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Short List: Jan 27 - February 2

Cabaret national tour hits the Benedum; Pterosaurs lands at the Carnegie; Silver Eye Fellowship winners on exhibit; Eric Roberson at the August Wilson Center

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SPOTLIGHT: Tue., Feb. 2 — Stage

In 1998, Roundabout Theatre Company mounted just the second Broadway revival of Cabaret. The 1966 Kander & Ebb musical, centering on the decadent Kit Kat Klub in 1931 Berlin, had long been defined by Bob Fosse’s famed 1972 film adaptation, starring Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey. Still, the stage revival — directed by Sam Mendes and co-directed and choreographed by Pittsburgh native Rob Marshall — became a widely acclaimed hit that ran for six years, spawned a national tour and, in 2014, offered its own year-long reprise on Broadway. The Mendes-Marshall version’s darker, more menacing tone, noted for more powerfully evoking the growing shadow of Nazism, has influenced many subsequent productions. Now Roundabout has launched its own new national tour, and Pittsburgh is just the second stop. Cabaret, with its book by Joe Masteroff, is based on a play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood. The potent score features the title tune, “Maybe This Time” and “Tomorrow Belongs to Me.” The touring production stars Randy Harrison (of TV’s Queer as Folk) as the iconic Emcee and, as nightclub performer Sally Bowles, Andrea Goss, a veteran of the role for Roundabout on Broadway. Bid Cabaret “Wilkommen” for eight performances at the Benedum Center, courtesy of PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh. Bill O’Driscoll Tue., Feb. 2-Sun., Feb. 7. 719 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $26-72. 412-456-4800 or www.trustarts.org

Thu., Jan. 28 — Opera

Ever imagine Julius Caesar in a sharkskin suit and a fedora? Stage director Sally Denmead revives Handel’s Baroque opera, Giulio Cesare, with a 1960s Rat Pack theme. In local company Undercroft Opera’s production, Jenifer Weber and Mia Bonnewell are double-cast as Caesar and Cleopatra. The show, premiering tonight at Seton Center Auditorium, will be sung in Italian with English supertitles, with Jefferey Klefstad conducting the orchestra. Come for the classic tale of murder, love and betrayal — stay for the showgirls. Courtney Linder 7 p.m. Also Fri., Jan. 29, through Sun., Jan. 31. 1900 Pioneer Ave., Brookline. $5-35. www.undercroftopera.org

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Thu., Jan. 28 — Stage

Pittsburgh Public Theater calls Guys & Dolls “the Great American Musical,” and it’s hard to name a show from musical theater’s golden age that deserves the moniker more. The 1950 show, based on Damon Runyon’s colorful tales of New York City, tells of gangsters, gamblers and showgirls — characters with names like Nathan Detroit — to the tunes of classic Frank Loesser songs like “Luck Be a Lady.” There’s a live orchestra, and the Public’s Ted Pappas directs a cast including Charlie Brady as Sky Masterson and Kirsten Wyatt (pictured) as Miss Adelaide. The first performance is tonight. Bill O’Driscoll 8 p.m. Continues through Feb. 28. 621 Penn Ave., Downtown. $15.75-65. 412-316-1600 or www.ppt.org

PHOTO COURTESY OF OFF THE WALL PRODUCTIONS
  • Photo courtesy of off the WALL Productions

Thu., Jan. 28 — Stage

Linda Haston’s mother, Ruth, grew up in Jim Crow Alabama, but as a teenager left for Pittsburgh and the Hill District, where she raised her family. Now, with help from playwright Virginia Wall Gruenert and off the WALL Productions, Haston is telling Ruth’s story. Mother Lode is a one-woman show about mother-daughter bonds, end-of-life decisions, and more. Gruenert (off the WALL’s artistic director) and Spencer Whale direct. The first four performances of this brand-new play are this weekend, with encores planned in June and August. BO 8 p.m. Continues through Sun., Jan. 31. 25 W. Main St., Carnegie. $5-40. 724-873-3576 or www.insideoffthewall.com

Thu., Jan. 28 — Screen

Downtown is where Pittsburgh began (as a British military fort, but still). Yet it’s been 24 years since it’s been properly feted — and by “properly feted,” we mean “made the subject of a Rick Sebak documentary.” The iconic local filmmaker, who’s written and produced 23 of WQED-TV’s 24 Pittsburgh History Series documentaries, returns to the scene of his 1992 installment, Downtown Pittsurgh, for an update that premieres tonight. Don’t expect any exposés: Sebak specializes in the light, the quirky, the charming, and tasty snacks. But few are better at finding those traits than Sebak, and in the hour-long big hug that is Return to Downtown Pittsburgh, he’ll also catch up on some new buildings and ask, “What makes the fountain flow at the Point?” BO 8 p.m. WQED-TV. www.wqed.org

ART BY KA-MAN TSE
  • Art by Ka-Man Tse

Fri., Jan. 29 — Art

See through the lenses of two award-winning artists at the Silver Eye Center for Photography’s Fellowship 16 exhibition. International Award winner and Yale lecturer Ka-Man Tse draws connections between LGBT culture and the Asian-Pacific Islander community through her world-touring urban-portraiture series, Narrow Distances. Keystone Award winner Aaron Blum approaches the mystery of Appalachian life through A Guide to Folk Taxonomy, a series of color prints, including landscapes, that evoke his personal vision of the region. Explore identity through photography at tonight’s opening reception. CL 6 p.m. Exhibit continues through April 2. 1015 E. Carson St., South Side. Free. 412-431-1810 or www.silvereye.org 

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Fri., Jan. 29 — Comedy

After the 2014 car accident that took the life of fellow comedian James McNair, Tracy Morgan spent two weeks in a coma. But recently he was joking with Jimmy Fallon about things that make him want to go back under. “Donald Trump is leading in the polls …. I’m going back,” he quipped. The SNL and 30 Rock veteran is also back touring. His six shows at the Pittsburgh Improv, starting with tonight’s, are sold out. BO 7:30 p.m. Continues through Sun., Jan. 31. 166 E. Bridge St., The Waterfront, West Homestead. $35-50 (21+). 412-462-5233 or www.pittsburgh.improv.com

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Fri., Jan 29 — Stage

Greek mythology and Tumblr intertwine in an unexpected manner in Webs, a new play created and performed by theatriQ, a queer youth performance ensemble. Presented by Dreams of Hope, Pittsburgh’s only arts-focused LGBT organization, the play addresses themes of identity, mythology and social media through a fully scored production. “Webs explores the different ways people connect,” says theatriQ’s Adil Mansoor. An audience talkback follows each of the four showings this weekend at Alloy Studios. Tickets are donation-based. CL 8 p.m. Also Sat., Jan. 30, and Sun., Jan. 31. 5530 Penn Ave., Friendship. “Pay what makes you happy.” 630-854-6340 or www.dreamsofhope.org

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Sat., Jan. 30 — Exhibit

If you’ve ever dreamed of soaring over prehistoric landscapes, experimenting with aerodynamics in a wind tunnel or inspecting 150 million-year-old fossils, fly over to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s newest exhibit, Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs. The presentation, which opens today, utilizes rare fossils, life-sized models and interactive displays to explore the winged reptiles’ Jurassic world, courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History. The premium-priced tickets for the exhibit include museum admission. CL 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Exhibit continues through May 22. 4400 Forbes Avenue, Oakland. $14.95-24.95. 412-622-3131 or www.carnegiemnh.org

Sat., Jan. 30 — Art

Gallerie Chiz owner Ellen Chisdes Neuberg is spending six weeks with her painting studio in her gallery. She’s there herself four days a week, and sharing each Saturday with a different artist, followed by a 4 p.m. cocktail hour. Today, watch watercolor artist Peggi Habets demonstrate her technique and give an informal talk as part of Not Enough Time … Inside the Artists’ Studios. Upcoming guests include Patti Gallagher (Feb. 6), Maria Kyros (Feb. 13) and Bill Miller (Feb. 20). BO 2-4 p.m. 5831 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. Free. 412-441-6005 or www.galleriechiz.com

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Sat., Jan. 30 — Music

Support an unsigned artist at singer-songwriter Eric Roberson’s performance at the August Wilson Center tonight. “Erro” was the first independent artist to be nominated for a BET Award in 2007 and has been featured on Billboard’s Top 100 R&B and Hip-Hop Chart. As a part of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Soul Sessions, Erro plays a set full of his diverse range of smooth sounds, with soul, R&B, house and hip-hop influences. He’s also known for his ability to freestyle songs on the spot from audience suggestions. CL 8 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $28.25. 412-456-6666 or www.trustarts.org

Tue., Feb. 2 — Talk

What constitutes a “good education”? Are the liberal arts suffering at the hands of STEM? Tonight’s panel discussion at Pitt’s University Club, sponsored by the school’s Honors College, celebrates the school’s Year of the Humanities. The high-prestige panel, including CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, will open a dialogue on what it means to be well educated. Learn what’s at stake for liberal-arts majors at The Humanities: Can You Afford to Leave College Without Them? CL 7 p.m. 123 University Place, Oakland. Free. skrzycki@pitt.edu or www.humanities.pitt.edu


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