In the Wings: Mini-Flood

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No, not the weather, the freshet of shows just opened or opening. Here are a few quick snapshots.

"Off the Wall"

• The Warhol Museum's mini-fest of performance artists is one of Pittsburgh's annual treats. It begins this weekend with "England" (Friday-Saturday 8 p.m.), "the story of a search for a new heart," performed by Tim Crouch and Hannah Ringham, and continues next week with Dael Orlandersmith in her "Stoop Stories" (Sept. 26).

"England" is described as: "Two guides in a gallery. Two lovers with a lifestyle to maintain. Two hearts beating 8,000 miles apart. Translations. Transactions. A transplantation ... a tour through spaces and across borders: from an art gallery to a jam factory, from London to Osaka, from a hospital bed to a hotel room." Curator Ben Harrison saw it first at last year's Edinburgh Festival, where it won three awards.

Already under way

• New Horizon Theater is doing Tracey Scott Wilson's "The Story" (through Sept. 28) at the Kelly-Strayhorn.

Vincent Chelkowski (score), and Sean Michael O'Donnell (book) premiere "Soul" (the myths of Cupid and Psyche and Hades and Persephone) at the New Olde Bank Theatre, Natrona Heights.

• As a contribution to Pittsburgh 250, Jim McManus' "Dorothy 6" (through Oct. 5) continues at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, 542 Penn Ave., Downtown.

Just started

Tom Atkins stars as "The Chief" at the Public theater (only through Sunday).

• The premiere of Rob Barron's "The Road to Washington ... Man ... President" continues through Sept. 28 at Jennerstown's Mountain Playhouse.

Kyle Bostian's "Sex, Drugs and Spiritual Enlightenment" plays through Oct. 4 at Bricolage, 937 Liberty Ave.

• "Pittsburgh Project REMIX" (through Sunday), also with relevance to Pittsburgh 250, is at the Pump House on Waterfront Drive in Homestead. Created and directed by Megan Carney and inspired by W. Eugene Smith's 1950s photo essay, "Pittsburgh Project," it sets out to capture via "collage" aspects of Pittsburgh today. Featured are Brian Czarnicki, David Gebhardt, Wali Jamal, Gabrielle Kroner, Sharon McCune and Gayle Pazerski; info at 1-773-610-5514 or www.MCarneyProjects.com.

Cabaret, 'Wicked,' Idina

• Late Night is back: the Cultural Trust is bringing back the Late Night Cabaret at Theatre Square, Downtown. Shows at 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays will be free to anyone who shows a ticket from another Cultural District show that night; it's $5 otherwise. The bar will have happy hour prices! The new schedule starts Friday with Mystery's Most Wanted in "Mobsters, Molls and Marinara," and Saturday with "Pittsburgh Pundits: Sexism, Ageism, Racism, Politics and Comedy."

• The cast of "Wicked" offers an evening of Beatles music to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force, 8 p.m., Monday, Rex Theater, 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. There will be auctions of "Wicked" memorabilia. Tickets ($30-$75) through Ticketmaster or www.RexTheater.com.

• Also in "Wicked" news: the Cultural Trust will present the original Elphaba (and "Rent" star) Idina Menzel in a solo show at the Byham Nov. 12. She's just issued a new album of her own songs, "I Stand." Tickets ($27-$41) have just gone on sale at pgharts.org and 412-456-6666.

James McManus report

• Jim writes that he's hoping to come see Pittsburgh Playwrights' revival of his "Dorothy 6" (above), which it premiered in 2004, particularly if he can put it together with a Steelers game. "Pittsburgh hotels could package the weekend as 'Demise of the steel industry, Rise of the Steelers,' " he says. "If folks would tailgate before one of my shows then I would know I've made it."

• His "Bulldog Whiskey" just had a reading at Diverse Theatre Company in NYC. He says it has "a wonderfully nasty Irish grandfather role for Bingo O'Malley. The heck with tailgaiting, for a kid from Pittsburgh, I'll really know I've made it when Bingo is in one of my shows."

• Looking ahead, the Clockwork Theatre Company in NYC is going to stage the American premiere of Jim's "Cherry Smoke" in February. He credits Patrick Jordan for taking "Cherry Smoke" to the Edinburgh Fringe and "greasing the skids with knockout reviews." After the NYC premiere, "Cherry" is headed to Australia and there are discussions with theater in D.C. and Chicago.

• And Jim's just finishing a new play, "Blood Potato," that "incorporates a meth lab ... Thank you, Donora!"

August in Atlanta

• I'm spending two days in Atlanta this week to see August Wilson's "Gem of the Ocean" and "Radio Golf," staged by the Alliance Theatre and True Colors, directed by Kenny Leon and Kent Gash. I'm part of a panel discussion with Michelle Shay and Dwight Andrews.

Personals

Sunny Disney Fitchett writes about "the big Disney family news": "Sidney Crosby delivered season tickets to my brother Dave's house. It was all over the news -- even printed in USA Today." Bob McCully wrote he was disappointed in Dave's "lack of PR talent. He should have said, 'Thanks, Sidney, but I still get a bigger thrill when I get my Little Lake Theatre tickets.' "

Joe Manganiello had a good summer. The handsome CMU grad, who does a lot of TV, was in the premiere staged reading of Terrence McNally's "Unusual Acts of Devotion" at the Ojai (California) Playwrights Conference and played Stanley in "Streetcar Named Desire" at the West Virginia Public Theatre. "I want to thank everyone who came to see me perform ... especially my mother, Susan, who came to 'Streetcar' four times in one week."

David Whalen is reprising "The Lieutenant of Inishmore" (through Oct. 12) at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, using much of the PICT design team -- Pei Chi Su, Gianni Downs, Jim French, Liz Atkinson and Steve Tolin (who provides the gore).

'Off the Record'

• The annual Pittsburgh spoof is at the Byham, Oct. 2 (tickets at 412-456-6666). Dan Onorato says: "Hunger is no laughing matter. But thanks to the wit and talent of our local media, 'Off the Record' is a great opportunity to raise money for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank while laughing at some of the year's news and noteworthy events" (including Dan himself).

On Stage

• My online journal of that name spent a somnolent summer but lept into life last weekend with postings from the Shaw Festival. I hope to continue it from Atlanta.

Broadway ShowPlane

• Nov. 19-23, four shows, a great package; details at post-gazette.com/theater or 412-441-3131 or 1-800-848-4084.

The bottom line

Paid admissions at city's pro theaters for the week ending Sept. 15:

Wicked/Benedum (96%) ...... 21,467
Salesman/Playhouse (70%) ..... 895
ShearMadness/CLO Cab. (57%)... 837
WithoutYou/City (40%) ........ 571

Post-Gazette theater editor Christopher Rawson can be reached at crawson@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1666.


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