Friday, August 31, 2018

Celebrate Britsburgh in Pittsburgh Next Week

Please join our good friends at the Britsburgh Festival for a week of exciting programs and events celebrating the rich history of British culture in Pittsburgh. This year's festival commemorates the 100th anniversary of British-American efforts in the First World War.

From tours and teas to hats and hymns, there is something for every interest.
At the WWI Centennial Dinner at the Hartwood Acres Mansion on Thursday 6 September, enjoy songs of the period sung by Desiree Soteres.

Schedule of Events                                    Purchase Tickets



 Have you ever thought about the decisions you made? Did you know your judgments can be influenced by irrelevant information? On Monday, September 3 from 7–9 pm, come to Carnegie Science Center’s next Café Sci event when Dr. Danny Oppenheimer, Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, discusses how judgments can be influenced by irrelevant information and how people’s decisions can be easily manipulated.

During his presentation, Dr. Oppenheimer will share some of the highlights of what he has learned and explore some of the exciting findings currently being investigated in his lab.

Dr. Oppenheimer is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, jointly appointed in psychology and decision studies. He is skilled in the science of judgment, decision making, metacognition, learning, and casual reasoning, and he applies his findings to a diverse array of domains including charitable giving, consumer behavior, education, and electoral outcomes.

He is the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and books including Democracy Despite Itself: Why a system that shouldn’t work at all works so well and Psychology: The Comic Book Introduction.

Admission to Café Sci is FREE. Food and drinks are available for purchase. The doors to the event open at 6 pm for networking and refreshments, and the event lasts from 7–9 pm. The evening includes time for informal discussion, eating, and drinking with a cash bar.

For more information and to register, visit or call 412.237.3400.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

PICT Gala at Pgh Glass Center, Sept 21

WHAT:      PICT Classic Theatre “Play with PICT” fundraiser and gala event.
 WHO:      PICT Classic Theatre.
WHERE:     The Pittsburgh Glass Center, 5472 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15206.
WHEN:      Friday, September 21st, 2018.  6:30pm
TICKETS:      $75 - $155., 412-561-6000  

PICT Classic Theatre announces 2018 gala event at Pittsburgh Glass Center

On Friday, September 21st, PICT Classic Theatre will present “Play with PICT,” a celebratory event at The Pittsburgh Glass Center, benefiting its 22nd Season.  The informal fundraiser will offer guests hors d'oeuvres, wine and beer selections, tastings hosted by Ustianochka Vodka, music by River City Swing Band, games, personalized poems by Staci B, the “Haiku Ninja,” and mingling with PICT company members, while strolling through the dual levels of The Pittsburgh Glass Center.

Patrons may also experience glassblowing demonstrations by Glass Center artisans and will have an opportunity to create their own glass keepsake item.  A silent auction and raffles featuring wines and craft beer will take place throughout the evening, benefiting PICT Classic Theatre. Patrons will also find PICT production memorabilia, trivia questions, and games through the dual levels of the Glass Center.

PICT Artistic and Executive Director Alan Stanford will host the evening’s festivities, alongside actors from recent PICT productions who will mingle with patrons, entertain with performances, and participate in photo booth opportunities featuring notable costumes and props from PICT’s 21-year history of producing classic theatre.

Company members Ken Bolden, James FitzGerald, Martin Giles, Marsha Mayhak, and Jonathan Visser are among the actors expected to join the celebration, with frequent PICT leading lady Karen Baum (Shirley Valentine, Sive, Jane Eyre) creating a variety of signature dessert specialties.

“Play with PICT” will precede the opening of PICT Classic Theatre’s recently announced 2018-2019 Season, “Classics in our times.”   Having celebrated its 100th production last season with William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, PICT will present a collection of three plays beginning in the Fall of 2018 at WQED’s Fred Rogers Studio in Oakland, including The Heiress by Ruth and Augustus Goetz, Run the Rabbit Path, a world premiere by Pittsburgh playwright Ray Werner, and Charles Dickens’ The Old Curiosity Shop, opening the season on November 23rd, 2018.

“Play with PICT” is sponsored in part by Jones Day and will take place on Friday, September 21st, 2018, 6:30pm, at The Pittsburgh Glass Center, 5472 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15206.  Tickets are $125 with a Young Adult ticket available at $75.  Patrons may purchase a glassmaking activity for an additional $30.  Ticket purchases may be made prior to September 7th at or by calling 412-561-6000.

Free Public Event - Star Party

The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh
Invites you to a Star Party at
Mingo Creek Park Observatory

Located in Mingo Creek Park, Mansion Hill Extension, past Shelter 10
in Washington County, PA.

Phone #: 724-348-6150
 Dates:  Friday & Saturday, September 7 & 8
 Times: Safe solar observing; 6:00 PM
Night sky observing; approximately 8:15 PM
Weather Permitting for Observing.
Planetarium Presentations occur rain or shine.

 Star Party events in September will consist of the following:
·         Safe observing of the Sun beginning approximately two hours before sunset.
·         After dusk observe the wonders of the September night sky.  Come see Venus, Jupiter and its moons, Mars and the rings of Saturn and possibly Mars.  Many deep sky objects may also be observed such as the Ring Nebula and other nebulae, clusters and double stars.
·         Presentations about current events in astronomy and the Mingo Creek Park night sky will take place in the Richard Y. Haddad Planetarium at various times throughout the night.

The Mingo Creek Park Observatory is handicap accessible.  There is no charge for your visit, but we gladly accept donations to cover operating expenses.  There is no reservation needed and there is no limit on group sizes.

Visit our website to get more information at

NOTE:  Mingo Creek Park Observatory and its grounds, as a part of Mingo Creek County Park, are a no smoking and no alcohol permitted area.

Mingo Creek Park Observatory is operated by an all-volunteer staff of members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh

Get Ready for Resonance Works 2018-19 Season

There is a new way to experience everything that our Resonance Works season has to offer! 

Become a member and receive a ticket for all four mainstage productions AND all four Resonance Chamber Series events at Bar Marco.  In addition, you will have access to special perks, exclusive content, and invitations to member-only events!  Click over to our website for more information, and become a member today!

Join before September 25 and bring a friend to our first Resonance Chamber event for FREE, plus enjoy a drink on us! 

Or choose one of our subscription levels...  Not ready to go "all in"?  In addition, this season you have twice as many options when becoming a subscriber! Choose the level that's best for you, and save 20% off the individual ticket price!  

Become a Member!

Happy Birthday, Lenny!

August 25 was Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday, and we can think of no better way to celebrate than by getting tickets to a performance of his brilliant first Broadway success!  

Single tickets for ON THE TOWN are on sale NOW!


Come on down to the Gateway Clipper where all kids will ride any Three Rivers Sightseeing Cruise for just $1 Join us for our Labor Day Weekend Celebration -
September 1, 2 & 3 when all kids 12 and under ride any Three Rivers Sightseeing cruise for just $1*! 

Use Promo Code: KIDS1
*Valid for children 12 & under.

 Adult ticket must be purchased to redeem offer.
Certain restrictions apply.

Get Your Tickets HERE!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Wali Jamal Makes History!

Wali Jamal iStars n How I LEarned What I Learned 

 Wali Jamal in How I Learned What I Learned

How I Learned What I Learned is a one-man play written and originally performed by Pittsburgh's own Pulitzer prize-winning playwright August Wilson. The play is a veritable cavalcade of poetry, comedy, life experiences, observations and reflections of black life in America from a Pittsburgh perspective.

Join this historic event starring Pittsburgh actor and PPTCO favorite Wali Jamal, who is the only actor in the world to have performed in ALL TEN PLAYS in August Wilson's American Century Cycle and this one-man show.

Be a part of history. Come and enjoy this fantastically entertaining evening! Close out August WITH AUGUST!

Wali Jamal
Where: The New Hazlett Theater
When: August 30, 31, and Sept. 1 2018
Thursday night show: ALL SEATS @STUDENT PRICE
Presented by Ever Forward Productions

Buy your tickets now!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Moviegoers will travel to faraway galaxies, Paris, and Rydell High this September at The Rangos Giant Cinema.

Launching the month’s lineup of Special Screenings is the new restoration of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was supervised by critically acclaimed director Christopher Nolan. The epic sci-fi drama transformed filmmaking forever when it premiered in 1968, and its stunning special effects will appear even more vividly in 4K resolution. Viewers will be immersed in Stanley Kubrick’s space age masterpiece, with premium multichannel surround sound bringing to life the orchestral swell of “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” the film’s iconic theme. See it Thursday, Sept. 6 through Wednesday, Sept. 12.

The sci-fi fun continues Saturday, Sept. 15 with Dr. Who and the Daleks, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – 4K Director’s Cut, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3D. The three films will show during Carnegie Science Center’s Doctor Trek Wars event, a day-long celebration of the Doctor Who, Star Trek, and Star Wars fandoms, complete with themed activities, live demonstrations, and challenges. Costumes are strongly encouraged!

A Tony Award-winning musical will take to the giant screen on Thursday, Sept. 20 and Sunday, Sept. 23. An American in Paris – The Musical is inspired by the Oscar-winning Gene Kelly film and features the romantic music and lyrics of George and Ira Gershwin. Viewers will experience the Broadway smash hit’s London production, starring Tony nominees Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope. The musical follows an American GI during a chance encounter with a beautiful, young dancer in Paris at the end of World War II.

The Rangos will indulge musical lovers a second time with the presentation of Grease Sing-A-Long, marking the film’s 40th anniversary, Friday, Sept. 21 and Saturday, Sept. 22. Set in the 1950s, Grease follows good girl Sandy Olsson, greaser Danny Zuko, and their respective cliques as they make their way through senior year at Rydell High. Lyrics to the film’s beloved songs, from “Summer Nights” to “Greased Lightnin,'” will display across the screen so moviegoers can sing along with their favorite numbers. Poodle skirts, greaser get-ups, and other Grease-inspired attire are encouraged.

In addition to a spectacular slate of Special Screenings, The Rangos also shows a variety of educational films daily, including the Kristen Bell-narrated Pandas 3D and the Giant Screen Cinema Association Award-winning Amazon Adventure 3D. Visit to view show times and purchase tickets.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks Opens with "Two Gentlemen of Verona"

Now in its 14th season, PITTSBURGH SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKS will offer its first production of the comedy THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA. Longtime PSIP friend and artist Charles Beikert directs the production during the first four weekends in September 2018. 

TWO GENTS is presented from September 1 through 23 on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 pm, moving each weekend through Frick, Highland, and Arsenal Parks. [see details below]

Following on the heels of the hugely successful HENRY V last year, TWO GENTS is believed to be Shakespeare’s first comedy and introduces the theme of heroines pretending to be men, the foolishness of love, loyalty, and infidelity. 

Cast of Henry V  Credit: Catherine Aceto

“Plus, there’ll be music…and a dog in the show. I can’t think of a better way for our enthusiastic audience members and PSIP fans to spend an afternoon with us in the parks!” says Artistic Director Jennifer Tober, who appears as the comedic and wistful dog-owning servant Launce. 

Director Charles Beikert (director of THE COMEDY OF ERRORS; appeared in Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It; has appeared with several companies in Pittsburgh including City Theatre and UnSeam’d Shakespeare Co.) will play up the slapstick and physical humor in the play, drawing upon such inspirational comedic styles of Lucille Ball, the Marx Brothers, Buster Keaton, and Bill Irwin. 

“We’re going to get silly, people! We and the audience are going to put aside the daily grind and the concerns of the contemporary world and rock out to some classic comedy,” says Beikert. “Pittsburgh loves Shakespeare and we’re delighted to bring our hilarious performances into our gorgeous city parks.”

The cast includes Charles David “Stoney” Richards (Antonio, Outlaw et al), a radio personality at CBS (WDSY-FM and KDKA) and an actor who has appeared in many films and tv shows and theatre Off-Broadway, in L.A., and locally in Pittsburgh; PSIP Artistic director Jennifer Tober as the comedic servant Launce. 

PSIP favorites Nick Benninger as the protagonist Proteus and Bob Colbert as the hyperactive servant Speed; with Liz Farina, Sadie Crow, Christine McGrath, Jahir Christian, and Brett Sullivan Santry, round out the cast. 

Longtime PSIP collaborator Lisa Leibering serves as Production and Costume designer (Comedy of Errors, Supernatural Shakespeare, King Lear, As You Like It, Romeo & Juliet). 

RAISING FUNDS: PSIP celebrates the run of TWO GENTS during closing week with a Bantaam Night at Wigle Whiskey's Barrel House, Wed., September 19, from 6 pm to 9 pm. Actors and PSIP team members will covort and entertain throughout the evening. A portion of proceeds from the evenings food and beverage purchases will support PSIP’s free Shakespeare for all.

The schedule is as follows:

The first four Saturdays and Sundays though September - all shows at 2 pm, running approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.

Sept. 1-2  - Frick Park, Blue Slide playground, Beechwood Blvd. and Nicholson St, Squirrel Hill. Enter from 2500 block of Beechwood at Nicholson.

Sept. 8-9 - Highland Park, across from the Super Playground, Reservoir Drive.

Sept. 15-16 - Arsenal Park in Lawrenceville, 40th St. between Penn Ave. and Butler St. Enter from Penn or 40th.

Sept. 22-23 - Frick Park, Blue Slide playground, Beechwood Blvd. and Nicholson St., Squirrel Hill

Audience members are encouraged to bring folding chairs or blankets and a picnic. All shows are family-friendly and admission FREE with donations encouraged to support free Shakespeare in Pittsburgh city parks. Friendly dogs are also welcome! Productions are rain or shine expect in the event of dangerous storm conditions.

Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks was founded in 2005 by Artistic Director Jennifer Tober and has offered FREE Shakespeare productions to thousands of Pittsbughers since its inception.

Facebook: Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks 
Twitter: PghShakespeare
Phone: 412-404-8531

Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks' TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA
September 1-23 in our city's beautiful parks 
Saturdays and Sunday at 2 pm #freeforall 


Saturday, August 25, 2018


The 2018-2019 Pittsburgh CLO Kara Cabaret Series will feature one Pittsburgh premiere and two WORLD PREMIERES! Kicking of the 2018-2019 season is the world premiere of GAME ON. Created by two Pittsburgh CLO alums Marcus Stevens and David Dabbon, this hilarious gameshow extravaganza is sure to keep audiences laughing and guessing at the same time. Next up is Adam Overett’s musical comedy love letter to those of us who can’t always do it all, THE DOUBLE-THREAT TRIO. The Series closes out with the parody to end all parodies, SPAMILTON: An American Parody.

3-Show Pittsburgh CLO Kara Cabaret Series Subscriptions are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 412-281-2822 or by ordering online. Don't miss the opportunity to guarantee your seats to these amazing shows! As a CLO Cabaret Subscriber, you will save up to 30% off individual show prices. Tickets for Groups of 10 or more are now available by calling 412-325-1582.


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Coppola Releases Pinot Noir in Trendy Mode

No one even blinks an eye when someone pops open a can of pop or beer. Nowadays it’s getting to be that way with wine as well.

It’s a good bet to say that no one remembers when beer was first marketed in cans way back in January 1935 when Gottfried Krueger released his brew to consumers in Richmond, Virigina. The first major brewer to follow suit was Pabst, who tried "bottling" beer in cans in August of that same year. It proved a successful venture

So why did it take American wineries so long to jump on the bandwagon, especially since Europeans had been "canning" beer for decades?

Undoubtedly, wine’s upscale and formal image played a role. The ceremonial opening with corkscrew and tasting ritual gave wine certain elitist overtones that blue collar beer didn’t have to overcome when considering marketing options.

The eventual introduction of twist off caps on wine bottles brought a certain amount of consternation and controversy, but prejudices were soon dispelled as  they gained favor with much of the wine-drinking public except for a die-hard coterie of cork advocates.

Wine in a box brought with it convenience and lower prices, but certain doubters questioned its quality and lack of panache that its bottled cousins with their artfully designed labels brought with them.

Enter the Francis Coppola Winery. In 2002, the winery owned by the U.S. film director, took the first step into canned wine territory. Two years later, it packaged Sofia Blanc de Blanc sparkling, a mix of Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat, in 187ml aluminum containers.

Since then, canned wine consumption has grown by leaps and bounds, and sales are said to have doubled between the years 2015-16, the same year when Whole Foods dubbed canned wine as the trend to watch.. While still a minuscule 0.1% of the wine industry market, sales of canned wine recently topped $28 million.

Some of the advantages of canned wine are obvious. It’s convenient, easy to chill, transportable and mostly inexpensive. It’s also environmentally friendly in that aluminum cans are more readily recycled than bottles.
Unlike bottles, they don’t shatter at the beach or pool and usually come in single servings, negating the inconvenience of opening a four-serving bottle for a one serving thirst..

Couples that have opposite propensities as to red or white (or even rose), can pop open a can of their flavor of choice without feeling guilty about denying their partner his or her own preference. For cooking, instead of opening an entire bottle, many cooks find it more reasonable to open a small can and add the contents to their pan or pot.

But what about taste you ask? Surprisingly, canned wines have been getting good reviews. Cans have the advantage of keeping out taste degrading light and air and are perfect for wines not intended to age but meant to be drunk soon.

With its groundbreaking Sofia sparkler, named after the director’s daughter, Coppola Winery decided to release three of its whites - Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc, in cans last summer. This year it added its first still red to the inventory with a delightfully delicious Pinot Noir, which happened to be my initial introduction to canned wine scene.

Dubious at first, I sampled the four pack and was pleasantly surprised by its fresh, fruity flavors, easy drinkability and lushness with notes of berry, plum and cherry. Would I try it again? You bet. But now, I’d even  like to venture into its trio of whites as well.

The Coppola 2017 Pinot Noir four pack of 250 ml cans retails for $24 and can be ordered on the winery’s website

Monday, August 20, 2018

Priority Ticket Offer for Anastasia

October 16 - 21, 2018
Benedum Center

Get Tickets 

Inspired by the beloved films, the romantic and adventure-filled new musical ANASTASIA is on a journey to Pittsburgh at last!

From the Tony Award®-winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime, this dazzling show transports us from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing conman and a lovable ex-aristocrat. Together, they embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love, and family.

ANASTASIA features a book by celebrated playwright Terrence McNally, a lush new score by Stephen Flaherty (music) and Lynn Ahrens (lyrics) with direction by Tony Award® winner Darko Tresnjak.

Enter promo code JOURNEY to purchase tickets before
they go on sale to the public on Friday, August 24.

For More information, CLICK HERE

To Purchase Tickets:
Online at
Call 412-456-4800
Box Office at Theater Square
Groups 10+ Call 412-471-6930

ALL SALES FINAL. No exchanges or refunds. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply. Standard service fees apply to online or phone orders. Dates, times, prices, and cast subject to change without notice. Offer may be revoked without notice. All prices include $3.50 facility fee and $0.75 Theatre District fee. Limit 9 tickets per person per 7 day period. Tickets must be purchased by May 3, 2018.

The Waiting Room - Stunning and Surreal

Using the catalyst of a little known Jewish tradition,
where from the moment of death until the moment of burial,
a body should not be left unattended,
a SHOMER (guard) is engaged to sit through the long over night vigil.

​What is it like sitting in a room alone with death for hours?  

Through the integral use of creative projections, theatrical innovations, and Corning’s poignant choreographic style, this group of performing and visual artists collaboratively create a stunning, often times surreal and otherworldly experience, proffering a transcendent work that touches more on life, than on death.  How can it not?

choreography by BETH CORNING
lighting by IAIN COURT



Beatles Tribute Band Coming to Byham, Theater

Beatles tribute band The Fab Four to perform on Saturday, October 20, 2018 at the Byham Theater located at 101 Sixth Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. This show is all ages and begins at 8:00 PM with doors opening at 7:00 PM.

Tickets are $35.00, $45.00, & $55.00 and all price levels will increase by $5.00 on the day of the show. Tickets go on sale Monday, August 27th, 2018 at 10:00AM and are available at or by phone at 412-456-6666.

If you want to experience the best Beatles tribute ever, you won't want to miss The  Fab Four  - The Ultimate Tribute. The  Emmy Award Winning  Fab Four   is elevated far above every other Beatles Tribute due to their precise attention to detail. With uncanny, note-for-note live renditions of Beatles' classics such as "Can't Buy Me Love," "Yesterday," "A Day In The Life," "Twist And Shout," "Here Comes  The  Sun," and "Hey Jude", the  Fab Four  will make you think you are watching the  real thing.

Their incredible stage performances include three costume changes representing every era of the Beatles ever-changing career, and this loving tribute to the   Beatles has amazed audiences in countries around the world, including Japan, Australia, France, Hong Kong, The  United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico and Brazil.

Summer Concert Series to Close with Performance on September 9

The Mon Valley Academy for the Arts (MVAA) an arts and culture organization serving the Mon Valley, is pleased to announce that on Sunday Sept 9, 2018, the 4th of the successful Chess Park Summer Concert Series will take place. Bands will start at 1:00 at the park gazebo and continue to 4:00 PM. Funded and sponsored by the EQT Foundation along with the MVAA, the concert series will conclude with September 9th being the final concert of very successful season supporting live music, local musicians and artists.

The Sept 9th Concert Schedule will feature new artists as well as two of the previously featured acts –The first act will be the “Allies Band” from Uniontown performing from 1:00 to 1:45. The second act will be the Pittsburgh acoustic “John Vento Band “. Appearing next will be the newly formed "Twin Coaches Jr. Jazz trio”. Then finally, back by over whelming request will be the "Jessica Lee Band" Also, Sam Thong (caricature artist) will be at the event. In addition to the four music acts there will be food vendors and two food trucks opening at 12:00 (noon).

The EQT/ MVAA Concerts in the Park 2018 program began with a kick-off event in April announcing the new series of four concerts in Chess Park in the heart of Monongahela, PA, taking place between June and September 2018. Each production has featured professional bands and orchestras, as well as, food vendors and other arts activities. This year over 100 musicians, 15 food vendors and numerous artists will be featured.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Taking a Tour at Homewood Cemetery is Like a Hike in a Park

A Lovely Lane Credit: Bill Rockwell

Serene and pastoral, beautiful and bucolic, who wouldn’t want to be buried here. And think of the august company you’d have - Mellons, Fricks, Buhls, Heinzes, Pitcairns,  Benedums and 78,000 others (or thereabouts), many with much lesser distinguished pedigrees. Not that people are dying to get in! Or are they?

Non-denominational and non-discriminatory, Homewood Cemetery got its start in 1878 in Pittsburgh’s East End. What once was an oak forest was clear cut and replanted for easy maintenance in the Lawn Park style. Two years ago the cemetery earned its arboretum certification following an inventory of trees that now tops the 4,000 mark with 40 different identified species.

To think that I drove past this revered local landmark on Dallas Avenue with nary a glance. It wasn’t until a Pittsburgh Resonance Works concert last year in the cemetery’s lovely stone chapel that I made a cursory acquaintance of the grounds that have largely stayed true to their original style of wooded grassland and rolling, undulating  hills punctuated by monuments, some grand, others modest in design.

Prior to the concert, the indomitable, informed Jennie Benford, director of programming, led the audience on a short walkabout that gave us a taste of what’s there to be seen and, more importantly, what can be learned, on her regular pubic tours held on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

A Drizzle Doesn't Dampen the Interest Credit: Bill Rockwell

Recently, I managed to join a dozen or so others on one of Benford’s themed expeditions, an hour and a half long stroll through Section 14, where many of the city’s illustrious have found their ultimate resting places. The focus of her colorful anecdotes lit on the distaff occupants that ran the gamut from Agnes Taylor, the only African-American woman buried in the section, to Elizabeth Rodd, the first woman to wear a WAC uniform in World War Two, to the uber-wealthy, Elizabeth Pitcairn, wife of railroad magnate, Robert Pitcairn.

Taylor operated a tourist home in Pittsburgh’s Hill District at a time when African-Americans often had a difficult time finding overnight lodging in the Jim Crow era. As an aid to travel, a guide called the Greene Book identified places where they were accepted and could put up for the night. Taylor’s home was one of them. In her researches, Benford discovered that Nat King Cole stayed at the Taylor establishment on several occasions, which indicated the high caliber  of her domicile.

Taylor also worked for the rather eccentric Robert Woods, a doctor who designed his own headstone, wrote his own death notice (a negative one), had his house torn down after his death and offered to pay the burial expenses of two women who worked for him, provided they eschewed a tombstone. Taylor was the only one who took him up on his offer and lies next to her benefactor in an anonymous grave.

The Pitcairn Crypt Credit: Bill Rockwell
Not so for Elizabeth Pitcairn, who lies in a stately mausoleum with her husband, Robert. A native of Altoona, Elizabeth lived the high life after she married. When President McKinley came to town, for instance, the Pitcairns organized a 8-course luncheon for 90-some gentlemen in the dining room while Elizabeth lunched with the same number of women elsewhere in their massive house located on the corner of Ellsworth and Amberson avenues.

As a widow, she was quite politically active and a member of the Allegheny County Equal Franchise Federation, which labored to get women the vote. In 1914, she organized a 3-day fete fundraiser for her favorite cause and later moved to Florida where she continued her love affair with the automobile by amassing a large collection.

Other interesting stops on the "Audacious Pioneers: The Women of Section 14" tour include narratives about a world famous opera singer, a palm reading countess from Coshocton, Ohio and a Pittsburgh socialite who may have (or not) changed the line of succession to England’s royal family.

Besides Benford’s interesting tales, the tour stimulates an interest in mortuary architecture, with its many and varied styles. One of the most interesting monuments is a pyramidal crypt, one of the cemetery’s most salient.

The Brown Mausoleum Credit: Bill Rockwell

The landmark mausoleum holds the remains of William Harry Brown, vice-president of Marine National Bank and director of the Union Trust Company. His wife, Margaret Boyle Brown, is the one rumored to have altered (or not) the course of English history. But I prefer that Benford tell her tale as she’s much more informed on the matter than I.

“Audacious Pioneers,” is offered  Wednesdays and Saturdays at 1 pm or, on other days and times, by appointment.  Reservations are required and can be made at 412-421-1822.  The tour is $10 per person, all proceeds benefitting The Homewood Cemetery Historical Fund.

Disney's ALADDIN - $25 Lucky Seat Drawing

 Your wish is granted! A limited number of tickets for all performances of ALADDIN will be sold to winners of a random drawing for $25 each.

You can enter for the opportunity to purchase $25 tickets* and choose which performances fit your schedule. You can only win once, so choose only the performances you can attend. For weekday performances, entries will be accepted until 1:00 pm on the day before the relevant performance. Entries for Saturday and Sunday performances will be accepted until 1:00 pm on the immediately preceding Thursday. 

All entrants will be notified of results by e-mail, and winners will be given a link with a special code to complete their purchase. 

 Enter Now!

Questions? Email 


*Limited to 4 tickets per winner. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 years or older to enter. For complete set of Lottery Terms & Conditions, please CLICK HERE

Offer not valid on prior purchased tickets and may not be combined with any other offer. Dates, times, and cast subject to change without notice. Offer may be revoked without notice. All prices include $3.50 facility fee and $0.75 Theater District fee.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Priority Ticket Offer

The Citizens Bank Children’s Theater Series presents captivating, professional theater specifically for families and children ages 3+. Spend time together laughing, traveling to distant worlds, revisiting favorite storybook characters, and more all in a way that easily fits into your schedule with performances at the Byham Theater and around the region in a suburban venue near you!

NOV 9 & 10, 2018

JAN 6–14, 2019

FEB 17–24, 2019

MAR 31–APR 7, 2019

MAY 16–19, 2019

Select single tickets for your favorite show and fall in love with
the Citizens Bank Children’s Theater Series.

Enter promo code ALIEN to purchase tickets before 
they go on sale to the public on Friday, August 17 at 9 am.

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

*Emily Brown and the Thing will be part of the EQT Children’s Theater Festival and tickets to this production are automatically included in season tickets for the 2018-2019 season. Single tickets for Emily Brown and the Thing will go on sale in February 2019 with the full festival announcement.

Registration Opens for Carnegie Science Center's Tour Your Future

Registration is open for the fall semester of Tour Your Future, Carnegie Science Center’s program that introduces girls ages 11-17 to careers in science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, through visits to local workplaces and universities. 

Eighteen tour sites are on the schedule from September through December. Each tour includes opportunities for girls to meet female STEM professionals and do a hands-on activity.  

In September, tours are offered at Allegheny General Hospital, ModCloth, the Human Engineering Research Laboratories, Covestro, and the Allegheny County Health Department. October tours will take girls to the University of Pittsburgh Department of Biological Sciences; Robomatter Inc.; Prototype PGH; Microsoft; Mecco Partners, LLC; ALung Technologies; and Braskem. 

November’s sites are Carnegie Mellon University’s Hinman Lab, the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, Michael Baker International, and Duquesne University’s Forensic Science and Law Program. The semester concludes with visits to the University of Pittsburgh Department of Human Genetics and the Duquesne University School of Pharmacy in December. 

Girls may register as individuals or participate as part of a group. The cost is $5 per girl. Girls must have transportation to and from the tour site. For the tour schedule and details about each visit, go to To register, call Carnegie Science Center at 412-237-3400.

Tour Your Future is a program of Carnegie STEM Girls, presented by NOVA Chemicals. Carnegie STEM Girls is a program of the Duquesne Light Co. Center for STEM Education and Career Development.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Hatch Chiles Are Back at Mad Mex

This year's shipment of Hatch chiles has just rolled into the Mad Mex kitchens fresh from Hatch, New Mexico, and they're roasting them up for our foursome of flavorful dishes:

Breaded Hatch Peppers stuffed with grilled mole chicken
Grilled Chicken Burritos and Enchiladas with flame roasted Hatch peppers
Crab Quesadillas with a Hatch pepper upgrade
Plus, Chile Martinis with Hatch-infused Herradura tequila.

If you've never tried Hatch Chiles, you're in for a treat. They're similar to Anaheim peppers, but pack in the heat of New Mexico summers and rich flavors from the Mesilla Valley terroir. These special items only last as long as the fresh supply of Hatch peppers.