Versatile Singer Rhiannon Giddens Plays Arts Fest; “The Best of Everything” at Little Lake (Thurs., 6/11/15)

Rhiannon Giddens has the kind of voice that could have come from any time and any genre and still be a show stopper. At times on her debut solo album Tomorrow is My Turn, she sounds like a 60s R&B diva—such as on “She’s Got You”—while on other tracks her vocals wander confidently through folk, gospel, jazz, country, and blues. Better known for her work with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an old-time fiddle-and-banjo folk band, she released her solo recording in February. The album includes covers of tracks by Odetta, Hank Cochran, and Dolly Parton—her sweet, country-infused version of “Don’t Let It Trouble Your Mind” is a favorite. The Tomorrow is My Turn tour is taking her to England, Ireland, Germany and France later in the year, but first she’s one of the headline acts at Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. 7:30 p.m. Free. Dollar Bank Stage, Point State Park, Downtown.

 

Office politics require a drink—or two—say the girls in "The Best of Everything."

Office politics require a drink—or two—say the girls in “The Best of Everything.”

2) Set in the late 1950s and the world of “Mad Men”, this play is about women of the time. It follows a group of women at a New York publishing company who want to make it big, or make it with the men they meet, or somehow just make life meaningful—all at a time when the glass ceiling was often more like a straitjacket. Rona Jaffe wrote The Best of Everything in 1958 as a mass-market novel. The book was a smash hit; the Hollywood movie that followed, not quite. Then much later, a 2012 stage adaptation by theater director Julie Kramer scored nicely off-Broadway, capturing the story’s fine tragicomic balance without drowning it in postmodern irony. Little Lake Theatre brings Kramer’s The Best of Everything to our town. 8 p.m. Continues through Saturday. 500 Lakeside Dr., Canonsburg.

 

3) Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of Rebels — In 1839, slaves taken from Sierra Leone staged a mutiny on board the schooner Amistad, demanding to be returned home. Their legal case, which involved laws in the US, the UK, and international treaties, eventually made it all the way to the United States Supreme Court. The film documents the trip that local filmmaker Tony Buba made to Sierra Leone in 2013 to the villages of those slaves, to discover how much of the Amistad history has come down through the ages. 6:30 p.m. Harris Theater, 809 Liberty Ave., Cultural District.