The Hot List: Things to do this weekend
You can mix, mingle and watch an original adult musical comedy this weekend when "Date Me, Do Me, Dump Me" makes its debut at the Rex Theater, South Side.
New York-based pianist Steven V. Mitchell, a Harrisburg native, worked with Leah Gray and Marianne Forti, teachers of pre-ballet classes in NYC, and followed their band, Two Chicks. When the band broke up, he licensed their music to create "Date Me, Do Me, Dump Me," a musical that involves four ladies soured on dating and a hunky bartender.
"It's like a jukebox musical where no one knows the tunes," said Mr. Mitchell, a New Yorker who has been working on the show for six years while also working with Dutch National Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. He spent time here with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and created a character, Grace (played by Caroline Schneider), described by Mr. Mitchell as "distinctly Pittsburgh."
She and other "social misfits" played by Pittsburgh's Mary Brodland and New York actors Georgia Haege and Leah Keele unravel their dating history while audience members in the VIP section will be catered to by the bar owner (local actress Deborah Starling-Pollard). Pittsburgh native Camden Williams plays "The Bartender," who tends to shed clothing throughout the evening. Aubrey Klinger, a Point Park grad, directs and choreographs the show.
The Rex, with a set created by City Theatre's Tony Ferrieri, worked because it had a bar for the pre-show mixer and was affordable. The musical runs 90 minutes and is attached to a cocktail hour -- "a mix and mingle for those who want to," Mr. Mitchell said.
Performances are at 8 tonight; 7 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets for the 21-and-over show are $25-$45 at rextheatre.com/dateme.
Classic rock show
After last weekend's double dose of Toby Keith and Mayhem, the Chicago/Doobie Brothers bill should bring an air of civility to the First Niagara Pavilion.
The Doobie Brothers' set will resemble the one the band did last summer at Station Square, with classic hits like "Listen to the Music" and "China Grove," mixed with material from the band's 2010 album, "World Gone Crazy."
Chicago, which also has an endless supply of hits, won't be doing anything from its latest album -- because it was a Christmas record!
Expect the two bands to join together for the concert's climax.
The show is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $28.50-$36. Call 1-800-745-3000.
Bikers generally love the Doobies, so a bunch of them will be out there.
The rest will be at Bike Night at Station Square, which changes the pace with Biker Couture, featuring the latest trends in biker fashion for women, showcased by fashion design students from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and Three Rivers Harley.
The models will appear as part of the live music performance by NOMaD around 8 p.m. on the stage outside Hard Rock Cafe in Bessemer Court.
M83 in Munhall
With all of that time committed to writing the score of a Tom Cruise movie and designing signature Converse sneakers, it's hard to believe that M83 can find any time to focus on its music.
Lucky for us, the French electronic band seems to have masterful skills at budgeting its time. On the heels of the hit single "Midnight City" and the newer single "Reunion," it will be performing at the Carnegie Library Music Hall of Homestead at 8 tonight.
This isn't your dad's house music, though -- M83 is known to toy with a variety of effects, creating layers of ambience and atmosphere to produce a deep, complex sound. And the origin of the band's name -- from the galaxy Messier 83 -- should serve as a clue for the uninitiated.
Tickets are $28 at 412-368-5225, or at www.carnegieconcerts.com.
The Bouncing Souls bring old-school punk rock to Mr. Smalls at 8 tonight with The Menzingers and Luther. The veteran New Jersey band -- which formed in 1987, debuted in 1994 and went on to play numerous Warped tours -- just released its ninth album, "Comet," under the helm of punk legend Bill Stevenson (Descendents, ALL, Black Flag).
"You go through so many things and so many life experiences together, so much creative experience together, and I think having a record come out from a group that's been together for so long is special," Greg Attonito said in the press notes. "After 25 years of being in a band, we spent a couple weeks in a basement and just had a great time. I think that's a huge achievement."
Alternative Press said of the album, "If punk rock had a championship belt, these Jersey boys would proudly be wearing it."
Tickets are $18; 1-866-468-3401.
On Friday, The Pittsburgh Glass Center unveils a new exhibition called "American Idols" that has nothing to do with Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood or Adam Lambert.
Rather, John Moran has created an installation of busts of all 43 U.S. presidents. The artist, who is completing a master of fine arts degree at Illinois State University, "constructs his strange busts and their quirky, somewhat childlike and absurd appearances by meshing sculpted glass heads with an array of other materials," according to the gallery.
President Barack Obama is dressed in a hoodie and Public Enemy T-shirt. Abraham Lincoln is portrayed as a hipster. Rutherford B. Hayes looks like a lumberjack.
The opening reception will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. It runs through Nov. 10 at 5472 Penn Ave., East Liberty. For details, go to www.pittsburghglasscenter.org.
'Susannah' the opera
If you want to know how contemporaries likely felt when viewing tragic opera when it premiered, you should see Carlisle Floyd's "Susannah."
Its horrifying tale of an innocent young woman in Tennessee who is besmirched, shunned and then raped remains raw even though it opened in 1955. But it has a similar impact of that of Puccini's "Tosca" and "Madama Butterfly," Verdi's "La Traviata," Bizet's "Carmen" and Poulenc's "The Dialogues of the Carmelites" -- operas whose subjects were contemporary and disturbing rather than mythical or biblical. (Although "Susannah" has roots in the Bible, Mr. Floyd has said he never read the biblical account.) For patrons today, "Susannah's" plot also strikes home because it is set in America and, unfortunately, is not far-fetched.
This production is a welcome pushing of the envelope for Undercroft Opera, a company dedicated to giving local singers a chance at singing major roles, instead of the smaller parts they tend to get in bigger productions. Patrick Brannan directs and Walter Morales conducts at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 11 at Bellefield Hall in Oakland. Tickets are $20-$35; www.undercroftopera.org or 412-422-7919.
'No Child' at Kelly-Strayhorn
Reenah Golden comes to East Liberty to perform her one-woman play "No Child," tracing the efforts of a teacher to engage a class of uninspired and underachieving 10th-graders by challenging them to put on a play in a Bronx high school.
Ms. Golden, a spoken-word artist, actress, social activist and educator, portrays more than a dozen characters during the show. You can catch a bit of her powerful delivery on YouTube in a clip of her performing "Poets of Change."
Showtimes at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater are 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday. Tickets are $5-$20 at brownpapertickets.com. Information: kelly-strayhorn.org or 412-363-3000.
Rufus and band
Rufus Wainwright, who helped define the genre of "popopera," brings his wit, sensitivity and lovely vocal range to the Carnegie Library of Homestead on Saturday.
The singer-songwriter-pianist is on his first "band" tour since 2008, promoting his seventh album, "Out of the Game," which was produced by Mark Ronson with guest spots from his sister Martha, Wilco, Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner, Sean Lennon, members of the Dap-Kings and more. His inspirations for the poppier record were Elton John, David Bowie and Queen.
"Because I'm older and I've had a lot of different experiences, there's a real variety in my life," he said in a video posted on his website. "And I really wanted my record to maintain that." He added: "There's three big things in my life: One is my past, the various experiences I've had over the years; the death of my mother, which happened two years ago; and there's the birth of my daughter, Viva, and also being in a relationship as well. And I think each one of them had to be represented."
He's noted that he and the band will play a big portion of the new album at the show, so, if you're going, you might want to make yourself familiar.
It begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39.50 to $49.50; 412-368-5225 or www.carnegieconcerts.com.
NEED TO KNOW
• Country band The Steel Wheels pulls into the South Park Amphitheater for a free show at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
• On Sunday at Hartwood Acres, BNY Mellon presents the classic jazz fusion Spyro Gyra at 7:30 p.m.
• The Iron City Sound Downtown Live! summer concert series in Market Square continues at 5 p.m. Friday with rocker Danielle Barbe and headliners The Granati Brothers.
• Cincopation performs at Bach, Beethoven & Brunch 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Mellon Park, Shadyside.
• The Bobs, the Grammy-nominated New Wave a cappella group, plays First Fridays at The Frick at 7 p.m. Friday on the Great Lawn at the Frick Art & Historical Center. A donation of $5 per adults is suggested. Guests are invited to arrive early and create a gourmet picnic with selections from the Cafe at the Frick, which begins serving at 5:30 p.m.
• Reservoir of Jazz begins at Reservoir Drive in Highland Park at 5 p.m. Sunday with a free concert by Spanky Wilson, the jazz/soul/funk singer from Philadelphia who lived in Pittsburgh during the '60s and went on to sing with Marvin Gaye and Sammy Davis Jr.
• Citiparks Cinema in the Park goes back to 1984 for the action-packed "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" 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. Films start at dusk.
• As you've surely seen on billboards all over town, Billy Ocean, who scored the '80s hits "Caribbean Queen" and "Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car," will play a free show at the Rivers Casino amphitheater at 8 p.m. Saturday.
• Lila Hirsch Brody's Acrylic Painting Class Annual Show opens with a free reception from 6:30 to 8:30 tonight at the Fine/Perlow and Weis Gallery, Jewish Community Center of Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill. It runs through Aug. 29.
• No Name Players present Neil LaBute's Tony-nominated "reasons to be pretty," one of his trilogy of works about relationships and our obsession with physical beauty, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Pitt Studio Theater in the Cathedral of Learning basement. Marci Woodruff directs Karen Baum, Clara H. Childress, Don DiGiulio and Jody O'Donnell in the production. Shows continue at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays through Aug. 18; doors open at 7:30. Tickets are $15 at www.showclix.com/event/231561 or $20 (cash only) at the door; $10 for students with ID.
• Highlands Rocks is a festival at Westminster Highlands in Emlenton Saturday and Sunday that will feature Christian bands, speakers, food and craft vendors, swimming, guided hiking tours and a 40-foot-high zipline. The lineup includes ApologetiX, Anderson Grove, Athanasia, Circle of One, Crown, Erik Kerr, Jordan Biel and Rob Krogh and the H2O Band. Guest speakers include former Super Bowl-winning Pittsburgh Steeler player Jon Kolb. It's presented by the Camping Association of the Presbyteries of Northwestern Pennsylvania. For more information, visit www.highlandsrocks.org.
First Published August 2, 2012 12:00 am