Saturday, January 20, 2018

Monologue Madness BYOB - Bring Your Own Bard

Released: January 18, 2018
Bring Your Own Bard, the Shakespeare reading series produced by Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks, kicks off the 2018 season with “Monologue Madness” – an evening of Shakespearean monologues and scenes read by, well, anyone, on Mon., Jan. 29.

Whether a seasoned actor or an energetic neophyte, all are welcome to perform their favorite Shakespearean verse in an informal and fun evening celebrating the Bard’s most famous and most obscure works. Come with a reading prepared, or choose a monologue from those brought along by host Alan Irvine (who most recently directed PSIP's record-breaking production of HENRY V), or just sit back and enjoy.

Bring Your Own Bard is PSIP's informal scene night in which professional actors and non-actors alike take a crack at their favorite Shakespeare pieces in a light-hearted evening. BYOB is for those who really want to read Shakespeare out loud in a comfortable setting.

BYOB takes place on Mon., Jan. 29 at the Te Café, 2000 Murray Ave. (at Beacon Ave) in Squirrel Hill. Doors open at 7:15 pm and readings begin at 7:30 pm.

All ages and levels of experience welcome to read or listen. Kids are welcome. Beverages and light fare available for purchase. Suggested $10 donation at the door to support PSIP's 14th season of free performances in Pittsburgh city parks.

Bring Your Own Bard takes place the last Monday of every month from January-May, 2018.

Anyone interested in reading may contact PSIP at, callB412.521.6406, or visit Facebook at Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks.

PITTSBURGH SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKS is the city’s outdoor Shakespeare company and has been offering free Shakespeare productions in city parks since 2005. Now in its 14th season, PSIP has entertained thousands of patrons in city parks since its inception. During 2018, Week of Will takes place in conjunction with the Bard's birthday in April and the next production of a Shakespeare play will be presented on weekends in September with admission free for all.

PSIP is on the web at:
Facebook: Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks
Twitter: @PghShakespeare

Friday, January 19, 2018

Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Members Get Free Days at Cultural Institutions

Your Pittsburgh Botanic Garden membership will gain you free admission to these amazing local organizations on the dates listed below. Plus... you can visit the Garden year-round for free!

Memberships to Pittsburgh Botanic Garden start at only $35, with levels that suit everyone's needs and include numerous additional perks.  

Click here for more information regarding membership levels, then pick the best fit for you and you can visit these awesome places in February for FREE...

Mattress Factory
Saturday, February 3

Pittsburgh Botanic Garden
Saturday, February 3

Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
(Including: Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, 

Carnegie Science Center, The Andy Warhol Museum)
Sunday, February 4

Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
Friday, February 9

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
Saturday, February 10

Frick Art and Historical Center
(Reservations are required to tour Clayton House)
Sunday, February 11

Sweetwater Center for the Arts
Thursday, February 15

Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
Saturday, February 17

Westmoreland Museum of American Art
Saturday, February 24

Heinz History Center
(Including Fort Pitt Museum)
Sunday, February 25

Get your Pittsburgh Botanic Garden membership today!  Click Here!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Next Pittsburgh Gallery Crawl January 26

 "Sirens" by artists Ryoichi Kurokawa & Novi_Sad

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is pleased to announce the complete programming lineup for the upcoming Gallery Crawl, taking place on January 26, 2018 from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in the Cultural District. A production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the Gallery Crawl showcases Pittsburgh’s unique Cultural District by activating many of its venues with diverse artistic offerings. All Gallery Crawl events are free and open to the public.

The winter Gallery Crawl features 30 indoor Crawl Stops, spanning mediums from visual to culinary arts and live music to film screenings. January’s Gallery Crawl will feature the opening of three new media works in Wood Street Galleries by international artists Ryoichi Kurokawa and Novi_Sad. The Crawl will also provide one of the last opportunities to see the contemporary paintings of The Long Run at SPACE Gallery, as well as On Looking and White Noise at 707 and 709 Galleries, all three of which will close on January 28.

This quarter’s Crawl After Dark features a no cover DJ Party with DJ SMI in the Peirce Studio of the Trust Arts Education Center and an intimate ticketed performance by Chantae Cann in the café of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. Cann’s debut album, “Journey to Golden,” was released in March 2016 at #1 on the iTunes Jazz Charts and #7 on the Jazz Billboard Charts. This performance is part of the August Wilson Center’s Wall of Sound Series, featuring emerging artists and fresh sounds. Other Crawl After Dark programming includes Salsa Fridays and CrawlSpace: Art + Comedy with Carnegie Museum of Art at Arcade Comedy Theater.

“The Gallery Crawl plays an important role in our annual programming because for one night local, national and international artists and works share the downtown spotlight. It’s a joy to work with our community partners in this unique and inclusive quarterly event,” shares Sarah Gilmer, Program Manager, Strategic Partnership and Community Engagement at the Trust.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit: or call 412-456-6666.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Photo Exhibit Opens Saturday at Westmoreland Museum of American Art

Emigration-Immigration-Migration, part of a civic engagement project by The Documentary Works, highlights the work of five Pittsburgh photographers—Brian Cohen, Scott Goldsmith, Nate Guidry, Lynn Johnson and Annie O’Neill—whose images serve as a lens through which to consider the broader American experience.

By exploring the central role that immigration has played in the formation of American identity, in sustaining the economy, and in the enrichment of cultural diversity, the images in this exhibition aim to create a space for civil, constructive conversation about belonging and cultural heritage today.

Join us for an opening reception on Saturday, January 20 from 6:30-8 pm. Be one of the first to view this exhibition while enjoying light bites from Sun Dawg Cafe and live music from Win/Win Duo.

Tickets are available online or by calling 1.888.71TICKETS. $15 members, $20 non-members (includes two drink tickets).

Get Tickets HERE

Emigration-Immigration-Migration will be on view at The Westmoreland Museum of American Art from January 20-April 22, 2018.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Applebee’s - Pulling Me in by Way of a TV Ad

Within hours after I told a friend it’d been a while since I had a nice platter of barbecued pork ribs and that I had a hankering for some, I saw an ad for Applebee’s "All You Can Eat Ribs and Chicken Tenders. On TV, the combo looked so tasty, I decided to soothe my Steeler blues by treating myself to its $12.99 offer and drove to the location at Trinity Point in Washington.

Now $12.99 for a single serving is quite a deal in and of itself, but the all-you-can-consume proviso seemed a bargain not-to-be-missed.

On entering the attractively-lit restaurant, I expected to see a lot of gloomy fans devastated by the game’s final score, but the overall vibe was semi-festive though somewhat subdued two hours after the failed off-side kick.

Knowing beforehand what I was going to order, I still perused the menu while my glass of mango flavored lemonade made its way to my table in the sure hands of my waitress, Erin, an efficient, confident lass who seemed to know her way around the niceties of the restaurant business.

Applebee's Chicken Won Ton Tacos
The interim gave me enough time to spot an item in the Appetizer section that proved irresistible. It stood out from the rest in a red framed rectangular box with the alluring name "Chicken Won Ton Tacos."  Described as tangy grilled chicken, sweet Asian chile sauce and dumpling sauce stuffed into crispy wonton shells and topped with crunchy slaw and a cilantro mix. For $8.29 for four, who could resist?

I couldn’t, and REALLY enjoyed sharing these very tasty, surprisingly chile-hot tacos with a friend.

When Todd, one of the Applebee managers, stopped by I asked how long the rib offer was going to last. He checked and said till January 29. After that, a new hamburger special was going into effect - any one of Applebee’s seven burgers could be had for $7.99, fries included. Someone please remind me to go back when the end of the month rolls along for me to try the Caprese Mozzarella Burger on Brioche bun or the Whiskey Bacon Burger.

Applebee's All-You-Can-Eat Ribs

When it came time for the main event, the raison d’etre for being there, Erin asked what type of barbecue sauce I’d like on my ribs. There are three to choose from - honey barbecue, Spicy Texas and Asian chile.
I went for the latter and was surprised how tangy the sauce was. It mated well with the black pepper and spice rub and char grilled flavor of the riblets, tempered by a ramekin of crispy slaw and, of course,  a hefty portion of fries.

By the time I’d feasted on a second helping of ribs, I hadn’t much room left for the chicken tenders so I asked Erin for only one - just to see how it tasted. She brought me three along with the honey mustard dipping sauce and another generous portion of fries.

Telling her I was feeling a little guilty after eating a tad too much, she tried to soothe my lapse of restraint by letting me know that one previous customer downed five servings of tenders (he didn’t want the ribs), the equivalent of 22, roughly four-inch pieces of deep fried chicken morsels.

I had to admit there were several dessert offerings I would have liked to have tried, but enough is enough. Then, an item at the bottom of the list caught my eye with its hint of moderation. The Brownie Bite sounded like something I had room for and who could go wrong with its $1.49 price tag. Voila! The small but satisfying triangle of warm dark chocolate brownie with nuts comes with an equally proportioned scoop of  vanilla ice cream rippled with hot fudge. Great marketing concept here, I thought.

Brownie Bite Anyone?

For those who’ve never been, Applebee’s 11 page menu is divided into sections titled Beverages, Appetizers, Build Your Own Appetizer Samples (2 for $10 or # for $13), From the Grill, Chicken, Lighter Fare (Cedar Grilled Lemon Chicken, anyone?), Pasta, Seafood and More, Salads and Sandwiches, Burgers and Desserts.

The last page announces build your own lunch combos that range in price from $6.99 to $8.99.

From the bar, Applebee’s features 3 different Long Island Ice Teas and special drinks every day of the week. (On my Sunday visit, you could get a 10 oz. Blue Moon Draft for $2 or a $3.50 Margarita). Happy Hour is from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday - Friday and from 9 to 10 p.m. Monday - Thursday when well drinks and domestic beers are $2.50.

Something I found novel is Applebee’s take-out ordering options. It seems you can order ahead via the phone or Internet, then pull your car into a specially marked stall to have your order hand delivered.. No fuss, no bother. You can even pay for everything online.

For more information or to see the menu. go to

Coming Up at Pittsburgh's New Hazlett Theater

The Sixth Annual Food Pantry Brunch Challenge
Presented by Northside Common Ministries
January 20 | 11AM-1PM
Find out if 10 local chefs are up for the challenge. Can they make a brunch item from only the food typically distributed in a Community Food Pantry or Soup Kitchen? Enjoy delicious brunch treats and Salsa music provided by Gavas Beat all while helping to raise money for the Northside Community Food Pantry.​

Night of a
Thousand Stars
New Hazlett Theater
January 23  |  7-9PM

Usher in the New Year with a volunteer appreciation and recruitment party at the New Hazlett Theater! RSVP

Apart From Me
CSA Performance Series
February 8  |  8PM
Using a combination of touch sensors, soundscapes and wearable fabric sculptures, these artists create a language around the push and pull of human connection. TICKETS

Holmes and Watson
Kinetic Theatre Company
February 16 - March 4
Sherlock Holmes has not been seen for more than three years. Watson is called upon to disprove the many frauds, fakes and charlatans who have popped up claiming to be Holmes. TICKETS

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.

The New Hazlett Theater is more than just a beautifully restored historic building.  We're a nonprofit organization working to nurture and promote art in Pittsburgh. We are an incubator for the arts, and we're passionate about providing a space for our amazing pool of creative talent to develop, collaborate, grow and flourish. Support the New Hazlett by making a tax-deductible donation.

From the open aired food hall of Federal Galley to authentic Asian cuisine at Nicky's Thai Kitchen or even a savory traditional German meal at Max's Allegheny Tavern, you are sure to find something that suits your taste buds.  Download a full list of area restaurants.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Pittsburgh CLO to Hold Auditions for 2018 Summer Season

Auditions for Pittsburgh CLO's 2018 Summer Season productions of TITANIC, THE FULL MONTY, BRIGADOON, Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE.

WHO: Trained singers, dancers and character actors.
The Benedum Center
719 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Please use the Stage Door entrance. A valid photo ID is required for entry.
WHEN: By appointment only.
Thursday, February 22
Friday, February 23
Saturday, February 24
Callbacks Sunday, February 25

All performers must bring a headshot and typed resume stapled together, and a completed Audition Application.
Trained Singers:
Age 18+
16 bars of an up-tempo and ballad in traditional musical theater style
Trained Dancers:
Age 18+
Be prepared to perform a jazz, tap and ballet combination
Age 30+ not auditioning to be in the chorus
Headshot and resume
16 Bars of one song

For more information or to schedule an audition time, visit our website You can download an Audition Application and sign up for an audition appointment via email. If you do not have internet access please call 412-281-3973 x217. Appointments are now being taken.

Explore Hollywood Special Effects

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces a theatrical experience like no other, The Hollywood Special Effects Show, will play at the Byham Theater, 101 6th Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206, on February 5th at 7:30 p.m. The Hollywood Special Effects show is presented as part of the Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents series.

Audiences will be able to get closer to the action than ever before as this interactive and explosive family show goes behind the scenes of many favorite blockbuster films to discover the science and secrets of creating movie magic. Live on stage, the show’s team will give revealing insight into the world of special effects, taking families on an exciting journey as they feel the heat of an onstage inferno, marvel at gruesome sci-fi monsters, are blown away by apocalyptic weather and hold on tight through huge explosions.

The Hollywood Special Effects Show uses more pyrotechnics than any other touring theatre show, and for some sequences, the audience is protected by bullet proof glass placed across the stage. The animatronic dinosaur that appears in the show was built by specialists in Japan, and the large air cannon used in the finale is capable of firing a projectile over an incredible 1500 feet!

Tickets (starting at $25) are available at the following official Pittsburgh Cultural Trust ticket sources: online at, by calling Guest Services at 412-456-6666, or in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue. For groups of 10+ call 412-471-6930, online at, or in person at Theater Square Box Office.

For more, follow The Hollywood Special Effect show on Twitter @HollywoodSFXS or Facebook.

Now Hear This - Unique Combo Playing in Carnegie

This combo (world celebrated jazz stride pianist -- he whistles too -- Tom Roberts, Dave Klug on drums and "Kluger Soundboard" and Wayno on vocals, harmonica & ukulele) plays a danceable mix of New Orleans R& B, early rock & roll and  barroom ballads.  All served  with a generous side of style and wit.

$15 in advance (thru 1/25); $20 at the door.
Light refreshments and drinks by donation.

Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall
300 Beechwood Avenue
Carnegie, PA 15106


One Man Dark Knight: A Batman Parody Coming to Byham Theater

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the return of Charles Ross in the latest installment of his solo film parodies. Ross will perform ONE MAN DARK KNIGHT: A BATMAN PARODY at the Byham Theater, 101 6th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, on Saturday, January 13, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. This performance is a part of the Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents series.

From the madmen behind One Man Star Wars and One Man Lord of the Rings comes an irreverent parody and homage to the Dark Knight Trilogy. Two-faced super-nerd, Charles Ross, lovingly tears Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece a new one in his new One Man Dark Knight: A Batman Parody. No costumes, no sets, no Batmobiles, Ross takes you on a one-hour comedic joyride, from Batman’s origins to his epic battles against Gotham’s super-villains.

Like the first two trilogy productions, ONE MAN DARK KNIGHT: A BATMAN PARODY is just Ross and his wit. The unexpected successes of his trilogies has taken Ross worldwide, including performances off-Broadway and the Sydney Opera House.

Tickets (starting at $25) are available at the following official Pittsburgh Cultural Trust ticket sources: online at, by calling Guest Services at 412-456-6666, or in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue.

 For groups of 10+ call 412-471-6930, online at or in person at Theater Square Box Office. VIP Meet & Greet Tickets ($50) include one seat in a premium location and a post-show Meet & Greet.

Red Masquers to Stage "Macbeth"

Macbeth takes the stage at Duquesne University!

Shakespeare's Macbeth is a classical masterpiece of the macabre, as Macbeth both resists and gives way to his ambitious urges, leading him to be tempted into committing heinous acts. A dark and bloody show, Macbeth is filled with rage, grief, and an unquenchable thirst for power.

The production runs February 15 through February 25. Thursday through Saturday, performances begin at 8 PM. Sunday matinees are at 2 PM. All shows will be performed at the Genesius Theater at Duquesne University, adjacent to the Mary Pappert School of Music.

Macbeth by William Shakespeare is directed by Dora Farona.

Ticket prices online are $16.50 for general admission, $11.50 for senior citizens, and $6.50 for students. It is free for Duquesne Students. Group rates are also available. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Presale of Tickets for The Mountaintop Now Available

Saturday, February 17, 2018
August Wilson Center


April 3, 1968. Martin Luther King, Jr. returns to Memphis' Lorraine Motel after delivering his famous “mountaintop” speech. In her internationally acclaimed play, The Mountaintop, playwright Katori Hall fantasizes what may have transpired in the overnight hours between the legendary civil rights leader and a seemingly inconsequential hotel maid.

Hours after his famed final speech, the celebrated Reverend reveals his hopes, regrets, and fears, creating a masterful bridge between mortality and immortality. Winner of the prestigious Oliver Award for Best New Play, The Mountaintop is rife with humor and political jabs, while giving us a glimpse at the human side of Martin Luther King Jr.

Enter promo code MOUNTAINTOP to purchase tickets before
they go on sale to the public on January 15 at 9 am.

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

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Pittsburgh Opera to Stage "The Long Walk"

 Pittsburgh Opera brings a gripping, contemporary American opera to the CAPA School Theater in Jeremy Howard Beck’s The Long Walk. With a libretto by Stephanie Fleischmann, The Long Walk is based on the book The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life that Follows by Brian Castner.

The opera is a deeply personal exploration of a soldier’s return from Iraq where he served as an officer in an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit and his battle with what he calls “the Crazy” as he tries to reintegrate into his family life.

‘The long walk’ is the term for when a bomb disposal expert puts on their bomb suit and walks, alone, towards an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which they must disarm. As Castner explains in an interview, “It is an extremely lonely experience; no one can help you.” However, ‘the long walk’ also refers to the struggle to re-integrate back into one’s own life upon returning to the United States, a struggle which Castner shares with brutal honesty.

For additional background, view American Lyric Theater’s YouTube video featuring interviews with Beck, Fleischmann, and Castner.

Commissioned by American Lyric Theater in 2012, the opera was developed under the auspices of the Composer Librettist Development Program, and premiered at Opera Saratoga in 2015. The Times Union called it “a daring operatic depiction of war’s aftermath”; another reviewer said it “hits on all that makes us human.”

Pittsburgh Opera is proud to be the first performing arts organization to bring The Long Walk to Pittsburgh. Tickets are available online.

Interesting facts about The Long Walk

This marks only the third set of performances of the opera The Long Walk. Besides its world premiere in Saratoga, New York in 2015, Opera Utah performed it in Salt Lake City in March and April, 2017.

Ben Taylor, the Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist who will be singing the role of Brian Castner, is used to exercising his vocal cords. But for this role, his preparations have also included running multiple miles a day, because scenes in the opera require him to sing while jogging.

For the ninth year in a row, Pittsburgh Opera is proud to partner with Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama to create custom sets for these performances.

Tickets and Group Discounts
Tickets to all performances of The Long Walk start at $50
All performances are at the Pittsburgh CAPA Theater, 111 9th St, in downtown Pittsburgh

To purchase tickets, call 412-456-6666, visit the Theatre Square Box Office, or buy online at https://opera.culturaldistrict .org/production/51808/the-long -walk
Group discounts are available. For discounted group tickets (6 or more), contact Regina Connolly at 412-281-0912, x 213
PNC is the 2017-18 Pittsburgh Opera Season Sponsor
WQED-FM is Pittsburgh Opera’s Media Sponsor
Tuesday performance sponsor: Ambridge Regional Distribution and Manufacturing Center
These performances are supported by the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University
Commission Underwriting and Developmental Support for The Long Walk has been provided by OPERA America/The Opera Fund, The MAP Fund, The New York State Council on the Arts, and The ASCAP Foundation. Commissioned by American Lyric Theater, Lawrence Edelson, Producing Artistic Director. World Premiere: Opera Saratoga, July 10, 2015.

COMING UP NEXT for Pittsburgh Opera:
The world premiere of Douglas J. Cuomo’s Ashes & Snow, February 17 – 25, 2018

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Narmada Wines - A Taste of Virginia with Touches of India and Pittsburgh

Narmada Winery in Amissville, Va.

A few years ago while on a wine tasting tour of Virginia from Richmond to the Blue Ridge foothills with stops in and around Charlottesville, I discovered that the two grape varietals expected to do well in the state’s climate and soil conditions were Viognier and Cabernet Franc.

On my tour, I relished the Cab Francs from the Barbersville and Jefferson Wineries, and found the Viogniers eye-opening delights but have recently come to appreciate, even prefer over other white wines, the unique flavors of Viognier, not only from Virginia but beyond.

Native to the Rhone Valley of France, Viognier is doing quite well in Virginia. In fact some rate the state’s Viogniers are considered by aficionados as some of the world’s best. Many foodies and wine lovers have also come to realize that Viognier is the best wine to serve with lobster, but the versatile wine also mates well with Indian, Thai, Chinese and Japanese cuisine including sushi and sashimi. And please don’t forget cheese.

Just after the New Year, I managed to get my hands on a 2016 Viognier from the Narmada Winery, located on a 51 acre tract in Virginia’s Rappahannock County. The winery opened a mere seven years ago and its vines date back to two years earlier, but Narmada has already taken home 60 gold medals in that brief span of time.

Impressions of the 2016 Narmada Winery Viognier

My first ever experience with the 2016 Narmada Viognier continues my love affair with Virginia Viognier. The pale, yellow wine has a wonderful aroma, redolent with peach, raisin and pineapple bolstered by delicate floral notes. Drier than a lot of other Virginia Viogniers I’ve tried, the Narada is crisp and fruity. On the palate, it’s citrus elements are balanced with peach, melon  and honey tones that leave you with a surprising minerality on the finish.

The wine is made from 75% Viognier and 25% Traminette grapes and comes in at 13.7% alcohol. This Viognier is ready to drink now through 2021 and retails for $27. The wine can be enjoyed on its own, and winery owner and CEO, Pandit Patil, also suggests pairing it with "Thai curry shrimp over jasmine rice, vegetable korma and roasted lobster tail with ginger dipping sauce."

Biographical Tidbits Taken from the Winery Website

Winery Owner Pandit Patil
Pandit Patil originally hails from Mumbai, India, but came to the United States 50 years ago to pursue an education in engineering. His studies first took him to New Mexico State University, then to Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh where he earned a Masters Degree. He finished his studies at the University of Pittsburgh where he left with Ph.D.

Following an exemplary engineering career, Pandit returned to his agrarian roots and decided to put his family’s agricultural heritage to use by growing wine grapes in Virginia. As winery owners, he and his wife, Sudha, supervise the vineyard and research sustainable farming practices, develop marketing strategies for the wine, and coordinate the winery’s operations and finances.

Winemaker Sudha Patil’s finely honed palate and B.S. degree in chemistry go hand in hand in producing Narmada Winery’s elegant wines. In the short time since the winery opened its doors, her skills in both the art and the science of winemaking have brought national and international recognition.

Sudha’s winemaking philosophy and methodology  is to create graceful wines that preserve the true character of the fruit. She became interested in fine wine during extensive US and international travel with her husband  and has observed winery operations and discussed winemaking techniques with vintners in the US and abroad.

Winemaker Sudha Patil
Her formal study of winemaking began with Jim Law of Linden Vineyards who she calls the "guru" of Virginia wine. At the winery, she works closely with consultant Tom Payette to fine tune her approach to producing the best quality wines from the best Virginia-grown fruit.

In addition to managing wine development and production for Narmada Winery, Sudha’s touch is evident in every aspect of the winery. The grounds are lovingly landscaped according to her seasonal plans. The warm and welcoming tasting room is enhanced by both her personal hospitality and her international sensibility in the choice of decor, food pairings, and gift selections.

Dr. Sudha Patil hails from Thane, a small town outside Mumbai, India and has been a proud Virginia resident for over 40 years She holds a BS in Chemistry from George Mason, a DDS from Georgetown University and an MS in Oral Biology from the University of Maryland.

For more information go to website

Coming Soon: Narmada Winery’s 2013 Cabernet Franc Reserve

Monday, January 8, 2018

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra To Present World Premiere Of "The August Wilson Symphony"

Composer Kathryn Bostic

On January 20, 2018, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Grammy Award-winning conductor Lucas Richman, will premiere Kathryn Bostic’s The August Wilson Symphony at Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts.

Tony Award winning actress Phylicia Rashad, who both performed and directed several of Wilson’s plays, will serve as narrator for the event, reading passages from August Wilson’s plays before each movement. Tickets are $25-$65 and are available online at or by calling (412) 392-4900.

The August Wilson Symphony consists of 5 movements: The Great Migration, The Hill Illumined, Wiley Avenue, The Oracle of Aunt Ester, and Exalted Roads of Truth and Triumph.  The movements are inspired by the 10 plays Wilson wrote based on his life experiences growing up in Pittsburgh’s Hill District.

"I wanted to create a musical lens to reflect aspects of Mr. Wilson's plays,” Bostic explained. “Each of the 5 movements has a particular essence and energy that correlates.”

“I was immediately intrigued when Kathryn Bostic first informed me she was in the process of crafting a large-scale orchestral work to honor the legacy of renowned playwright, August Wilson,” said Richman. “Based on my awareness of her work as a composer and knowing of her long-term association with the Wilson canon of plays, I knew no one would be better suited to this particular creative task than Kathryn and, thus, it became a personal mission for me to assist her in facilitating the proper launch of this remarkable new work.”

Bostic, who scored several of Wilson’s theatrical productions including Gem of the Ocean (Broadway) and Joe Turner's Come and Gone, which was directed by Rashad.  She also scored the PBS American Masters documentary, produced by WQED, August Wilson-The Ground on Which I Stand. It was this documentary that inspired Kathryn to create The August Wilson Symphony.

“The overall influence Mr. Wilson has had on me is immense,” said Bostic. “His awareness of his unique gift in storytelling African American lifestyle and history has helped me to appreciate the power of individual expression and its importance for me as an artist.”

In addition to the performance of The August Wilson Symphony, Bostic will join the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to perform her song “State of Grace” as a special memorial for Wilson.

The first movement, "The Great Migration," is based on opening text from Joe Turner's Come and Gone, which speaks of the great journeying African Americans took from rural south to cities in the north.

The second movement, "The Hill Illumined," reflects the mystical element in Mr. Wilson's work that is found throughout his plays.

The third movement, "Wiley Avenue," is the setting for the home of the character Aunt Ester, as well as being a historic and cultural nucleus for the African American community; for many years it was the epicenter for a vibrant nightlife featuring world-renowned artists and jazz musicians.

The fourth movement, "The Oracle of Aunt Ester," honors the matriarch central in all of August Wilson's plays, "Aunt Ester."  Even without specific reference to her, her archetypal presence is apparent.  Aunt Ester is the spiritual and grounding tour de force in Mr. Wilson's plays.

The fifth movement, "Exalted Roads of Truth and Triumph," is a convergence of all the paths and characters that have been created by Mr. Wilson's epic gift of Griot, writer and activist.

Composer and artist Kathryn Bostic is known for her work on award-winning films, TV and live theater. She is a recipient of numerous fellowships and awards including the prestigious Sundance Institute Time Warner Fellowship, Sundance Fellowship for Feature Film Scoring, Sundance/Skywalker Documentary Film Scoring, BMI Conducting Fellowship, and Best Music in Film by the African American Film Critics Association. In 2016 she became the first female African American score composer in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Bostic has written for Broadway, most notably collaborating with the award- winning playwright August Wilson on GEM OF THE OCEAN and various productions of his last play RADIO GOLF as well as the Mark Taper production of JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE directed by Phylicia Rashad.      

Because of her collaboration with Mr. Wilson, Bostic was asked to score the PBS American Masters program AUGUST WILSON - THE GROUND ON WHICH I STAND. Reflecting on Mr. Wilson’s career, this documentary inspired her to write “The August Wilson Symphony”.

In addition to her work with August Wilson, Bostic's work on Broadway includes BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO with Robin Williams, by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph. Her score of music and ambient textures in BENGAL TIGER garnered a Drama Desk win in the Sound Design category for this collaboration. She has been nominated for several additional awards including the Ovation Award, NAACP Theater Award, and a Drama Desk nominee for “Outstanding Music in a Play.”

As a solo artist, Bostic toured extensively in festivals and venues including The Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scott’s, Birdland, Tokyo and Osaka Blue Note, and The Pori Jazz Festival. Also a vocalist, Bostic recorded and performed with many renowned artists including Nas, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and David Byrne.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Concerts Help Celebrate Memory of Dr. Martin Luther King

11th Annual Let Freedom Sing Concerts celebrate legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Pittsburgh Area
Sat., Jan. 13 at 7 pm, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Hill District
Mon., Jan. 15 at 7 pm, Byham Theater, Downtown Pittsburgh

Two concerts celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and showcase The Heritage Gospel Chorale of Pittsburgh and an intergenerational choir of singers from high school, church, temple and community choirs from across greater Pittsburgh, and two dance troupes--Trevor C. Dance Collective and Reed Dance II.

Lynne Hayes-Freeland, KDKA-TV news reporter and host/producer of “The Lynne Hayes-Freeland Show,” is emcee for the concerts.  

The 11th Annual LET FREEDOM SING Concerts celebrate unity and diversity on the Martin Luther King holiday weekend by presenting inspirational choral music and dance while raising funds for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The two concerts aim to erase geographic, demographic, and economic lines as choirs from city and suburb converge to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy. The concerts take place on Sat., Jan. 13  at Ebenezer Baptist Church and Mon., Jan. 15 at the Byham Theater, both at 7 pm.

In addition to gospel music from the choirs, Saturday's concert features the Trevor C. Dance Collective under the direction of Trevor Miles, and Monday’s concert showcases Reed Dance II under artistic director Greer Reed.

“Unity and love are ideas that Dr. King stressed in his work, and we lift up these ideas in our singing,” says co-founder and co-artistic director Kris Rust. “For 10 years now, this concert series has been empowering all of us to come together through music and find unity and love in the face of segregation, economic injustice, and racial tension.”

Collaborating for the 11th year on the LET FREEDOM SING concerts are co-artistic directors and founders Rev. Dr. Herbert V.R.P. Jones, director of The Heritage Gospel Chorale of Pittsburgh, and Kris Rust, music minister at Allegheny UU Church.

THE MLK FESTIVAL CHOIR is made up of singers from Pittsburgh’s High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), Ebenezer Baptist Church, The Lemington Chorale, Taylor-Allderdice High School, Temple Sinai, Woodland Hills High School and the Greater Pittsburgh Unitarian Universalist Churches.
On Sat., Jan. 13, LET FREEDOM SING takes place at 7 pm at Ebenezer Baptist Church, 2001 Wylie Ave., Pittsburgh 15219. Admission is free with open seating and monetary donations are accepted to benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Mon., Jan. 15, the 7 pm concert takes the stage of the Byham Theater, Sixth Ave., Pittsburgh 15222. Tickets for reserved seats for the Byham concert are on sale in advance starting at $1 at ( ion/55032/let-freedom-sing) or 412-456-6666. (In person sales during box office hours at Theater Square Box office and also at Byham on day of show, 5-8 pm.)

For directions or questions, e-mail letfreedomsingpittsburgh@gmail .com or call 412-352-8488

Visit the Let Freedom Sing website at Also see Facebook or Twitter @FreedomSingPgh for more details.

THE HERITAGE GOSPEL CHORALE OF PITTSBURGH, under the direction of Dr. Herbert V.R.P. Jones, co-artistic director of Let Freedom Sing, is acclaimed for its inspirational performances of American Gospel music. Through its engagement of singers of all ages, races, and ethnicities, the Chorale serves and cultivates diverse choir membership and audiences by infusing an appreciation of gospel music, including new works and arrangements. Founded in 2007 as The Pittsburgh Gospel Choir, the Chorale was the first regional ensemble dedicated to the genre.

Read more about Dr. Jones, Lynn Hayes-Freeland, The Heritage Gospel Chorale of Pittsburgh, Trevor C. Dance Collective, and Reed Dance II at the website (

Botanic Garden Helps Beat Winter Blahs

Indoor Yoga and Tai Chi

Achieve wellness in the new year with yoga and Tai Chi classes held at Pittsburgh Botanic Garden's Bayer Welcome Center. Garden members receive discounts on each series.

Winter Yoga Series
Saturdays, Jan 20, Feb 3, Feb 17, March 3, March 17. 9:30-10:45 am.

Beat the winter blues with yoga classes at Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. Yoga is an ancient practice that integrates movement, breath and posture to stretch and strengthen your body. Certified instructors from Yoga H'om will teach a five-session introduction to yoga, held indoors in our beautiful event space.  All experience levels are welcome.  Please bring your own yoga mat.  Pre-registration is required.  Suitable for Adults, ages 18 or older.

members $30 | nonmembers $50

Winter Tai Chi Series
Saturdays, Jan 13, Jan 27, Feb 10, Feb 24, March 10. 9:30-10:45 am.

Stretch, strengthen and improve your balance with Tai Chi at Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. Tai Chi uses gentle flowing exercises to integrate body and mind. Join Gurney Bolster, founder of Tai Chi for Health Pittsburgh, for a series of five classes held indoors in our beautiful event space. No equipment or experience is needed. Pre-registration is required. Suitable for Adults, ages 18 or older.

members $30 | nonmembers $50

Free Admission Dates Announced for Pittsburgh Museums

Oakland Carnegie Museums offering monthly Free Sundays in 2018
Admission to the two museums is free the third Sunday of every month—part of a package of free and discounted admission opportunities at the four Carnegie Museums this year.

Visitors are invited to enjoy Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History for free on the third Sunday of every month in 2018. Carnegie Museums announced the monthly Free Sundays program as part of a series of free and discounted admission opportunities for the year.
 “We look at these new monthly Free Sundays as a kind of open house for the Pittsburgh community,” said Jo Ellen Parker, president and CEO of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. “We’re inviting in new visitors and old friends to experience the great treasures of our Museums of Art and Natural History, to have fun with family and friends, and to get inspired."
 “We’re happy to offer these and other free and discounted opportunities that encourage more visitors to enjoy our diverse, dynamic museums,” Parker added. Other special admission discounts at the four Carnegie Museums this year include:
Free Good Fridays at The Andy Warhol Museum this January (from 5-10 p.m.), sponsored by UPMC Health Plan.

A free Sunday at Carnegie Science Center on March 25, sponsored by Duquesne Light.
Three Spring Break Free Days at the Oakland Carnegie Museums and at The Andy Warhol Museum, coinciding with spring break at Pittsburgh Public Schools (March 28-30), sponsored by The Jack Buncher Foundation.

Carnegie Science Center’s annual June Snowball Day, which invites visitors to pay whatever they choose—as long as they bring a preserved snowball with them.

Free fall RADical Days as part of the Allegheny Regional Asset District’s annual celebration of the region’s cultural and educational attractions.  

Regular discounted admission: half-price admission every weekday after 3 p.m. at the Oakland Museums and every Friday at The Warhol after 5 p.m.

Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1895, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four diverse, dynamic museums: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. The museums reach 1.4 million people annually through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Brazilian Dance Company to Perform at the Byham

Suite Branca by Jose-Luiz Pererneilas

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is pleased to present Brazilian dance company Grupo Corpo on Wednesday, January 18 at 8:00 p.m. at the Byham Theater, 101 6th St, Pittsburgh.

Among the most renowned companies in the world, twenty-one sensational dancers fuse Afro-Brazilian forms like samba, bossa nova, and capoeira with classical technique and modern dance. Their program will consist of performances from their repertoire including Suíte Branca and Dança Sinfônica. This presentation is a part of the Pittsburgh Dance Council’s 2017–18 season.

Costumed in white while seamlessly moving across a stunning white landscape with a glacier-like backdrop panel, Grupo Corpo is on a blank slate and begins writing a new story in Suíte Branca. When the first guitar chords are struck and the silhouette of a ballerina dances through the air, a hint of mystery enters the scene. The aridity of an eerily white landscape underlines the enigmatic atmosphere. The Suíte Branca features signature scenography by Paulo Pederneiras, costumes by Freusa Zechmeister and lighting by Paulo and Gabriel Pederneiras. It also marked the debut of two new professionals with the company: young choreographer Cassi Abranches from São Paulo, and musician Samuel Rosa from Minas Gerais.

Dança Sinfônica celebrates the company’s rich history of more than 40 years by celebrating the best works from their repertoire. The score is a masterpiece symphony created especially for the company by Marco Antônio Guimarães and recorded by the 90-member Philharmonic Orchestra of Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Dança Sinfônica, which is a celebration of Grupo Corpo’s four decades in business, was created based on the concept of memories. The theme, proposed by artistic director and scenographer Paulo Pederneiras, sees Rodrigo Pederneiras bring back his best representations of a whole vocabulary of movements, written over 34 years of residence as the company's choreographer.  It is a recreation of his memories that use all the emotion accumulated over decades of deconstructing shape and form to develop a near synthesis of all his writing.

The set reflects these memories. Photographs gathered and selected by set designer Paulo Pederneiras reflect the daily lives of the artistic and technical team members – Grupo Corpo dancers, ballet masters, producers, teachers, set designers, and lighting and costume technicians. The revisited memories appear in the music, as well. The score follows the idea of a puzzle of memories. It presents a set of themes interspersed with the unique sound of the Uakti, with many of them evoking memorable sections of previous pieces. There is a considerable poetic license taken, along with quotes, overlays, subversions, and transcreations that Guimarães incorporates into the 42-minute score.

Tickets for Grupo Corpo at the Byham Theater currently start at $10* and are available at these Pittsburgh Cultural Trust official ticket sources:, by calling 412-456-4800 or in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue. Tickets for groups of 10+ are available online at or call 412-471-6930.

*All ticket prices are subject to change.
For more information, visit

Grupo Corpo
Brazil as a whole, with all its cultural diversity, can see itself in Grupo Corpo, the dance company founded in 1975 in Belo Horizonte. In a world where the speed of information is producing an increasingly homogeneous landscape, Grupo Corpo stands out for having developed a signature style of their own.

House Choreographer Rodrigo Pederneiras is one of the few choreographers able to mix classic ballet and folk dances and then set bodies in motion that push the limits of technical rigor, while Artistic Director Paulo Pederneiras is able to transform choreography into a dance artwork.

The balanced cast of dancers, stars in their own right, fine-tune each other with exquisite precision. When one sees Grupo Corpo dance on stage it is as if all questions concerning the transit between nature and culture are being fully answered. All facets of Brazil, past and future, erudite and popular, foreign influence and local color, and the urban and the suburban, come to being as art.

Swan Lake Opens Valentine's Day Weekend

Swan Lake  with the PBT Orchestra
February 16-25, 2018 | Benedum Center

An evil enchantment and a mysterious love story give wings to one of the most iconic classical ballets of all time. Set to the stirring themes of Tchaikovsky's score, the split personalities of Odette and Odile mirror the age-old battle between good and evil. See why the mystique of the Swan Queen has captured the public imagination for over 100 years.



PBT.ORG | 412-456-6666

Groups 10+ Save up to 50%
Buy online | Call 412.454.9101 | Email

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

"Sex Werque" Reprised at Carnegie Stage

Moriah Ella Mason in "Sex Werque"

 The Year In Dance
Eight Outstanding Local Performances
Steve Sucato - City Paper

Moriah Ella Mason
 Sex Werque

"Candidly based on Mason’s real-life experiences as a stripper,
Sex Werque explored attitudes and misconceptions about the sex industry, and her and fellow strippers’ feelings about the profession.

Mason was resplendent in the groundbreaking one-woman
dance-theater show."


Artsburgh - Flex Pass accepted

Four (4) Encore Performances ONLY
Jan 18-20 @ 8:00pm & 21 @ 7:00pm

Have a Happy New Year,
filled with theater, dance, comedy
and  JOY.

Carnegie Stage needs your
Now more than ever!
Donate to off the WALL

Buy a membership

Please consider a financial donation today,
and help off the WALL expand its influence as a cultural anchor for the region. Any donation to
off the WALL is fully tax deductible before 12/31/2017.
and/or buy a membership to Carnegie Stage, valid for all performances in 2018. enjoy great savings and support the arts at the same time.

Four (4) Encore Performances ONLY
Jan 18-20 @ 8:00pm & 21 @ 7:00pm

Monday, January 1, 2018

Houlihan's at the Galleria for New Year's Eve Dinner

Spent my first ever visit to Houlihan's on New Year's Eve. Loved the food, the service and the ambiance. Enjoyed the two red wines I had - the 15 Hands Merlot and the DeLoach Pinot Noir, but prefered the Merlot. Tried the New Year's Eve 3-course prix fixe menu for $25 - char crusted ahi tuna appetizer, the 12 oz. Kansas City Strip and the Brownie Batter Cake. Yum.

Ahi Tuna Appetizer

Don't miss the ahi tuna - It was great and plentiful, not to mention beautifully presented. The steak comes with two side (I picked the loaded baked potato and grilled asparagus). The Brownie batter cake is like a molten chocolate lava cake. Nice!

12-Oz. Kansas City Strip Steak with Loaded Baked Potato and Grilled Asparagus

Can't wait for warmer weather to try Houlihan's on the outdoor patio at the galleria in Mt. Lebanon. I plan to go back soon for the $18 Sunday Prix Fixe menu. Check it out at by clicking HERE

Trio of Bite-Size Creme Brulees - Vanilla-Ginger, Chocolate-Rhubarb and Butterscotch-Bourbon

Houlihan's on New Year's Day

1500 Washington Rd 
Mt. Lebanon, PA 15228