Fitz and The Tantrums and Young the Giant at Stage AE; South Park Staging ‘Putnam County Spelling Bee’ (Thurs., 6/27/19)

1) Fitz and The Tantrums first big success came about nine years ago. The band broke out in 2010 when the album Pickin’ Up the Pieces reached number one on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart. The album generated several hits, including “MoneyGrabber,” “Don’t Gotta Work It Out,” and “Breakin’ the Chains of Love.” Fitz and the Tantrums followed up with 2013’s More Than Just a Dream. Its “Out of My League” also climbed the charts. Fitz and the Tantrums have grown into a more highly polished dance-pop sound and have lost some of their raw musical power, but they are still a very interesting band to hear live. Their 2016 release, Fitz and The Tantrums, contained the hit single “HandClap.” In March, they released a new song, “123456,” which is from a forthcoming new studio album. Fitz and The Tantrums co-headline with Young the Giant, an alternative rock band from Irvine, California. The group is best known for its hits “My Body”, “Cough Syrup,” and “Apartment.” Giant’s latest release is 2018’s Mirror Master. Special guest is Coin. Doors open at 6 p.m. Stage AE, 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. 


2) If you’re looking for hilariously edgy satire that borders on Theater of the Absurd, would you expect to find it in a musical about a middle-school spelling bee? Maybe not, but that’s what The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee delivers. With music by William Finn and a Tony Award-winning book by Rachel Sheinkin, the show is aimed primarily at adult-to-teen audiences; don’t bring younger kids unless you’re OK with their hearing songs like “My Unfortunate Erection.” Other songs include “Magic Foot,” about a contestant whose foot does the spelling, and … well, you gotta see it to believe it. South Park Theatre presents The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the corner of Brownsville Rd. and Corrigan Dr..7:30 p.m. Continues through July 13. South Park Township. (MV)

3) The backstory: Agamemnon, commander of the Greek forces in the Trojan War, has returned home victorious only to be murdered by his wife and his wife’s lover. Now the deed cries out for vengeance, and in Sophocles’s tragedy Electra, the dead king’s daughter and her brother Orestes face the task. The play premiered in Athens around 400 BCE and is considered among the greatest of the extant Greek tragedies. Little Lake Theatre performs Electra with Rachel Pfenningwerth in the title role, Brendan Karras as Orestes, and a traditional Greek-style chorus to sing and chant commentary. 8 p.m. Runs through July 13. 500 Lakeside Dr. South, Canonsburg. (MV)

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Rick Handler

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