The Vivant Vault

Welcome to the ‘Burgh Vivant archives. Here you can scroll through years of features and commentary on Pittsburgh arts & culture. Or search by keyword for segments on a particular company, organization, artist, restaurant, event, or performance.

Review: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, PICT Classic Theatre

Tiffany Raymond, ‘Burgh Vivant.   Alan Stanford both adapts and directs Pittsburgh’s Classic Theatre’s production of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” While I’ve seen “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” many times, it’s always in the summer and almost invariably performed outdoors, given the play is primarily set in the forest outside of Athens. Even the title… Read more »

Jarring Revelation: a review of APPROPRIATE, University of Pittsburgh Stages

Claire DeMarco, ‘Burgh Vivant.   Three siblings are mad, sad and definitely not glad to be back home at their old homestead.  They’ve returned to their roots after the recent death of their father and patriarch of the family to distribute, divvy up, claim and settle his estate. Antoinette “Toni” Lafayette (Kelly Trumbull) is a former… Read more »

There’s No Business Like Show Business – a review of “The Book of Merman”

By Michael “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant Leo Schwartz and DC Cathro’s “Book of Merman” is a high concept idea. Take the “Book of Mormon” and add Ethel Merman. It’s simple! You know you’re getting a cross between “The Book of Merman” and “Annie Get Your Gun.” In this show, the two Mormon missionaries, Elder Braithewaite… Read more »

Man-eater – a review of “Little Shop of Horrors”

by Michael “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant The Skid Row Urchins, Crystal (Tavia Rivee), Ronnette (Melessie Clark) and Chiffon (Abigail Stephenson), the ever present and ever harmonious chorus, warns us that strange things are about to happen in Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s “Little Shop of Horrors.” Things get strange right away. Schlubby Seymour (Philippe Arroyo)… Read more »

It Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does – A review of “The C-Word”

By Claire DeMarco, ‘Burgh Vivant Mental illness and suicide are very serious subjects but injecting dark humor into the conversation often allows one to avoid coming face to face with those issues.  Conversation about these concerns are presented in the world premiere of “The C-Word” by Olivia LeSuer. College-age Grace (Audrey Nigh) has recently come… Read more »

Forgotten Things, Buried Deep – a review of “Downstairs”

By Michael “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant Basements, like memories, hold a lot of forgotten things, buried deep. This is especially true in Theresa Rebeck’s darkly comic “Downstairs.” Irene (Helena Ruoti) has graciously let her brother, Teddy (Martin Giles), camp out in the basement over her suburban home, much to the chagrin of her husband Jerry… Read more »

The Dickens you say – a review of “A Christmas Carol”

Tiffany Raymond, ‘Burgh Vivant The Theatre Factory breathes life back into “A Christmas Carol” by choosing a 2012 adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic by Patrick Barlow. Barlow thoughtfully reduces the cast. His reimagined version is limited to Scrooge plus an ensemble of five who plug and play into a range of roles. The essence of… Read more »

A Cap and Cheese Christmas – A review of “Yinzer Yuletide: Pittsburgh Lights and Legends”

By Michael “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant Take an old-fashioned Perry Como Christmas special, replace the Canonsburg native with WQED’s Rick Sebak and set the whole thing in Pittsburgh and you have, “Yinzer Yuletide: Pittsburgh Lights and Legends.” “Yinzer Yuletide: Pittsburgh Lights and Legends,” like those Perry Como Christmas specials of yore, have special guest stars… Read more »