Guided By Voices Plays Spirit; ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ Opens at Benedum (Tues., 9/18/18)

1) Spirit hosts Guided By Voices, a band which formed in 1983 in Dayton, Ohio. Although there have been some personnel changes over the years, and the band even dissolved for a while before reforming in 2010 (and then again with a new lineup in 2016), one constant has been the main songwriter, Robert Pollard. GBV is known for its indie-rock, lo-fi sound, and for its prolific output. The band has released 25 LPs, most recently 2018’s Space Gun. (The band’s Wikipedia page resembles an independent film studio’s with releases scheduled through 2020.) Pollard, meanwhile, has released 22 solo LPs. Feeling overwhelmed? 1995’s Alien Lanes is a good entry point. Other trivia: Pollard worked as a school teacher before focusing on music full-time. He harks back to this job in songs such as “Gold Star for Robot Boy.” Pollard opened for Pearl Jam at the late Mellon Arena in 2006. 8 p.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. (EC, CM)


2) Pittsburgh gets to be the starting point for the U.S. tour of a hit comedy that’s been playing in London since 2012, and on Broadway for more than a year. The Play That Goes Wrong was created by England’s Mischief Theatre, a company of young stage artists bidding to be the next great boffo British bunch. The concept of The Play That Goes Wrong is simple: It’s an exercise in seeing how wretchedly a play can be done. The structure, to the extent there is one, is that of a play within the play. The touring company’s professional actors portray an amateur theater group trying to perform a murder mystery and failing spectacularly. They blow their lines, chew the scenery, and knock over the scenery—nearly every part of the set breaks or collapses during the play—all of which, audiences have found to be screamingly funny. One shudders to think what this might say about the state of society. We shall observe only that it takes skill to do a good job of acting incompetent. Presented via the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series at Benedum Center. 7:30p.m. Performances continue through September 23. 237 7th  St., Cultural District. (MV)

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Rick Handler

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