PSO fetes the Gershwins
When you head to Heinz Hall you usually either hear a classical or a pops show. This weekend you will get both when the Pittsburgh Symphony Pops celebrates the music of George and Ira Gershwin.
George wrote the quintessential culture-bridging work, "Rhapsody in Blue," which pianist Kevin Cole will perform. But "Porgy and Bess" straddles genres, too, and songs from that and other Gershwin brother standards such as "The Man I Love" and "I Got Rhythm" give nothing up to art song. Vocalist Sylvia McNair will sing those and other songs while Marvin Hamlisch conducts "The Gershwins -- Here to Stay" at 7:30 tonight, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $29; 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org.
'Lettice and Lovage'
Peter Shaffer, author of "Equus," trades melodrama for laughs in "Lettice and Lovage," a comedy with a little "Downton Abbey" flair.
Terra Nova Theatre Group tells the tale of Lettice Douffet, a tour guide at one of England's least stately homes. Bored with the official story, Lettice begins to embellish the building's history, thrilling her gullible guests but raising the ire of Lotte Schoen, staunch guardian of the Preservation Trust. What starts as a battle of wits quickly turns into a conspiracy of comrades.
Susan Martinelli and Allison Cahill star as Lettice and Lotte; the supporting cast includes Mark Yochum and Julianne Avolio.
The comedy runs Thursdays through Saturdays through July 7, with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on July 1, at the Grey Box Theatre, 3595 Butler St., Lawrenceville. General admission is $15 in advance at www.proartstickets.org or 412-394-3353 or $20 at the door; students/seniors and groups of eight or more, $12. More at www.terranovatheatregroup.org.
Dog and a Mouse
This is one of those dilemma nights for indie-rock fans.
WYEP is setting up in Schenley Plaza with its annual Summer Music Festival, featuring Philly psych-rock band Dr. Dog, Brooklyn singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten, Great Lake Swimmers and Donora, starting at 6 p.m. Beginning at 4 p.m., there will be kids activities and the I Made It! Market..
Stage AE will rock a little harder with Modest Mouse, an indie giant that's been asleep the past few years. The last release was "We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank," which came with the single "Dashboard" and found the Washington state band in the unlikely spot at the top of the charts.
That was five years ago, and fans are still waiting for the next move from Isaac Brock and the team, which no longer features former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr. Modest Mouse is working on a new, seventh album with Big Boi, according to a tweet from the rapper/producer. In the meantime, this brief tour, which is showcasing at least one new song, brings the band to Stage AE Outdoors with Talkdemonic. Gates are at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $39/$42 through ticketmaster.com.
When Cinderella appeared in 1986 with "Night Songs," the Philadelphia band was lumped in with the hair metal scene despite being harder and bluesier than most of those bands.
Taking their cue from Aerosmith, frontman Tom Keifer and company issued three platinum albums -- with such songs as "Gypsy Road," "Nobody's Fool" and power ballad "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)" -- before the grunge movement pushed them aside in the early '90s. Although its last album was in 1994, Cinderella has toured fairly consistently since then.
Recent highlights have included stops at the Download Festival in England, an opening slot on the farewell tour with Scorpions and the band's own 25th anniversary world tour last year.
On Saturday Cinderella plays the Carnegie Library Music Hall of Homestead at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35-$60; 412-368-5225.
Nashville's Craig Wayne Boyd ("I Ain't No Quitter") and Abby Abbondanza will headline the Bentleyville Eagles 2nd Annual Hog Roast Country Music Benefit Concert on Saturday at 395 Hazel St., Bentleyville.
Also performing throughout the day will be Jeremiah James, Ruff Creek Band, The Weedrags, Kennick and Hall and D.J. Jerry J.
The concert, which runs from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., benefits CASA for Kids, Make-A-Wish and the Bentleyville Fire Department. Tickets are $17.50; $25 at the door, includes free food until 8 p.m., free draft beer. Call 724-239-9991.
Heinz Center happenings
The Senator John Heinz History Center should be bustling on Saturday, with two events happening at once.
First, it is partnering with GoodTaste! Pittsburgh to present Hometown--Homegrown, a food expo offering an assortment from nearly 50 local vendors. Chris Fennimore, host of "WQED Cooks," will join other local chefs to reveal their culinary secrets, and Rick Sebak will also join in for three sessions showing visitors his favorite cookie recipe. It runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The expo is included in regular History Center admission ($10 for adults, $9 for visitors age 62 and up, and $5 for students and children 6-17; History Center members and children age 5 and under are admitted free). It also includes free food samples.
Also at the History Center is the Third Annual Bocce Tournament and Festival, a free event that will run from 1 p.m. till dusk in the parking lot. Spectators are encouraged to try their hand playing bocce on two specially made public courts. More than 30 four-person teams will showcase their bocce skills while visitors enjoy Italian food, beverages, music and more.
The festival features live music from Vito DiSalvo & Daniella Pasquini (3 p.m.), Jimmy Sapienza's Five Guys Named Moe (4 p.m.) and Pure Gold (5 p.m.). Italian food and beverages by The Common Plea will be available for purchase.
New park, free ride
The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh will celebrate the opening of Buhl Community Park at Allegheny Square -- across from the museum -- with free admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and a full day of activities and performances both inside and outside.
New York City-based acrobats of Cirque-tacular -- a troupe of aerialists, acrobats and dancers -- will roam and also perform at 1, 2 and 3 p.m.; River City Brass Quintet will perform at 11:45 a.m. and following the noon dedication ceremony; and there will be a Hula Hoop Jam with Stephanie Moser from 1 to 3 p.m. And there will be hands-on activities and demonstrations presented by the National Aviary, The Andy Warhol Museum, the New Hazlett Theater and The Saturday Light Brigade. Details: www.pittsburghkids.org.
Hot on the Arts
Hot on the Arts, a new summer series at the CCAC South Campus Theatre, gets off to a rousing start Saturday with Broadway veterans Tim Hartman and Lenora Nemetz. The Pittsburgh musical theater stalwarts and host Darieth Chisolm of WPXI will join 30 TJ ARTS theater alumni and students in a cabaret-style performance.
The 7 p.m. event is designed to raise money for arts scholarships in the West Jefferson Hills School District and introduce the series to South Hills communities.
Hot on the Arts was the brainchild of Karen Suszynski, a retired Thomas Jefferson High School teacher, and a group of the school's theater alumni. Tickets for the event, "accented by spicy appetizers," are $30 at www.tj-arts.org, 412-655-0747 or at the door "as available."
The work of approximately 70 local artists will be splayed out on the lawn of Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Shadyside, on Sunday for its annual Yart Sale, a creative spin on the traditional yard sale.
It will feature ceramic pieces, photographs, jewelry, art books, fabric, vases, pots, unframed prints, bowls and more, plus painting easels, drafting tables and small kilns. If weather permits, a ceramics instructor will hold a kiln firing demonstration. In addition, art activities for children will be run by Summer Camps staff.
Yart Sale prices range from 50 cents to $500. Admission is free; and nonperishable food items will be collected for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Party for Haiti
Friends of Anne Mullaney, the late Pittsburgh attorney best known as the owner of Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle in the Strip District, will hold a Haiti "Block Party" on Sunday in Regent Square to raise funds to build a school in her memory in Deslandes, Haiti.
The event, from 5 to 10 p.m. at The Map Room Grill and Bar on South Braddock Avenue, is free and will feature Guaranteed Irish, Mike Gallagher, the Newlanders, Mark Dignam and the Cyclones. There also will be Haitian food, Haitian poetry read by actors from Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater, a live auction of a commissioned piece by noted Pittsburgh master glass mosaic artist Daviea Davis; Haitian arts and crafts, silent auction and a 50/50 raffle. Volunteers will sell $5 Haiti Building Blocks and seek pledges from people willing to host a "Haiti Block Party" fundraiser.
For more information on Partners in Progress visit www.PIPHaiti.org.
NEED TO KNOW
• Neo-soul singer-songwriter-bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, best known for her hit duet with John Mellencamp on "Wild Nights," performs a free show at Hartwood Acres at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. At South Park on Friday at 7:30 p.m., it's Arkansas country trio Eden's Edge, who has toured with Brad Paisley, Reba McEntire and Lady Antebellum.
• Eastern Watershed Klezmer Quartet performs at Bach, Beethoven and Brunch at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Mellon Park, Point Breeze/Shadyside.
• Citiparks Cinema in the Park presents the animated hit "Puss in Boots" at Brookline Memorial Park tonight; Arsenal Park (Lawrenceville) on Friday; Grandview Park (Mount Washington) and Riverview Park (Observatory Hill) on Saturday; and Flagstaff Hill, Schenley Park, on Sunday. All start at dusk.
• South African indie band Civil Twilight, which draws comparisons to Radiohead and Tim Buckley, plays the Summer Sounds free concert series in Greensburg's St. Clair Park on Friday. The band is touring on the new album, "Holy Weather," that has had songs featured on "Vampire Diaries," "Parenthood" and other shows. Steve Cohagan and Zach Hudson open the show at 7 p.m.
• For its eighth album, "Women and Work," alt-country band Lucero immersed itself in the sounds of its native Memphis, from the Sun legends to Alex Chilton. Rolling Stone described it was ranging from "aching Memphis soul to rowdy, old-fashioned barroom boogie rock." The Warped tour veterans play Mr. Smalls at 8 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20. 1-866-468-3401.
• The Clarks, a Pittsburgh favorite, play Stage AE Outdoors on Saturday. Gates at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25-$28. 1-800-745-3000.
• The Oliver Miller Homestead in South Park will dedicate Sunday to the techniques and final results of quilting. Visitors can also stop by the kitchen garden to learn which plants were important to the pioneers. It is open from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $2; www.olivermiller.org or 412-835-1554.
• Thirteen amateur comics will compete for the fourth annual Crowning of Pittsburgh's Funniest Comic Friday at Diesel, South Side. WDVE's own Randy Baumann will emcee the event, with judges including Mikey from KISS-FM's Freak Show, WPXI's Alby Oxenreiter and KDKA News anchor Susan Koeppen. Closing the evening will be cover band Bon Journey. It benefits Gilda's Club Western PA, which provides support for cancer patients. The show will begin at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10.
• Comedian Ralphie May, best known for his debut on season one of "Last Comic Standing," will appear at the Pittsburgh Improv, Waterfront, at 8 tonight; 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Friday; 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday; and 7 p.m. Sunday. For more info and tickets, $25, www.improv.com or 412-462-5233.
• Wagman Observatory presents its 25th Anniversary Star Parties at 8:55 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Nicholas E. Wagman Observatory, Deer Lakes Regional Park, Frazer. It's an opportunity for folks to observe the wonders of the summer sky, including Saturn. For info, call 724-224-2510 or go to www.3ap.org/.
First Published June 21, 2012 4:00 AM