‘Hooking Up With The Second City’ at PPT; Regent Square Screens ‘Hitchcock/Truffaunt’ Film (Thurs., 1/7/16)

Hooking Up cast

1) When it comes to comedy, The Second City is second to none. Founded in 1959, the Chicago-based company played a major role in developing and popularizing the modern form of improv comedy. (Its early members were pioneers of the art.) Since then the group has also created over 50 years’ worth of outstanding sketch comedy, while turning out a long list of famous “alumni” including John Belushi, Tina Fey, Amy Sedaris, Steve Carell, and Stephen Colbert, to name a few. This weekend you can catch some of their classic skits—along with new material—in the road-show revue Hooking Up With The Second City performed by The Second City’s current touring company.  Hooking Up With The Second City is brought to town by Pittsburgh Public Theater and it’s a chance to see top-notch comedy done by some of the nation’s up-and-coming stars. 8 p.m. Performances through Saturday. O’Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave., Cultural District. (MV)


2) Hitchcock/Truffaut  In 1962 a firebrand director/critic of French filmmaking, François Truffaut, spent a week in the United States interviewing Alfred Hitchcock. They covered Hitchcock’s general thoughts on the art and craft of filmmaking as well as examining all of Hitchcock’s films, one by one. The conversations were edited into book form and “Hitchcock/Truffaut” was released in 1966 and, almost from the date of publication, became an essential work for cineastes the world over. And now documentarian Kent Jones takes a new look at the book and those interviews. Jones plays sections from the actual recordings in which Hitch and François discuss particular sequences … as those sequences are shown on the screen. It’s sort of like the two of them doing a DVD commentary track. Jones has also interviewed a host of directors—Wes Anderson, Peter Bogdanovich, Arnaud Desplechin, David Fincher, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Martin Scorsese (and others) who talk about the influence Hitchcock had on their careers and how the book helped form their notion of “cinema.” 8 p.m. Screenings through Sunday. Regent Square Theater, 1035 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square.


3) Lord of the Rings Trilogy  One Theater … to See Them All.” Here’s your chance to spend a few days watching the cinematic event of the early aughts. Peter Jackson (and half the population of New Zealand) were rightly lauded for this three-part film adaptation of the J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy adventure novels “Fellowship of the Rings,” “The Two Towers,” and “Return of the King.” Hollywood Theater will be showing one each day (the 3-ish hour theatrical release versions, not the 5 hours-plus extended director’s cuts.) Jackson and company did “epic” like it hadn’t been done in years and although the story itself is slightly goofy, the trilogy is a masterpiece of filmmaking. (And let’s just pretend those Hobbit sequels never happened.) Elijah Wood and Sean Austin are Frodo and Samwise, with Viggo Mortensen, Ian (“You Shall Not Pass!”) McKellen, Ian Holm, Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd, John Rhys-Davies, Sean Bean, Orlando Bloom, Liv Tyler, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, and Cate Blanchett. 7:30 p.m. for Return of the Kings Ends today.  The Hollywood Theater, 1449 Potomac Ave., Dormont.