Altar Bar Hosts Reggae Fusion Fest w/ORieL & the Revoluters; ‘Cabaret’ Continues at the Benedum (Sat., 2/6/16)

1) Pittsburgh has an island tradition: It’s the fourth annual Reggae Fusion Fest at Altar Bar, headlined this year by ORieL & the Revoluters. Oriel Barry is from the Caribbean island of Dominica, and the above video of the title track from his EP Confidence will give you a hint of what’s up. The current Fusion Fest celebrates the life and music of Bob Marley, born 71 years ago this month. Marley played his last concert at Pittsburgh’s Stanley Theater (now Benedum Center) in 1980. Artists performing in his spirit include Truth & Rites, Ras Maisha, cellist Joe Bischoff, and an African dance and drum ensemble. 9 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. (MV)

 

2) The ruling artistic style of our time is dystopian. So many cultural products are created in this key that they ought to carry warning labels, lest the masses suffer dystopian overdose. Yet some perennial classics stand out from all the look-alikes, one of them being Cabaret, by John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Joe Masteroff, of which a new touring production visits Pittsburgh. This Tony-winning Best Musical of 1966 is not set in any shadowy, unspecified future time and place. Cabaret is drawn from Christopher Isherwood’s novel Goodbye to Berlin, set in the actual dystopia of Germany during the early 1930s. The Depression had flattened people’s spirits, and while many sought an escapist lift in kinky night spots like the musical’s Kit Kat Klub, another kind of spirit—Hitler’s—crept over the scene. If you know Cabaret from the movie with Liza Minnelli (above) and Joel Grey, you’ll find the new road show dials up the kink even further. It is produced by the maestros at New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company, who did the revival that featured Alan Cumming as a deliciously wicked Emcee. Randy Harrison of TV’s “Queer as Folk” plays the Emcee here. 2 and 8 p.m. Performances through tomorrow. Benedum Center, 237 7th Ave., Cultural District. (MV)

 

3) The 5th Wave J Blakeson directs this film version of Rick Yancey’s young adult science fiction novel of the same name. Aliens, known as the “Others”, have decided to conquer the planet. (Have they taken a good look at it lately?) The first wave of their attack is shorting out the electricity in moving vehicles; cars, trains, planes, etc. Wave two involves creating giant tsunamis all over the world. With the third wave they infect all the earth’s birds with an Ebola-like virus—except when you die you explode and your entrails infect others around you. In wave four the aliens disguise themselves as humans and under the pretext of helping what’s left of humanity start again, they round up all the survivors in camps. And that’s where this movie begins as we follow 16-year-old Cassie Sullivan and her attempts to save her family and while running into an old crush … who may or may not be an alien! It sounds fascinating, in a sick sort of way. Chloë Grace Moretz stars, along with Liev Schreiber, Maria Bello, and Ron Livingston. Check Fandango for screens and times. (TH)