The Vivant Vault

The Shaker

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’!

Merry & Gay – a review of “The Santaland Diaries”

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 Politics of Colorism – a review of “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play”

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 »

A Change is Gonna Come – a review of “One Night in Miami”

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 »

Youth is full of sport – a review of “Much Ado About Nothing”

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 »

We’ll Have Nun of That – A review of “Over the Tavern”

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 »

Dark Lady – a review of “The Woman in Black”

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 »