Theater Notes: Some troupes offer alternative holiday fare

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Not all theater is holiday-themed at this time of year. A case in point is "Gruesome Playground Injuries" at Off the Wall Theater in Carnegie.

Can Kayleen (Erika Cuenca ) and Doug (Tony Bingham) find love among broken hearts and broken bones? The play by Rajiv Joseph and directed by Maggie Balsley follows the lives of childhood friends who are brought together as accident-prone kids and who continue to meet in the wake of physical calamities.

"We are hoping Pittsburgh audiences will be willing to give a nontraditional play like 'Gruesome Playground Injuries' a chance, as a break from the standard holiday fare," said Off the Wall's managing producer Hans Gruenert. "It's a love story with more than a few quirky twists."

"Gruesome Playground Injuries" runs through Dec. 29, 8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow and 3 p.m. Sunday, then 8 p.m. Dec. 20-22 and 26-29, plus 3 p.m. Dec. 23. Tickets are $ 5-$35.00 at or 1-888-71-TICKETS.

'Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody'

"Spank!" is writer Jim Millan's response to E.L. James' best-selling S&M novel "Fifty Shades of Grey." The musical parody by Mr. Millan ("Kids in the Hall," "Larry King Standing Up" and "Mythbusters Live") has been playing across Canada and the U.S., and lands at the Byham Theater at 8 p.m. Jan. 10-12, presented by Mills Entertainment and the Trust Presents series.

The synopsis: Fictional writer E.B. Janet sends her family away so she can partake in a weekend of writing erotica, with a bottle of chardonnay close at hand. Her fantasy builds around young innocent Tasha and handsome Hugh Hansen.

Tickets are $35.50-$45.50 at or 412-456-6666.

Point Park's 'The Crucible'

The Conservatory Theatre Company of Point Park University finishes its run of "The Crucible" Sunday at the Rauh Theatre of the Pittsburgh Playhouse. Arthur Miller's Tony-winning play about the Salem Witch Trials, with a set design by Gianni Downs and costumes by Joan Market, runs 8 p.m. tonight through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets $18-$20 at 412-392-8000 or online at



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