CLO’s ‘An American in Paris’ Continues at Benedum; The Public Staging ‘An Act of God’ (Tues., 6/16/17)

1) For a musical to achieve massive success the songs are of paramount importance. Is there a better base to build upon than the music of two of America’s best composers, brothers George and Ira Gershwin? The musical is inspired by the 1951 Academy Award Winning Film of the same name which starred Pittsburgh native and sublime dancer Gene Kelly. The movie and play follow an American GI in post World War II in Paris who is trying to achieve success as a painter and woo a girl. Noted songs in the musical include: “S Wonderful.”I Got Rhythm,” and “An American in Paris.” Acclaimed director/choreographer Christopher Wheeldon brings the magic and beauty of Paris to the stage in this production. An American in Paris, with book by Craig Lucas, was nominated for 12 Tony Awards in 2015, winning four. The Pittsburgh run is a co-presentation of PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh CLO. 7:30 p.m. Performances continue through June 11. Benedum Center, 237 7th St., Cultural District.

'An American in Paris' touring company. photo: Matthew Murphy.

‘An American in Paris’ touring company. photo: Matthew Murphy.

The pressure is on Marcus Steven who will be playing God in PPT's 'An Act of God.' photo: PPT

The pressure is on Marcus Stevens who will be playing God in PPT’s ‘An Act of God.’ photo: PPT

2) Do you ever wonder what God thinks of us? Is he happy, sad, or understanding about how we are doing here on Earth. An Act of God is the name of a play by David Javerbaum, who’s won 13 Emmys, 11 of which he received as a writer for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” The play is based on Javerbaum’s book The Last Testament: A Memoir By God. Act of God takes a satirical look at heaven, where God, who admits to having some wrath-management issues, develops a new and improved set of commandments, relates some stories about Adam and Eve, and gives his thoughts on bedtime prayers. He’s aided in his irreverent social comedy by his two “wingmen,” angels Gabriel and Michael. Marcus Stevens, a Point Park grad who has seen action on stages in New York and Pittsburgh, portrays God. This is the season finale for Pittsburgh Public Theater. An Act of God is directed by the noted Ted Pappas. God and his angels can get a little salty, so the play is recommended for audiences ages 17 and above. 7 p.m. Performances continue through July 2. O’Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Avenue, Cultural District.