• The Music at Rodef Shalom series opens with an ensemble that disguises its virtuosity. The Pittsburgh Chamber Players is led by three Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians: cellist Mikhail Istomin, violinist Jennifer Orchard and Noah Bendix-Balgley (the PSO concertmaster). Not that you'd know if from the name! The repertoire is TBA, the concert is free and it takes place at Rodef Shalom Congregation in Shadyside. 412-621-6566.
• Rory O'Malley, Tony nominee for "The Book of Mormon," returns to his alma mater for a free reading of "8," a play about the trial that challenged California's anti-gay marriage Proposition 8, at Carnegie Mellon University. The performance with CMU School of Drama students will be at 7 p.m. in the University Center's McConomy Auditorium. More at www.drama.cmu.edu.
Admission is free for the return of the Pittsburgh Playwrights' production of "Gem of the Ocean," at 7 p.m. this night and three more Tuesdays -- Sept. 18, Oct. 2 and 9 -- at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, Downtown. More at www.augustwilsoncenter.org or 412-258-2700.
New York Times best-selling author Wes Moore appears at the Hill House Kaufmann Center, 1825 Centre Ave., at 7 p.m. as part of a Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures special event. "Discovering Wes Moore" is a program about the life of Wes Moore: author, decorated combat veteran, White House fellow and Rhodes Scholar. His memoir, "The Other Wes Moore," is about a kid with his same name, who grew up in his same neighborhood but who ended up in prison for felony murder and about the differences in their lives that determined their futures -- like staying in school. The book recently has been revised for a teen audience under the title, "Discovering Wes Moore." Both books will be available for purchase at the event. Tickets are $10 for adults or two for $15, $5 for age 18 and younger and free to kids 3 and under with lap pass, www.pittsburghlectures.org, the Kaufmann Center or 412-622-8866.
"Dixie's Tupperware Party" comes to the CLO Cabaret with bawdy belle Dixie Longate (aka Kris Andersson) selling her wares and telling her tales, from the trailer park to saleswoman supreme. She's at the Cabaret at Theater Square, Downtown, through Oct. 14. Tickets are $34.75-$44.75, or $50.75 for onstage seating; www.clocabaret.com or 412-456-6666.
Camille A. Brown & Dancers perform "Mr. TOL E. RAncE" at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, 5941 Penn Ave., at 8 p.m. The troupe uses sketch comedy, live music and bold dance to examine African-American humor throughout history. Inspired by author Mel Watkins' "On the Real Side: A History of African American Comedy from Slavery to Chris Rock," "Mr. TOL E. RAncE" exposes issues of tolerance and the representation of African-Americans in the media. A cast of 11 dancers, actors and musicians brings this world premiere to life. Ms. Brown, an award-winning dancer-choreographer and musician, is interested in interdisciplinary work that defies category. Tickets are $15-$25 at www.kelly-strayhorn.org.
Fans of superstar classical pianist Lang Lang might pay $100 for a ticket to hear him. When he performs at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra gala, the range is $30 to $150. Not bad, but for $750 you get a pre-concert cocktail hour and a post-concert formal dinner catered by the Duquesne Club (with music director Manfred Honeck showing up just in time for dessert). The PSO is calling the gala the "Year of the Dragon," since we are in the Chinese "Year of the Dragon" and because Lang Lang will play selections from his CD "Dragon Songs." before launching into Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1. 7 p.m. at Heinz Hall, Downtown. 412-392-4900; www.pittsburghsymphony.org.