Canadian Crooner Gino Vannelli at Byham; Pan Prequel “Peter and the Starcatcher” at Heinz (CPs Tues., 5/20/14)
1) Singer-songwriter Gino Vannelli is at Byham Theater tonight for a performance backed by his seven-piece band and Grammy-nominated saxophonist Patrick Lamb. Vannelli has been hard at work since landing small-time gigs in his hometown of Montreal in the ’70s; he released his 18th studio album in 2010. The modern minstrel has been touring the world recently, with stops in Japan and throughout Europe. Vannelli will be sure to delight with Billboard Hot 100 hits “I Just Wanna Stop” and “Living Inside Myself.” The show kicks off at 7:30 p.m. 101 6th St., Cultural District.
2) Opening tonight at Heinz Hall for the first of six performances in six days, Peter and the Starcatcher is a five-time Tony Award-winning play that New York Times chief theater critic Ben Brantley called “the most exhilarating Broadway storytelling in decades.” Billed as a comedic prequel to Peter Pan, Peter and the Starcatcher features more than 100 characters played by a cast of 12. It was adapted from the 2004 children’s novel of the same name written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson and serves as a whimsical original story for the never-gonna-grow-up protagonist created a century ago by J.M. Barrie. Curtain at 7:30 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Cultural District.
3) Be at the Backstage Bar at Theater Square for a free performance and discussion with Pittsburgh jazz great Nelson Harrison. A true jazz Renaissance man, Harrison is a musician, composer, jazz historian, and creator of the trombetto—a combination trombone and cornet that allows for greater versatility in pitch and style. Along with his more than 400 original compositions, Harrison has played alongside the likes of Kenny Clarke, Billy Eckstine, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Walt Harper, and Nathan Davis, and was once a member of the Count Basie Orchestra. 5 – 9 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Cultural District.
4) Join conceptual artist Alexi Morrissey at the Society for Contemporary Craft for a discussion of his “Have You Seen Me?” project, in which Morrissey imagines what life would have been like in Africa in the 18th century at what was the height of the massive international slave trade. He brings this tumultuous period to life by producing handmade, porcelain milk bottles featuring missing persons’ notices based on real people who were taken from their homes and sold into slavery. The talk will feature both Morrissey and University of Pittsburgh history professor Marcus Rediker, award-winning author of The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom. Free, 7 – 8 p.m. 2100 Smallman Ave., Strip District.
5) The Pirates open a six-game home stand with a two-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at PNC Park. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. 115 Federal St., North Shore.