Belle & Sebastian Play Carnegie Music Hall; Sub Alpine Hosts Glen Sobel and The Goon Squad; ‘Mama Mia’ at Stage 62 (Thurs., 7/18/19)

1) Belle & Sebastian formed in Glasgow in 1996, but the Scottish indie rockers didn’t perform in Pittsburgh until 2013. It was worth the wait. During an outdoor concert at Stage AE, the band played all the hits, such as “I’m a Cuckoo,” “Expectations,” and “Piazza, New York Catcher.” The last was introduced with “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” (The Pirates and the Mets, Mike Piazza’s former team, happened to be playing nearby at PNC Park.) Frontman Stuart Murdoch later invited some concertgoers onstage to dance to “The Boy with the Arab Strap.” Fans had to wait only six years for them to return, this time as part of the Andy Warhol Museum’s Sound Series. Who knows what magic will transpire during their show at the Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland? Their latest album is 2018’s How to Solve Our Human Problems, a collection of three recently released EPs. Men I Trust open. 8 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. (CM)

2) Glen Sobel has been the drummer in Alice Cooper’s band since 2011, but also has his own band—Glen Sobel and The Goon Squad.which contains other members of Cooper’s group—Ryan Roxie, Chuck Garric, and Tommy Henriksen. They will be performing at the Sub Alpine Society in Turtle Creek tonight and are in town for Alice Cooper’s show tomorrow night at KeyBank Pavilion. Special guests are the The Borstal Boys. 7 p.m. 108 9th St., Turtle Creek.

3) Although we don’t keep an official count, it’s a good bet that the most-produced musical in Pittsburgh-area theaters in recent years is Mamma Mia! This seems puzzling. Many other good musicals are available, including major award winners and shows with wide audience appeal, whereas Mamma Mia! is more like a niche product—a jukebox musical that’s all ABBA. To enjoy the show, you’ve got to like disco-inflected Europop from a group defunct since 1982. But the fan base lives on, and apparently, ABBA fans are so rabid for ABBA that they can’t get enough Mamma Mia! The musical premiered to sold-out houses in London in 1999. The Broadway production whiffed on Tony Awards but ran for 14 years in New York. The 2008 movie, excerpted above, got tepid reviews but did well at the box office. Maybe playwright Catherine Johnson’s script—about a young bride wondering who her biological father is—combines with ABBA’s music to create a certain jag vet inte vad. That’s Swedish for je ne sais quoi. Stage 62, one of our region’s premier community theater companies, presents Mamma Mia! in the Music Hall at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library. 8 p.m. Performances continue through July 28. 300 Beechwood Ave., Carnegie. (MV)

4) Texture Contemporary Ballet, the company whose name says it all (see the video above), returns to action with an eclectic program of dance pieces titled Flying & FallingFirst up is a new dance choreographed to music from The Piano Guys, who play instrumental mashups combining pop rock with Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, etc. Kelsey Bartman and Madeline Kendall’s “Hats Off to the Greats” is inspired by movies and their soundtracks. Katie Miller’s “Molato Appassionato” is set to Mendelssohn’s music, and Alan Obuzor’s “Reshifting Time” is danced to music by Two Steps From Hell. It’s all ballet but it is contemporary ballet. 7:30 p.m.Performances run through July 21. At the New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. (MV)

5) They say it’s back by popular demand, so it must be good. Pittsburgh’s Rage of the Stage Players present Winnie-the-Pooh and the 7 Deadly Sins, updated from the company’s 2013 original. The play is a not-for-children sequel to the A.A. Milne stories. Christopher Robin, now 16, is asserting himself as a gay teen and no longer buys the old-time religion he was raised in. His friends in Hundred Acre Wood have aged, too, and badly, now embodying the so-called Deadly Sins. Winnie-the-Pooh (Gluttony) is an overweight bear with diabetes; Tigger (Lust) is a creepy sexual predator, and so forth. With Jack Hudson as Christopher, Zach Miller as Pooh, and many more. 8 p.m. Performances continue through July 27. At the McKeesport Little Theater venue, 1614 Coursin St., McKeesport. (MV)

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Rick Handler

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