‘Hamlet’ Continues Run at The Public; Sienna Mercato Offers Three Floors of Food and Fun (Wed., 5/9/18)

Hamlet speaks with the theatrical troupe as they enter the castle.

Hamlet (c.) speaks with the theatrical troupe as they enter the castle. Photo: Michael Henninger.

1) It’s a good thing William Shakespeare didn’t have to write Hamlet for a Hollywood studio. Imagine the complaints: Too philosophical! Script needs more sex, more fight scenes. And why is this Hamlet guy so inconsistent? He can’t make up his mind! Indeed, much of the play’s greatness lies in its ambiguity. Prince Hamlet comes across to us, down through the ages, because he knows too much and yet too little: Yes, life is complex and crazy, but what should we do about it? Hamlet is furthermore Shakespeare at his most eloquent. The play has been analyzed by Sigmund Freud, quoted by Mary Baker Eddy in her textbook on Christian Science, and invoked by the economist Joseph Schumpeter to help explain his theory of creative destruction. Famous actors who’ve played the title role range from Edwin Booth, brother of Lincoln’s assassin, to Ethan Hawke—who delivered the “To be or not to be” soliloquy while roaming the aisles of a Blockbuster video store, in the 2000 movie version set in New York City. And now…

Ted Pappas

Ted Pappas

Ted Pappas, retiring from his longtime post as head of Pittsburgh Public Theater, directs a production of Hamlet to close The Public’s season. Pappas will be back next season to direct Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House Part 2. See our Hamlet review. 8 p.m. Continues through May 20. At the O’Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave., Cultural District. (MV)

 

2) “This must be the place,” David Byrne of Talking Heads fame once sang. You’ll be singing the same tune upon entering Sienna Mercato. The restaurant’s first floor, Emporio, offers four different gourmet meatballs—classic beef, spicy pork, vegetarian, and chicken—and ten sauces, ranging from marinara to basil pesto cream. You can have your meatballs alone or on a bun, and with or without cheese. The second floor—Mezzo—features pastas and wood-fired pizza. Pizza varieties include traditional margherita as well as more exotic fare, like duck speck. Mezzo also has desserts and charcuterie (plates of cured meats, artisan cheeses, and preserves). Il Tetto, the rooftop beer garden, caps off  the Sienna Mercato experience. The garden has over 30 beers on tap, cocktails, and smaller dishes. Whether it’s sunny or snowing, patrons can always appreciate Pittsburgh’s skyscrapers, thanks to the garden’s retractable glass roof (awesome, right?). Don’t worry, an elevator is provided should all that food and drink impede mobility. 942 Penn Ave., Cultural District. (CM)