Cool Picks Sunday January 6, 2012

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1) Flashdance, the musical based on the movie which was set in Pittsburgh ends today at Heinz Hall. The story chronicles a “Steel Town” girl who holds two interesting jobs: welder and Go Go dancer, yet yearns to reach her dream of becoming a professional dancer. Sprinkle a little magical “blue dust” and her dreams start to come true. 1 & 6:30 p.m. There’s also a pre-show talk about the production tonight. 600 Penn Ave. Downtown Cultural District. Editors note: Mawby’s Bar (in the movie) where Alex worked as a go go dancer, was actually a bar set built from scratch in an empty Los Angeles store room.

2)  If you live a little further out from the city center and wish to ice skate in a sylvan setting, then Allegheny County’s North and South Park’s ice skating rinks are “your ticket to fun!”  The rinks offer both free and paid skating lessons, and skate rentals. Today’s sessions are: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; 4:30-7 p.m.; 7:30-9 p.m. North Park Rink is on Pearce Mill Road. South Park Rink is on Buffalo Drive.

3) Promised Land (R), a new movie shot in the Pittsburgh region is screening locally. 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) Running at full blast are the neighboring ski resorts Seven Springs Mountain Resort and Hidden Valley Resort. Both are reporting full operations for skiing and snowboarding. If outdoor winter sports aren’t “your cup of tea,” both resorts offer many other indoor activities; swimming pools, work-out rooms. spa services, and eating and drinking near fireplaces.

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Rick Handler

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