs!

All visitors who make a snowball this winter, save it in their freezer, and bring it to the Science Center on the first day of summer, Thursday, June 21, will be able to choose what they pay for general admission that day. In addition to naming their own price, visitors will be able to launch their snowballs into the Ohio River (weather permitting).

In past years, hundreds of snowballs have survived the winter and spring in freezers throughout the region and made their way to the Science Center—in coolers, freezer bags, frosty coffee cans, and plastic storage containers.

The Science Center invites visitors of all ages to start stockpiling snowballs now for this Summer Solstice celebration, and remember these snowy facts:
Snow forms from tiny crystals in clouds. Snow is not frozen rain; that’s called sleet.
Most snowflakes melt before reaching the ground.
No two snowflakes are identical.
Each snowflake is made up of two to 200 separate crystals, on average.
Although it appears white, snow is actually transparent. Snow crystals act as prisms and break up the Sun’s light into the entire color spectrum. The human eye can’t handle that kind of sensory overload, so it is processed as white. If a region’s soil contains more iron, giving it a reddish tinge, snow may appear pink—wind will blow dirt and dust into the atmosphere and clouds, where the snow crystals form initially.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Celebrate New Year's Eve at Mad Mex

Roll in for New Year’s Eve
Sunday, December 31

Mad Mex invites you and your last date of the year to dine in tandem with our $40 dinner built for two.
We're peddling this combo all day long, so saddle up and party down with three mad courses. Customized with lots of choices, your bespoke dinner includes:

Your choice of an appetizer or small order of wings to share
Two small frozen or rocks margaritas (original or fruity)
An entree of your choice each
A brownie to fight over

Plus, $7 Big Azz Margaritas all day. We think it's the Mexiest deal you can handle—bar none.
Holiday Hours: We'll be open our regular hours on January 1, although we might be a little... tired.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Love Never Dies to Make Pittsburgh Area Premiere Jan. 2 - 7

Gardar Thor Cortes (“The Phantom”) and Meghan Picerno (“Christine Daaé”) star in Love Never Dies. Credit: Joan Marcus

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces Love Never Dies will make its area premiere at the Benedum Center, 237 7th Street, Pittsburgh, Tuesday, January 2 through Sunday, January 7, 2018, as part of the North American tour. Andrew Lloyd Webber's spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera is part of the 2017-18 PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Broadway Across America.

Direct from the highly successful production of Love Never Dies in Hamburg, Germany, Gardar Thor Cortes will portray the man behind the mask, ‘The Phantom,’ with Meghan Picerno as ‘Christine Daaé,’ Karen Mason as ‘Madame Giry,’ Sean Thompson as ‘Raoul,’ Mary Michael Patterson as ‘Meg Giry,’ and Casey Lyons and Jake Heston Miller sharing the role of ‘Gustave.’

The trio of Phantom’s henchmen include Katrina Kemp as ‘Fleck,’ Richard Koons as ‘Squelch,’ Stephen Petrovich as ‘Gangle,’ Gardar Thor Cortes is appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association.  The Producers gratefully acknowledge Actors' Equity Association for its assistance of this production.

Love Never Dies is a dazzling new production, which takes audiences on a thrilling rollercoaster ride of intrigue, obsession and romance. Audiences will be seduced by the beautiful; sometimes magical and poetic; sometimes joyful; and occasionally melancholic score. Don’t miss this magnificent continuation of one of the world’s greatest love stories.

Meghan Picerno (“Christine Daaé”) stars in Love Never Dies. Credit Joan Marcus

The new touring production will reflect an extensive re-working of the material by an Australian creative team for the original Australian premiere in 2011. Described by Chris Boyd in The Australian as “The best thing Lloyd Webber has written in the quarter century since The Phantom of the Opera.”

Directed by Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical) with new set and costume designs by Gabriela Tylesova, choreography by 2011 Astaire Awards winner Graeme Murphy, lighting design by Nick Schlieper and sound design by Mick Potter, the show is one of the few instances of a major West End musical being given a complete makeover for subsequent productions.

Lloyd Webber said he knew about five minutes into seeing its first run-through that he and the new production team had achieved something special. “I have the great joy of being able to say that I think this production is probably the finest one I could ever, ever hope for.”

The year is 1907.  It is 10 years after his disappearance from the Paris Opera House and The Phantom has escaped to a new life in New York where he lives among the screaming joy rides and freak shows of Coney Island. In this new, electrically charged world, he has finally found a place for his music to soar, but he has never stopped yearning for his one true love and musical protégée, Christine Daaé.

Now one of the world’s finest sopranos, Christine accepts an invitation to travel from Paris to New York to perform at a renowned opera house. Christine's marriage to Raoul is suffering at the hands of his drinking and gambling and they desperately need the financial rewards that America can give them.

In a final bid to win back Christine’s love, The Phantom lures her, Raoul, and their young son Gustave, from Manhattan to the glittering and glorious world of Coney Island - not knowing what is in store for them.

Richard Koons (“Squelch”), Katrina Kemp (“Fleck”) and Stephen Petrovich (“Gangle”) star in Love Never Dies. Credit: Joan Marcus

Since its premiere in 2010, Love Never Dies has enjoyed productions worldwide in London, Australia, Denmark, Japan and Germany, as well as multiple recordings including a concept album and a London cast recording. A DVD release of the Australian production has delighted fans globally, and now the North American tour brings the musical to the US for the first time.

For more information, please visit

Ticket Information – PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh

In Pittsburgh, tickets currently start at $30* for Love Never Dies and are available at these official ticket sources: online at, by calling the Box Office at Theater Square at 412-456-4800, or visiting in person at 655 Penn Avenue. *All ticket prices are subject to change. Tickets for Groups of 10+ are available online at or call 412-471-6930.

Performances for Love Never Dies take place Tuesday, Wednesday and 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.

For information about the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh subscription series, visit or call 412-456-1390.

Broadway Across America
Broadway Across America (BAA) is part of The John Gore Organization family of companies, which includes and The Broadway Channel.  Led by 11-time Tony-winning producer John Gore (Owner & CEO), BAA is the foremost presenter of first-class touring productions in North America, operating in 44 markets with over 400,000 subscribers. Current and past productions include Beautiful, Cats, Chicago, Dear Evan Hansen, Groundhog Day, Hairspray, Hello, Dolly!, Million Dollar Quartet, On Your Feet!, The Producers, School of Rock and Waitress. is the premier theater website for news, exclusive content and ticket sales. For more information please visit and

Out-of-town Guests? The Cabaret Theater has you covered!

"Roll" on down to the Cabaret with your Holiday Guests!

Celebrate the season at Downtown’s hippest venue, the CLO Cabaret, and enjoy an evening of food, drinks and hysterical laughter with XANADU! This fun-filled rockin' romantic comedy (on roller skates) is sure to charm family and friends from near and far.

For the fun of it, see “Xanadu” with friends who enjoy a good laugh.
It’s a rollicking good time, meant to be shared."
-Sharon Eberson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



Friday, December 22, 2017

Good Reasons to Start New Year's Eve Off at Houlihan's at the Galleria

Houlihan's at the Galleria, 1500 Washington Rd  in Mt. Lebanon, PA  is offering a New Year's Eve Special 3-course dinner with discounted wine.

 To view the menu, CLICK HERE

For more information, phone 412-379-4811

To view the beverage menu, CLICK HERE

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Film Explores Career of Jazz Vocalist Betty Carter

Betty Carter

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival presents:

But Then, She's Betty Carter

Tuesday, January 16th
7 p.m.

City of Asylum @ Alphabet City
40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh's North Side


"There is only one jazz singer, only one:  Betty Carter." —Carmen McCrae

"For nearly 50 years, Betty Carter was an irrepressible and incomparable practitioner of the jazz vocal tradition, with an intense, adventurous style and a booming voice. The fiercely dedicated and demanding vocalist was a pioneer in the music business, paving the route for scores of younger musicians." —NPR
But Then, She’s Betty Carter is an unforgettable portrait of legendary vocalist Betty Carter, one of the greatest and most influentially innovative jazz singers. Uncompromised by commercialism throughout her long career, she forged alternative criteria for success—including founding her own recording company and raising her two sons as a single parent.

Through backstage footage, found photos, and personal interviews, documentarian Michelle Parkerson’s special film captures Carter’s musical genius, her paradoxical relationship with the public, and her fierce dedication to personal and artistic independence.

From "Baby, It's Cold Outside" to "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," she sang it all, how and when she wanted to.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Check out First Night Pittsburgh Offerings

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announced the complete programming lineup for the 24th annual Highmark First Night Pittsburgh. For the 12th consecutive year, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield will serve as the supporting sponsor for the event. Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2018 will begin at 6:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, providing exciting and family-friendly activities throughout the Cultural District to ring in the New Year.

“This year’s Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2018 festivities continue the tradition of bringing everyone together to ring in the New Year, as part of our Love, Peace, Pittsburgh theme,” shared Sarah Aziz, Festival Director of Highmark First Night Pittsburgh at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “We are excited to present a variety of culturally diverse programming from comedy, music, dance, magic, and more that welcomes all ages to participate in our city’s New Year’s Eve celebration.  Our Future of Pittsburgh Ball will sparkle and glow brightly as the countdown to midnight begins, and as the ball rises it will again symbolize a remarkable city and its community of people always ‘on the rise.’ The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust acknowledges presenting sponsor Highmark for its long-standing commitment and support of this community event, the region’s largest one-day festival, and to all of the sponsors, performers and attendees whose participation make this evening together in our beautiful Cultural District unique and memorable, year after year.”

Highmark First Night Pittsburgh will kick off with the Dollar Bank Children’s Fireworks at 6:00 p.m. on the Highmark Stage. Immediately following the fireworks display, steelpan band, Barrels to Beethoven, will launch the musical programming for the evening with an engaging, entertaining and interactive performance.

A crowd favorite, the Allegheny Health Network Parade returns! This year’s honorary Grand Marshal is artist and Pittsburgh icon Randy Gilson, creator of Randyland. The 24th annual parade will be packed with performance groups and loaded with artistic surprises, including the traditional art cars and signature giant puppets from Studio Capezzuti.

This year’s headliner, Lee Fields & The Expressions, is sure to make it a special night. Apologies to the late, great James Brown, but you'd be hard pressed to find another singer who's ever worked as hard as Fields, a man who's been making soul and funk anthems since 1969. Fields has toured the world with musical legends like Kool and the Gang, Sammy Gordon and the Hip-Huggers, O.V Wright, Darrell Banks, and Little Royal. Recorded with French house DJ/producer Martin Solveig. And somehow found a newer, younger audience and become more prolific as the years transpire. Fields will perform in Pittsburgh on the heels of his most recent album release, “Special Night.” Fields’ performance will culminate in the Future of Pittsburgh Grand Finale, taking place above the Highmark Stage. As the crowd counts down to midnight, the Future of Pittsburgh ball will rise in the air above Penn Avenue Place with a spectacular Zambelli fireworks finale.

Admission Buttons provide access to more than 100 events in 30 venues throughout the Cultural District. Some of the most in-demand events also required seat reservations, free with purchase of an admission button. Reservations are available on a first-come, first served basis and seating is general admission on New Year’s Eve. These performances include Penny Arcade and Player One in the new Arcade Comedy Theater. Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and Texture Contemporary Ballet will present shows in the August Wilson Center Theater. Now in its second year, the New Year’s Eve Comedy Showcase has moved from CAPA to the Byham Theater due to high demand. At the Benedum, the Williams Sing-Off Competition winner will open for Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers. The Cabaret at Theater Square will feature Pittsburgh’s own CLO Ministars. In the Highmark Auditorium, Littsburgh will present “Creative Firsts.”

Family friendly-activities like face painting, caricaturists Jordan Callahan and Shawnelle Dodds, and hands-on crafts with the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse will be at Fifth Avenue Place. A family tent at Penn and 7th Street will feature hands-on activities with Assemble, as well as storytelling from the Citizens Bank Children’s Theater Series and EQT Bridge Theater Series. The Fort Pitt Museum and Allegheny County Park Rangers will also be at the Family Tent with hands-on activities related to the history, environment and wildlife of Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania.

In all, there will be over 100 activities in the Cultural District to help you ring in 2018! Visit for the complete schedule of events. The Highmark First Night Pittsburgh website provides event details and allows users to sort through the schedule of events and customize plans. is mobile-friendly and will allow smartphone users to plan on-the-go during New Year’s Eve.

Admission Buttons are $10 each (children 5 and under FREE) and grant access to all attractions in the Cultural District on New Year’s Eve. First Night Friend VIP experiences ($40) are also available and provide access to seating, parking, a private lounge, and more! Admission Buttons and First Night Friend VIP Packages are now available for sale at, in person at the Box Office at Theater Square (655 Penn Avenue), or by phone at 412-456-6666. Additionally, participating Giant Eagle store locations will have Admission Buttons available for sale at a $1 discount with Advantage Card®. If you purchase Admission Buttons at participating Giant Eagle locations, you will be directed to register your button at Some indoor performances also require free reserved seating, events requiring vouchers are listed at

Get the New Year off to a Messy Start

 MessFest, Carnegie Science Center’s one-of-a-kind tradition to kick off the New Year with a very messy start, is back!

Carnegie Science Center is breaking out all of its slimiest, yuckiest, and gooiest activities for MessFest 2018 on Monday, Jan. 1. This is the 12th annual MessFest celebration.

MessFest features hands-on activities that are available only on this special day. From 10 am to 5 pm, visitors of all ages are invited to experiment and enjoy as the Science Center turns its four floors of exhibits into a messy playground. It’s fun for the whole family and, best of all, parents don’t have to clean up after their kids!

Visitors are advised: You will get messy, so whatever you do, don’t dress up! Gooey-substance-turned-solid-turned-liquid Oobleck returns as a fan favorite. The Egg Zipline activity invites visitors to engineer a package for raw eggs that will protect their “egg-stronauts” as they are sent hurtling toward the Science Stage. Kids can become messy artists with finger painting and compete in a pudding “pi”-eating contest.
Other activities include making prints with bubbles, using polymers to make snow, and seeing some explosive reactions.

Along with the activity tables, visitors can experience high-energy, grossly entertaining programs in the Science Center’s BodyStage, presented by Allegheny Health Network.

MessFest activities are included with general admission to the Science Center.

MessFest is presented by PPG and sponsored by WISH 99.7.

Visit or call 412.237.3400 for more details.

Christmas Concert in Carnegie

Comfort and Joy!
Thursday, December 21, 7:30 p.m.
Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, 300 Beechwood Avenue in Carnegie

Ben-David Warner & Friends Quartet perform a full-band, Celtic Christmas concert.  Ben-David lives with one foot in the sacred/choral music work and the other in the folk music word.  He will be joined by the multi-talented musicians Nolan Ladewski (of the Celtic/Americana band Scythian), Julia Kwolyk and Erin Flynn.

This concert of Celtic, early American and folk music carols will sound glorious in the Music Hall!

Tickets available at the door only.  $20, $15 for seniors/students; youth under 13 free.

Monday, December 18, 2017

For Christmas - Gift the Clipper

Need a Last Minute Gift Idea?
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The PERFECT Holiday Gift!

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Princess Holiday Ball
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New Year's Eve Cruises
Ring in 2018 on the Three Rivers! 3 Cruises Sailing!

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Enter Drawing for Tickets to "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"

A limited number of tickets for all performances of DR. SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! THE MUSICAL in Pittsburgh will be sold to winners of a random lottery drawing.

Winning tickets are $35 and are limited to 4 per winner. You can only win the lottery once, so choose only the performances you can attend. Entries for each requested performance will be accepted until 12:00 PM ET on Monday, December 18, 2017.

It's as easy as one click!

In less than a minute, you can enter and choose which performances fit your schedule. All entrants will be notified of lottery results by email, and winners will be given a link with a special code to complete their purchase.

The best part?
There’s no need to come down to the theatre to enter! You can enter from anywhere and winners can print their purchased tickets at home.

Enter Deawing By Clicking HERE


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Cirque Dreams Holidaze Coming to the Benedum

Ornaments on a Tree from Cirque Dreams Holidaze

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE lights up the city in 2017 at the Benedum Center, 237 7th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 with its 10th Anniversary National Tour for three unforgettable performances, presented by 35 Concerts.  This critically-acclaimed holiday stage extravaganza is a Broadway musical, new Cirque adventure, and family show wrapped in one!

Performances of CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE at the Benedum Center are Friday, Decmber 29, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, December 30, at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  Tickets start at $40.25 and are available at, by calling 412-456-666 or in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue.  For group sales of 10+ please call 412-471-471-6930 or visit

Broadway Director Neil Goldberg has reimagined the anniversary stage spectacle of CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE the New York Daily News proclaimed, “A delicious confection of charm, sparkle and talent by the sleigh load.” Its “The perfect holiday gift and show everyone will enjoy” raved BroadwayWorld of the sold-out performances, and “Dazzled…at The Kennedy Center,” hailed The Washington Post.

Audiences around the country will celebrate the most wonderful time of the year at this multi-million-dollar live stage production with never before seen performances, over 300 costumes, 20 of the world’s best acts, the finest singers, original music and seasonal favorites.  Experience elaborate costumed characters, snowmen, penguins, candles, reindeer, toy soldiers, gingerbread men, Santa and ornaments…flying, balancing and stretching imaginations in this groundbreaking holiday celebration.  Exciting theatrical production numbers, illusions and gravity-defying feats will leave you on the edge of your seats at this “Las Vegas…meets family entertainment…meets musical theatre,” declares The Boston Globe about the CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE production.

Reindeer Soaring
Says Creator and Director Goldberg, “Our 10th anniversary season of CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE is not just an entertainment spectacle and uplifting holiday celebration filled with gifts of amazement but is our largest and most elaborate production to date with something for everyone in the family to share and enjoy.”

Cirque Dreams & Neil Goldberg
The Cirque Dreams franchise is a globally recognized entertainment brand that has produced shows for Broadway, theatre tours, casinos, theme parks, resorts, governments, cruise lines and venues worldwide.  Since 1993 over 50 million people have experienced a Cirque Dreams show garnering critical acclaim from USA Today, Associated Press and the New York Times to CNN, Today Show and Fox & Friends. The LA Times proclaims Neil Goldberg “One of today’s leading theatrical impresarios” and the New York Daily News praises him “Uniquely ingenious.”

Other titles include the Broadway Hit Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, Cirque Dreams Rocks, Cirque Dreams Revealed, a new Cirque Dreams Holidaze premiered in 2017 at The Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville, Cirque Dreams Unwrapped at Gaylord Palms Orlando Resort and three distinctive Cirque Dreams shows onboard Norwegian Epic, Breakaway and Getaway. Cirque Dreams recently joined VStar Entertainment Group of quality family shows and experiences worldwide.  Neil Goldberg works with major celebrities and artists, holds various industry leadership and Board of Director positions and formed the Neil Goldberg Dream Foundation to enrich the arts.  For more information, visit

Yanni 25 Acropolis Anniversary Concert - Priority Ticket Offer

Wednesday, May 16 • 8 pm
Benedum Center


Legendary performer and composer Yanni has announced he will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of “Live At The Acropolis” with a world tour that will launch this spring in the United States.

Live at the Acropolis was released in 1994 and is the first ever live album and concert video from the maestro. Recorded at the Herodes Atticus Theatre in Athens with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra from London, the concert took a year and a half to complete.

The album was mixed and produced by Yanni in his home studio and was made into a TV special that aired in the States on PBS. Live at the Acropolis became an incredible success and is the second best selling music video of all time.

Yanni's iconic performances at the Acropolis in Greece, the Taj Mahal in India, the Forbidden City in China, the Royal Albert Hall in England, The Pyramids in Egypt and El Morro in Puerto Rico have crossed countless borders and has resonated with billions of people across the globe.

Yanni has been awarded more than 40 platinum and gold albums worldwide and has sold more than 25 million albums around the world. His most recent albums have seen chart-topping success.

Enter promo code ACROPOLIS to purchase tickets before they
go on sale to the public on Friday, December 15 at 9:00 AM.

To Purchase Tickets:
Online at
Call 412-456-6666
Box Office at Theater Square
Groups 10+ Call 412-471-6930

Enjoy a Botanical Craft Afternoon at the Garden

Family Botanical Craft Afternoon
Sunday, December 17, 1:30-3:00 pm
Bayer Welcome Center
member adult $10 | member child $10
nonmember adult $15 | nonmember child $15

Enjoy a holiday decoration session with staff at the Garden. Explore the evergreen plants used in the season and gather with your family to create a holiday decoration for your home. Suitable for families with children ages five and older. All children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

A Tasting of Washington Wine by Mercer Estates

Mercer Red Blend and Malbec

If someone would ask you to name the top wine producing state in the U.S., you, along with countless others, would probably answer California. And you’d be right.

But what about number two? You might be surprised to learn that it’s Washington, ahead of New York and Oregon.

For a relative newcomer to the wine industry, Washington has grown to the number two spot relatively quickly. At the moment, the state boasts over 850 wineries, which, coupled with their reputation for producing quality wines, has contributed to the state’s impressive tourist economy by drawing wine lovers from around the nation and beyond.

If you’re like me, when you say Washington, you think rain, rain and more rain. Like in the temperate rain forest of the Olympic Peninsula. Like the moisture drenched area around Puget Sound and Seattle.

But once you get over the Cascade Mountains to the east, you’re actually in full blown desert country, where about 99% of the state’s wine grapes are grown. There, the plantings actually thrive, thanks to irrigation, longer days for ripening in the area’s northern latitude and days that can reach 100 degrees in summer, yet cool down significantly at night to allow the grapes’ acidity to remain in balance and their flavors to concentrate.

Currently, Washington boasts 14 American Viticultural Area designations, with the Yakima Valley being the largest. Recently, I got to try a trio of wines from the Mercer Estates Wine portfolio -  two reds and a white. Located in the 11,731 acre Horse Heaven Hills AVA, which produces 25% of the state’s wine grapes, the Mercer family homestead lies along the Columbia River in south-central Washington. The family has remained there on the ancestral homestead ever since the first Mercer arrived back in 1886.

Originally sheep herders, then cow ranchers, the Mercers through the years also grew (and still do grow) a variety of vegetables. Don Mercer, a descendant of Brigadier General Hugh Mercer (a friend of George Washington who died from wounds he received at the Revolutionary War Battle of Princeton), decided to try his hand a grape growing and planted his first vines on the property in 1972. His efforts bore fruit, so to say, as the winery opened in 2006 and, today, produces 60,000 cases of wine grown on about 2,000 acres of vineyards.

The family also has a link to Western Pennsylvania in that the town of Mercer and Mercer County were named after their patriot-ancestor, Hugh Mercer, who arrived in the New World in 1747 after fighting for Scottish independence against the English at the Battle of Culloden.

Mercer Sauvignon Blanc

Historic battles aside, the winery produces some quality wines at reasonable prices. My first foray into Mercer wines was with a bottle of their pale yellow 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, made from 100% of the varietal grape grown on the estate’s Princeton vineyard.

Different from many other Sauvignon Blancs I’ve tried before, the Mercer version is devoid of the pronounced grassy notes you usually get from other wine growing regions, especially from those from New Zealand.

A light to medium bodied, refreshing wine, the 2015 Sauvignon Blanc is fruit forward with notes of grapefruit and other citrus elements, gooseberry, peach, and tropical accents like passion fruit and lychee. The fermentation process began with yeast Zymaflora X5, known for its ability to bring out the expression of these particular fruit flavors.

With 12.5% alcohol by volume, the Sauvignon Blanc retails for around $15. Capable of being enjoyed on its own, the wine is also a match for light seafood dishes, salads and soft cheeses.

A good quaffing wine that’s also food friendly, the 2015 Mercer Sharp Sisters Red Blend is named for the family matriarch, Carma Sharp-Mercer and her sisters. Rich, robust and with a purple-red hue, the Red Blend is full of berry flavors dominated by blackberry and blueberry in an alluring combination with plum, coffee, herb and vanilla.

Aged for 18 months in American and French oak barrels, the wine has a supple balance of acidity and tannins, comes in at 14.8% alcohol and sells for around $25,

My personal favorite of the trio of Mercer wines I tried, the 2015 Malbec has a delicious complexity, its inky red color suggesting concentrated berry flavors enhanced by soft caresses of vanilla, coffee, chocolate and lavender. Smooth and elegant, the Malbec has a hint of stringency from the tannins evident after 18 months of aging in French and American oak barrels.

Enjoyable on its own or as a match for most red meats, the 2015 Malbec comes in at 14.8% alcohol and  sells for around $25 a 750 ml bottle.

In 2016, Mercer Estates was named the "Washington State Winery of the Year" by Wine Press Northeast.

To watch a video on Mercer Estates Wine, CLICK HERE.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Tis The Season - New Hazlett Theater's Hot List

A Lyrical Christmas Carol
Presented by Pittsburgh Musical Theater
December 14-17

On Christmas Eve, Scrooge sits in his house with not a kind word for anyone. He just wants to be left alone until Christmas is over, but four ghostly visitors show him the error of his ways. By the time Christmas Day dawns, Scrooge is a changed person. The entire family will enjoy this timeless classic peppered with your favorite Christmas carols.

For tickets call (412) 539-0900 ext 232

Flex Passes

Artsburgh Flex Passes are a great way to sample performing arts and music events throughout the Greater Pittsburgh area!  Each Flex Pass is good for one ticket to one event from participating organizations like Kinetic Theatre Company, Prime Stage Theatre, and more. ORDER NOW

Wise Ones: Their Journey to the King
Brown Chapel Heir Force
December 19  |  7 PM
A trip filled with intrigue, danger, and victory. Original music and dance is a part of this family-friendly event.


The Rain Man Effect
Youth Advocate Programs
December 20  |  7 PM
The Rain Man Effect” documentary explores a disorder that was largely given a first impression through the spectral of film. The movie was fiction, but the effect is real…FREE TICKETS

There's always something new going on at the New Hazlett Theater. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for up-to-the-minute behind the scenes photos, videos, and more.

The New Hazlett Theater is located in Allegheny Center on Pittsburgh's North Side. Detailed driving and transit directions on our website.

On-street parking in Allegheny Square is available at no cost after 6pm Monday-Saturday and all day Sunday. Paid parking is available in the Allegheny Health Network garage for evening events and weekend matinees.

The paid lot costs $7 (cash only) and closes one hour after the performances.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Amahl and the Night Visitors Opens This Week

Resonance Works Pittsburgh assembled another all-star cast for its new production of Amahl and the Night Visitors, which opens in just four days!  Scroll down to learn a little more about each performer, then be sure to reserve your seats! Remember, tickets for children under 10 are free, so bring the whole family!


Liam Mccarthy as Amahl
Liam McCarthy - Amahl

Liam is a 13 year old boy soprano from Pittsburgh, where he's sung with the Pittsburgh Opera, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra and the Johnston Symphony Orchestra. Liam was most recently seen as Miles in Opera Columbus’ production of Britten’s Turn of the Screw.  Liam has been an active member of the Pittsburgh Youth Chorus for seven years, with whom he recently traveled to England to sing in Canterbury Cathedral and Southwark Cathedral in London. Liam covered the role of Amahl last year, and we're excited to have him take over the role in this year's production!

Andrew Adelsberger - King MelchiorAndrew 
Adelsberger, bass-baritone, performed most recently as Charles Guiteau in Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins (NextStop Theater, VA).  This past summer, he sang the role of Dr. Dulcamara in the remount of Resonance Works' award winning production of The Elixir of Love at Hubbard Hall in upstate New York. Other roles include Major General Stanley/The Pirates of Penzance (Young Victorian Theater), and Dr. Bartolo/Il barbiere di Siviglia (Ash Lawn Opera, Opera Fort Collins, Hubbard Hall Opera Theater).  He holds a Bachelor of Music from The Catholic University of America and a Master of Music from The University of Maryland where he performed extensively with the Maryland Opera Studio.

Ivy Walz - Mother

Ivy Walz, mezzo soprano has performed extensively as an opera, concert and recital singer. She has performed with Cincinnati Opera, Syracuse Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, the Spoleto Festival, Opera Ithaca, and Tri-Cities Opera.  She most recently performed the role of Madame Larina in Syracuse Opera’s production of Eugene Onegin and the role of Guenevere in Triphammer Arts production of Camelot. Recent concert highlights include Handel’s Messiah with Symphoria Syracuse and the Binghamton Philharmonic, and Mozart's Mass in C minor with Cayuga Chamber Orchestra. Ivy is on the voice faculty at Ithaca College, School of Music

Andrew Maughan - King Kaspar

Tenor Andrew Marks Maughan recently made his European debut filling in for the title role of Bernstein's Candide, directed by Francesca Zambello, at the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse, France. In the same production, he also reprised the role of Cacambo, which he performed previously at the Glimmerglass Festival in 2015. In addition to the Théâtre du Capitole, he has also performed with the Opéra National de Bordeaux, Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Syracuse Opera, and Ohio Light Opera.  In the 2017-2018 season, he joins the National Tour of Les Miserables.

Joseph Sandler - Page

Joseph Sandler is a baritone currently pursuing his BFA in Vocal Performance at Carnegie Mellon University. A native of Richmond, Virginia, he is the co-founder of Perfect Harmony, a music outreach club that gives back to the community with music. Past roles include Bartolo in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro at the Savannah Voice Festival and Sprecher in Die Zauberflötewith CMU Opera. Upcoming roles include Sam in Carnegie Mellon's production of Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti.


This holiday season, Resonance Works is proud to partner with both the Women’s​ ​Center​ ​&​ ​Shelter​ ​of​ ​Greater Pittsburgh​ and the Greater​ ​Pittsburgh​ ​Community​ ​Food​ ​Bank​ to collect both non-perishable food items and other essential needs for these organizations.  We hope you'll help provide for our neighbors in need!  Volunteers will be on hand at each performance.  A list of most-needed items is HERE on our website. 

Thanks to its donors, Resonance Works Pittsburgh had a terrific Giving Tuesday! So far, 91 donors have contributed $7,783, putting them at 52% of its $15,000 end of year goal.  If you didn't have a chance to give, won't you consider making a tax-deductible donation to Resonance Works today?  Your support enables them to continue to bring timely, rarely-heard, and transformative music to our community! 

Make a Donation Here

Register Now for Master Class with Chris Jamison

Chris Jamison Master Class registration now open!
December 15 • Ages 8-25

The Pittsburgh CLO Academy is proud to welcome back Academy alum Chris Jamison for an exclusive master class on December 15. Learn how his Academy training put him on the path to super stardom – from Mini Star to Recording Star! You do not need to be a CLO Academy student to attend. Register online or by phone at 412-281-2234. 

About Chris:
Singer/songwriter Chris Jamison went from studying musical theater as a kid to spending his college years in Columbus, Ohio playing local acoustic shows. In 2014, he jumped at the opportunity to audition for NBC’s The Voice. With Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine as his coach, he finished third among all all contestants. Pharrell Williams claimed, “Chris Jamison, to me, was nothing short of magical!”

His debut single “Velvet” was downloaded over 77,000 times during its first week of release, and eventually racked up over 400,000 sales, making him “one of the best-selling artists in the show’s history." Chris' debut EP I Am Chris Jamison reached #5 on the iTunes Albums charts in 2016. He plans to follow up with a full-length album in the near future. 

Celebrate New Year's on Pittsburgh's Three Rivers