Cirque Du Soleil’s ‘Corteo’ Opens at PPG Paints Arena; Ja Rule Plays Second Sold Out Show at Jergel’s (Wed., 1/16/19)

1) In what’s becoming an annual tradition, Cirque du Soleil makes another January visit to Pittsburgh. Last year we were among the first cities to see Crystal, the company’s first show performed on ice. This year brings us a revival of the popular 2005 production Corteo. Like all Cirque du Soleil shows, it’s in the nouveau cirque form of acrobatics and skits woven around a story line. Corteo’s story may sound grim: a circus clown has a dream in which he imagines his own funeral. But the “funeral” turns out to be a pretext for re-enacting and celebrating high points of the clown’s life. Corteo is said to be spectacular in a stately way, and satisfyingly surreal. 7:30 p.m. Continues through January 20. PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown.

2) Queens-native Ja Rule, who is known for both originals and remixes, plays two sold-out shows over three days at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. His 2001 single, “Always on Time,” which features R&B singer Ashanti, was the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100. That is, until Ja Rule’s remix of Jennifer Lopez’s “Ain’t It Funny” unseated it. His acting credits include an appearance in 2001’s The Fast and the Furious, the first in a highly successful action-film franchise. (2001 was a very good year to be Ja Rule.) He also acted in 2004’s The Cookout, which was co-written by and stars Queen Latifah. Pain Is Love 2, released in 2012, was his latest album. A new album, tentatively titled Coup De Grâce and reportedly his last, has been in the works for years, although no release date has been set yet. 8 p.m. 285 Northgate Dr., Warrendale. (CM)

Ja Rule in 2016 (photo: WebSummit and Wikipedia)

Ja Rule in 2016 (photo: WebSummit and Wikipedia)