Pittsburgh Opera Revives “Rodelinda,” George Frideric Handel’s “Baroque Masterpiece.”

Handel’s Rodelinda, another opera not heard in Pittsburgh for over twenty years, received the first performance of its current run at the intimate CAPA Theater on Saturday evening, January 24. Presented with a cast consisting of young Resident Artists of the company, the work gave better opportunities for the up-and-coming to display their talents in more substantial parts. The audience was almost as large as the smaller venue could accommodate.

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"Rodelinda"
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Byham Theater goes Under the Sea

If you were a girl who grew up in the 90’s (such as myself) you’d most likely be able to name all of the Disney princesses by heart. I always swore when I grew up I’d show my kids all of their classic tales and apparently I wasn’t alone in that sentiment. The Byham Theater was packed on Thursday night with ages ranging from 6 to 60+ to see the beautiful story of everyone’s favorite little mermaid, Ariel produced by Pittsburgh Musical Theater.

Show Title: 
The Little Mermaid
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Or, or the Conjuction Play

Before Off The Wall Theatre's production of Or begins, the actors walk out onto the stage and begin organzing their costumes, props, doing vocal warmups, and a bit of light mingling with people they know in the audience. Usually I don't care much for pre-show stage action, and watching actors do vocal warmups is about as exciting as watching actors do vocal warmups. Their point is made crystal clear though: this is a play that doesn't aim for any sort of accuracy. 

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Or
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A Christmas Star Shines at Pittsburgh Playwrights

The glory of war and courage of our veterans are two topics our country never shies away from speaking about, but when it comes to the repercussions it can have on our soldiers, who are often times extremely young, we tend to be more hesitant. Well Ray Wermer certainly wasn’t scared to project the harsh truth behind cruel war through his thoughtfully written play, Christmas Star, on Saturday at the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater.

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Christmas Star
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A Great Place to Pee

When asked to pick a favorite musical my mind would not automatically go to Urinetown. Then I see a production of Urinetown and I think "wow, this is a really perfect show". It has the most misleading title, one that probably suggests to people that it's a show filled with toilet humor and no real heart. While the show is really hilarious, it is also incredibly clever and has a lot of commentary on the classes of society. Needless to say I was immediately excited to see Point Park's current production.

Show Title: 
Urinetown
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Bricolage Lassos the Moon

The Bricolage Production Company opened its premier of It’s a Wonderful Life, part of the Midnight Radio series, to a sold out house on Thursday evening.  Most people are familiar with the story of George Bailey and his guardian angel, second class; before the show, the audience members could be heard talking about their love for the movie, Jimmy Stewart and the memories built around watching the movie with family and friends over the years.  At one point I overheard a woman telling her companion that she had actually never seen the film.

Show Title: 
It's a Wonderful Life
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Everyone loves Santa...right?

I've worked in retail for quite a few holiday seasons and I will attest that it gives you a really jaded view of the holiday season. Nothing titillates me for Christmas anymore. The songs are annoying (and I know every single word), buying presents makes me anxious, and decorations never look as nice as you want them to. But no one understands this feeling more than author David Sedaris, who wrote a fantastic essay years ago called The Santaland Diaries.

Show Title: 
The Santaland Dairies
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"...you're lying Blanche."

I have been fortunate enough in the last few months to see two productions of Tennessee Williams' works. Last month I saw the Pittsburgh Public Theater's The Glass Menagerie and then more recently I saw barebones productions showing of A Streetcar Named Desire. It's been a very dramatic and Southern winter for me so far.

Show Title: 
A Streetcar Named Desire
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TPS Overall Rating: 
5
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L'Hôtel au Purgatoire

The second installment in the Pittsburgh Public Theater's "Season of Legends" is the world premiere of a new play that is chock full of...well, legends. The play is called L'hotel (that's French) and the Pittsburgh audience is the very first to check in.

Show Title: 
L'Hotel
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TPS Overall Rating: 
3
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