Ballet announces upcoming events
PITTSBURGH - With summer coming to a close, it's time to gather the blankets and picnic baskets for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's 22nd-annual Hartwood Acres outdoor performance. This year PBT has added an abundance of family activities in addition to the free evening performance. As a part of the Allegheny Summer Concert Series, PBT will perform Dwight Rhoden's "Step Touch" and Paul Taylor's "Company B." The family picnic and activities will begin at 5 p.m. Aug. 26, and the dancers will take the stage for the free performance at 7:30 p.m.
When first performed as part of March 2009's American Rhythms program, Rhoden's "Step Touch," was met with audience acclaim. Set to the songs of Charlie Thomas' Drifters and Pittsburgh's own Pure Gold, Rhoden created a work that is energetic and fast-paced, combining his unique choreographic style with a hint of the classic doo-wop movements. This seamless blending of Rhoden's dynamic choreography and doo-wop's trademark vocal harmonies will have audiences singing along to such timeless tunes as "Under the Boardwalk," "Up on the Roof" and "This Magic Moment."
Pittsburgh native Taylor's choreography of "Company B" made its Pittsburgh debut last February. Taylor's choreography takes audiences on a journey capturing the emotions and experiences of World War II America. Danced to the unforgettable harmonies of the Andrews Sisters, "Company B" juxtaposes the upbeat tunes of the 1940s with the hardships and haunting images of the time period.
Tickets are $75. For information or to purchase tickets, call Shayne Souleret at (412) 454-9137. For information on Hartwood Acres, visit www.pbt.org.
for craft fair
ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Crafters are wanted for the fourth-annual Ohio University Eastern Campus Community Fall Festival set from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 19 at the main building, Shannon Hall.
Craft table set-up will begin at 10 a.m. Registration must be received by Sept. 1.
There will be no fee for the first space used by each crafter. Additional tables will cost $10 each. Requests for specific locations will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Sale items should be handmade crafts; no commercial merchandise will be accepted.
In addition to the craft show, the festival includes a car show, music, food vendors, tours and free activities for the children. Last year's festival attracted more than 700 people.
For information or a registration form, call (740) 695-1720 or Eileen McCormack at (304) 242-8187.
Illusionist comes to science center
PITTSBURGH - He's guest-starred on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno, he's traveled near and far to thrill audiences with seemingly death-defying stunts, and now David Willey will show hundreds of Carnegie Science Center visitors "how a thing like that works" during a special show at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Willey's demonstration show "How Does a Thing Like That Work?" will be held on the science stage on the first floor and will feature exciting displays of science like setting himself on fire, making a mortar using liquid nitrogen and lying between two beds of nails while someone smashes a concrete block on him with a sledge hammer. The show will be included with general admission, and seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Carnegie Science Center is at 1 Allegheny Ave. on Pittsburgh's North Shore next to Heinz Field. For information, visit www.CarnegieScienceCenter.org or call (412) 237-3400.
'Prince of High C's' at festival
MIDLAND, Pa. - The "Prince of High C's" Michael Amante will perform in concert at the third-annual Una Bella Festa Italian festival at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center on Sunday.
The Una Bella Festa, an evening of food and music, features an Italian buffet dinner followed by the Amante concert and vocalist Cristina Aloe in Lincoln Park's spacious 750-seat theater.
Dinner is to be served at 5 p.m. in the Midland gymnasium with catering by Beyond Parsley. The concert begins at 7 p.m. in the Lincoln Park main theater. Doors for the dinner will open at 4:30 p.m.
Tickets for dinner and the concert are $30. A limited number of VIP packages are available with a variety of amenities and an introduction to Amante. Tickets include reserved seats for the concert and assigned tables for the dinner. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Lincoln Park box office or by calling (724) 643-9004.
'Buffalo' coming to Brooke Hills
WELLSBURG - The Brooke Hills Playhouse production of Ken Ludwig's backstage theater farce "Moon Over Buffalo" is a loving, comedic look back at show business, fashion and society in general in the 1950s, according to director Crystal McNamara of Rayland.
The show runs at 8 p.m. today through Sunday and Aug. 5-7 and 2 p.m. on Aug. 8.
The play is set in 1953 at a theater in Buffalo, N.Y., where George and Charlotte Hay, a famous acting couple, are performing "Private Lives" and "Cyrano de Bergerac" in repertory.
After learning that Frank Capra is casting a remake of "The Scarlet Pimpernel" and is considering them for the leads, George and Charlotte begin preparing for the great director's visit, a process complicated by George's drinking and Charlotte being pursued by their long-time company attorney.
Although not old enough to remember the 1950s herself, McNamara, a veteran director and designer, has done a lot of research on the era in connection with some past productions at the Playhouse. Her mural of '50s show business and cultural icons, which graces the back wall of the barn-theater, once was part of a set for a play set in that time period.
"One of the things that make the 1950s a perfect time in which to set a play is the sheer theatricality of the fashions of the decade," McNamara said. "Because there no longer was a wartime rationing of fabric, designers were able to use more cloth to make beautiful, feminine clothes that had a fullness and sweep that weren't possible in the '40s," she explained.
The fashions of "Moon Over Buffalo" also reflect the changing attitudes of the time, and "Charlotte Hay is a fashionable woman, but she's also very theatrical, never afraid to accessorize with something from another period, like a feather boa, if it will help make a dramatic statement," McNamara added.
By contrast, the younger female characters, Rosalind, George and Charlotte's daughter, who has turned her back on show business, and Eileen, the acting company's ingunue, are very much wedded to the designs of the times, according to McNamara.
"The '50s fashions really embraced the feminine, and these characters celebrate their femininity in their own unique ways, but always in keeping with the times," she said.
"Moon Over Buffalo" also reflects the changing attitudes about the other aspects of life in the 1950s, according to McNamara.
"Most people think of the '50s as a time of conservatism and conformity, but they also forget that it was also the era of the Beats and the beginning of the sexual revolution, with Dr. Alfred Kinsey's research and Hugh Hefner's launch of Playboy magazine," she said. "People of the time weren't only worried about the communist threat from abroad but also about juvenile delinquency and other signs of possible moral decay at home. And all this was happening during an era of relative peace and prosperity and the rise of television as a major medium, making this a perfect time for fictional conflicts like the ones in 'Moon Over Buffalo."
Tickets for "Moon Over Buffalo" are $9 for adults, $7 for students and $5 for children age 12 and younger. Reservations can be made by calling the playhouse box office at (304) 737-3344. Groups of 20 or more can obtain a $1 dollar discount off admission to any performance. Call the box office for details.
The playhouse is in Brooke Hills Park, east of Wellsburg, off state Route 27. For information, go to www.brookehillsplayhouse.com.
Aftermath, U.S. Kids, at fort
STEUBENVILLE - The U.S. Kids unplugged and Aftermath, a band specializing in 1960s music, will be the the featured artists at 7 p.m. today at the Louis and Sandra Berkman Amphitheater, Historic Fort Steuben.
Pop, psychedelic and British invasion come together in concerts performed by Aftermath, a 1960s tribute band. Listeners to the free concert can expect to hear hits by the Byrds, Beatles, Hollies, Rolling Stones and Turtles to the Grass Roots and Paul Revere and the Raiders, Monkees and the Strawberry Alarm Clock.
The U.S. Kids have rocked the Ohio Valley for more than 20 years to faithful listeners. The band still rocks today in full band form but offers a different brand for the audience that prefers to sit and listen.
The U.S. Kids unplugged will play fresh, creative acoustic versions of classic rock, including the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Bad Company, Journey and more.
The U.S. Kids Unplugged includes Johnny DiCarlo on vocals and keyboards, Carlo Volhl on guitar and vocals and Bobby Pizzoferrato on bass guitar and vocals.
WELLSBURG - Upcoming activities at Brooke Hills Park include:
Sunday - Visitors can join the park in celebrating National Kids Day at 1 p.m. at the pool. Festivities will include the annual cardboard boat race, games, prizes, hot dogs and drinks. Cash and prizes will be part of the fun.
Aug. 8 - Brooke Hills Park is hosting a Cabela's-sponsored archery program beginning at 1 p.m.
The event will be held on the fairgrounds with a $5 pre-registration fee.
For information, call (304) 737-1236.