‘Fences’ Continues on Local Screens; Savory Fare at Capital Grille (Mon.,1/23/17)

1) The new movie Fences is here, and those who catch it for a holiday treat will see history made on two counts. Fences is—somewhat incredibly—the first August Wilson play to be adapted for the big screen. (His play The Piano Lesson was made into a 1995 TV special.) And, as one of the entries in Wilson’s famous “Pittsburgh Cycle”—a cavalcade of fictional sagas spanning the entire 20th century— Fences depicts a slice of life from the history of the city. The action unfolds in the Hill District during the 1950s. Denzel Washington plays Troy Maxson, a former Negro Leagues baseball star who didn’t get a shot at the major leagues since his prime years came before the color line was broken. Maxson currently drives a garbage truck but remains the star of his own realm: a high-wired, dominating character who both fascinates and torments the people he loves. Viola Davis plays his wife Rose. Fences, like all Wilson stories, mixes outrageous humor with insidious personal drama. On stage it won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play. The movie comes to bat just in time for Oscar consideration. For screens and times check Fandango. (MV)

2) The Capital Grille—arguably the most upscale of upscale American steakhouses. And with locations in 20 states and the District of Columbia, it’s also one of the most expansive. Pittsburgh’s location is special for a myriad of reasons: Its downtown setting. The opulent marquee over Fifth Avenue. Executive Chef Donato Coluccio, who ensures, for instance, that all steaks dry-age for more than 18 days before in-house butchers hand-carve them to perfection. Fresh seafood and a huge wine selection are also popular as is the restaurant’s African mahogany interior. The Capital Grille also offers private dining, valet parking, and a lounge. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Saturday, 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. Sunday, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. 301 Fifth Ave., Downtown. (CM)