Saturday, December 22, 2012

Ho Ho Ho! Holiday Pops 2012



Roving Pittsburgher Review 
Highmark Holiday Pops 2012

By Good News Reporter, Hank Walshak, The Communications Expert for Experts


The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Pittsburgh native, Daniel Meyer, delivered a Christmas, musical tour de force to a packed house on the evening of December 20. Whether you were a fan of classical music or not, you couldn’t help but be wowed by the musical portrait of Christmas he put together for this Highmark Holiday Pops.


25' tree in lobby of Heinz Hall added to festivities.
The program contained something for everyone. Renditions of “O Holy Night,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” and “Silent Night” satisfied one’s traditional, musical taste. Lesser known, but captivating melodies, like “Many Moods of Christmas,” “Lully, Lulla, Lullay,” and “The Wexford Carol” lifted our Christmas spirit with their lilting refrains.


In true, Pittsburgh fashion, we, the audience, got to sing along as our cherished, Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, under the direction of Betsy Burleigh, boomed out the “Hallelujah Chorus” from the “Messiah,” “Joy to the World,” “The First Noel,” and “Deck the Halls.”


And the solo performers—ah, the solo performers—they left nothing to be desired. Their artistry rang Christmas bells in each of our hearts


Rachel DeShon
Christopher Sanders, the renowned baritone, played Santa Claus, who spoke, “Ho, ho, ho,” as he strode among us, and spoke in hushed tones with children in the audience. His softer expressions belied his booming, on-stage renditions of “Here Comes Santa Claus” and “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” reminiscent of Burl Ives.” One could easily image Christopher’s vocal strength and eloquence leading legions into battle.


The sonorous sounds of Grammy nominated violinist, Jenny Oaks Baker, breathed new life into the “Carol of the Bells” with the Mendelsohn Choir of Pittsburgh, “Ding Don Merrily on High” and “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” She moved through nuances, glissandos, and arpeggios in a way that truly distinguished her playing from other violin impresarios.


Rachel DeShon, 2001 winner of Marvin Hamlisch’s “Search for a Star,” redefined the art of the soprano this evening. Her timbre and animation set her apart as she gave voice to the timeless favorites, “Christmas Eve in My Home Town,” O Holy Night,” and “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”


A Highmark Holiday Pops just wouldn’t be the same without Rick Manning, Pittsburgh native and detective with the Allegheny County Sheriff’s office. He paid homage to our Christmas tradition with his animated interpretation of “Christmas Magic.” Hearing him just this once, made me yearn to hear his rendition of “Danny Boy.”


To cap off the program, he joined the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh in singing the seasonal favorite, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”


All in all, this Highmark Holiday Pops by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Mendellssohn
Choir of Pittsburgh, and these virtuoso soloists defined the standard of Christmas musical
expression for years to come. What better legacy to leave in memory of our beloved Principal
Pops Conductor, Marvin Hamlisch.


What a joy to have attended this endearing, musical event.

              Hank Walshak
              Communications Expert for Experts
               Be read. Be heard. Be seen. 
                Walshak Communications, Inc.

               412-831-3023
               hankwalshak@verizon.net
               www.hankwalshak.com


Monday, December 17, 2012

Multimedia, Multicultural Christmas with Mannheim Steamroller


Roving Pittsburgher Review 

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

by Good News Reporter, Joanne Quinn-Smith aka TechnoGranny



If you were a first timer showing up at the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Concert at the Benedum Center on December 11 or 12 looking for traditional Christmas Carols played by an orchestra, well you got a pleasant surprise.  This was like no other concert I have ever been to.  Just the level of talent and diversity of instruments of each member of the group was truly inspirational. 
The multimedia presentation behind the music was revolutionary in its ability to keep the audience’s mind planted solely on the theme for each rendition.  The comments after the show on the way out were, “Where were all of those sounds coming from?”   I mean the wind instrument echoed a choir and it was a bit confusing when you didn’t see one on stage or on the screen behind it. We sat in a row with a young couple who had five girls with them aging from 6 to 11 and they were as spellbound as the adults.


With 19 gold, 8 multi platinum and 4 platinum albums it is easy to see why they are the number one Christmas artists in the world.  Their music is not only multigenerational but multicultural.  The combination of renaissance instruments with rock and roll is nothing short of genius.  With the entire holiday whirl I was considering not attending when my 30 year old son told me that it was Rock n Roll Christmas and I would thank him for convincing to take my tired 63 year old body to the concert.  Yes, thank you, thank you, Buddy.  It was more than Rock n Roll Christmas it was a heavenly, inspirational combination of sights and sounds not long to be forgotten.  Audience members told me that seeing Mannheim Steamroller has become a family tradition.


There are no words in English or any other language to capture not so much the performance but the audience experience.  But these come to mind, Bravissimo!  Ersten Klasse!  Prima! And Ecnore!  Both the performance and the experience left the audience wanting more.  It was also a nice touch that the orchestra members were available for a meet and great additional audience experience for interaction and autographs after the show.  Manheim Steamroller is truly the people’s Christmas orchestra—all of the people.


N.B. The Roving Pittsburgher Report are reviews of events around the city of Pittsburgh by average people in theaudience from various walks of life, not professional reviewers but semiprofessional attendees.  Good news reporters who are tourists in their hometown.


Radio Host and Serial Blogger, Joanne Quinn-Smith is the host of PositivelyPittsburghLive™ Internet Talkcast and TechnoGrannyShow™  On her shows, Joanne has interviewed over 1800 guests.  As an advocate for small Business, she was awarded the National Small Business Administration Journalist of the Year Award.  She is also the publisher of PositivelyPittsburghLiveMagazine.com which is a 2010 National Stevie Award finalist for best Media Website or Blog. PPL Mag features the GOOD NEWS, about Pittsburgh  and is  Pittsburgh’s First internet radio and TV network. PPL Mag attracted 2.25 million visitors last year.  Her radio network has accumulated over one million listeners. The Creative Energy Officer of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates, Joanne also teaches her online media platform building to small businesses in a client personalized, “Web2.0 Gorilla Branding Training™”.  Connect with Joanne at:  http://joannequinnsmith.com

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Nutcracker, More than Just a Ballet, a Pittsburgh Tradition


A Fashion Show for Little Girls and Night Out for the Family

Review of The Nutcracker Ballet

by Good News Reporter, Joanne Quinn-Smith

Sugar plum fairies, toys coming to life, magicians, a man walking on stilts, oh my!  What a fantasy performance is The Nutcracker for both children and adults.  This was my four year old granddaughter’s second year to see it but it was the sixty something previous date who suggested we should go ahead.  If the truth were to be known he knows all the songs and starts to hum them as soon as they begin.  What a family tradition if you haven’t started it, START NOW.


There is pageantry not just in the many bedazzled and colorful costumes and performances on stage but it is a veritable fashion show of little girls dressed up in their sequined, satin and studded Christmas dresses with bows and patent leather shoes and delightful jewelry and a small tiara here and there.
The Nutcracker performed by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre never ceases to amaze me at its ability to capture and keep the attention for the duration of toddlers, middle schoolers, teens, young adults, couples and yes, Senior citizens.  But if you think it’s just for children, think again.  The Nutcracker Ballet is one of the most romantic Christmas traditions right up there with the movie, “It’s a Wonderful World.”  


A timeless classic with toys coming to life and multiple ethnic dances and superlative scenery and costuming, it is a buffet of interesting sights and sounds and yes smells too.  It’s a nice touch to walk into the theatre to the aroma of roasted almonds, pecans and cashews.
And the opulent setting of the Benedum, well it’s both child and adult and senior princesses’ idea of romance, glamour and the elegance of days gone by.   Great family night, great date night!  Dad’s you will be a hero for buying the tickets and escorting all of your princesses.  Mom’s you will be the Queen for suggesting it.


My favorite scenes are the ethnic dances, Pas de Caractère (A dance that is nonclassical, a character dance, national or folk dance.)   The Arabic and the Chines fire dragon and Cossacks are my absolute favorites.  And the score, well it gives Tchaikovsky a chance to continue just a bit of his robust war sounds in the battle with the Mouse King while tripping through also winter wonderland scenes and fairies dancing and romantic interlude.   Also Zack Brown has outdone himself with Costumes and Scenery. 


Did you know about the Pittsburgh Connection?



It is Christmas Eve in the early years of the 20th century at the Stahlbaum home in Shadyside.  On the Street outside, Godfather Drosselmeyer and his Nephew unload mysterious packages from their carriage.  This is a house that actually existed in Shadyside at the turn of the twentieth Century. 
Also the Pittsburgh Ballet is to be commended for its use of younger local talent to fill the many small roles in the Nutcracker.  I especially liked and so did my granddaughter, the tiny bumble bees that shook their tales in the finale. 
As the last scene ended my 4 year old granddaughter put two thumbs up and said, “A big thumbs up for The Nutcracker.”



Always worth far more than the price of admission:
Performances still available:

*Friday, December 14, at 7 PM
Saturday, December 15, at 2 PM
Saturday, December 15, at 7 PM
Sunday, December 16, at 12 PM
Sunday, December 16, at 4:30 PM
Thursday, December 20, at 7 PM
Friday, December 21, at 7 PM
Saturday, December 22, at 2 PM
Saturday, December 22, at 7 PM
Sunday, December 23, at 12 PM
Sunday, December 23, at 4:30 PM
Friday, December 28, at 7 PM - Best Availability
Saturday, December 29, at 2 PM - Best Availability
Saturday, December 29, at 7 PM - Best Availability
Sunday, December 30, at 12 PM - Best Availability
Purchase tickets:
http://pbt.culturaldistrict.org/production/31961/nutcracker


Radio Host and Serial Blogger, Joanne Quinn-Smith is the host of PositivelyPittsburghLive™ Internet Talkcast and TechnoGrannyShow™  On her shows, Joanne has interviewed over 1800 guests.  As an advocate for small Business, she was awarded the National Small Business Administration Journalist of the Year Award.  She is also the publisher of PositivelyPittsburghLiveMagazine.com which is a 2010 National Stevie Award finalist for best Media Website or Blog. PPL Mag features the GOOD NEWS, about Pittsburgh  and is  Pittsburgh’s First internet radio and TV network. PPL Mag attracted 2.25 million visitors last year.  Her radio network has accumulated over one million listeners. The Creative Energy Officer of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates, Joanne also teaches her online media platform building to small businesses in a client personalized, “Web2.0 Gorilla Branding Training™”.  Connect with Joanne at:  http://joannequinnsmith.com

Roving Pittsburgher Theatre Review for Shatner Geeks


Shatner's World, We Just Live in It

Review of a Legendary Raconteur

by Good News Reporter, Joanne Quinn-Smith


Even if you are not as one of my associates said to me on an encounter on way out of the theatre, “a Shatner Geek, “you at least have seen him on the Priceline Commercials as the Negotiator.  It is obvious in Shatner’s World: We Just Live in It that he has navigated life with as much gusto as he navigates these commercials.  .  In his show he describes his life growing up in Montreal and reflects on his many acting roles using an assortment of photos and video clips.   He tells many memorable stories and talks a great deal about the affect his role in Star Trek had on his life and career.  His presentation runs a gamut of theatrical talents from corny vaudeville jokes to theatrical pathos and laugh out loud slapstick.  His only prop, “his co-chair” he wields a rolling office chair to wend his way through an interesting life story.  A multi-media presentation with music and video and Star Trek Sound Bites make the show both fast paced and believable truly drawing you into the world of William Shatner.

Through anecdotes, songs, jokes and even some poignant moments, you will experience William Shatner’s phenomenal path from classically trained Shakespearean actor to cultural icon, brilliantly creating the larger-than-life and most important character he has ever played, William Shatner.

Long the butt of many late night talk show jokes, the man is an icon (after all you have to be a success to be fodder for late night comics) Shatner is the first to laugh at himself.  You cannot help but be tickled out loud at the tale of his hilarious encounter with the famous sign language speaking gorilla Koko.  And PETA would be impressed by his empathy for his Saddlebred horse’s experience with “stud service” which is not as glamorous or comfortable as us laymen might think.  But on the brink of sadness at this tale he raced us back to the top of his brilliant humor.

Shatner's World was presented by Cohen and Grigsby Trust Series at the Benedum Center on November 29, 2012.  My thirty year old son and I attended and we are former Star Trek geeks of the Klingon genre still we have a soft spot for the original Star Trek Series Stars.  After all who can discount cultural icons like Spock and Captain Kirk?  Also this is probably the only time I could get my thirty year old son to go a date with his 63 year old mother.


Star Trek fans are serious about the genre of science fiction.  Some fans paid $185.00 for a VIP Ticket
for the ultimate Shatner's World VIP Experience


Package Included:
·         Seat in First 6 Rows
·         Post-show meet and greet with William Shatner
·         Photo opportunity with William Shatner
·         Show poster personally autographed by William Shatner


Friends of ours told us they tried to get the package but it sold out quickly, so Shatner fans who were disappointed, at not getting to visit with him up close and personal, you just have to be quicker next time.


The last lines of the show program are:  “…and no there is nothing this man does not do.”  Well you can imagine that William Shatner wrote his own bio because In Shatner’s World… he truly proves to be a Titan of nature and delivers a spectacular “laugh out loud” performance proving he will go down in theatrical history as a legendary raconteur.

Radio Host and Serial Blogger, Joanne Quinn-Smith is the host of PositivelyPittsburghLive™ Internet Talkcast and TechnoGrannyShow™  On her shows, Joanne has interviewed over 1800 guests.  As an advocate for small Business, she was awarded the National Small Business Administration Journalist of the Year Award.  She is also the publisher of PositivelyPittsburghLiveMagazine.com which is a 2010 National Stevie Award finalist for best Media Website or Blog. PPL Mag features the GOOD NEWS, about Pittsburgh  and is  Pittsburgh’s First internet radio and TV network. PPL Mag attracted 2.25 million visitors last year.  Her radio network has accumulated over one million listeners. The Creative Energy Officer of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates, Joanne also teaches her online media platform building to small businesses in a client personalized, “Web2.0 Gorilla Branding Training™”.  Connect with Joanne at:  http://joannequinnsmith.com

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Shakespeare Meets the Stooges in The School for Lies


Shakespeare Meets the Stooges in The School for Lies


The Pittsburgh and Irish Classical Theatre’s production of David Ives’ “School for Lies” melds the elegance of language with the comedic tour de force of slapstick.  Ives renders Molière’s original dialogue in over the top rhyme, blending contemporary themes with 17th Century cultural ennui.

PICT’s production, mixing the classy and the crass in somewhat balanced proportions, stars Leo Marks as Molière’s truth-telling society hater, Frank. An unlikely name for a Frenchman of 1666, true, but Ives takes lavish liberties with his model. He adds farcical fanfare to “The Misanthrope” plot and blends generous helpings of current vulgarity into verse that mimics the simpering style of the Paris salon aristocrats.

Leo Marks and Nike Doukas as Frank and Celimene
  
Satire and scatological humor pair seamlessly in the witty and sometimes barbed verse.  The audience was left with the challenge of keeping up with the fast-paced socio-economic commentary when it switches from the present-day to the French classic and then back again.  Among the horrors Frank cannot abide are the hordes of the overweight in flip-flops blocking sidewalks: “Each one upholding our most sacred law:/The people’s right to suck a soda straw.”


The salon of Celimene (Nike Doukas) is the setting, with all the sumptuousness and excess that marked that era of French history.  The glittering crystal, silks, satin and lace evoke a time of majesty rivaled only by the backstabbing duplicity of court-wannabees and where the word play presented “gossip” as “reporting”…perhaps a touch of “Entertainment Tonight” or “Access Hollywood”?

Celimine with her admirers

Celimine (Nike Doukas) and Arsinoe  (Helena Ruoti)
Celimene plays to the crowd of anxious suitors with stinging impersonations of a sleazy lawyer in rap and an acquaintance/rival who channels the best of valley girl affectations – please, no more use of the word ‘like’!

Frank, his name a play on a synonym for candor, cannot stand the hypocrisy that surrounds him.  He initially scorns Celimene but when she mistakenly believes he has influence at court to assist her with her impending suit, she elects to turn her feminine wiles on full blast to make him yet another convert.  He quickly becomes enraptured, joining the other sycophants scattered at her feet.  Eliante (Robin Abramson), Celimine’s ingénue cousin ignores Frank’s friend and apologist Philinte (Joel Ripka) and literally throws herself at Frank.  At the same time, the devious Arsinoe (Helena Ruoti), while scheming to destroy Celimine’s reputation, finds herself entranced with the aloof Frank.

Mr. Ives descends a few notches below the comic refinement that Molière achieved in “The Misanthrope,” which is considered the ‘pinnacle of his art for the nuance of its portraiture and the sharpness of its satire’. In its more base characters and emphasis on lewd sexual humor, “The School for Lies” often evokes the bawdy bent of British comic playwrights influenced by Molière rather than the French master himself.

With a nod to Shakespeare’s comedies as inspiration, Ives employs the running joke regarding a man in drag as a focus on the bard’s tried and true disguise and revelation technique to bring the play to culmination.  The slapstick element, with the plate of canapés being repeatedly tossed in the air and the long suffering Dubois setting about to clean up, did get to be a tad tedious, although one member of the audience continued to murmur “ahhhhh” in sympathy every time, while the rest of us seemed to feel enough was enough.

The PICT ensemble cast did a terrific job with the complicated dialogue, demonstrating even on opening night the consummate professionalism of the troupe. The School for Lies runs through December 15th at The Charity Randall Theatre, Stephen Foster Memorial, University of Pittsburgh.

THE SCHOOL FOR LIES
By David Ives, based on Molière’s “Misanthrope”
Directed by Andrew S. Paul
Leo Marks as Frank
Nike Doukas as Celimine
Joel Ripka as Philinte
Robin Abramson as Eliante
Helen Ruoti as Arsinoe
Martin Giles as Oronte
James FitzGerald as Acaste
Matt DeCaro as Dubois/Basque

Reviewed by Joyce Kane on behalf of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates.  Joyce Kane is the owner of Cybertary Pittsburgh, a Virtual Administrative support company, providing virtual office support, personal and executive assistance, creative design services and light bookkeeping.  Cybertary works with businesses and busy individuals to help them work 'on' their business rather than 'in' their business.  www.Cybertary.com/Pittsburgh

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Visions of Sugar Plum Fairies and Pointsettias




Poinsettias and Pointe Shoes

by Good News Reporter
Joanne Quinn-Smith

Poinsettias & Pointe Shoes Friday, November 30, 2012  was designed by the Pittsburgh Ballet and Phipps Conservatory to both delight and warm the hearts of visitors.  Both organizations outdid themselves.  There was  stuff for the whole family.  A preview of the ballet left no doubt that attendees would continue their tradition of attending the Nutcracker. Also the combination of the ballet show and being able to wonder the rooms of the Botanical Gardens-----------------show just made perfect sense.  The magic of a traditional ballet and the 1893 glasshouse enveloped visitors in a Christmas wonderland.


The sentinel at the entry of the show was a Victorian hearth and the sampling of the Nutcracker included the Sugarplum Pas de Deux from the PBT’s annual performance of Terrence S. Orr’s The Nutcracker.  This classic by Tchaikovsky has become a holiday tradition around the world since its premier in Russia in 1892, coincidentally one year before Henry Phipps opened his conservatory in Pittsburgh. 

Strolling through the  
Winter Flower Show & Winter Light Garden  With seasonal blooms, twinkling lights, aromatic greens and other adornments, really made one feel like you were “coming home for the holidays.” In addition to the annual winter delights a brand new outdoor Winter Light Garden exhibit will shine nightly with scores of whimsical LED light forms.


With more days gone by nostalgia, there is a Garden Railroad in the South Conservatory.  An elaborate model train display chugs through miniature living landscapes sprinkled with groundcover, sedums and other low-growing plants. This year, Phipps takes us back on a trip in time to 1893 to celebrate the debut of Phipps Conservatory and its connection with the World’s Fair.

Of course viewing the Winter Flower Show at night - a time when glowing candles light the walkways and live music filed the air, made the  experience even more magical.  There are more than 30 varieties of poinsettias along with paper whites and amaryllis — even though awe inspiring they aren’t the only features that shout Christmas.

The theme of this year’s show, “Come Home for the Holidays,” plays out in warm, homey touches that Phipps officials hope will give visitors that fuzzy, sentimental feeling of the holidays. A large Victorian dollhouse, handmade by Phipps volunteers, stands in the Welcome Center. A Victorian-style hearth, complete with a faux-flickering fire, greets visitors in the Palm Court. In the nearby Serpentine Room, doors salvaged from Construction Junction stand along the windy path, with wreaths hanging on the doors.  This is a smorgasbord of visual treats and something for everyone including the old fashioned market where children can play at shopping and period trees decorated for the 1893 era. 
What a novel idea to put the romance of the Nutcracker to a backdrop of the visual romance of Phipps 1893 Glasshouse.  It is a little girl’s dream and a big girl’s fantasy.  As the carol says:  “for kids from 1 to 92,”  Phipps wishes a Merry Christmas to you.  Moms and dads you will revel in the delight on children’s faces as they wonder through flowers and Christmas trees and Santa Claus displays.  Significant others, well just take a look at the cozy couple in the foyer in our final picture.  A picture is worth a thousand words.  Peruse ours and you will get the idea that you should “Come home to Phipps for the holidays on your way to The Nutcracker by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. This just could be the most perfect romantic or family evening out.  Visions of Sugar Plum Fairies and Victorian Christmases will dance in your head for many seasons to come.
The Winter Garden exhibit will be open until 10 p.m. daily from Nov. 23-Jan.6. Learn More  
Nutcracker will play at the Benedum from December 7 thru 30th  http://www.pbt.org/performances/nutcracker


Radio Host and Serial Blogger, Joanne Quinn-Smith is the host of PositivelyPittsburghLive™ Internet Talkcast and TechnoGrannyShow™  On her shows, Joanne has interviewed over 1800 guests.  As an advocate for small Business, she was awarded the National Small Business Administration Journalist of the Year Award.  She is also the publisher of PositivelyPittsburghLiveMagazine.com which is a 2010 National Stevie Award finalist for best Media Website or Blog. PPL Mag features the GOOD NEWS, about Pittsburgh  and is  Pittsburgh’s First internet radio and TV network. PPL Mag attracted 2.25 million visitors last year.  Her radio network has accumulated over one million listeners. The Creative Energy Officer of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates, Joanne also teaches her online media platform building to small businesses in a client personalized, “Web2.0 Gorilla Branding Training™”.  Connect with Joanne at:  http://joannequinnsmith.com

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

And the Angels Sang--Celtic Woman


And the Angels Sang!
Celtic Woman 
"A Christmas Celebration--The Symphony Tour"
by Roving Pittsburgher Zineb Outnouna


Celtic Woman “A Christmas Celebration--the Symphony Tour” was simply amazing. The concert was incredible. The presentation from the lighting to the sound to the instrumentation was flawless. This was beyond what I had hoped to experience.

The concert, as expected, was a collection of popular Christmas carols; but even though I had heard those thousands of times before, the angelic voices of Chloe, Lisa and Susan, accompanied by the sheer talent of Mairead breathed a new life in each song, and gave it a complete new dimension. Their performance of 
‘‘O Holy Night'' ended the first half of the show bringing the house down. In the second half, these amazing singers continued to stir our deepest emotions thanks to songs like “You Raise Me Up”, "Danny Boy” and of course the magical “Ave Maria”, which was absolutely breathtaking and won Chloe a sincere standing ovation.

The evening was PERFECT! Watching these ladies on PBS is nothing compared to watching them perform live. Their unbridled passion for singing is as captivating as it is powerful.
I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to enjoy such magnificent show, and would recommend it to anyone who has ever wondered about how angels might sound like.  

There are still some great seats available for tonight's performance, December 4, 2012 starting at 7:30 PM.

Celtic Woman is performing tonight at Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave in Downtown Pittsburgh,  For tickets: www.pittsburghsymphony.org/ 

If you cannot make it tonight, all is not lost, the ladies announced from the stage that they would return to Pittsburgh in June of 2013,


Zineb Outnouna
CEO and Founder
412-537-1525
Atlas Dreams Languages, LLC teaches foreign languages to clients of all ages and educational background. Whether it is for pleasure or business, ADL helps you become fluent in the foreign language of your choice. We tailor the content of the lessons to fit your purpose and skill level. For your convenience, we offer flexible hours and meeting locations.  



Monday, December 3, 2012

Move Over Disney, Fun is Coming to Pittsburgh, Latitude 40


Move over Kennywood, Dave and Buster’s, Chuck E. Cheese, there is a Man/Woman /Kid’s Cave with classy accoutrements right in Robinson Township.   I was fortunate to be at the VIP Grand Preview Party  and I will tell you the management knows how to throw a party.

The entrance is like being welcomed to Oz!
The layout of the building is grandiose and everywhere you look there is some new amenity.  The staff is well trained and unbelievably congenial.  My guest and I were greeted at the door and welcomed.   We were also thanked on the way out for coming.   Latitude 40 truly is “the future of restaurant/entertainment centers.  At 65,000 square feet and two floors.”

 You walk in to an expansive foyer type area next to the downstairs bar with a welcoming staircase to take you to the mezzanine and a bar restaurant on the left.  We opted for the elevator to the second floor and were not disappointed.

There were food stations everywhere so that we could find our  favorites on the upcoming menu.   And we found several.   We tried the Boom Boom Shrimp which is batter fried and dipped into the amazing SECRET Boom Boom sauce.  The prime rib right off the roast was probably the finest, tenderest and perfectly done we have ever tasted.  We were able to try the Lai Thai Tude Pasta and the Spicy Penne Pasta, both delectable.
 
While we did not try them we saw the availability of hand stretched and tossed oven fired pizzas done right in front of you, what a touch!


You never had such luxury bowling or hanging out while others bowl!
I could not believe that the service could be consistently that great so I went back on the media day to try out lunch in the downstairs bar restaurant.   This Axis bar menu is available also in the bowling alleys.  Imagine luxury bowling right next to a band and dance floor with a delightfully clad waitress to bring you your drinks.  Also Dine in Movies, what luxury!  This is planned for February along with outdoor patios coming later in the year.  I was personally fascinated by the media room on the mezzanine.  This controls what is played on the multiple large screen TV’s over the bowling alleys and at various venues around the complex.  And six luxury bowling alleys, this place is going to be too much fun.

Oh and I forgot to mention the games!  Just too much to see and do!
So  on my return (I couldn’t believe the service would be continually that great)  I had the Tomato Bisque Soup with julienned basil.  Yum!  Also had the Blackened Ahi rare tuna rolled in sesame and , “sliced and served atop mixed greens tossed in balsamic vinaigrette with chopped roasted red peppers and sundried tomatoes.   Finished with a drizzle of wasabi sour cream and goat cheese.”  Hey this very descriptive menu does not lie.  And the service was just as excellent and congenial on my return visit.  I was late because of covering another event and most of the media was long gone, still the service was carried out exceptionally by the Latitude 40 highly trained and congenial staff.
I would say this is a wonderland for the entire family right in Robinson.  Try it out for a date night, singles night or family night.  No matter what your pleasure you will not be disappointed.

Additional information at:  http:// http://latitude40pitt.com/

Thank you Brent Brown,  native of Robinson and 1987 Graduate of Montour High School for bringing such fun to the Pittsburgh Area.

Radio Host and Serial Blogger, Joanne Quinn-Smith is the host of PositivelyPittsburghLive™ Internet Talkcast and TechnoGrannyShow™  On her shows, Joanne has interviewed over 1800 guests.  As an advocate for small Business, she was awarded the National Small Business Administration Journalist of the Year Award.  She is also the publisher of PositivelyPittsburghLiveMagazine.com which is a 2010 National Stevie Award finalist for best Media Website or Blog. PPL Mag features the GOOD NEWS, about Pittsburgh  and is  Pittsburgh’s First internet radio and TV network. PPL Mag attracted 2.25 million visitors last year.  Her radio network has accumulated over one million listeners. The Creative Energy Officer of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates, Joanne also teaches her online media platform building to small businesses in a client personalized, “Web2.0 Gorilla Branding Training™”.  Connect with Joanne at:  http://joannequinnsmith.com

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pittsburgh Symphony Orcestra, Thriller with Music of Michael Jackson



Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, 

A THRILLER with The Music of Michael Jackson

by Jenn Carr, Roving Pittsburgher Reviewer

On a chilly November evening, I attended the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, The Music of Michael Jackson at Heinz Hall with my son, Noah.  We were both interested to see how the symphony would interact with the King of Pop’s extensive collection of decade-spanning music. 

What a pleasant surprise!!  The Symphony was integrated with a professional troupe of vocalists, electric guitar, bass, keyboards and drum kit.  The solo vocalist was an energetic young man, Jason Delisco who paid homage to the enigmatic MJ without trying to be an impersonation of the man.  He was entertaining and engaging telling stories of how the music influenced him and other musicians.


The audience had come ready to fully enjoy the musical influences of Michael Jackson.  It was demonstrated in the whoops and hollers MJ-style throughout the evening.  Showing a great influence across people of all ages, there were many young children and teens dressed in the “Beat It” signature jacket, sequined gloves and sleek fedoras.  It was not a wasted effort to show your MJ influence as Delisco brought children up on stage to display their best dance moves.  It was not the ominous effects of Wagner or the crystallized delights of Tchaikovsky however; it was a wonderful evening of reminiscing across the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s of one man’s tremendous talents.

 


Jenn Carr, Your Credit Mechanic.com, the maven of credit repair and education can help you raise your credit scores an average of 50-100 points with her “90 Day Credit Makeover”.

Halloween Night Stomp



“STOMP” left us speechless and wanting more. . .
by Jenn Carr, Roving Pittsburgher Reporter



                                                                    
What a great way to spend a cold, rainy evening in Pittsburgh…in fact, what an awesome way to spend any type of evening.  My 12 year old son and I saw the production of STOMP.  We went to the show with the expectation that we were about to see a lot of drumming and banging on stuff.  


Immensely entertaining!! We were intrigued, amused, and downright flabbergasted by the entire performance.
The show starts so quietly with a lone, spiky-haired, muscular man pushing a broom, in a spotlight.  The man begins a tapping out a rhythm with the broom, his feet scratching and tapping along the stage floor.  Slowly he is joined by other members of the troupe, pushing brooms, scratching the floor, flipping brooms upside down to rhythmically tap the floor. It becomes a choreographed chaos of movement across the full stage.  You don’t know where to watch first. Performers cross in front of each other as they hand off their broom to another person. It was watching a very complex juggling act.


A parade of fantastical situations are brought to the stage from kitchen sinks, inner tubes, scaffolding, and a fantastic cigarette lighter sequence.


From off-stage 4 guys walk out carrying what looks like a drum kit.  However, it turns be out to be different size stainless steel kitchen sinks hanging from chains around their necks. It is hard to even imagine how kitchen sinks, rubber gloves and water can become a composition of rhythm and musicality. 
As the lights come up, the performers are bouncing in synch on large, truck inner tubes.  The squeak of the rubber against the floor is the foundation for this next composition.  Then, they start drumming on the tube and reaching across to tap sticks with their performing neighbors.  Unbelievably inventive!!


As if we were not already in awe at the creativity of the show, the complete cast lines up in the dark across the front of the stage.  Soon we realize, in each hand, they are holding old-fashioned cigarette lighters.  Click and swish, we understand the display and music will be created as they flick open the lids, spin the lighter wheel, ignite a flame and slam the lid closed.  However, the audience starts to understand the visual sequencing as flames appear and disappear in syncopation with the rhythm
The normal person does not look at brown paper bags, tire rims and rubber piping and imagine a concerto.  The skills of the performers and the talent of the producers shine brilliantly from beginning to end.


You walk out of the concert hall with a better appreciation for ordinary, even mundane pieces of our everyday can bring music to life.  The only bad point of the whole evening is walking out of the concert hall with a 12 year old boy tapping and banging on everything in arm’s reach.


Jenn Carr, “Your Credit Mechanic”
                                                                                                      
“Let us help you get back on the road to better credit”