Associated Artists’ 107th Annual Exhibition at The Westmoreland; ‘Forever Plaid’ Continues at CLO Cabaret (Wed., 11/20/19)

'Candyman,' by Sheila Cuellar-Shaffer, casts a sly eye or two on visitors to the Associated Artists' 107th Annual. Acrylic on canvas.

‘Candyman,’ by Sheila Cuellar-Shaffer, casts a sly eye or two on visitors to the Associated Artists’ 107th Annual. Acrylic on canvas.

1) It is rare to see a “107th Annual” anything, since most things are not good enough to continue for so long. Those who enjoy visual arts should thus be visiting the 107th Annual Exhibition of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh. AAP, one of the country’s premier regional artist groups, was founded in 1910—a time of great ferment in art, when Cubism was new and other movements were incubating. AAP artists over the years have explored many forms, on up through mixed-media and installation art. The Annuals have shown works by Mary Cassatt, Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, and more, in venues ranging from the long-gone Grand Opera House in downtown Pittsburgh to Carnegie Museum of Art. This year’s 107th AAP Annual is at The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, 221 N. Main St., Greensburg, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Wed-Fri and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sat-Sun through January 26, 2020. Four additional installations can be seen at Seton Hill University’s Arts Center, 201 W. Otterman St., Greensburg, Mon-Thurs 1 – 8 p.m., Fri 1 – 3 p.m., and Sun 1 – 4 p.m. through early December.  Admission to both locations is free. (MV)

Pop hits of the 1950s and early '60s included ethnic and folk-inspired songs from artists such as Harry Belafonte. The boys in 'Forever Plaid' appear to have their stereotypes on wrong but they give it a lot of energy. (photo: Matt Polk)

Pop hits of the 1950s and early ’60s included ethnic and folk-inspired songs from artists such as Harry Belafonte. The boys in ‘Forever Plaid’ appear to have their stereotypes on wrong but they give it a lot of energy. (photo: Matt Polk)

2) Forever Plaid is a retro jukebox musical that imagines the day the music didn’t die. The music is the kind that ruled the airwaves in the 1950s and early ‘60s, before rock took over utterly—back when Connie Francis was America’s Sweetheart of Song, and guy groups sang four-part harmony instead of playing electric guitars. Forever Plaid is set in 1964, when a fictional quartet called The Plaids don’t make it to a big gig. In an act of blatant symbolism they are killed by a bus carrying teenagers to The Beatles’ U.S. debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” But someone upstairs loves that harmony, as The Plaids are miraculously re-assembled to sing a deathless setlist. It includes The Four Lads’ “Moments to Remember,” The Four Aces’ “Three Coins in the Fountain,” change-of-pace songs like Sam Cooke’s “Chain Gang”… and if you’ve never heard “Scotland the Brave” without pipes and drums, you will now. The music is mixed with much clowning and topical humor. Pittsburgh CLO presents Marcus Stevens, J.D. Daw, Chris Crouch, and Joseph Domencic in Forever Plaid at the Greer Cabaret Theater. 7:30 p.m. Continues through December 29. 655 Penn Ave., Cultural District. (MV)