Bone Thugs-n-Harmony at Mr. Smalls’; Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers Play Peppers N’at; 12 Peers ‘Building the Wall’ (Sun., 5/27/18)

1) Their lyrics are heavy. Their raps, melodic. Perhaps this novel combination has kept Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, who return to Mr. Smalls Theatre, relevant for so long. Their single “Tha Crossroads” won the Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 1997; Bone Thugs-n-Harmony dedicated it to the late Eazy-E of N.W.A. fame. Eazy-E signed the Cleveland group to his record label, Ruthless Records, in 1993, and he was the group’s friend, mentor, and business adviser until his death in 1995. Though crushed by his loss, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony persevered and have continued to make music together. They also hold the distinction of collaborating with 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., Eazy-E, and Big Pun while all four men were still alive. Krayzie Bone and Bizzy Bone released New Waves under the Bone Thugs moniker in 2017. The other three members of the quintet contributed as did guest stars, such as Stephen Marley. 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. (EC, CM)

2) Pittsburgh rock royalty Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers have remained a constant on the Pittsburgh music scene as the city morphed from steel mills to high-tech foundry. Grushecky is a consummate singer/songwriter Grushecky and The Houserockers have recently released their new first-rate album, More Yesterdays than Tomorrows. There are many hot tracks on the album including the introspective rocker title song; classic sounding Houserocker songs “Got to Go to Work Today,” “Blood, Sweat and Beers” and “Rev It Up;”  blues rock burners —  “Burn Us Down” (with a nice acoustic guitar flourish at the end) and “Hell to Pay” (with a little “Bo Diddley Beat” in it): and “That’s What Makes Us Great” with several vocal passages contributed by Grushecky’s friend, Bruce Springsteen. Another truly remarkable song is “The Voice” with very impressive melodic vocals by Grushecky, pleasing female backing vocals, and brilliant lead guitar work. The song’s about being in gratitude, listening to people, and to “stay strong” throughout life’s challenges. Grushecky and The Houserockers shine on all tracks. First 100 people to enter tonight’s show will receive a free live CD. 7 p.m. Portogallo Peppers N’at, 28 Braddock Ave., Braddock. 

Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers bring the Bash to a rockin' climax.

Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers rockn’ the Pittsburgh Bicentennial Bash.

3) Some books are written and produced rapidly in response to current events; here is a play that fits the category. Robert Schenkkan’s Building the Wall premiered in Los Angeles in March 2017, just two months after the inauguration of Donald Trump. The play is a dystopian drama set in the near future. Trump has been impeached—but not before he reacted to a terrorist attack by massively escalating his anti-immigrant agenda. Immigrants already in the country were rounded up, herded into camps, tortured, and executed. All this was done by U.S. citizens complying with orders, of course, and the play is in the form of a prison interview with a man who carried out such atrocities. 2 p.m. Continues through June 10. Today is a name your own price show. 12 Peers Theater presents Building the Wall in the Richard E. Rauh Studio Theatre. Level B, Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland. (MV)