Thursday, August 31, 2017

Dance Into Fall at the New Hazlett Theater

Six A Breast - The Absurd Life of Women
September 6-10
An evening of sharp irony and salient farce, a cascade of vaudevillian scenes.  Performed by 3 women, Six A Breast encapsulates the lunacy of all our lives, no matter the gender, but women...they got the “mother lode”  backwards and in heels.
Starring Beth Corning, Sally Rousse, Laurie Van Wieren with choreography by Beth Corning.

René Marie
Presented by Kente Arts Alliance
September 16  |  7PM
Vocalist René Marie has cemented her reputation as not only a singer but also a composer, arranger, theatrical performer and teacher.
Her body of work is musical, but it’s more than just music. It’s an exploration of the bright and dark corners of the human experience, and an affirmation of the power of the human spirit.

In The Company of Ghosts
Presented by Frank Ferraro and Adrienne Wehr
September 22 - 24
What happens when we look in a mirror? Do we witness a reflection of our true selves or the sum of the ghosts that travel with us? Utilizing a range of disciplines to conjure their personal ghosts, veteran artists Frank Ferraro and Adrienne Wehr take us on a fearless journey of life on life’s terms.
This world premiere is the result of a two-year collaboration between Wehr and Ferraro. In sharing their own stories with each other, they recognized universal themes common to us all, inspiring them to bring these stories to life through spoken word, video, original music, installation art, soundscapes and more.
For tickets go to

Still Time to Enroll in PBT's Children's Division Classes

Register Now for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Children's Division

From an introduction to the world of movement and music to ballet barre and floor foundations, PBT's Children's Division offers classes for children 18 months and up with both weekday and weekend options.

Grown-Up & Me (ages 18 mo.-2)
Pre-ballet (ages 2-6)
Pre-ballet Boys (ages 4-5 & 6-8)
Ballet Foundations (ages 7 )

The school year starts on Sept. 5

For the registration form and more information, go to

Receive the same intensive training with a less intensive schedule.
Youth Dance is designed for students ages 10-13 as an alternative to our Classical Ballet Program. Classes provide a technical foundation of ballet, contemporary and hip hop. Students learn dance elements, vocabulary, body awareness and class etiquette.
Classes consist of ballet, contemporary and pointe.

Call 412.281.6727 or email with any questions. For the student division placement form, go to

Shopkins Live! Coming to Byham Theater Septmber 24

Jessicake Credit: Courtesy Photo

Koba Entertainment is pleased to announce Shopkins Live! the first live theatrical production based on Shopkins - the wildly successful brand launched in 2014.  Tickets are on sale now.  The national tour will stop in over 75 cities across the United States and premiere September 14 in Buffalo, New York.

In Pittsburgh, Shopkins Live! Shop it Up! tour will make a stop at the Byham Theater, 101 Sixth Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222, on Sunday, September 24, 2017, with two show times at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.  This event is presented by Rich Engler Presents.

Tickets ($29.25-$54.25) are available at these Pittsburgh Cultural Trust official ticket sources online at, by calling 412-456-6666 or in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222.  VIP Party Package ($104.25) includes (1) Premium Seat Location; (1) Meet & Greet Photo Opportunity; (1) Exclusive Shopkins Live! merchandise item; (1) Exclusive Shopkins Live! VIP lanyard.  Plus, access to an exclusive Shopkins Live! theme party room, which includes fun activities for Shopkins fans after the show.


The Shoppies and Shopkins characters will take to the stage in Shopkins Live! featuring an all new storyline, original pop music and video highlights. The live show features Jessicake, Bubbleisha, Peppa-Mint and friends as preparations get underway for Shopville’s annual “Funtastic Food and Fashion Fair”.  The live interactive show is inspired by Shopkins and Shoppies, the international toy phenomenon created in Australia by Moose Toys.

Today, Shopkins is consistently the number one children’s toy sold in the United States and is a viral YouTube sensation worldwide.  Shoppies dolls have also made their mark on the toy world, consistently hitting the number one spot.  With Universal Pictures’ release of the first ever Shopkins movie on DVD, and a list of apps dedicated to expanding this ever-growing world,  Shopkins continues to be a hot ticket item for children around the world.

“Shopkins is literally on every child’s wish list. Koba Entertainment’s partnership with an innovative and leading toy manufacturer like Moose Toys allows us to bring one of the most successful toy brands in history to life on stage,” says Gilles Paquin, CEO and President of Koba Entertainment, and Executive Producer of Shopkins Live!.

Nicole Hardiman, Senior Licensing Manager at Moose Toys added, “We are thrilled to have Koba Entertainment presenting our first ever live theatrical show for Shopkins.  This will be a fantastic event featuring the Shopkins and Shoppies in an amazing adventure that our North American fans can experience.”
Shopkins Live! will run for approximately 90 minutes, with one 15 minute intermission.

For more information on Shopkins Live! visit

September 2 is World Coconut Day

With World Coconut Day coming up on September 2, conducted a survey that suggests Americans are coco-nuts about the fruit—and not just about its taste.

Consider this:
>> 64% of Americans use coconuts as a body product.

To conduct the Coconut Day Survey, the researchers at National Today []—America’s favorite online destination to commemorate quirky and fun holidays—asked 1,000 Americans about their feelings on everyone’s favorite versatile fruit.

(survey of 1,000 Americans, conducted on August 29, 2017)

Only 5% say they dislike it. 88% of Americans use coconut oil, while another 64% drink coconut water. 

88% of Americans leave the coconut-cracking to the professionals—but it doesn’t stop their raw coconut enjoyment. 17% say they’ve eaten straight out of a coconut, while 14% have had an alcoholic beverage in a coconut.

#1: In baked goods (36%)
#2: Coconut water (15%)
#3: Straight from the shell (15%)
#4: In granola (8%)
#5: As a vessel for alcohol (5%)

#1: On my hair (26%)
#2: In place of butter or vegetable oil (22%)
#3: As a moisturizer (19%)
#4: As a body lotion (16%)
#5: To take off my makeup (3%)

To learn more about World Coconut Day, you can visit While there, you can also read about other fun holidays, including Labor Day [] and National Pepperoni Pizza Day [].
Let me know if you have any follow-up questions or if you’re planning to use the above stats “as is.” Happy World Coconut Day!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Upcoming Public Programs at the Warhol

Erin Markey's Boner Killer  Coming to the Warhol on September 29


Andy Warhol: Stars of the Silver Screen
Through September 24, 2017
The Andy Warhol: Stars of the Silver Screen exhibition explores Andy Warhol’s fascination with Hollywood, fame, and stardom. Warhol’s desire to look at the stars was ignited while attending his neighborhood cinemas with his brothers in gritty, industrial 1930s Pittsburgh. He reveled in the glamorous actors, elegant costumes, and sophisticated settings of the movies from Hollywood’s golden years. This exhibition considers celebrity through hundreds of archival items from The Warhol’s vast collection of Warhol’s personal items and related artworks, including paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, publications, film excerpts, television episodes, and video diaries. Part of Warhol’s Pop style had its genesis in images of the stars, and this exhibition examines some of the inspiration behind the work that kick-started the current age of global celebrity culture. Andy Warhol: Stars of the Silver Screen is generously supported by Cadillac.

Lawrence Weiner: OUT OF SIGHT
September 19 – January 14, 2018
One of the central figures of Conceptual Art, Lawrence Weiner has engaged in a decades-long exploration of the form and content of language through sculptural installations. In OUT OF SIGHT, Weiner’s work takes on an immersive and interactive dimension, inviting visitors to engage with words through movement. While the same structure will be installed in cities and art institutions around the globe, each version will be uniquely activated by its local community, a singular embodiment of the intersection between art and audience. OUT OF SIGHT defies traditional notions of art as something to be viewed at a distance. Visitors are invited to walk, dance, and gather on top of it, exploring its messages and challenges through direct physical and mental connection. OUT OF SIGHT is organized by Larry Warsh. The Pittsburgh presentation is coordinated by Danielle Linzer, The Warhol's curator of education and interpretation.

Farhad Moshiri: Go West
October 13, 2017 – January 14, 2018
Go West is the first solo museum exhibition of Iranian artist Farhad Moshiri. 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. 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 takes a complex look at how we define our own cultural identity. The exhibition is curated by José Carlos Diaz, The Warhol’s chief curator. Farhad Moshiri: Go West is generously supported by The Fine Foundation, Piaget, Galerie Perrotin, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, The Third Line, Dubai, the Soudavar Memorial Foundation, The Farjam Foundation, The Khazaei Foundation, Maryam and Edward Eisler, Navid Mirtorabi, Ziba Franks, Elie Khouri, Fatima and Essi Maleki, Nazee Moinian, and Mahshid and Jamshid Ehsani.

Activist Print
Activist Print is a collaboration between The Warhol, BOOM Concepts (a creative hub for artists to incubate ideas), and the North Side printmaking studio Artists Image Resource (AIR). Activist Print is inspired by the long history of artists using silkscreen and print-based media to raise awareness of contemporary issues and inspire change. Three Pittsburgh artists, Bekezela Mguni, Paradise Gray, and Alisha B. Wormsley, have been invited to create socially and politically inspired print work in this yearlong project. The Activist Print series is exhibited on the windows of the Rosa Villa, a building across the street from The Warhol.


TQ Live!
Friday, September 15, 2017 – 8 p.m.
The Warhol theater
The Warhol hosts TQ Live!, which presents a queer evening of dazzling performance, dance, poetry, comedy, resplendent fantasies, music, and more. This third annual performance series features artists and performers from the many LGBTQIA communities in the Pittsburgh region. Hosted by Joseph Hall, the line-up of performers includes Jenny Johnson, #kNOwSHADE, Gray Swartzel and Veronica Vega, Moriah Ella Mason, Norman Freeman, Jennifer Meredian and Gia Calcalano, Blak Rapp M.A.D.U.S.A., and videos by Chris Vargas, Peter Clough, and Jeepneys. This program is produced by Scott Andrew, Joseph Hall, and Suzie Silver. This project is supported in part by the Carnegie Mellon University School of Art. Please note this performance contains adult subject matter and strong language.
Tickets $10 / $8 members & students; visit or call 412-237-8300

Night of 1,000 Marilyns
Saturday, September 16, 2017 – 8 p.m. VIP & General, 10 p.m. Late Night
Feel like a Hollywood star at The Warhol’s third annual fundraiser. This year’s theme, “Night of 1,000 Marilyns,” invites you to dress up as your favorite Hollywood silver screen star, like Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Marlene Dietrich, Jimmy Stewart, or Greta Garbo. Our seven floors are open to explore, and spaces are activated with a DJ, dancing, and an underground VIP lounge. The evening features a DJ set by Title Town, and a late-night drag show featuring Bambi Deerest, among others. Glam yourself up with Cardamone’s Salon free hair and makeup styling in The Warhol theater. This is the closing event for the exhibition Andy Warhol: Stars of the Silver Screen, which closes September 24, 2017. VIP tickets include access to the VIP lounge in The Factory underground studio, unlimited drinks, and hors d’oeuvres. Get the celebrity treatment in the VIP lounge with food, casino games, and portraits by caricature artist Jeffrey Harris. General admission tickets include one drink ticket and hors d’oeuvres. Late-night tickets include dessert. Cash bars are available. Wigs, glasses, and other iconic Warhol- and Marilyn-themed items are available for purchase in The Warhol Store. Tickets must be purchased in advance; no tickets will be sold at the door.
Night of 1,000 Marilyns is generously supported by Larrimor’s, Flaherty & O’Hara PC, FAROS Properties, Wigle Whiskey, Cardamone’s Salon, Vera Bradley South Hills Village, WHIRL Magazine, and Yelp. Free parking is available in The Warhol lot.
Tickets $200 VIP; $50 General Admission; $25 Late Night; visit or call 412-237-8300

Sound Series: Selector Dub Narcotic with special guest STRANGEWAYS
Thursday, September 21, 2017 – 8 p.m.
The Warhol entrance space
The Warhol welcomes back influential musician and producer Calvin Johnson with his new band, Selector Dub Narcotic, on tour supporting their new dance-friendly and beat-laden album This Party Is Just Getting Started. As founder of K, a record label and media outlet based in Olympia, WA, Johnson has provided an essential platform for countless Northwest artists including Mirah, The Blow, Built to Spill, and the Make-Up, and is best known as a member of the indie, twee giants Beat Happening. The eclectic and high-energy Pittsburgh-based DJ collective STRANGEWAYS (Jesse Ley and Jeff Van Fossen) opens the show.
Free parking is available in The Warhol lot.
Tickets $10 / $8 members and students; visit or call 412-237-8300

Out of Sight Teen Night
Friday, September 22, 2017 – 6 – 9 p.m.
Join The Warhol as we team up with Girls Write Pittsburgh and Girls Rock PGH to present a night of music, art and fashion coinciding with Out of Sight, an interactive installation by artist Lawrence Weiner. Teens can participate in a two-hour long song writing workshop with Girls Write and see their songs come to life during a free performance by Girls Rock from 8 – 9 p.m. The evening also features a fashion showcase by our Summer Fashion Experience group, artmaking activities, and meet the members of our 2018 Youth Advisory Council.
This event is co-presented with Girls Rock PGH and Girls Write.
FREE / $5 for songwriting workshop; register at

RADical Day 2017, Featuring FREE admission
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Bring the whole family to The Warhol for a unique day of art and fun. While you’re here, visit The Factory underground to create your own work of art and don’t forget to make your own screen to share with friends and family. RADical Days is an annual event celebrating the region’s assets with free admission, musical and dance performances and family activities offered by arts and culture organizations, parks and recreation, and sports and attractions that are funded by RAD.

Friday, September 29, 2017 – 8 p.m.
The Warhol theater
Co-presented with Carnegie Mellon University School of Art and School of Drama
Comprised of her signature story-driven stand-up and scored by sensual homemade pop, Erin Markey’s Boner Killer is an intimate musical conversation between what Markey thinks she can’t have and how she’d have it if she could. Driven by Whitney Houston’s lesbian mythologies, Europe™, and a Pretty Woman accident, Markey transforms personal humiliations into feminist hope. Markey and frequent collaborator Emily Bate make up the two-girl band responsible for original and sampled music sopping with emotion and troubled by knotty harmonies. Please note this performance contains adult subject matter and strong language.
Tickets $15 / $12 members and students; visit or call 412-237-8300

Sound Series: An Evening with Joan Shelley
Friday, October 6, 2017 – 8 p.m.
The Warhol theater
Co-presented with Calliope: The Pittsburgh Folk Music Society
The Warhol welcomes back Louisville, Kentucky-based singer/songwriter Joan Shelley. She returns to our intimate theater with collaborator Nathan Salsburg supporting her latest release, a self-titled album on No Quarter Records. The new record, produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, takes a different approach than her acclaimed last release Over and Even, which NPR’s Bob Boilen declared “one of the most beautiful records of the year.” The new record still reflects the influence of American and British folk revivalists Sandy Denny and Vashti Bunyan, though Shelley also channels Michael Hurley-inspired melodies. Guitarist James Elkington, opens the evening.
Tickets $15 / $12 members and students; visit or call 412-237-8300

Sound Series: Arto Lindsay & Beauty Pill
Wednesday, October 18, 2017 – 8 p.m.
The Warhol theater
The Warhol welcomes Arto Lindsay, who has long stood at the intersection of music and art, collaborating with artists such as Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, Animal Collective, Matthew Barney, and Caetano Veloso. As a member of DNA, he played a significant role in the foundation of the no wave genre in late 1970s in New York City, along with artists Suicide and Glenn Branca. As leader of the Ambitious Lovers, he pioneered a hybrid of American and Brazilian styles. Current band members include Melvin Gibbs (Rollins Band), Kassa Overall, Paul Wilson, and Patrick Higgins. The band Beauty Pill from Washington, D.C., is led by singer/guitarist/producer Chad Clark. The group’s acclaimed last release Beauty Pill Describes Things as They Are highlights its lush arrangements and earned it a spot on NPR’s 50 best records of 2015.
Tickets $20 / $15 members and students; visit or call 412-237-8300

Crossing the Red Line: Exhibiting Iranian Art in the US
Saturday, October 21, 2017 – 2 p.m.
City of Asylum @ Alphabet City
Co-presented with City of Asylum, Pittsburgh
Join us at City of Asylum for an afternoon with Dr. Shiva Balaghi, an independent scholar and curator based in Los Angeles. For nearly two decades, Dr. Balaghi taught cultural history at NYU and Brown University. She authored Picturing Iran: Art Society and Revolution and writes regularly for museums and art publications. Most recently she has contributed to the catalogue for Farhad Moshiri: Go West, the first museum solo for one of Iran’s most prominent artists.
FREE; registration is suggested for all free events; visit

2017 Teacher Open House
Thursday, October 26th, 2017 – 4:30-8:30 p.m.
The Warhol’s annual open house event just for teachers featuring food, drinks (cash bar), our latest exhibition, lectures, gallery talks, art making activities, discussions, and classroom resources. Teachers in attendance may receive Act 48 credit hours and information about school partnership opportunities.
Free parking available in The Warhol lot.
Tickets: $10; visit or call 412-237-8300

Sound Series: Imarhan
Friday, October 27, 2017 – 8 p.m.
The Warhol theater
The Warhol welcomes Imarhan from Tamanrasset, Southern Algeria. Imarhan, meaning ‘the ones I care about,’ deftly blend repeating guitar melodies with pan-African rhythms, which draw on the traditional Tuareg music of Southern Sahara, African ballads and modern pop and rock influences. The band’s debut album, Imarhan, is intent on dismantling the ideas western listeners have about popularized Tuareg music. The band’s lead vocalist and guitarist Iyad Moussa Ben Abderahmane (aka Sadam), also performs with the pioneering Tuareg band Tinariwen (who performed at The Warhol in 2014). Tickets $20 / $15 members and students; visit or call 412-237-8300

Dandy Andy: Warhol’s Queer History
Saturday, October 28, 2017 – 3 p.m.
Join artist educators for Dandy Andy, a monthly tour that focuses on Warhol’s queer history. While his sexuality is frequently suppressed or debated, Warhol was a gay man who had several partners throughout his life. Warhol’s boyfriends, including Edward Wallowitch, John Giorno, and Jed Johnson, were also his colleagues and collaborators, helping to shape and define his career as an artist. This tour traces Warhol’s romantic relationships and queer identity against the backdrop of the historical gay rights movement in the United States. Tours meet on the museum’s seventh floor.
Free with museum admission

Cowboy Cinema
Friday, November 3, 2017 – 7 p.m.
The Warhol theater
Artist Farhad Moshiri’s lavish canvases draw inspiration from the tropes of the classic American Westerns he absorbed as a child in his father’s cinema in Iran. For artists like Moshiri and Andy Warhol alike, the cowboy represents an enduring symbol of American identity, culture, and aspiration, and serves as fodder for their own pop compositions. Join film scholar Dr. Mark Best and chief curator Jose Diaz as they discuss campy clips from Elvis Presley’s Flaming Star, John Wayne classics dubbed in Farsi, the Marx Brothers’ Go West, Andy Warhol’s Lonesome Cowboys, and more, unpacking the romantic myth of the cowboy and its influence in global popular culture.
This event is sponsored by the Film Studies Program, University of Pittsburgh.
FREE; registration is suggested for all free events; visit

Sound Series: SQÜRL featuring Jim Jarmusch & Carter Logan: Four Films by Man Ray
Saturday, November 4, 2017 – 8 p.m.
Carnegie Lecture Hall (Oakland)
Co-presented with Carnegie Museum of Art and University of Pittsburgh film studies program
The Warhol welcomes SQÜRL, featuring the iconic independent filmmaker and musician Jim Jarmusch and producer/composer Carter Logan. The band, self-described as a “marginal rock band from New York City who like big drums & distorted guitars, cassette recorders, loops, feedback, sad country songs, molten stoner core, chopped & screwed hip-hop,” began in 2009 and has released records on ATP and Third Man Records. In 2014, the group received the Cannes Soundtrack award for its score for the film Only Lovers Left Alive, a collaboration with Dutch lutenist Jozef Van Wissem. In this program, the band performs live scores to four films by Dada and surrealist artist Man Ray. The program features L'Étoile de mer (1928), Emak Bakia (1926), Le Retour à la Raison (1923), and Les Mystères du Château de Dé (1929).
Please note, photography, film, and video of any kind are strictly prohibited.
Tickets $20 / $15 members and students; visit or call 412-237-8300

Sound Series: Matthew Shipp Trio with special guest Thoth Trio
Friday, November 10, 2017 – 8 p.m.
The Warhol theater
Co-presented with City of Asylum @ Alphabet City
The Warhol welcomes back the forward-thinking and iconoclastic jazz pianist Matthew Shipp, with his trio featuring Michael Bisio on bass and Newman Taylor Baker on drums. For over three decades, since getting his start in the early 1990s with David S. Ware Quartet, Shipp has been a pioneer in the New York City experimental jazz scene along with composers such as John Zorn and William Parker. All About Jazz writes that the trio’s new album, Piano Song, “feels like an entirely fresh take on the piano trio, a vibrant continuum of sounds that avoids the pitfalls of both mainstream and avant-garde music.” Pittsburgh experimental jazz stalwart Thoth Trio, featuring Ben Opie (sax), Paul Thompson (bass), and David Throckmorton (drums), opens the show.
Tickets $15 / $12 members and students; visit or call 412-237-8300

Luna Credit: Luz Gallardo

Sound Series: Luna with special guest Eleanor Friedberger
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 – 8 p.m.
Carnegie Lecture Hall
Co-presented with WYEP
The Warhol welcomes back the highly influential indie rock band Luna, on a tour supporting their latest release on Double Feature Records, A Sentimental Education, consisting of 10 covers by an impressive array of artists such as Fleetwood Mac, The Cure, Mercury Rev, David Bowie, and Bob Dylan. Eleanor Friedberger (Fiery Furnaces) opens the show with a solo performance.
Tickets $25 / $20 members & students; visit or call 412-237-8300

Dandy Andy: Warhol’s Queer History
Saturday, November 25, 2017 – 3 p.m.
Join artist educators for Dandy Andy, a monthly tour that focuses on Warhol’s queer history. While his sexuality is frequently suppressed or debated, Warhol was a gay man who had several partners throughout his life. Warhol’s boyfriends, including Edward Wallowitch, John Giorno, and Jed Johnson, were also his colleagues and collaborators, helping to shape and define his career as an artist. This tour traces Warhol’s romantic relationships and queer identity against the backdrop of the historical gay rights movement in the United States. Tours meet on the museum’s seventh floor.
Free with museum admission

Half-Pint Prints
Saturday, December 2, 2016 – 10 a.m.–12 p.m.
The Factory
Families work with The Warhol’s artist educators to create silkscreen prints during this drop-in silkscreen printing activity for children ages 1 to 4 years old.
Free with museum admission

Dandy Andy: Warhol’s Queer History
Saturday, December 30, 2017 – 3 p.m.
Join artist educators for Dandy Andy, a monthly tour that focuses on Warhol’s queer history. While his sexuality is frequently suppressed or debated, Warhol was a gay man who had several partners throughout his life. Warhol’s boyfriends, including Edward Wallowitch, John Giorno, and Jed Johnson, were also his colleagues and collaborators, helping to shape and define his career as an artist. This tour traces Warhol’s romantic relationships and queer identity against the backdrop of the historical gay rights movement in the United States. Tours meet on the museum’s seventh floor.
Free with museum admission

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Westmoreland County Historical Society Schedules Two Programs

Annual Toast the Tour Party (September 8) & Historic House Tour (September 16)

Program:  Toast the Tour Cocktail Party Location:  “Zephyr Glen” – Abraham Stauffer Farm House in ScottdaleDate:  Friday, September 8, 2017 Time:  6:00 to 8:00 p.m .Fee:  Advance reservation only at $65 per person Reservations for Cocktail Party:  724-532-1935 x 215

Program:  Historic House Tour Locations:  Academy Hill, Greensburg; Norvelt (Westmoreland  Homesteads); Fisher House and Hurst House Date:  Saturday, September 16, 2017 Time:  10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Presenter:  Self-guided walking/driving tour Fee:  Advance tickets for the Saturday House Tour at $25 per person available from the Historical Society by phone or email: 724-532-1935 x 215 or  Day of Tour tickets at $30 per person will be sold at each of the tour sites.      

 The Westmoreland County Historical Society is opening doors to the remarkably rich architectural history of Westmoreland County during two events featuring tours of local historic homes.  The “Toast the Tour” party Friday, September 8, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. includes cocktails and hearty hors d’oeuvres, along with a private house tour, at The Stauffer House built in 1822 near Scottdale.

Tickets for the “Toast the Tour” cocktail party are $65 and require advance purchase from the WCHS.  On Saturday, September 16, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, the self-guided tour, “A Tale of Two Neighborhoods,” will give participants the opportunity to discover what life may have been like in two distinctive communities in two different centuries.

Two stately homes on North Maple Avenue in the once-affluent Academy Hill neighborhood in Greensburg will be featured.  These houses were built by prominent businessmen whose wealth came in large part from the coal and coke industry.  The New Deal community of Westmoreland Homesteads, commonly known as Norvelt, will offer another perspective of the architectural and social history of our county.

One of the original Norvelt houses will be shown, as well as the grounds and outbuildings on other properties.

Two large and significant homes near Norvelt are included on the tour. The James P. Hurst House, built circa 1830, is a classic western Pennsylvania brick farmhouse.  The Federal Subsistence Homestead Corporation purchased much of the Hurst property in 1934 in order to create Norvelt.

The final house on this year’s tour is the Adam Fisher House, built in 1837.  The original hand-stenciled fruit and vine pattern is a notable decorative element in this house, and has been featured in various publications on early American folk art.Advance tickets for the Saturday Tour are $25.  Tickets are available at the Westmoreland County Historical Society office by phone (724-532-1935 x 215), online (, and email (

All ticket holders will receive a map with directions to each location and a keepsake booklet with historical information and photos.

ADDENDUM Historical information on each of the Historic House Tour sites is included for writers interested in developing a more detailed story about this remarkable tour.  Photos are available upon request. The media may schedule a preview tour and photo opportunities at selected properties by calling the Westmoreland County Historical Society.

The Stauffer House (site of “Toast the Tour” on September 8) was built in 1822, and is oriented east to Chestnut Ridge with Jacobs Creek to the west.  It became known as Zephyr Glen at Walnut Bottom due to the pleasant breezes that flow through the house.  Although the house is located in Fayette County, the WCHS has opted to include it because Fayette was originally part of Westmoreland County.

This unusually large seven-bay brick house is all that remains of a larger agricultural and industrial complex that included various outbuildings, barns, distillery, grist and flour mills, as well as beehive coke ovens.  The McGurl family purchased the property, and the house became a bed and breakfast in 1988.  They discovered a unique bit of history concealed under layers of wallpaper in the first floor parlor.  Writing on the original wall surface indicates that a son, John Stauffer (1813-1862), purchased the farm in 1842.  The current owners bought the property in 2004, and carefully restored the house and grounds.

A massive linden tree on the property is thought to be one of the largest in the region.

A relic from the rural agrarian-based era, the circa 1837 Adam Fisher House stands close to Brinkerton Road, and conceals its various original outbuildings from view.  The five-bay house is L-shaped with simple Federal details.  A unique decorative element of this house is the original fruit and vine pattern that is hand-stenciled on the baseboards of the center hall, the risers of the cherry-wood stair, and along the carriage and wall stringer.

The current owners discovered the stenciling during renovation.  Grain painting that imitates tiger maple is another feature in the parlor.  Fisher was from the eastern part of the state, and it is thought that this influenced his choice of decorative techniques on architectural surfaces. Stencil designs and grain painting are unusual in this area. Nearly all the original interior details and hardware remain intact.  The house was listed on the National Register of Historic places in 1991.

The James P. Hurst House is a classic western Pennsylvania brick farmhouse. The western-facing façade has five openings, or bays.  The roofline features bridged chimneys, while the eaves are flush to the house with returns at either end.  This brick farmhouse varies slightly from others because it has many ‘nine over six’ double hung sash windows, which suggest an 18th century construction date.

The spacious interior of the Hurst House has a center hall with two rooms on either side. The stair itself is wide with a molded newel post and cylindrical balusters. The baseboards are deep, and may date to a later period. Interior window surrounds have rosettes, or corner blocks. The dining room, located to the right of the front door, retains a built-in corner cupboard that extends to the ceiling. The adjoining kitchen features a vintage Copper Clad Range.

Nathaniel and Lydia Hurst were among the early settler families when they moved to this region in 1770 fromWinchester, Virginia. The property remained in the family until it was sold in 1881 to J.W. Moore. Moore, like many others at this time, was in the coal business. His son, James P. Moore, inherited the house and land in 1892. James sold a portion of the farm to the Federal Subsistence Homestead Corporation in April 1934, the New Deal era program that produced Westmoreland Homesteads. Norvelt now surrounds the remaining property.

Academy Hill In the once-affluent Academy Hill neighborhood is a stately brick home with Colonial Revival influences built in 1916.  Noted architect Paul Bartholomew designed the house for his sister, Ellen, her husband Henry Marker—a highly regarded attorney and community leader—and their children, Henry Jr. and Rachel.  The Markers acquired two lots by 1905 but did not begin design work until 1913, when Bartholomew prepared his first renderings.  Those plans have been preserved and passed to current owners, Justin McCray and Jennifer Stewart.

Interestingly, the Markers sold half of their second lot to the south in 1905 to Mr. Marker’s law partner, C.B. Hollingsworth and his wife, who subsequently built their home immediately thereafter. The Hollingsworth home is also part of the tour. In 1905, Charles (“C.B.”) Hollingsworth and his wife, Anna Lucinda (“Lucie”) Freeman Hollingsworth built a beautiful new home in Academy Hill.  In keeping with the up-scale neighborhood, they chose an impressive brick manse with front veranda and large unadorned windows designed to entice passersby to peek at their exotic jungle-print wall coverings and fashionable furnishings.

C.B. served in the Philippines in the Spanish-American War.  He returned to his law practice, local politics, the Westmoreland Coal Company, and to marry his beloved Lucie in 1901.  Lucie Freeman was a colorful and fun-loving native of Ligonier.  They led an active life, enjoying golf, rose-gardening, bridge, and travel.  The Hollingsworths’ friends were known to give the couple lavish train send-offs.  In turn, they shared tales of their travels through detailed journals and filmed accounts.

Years after his service, C.B. took Lucie to the Philippines on one such documented 18-month global adventure.  Gene and Janet James, being only the third and current owners of the home, discovered a treasure trove of those journals and films tucked into a cabinet.  The Hollingsworths had no children, and the journal and films were simply left behind in their home, where they remain today.

 Norvelt Things looked very bleak in 1934 for coal miners and their families.  In Westmoreland County, tens of thousands of miners had been out of work for years.  They struggled to find housing and often went hungry.  In Latrobe, a number of unemployed miners moved into abandoned coke ovens.  That same year David Day came to Greensburg and announced that the federal government would establish a New Deal subsistence homestead community in the area that would house 250 families.  Each family would have their own house, a grape arbor, chicken coop, garage, and between two and five acres on which to grow its own food.

Nearly two thousand families applied for the houses .Local architect Paul Bartholomew (mentioned above) designed five different houses in a style that he called Pennsylvania Farmhouse, but more closely resemble the Cape Cod designs that were popular nationally in the 1920s.  Each model had its own number (401R, 402R, 502, 503, or 601R) that helped the Subsistence Homestead Division keep track of it among the multitude of designs that it commissioned for its thirty-four communities across the nation.

 Each house had a living room, kitchen with a sink, stove, and refrigerator, between two and four bedrooms, and one bathroom.  They all had cellars and furnaces to provide heat and hot water.  The federal government named the project Westmoreland Homesteads.  

This year’s Historic House Tour will include the interior of # 601R.  There will be an outside tour of various other properties, as well as an exhibit of Norvelt artifacts and memorabilia.  Members of the Norvelt Historical Society will be on hand to guide visitors through the display.

Tim Kelly and Michael Cary, authors of the book Hope in Hard Times: Norvelt and the Struggle for Community During the Great Depression, will be available to talk with tour participants.

Visit the Westmoreland County Historical Society’s website at, and follow their activitieson the Westmoreland County Historical Society Facebook page and on Twitter @WCHistory.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Celebrate National Red Wine Day with a Glass of Your Favorite Red Grape Varietal

Red Wine - America's favorite

Today, August 28 is National Red Wine Day

Consider this:
It’s official—red beats white as America’s favorite type of wine.

To conduct the Red Wine Day Survey, the researchers at National Today []—America’s favorite online destination to commemorate quirky and fun holidays—asked 1,000 Americans about everyone’s favorite bittersweet beverage.


(survey of 2,000 Americans)


12% like it so much that they’ve finished an entire bottle by themselves, while 8% say it’s their alcoholic beverage of choice.

15% enjoy pairing wine with cheese. Another 12% of enthusiastic Americans like to pair wine with their meal—cheese or no cheese.

#1: Red (20%)
#2: White (18%)
#3: Sparkling (13%)
#4: Rose (11%)
#5: Dessert (11%)

#1: Sutter Home (24%)
#2: Yellow Tail (21%)
#3: Gallo (15%)
#4: Blossom Hill (9%)
#5: Beringer (9%)

To learn more about National Red Wine Day, visit While there, you can also read about other fun holidays, including National Beach Day [] and National Coconut Day [].

Sunday, August 27, 2017

"Red Hills" - A Drama on a Theme of Guilt and Forgiveness

Patrick J. Ssenjovu and Scott Parkinson Star in "Red Hills" Credit Quantum Theatre

Red, the color or rust and iron ore, is also the color of blood. All three elements are part of the thematic palette that form the skeleton of Sean Christopher Lewis dramatic glimpse into the atrocities committed during the 1994 genocidal war of the Hutus against the Tutsis of Rwanda.

I experienced the initial shock of the ghastly carnage that took over a million lives in the central African nation when asked to write a review for the Post-Gazette of an art exhibit at Washington and Jefferson College that pictorially brought home with nauseating effect the brutality of the carnage. Machetes were often the weapon of choice used to cut down the Tutsi victims, and the exhibit didn’t hesitate to depict images of scores of bodies floating down the river, severed limbs and villagers desperately pleading for their lives, mostly, if not always, to no avail.

My second encounter with the Rwandan atrocities came with the release of the 2004 film, "Hotel Rwanda," which made no bones about numbing down the gruesomeness of events.

I mention these two encounters because they enabled me to enter the theater somewhat preliminarily inured to the emotional impact powered by narrative of the play. I expect that those viewers largely unaware of the historical background of the ferocity of the genocide would get a much greater jolt of horror than I did.

Lewis’ narrative centers on two main characters, who, along with David’s love interest, experienced first hand the events that would haunt all three the rest of their lives. David (Scott Parkinson) joins a missionary group in Uganda just across the river border, at the urging of Mary (Ava Kepple), to whom he’s strongly enraptured. A chance meeting introduces them both to a young Tutsi boy, uniquely named God’s Blessing (Patrick J. Ssenjovu), who begs them to help him find his parents in neighboring Rwanda. And so begins the series of traumatic events that form the core of the play and the truth-seeking journey of the two male characters.

After all three - David, Mary and God’s Blessing, manage to live through the carnage, David returns home to the U.S. with PTS-like symptoms. To help exorcise his demons, he begins putting them on paper, a text that soon goes on to become a best-selling book.

Back in Rwanda, God’s Blessing discovers David’s account years later in a bookstore and is aggravated by some of the content. He reaches out to David, now a professor who specializes in customs of forgiveness in world cultures, and asks him to return to Rwanda to re-immerse himself in the sites and locales where they experienced their shared calamities.

Peripatetic Quantum Theater, which is staging the play’s world premier in conjunction with En Garde Arts, chose a scrapyard in the massive Recycling Center at 32nd and Smallman in Pittsburgh’s Strip District, to mount the production. Sprawling and open at both ends but covered by a 40-foot tall roof, the space evokes a feeling of decay and degradation.

A few rusting trucks and cars scattered about, piles of red clay-like material spilling over from a raised platform and a few props are enough to stimulate the imagination, induce an appropriate mood and allow the mind to focus on the dialogue.

As God’s Blessing, Patrick J. Ssenjovu has a strong visceral presence and a booming voice to match. He can be both intimidating and obliging in his interactions with David, as he interrupts his work as a tour guide taking visitors to the sites of the massacres to lead David on an experiential journey that stirs up repressed memories and feelings in both men.

As David, Parkinson is a bit more light-hearted and emotionally buoyant, considering the fact that he didn’t suffer the same loss of his family God’s Blessing did during the genocide. He also breaks the stereotype of an academic, affecting a playful almost boyish demeanor that is easily frightened and cautious not to offend his African host, who can turn menacing at times.

Mary is seen only in video projection, a ethereal image blown up against the back wall that alludes to the ephemeral nature of memory and the sketchy recall of past events.

Billed as an immersive experience, the playwright asks several random audience members to become passive players in the drama, and the entire pool of viewers is requested to verbally respond to several cues and prompts elicited by David and God’s Blessing. They also collectively reference the practice of garcaca, a pre-genocide Rwandan tradition that has the entire village assemble outdoors to listen to perpetrators and victims give testimony in a court-like setting.

Interestingly, the audience is invited to participate in one of two introductory presentations that take place in separate areas just outside the theater. Depending on which ticket you choose, you get to sit through a ten-minute "tour of Rwanda" given by God’s Blessing or a short lecture on a Hawaiian tribal forgiveness ritual delivered by David.

The experience reminded me of Frank Lloyd Wright’s constructs of compression and expansion where he built narrow and low corridors and spaces that led to larger, open rooms in his architectural designs. In the theater, with the brisk opening of a plastic curtain, the audience is led from the confined space outside into the much vaster theatrical arena.

I found the interesting and often alarming journey of watching the play more formidable than its conclusion, which felt a bit forced and contrived and left me wondering about the motivations of the characters, especially God’s Blessing. The playwright didn’t quite convince me that the troubled victim warranted the overwrought guilt he suffered from as a result of his misdeeds.

The play did bring home, however, the thin layer of safety and stability that allows civilizations, cultures and peoples to exist and the numerous times that envelope has been punctured to produce horrific nightmares like the Killing Fields of Cambodia, the claims of genocide in Armenia, the Holocaust and the shattered lives produced by the aftermath of the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.

With a tech crew that includes lighting by C. Todd Brown, media design by Joe Seamans, sound design by Steve Shapiro and scenic and costume design by Deb O, director Katie Pearl creates a benchmark of fine workmanship that should stand as template for future productions by other companies down the road.

"Red Hills" is at the Quantum Theatre through September 10. For tickets, phone 412-362-1713.

The Chocolate Bar - An Evening of Decadent Indulgence

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust invites you to take part in a night of decadent indulgence at The Chocolate Bar on Saturday, October 14, from 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., at the Benedum Center, 237 7th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, with performances by Pittsburgh’s own Staycee Pearl Dance Project. This occasion marks The Chocolate Bar’s third annual event and promises to provide guests with the opportunity to explore the darker side of chocolate and all things masquerade.

The theme of the evening, “Love Never Dies”, will give guests the opportunity to decorate their own masquerade mask—creating an alternate universe with cirque inspired colors and rich chocolate. Among other sweets and delectables, guests can taste artisan candies, ganache-laden inventions, as well as hand-spun milkshakes courtesy of the Milk Shake Factory Pop-Up (located in the Circles Lounge of the Benedum Center). Couture and themed accessories will be on display by fashion curator Richard Parsakian with the talents of Izzazu Salon, Spa & Serata, A519 Chocolatier, and Amanda Wright with the models from Docherty Talent & Modeling Agency.

Setting the environment as the evening’s prime entertainment, Staycee Pearl Dance Project will collaborate with DJ SMI to engage audiences through improvisation. The project exists to interpret and mirror human condition through dance and dance-centered artistic experiences with diverse casting and programming.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Vice President of Development Nick Gigante comments, “We’re most excited for this event because it showcases the beauty and architecture of our historic theatre, the Benedum Center, with the fun element of tasting these wonderful chocolates, cordials, and cocktails. With the combination of wonderful live music, performance art, acrobatics, and costumes, the many wonderful elements of the Cultural District come to life amongst a thousand of your closest contemporaries.”

Outside of artistic entertainment, this year marks the Inaugural Pittsburgh Chocolate Awards where guests will honor the best dishes of the night from the many restaurants present. Categories for the competition will include Best Sweet Treat, Best Savory Dish, and Most Creative.

General Admission (8:00 p.m.– 10:30 p.m.) - Tickets will be available for purchase online at a price of $35 per person. Ticket includes admission, one cocktail, and an Exclusive Partners Membership with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Membership benefits include complimentary invitations to special events, restaurant discounts, access to ticket presales, and more. Cash bar following one included drink ticket.

Unmask the night with a VIP Experience (7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.) - Tickets are also available for purchase online at a price of $85 per person ($75 Trust Members). Ticket includes early-access to all of the above, plus a premiere experience at the Benedum’s new Circles Liberty Lounge all evening featuring hors d’oeuvres from Chef Kate Romane from Black Radish Kitchen, Exclusive Partners Membership, and open bar throughout the party.

To learn more about this event and to purchase your ticket to an evening of extraordinarily tantalizing chocolate treats and palate pairings, please visit: call 412-456-6666.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust – Membership
Memberships to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust help support a variety of cultural initiatives that not only enhance our individual lives, they transform our region in powerful ways. Member support keeps the arts relevant and accessible by funding groundbreaking works and curating world-class exhibits and free festivals, by providing innovative arts education and outreach, by stimulating downtown vibrancy and growth, by attracting diverse businesses, audiences and visitors, and by restoring Cultural District properties, creating a safer and livelier world-class destination.

Shakespeare Fiesta at Mad Mex Shadyside

When you join forces with us for the Shakespeare Fiesta, you're doing more than just eating, drinking and being merrie. You're supporting our mission to bring free performances to all in our beautiful Pittsburgh Parks.

Join our friends and fans. Meet the company and connect with fellow Shakespeareans who appreciate why it's so important to keep Will's works free for all.

WHEN: Tuesday, September 26 from 6 pm to 9 pm

WHERE:  Mad Mex in Shadyside

At Mad Mex Shadyside space is limited to the first 55 tickets sold.

HOW: Tickets $45. Must be purchased in advance.
Click the button to order your tickets.

WHY:  In support of our 2017 production of William Shakespeare's Henry V in our 13th season.

All proceeds benefit Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks, a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit that operates solely through the support of friends like yourself and a small number of foundation and business supporters.

Mad Mex chips, fresh salsa, guacamole, house salad, wings, build your own fajita bar, either one; 16oz Dos Equis draft OR a 16oz House Margarita per person (must be 21 or older), soft drinks, and Mexican brownies.

RAFFLE: Fun theater tickets, a basket of booze and some surprises!

YOUR ROLE?  When you support PSIP, you support the role of language and performance in our culture and free performances of some of the world's most beloved plays. Learn more about supporting our free Shakespeare inititatives year-round through volunteering, Will of Week, and special educational initiatives. We can't wait to hear from you!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

A Message from PICT's Artistic Director

Did you love Macbeth?

If you did, you won’t want to miss Romeo and Juliet.

PICT’s 2017-2018 season will open with Shakespeare’s most beloved love story, Romeo & Juliet, which we will perform at the Fred Rogers Studio at WQED in Oakland.  Romeo and Juliet is Shakespeare’s most Italian of plays. Its timeless theme of love, set against family feud has been adapted in many ways and many times over its 400 year history and we will be bringing it to you set in the 1930’s of Little Italy, New York.

We at PICT have dedicated ourselves to presenting the best of Shakespeare annually and, given the reputation that our productions are gaining, I don’t want you to miss out on our next Shakespeare, and the joy and tragedy of Romeo & Juliet. You can book for the show from September 1st by logging in to our website at

And there are other productions planned throughout the season, and you can book season subscriptions right now.

In early December, PICT will be performing at the theater of the Frick Art Museum in Point Breeze.  Wilde at the Frick is a U.S. premiere and provides a remarkable glimpse into the life and times of possibly the greatest of all Victorian playwrights, Oscar Wilde.  PICT will be presenting, as part of our season’s subscription package, In the Company of Oscar Wilde. In this show, we will be taking you on a journey through the life of Oscar, in his own words and in the company of some of his most loved characters.

In April, PICT will return to the WQED’s Fred Rogers Studio to present Jane Eyre, from one of the most loved novels of the Victorian era, written by Charlotte Bronte.  This dramatization, adapted by myself, was originally commissioned by the Gate Theatre in Dublin and remained a box-office hit over many revivals both in Dublin and across the USA.

And we offer you some special events such as our annual celebration and introduction to our new venue The Royal Regale II.  In December, we will be presenting Oscar Wilde Fairy Tales and The Trial of Oscar Wilde, and we have other special event planned throughout the year.

And do recall that this is our most affordable season ever, so I do hope you will consider buying a full subscription which you can do today just by clicking on this link or calling 412-561-6000.

Remember, single tickets for our three main performances will go on sale September 1, 2017, but subscriptions can be purchased right now.
And they are best value ever.

It is with great anticipation that I look forward to our upcoming 2017/2018 season and, more especially, to meeting you, our old friend in our new neighborhood at WQED or at The Frick.

I sincerely hope you will be back with us as part of PICT’s ever growing family.


Alan Stanford,
Artistic & Executive Director, PICT Classic Theatre

Rockin' Star Chef Dinner at Eleven

Eleven Summer Deck Series:
Rockin’ Star Chef Dinner
Wednesday, August 30, 6:30pm

Eleven is pulling out the big guns for the August edition of its al fresco deck series. At the Rockin’ All-star BBQ, a half dozen of your favorite big Burrito chefs will present their summery dishes paired with their choices of hot jams. Come for the amazing food, stay for the Chef Arm Wrestling Tournament. No wagering please.

Please call (412) 201-5656 for reservations. Limited to 50 guests. $75 per person, not including tax or gratuity.

mini Cubans
steamed pork buns, tomato, chili
crab cakes, corn cream, pimenton
clams casino, Benton's ham, bread crumb
melon & prosciutto

Chorizo Corn Dogs & Lobster Fritters
summer salads & complementing sauces
Dustin Gardner (Executive Chef, Casbah)

Chicken & Beef Robata
shishito pepper, sesame, bonito, lettuce wraps, herbs & sauces
Chinese water spinach, pork jowl, crispy shallot
Lily Tran (Executive Chef, Soba)

Pickle Brined Fried Chicken
tomato & watermelon salad, corn & jalapeno muffins, honey butter
Sir Ben Sloan (Executive Chef, Kaya)

Shellfish Boil
shrimp, scallops, clams, lobster, hot Italian sausage, potatoes, corn cream
Bill Fuller (big Burrito Corporate Chef)

Smoked Jubilee Farms Brisket
basil aioli, heirloom tomatoes, brown butter crumbs, blue cheese, horseradish
Eli Wahl (Executive Chef, Eleven)

Peach Pie
peach ice cream, pecan

Music By Moonlight at Hartwood Acres

Wednesday 6 September
7:15 pm

Hartwood Acres Mansion
(not the Middle Road performance stage)
200 Hartwood Acres
Pittsburgh, PA 15238

$15 Britsburgh Members
$25 General Admission
Join the Britsburgh Society today and enjoy reduced prices on all Britsburgh Festival events.


A full moon has been ordered for a wonderful night of Music by Moonlight, presented by Britsburgh on Wednesday 6 September. Enjoy musical entertainment under the stars on the lawn at Hartwood Acres Mansion.

Bring your own blanket or chairs, or sit under the newly-built pavilion for the show, which features Pittsburgh Festival Opera, along with Musical Theatre Artists of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Savoyards.

You'll get a chance to learn about each piece of music and ask questions of the artists. The event is outside but under the new pavilion. Please dress appropriately and warmly in case of rain and a chilly evening.

6:00–7:15 pm
Optional picnic (see below)

7:15–8:00 pm
Gilbert and Sullivan: H.M.S. Pinafore—Pittsburgh Savoyards

8:10–8.40 pm
Music from Hot Metal Musicals showcase—Musical Theatre Artists of Pittsburgh

8:50–9:35 pm
Music by Rodgers and Hammerstein—Pittsburgh Festival Opera

Katie Manukyan, soprano
Ryan Milstead, baritone
Robert Frankenberry, piano

If you wish to make this an extra special occasion and enjoy a 'picnic under the stars,' why not opt to purchase a wonderful picnic hamper from Britsburgh? Hampers must be ordered by Thursday 31 August with your ticket purchase. Please note that you are not allowed to bring your own food and drink to the event.

Mildred Miller International Voice Competition - FINALS
Sunday 22 October 2017

Be a part of this year's Mildred Miller International Voice Competition on 21-22 October 2017, as we search for America's best singers. Young professionals aged 18–35 compete for cash prizes and solo roles in the 2018 Festival Season.

Join Pittsburgh Festival Opera founder Mildred Miller Posvar and an esteemed panel of judges as they select three winners in public sessions in October.

Pittsburgh Festival Opera
Jonathan Eaton, Artistic Director

286 Main St, 3rd Floor
Pittsburgh  PA  15201


Do you share a passion for artisan cheeses? Or are you wondering what this artisan cheese thing is all about? Casellula is offering cheese classes that are sure to leave you with an enhanced appreciation for this remarkable food and some “secrets de fromage” that you can use to surprise and impress your friends! 

Each class is structured to be fun, first and foremost, and will feature cheese tastings and adult beverage pairings. Classes will be held in the “cheese cave” on the lower level of Alphabet City. Sign up today!
To register, go to

Cheese & Spirits
Tuesday, September 12th, 2017
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Tuition is $75.00
Partnering with award-winning local craft distillers, Wigle Whiskey, Casellula will explore the surprises and delights of pairing artisan cheeses with artisan spirits. Attendees will taste two straight spirits and two cocktails with a broad range of cheeses. Don’t miss this unique epicurean experience!

It’s American Cheese Month!
Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
The American Artisan Cheese movement, which had its beginnings in the 1970’s, has grown beyond the wildest imaginings of those early cheesemakers. Come learn about this American culinary renaissance, and taste some award-winning American artisan cheeses while you sip on creatively-paired adult beverages.

*Both classes will be held in the “cheese cave” on the lower level of Casellula, 40 W. North Avenue on Pittsburgh's North Side.   412.226.9740.

For reservations, go to

Friday, August 25, 2017

Summer Company Takes a Stab at "Go Back for Murder"

JulietteMariani as Lady Melksham and Grant Jones as the Artist/C in "Go Back for Murder" Credit: Summer Company

Prolific whodunit scrivener, Agatha Christie, is credited for writing 66 detective novels, many of which celebrated the prowess of sleuths Hercole Poirot or Miss Marple. As a measure of the volume of her work, Guinness World Records credits her as the best-selling novelist of all time.

The English writer, made a Dame of the British Empire for her contributions to literature, was also  a successful playwright. Her murder-mystery "The Mousetrap" is cited as the longest running play with more than 25,000 performances since its West End opener in  November 1952.

If they hurry, local theater-goers have a chance to sample her prowess as a mystery powerhouse with a staging of Christie’s "Go Back For Murder," a production of the Summer Company now at the Genesius Theater on the campus of Duquesne University. The show runs through August 27.

Director John E. Lane, Jr, co-founder of the company and director of the university’s theater arts program, has assembled a cast of nine regional actors, including several tried-and-true veterans of various Pittsburgh stages.

The play opens in 1962 with the dastardly deed already done, and young Carla Crale (Rebekah Hukill) is shown in a London lawyer’s office after arriving from Canada to find out the facts behind her father’s death 14 years earlier. Sadly, her mother was convicted of his murder and sent to prison where she died three years later. But not before penning a letter to Carla proclaiming her innocence which Carla received, but only after reaching official adulthood.

Rebekah Hukill as Carla Crale and Grant Jones as the Lawyer
.Lawyer Justin Fogg (Grant Jones) attended the accused woman’s trial, (his father was her defense attorney) and Carla is seeking his help in contacting those present at the murder at Alderbury, a house in the West of England. Her plan is to get their accounts of the fateful day in the fall of 1948. In Act One, each of the five characters is interviewed by Carla sequentially, and the pieces to the Christie’s puzzle begin to fall into place.

Lane doubles as director and set designer and constructs as series of intimate spaces across the broad Genesius Theater stage. Separately, they represent the lawyer’s office, a city office, a room in a hotel suite, a bed-sitting room and a table at the restaurant where Carla interviews each of those present at Alderbury the day of her father’s demise. Each space is fleshed out with sufficient furniture and props to evoke a solid sense of place.

A bit of back story about the play that relies on back story to tell its tale might be helpful at this point. Originally, Christie wrote, not the play, but its predecessor novel with the title "Murder in Retrospect" in 1942. In the novel, Carla went to detective Poirot, instead of the play’s lawyer, Justin Fogg,  to help her solve the mystery around her father’s death.

In the book, Poirot considered five suspects as potential culprits and likened them to the five pigs in the nursery rhyme "This Little Piggy." Eventually, "Five Little Pigs" became an alternate title of the novel.
Back to the play. By the end of Act One, Christie introduces the audience to all the characters and, in a short span of time, manages to give them plenty in the way of unique identities. As the pivotal Carla, Hukill shows the drive needed for her character to come all the way from Canada to pursue the truth, despite the reluctance of her rather flippant boyfriend (Nathaniel Yost) to have her get involved.

In Act Two, when all the suspects get together at Alderbury at Carla’s request, Hulkill plays dual roles - that of the mother and daughter as the play oscillates between the present and 1942, when the supposed murder took place. To accentuate the segue from one time period to the other, the lights in the theater go to pitch darkness when a few introductory lines are spoken before the lights go back up.

Carla’s plan is to have the suspects reenact the events of the day in an attempt to arrive at the truth. In both real time and the flashback scenes, Jones, too, is called on to portray two characters - that of the lawyer and that of Carla’s deceased husband on the day of his death.

Two brothers, Philip and Meredith Blake, conveniently described as the deceased’s best friends, nevertheless make the list of suspects. Played with remarkable finesse and nuance by veteran Pittsburgh actors Jay Keenan and Mark Yochum, respectively, their possible culpability grows stronger as events unfold. In a reduced role, even Ron Siler Waruszewski as Fogg’s aged secretary has a nefarious aura that carries with it an air of suspicion.

As Carla’s younger sibling, Angela, Nora Nee shows a depth of characterization, first portraying her adult side as a worldly wise, calm and collected young woman, then as an adolescent with a mischievous streak that borders on malice. Susan McGregor-Laine portrays Angela’s nannie who had a strong bond to Carla’s mother and an equally strong dislike of her father, a renowned painter with a roving eye for the fairer sex.

Complicating matters is Lady Melksham, the artist’s latest conquest and model for what he considers to be his finest work of art. As his latest mistress, Juliette Mariani falls head over heels for the artist and makes no bones about wanting to marry him, much to the chagrin of Carla’s mother, Angela, her nannie and both Blake brothers.

Christie feeds enough clues into the plot to make everyone a suspect, but leaves enough doubt lingering about to make picking the right evil doer difficult. I had my suspicions, but was proven wrong by some clever writing that came as a mild shock.

The playwright even throws in a surprise happy ending that should buoy everyone’s mood as they leave the theater challenged by Christie’s stagecraft and sated by a rewarding evening of entertaining acting.

"Go Back For Murder," a production of the Summer Company, is at the Genesius Theater on the campus of Duquesne University through August 27. For tickets, go to

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Priority Ticket Offer: Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents Series

The Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents Series offers everything from clamorous comedy to dazzling dance to stellar stunts – this great mix of performances promises something for everyone.

Enter promo code FABRIQUE to purchase tickets before
they go on sale to the public on Friday, August 25 at 9 a.m.

Flip FabriQue in Catch Me! 4
Flip FabriQue in Catch Me!
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Byham Theater

4 x 4: Ephemeral Architectures
Saturday, November 4, 2017
Byham Theater

Capitol Steps
Sunday, November 5, 2017
Byham Theater

 Hollywood Special Effects Show Musical Thrones: A Parody Bollywood Boulevard
Hollywood Special Effects Show
Monday, February 5, 2018
Byham Theater

Musical Thrones: A Parody
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Byham Theater

Bollywood Boulevard
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Byham Theater

 Mummenschanz in you & me
Mummenschanz in you & me
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Byham Theater

To Purchase Tickets:
Online at
Call 412-456-6666
Box Office at Theater Square

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Kimberly Richards returns to City Theatre for 800th appearance as Sister in LATE NITE CATECHISM

September 7-24, 2017
Lester Hamburg Studio

She’s a hard habit to break: City Theatre presents the original Late Nite Catechism, the hit one-nun comedy that first took the South Side by storm over 12 years ago. Featuring Kimberly Richards as the unflappable Sister, this Sunday School send-up was written by Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan. Originally scheduled to run September 7-17, additional performances have been added through September 24, 2017. Tickets are on sale now for this City Event.

If you’ve skipped class all these years, now’s your chance to see the show that started it all! Improv comedy and Catholic dogma collide in Sister’s tough-but-loving classroom, where pupils (aka: the audience) get a refresher course on the finer points of faith and win prizes for their scholarship. So grab your rosary, spit out your gum, and get ready for Sister’s hilarious mix of comedy, nostalgia, and old school Catholic cool.

Kimberly Richards will perform her 800th show as Sister in Pittsburgh on Saturday, September 9, at 6:00 pm. Since 2005, City Theatre has presented seven plays in the Late Nite Catechism series, including the 2016 hit Sister’s Easter Catechism: Will My Bunny Go To Heaven? Ms. Richards has appeared in all but one of the City Theatre presentations from the franchise, earning a special place in the hearts of Pittsburghers through her humor, faith, and love of Steelers football.

Throughout the run, Ms. Richards will be collecting donations to support retired Catholic nuns through 17 local Motherhouses. In partnership with City Theatre, she has donated $391,587 in proceeds from her Pittsburgh shows and is poised to exceed $400,000, before the three-week run’s end. Audience members are encouraged to leave a little something extra in the collection bucket on their way out, while the sinners may be punished with a fine for showing up late, wearing low-cut blouses, or any number of other venial sins.

Kimberly Richards was born in Green Tree at St. Clair Memorial Hospital and baptized at St. Margaret of Scotland. Kim grew up in Oakland, California, graduating from Holy Names High. She launched her versatile career 45 years ago as an actress, aerialist, choreographer, comedienne, dancer, director, and illusionist. Her experience includes a USO tour of Asia, two years at Circus Circus hanging from a rope at 60 feet without a net, and dancing the show rooms of Las Vegas in the 70's and 80's.

This year she appeared as “Dotty” in Noises Off! at the San Francisco Playhouse. Her acting credits include two of San Francisco’s longest-running hits, Bar None and Beyond Therapy, as well as dozens of other productions. Kim has won an Outstanding Performance Award, two Drama-Logue awards, and three Dean Goodman Choice awards. In 2012, she originated the role of Barbara in the North American premiere of the one-woman play Help! My Husband Has Gone Missing, My Daughter is Getting Married & I Am Having Hot Flashes!, and she now performs it across the U.S. and Canada.

Kim’s directing credits include Waiting for Godot, The Trip to Bountiful, and many other plays. In 2009, she directed the world premiere of Pulp Scripture, which swept the San Francisco Fringe Festival, winning eight awards, including Best New Comedy.

Her choreography credits include numerous productions in Las Vegas, and at the San Francisco Playhouse, most recently She Loves Me (2016) and La Cage aux Folles (now running). She won two BATCC Outstanding Choreographer Awards for My Fair Lady (2012) and Company (2015), as well as multiple Outstanding Choreographer nominations from BATCC and TBA for Promises, Promises (2013-14) and Into the Woods (2014). She was co-choreographer for Abe Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party, awarded Best New Play in the 2009 New York International Fringe Festival. She’s currently choreographing A Christmas Story: The Musical for the San Francisco Playhouse (opens November 22).

Since 2001, Kim has regularly toured the continent starring as “Sister” in all seven installments of the one-woman Late Nite Catechism comedy series.

September 7-24, 2017
Thursdays at 7:00 p.m.
Fridays at 8:00 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, September 10, at 2:00 p.m.
Single tickets start at $40.
Group rates are available. Call Joel Ambrose for details: 412-431-4400 x286.

412-431-CITY (2489) or
City Theatre: Lester Hamburg Studio
1300 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (South Side)
Port Authority bus routes: 48, 51, 54, 81, 83

Patron parking is available in the lot across from the City Theatre entrances for $8, subject to availability.
Patrons may park for free and use the city’s South Side Nite Rider shuttle from the Second Avenue Parking Plaza. Friday and Saturday evenings only. Details: