Cool Picks Friday December 28, 2012

Cool Picks bring you the best in Pittsburgh entertainment every day!

1) The best-selling, solo pianist of our time, Jim Brickman, is in concert tonight at the Byham Theatre. Brickman, a two-time Grammy nominated musician can also be recognized from several concerts he’s done on PBS TV. His current tour is On a Winter’s Night, where Brickman gently blends holiday songs of new and old with his catalog of hits for a joyous night of music. 8 p.m. 101 6th St., Downtown Cultural District.

2) With the Steeler’s failure to make the playoffs and the NHL players and owners at an impasse, here’s an event to warm the “cockles” of a Pittsburgh sports fan’s heart – Three Rivers Classic: College Hockey Tournament.  Held at the Consol Energy Center, the tournament features teams from: Robert Morris University (Robert Morris’ two previous hockey seasons were the best in the school’s history), Penn State University, Ohio State University, and Miami University. 4:30 p.m. (Robert Morris vs. Penn State) & 7:30 p.m. (Ohio State vs. Miami). Uptown.

3) Promised Land (R), a new movie shot in the Pittsburgh region opens today. The film’s story chronicles a town’s struggle to choose it’s future. To remain environmentally pure or sell out their individual farm’s drilling rights to a shale gas fracking company. The diametrically opposed characters (Matt Damon as the sharp, drilling company salesman, and John Krasinski as a farmer opposed to drilling since it negatively impacted his farm) play their roles to perfection. There’s an amazing supporting cast with Monessen native, Frances McDormand; veteran actor, Hal Holbrook; and talented Pittsburgh actor, John Seibel, who has appeared in several films shot in Pittsburgh. Promised Land was  directed by Gus Van Sant.

4) The Funk Ark docks at Pittsburgh’s Thunderbird Cafe. The Funk Ark is a Washington, D.C. band who’s founder, Will Rast (composer, pianist and spokesperson), is fulfilling his dream of turning his soul over to “The Funk!” 9 p.m. 4023 Butler St., Lawrenceville.