Pittsburgh Rock Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Party; “Company” at PPT; PSO Performs Music of Film Composer John Williams (CPs Thu., 1/23/14)
1) Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, ZZ Top, The Beach Boys, Aerosmith, and the Grateful Dead are some of the acts that legendary Pittsburgh rock promoter Rich Engler presented on Pittsburgh concert stages as part owner of DiCesare-Engler Productions. His achievements have long been recognized, (he’s just published a book on his experiences, Behind the Stage Door) and he’s now being inducted as the inaugural member of the Pittsburgh Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame. You can join in tonight’s festivities that benefit the Cancer Caring Center at the Hard Rock Café. Event highlights include performances by several of the biggest names in Pittsburgh rock: Grushecky, Iris, Blasey, and more. Rock memorabilia will be auctioned off, and food and drinks served. There’s a VIP pre-event at 5:30 p.m. with the main event starting at 6:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit the Cancer Caring Center. Hard Rock Cafe, 230 W Station Square Dr.
2) Stephen Sondheim’s Company mines comedy from the sinking, awful feeling some people have of still being single at 35. Neurotic, romantically frustrated Robert is an upper-middle-class New Yorker and all his friends are couples. In the first act, he makes a series of awkward inquiries to find out why their respective relationships work. (Non-spoiler alert: Many of them really don’t.) In the second, he tries again with a succession of three women. The musical, which garnered in 1971 a then-record 14 Tony nominations, is occasionally updated to reflect the times. Maybe in its production, Pittsburgh Public Theater will include a line about Robert revising his OKCupid profile for the umpteenth time or not understanding a date’s attempt to start sexting. In any case, the show starts today and lasts through Feb. 23. 8 p.m. 621 Penn Ave., Cultural District.
3) John Williams is to film composers as Florence Nightingale is to nurses or Marie Curie to chemists: If you can only name one example from that category, it’s him. Williams has an uncanny knack for attaching himself to momentous blockbusters. Among his credits: Superman, Home Alone, all the Star Wars movies, the Harry Potter franchise, and, with one exception, every film Steven Spielberg has made. For the next four evenings, Lawrence Loh is conducting the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in the Music of John Williams. Come to Heinz Hall to hear a few tunes that you might recognize if you’ve seen any big movie in the last four decades. 7:30 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Cultural District.
4) Comedian Roy Wood Jr., is best known for the crank calls he started doing as a morning radio host in Florida. He has impersonated everyone from upset retail customers to child welfare officials and slowly made his insults more overt until his targets screamed at him. His greatest hit: Calling Carnival Cruises claiming his ancestor left his wallet on a slave ship and asking if they could check the lost and found. (The representative actually checked her computer and informed him that Carnival doesn’t own any slave ships!) Now a stand-up comic, and with a four-day stay starting today at the Improv, Wood tells autobiographical tales and riffs on things like why the rudeness of Waffle House is better than the feigned politeness of Walmart. 8 p.m. 166 E. Bridge St., Homestead.
5) Flamenco, a distinctly exotic dance/musical style that combines the gypsy allure and North African rhythms that converged in 18th-century Spain, is surprisingly being recreated at the New Hazlett Theater by a buncha yinzers. Saxophonist Erik Lawrence, chanteuse Phat Man Dee, dancer/choreographer Olivia Kissel, and the ensemble Alba Flamenca—all locals—have teamed up to produce a show called Fiesta Flamenca. Take that, anyone who still thinks Pittsburgh’s culture offerings are not worldly. 7:30 p.m. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Shore.
6) Combine the offbeat musicality of Frank Zappa with the laid back improvisation of Widespread Panic—add an occasional dash of the electronic zips and zaps of ’80s arcade games—and you’d have Dopapod. For years, the weirdo Brooklyn band has played the festivals where that kind of thing would go over well (Gathering of the Vibes, Mountain Jam, Burning Man, etc.) and has amassed three studio albums in the process. With an opening set from Cleveland’s similar groove-based Broccoli Samurai, Dopapod is taking their odd style to the Rex Theatre today. 9 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side.