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’!

Monkeying around with magic – a review of “Bridging the Gap”

By Mike “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant Magician Billy Kidd is in Pittsburgh astonishing audiences in her new show, “Bridging the Gap” at Liberty Magic. The magician has been seen on several television shows, such as Discovery Channel’s “Breaking Magic,” SyFy’s “Wizard Wars,” and Penn & Teller’s “Fool Us.” Kidd has a very theatrical flair. She… Read more »

Taking a shot at Broadway – a review of “Spamilton: An American Parody”

By Mike “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant Gerard Alessandrini, the comedic genius behind “Forbidden Broadway,” is up to his old tricks. He’s planting his tongue firmly in his cheek, and sending up the blockbuster rap opera, “Hamilton,” in the musical spoof, “Spamilton: An American Parody.” In 1982, Gerard Alessandrini created “Forbidden Broadway” where he skewered Broadway… Read more »

Broadly Speaking – A review of “Top Girls”

By Claire DeMarco, ‘Burgh Vivant A stimulating dinner with guests requires guests who are stimulating. And to ensure a successful dinner party, Marlene (Kauleen Cloutier) creates a get-together with a fantasy group of diverse females in Caryl Churchill’s “Top Girls.” This make-believe meeting celebrates Marlene’s promotion as the Director of Top Girls, an employment agency,… Read more »

On the Sunny Side of the Mountain – a review of “Bright Star”

Michael “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant Like two trains running on the same track, Alice Murphy (Erin Lindsey Krom) and Billy Kane’s (Miller Jay Kraps) lives crash into each other in bizarre and unexplained ways in Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s bluegrass musical, “Bright Star.” The story is set in North Carolina, in two separate time… Read more »

The Wheel has come full circle – a review of “King Lear”

By Michael “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant A powerful king (Jeffrey Carpenter) gradually descends into madness when he realizes he’s sold off his kingdom to two of his ungrateful daughters, and rejected the only child who ever loved him in William Shakespeare’s “King Lear.” King Lear’s entrance is full of pomp and circumstance. It’s a moment… Read more »

He fades upon his dreary brier – a review of “André”

By Michael “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant Bland (Arjun Kumar) is torn between his loyalty to his friend and his loyalty to his country when he discovers Major John André (Harry J. Hawkins, IV) is to hang for his crimes against the nation in William Dunlap’s “André” Bland pleads for the major’s life. First to M’Donald… Read more »

Life’s just a fantasy – a review of “World Builders”

By Michael “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant Max (Alec Silverblatt) and Whitney (Erika Cuenca) are lost deep in their own imaginary worlds. They are both “volunteering” in a clinical trial experimenting with a new drug that will allegedly cure them of their schizophrenic illusions in Johnna Adams’ “World Builders.” Walt Disney once said, “Fantasy and reality… Read more »