Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Roving Pittsburgher Report, 2017-2018 PNC Broadway Pittsburgh Season Line Up of Musicals

2017-2018 PNC Broadway Pittsburgh
Season Line Up of Musicals

The PNC Foundation joined the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust on Monday, March 20, 2017 at the Byham Theatre to introduce its 2017-2018 season lineup of Broadway musicals that will be performed at various theatres throughout the Pittsburgh Cultural District.  The theme, “Your Wish is Granted” couldn’t be further from the truth, because you just had to be there to witness the roar of the crowd as the following musicals were announced: 

School of Rock – NY Times Critics’ Pick and an “inspiring jolt of energy, joy and mad skillz!” (Entertainment Weekly).  Based on the hit film, this musical follows the adventures of Dewey Finn a wannabe rock star posing as a substitute teacher who turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band.  The musical includes 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber and includes all the original songs from the movie and musical theatre’s first-ever kids rock band playing their instruments live on stage.  – Playing October 17-22, 2017 at Benedum Center.

The Color of Purple – Winner of 2016 Tony Awards and Best Musical Revival.  Hailed as “direct hit to the heart” (The Hollywood Reporter), this American classic is directed by Tony winner John Doyle as a soul-raising score of jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues, and is a Pulitzer Prize-winning story about a young woman’s journey to love and triumph in the American South.  Martina Sykes belted out an amazing solo performance of theme song “I’m Here.” – Playing November 14-19, 2017 at Benedum Center.

Love Never Dies – If you loved Phantom of the Opera, then you won’t want to miss this musical!  Cited by Chris Boyd in The Australian as “the best thing Lloyd Webber has written in the quarter century since Phantom of the Opera,” this musical takes the audience on a roller-coaster ride of intrigue, obsession, and romance back to 1907, just 10 years after the Phantom disappeared from the Paris Opera House to live among the screaming joyrides and freak shows of Coney Island, NY.  In this new electrically charged world he finds a place for his music to soar but never stops yearning for his one true love and musical protégée, Christine Daae.  Jazmine Gorzline gave a stunning solo performance of the theme song, “Love Never Dies.” – Playing January 4-7, 2018 at Benedum Center.

The Bodyguard –  Based on the smash-hit film, this musical stars Grammy Award-nominee and R&B superstar Deborah Cox plays Rachel Marron of “Rachel Marron and Company.”  Former secret service agent Frank Farmer is hired as a bodyguard to protect Rachel from an unknown stalker.  Each expects to be in charge but they don’t expect to fall in love.  The musical boasts irresistible classic hits including Queen of the Night; So Emotional; One Moment in Time; Saving All My Love; Run to You; I Have Nothing; I Wanna Dance with Somebody; and I Will Always Love You.  If only Whitney Houston could grace us with her presence today by singing solo for this musical; sure to be a smash hit! – Playing February 27-March 4, 2018 at Benedum Center.

Waitress – This winner of 4 Tony Awards hit musical features original music and lyrics by 6-time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles (“Brave,” “Love Song”), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam) and directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus (Pippin, Finding Neverland).  Inspired by Adrienne Shelly’s beloved film, Waitress portrays the story of Jenna, a waitress and pie maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage.  Will Jenna be able to muster the strength and courage to rebuild her own life?  Let the audience be the judge!  Charity Dossen gave a joyous solo performance of the hit song, “I Didn’t Plan It.” – Playing March 6-11, 2018 at Benedum Center.

Rent – This 1996 original rock musical, a Pulitzer Prize & Tony Award-winning masterpiece first opened on Broadway by a little-known composer, Jonathan Larson, and will be coming to Pittsburgh next year during its 20th anniversary touring production.  Rent is bound to attract audiences across generations and around the world, as it forever changed the landscape of American theatre.  A re-imagining of Puccini’s La Boheme, Rent tells the story, over a one-year period, in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out.  Rent will deliver an inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, celebrating friendship and creativity that reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that matters most: Love. – Playing March 27-April 1, 2018 at Heinz Hall.

Aladdin – Hailed by USA Today as “Pure Genie-Us,” this hit Broadway musical features all your favorite songs from the film and includes new music written by Tony and Academy Award winner Alan Menken (Newsies) with lyrics by the legendary Howard Ashman (Beauty & the Beast), Tony Award winner Tim Rice (The Lion King, Aida), and book writer Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer).  Directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Something Rotten!), this musical also boasts behind-the-scenes expertise from Tony Award winners Bob Crowley (Mary Poppins), Gregg Barnes (Kinky Boots), and Natasha Katz (An American in Paris).  Jacob Dickey gave a heart-rendering solo performance of the hit song, “Proud of Your Boy.”  – Playing August 21-September 9, 2018 at Benedum Center.

Season Specials
Season ticket holders can secure the best seats at the best price to the following added attractions before they go on sale to the general public by swapping out of one season show or purchasing the shows separately.  Season ticket holders are permitted to swap tickets from one season show to another, or to one of the specials below: 
(NOTE: Season specials are not part of the season ticket package.)

Motown - The Musical (The Songs. The Sound. The Story.) – Playing November 21-26, 2017 at Benedum Center.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! – The Musical – Playing December 19-24, 2017 at Heinz Hall.

Wicked – The Musical (Returns to Pittsburgh, with a special show for the Autism Audience) – Playing January 24-February 11, 2018 at the Benedum Center.

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” – Playing May 22-27, 2018; Heinz Hall.

Coming in the 2018-2019 Season
Just when the audience thought this was the end of announcements for the upcoming season of musical Broadway entertainment to be embellished, the PNC Foundation and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announced a preview of what’s ahead in 2018-2019:

Hamilton – An American Musical – Season ticket holders from the 2017-2018 season will have first access to Hamilton when they renew their subscription for 2018-2019.  Playing at Benedum Center; Dates to be Announced.
Clearly, Pittsburgh is the prime destination for Broadway entertainment, and the PNC Foundation and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust are delighted to offer multiple venues for these musicals in the upcoming season.  If the roar of the crowd at this preview was any indicator, then what’s in store can only be described as a fulfillment of wishes for the best that Broadway has to offer without even traveling to New York City!

For more information, contact the Pittsburgh Trust for Cultural Resources, Benedum Center, 719 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222; www.trustarts.org/broadway.

Submitted by Randi Koenig, Roving Pittsburgher Reporter; March 21, 2017

Randi Koenig is the PPLMag Events Calendar Co-ordinator and a Roving Pittsbugher Reporter. You can check out her very extensive coverage for local events and what's happening in Pittsburgh at:  PPLMag Calendar.  She is an independent marketing and sales professional who specializes in working with non-profits and is an excellent net worker and promoter of  http://www.positivelypittsburghlivemagazine.com .  She is also an excellent marketing and promotional writer as  you can see from this Roving Pittsburgher Report

The Roving Pittsburgher Report is one of sixteen good news segments on the PositivelyPittsburghLive podcast and is one of the good news pages on http://pplmag.com, Pittsburgh's First Internet Radio and TV Network and Pittsburgh's Premiere Podcasting Portal.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Roving Pittsburgher Report, Steelers Lost but Pittsburghers Partied On!

130 people Multi-meetup Steeler Game Party @ Corner Market & Ale!

Updated 11 hours ago
Don Rohsner and Frank Halling invited 11 meetup groups and setup some Facebook Events to watch the Steelers Playoff Game vs the Patriots. We were at the NEW Bar Restaurant Corner Market and Ale in 
Greentree. Had 130+ people overall and had a decent time.
with DJ & Dancing! 5-
Thanks to Corner Market and Ale for having us! We look 
Hope to see you at the Next Large Meetup Events coming upPLEASE RSVP, it helps convince others to go to the events!9pm https://www.meetup.com/pittsburgh-free/events/236552848/

Pittsburghers will use any excuse to party and even though the Steelers lost to the Patriots, there was still the unique Pittsburgh closeness and friendly environment. 

Here are some of the Better Events coming up! (20-100 meetup people showing)
Cross-Posted on 9 meetups n 2 Facebook events should have 40-70 people which is good for a thursday.

FREE ADMISSION to the WARHOL MUSEUM for the Good Friday's Party at the Warhol!
Friday, Jan 27th
Good Fridays Party at the Warhol, has Free Admission (normally they charge) a Bar, DJ and Food and free run of the Warhol Museum!  Non-Hosted Meetup event, just something awesome n fun! https://www.meetup.com/pittsburgh-free/events/236905611/

Multi-Meetup Happy Hour for Friday February 3rd at Dorthy 6 in Homestead w DJ and Dancing https://www.meetup.com/pittsburgh-free/events/236552848/
Cross-Posted on 11 meetups n 2 Facebook events should have 80-120 people which is normal for a friday meetup happy hour w DJ & Dancing.

Tuesday February 7th Free Comedy Night at Buckhead Saloon plus one dollar tacos! https://www.meetup.com/pittsburgh-free/events/236552848/    Good Comedy 4-5 comedians for FREE.   We normally get 20-40 meetup people to show up to this event.

MEDICAL MARJIUANA CONVENTION at David L. Lawrence Convention Center Pittsburgh.  April 21st-22nd 
NFL STAR Ricky Williams will be there and speaking!  For Patients, Caregiver, Doctors, Nurses and others interested in PA's Medical marijuana industry.  Use code Frank20 to save 20 on entry fee.  Pass this on if you know anyone with Chronic Pain, Autism, PTSD, Glaucoma etc.https://www.meetup.com/Medical-Marijuana-Compassionate-Certification-Centers/events/235275842/

This Meetup is for EVENTS that have a ticket/cover of $5 or LESS or even FREE! 
5-10% of the Events here on FREE & Almost FREE are SOCIAL
90-95% of the Events here are just informing you about cheap/cool/awesome stuff happening in the burgh region.  
So when there is a SOCIAL EVENT on this page with a HOST expect a couple extra emails to help make that meetup WORK and have a decent critical mass of people to make it decently fun! 
        There are a lot of activities in Pittsburgh that are free, or almost free - free days at museums, free concerts and films, free outdoors festivals, free cultural events ... . In addition to these (can't beat the price!), we'll post "almost free" ones where the cost is low (at most $5) compared to the fun that can be had.

         We're always looking for more ideas. YOU CAN POST YOUR OWN EVENTS HERE. If you have one, please click "+Schedule a New Meetup" and we will add it to our calendar as a "suggestion" ... and let me know so that I can turn it into a Meetup event.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Roving Pittsburgher, Review of Homemade Food and Hometown Hospitality at PapaGallo's

Review of Homemade Food and Hometown Hospitality at PapaGallo's


Good News Reviewer Joanne Quinn-Smith aka TechnoGranny

PapaGallo friendly rooster
When Chef Len Spampinato decided to open PapaGallo in July 2010, he realized that, in order to make PapaGallo a breakfast and lunch restaurant that would truly stand out, he could use only the freshest ingredients. To make a breakfast that really rises and shines means that he has to offer more than just the classics.
The experience has a sweetness all of its own, with its irresistible food and friendly atmosphere, it is quickly becoming a favorite spot among locals and visitors to the area. As a child, Chef Len’s grandfather used to sing a song about roosters to him and his 7 siblings. This fond memory has made its place in the PapaGallo name and rooster-themed decor. Located in Collier Town Square (1597 Washington Pike in Bridgeville), it is a ray of sophisticated sunshine in the middle of many fast-food establishments. With its rooster-themed decorations, PapaGallo is sure to become one of your favorite breakfast and/or lunch destinations.

The above paragraphs are straight from the PapaGallo website but we couldn't have said it better.  Len seems to live by the Will Rodgers motto:  "A stranger is just a friend I haven't met yet."  Once you come back you are greeted with a handshake or a hug from this smiling chef who will come back from behind his open space chef area. Yes you can watch Len cook your food.
It's not just the rooster themed decorations that will send you into admiration but the celebrity autographed pictures on the walls also.
Some unique things you will find to let you know you are welcome:  strawberry candies in the spotless ladies room along with a notebook to leave a note about your visit.  I "borrowed" it from the ladies room on one visit and all the comments are lovely and positive. In case you missed it, on the way out the front door is a side table with another notebook that you can leave comments on.
Here are some of my favorites from Len's breakfast menu:
The Phil Henry Omelette* – $10.95
Julienne vegetables fire-seared, w/asparagus, zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes & spinach. Served with your choice of toast.
Crisp Bacon, Italian or Turkey Sausage, Grilled Ham – $3.50
Chorizo & Eggs* – $11.95
Grilled peppers, onions and tomatoes w/melted Jack cheese w/warm tortillas, with a side of home fries.
PapaGallo Soup to Go
Len also has a Gluten Free Menu and takes requests so substitutions are given joyfully and if you ate a special there on a visit before and it's not on the specials menu and Len has the ingredients he will make it up special for you.  Of course made to order means you must have some time to wait for it but it's always worth the wait.  So bring along a friend with whom you can have some great covnersation but if you can't get a lunch date then bring your tablet or Ipad and enjoy his free Wi-Fi.

Recently the soup of the day was Butternut Squash Soup and since both my guest and I had early dinner plans we just had that, yummy.  

And one of his special gourment oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with cranberries and nuts and other healthy stuff.  Yes, I said healthy, that's how I determine that it's okay to eat something so decadent but since I am off sugar I only reward myself with half a one occasionally.  They are rich enough to share with a friend but if you know you are going order them in advance as he runs out early. Did I mention that all of his delectable soups are available to go?

Some of my lunchtime favorites.

Vine-ripe Vegetable Panini – $9.95
Balsamic grilled vegetables with fresh mozzarella. Served with freshly-made salad.
Crab Cakes – $12.95
Jumbo Crabcake sandwich with tartar or cocktail sauce and fresh lemon. Can also be served as a salad.
Soup to Go has picture on website
Pesto Chicken Panini – $9.95
Grilled chicken with basil pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.
Golden Fish Tacos – $11.95
Fresh fish with Asian cilantro vinagrette and chili lime cream served with creamy coleslaw, and crisp fries.
Freshly Baked Gourmet Cookies – $1.00

PapaGallo Roasted Vegetable

Breads and Muffins
Cranberry Bread – $1.95
Fruited Muffins and Cinnamon Rolls – $2.10

Interactive Gourmet Culinary Class with Chef Len
Savor the idea of selecting your favorite culinary delicacies from a menu or hors d’oeuvres, entrée and dessert.  Imagine savory aromas wafting throughout the warmth of your home or PapaGallo’s Cucína. Hear music, friends’ laughter and the sounds of corks popping as you celebrate creativity.

PapaGallo Mushroom Prosciuto Asiago

Len’s Custom Gourmet Catering

PapaGallo has always been known for gourmet breakfast and lunch and that quality continues with our gourmet catering. Whether it is a corporate event, birthday party, first communion or a bar/bat mitzvah, you can depend on Chef Len’s custom gourmet catering to make a lasting impression on your guests.
Oh by the way, if you are expecting dinner, you will not get it at PappaGallo's as Len closes at 2:30PM thru the week and 1:30 on Saturdays.  He reserves the rest of the time for family and of course his amazing private catering.  You could get him to cook dinner at your house for family and friends!  Just saying! If you invite me that wouldn't make me mad.
Great parking:
Collier Town Square
1597 Washington Pike
Bridgeville, PA 15017

Hours of Operation

Mon – Fri: 7 AM to 2:30 PM
Sat: 8 AM to 1:30 PM


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Roving Pittsburgher Review, "Salome", Not Just About "The Dance of the Seven Veils."

Reviewed by Good News Reviewer
Clarine Lizana

As the curtain goes up on the Pittsburgh Opera's 2016 presentation of Strauss's " Salome" the audience was immediately drawn in by the exquisite set design of Boyd Ostroff. Creating the illusion of fluidity and change in a one-act Opera is not easy, but between the beautiful bas-relief of the set design and the ever-changing mood reflected in the moon, the stage becomes a vibrant part of the production.

Based on the play by Oscar Wilde, Salome reimagines the biblical story of King Herod, his stepdaughter Salome and John the Baptist - Jochanaan. "Salome" provides one interpretation of why exactly Salome forced Herod to give her John the Baptist’s severed head on a silver platter.

Salome, Op. 54, is an opera in one act by Richard Strauss to a German libretto by the composer, based on Hedwig Lachmann's German translation of the French play Salomé by Oscar Wilde. Strauss dedicated the opera to his friend Sir Edgar Speyer.[1]

Salome is not an opera that needs much help holding the audience's attention, however, steeped as it is in some of the vilest characteristics of the human race lust, incest, and necrophilia. It is truly amazing that the opera was not banned in major cities when originally released because of the notorious dance of the seven veils. Nudity pales in comparison to the desires of the main characters of Herod, Herodias and Salome.

Patricia Racitte's Salome was outstanding, not only for her musical ability, but also for the physicality she brought to the role. When she is on stage she rules the stage and she holds the audience's attention throughout her performance. Her actions seem neither forced nor stilted, but create a moving montage of lust, anger and desire. This was her Pittsburgh debut so we hope to see her again.

“Dance of the Seven Veils” could have been long and painful but was so expertly choreographed by Michele de la Reza of Attack Theatre that it held the audience spellbound.

     Jonathan Boyd as Narraboth and Two-time Grammy winner Nmon Ford as Jochanaan both gave excellent performances. Boyd's voice and diction were exceptionally clear and even off stage Ford's voice was commanding. Robert Brubaker as King Herod had some comical moments despite the tragic them and Michaela Martens is absolutely imperious as Herodias.

Pittsburgh Opera had not performed Salome since 2001, and is performed a different production than the previous.  The production is ‘traditional’- meaning that the sets and costumes make it look like the biblical era in which it takes place.

     Although the story is extremely tragic, the actions and reactions of the characters were often comedic. Overall it was an interesting and pleasurable opera.  It would be a shame to wait another fifteen years to bring it back.  

The Roving Pittsburgher Report is one of sixteen good news segments on the PositivelyPittsburghLive podcast and is one of the good news pages on http://pplmag.com, Pittsburgh's First Internet Radio and TV Network and Pittsburgh's Premiere Podcasting Portal.

Clarine Lizana is a retired electrical engineer who is a former native of Republic, Pa and returned to Pennsylvania after retirement. She was formerly a training director at Crater Lake Electrical. She now lives in Uniontown, Pennsylvania and spends her retirement crafting, visiting family, golfing and travelling, having just returned from a trip to Italy where "La Trviata" of course was

Friday, December 9, 2016

Roving Pittsburgher Report, Krampus Krawl, Alternative Christmas Experience

If you were in Market Square at the Holiday Market on December 5, 2016 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, you may have wondered if you were in a time warp that took you back to Halloween. Unsuspecting visitors to the Market Square Christmas Village were treated to a new kind of holiday experience.  Interspersed among the merry making shoppers and visitors were, creatures that appear to be the antithesis of Christmas.

The Krampus Krawl participants who dress as Krampi wear anything from a mask and set of horns to a full blown goat-man costume. Some of the ladies come as «fauns». The wild creatures make quite an impression as they visit each of the taverns on the often improvised route. 

This was the start of the Third Annual Krampus Crawl in Pittsburgh.  Some horror story enthusiasts may remember the movie "Krampus" released December 4, 2015, by Universal Pictures.[3][4] It's an American Christmas comedy horror film based upon the eponymous character from Germanic folklore, directed by Michael Dougherty and written by Dougherty, Todd Casey and Zach Shields. The film stars Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Conchata Ferrell, Emjay Anthony, Stefania LaVie Owen and Krista Stadler.

In the movie, a boy who has a bad Christmas ends up accidentally summoning a festive demon to his family home.  When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers. All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family's home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive.

Krampusnacht, a European tradition that honors Krampus, a horned "half-goat, half-demon" who is said to punish misbehaved children during the Christmas season, took place in Market Square on December 5.

What is Krampus?
In German-speaking Alpine folklore, Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure. According to traditional narratives around the figure, Krampus punishes children during the Christmas season who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards well-behaved ones with gifts.

Revelers dressed up as Krampus and posed for photos before embarking on the Krampus Krawl, a bar crawl following the old European tradition called "Krampuslauf." According to the event's Facebook page, "the procession often takes on the appearance of a parade, with the hairy beasts performing for onlookers." There was also a balloon artist and the band The Cheer'ly Men performed for onlookers.

Some 100 people showed up for the miscreant revelry for in many cases, was their first glimpse of Krampus, the horned anthropomorphic figure known in Germanic folklore at St. Nicholas’ counterpart.
“Krampus is a hundred year old European holiday that Mark Menhold brought to Pittsburgh.  Mark wore an elaborate Krampus costume at ‘Krampusnacht,’ Pittsburgh’s first-ever Krampus celebration. Mark is also known for his creative work with Pittsburgh’s popular Zombie Fest.

“It’s a little Halloween, a little bit of Christmas.  Santa Claus rewards the good childrenand Krampus punishes the naughty ones. ” Mark was heard to tell onlookers.

Krampusnacht is traditionally celebrated in many European countries on the Eve of St. Nicholas.  This goat like creature is the exact opposite of Santa Claus and Krampusnacht was followed not by milk and cookies but by a “Krampus Crawl,” a pub crawl that made its way to several downtown bars and taverns where patrons were expected to buy Krampus schnapps for the Krampus impersonators. 
Reviewer Buddy Smith dressed as Krumpus

Krampusnacht in Market Square was for the naught and the nice to celebrate the holidays in a unique way and for some children to discover that there is a sidekick of Santa Claus who would not just withhold gifts but would also punish them for bad behavior.  

Joseph Budd Smith III is a Retention Specialist for American Income Life Insurance Company.  American Income Lifeprovides life insurance and supplemental health benefits to working families in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Ireland.  Budd is also an adult gaming enthusiast and a Shakespeare fan.