Amy Grant in Concert at Palace; Opening Night for ‘Servant of Two Masters’ at Public; (Thurs., 11/5/15)
1) Amy Grant was the kind of breakthrough figure for Christian pop that Garth Brooks was for country music, but her rise was not without controversy — seriously. In 1985, she shocked her evangelical fans by wearing a leopard-print jacket and performing barefoot at the Grammys. (That’s right; they were scandalized by feet!) Later, she ruffled feathers by getting a divorce and releasing one album lacking any overt references to Jesus. She’s persevered and these days Grant, with her ever agreeable voice and pleasant demeanor, has a healthy fan base, of hardcore evangelicals and people who are not, and they will be supporting her at the Palace Theatre. Grant is married to country singer Vince Gill and released her latest album Be Still and Know… Hymns & Faith earlier this year. 7:30 p.m. 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg. (RH)
2) Although the name of the genre sounds highbrow, commedia dell’arte is a form of comic theater that features wacky physical humor, lots of joking about sex and body parts, and the relentless jagging of pomposity, social conventions, etc. Very popular in Italy and elsewhere from the 1500s through the 1700s, commedia dell’arte is performed today mainly as a small-audience cult attraction, not in major revivals. There’s little to work from in the way of old scripts because the creators of the form were early improv artists, creating entire shows around a set of stock characters they’d invented. But a commedia-inspired play from the mid-1700s has survived that captures the flavor of this kind of comedy: Carlo Goldoni’s Servant of Two Masters. The play was staged hilariously at Carnegie Mellon a few years ago, and now Pittsburgh Public Theater is taking it on. The Public’s version, titled A Servant to Two Masters, was translated and adapted by the English dramatist Lee Hall. As in Goldoni’s original, the action revolves around the servant Truffaldino as he tries to satisfy not only two employers but also two appetites, his lust for food and for you-know-what else. 8 p.m. Continues through December 6. At the O’Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave., Cultural District. (MV)
3) One of the more interesting venues in town is Pittsburgh CLO’s Cabaret theater, an intimate space where the group presents comical musical fare in extended runs. Up currently is Altar Boyz, a cheerfully irreverent send-up of two popular trends: boy bands and Christian-themed music. The fictional Altar Boyz of the title are a group with members named Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan, and Abraham (he’s Jewish). Song-and-dance bits like “Church Rulez” and the hip-hop “Miracle Song” stop short of the outrageousness seen in The Book of Mormon but are quite rousing. The original off-Broadway production of Altar Boyz ran for five years, from 2005-10, and it has become a staple of regional theaters and fringe festivals worldwide. Altar Boyz is by Gary Adler, Michael Patrick Walker, and Kevin Del Aguila. 7:30 p.m. Runs through December 20. CLO Cabaret, 655 Penn Ave., Cultural District. (MV)
4) Mario’s East Side hosts Team Trivia Night every Thursday. Win, place, or show and your team will earn Mario’s gift certificates. Play against the Miller Lite Girls, and you could even win Miller Lite trinkets and giveaways! Feed your brain some chewy trivia and your stomach some delicious Mario’s food. 8 p.m. 5442 Walnut St., Shadyside.