‘Grounded’ Lands at City Theatre; ‘The Planets’ Spin Through the Palace (CPs Sat., 3/29/2014)
1) It has been barely two years since George Brandt’s Grounded debuted, but the play has already been staged in New York, London, San Francisco, Edinburgh, Tucson, and now Pittsburgh, via City Theatre. One reason for its spread is that Grounded is simple to produce: It is a one-woman show, a series of monologues delivered by an Air Force pilot (Kelly McAndrew in the City Theatre show) who is grounded due to pregnancy, then reduced to controlling drones from a Las Vegas trailer as her newborn sleeps a few feet away. Another attraction is its on-topic poignancy; critics have deemed it an arresting look at the detachment of modern life and modern warfare. City Theatre’s production starts tonight and runs through May 2. 5:30 p.m. 1300 Bingham St., South Side.
2) In the 1910s, English composer Gustav Holt had the idea of writing a symphonic suite in which each of the seven parts represented a planet seen in the night sky and its corresponding astrological character. That turned out to be a good idea; Holt’s The Planets became one of the most performed works of the 20th century and is being revisited a century later by the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra tonight at the Palace Theatre. The work became so popular that Holt began to resent it overshadowing his others and declined to add a new part when Pluto was discovered—which also turned out to be a good idea because Pluto, it turns out, was apparently never really a planet. 7:30 p.m. 21 W Otterman St., Greensburg.
3) Speaking of works frequently brought back due to audience demand, the Pittsburgh Opera is staging Puccini’s often produced La Bohème at the Benedum Center for a two-weekend run that begins today. Return once again to late 19th-century Paris as the poet Rodolfo woos his love Mimi. As a bonus, the sets are by Michael Yeargan, winner of two Tony Awards for Scenic Design. 8 p.m. 803 Liberty Ave., Cultural District.
4) Lake Street Dive plays jazz-tinged soul and after hearing lead singer Rachael Price, you’ll realize they were meant for the genre. Price’s voice is full but buoyant, echoing Joss Stone or Alicia Keys. The group of New England Conservatory grads made waves with a laid-back cover of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” and are now touring behind their second album, Bad Self Portraits. Their show at Mr. Smalls tonight is sold out but some tickets may still be available online; Portland indie pop band Ages and Ages opens. 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Milvale.
5) For its entertainment feature tonight, the Meadows Racetrack and Casino has scored Cityscape, a local cover band known for getting people grooving with its mix of pop, jazz, and country, all of it danceable. 8 p.m. 210 Racetrack Rd., Washington.