“The Book of Mormon” Opens Tonight”; Elbow Room Continues Shadyside Success (CPs Tues., 9/23/14)

The Mormon missionaries have their work cut out for them. Left to right: Monica L. Patton, David Larsen, Cody Jamison Strand. "The Book of Mormon" national tour. Photo by Joan Marcus 2014.

The Mormon missionaries have their work cut out for them. Left to right: Monica L. Patton, David Larsen, Cody Jamison Strand. “The Book of Mormon” national tour. Photo by Joan Marcus 2014.

1) If you missed The Book of Mormon last time it was in town, you’ll know to reserve tickets early. The show won nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical, in 2011. Some critics call it one of the best musicals ever. In an age when few things can truly shock an audience, this work—by the creators of the “South Park” TV series Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Avenue Q co-creator Robert Lopez—is shockingly (and hilariously) irreverent while also being surprisingly uplifting. Two naïve young Mormon missionaries are sent to win converts in a remote African village, and the hijinks unfold from there. The touring production is brought here by Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s PNC Broadway Across America series. 7:30 p.m. Runs through Oct. 5. Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Cultural District.

2) The Elbow Room has been a Shadyside casual dining and drinking landmark since 1947. Now in its new Walnut Street location (the former Max and Erma’s second floor spot) for several years, the friendly tavern, owned by the DiFiore family, features tasty burgers, hand-cut fries, pasta dishes, big salads, homestyle meatloaf, and an extensive selection of wine, beer, and cocktails. Another popular aspect of the The Elbow Room is their Reverse Happy Hour. From 9-11 p.m. nightly, they offer a tantalizing selection of half-price specialty martinis and cosmopolitans for only $5. Choices include pumpkin, spiced apple, and French martinis and a Bartenders Martini, which changes nightly. Paired up with an app or entrée, it makes for a nice late-evening indulgence. Open today  from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., with the kitchen closing at 10 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, it’s open from 11 a.m. – midnight, with the kitchen closing at 11 p.m. 5533 Walnut St.

3) Storyman is the songwriting duo of Kevin May and Mick Lynch, formerly of The Guggenheim Grotto. Both May and Lynch are from Ireland where there is a great storytelling tradition. Another cool thing about Storyman is that on their music blog they write about how they will come and play at your house if certain conditions are met—although you have to e-mail them to find out what those conditions are. One of their top songs is “Coming Home.” Their sound is like an electronically tinged folk/pop. Special guest is Fry Jones. 8 p.m. Club Cafe, 56 – 58 S. 12th St., South Side.

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Rick Handler

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