Spyro Gyra in Concert at MCG Jazz; Pittsburgh Improv Hosts Mitch Fatel (CPs Fri., 11/14/14)

1) Noted jazz fusion group Spyro Gyra performs two shows tonight for the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Jazz Series. Originally formed in Buffalo, N.Y., in the mid ’70s, the band has recorded 30 albums and achieved success with such jazz favorites as “Morning Dance” and “Cafe Amore.” Their latest release is the 2013 The Rhinebeck Sessions. The band’s name is a purposeful misspelling of Spirogyra, a form of green algae that founding band member Jay Beckenstein wrote about for a biology paper when in college. 7 and 9:30 p.m. 1815 Metropolitan St., Manchester.

2) Internships have taken criticism recently as unpaid labor leading nowhere. But the one Mitch Fatel had seemed to work out. Fatel, now a comedian, was once an intern for the Howard Stern Show. (Yes, in a lawsuit waiting to happen, Stern has interns.) This is probably where Fatel learned to talk about boobs, which he does at length in a slow, simply squirrelly style. A comedic sampling: “I don’t even know why I like breasts. They don’t do anything. They just bounce up and down, and it makes me happy.” If that kind of observational humor gets a giggle out of you, he’ll be at The Improv all weekend. 8 and 10:30 p.m. 166 E. Bridge St., Homestead.

3) Hardcore opera fans already know the score, and those wanting to attend their first opera might as well start with one of the greatest: Otello. The Pittsburgh Opera production shows why Giuseppe Verdi’s late-life masterwork has become a perennial favorite. Its tragic story of deceit and misjudgment is based on Shakespeare’s Othello, and the power of the story is magnified by Verdi’s magnificent music and the work of his librettist, Arrigo Boito. The esteemed tenor Carl Tanner visits Pittsburgh to sing the title role—a heroic general misled into thinking his wife is unfaithful—while Danielle Pastin sings Desdemona and Anthony Michaels-Moore is the spine-chilling villain Iago. Sung in Italian, with English text displayed. 7:30 p.m. Benedum Center, 237 7th St., Cultural District.    

4) Dancing Queen will put people on the dance floor at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. The disco/funk band takes the stage at 9 p.m. 285 Northgate Dr., Warrendale.

5) Good Fridays at The Warhol is a weekly party at the museum, featuring art, exhibits, music, and cocktails in the high temple to Andy Warhol’s numerous talents. Half-price museum admission. 5 – 10 p.m. 117 Sandusky St., North Shore.

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Rick Handler

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