The Hot List: Cultural events happening this weekend
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Marvin Hamlisch will be remembered in a special concert in late January, but Heinz Hall patrons will likely most feel his loss during this month's Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Pops concerts. These concerts are those most identified with the longtime principal pops conductor who died in August. But Hamlisch would definitely not have stood for any downer on these concerts, and the PSO will present the concerts he planned.
Former PSO resident conductor Daniel Meyer, who worked with Hamlisch on many pops concerts, will lead the orchestra in holiday favorites. He also will bring some guests to the stage, including Ricky Manning (Pittsburgh's "Singing Sheriff") and vocalist Rachel DeShon (winner of Hamlisch's Search for a Star competition), as well as violinist Jenny Oaks Baker, dancers from the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh.
Concerts are 7:30 tonight; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. $20-$98, 412-392-4900; www.pittsburghsymphony.org.
Dueling 'Christmas Carols'
Two shows that have been holiday staples on the theater scene for two decades run through the weekend: Pittsburgh Musical Theater's "A Lyrical Christmas Carol" and Pittsburgh CLO's "A Musical Christmas Carol."
PMT's "Carol" features Anthony Marino as Scrooge and members of the Richard E. Rauh Conservatory Theater Company in an adaptation created in 1991 by Ken and Jane Gargaro. The musical runs tonight through Sunday at the New Hazlett Theater, North Side, with showtimes 7:30 tonight through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20, $10 for students at 412-539-0900, ext. 232, or at the door.
Tom Atkins is back as Scrooge for CLO, leading a cast of returning favorites at the Byham Theater, Downtown. Remaining shows are 7:30 p.m. Friday; noon, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2 and 6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15.75-$60.75 (half price for ages 3-14) at pittsburghclo.org or 412-263-1960.
More holiday cheer
By this time last year, Kennywood was closed for the season. This year, Kennywood Holiday Lights glows Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m. There are Christmas carolers, holiday themed rides, holiday foods, Santa Claus and more. It also will be open Dec. 26-30. Go to Kennywood.com.
• Winter Light Garden continues at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, as part of the annual Winter Flower Show, running from 5 to 10 p.m. all days. Special events this weekend include the last Santa Visits on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and with the Sugar Plum Fairy at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. More details about all of these activities can be found at phipps.conservatory.org.
• Downtown Pittsburgh's European Holiday Market continues through Sunday with vendors from around the world displaying unique collectible and gift items in Alpine-style wooden chalets.
• The Carnegie Museum of Art's Hall of Architecture is decked out with seven 20-foot trees, decorated in the theme of the world's fairs, celebrating "Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs, 1851-1939." Also on is the Neapolitan Presepio, featuring lifelike and colorful figures that re-create the Nativity. Go to www.cmoa.org.
• Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's classic "The Nutcracker," with Tchaikovsky's score, runs through Dec. 30, with performances this weekend at 7 tonight and Friday; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday; and noon and 4:30 p.m. Sunday. www.pbt.org/performances/nutcracker.
• "Spirits of Giving From Around the World" at PPG Place Wintergarden features a 32-foot Christmas tree, an exhibit by the Pittsburgh Miniature Society and a display of life-size Santas and oil paintings representing 16 countries. Hours are 6 a.m. -9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays; 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays; and 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays; through Jan. 7. Open Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is free.
Trip to the 'Playground'
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 through Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, then 8 p.m. Wednesday through Dec. 29. Tickets are $ 5-$35 at www.showclix.com or 1-888-71-TICKETS.
Aaron Kleiber, named Best Local Comedian by Pittsburgh Magazine in July, will appear at the Pittsburgh Improv at the Waterfront, Homestead tonight.
The comedian, known for his hilarious local commercials for the Pittsburgh Power, Pennsylvania Lottery and Highmark, has been featured on the big screen co-starring in "Help Me, Help You" opposite Sabrina Byran ("Cheetah Girls," "Dancing With the Stars"), with Steve Guttenberg ("Police Academy") and Richard Kind ("Spin City"). He also was featured in the original Web series "The Mercury Men" seen at San Diego Comic-Con and on Syfy.com. Showtime is 8 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m. For more info and tickets, $15, www.improv.com or 412-462-5233.
As you've probably heard, Dec. 21 is not only the turn of the season, but also the end of the Mayan Calender and the prospective end of the world.
Carnegie Mellon University's WRCT (88.3 FM) will go out with a bang on A Live Show, a 24-hour event featuring 25 local bands playing on the air.
It begins at midnight and runs through Friday with such performers as Dean Cercone, Dave Bernabo, Weird Paul Rock Band, Middle Children/ Dumplings, The Toys du Jour, Beagle Brothers, Drugula, Amoeba Knievel and The Lopez. In between bands, local poets will be reading.
Immaculate Reception at 40
It was 40 years ago Sunday that Franco Harris took that deflection into the end zone, changing the whole history of the Steelers franchise.
The Senator John Heinz History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum will commemorate the anniversary of the Immaculate Reception an event Saturday titled, "Immaculate Reception Memories."
The event, which begins at noon, will feature the screening of a new NFL Films documentary along with special appearances by members of the 1972 Steelers team, including Franco Harris, John "Frenchy" Fuqua, Andy Russell, Rocky Bleier and Mike Wagner.
Tickets are $40 for general admission and $25 for History Center members. All tickets include admission to "Gridiron Glory" and all History Center exhibitions. To purchase tickets, visit www.showclix.com/event/ImmaculateReceptionMemories or call 1-888-71-TICKETS.
First Published December 20, 2012 12:00 am