Coumtry Star Eric Church Plays PPG Paints Arena; Disney’s ‘Newsies’ Opens at Lincoln Park (Fri., 10/8/21)

1) Country star Eric Church will headline PPG Paints Arena. His most recent album is Heart & Soul, which he released as three records (Heart, &, and Soul) over three different days in April 2021. & was released exclusively to his fanclub, the Church Choir, as a vinyl record. Church is from North Carolina, but like many country artists before him, he pursued his musical dream in Nashville. He released his debut album, Sinners Like Me, in 2006. His first song to enter Billboard’s Hot 100 Top 20 was “Springsteen.” You bet a song named after the Boss is going to have crossover potential. It helped that the tune told a vivid story over uplifting guitar chords, just as the Boss’s songs do. The video’s pretty good too. 8 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. (C.M.)

NEWSIES THE MUSICAL by Alan Menken, Jack Feldman, and Harvey Fierstein, from the Disney film. Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center. Oct. 8 – 17.

2) Is there a better place than the Pittsburgh area to see a musical about labor history? Newsies The Musical (aka Disney’s Newsies) is drawn from the 1992 movie, which in turn was based on the New York newsboys’ strike of 1899. Afternoon dailies back then were sold mainly by young folks—including girls—who paid up front for a bundle of papers, then had to peddle them on the streets till they cleared a profit. When a couple of big publishers made this tough job tougher by raising the cost to the newsies, the newsies struck for better terms. And won. The Newsies musical, with a book by Harvey Fierstein, has fictional elements but is said to stay closer to how things actually went down than the film did. Characters include Joseph Pulitzer, Theodore Roosevelt, and of course the big heroes, the teenaged strike leaders. You may have to travel a bit beyond the city to see this show but the trip should be worthwhile. Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center presents Newsies the Musical at 1 Lincoln Place, Midland. (M.V)