Inaugural Pittsburgh Brew ’N Chew Brings Beer Flights and Big Bites to Monroeville Convention Center

 The Shaker

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – There’s a new beer festival on tap for the greater Pittsburgh region, and this one’s got bite. As beerfest buzz continues to bubble across our great city, GoodTaste! Pittsburgh is giving its famed food-show reputation a new twist with the introduction of its first-ever Pittsburgh Brew ‘N Chew, sponsored in part by the Monroeville Convention Center.

The inaugural event, taking place January 11, 2014, at the Monroeville Convention Center, will offer attendees a selection of libations from brewers both big and small, alongside a wide range of food pairings from several local eateries. Not your ordinary beerfest, the Pittsburgh Brew ‘N Chew will also give attendees a chance to work up an appetite or enjoy the sweet taste of victory at a number of interactive stations. Whether it’s darts, pool, bowling or simply taking in the sights, sounds and smells while lounging at golf’s 19th hole, attendees will have the opportunity to eat, drink and be merry throughout the day.

“The Pittsburgh Brew ‘N Chew is a new take on the modern beerfest,” said event organizer and President of GoodTaste! Pittsburgh, Dee Weinberg. “We’re taking an interactive approach by offering more than just beer and food. Visitors will be able to take part in games, learn tailgating tips and tricks and listen to live music from popular Pittsburgh bands. And, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and Give Kids the World, visitors can feel good knowing that their participation is helping make a difference in the community.”

To learn more about the inaugural Brew ‘N Chew event, purchase tickets or find out how you can become a sponsor, please visit


About GoodTaste! Pittsburgh

GoodTaste! Pittsburgh is Western Pennsylvania’s largest food and cooking extravaganza, dishing up events that showcase food and spirits as an entertaining, exciting and engaging experience. Our plate is full with large one-day shows that feature national and local chefs; corporate events for clients and employees; food events and shows with stellar regional partners like the Heinz History Center; and workshops for foodies.



Save a snowball now and name your own price on June 21st at Carnegie Science Center

The Shaker


Visitors Can Choose the Amount They Wish To Pay on the Summer Solstice  by Bringing in a Preserved Snowball
PITTSBURGH, Jan. 3, 2014 — Carnegie Science Center is offering a unique opportunity to capture a bit of this week’s snowfall now, preserve it for a few months, then bring it in—and celebrate the Summer Solstice with a special “Name Your Own Price” Day.

All visitors who make a snowball this winter, save it in their freezer, and bring it in on the first day of summer, Saturday, June 21, will be able to choose what they pay for general admission.

In addition to naming their own price, every person who brings a snowball to the Science Center will be able to launch it into the Ohio River (weather permitting).

In past years, hundreds of snowballs survived the winter and spring in freezers throughout the region and made their way to the Science Center—in coolers, freezer bags, frosty coffee cans, and plastic storage containers.

The Science Center invites visitors of all ages to start stockpiling snowballs now and remember these snowy facts:

  • Snow forms from tiny crystals in clouds. Snow is not frozen rain; that’s called sleet.
  • Most snowflakes melt before reaching the ground.
  • No two snowflakes are identical.
  • Each snowflake is made up of two to 200 separate crystals, on average.
  • Although it appears white, snow actually is transparent. Snow crystals act as prisms and break up the Sun’s light into the entire color spectrum. The human eye can’t handle that kind of sensory overload, so it is processed as white. If a region’s soil contains more iron,
    giving it a reddish tinge, snow may appear pink—wind will blow dirt and dust into the atmosphere and clouds, where the snow crystals form initially.


About Carnegie Science Center

Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes and off-site education programs.


About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1895, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums dedicated to exploration through art and science: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and the Andy Warhol Museum. Annually, the museums reach more than 1.2 million people through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities and special events.



One Allegheny Avenue | Pittsburgh, PA 15212 | 412.237.3400 |

The “Buzz” from Buzzelli – Top 5 To-Do’s THIS WEEKEND: 1/2-1/5

Mike Buzzelli

The ShakerMike Buzzelli

There’s always a lot do in Pittsburgh. Every week we pick five fun things for your weekend. Here’s the list for January 2 to 5.

Return of the King

The Pittsburgh Public is bringing back an old favorite, literally and figuratively. Tom Atkins reprises his role as the now-legendary Pittsburgh Steelers franchise owner, Art Rooney, Sr. It’s a tour de force with a scrimmage line. Watch Atkins chew the scenery and chomp on a cigar at the same time.

You can catch “The Chief” at the Pittsburgh Public Theater, O’Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh, stating on January 2.

For more information, hit the Public at


All Woman

A woman’s role is in the comics. Head down to the ToonSeum and see over 70 pieces of original art by over 50 female artists. The art depicts a historical timeline of the history of women in comics, including landmark events in the quest for equality from 1986 to the present. The show opens on January 4.

You can find the ToonSeum at 945 Liberty Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh, or go here:


History Repeating

In January there are only 12 days left to see the work of Yasumasa Morimura over at the Warhol Museum. Morimura replicates famous photographs and iconic images from art history and popular culture, with a slight twist; he replaces the subjects with his own image. See Morimura as Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and more!

Hit the town and take the bridge over to The Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky, Pittsburgh.


Achtung, Baby

Saturday, January 4, you can head down to the Altar and worship the band, U2 with One: A Celebration of U2. It could prove to be the sweetest thing in town.

Altar Bar is 1620 Penn Avenue in the Strip.


Model Afternoon

If you want to wander around the Remodeling Expo down at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, be sure to check out the “Wine and Canvas Workshop,” where local artists instruct you with step-by-step process to recreate a featured painting. At the end of the event, you can take home that work of art and hang it on your wall!


And now a Sixth Thing…

A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening

Spend a night with Jethro and Kristy Nolen and their special guests Matt and Emma Hartman. They two couples won’t be serving meatloaf and playing gin, but yukking it up on stage playing outrageous improv games guaranteed to bust a gut.

You can have Dinner with the Nolens at the Arcade Comedy Theater, 811 Liberty Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh.

Post-Holiday Haze – are you WELL?

The ShakerBrian Edward Leach

Greetings ‘Burgh Vivants!  A very Merry Christmas from all of us here at BV.

For me, Christmas Day itself has always carried with it a strange energy.  All of the big build-up; the songs, the cookies, the sales, lights and decorations running the gamut from elegant to garish – all of it a technicolor locomotive barreling unrelenting toward Ground Zero: Dec. 25th.    And whether this day itself puts a roll in your eyes or a song in your heart, there comes with it a solemnity of knowing that its all over.  Until, of course, the day after Halloween comes ’round once again, and the cycle begins anew; louder, faster, brighter.  But there’s a stillness upon the summit, after the whirlwind incline of frantic shopping, card writing, and the joy, dread, or indifference of interacting with relations we may only see once a year.  Somehow, you’ve worked.  Whether you were the one preparing the Christmas dinner, or enduring it.  Whether you were a Christmas Commando, charging headstrong through the season, little drummer boy at your side, holly in hand, and knitted sweater ablaze – or a benign “armchair enthusiast” with a more discreet capacity for “jolly,” simply caught up in the current, clinging to the one obligatory Christmas decoration you’ve put up as if it were driftwood upon the churning sea.

It all ends today.

And as we lay we down to sleep tonight, we begin to sulk into the odd twilight zone between Christmas and New Years.  The lights and tinsel are still up, no longer sparkling with the promise of a Christmas Eve sizzling with anticipation, but rather serving a reminder that there’s a chore to be done in boxing them up.  In many hubs of commerce, the familiar music still plays, forcing even the most dedicated elf to say quietly in the private chambers of the mind, “Enough, thank you.”  Just as in a break-up that happened for all the right reasons, we’re ready to move on.  But in the post holiday limbo, we’re still a bit lost.  Business hours are anyone’s guess, and we’re timid to reach out to friends with suggestions of hitting the town for we assume that they too must be bearing the burden of the same limbo, but in a different shade.  With Santa now enjoying a Corona, feet up, on a beach in Cancun, who can possibly entertain us?

Like a beacon in the night, or dare I say a reindeer with a red nose, our friends at Off The Wall Productions have supplied an excellent refuge.

Off The Wall is one of the only professional theatre companies in the city lacing up their boots and getting back to the trenches the very day after Christmas – and just for you.  Dec. 26th, 27th, and 28th mark the closing weekend of its current production WELL, by Lisa Kron, directed by Melissa Hill Grande.  In its inaugural year, ‘Burgh Vivant has been delighted to feature this dynamic, professional company.  They’re small, but they’re mighty, having recently settled into a freshly-designed theatre in Carnegie, just minutes from downtown Pittsburgh.  The productions and performers are consistently top-notch, and WELL is no exception, boasting a stellar cast of Daina Michelle Griffith, Virginia Wall Gruenert, Tony Bingham, Alan Bomar Jones, Linda Haston, and Susue McGregor-Laine.  Nominated for a Tony Award in 2006, the play uses humor and inventive storytelling to depict the relationship between the playwright and her ailing mother.

As contributor Mike Buzzelli points out in the recent ‘Burgh Vivant review of WELL, though it’s not particularly a holiday-themed play, the challenges put forth by the skilled cast may very well be similar to those that we confront while willingly (or unwillingly) spending time with our family during the holiday season.  At the risk of sounding crass, there may be no more deserved remedy on December 26th than to be entertained by someone else’s dysfunctional family.

So, rather than wallow in left over ham and fruitcake, get out there, relax, and take in a little culture.  WELL is without a doubt one of your best bets in town for some post-holiday respite.

WATCH/LISTEN:  ‘Burgh Vivant interview with OTW Artistic Director and leading actress in WELL, Virginia Wall Gruenert


Pgh Ballet Theatre to receive $1million in Commonwealth Economic Growth Funding

The Shaker
Funding to Advance Construction of New Building at PBT’s Strip District Campus

PITTSBURGH, PA – As part of Pennsylvania’s 2013 Economic Growth Initiative grants, Governor Tom Corbett announced today that Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre will receive $1 million to fund the construction of a new annex building at the company’s Strip District campus.

WATCH, LISTEN:  ‘Burgh Vivant interview with PBT Artistic Director, Terrence Orr
The $1 million Economic Growth grant will bring PBT to 43% of its total $14 million goal for the PBT School Expansion Project, a four-phase plan to accommodate rising enrollment trends in the company’s official training institution. The grant will advance the fourth phase of the project this spring when PBT breaks ground at its recently-purchased adjoining lot – 2930 Liberty Ave.  – to begin significant site improvements, including leveling and retaining projects, for the future footprint of the annex building. Under Phase IV, PBT will construct a 17,000 square foot building, which will house three new dance studios to expand PBT School’s four training divisions, grow community-based programs and generate at least 13 permanent artistic and administrative jobs. PBT has retained IKM Architects, which has developed a preliminary design for the $10 million Phase IV building project based on input from stakeholders.

With a total enrollment of 1,000 students across its Children’s, Student, Pre-Professional and Adult divisions, PBT School conducts classes six days a week at PBT Studios in the Strip District, which sees more than 2,000 weekly visits from employee, student and family commuters through the school and company. In the past five years, PBT School has increased Children’s Division enrollment by 92 percent while Student Division enrollment has grown by 53 percent in the past two years. Overall, the new building would allow PBT School to increase enrollment by nearly 60 percent to 1,590 students.

The Economic Growth Initiative program provides grants to local communities for the construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects. PBT’s School Expansion project is among 58 projects state-wide to receive Commonwealth funding through the program.  PBT has raised $6 million to date for the four-phase project, and will be matching the RACP award at a ratio of at least 4 to 1 through other funding sources.

“In addition to our full-time company dancers, a significant number of PBT School students from around the country and world move to Pittsburgh to take part in our training program. This new space will allow us to continue accepting and recruiting the next generation of professional dancers to Pittsburgh, and it will also help us to broaden our community programs to increase accessibility to the art form,” said PBT Executive Director Harris Ferris. “We see this surge in enrollment as promising not only for the future of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, but also as a positive trend for the city’s thriving cultural community. Our full-time artists and professional-track students not only make Pittsburgh their home, but they also bring hundreds of friends and family members to the city each year to contribute to the downtown and Strip District economies while visiting Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.”

PBT launched its four-phase School Expansion Plan in 2009 with the opening of PBT School’s first student residence, Byham House, which houses up to 21 full-time Pre-Professional Division students and helps to draw aspiring young dancers to Pittsburgh each year. Phase I also included the installation of five new Harlequin floors in the PBT Studios to benefit the safety and health of PBT company and student dancers. In 2012, PBT completed Phase II by opening a renovated lobby with expanded family waiting areas and student study space to accommodate rising enrollment and the need for more public space in the building.  Also in 2012, PBT purchased its neighboring lot at 2930 Liberty Avenue, increased its campus footprint to 60,000 square feet and constructed a new parking lot to improve traffic flow and reduce the need for families and students to cross traffic-heavy Liberty Avenue from PBT’s overflow parking lot. The new building will mark the fourth and final phase in the PBT School Expansion Project.

In addition to PBT School, the PBT’s Strip District Studios currently house five fully-equipped studios for PBT’s professional company of 29 full-time dancers – including eight international dancers – who live and work in Pittsburgh year-round. Throughout the season, PBT also hosts a number of community engagement events at the Studios for patrons, educators, community organizations and supporters.

PBT School’s 2013-2014 enrollment includes 61 out-of-state students and 14 international students, who have relocated to Pittsburgh to enroll in the full-time high school and graduate programs of PBT School’s Pre-Professional Division. In addition to the regular school year, PBT School brings 165 to 200 students to Pittsburgh each summer to participate in its five-week Intensive Summer Program, an immersive training program taught by PBT faculty and prominent guest artists.

About Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is a community based and internationally recognized professional ballet company that performs traditional and contemporary ballets and develops innovative works. It seeks to perpetuate excellence in the art of ballet through performances, superior training of student dancers and community engagement initiatives.  Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s 2013-2014 Season continues with Swan Lake with the Orchestra, Feb. 13-16 at the Benedum Center; 3×3, March 7-16, at the August Wilson Center; and Don Quixote with the Orchestra, April 11-13, at the Benedum Center. Tickets start at $25.75 and are available online at, by calling 412-456-6666 or visiting the Box Office at Theater Square.

About Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School
As the official training institution of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School is recognized as one of the nation’s finest schools for dance education and training. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr and School Directors Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall, PBT School offers classical ballet training and a diverse dance curriculum to more than 1,000 students of all ages, levels and degrees of interest taught by faculty and guest teachers of international acclaim. Strengthened by daily exposure to PBT’s professional company of dancers, PBT School provides dance training through Children’s, Student, Pre-Professional and Adult Open divisions.



The “Buzz” from Buzzelli – Top To-Do’s THIS WEEKEND (12/27 – 12/29)

The ShakerMike Buzzelli

It’s the holiday season, but there are still plenty of things to do in Pittsburgh.   We have things to do from listening to George Bailey to hanging out on Bailey Avenue (on Mt. Washington). Here are Five Fun Things to do this weekend:


Packing them in

The mouse might not be stirring, but the Rat Pack is. If you never got a chance to see Frank, Sammy and Dean live; this is your chance to see them dead. Sort of.  A group of impersonators will be singing their most famous Christmas songs, along with some of their standards. Enjoy the songs they made famous, like ‘Fly Me To The Moon’, ‘The Lady Is A Tramp’, ‘Mr. Bojangles’, ‘That’s Amore’, along with seasonal favorites like: ‘Merry Little Christmas’, ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’, ‘Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer’ ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘Silent Night’, ‘Mistletoe and Holly’, ‘Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow’, ‘White Christmas’, ‘Winter Wonderland’ and ‘Love To Keep Me Warm.’ The Rat Pack will be backed up by the Buelli Sisters and a live 123 piece big band.

You don’t have to fly to the moon, or Vegas, just head down to Heinz Hall and catch all the action.

For more information, go here;


Another Bell Rings

If you’re up north, Butler way, check out “It’s a Wonderful Life: A live Radio Play,” at the Butler Little Theater.  See…wait…Hear…a live version of the Christmas classic (I don’t have to explain the plot of the “It’s a Wonderful Life,” do I?).  Get up there before George Bailey jumps off the bridge.

It’s at the Butler Little Theater, 1 Howard Street, Butler. Call 724-287-6781 for details. Or go here:


Steel City Laughs

Christmas is over and it’s time to laugh. Come out December 28 to Club Café for the Steel City Comedy Tour. Come see local comedians; Chuck Krieger, Mike Wysocki, Carl Schimmel, Ray Zawandi, Tommy Kupiec. The show starts at 7:00 (early for comedians) at Club Café 56 S. 12th St., Pittsburgh, PA.

Call 412-431-4950 or hit the boys up on their Facebook page;


Italy or Bust

If you’re looking to catch a movie during the holiday break, check out “The Great Beauty.” Palme d’Or nominee and Italy’s official candidate for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, this dazzling film is a Fellini-esque homage to the city of Rome.  It’s about a writer, Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo, Il Divo), who gets a shock from his past on his 65th birthday. He sees past the glitz to find Rome in all its glory: a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty.

You can find “The Great Beauty” at the Regent Square Theater. Check out Pittsburgh Filmmakers for dates and times here;


Masquerade Ball, Pittsburgh Style

This New Year’s Eve you can go to a classy and exclusive Masquerade Ball at one of the most elegant venues in the city at the Smart House (Peter and Steve’s place; 207 Bailey Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15211). What better way to enjoy your New Year countdown than by sipping champagne while overlooking one of the best views in Pittsburgh?  A portion of the proceeds will benefit Humble House. *Part of ticket proceeds with benefit the Humble House.


And now a Sixth Thing…

Ring in the New Year, Yinz Guys!

There is so much going on New Year’s Eve in Downtown Pittsburgh at First Night, an annual celebration of the holiday. It’s got music, magic, comedy and FIREWORKS (I love fireworks)! Some of the highlights include; Johnny Angel and the Halos singing oldies at the Benedum, Jason Hudy performing magic at CAPA, Player One, the Arcade Comedy Theater’s house team, improvising scenes at (you guessed) the Arcade Comedy Theater,  and a spectacular display of Zambelli fireworks over the city. Party till the ball drops, in Downtown Pittsburgh!

Details and a grid map of all the events can be found here;


Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Premieres First-Ever, Autism-Friendly Performance of “The Nutcracker”

The Shaker

PITTSBURGH, PA – Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is preparing to premiere its autism-friendly production of The Nutcracker, the first production by a professional U.S. ballet company to make the magic of the holiday classic accessible to children on the autism spectrum and their families. The autism-friendly performance will take place at 2 p.m. Friday, December 27, 2013 at the Benedum Center.

“The Nutcracker is a holiday staple in ballet companies across the country and an annual tradition for many families here in Pittsburgh, so we are particularly excited to pilot this program with a timeless story that reaches so many people year after year,” said PBT Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr. “With this special performance, we want families to know that we are performing with them in mind and welcome them to experience this production in a comfortable and inclusive atmosphere.”

For the autism-friendly performance, the entire theater will be reserved for families with individuals on the autism spectrum – and others with intellectual or developmental disabilities – to create a fully supportive audience environment. Autism-friendly accommodations will include designated quiet areas and activity stations in the lobby, relaxed house rules, adjustments to potentially startling light, sound and special effects and opportunities for families and children to familiarize themselves with the production in advance. Throughout the performance, the house lights will remain dimly lit and audience members will be free to come and go from their seats as needed. In advance of the performance, PBT will distribute online an illustrated guide, or social story, to walk audience members through the theater experience from the layout  of the Benedum Center to the characters, scenery and music of  The Nutcracker production.

“This is a performance where families can come as they are and be who they are. Whether they are looking for a new artistic experience, bonding time with their family, or simply an escape into a magical world, we can offer all of that through this performance, “said PBT Education Director Alyssa Herzog Melby, who heads Accessibility Initiatives at PBT. “We hope that we can become a model for other ballet companies across the country to open their doors to people on the autism spectrum, sharing the beauty of what we do with all people in our community.”

Autism Spectrum Disorders affect 1 in 88 children in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The effects of autism are unique to every individual, though ASD characterizations usually include difficulties with social interaction and communication.  Many children with autism have sensory sensitivities in response to sounds or sights, which is one of the focused areas of adaptation for autism-friendly productions.

Although autism-friendly productions have begun to establish a foothold in the theater world, autism-friendly performances are relatively new to ballet. This year, for example, New Jersey Ballet presented an autism-friendly version of Pinocchio; but, to date, no other U.S. ballet company has presented an autism-friendly version of The Nutcracker.

“Very few times in our careers as dancers will we get the chance to do something this important. The autism-friendly performance will be one of those defining moments for me,” said PBT Dancer Stephen Hadala, who has performed in all 11 seasons of Terrence S. Orr’s The Nutcracker. “This performance gives us an opportunity to use our art form to do something for the community, and it’s exciting to be able to share ballet with children who might not ordinarily experience a production.”

In order to adapt the ballet, PBT worked with a focus group represented by local autism advocacy groups – including Autism Speaks of Greater Pittsburgh and ABOARD’s Autism Connection of Pennsylvania – parents of children with autism and individuals on the autism spectrum. After watching the production and learning about the characters, music and scenery, the group submitted recommendations to adapt the production to viewers on the autism spectrum or with other sensory sensitivities.

PBT also looked to other organizations as models, including the Theatre Development Fund’s Autism Theatre Initiative, which presented the first autism-friendly performance of a Broadway show in October 2011 with Disney’s musical The Lion King. PBT thanks TDF’s Autism Theatre Initiative for serving as an advisor during the planning process. Locally, PBT acknowledges The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust for its leadership in establishing best practices and providing Benedum Center staff training for autism-friendly performances. Funding support for PBT’s autism-friendly production of The Nutcracker comes from the Edith L. Trees Foundation, Giant Eagle, Pitt Ohio, The Children’s Institute, and FISA Foundation.


Tickets for the autism-friendly performance are available at a discounted rate to families with members on the autism spectrum. For more information about tickets, please call 412-454-9107 or visit

Featuring more than 200 costumes, 100 colorful characters and Pittsburgh-inspired set design, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s grand-scale production of “The Nutcracker” illuminates the holiday season Dec. 6-29, at the Benedum Center. Tickets start at $25.75, and can be purchased online at, by calling 412-456-6666 or visiting the Box Office at Theater Square.


The autism-friendly performance fits into PBT’s overarching Accessibility Initiative, which made several significant strides during the 2012-2013 Season. 2012-2013 accessibility accomplishments included the introduction of PBT’s Audio Description for Dance program, large-print and braille programs and other accommodations for people with visual impairments and special needs. For more information about Accessibility at PBT, please visit

The “Buzz” from Buzzelli – Top 5 To-Do’s THIS WEEKEND (12/12 – 12/15)

The ShakerMike Buzzelli

Here are five fun things to do in Pittsburgh this weekend, December 12 – 15.

Ebony and Ivory

The 10th Annual Theatre Festival in Black & White: Holiday Edition is underway. Catch plays written by black playwrights directed by white directors, while black directors directed white playwrights, ten one-acts in all at the event.  You can see them at the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, 937 Liberty Avenue, 3rd Floor, Downtown Pittsburgh.

Well, Well, Well

Come to Carnegie for “Well,” Lisa Kron’s insightful 2006 Tony Award-nominated play.  The play is a serio-comedy about the collision of art and life, exploring the dynamics of health, family and community.

You can find the play at the Off the Wall Theater, 25 W. Main Street, Carnegie. The play runs through December 22.

Call 724-873-3576 or visit

Check back here for a review next week!

Nudey Show

You have one last chance to catch some naked men at the December 13 closing party for Ignudi: Drawings Based on the Nude Youths of Michelangelo.  See Richard Claraval’s imitable style in the charcoal drawings. You can find nude men on Friendship Avenue, at the Spinning Plate Gallery, 5720 Friendship Avenue, Pittsburgh, to be more precise. The Closing party runs from 7 – 10 p.m. 12/13/13.

Check out his work here:

Nude Man to Iron Man

If Ignudi is too much for you and you want to put clothes on the man. Check out Future Tenant, where the man in the artwork wears a full suit of armor!  In a group exhibition of 23 works of art, each a desconstruction of a single page of a 1984 comic book issue of “The Invincible Iron Man,” is on display in “Shame of the City: Deconstructing & Reconstructing Comic Narratives.” The opening reception is December 13 from 6 – 9 p.m. at Future Tenant, 819 Penn Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh.

See into the Future at

More Comic Books!

You can check out that very issue of Invincible Iron Man over at the ToonSeum, while catching their show, “All That and a Bag of Chips: The 90s Animation Renaissance.” The show features original production art, sketches, storyboards and more.  The show continues through December 15.

Find it all at the ToonSeum, 945 Liberty Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh, and tell Executive Director Joe Wos that Burgh Vivant sent you.


And now a Sixth Thing…

Sparkle, Princess!

On Monday, just when you thought it was safe to stop partying and go back to work… The Carnegie Screenwriters and the Carnegie Arts Initiative invites you to celebrate the holidays at the first ever 3rd on 3rd Sparkle Party.  Bring a covered dish to Third Street Gallery  and hear three holiday themed stories;  Stage 62’s revered wunderkind Stephen Santa will read from the David Sedaris book, “The Santaland Diaries,” ‘Burgh Vivant’s biggest bon vivant Brian Edward will read his story, “How the Binch Improved Christmas” and some guy named Michael Buzzelli (see picture above) will read “Bad Santa” from his book, “Below Average Genius.”

By the way, if you don’t want to spend time in the kitchen, bring booze.

Join the festivities at The Third Street Gallery, 220 Third Street, Carnegie.

For more information, hit up the Facebook page




Encore for SOUTH SIDE STORIES at City Theatre


PITTSBURGH, PA (December 11, 2013)—After a sold-out, extended run last winter, City Theatre presents the encore production of South Side Stories, a vibrant, hometown adventure written and performed by Tami Dixon. Directed by Matt M. Morrow, South Side Stories is a City Events special presentation that will run in City Theatre’s Hamburg Studio from January 8–26, 2014, with performances Wednesdays through Sundays.

This one-woman show portrays the dynamism of a neighborhood. Embedded in the concrete of South Side’s city steps are testimonials of teenage mischief, steel mill toil, and townie haunts. This is a neighborhood where parking chairs mark territory and “paradise” is one turn off of 26th Street. Join us for the return of this audience favorite.

“I am interested in stories of survival,” says actor and playwright Tami Dixon. “For over 100 years the South Side was cast in the shadow of The Jones and Laughlin steel mill. The steel helped to build our country, and the mill defined this region, its people, and the culture. Now, with barely a trace of the mammoth structure left behind, the South Side continues to be home to families that descended from this industrial past. Living in the Slopes, I became curious about the neighborhood’s transition. I could feel the mill’s history burning beneath my feet. I could see it in the faces of my neighbors. The stories in this play are theirs—vivid, funny, poignant, and true.”

Tami Dixon’s local theatre credits include, South Side StoriesThe Clockmaker, Marriage Minuet, The Missionary Position, and The Muckle Man with City Theatre; The Hothouse, Celebration, and Rock n Roll with Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre; The Task and El Paso Blue with Quantum Theatre; The Chicken Snake with The Rep; Metamorphoses with Pittsburgh Public Theater; and Midnight Radio, STRATA, Dutchman, Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom, and Key to the Field with Bricolage Production Company. Ms. Dixon is entering her 9th season as Producing Artistic Director for Bricolage Production Company, which she runs alongside her husband, Jeffrey Carpenter. She is a recipient of a TCG/Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship and was named 2012’s “Performer of the Year” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Most recently, Ms. Dixon received the 2013 Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Emerging Artist Award from The Pittsburgh Foundation.

Tami Dixon and City Theatre are participants in the Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowships, funded by the William & Eva Fox Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group.

The original staged reading of South Side Stories was produced by City Theatre during MOMENTUM: new plays at different stages on June 4, 2011 with funding provided in part by The Fine Foundation, The Hillman Foundation, and generous donors to City Theatre’s Artistic Excellence Fund.

The world premiere of South Side Stories was commissioned and produced by City Theatre, November 10 – December 16, 2013, and enjoyed an extended run the following January.

The creative team for South Side Stories includes Tony Ferrieri (Scenic), Sylvianne Shurman (Costume), Andrew David Ostrowski (Lighting), Nathan Leigh (Sound), David Pohl (Projection), Carlyn Aquiline (Dramaturgy), and Sheila McKenna (Dialect).


South Side Stories

Written and performed by Tami Dixon
Directed by Matt M. Morrow

When: January 8–26, 2014

Wednesdays at 7pm

Thursdays and Fridays at 8pm

Saturdays at 2pm and 5:30pm

Sundays at 2pm

Where: City Theatre, 1300 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (South Side)

Tickets: $35 to $55

Box Office: 412.431.CITY (2489) or

South Side residents receive $10 off by phone or at the Box Office. Must present valid ID with 15203 zip code. Tickets will be held at Will Call. One ticket per ID.

Season subscribers may purchase $30 tickets by phone or at the Box Office.

Groups of 10 or more are eligible for discounts.  Call Kari Shaffer at 412.431.4400 x286.

City Events is City Theatre’s annual series of limited engagement special presentations.

City Theatre
is now in its 39th season. Located on Pittsburgh’s historic South Side, City Theatre specializes in new plays, commissioning and producing work by playwrights including Adam Rapp, Jeffrey Hatcher, Theresa Rebeck, and Christopher Durang. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Tracy Brigden, Managing Director Mark R. Power, and a 45-member Board of Directors, City Theatre’s mission is to provide an artistic home for the development and production of contemporary plays of substance and ideas that engage and challenge a diverse audience.

12 Peers Theater presents the Pittsburgh Premiere of Glen Berger’s UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL

publicity shots Randy Kovitz Underneath the Lintel

photo by Craig Thompson

“Would you know a miracle if you saw one?”

The Librarian in Glen Berger’s Underneath The Lintel doesn’t merely ponder this question, he is confronted by it – in the form of a library book returned 113 years overdue.

Randy Kovitz, as The Librarian, leads us through an existential detective story, an obsessive search for the library offender that takes him out of his orderly, insular world and on a globe-trotting, possibly quixotic quest. In the process, The Librarian discovers a string of “evidences,” some dating back thousands of years, finding connections to mysteries and myths, past and present, as well as his own dormant spirit.

Variety praised Underneath The Lintel, calling it “A theatrical miracle . . . a cosmic puzzle that makes The Da Vinci Code seem like a game of hide-and-seek” and “powerfully human and ultimately sublime”

Kovitz saw the author do a reading of it in New York in 2009, and knew immediately that he wanted to make it his own.

“The play spoke to me on a deep level as both an actor and a human being.  The central questions of life and death, purpose versus futility, are universal.  But the artistry of the writing makes it exciting and accessible.”


Underneath the Lintel performs February 5 – 26, 2014

At Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater,

937 Liberty Avenue, 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA  15222

Show dates:         Wednesday –Saturday, February 5 – 8, 8 p.m.

Thursday – Saturday, February 13 -15, 8 p.m.

Monday & Tuesday, February 17 & 18, 8 p.m.

Monday – Wednesday, February 24, 25 & 26 8 p.m.

*Monday, February 17 is industry, pay what you can night.

$15 / $10 with student ID at the door.

Tickets & Info:


About the Performer

Underneath The Lintel is a solo show, but it is hardly Kovitz’s first time alone on a stage. Pittsburgh theatregoers might remember his well-reviewed 2007 music and spoken word performance, Happy to Be Here and its 2009 follow up, Still Happy to Be Here.

In Los Angeles in the 1990’s, he fronted the spoken word band, Lies Like Truth, a legacy of his earlier one-man show, Grizly Cargo.

Kovitz grew up in California, but his Pittsburgh connections are strong. He attended Carnegie Mellon University and worked in several productions at WQED, appeared in Dawn of the Dead and Knightriders for George Romero, and was a member of the resident company City Players, now known as City Theater. After many years working in New York and Los Angeles, he returned to Pittsburgh in 2005, working in over 20 local productions in his first three years here.

Recently he has been active in film and television, appearing on Parks and Recreation, Supah Ninjas, The Fault In Our Stars and a number of homegrown projects, including his own short film Lightweight, which has won awards at several film festivals.

As a fight director, Randy stages violence for many theaters in town, as well as in film and video projects. Randy also teaches acting at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama and leads intensive private acting workshops.

About the Playwright

Glen Berger is a prolific, Emmy and Ovation award-winning playwright, known most notably as Julie Taymor’s co-writer for the Broadway Musical adaptation of Spiderman. Lately he has been in the news for his tell-all book The Song of Spider-Man: The Inside Story of the Most Controversial Musical in Broadway History.

About the Company

12 Peers Theater was founded in 2011.  Taking the name from the Twelve Peers of Charlemagne, its mission is to provide challenging and engaging theater for Pittsburgh audiences. 12 Peers Theater highlights social, political, and ethical issues in classical and contemporary works exploring myth and cultural identity, endeavoring to open a dialogue with the audience.

12 Peers Theater presented a reading of Underneath the Lintel with Kovitz in June 2012.  On the strength of that reading and audience responses, Founding Artistic Director Vince Ventura and Producing Artistic Director Sara Fisher decided to include it this year in their third full season.