Creed Lead Singer Scott Stapp in Concert at Altar Bar; Opening Night for Quantum’s ‘Ciara’ (Wed., 1/27/16)

1) Ah, the late ‘90s. All a musician had to do was appear on “Total Request Live,” and he or she would go four-, five-, six-times platinum. (Then came Napster.) But, even with context in mind, sales for 1999’s Human Clay, Creed’s sophomore album, boggle the mind. A Diamond certification by the RIAA—that’s over 10 million copies sold in the U.S. alone. Worldwide, sales reached an estimated 20 million. A single off that album, “With Arms Wide Open,” also earned a Grammy for Best Rock Song. In 2004, Creed split (they’d reunite in 2009), and frontman Scott Stapp went solo, releasing The Great Divide in 2005 and Proof of Life in 2013. With acts 7 Aurelius and The Tea Party, Stapp contributed a song to The Passion of the Christ soundtrack. With the Florida (now Miami) Marlins, he adapted his song “You Will Soar” into a theme for the ballclub—“Marlins Will Soar.” These days, Stapp is soaring once again with a new tour. He lands at Altar Bar for a solo show. Rockett Queen and Descendsion open. 7 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. (CM)

2) Every so often, in its forays into the unusual, Quantum Theatre presents a play that sets out to conduct a sweeping exploration of all aspects of the human condition, or at least a lot of them. Mnemonic (performed in 2013) was one such play and Ciara, by David Harrower, is another. But whereas Mnemonic took you on a whirlwind tour of the history and mysteries of Western civilization, with parallel plots unfolding across Europe while actors hopped between multiple roles, Ciara offers a different kind of journey. This new piece by Scottish playwright David Harrower is a one-person, one-location play. The title character is a middle-aged woman who owns an art gallery. Her late father was a mobster, head of a criminal enterprise now run by her husband. At the gallery, Ciara is exhibiting an artist who ignites her passion, in more ways than one. And as she reminisces and rambles, she reveals a life in which art, crime, love, drugs, violence, and high and low society all come together, or maybe apart.

Ciara was a sensation at the Edinburgh Fringe festival in 2013. Quantum is giving the play its U.S. premiere with Mary Rawson as Ciara. 8 p.m. Continues through February 14. Set designers include noted Pittsburgh painter Robert Qualters and filmmaker Joe Seamans. At Javo Studios, 5137 Holmes St., Lawrenceville. (MV)


3) Dirty Grandpa – Sometimes even legends have to pay the rent. I think that might explain why Robert DeNiro is showing up in this comedy by longtime Sasha Baron Cohen collaborator Dan Mazer. Zac Efron plays a severely repressed corporate lawyer and the grandson of DeNiro. When the film opens Zac is one week away from marrying his prim and proper girlfriend when tragedy strikes: his grandmother has just died. Being a good grandson Zac offers to help his rough-around-the-edges grandfather with the grieving process. I kinda guessed it would be a road movie in which grandfather and grandson bond and each learns a life lesson from the other. Wrong! Little does Zac know that DeNiro is a foul-mouthed old coot and he tricks Zac into driving him to spring break in Miami so that he, DeNiro, can get lucky with one (or many) of the bodacious undergrads. In the trailer I saw, a near naked Efron is dancing in a frat house and crowing: “I just smoked crack!” Maybe it’s time we hold a telethon for DeNiro. (TH)

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Rick Handler

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