CHMH Hosts Esperanza Spalding; ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’ Continues at PICT Classic Theater (Fri., 12/7/18)

1) Esperanza Spalding is renowned for her mix of jazz, blues, hip-hop, Brazilian, and Afro-Cuban influences. Spalding, a native of Portland, Oregon, is an accomplished composer, singer, and bassist, and she also sings in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. She won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 2011 (famously beating Justin Bieber in an upset and becoming the first jazz artist to win the award). Her seventh studio album, 12 Little Spells, dropped this year. The album contains, appropriately, 12 tracks. Her live shows are also stellar and have included a performance at the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies at Oslo City Hall. When she was touring her fifth album, Emily’s D+Evolution—which saw production by longtime David Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti—she incorporated elaborate stage design and acting into her show. Pittsburghers can see her at Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall. 8 p.m. 510 E. 10th Ave., Munhall. (RH, CM)

Can Little Nell escape the clutches of evil Quilp? Martin Giles is the mad moneylender and Caroline Lucas is the heart-rending heroine in this stage version of 'The Old Curiosity Shop.' (photo: Keith A. Truax)

Can Little Nell escape the clutches of evil Quilp? Martin Giles is the mad moneylender and Caroline Lucas is the heart-rending heroine in this stage version of ‘The Old Curiosity Shop.’ (photo: Keith A. Truax)

2) The story: A virtuous orphan girl lives with her grandfather, a London shopkeeper with an unfortunate gambling habit. When he loses big—on borrowed money, no less—Little Nell and grandpa flee to the countryside, where they encounter characters both colorful and frightening, while various persons with various intentions seek the fugitive pair. Charles Dickens’ The Old Curiosity Shop was published in installments during 1840-41. It had readers waiting anxiously for each episode, wondering What’s going to happen to Little Nell? Now Alan Stanford, artistic director of PICT Classic Theatre, has adapted The Old Curiosity Shop for the stage. For details on the dramatization of this early Victorian saga, see our review. PICT performs the play in the Fred Rogers Studio at WQED. 7:30 p.m. Performances continue through December 15. 4802 Fifth Ave., Oakland. (MV)

2) 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.