By Michael “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant It’s Christmastime in the city, and author and playwright David Sedaris reminds us that the season isn’t all comfort and joy in “The Santaland Diaries.” Unemployed stoner David (Shua Potter) has moved to the big city and is in desperate need of employment. Then, right before his money runs… Read more »
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.
Inside dish on interviews, editorials, events listings, musings from the minds of BV’s contributors, viewer mail, and other bits of fabulousness — It all goes into The Shaker, ‘Burgh Vivant’s bacchanalian bulletin board. Saddle up to the bar, and get ready for another round of what’s shakin’!
By Claire DeMarco, ‘Burgh Vivant It’s 1944 in Picatinny, New Jersey and time for the annual production of “A Christmas Carol” at the VFW. However, since most of the men are serving overseas there’s a dearth of men available to play the necessary parts. The Carol Sisters: Lily (Moira Quigley) Rose (Mandie Russak) and Silvia… Read more »
by Michael “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant A group of thirteen-year-old dancers in Liverpool, Ohio give it their all to win a series of dance competitions that will get them to Nationals in Tampa, Florida in Clare Barron’s absurdist play, “Dance Nation.” Side note: Tampa, Florida is the Mecca to this dance troupe. The girls speak… Read more »
By Tiffany Raymond, ‘Burgh Vivant The Pittsburgh Public Theater’s production of “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play” takes place in 1986 at a girls’ boarding school in Ghana. In delving into pecking orders and prettiness rankings, Ghanaian American playwright, Jocelyn Bioh, makes transparent the universal nature of high school mean girls. Paulina (Markia… Read more »
By Claire DeMarco, ‘Burgh Vivant Pretty, perky, pleasantly plump. Tracy Turnblad (Caroline Connell) is a teenager in 1962 Baltimore. Her hair reflects the times – with so much applied hairspray that even a 50 mile-an-hour wind does not move it. She loves to dance and rushes home from high school every day to watch the… Read more »
By Michael “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant On an auspicious night in Miami, the new World Heavyweight Champion, Cassius Clay (Thomas Walter Booker), celebrates his success with his friends; football player Jim Brown (Quincy Chad), spiritual leader and social activist Malcolm X (Avery Glymph) and singer/songwriter Sam Cooke (Dwayne Washington) in “One Night in Miami” by… Read more »
Tiffany Raymond, ‘Burgh Vivant Steven Wilson’s new adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” at the Pittsburgh Playhouse takes risks – and reaps the rewards. Wilson not only wrote the adaptation, but he directs the production. Wilson’s adaptation takes place in World War II-era Italy after the Italians have allied with the U.S. He… Read more »
By Michael “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant Poet, playwright and spy Aphra Behn (Georgia Mendes) welcomes King Charles II (Dylan T. Jackson) into her life and into her bed in “Or,” a play about England’s first female playwright by Liz Duffy Adams. Once the king resumes his throne, after the death of Cromwell, he frees Aphra… Read more »
By Claire DeMarco, ‘Burgh Vivant In the 1950’s in upper state New York the Pazinski’s, a Polish Catholic family, live above Chet’s Bar and Grill, the eponymous establishment run by Chet Pazinski (Steven F. Gallagher). Chet and his wife Ellen (Megan May) have four teenage children, Rudy (Dylan Lawton), Georgie (Ben Meyer), Annie (Delilah Hartlage)… Read more »
By Michael “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant Mr. Arthur Kipps (Martin Giles) hires an Actor (James FitzGerald) to help him tell a frightening story from his past in Stephen Mallatratt’s adaptation of Susan Hill’s Gothic horror novel, “The Woman in Black.” In the prior year, Kipps sequesters himself from his family on Christmas Eve because they… Read more »