The Shaker

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’!

A Bud That Didn’t Bloom – a review of “Spring Awakening”

by Claire DeMarco, ‘Burgh Vivant Everybody has issues, especially a group of young adolescents in late 19th century Germany in rock opera retelling of Frank Wedekind’s “Spring Awakening.” Wendla (Victoria Buchtan) is curious about where babies come from.  Her mother (Barbara Burgess-Lefbevre, playing multiple roles) avoids the question, coming up with an innocuous explanation that… Read more »

Unfinished Love – a review of “Once”

by Claire DeMarco, ‘Burgh Vivant  Guy (Stuart Ward) is an Irish musician, creating music and playing at a Dublin pub.  The Girl* (Esther Stilwell), a Czech immigrant and the mother of Ivanka (Lauren Ivory Vail), is taken with Guy’s music, and begins a conversation with him.  Both love music but their connection begins when Girl… Read more »

Seven with Sue: NICOLE GALLAGHER, folkLAB

Sue Kerr, ‘Burgh Vivant Welcome to the inaugural edition of Seven with Sue, a Q&A series with local creators and artists. Each edition will ask seven questions (plus demographics) exploring the creator’s experience and views on all things arts and culture in Pittsburgh. The questions are crafted by our in-house Q&A contributor, Sue Kerr. Responses… Read more »

Suicide is painless – a review of “‘night Mother”

Tiffany Raymond, ‘Burgh Vivant Marsha Norman’s 1978 Pulitzer Prize winning play, “‘night Mother,” recently crested its 40th birthday, and while some details are inevitably dated, the play’s themes are still relevant today. It’s a dark family drama centered on a middle-aged daughter, Jessie (Briauna Brownfield), a divorcee living with her aging mother, Thelma (Samantha A…. Read more »

Struggle with Rage and Love – A review of “American Idiot”

By Claire DeMarco, ‘Burgh Vivant Three young men in suburbia Johnny (Jeff Way), Tunny (Jacob Krupitzer) and Will (Jordan Schreiber) are restless, bored and generally discontent with their lives. They feel trapped and want to escape, and move on to a more exciting place where they make their own rules and “find themselves.” Will wanted… Read more »

Journey into Mystery – a review of Mark Toland’s “Mind Reader”

By Michael “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant Let’s get this straight – Mark Toland does not possess supernatural skills, but, sometimes, it’s hard to tell. His show, “Mind Reader” seems very convincing, but Toland will be the first to admit that he is merely fooling you with tricks and not actually reading minds. The tricks are… Read more »

Snakes on a stage  – a review of “The Speckled Band”

By Mike “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant Just before Violet Stoner dies, she grabs her sister  Enid (Jessie Wray Goodman) and chokes out her two final words, “band” and “speckled,” in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s play, “The Speckled Band: An Adventure of Sherlock Holmes.” The young lady died under mysterious circumstances just prior to her engagement… Read more »