In ‘The Play’ Rocky Bleier is the Featured Back; Melanie Martinez Brings Her Bubble Gum Goth to Stage AE (Tues., 9/15/15)

Behold the Rock, comin' at you on stage.

Behold the Rock, comin’ at you on stage.

1) Of the many outstanding football players in Pittsburgh Steelers history, none has accomplished what Robert “Rocky” Bleier did. A running back from Notre Dame, Bleier was drafted almost as an afterthought (in the 16th round) by the Steelers in 1968, then soon was drafted again, by the U.S. Army. He won medals for combat service in Vietnam, though, unfortunately, one was a Purple Heart. Bullets and shrapnel tore severe wounds in both of Bleier’s legs. Just walking became a struggle; doctors told him that playing ball again was unthinkable. Yet Bleier kept working at it … miraculously regaining a spot on the Steelers roster in 1971 … and wound up starring in the backfield with Franco Harris through the team’s run of four Super Bowl titles that decade.

Sportswriter Gene Collier, who co-authored The Chief, about Steelers founder Art Rooney, has made Bleier’s story into a one-man play called simply The Play. Bleier himself performs in it, drawing on the stage presence he’s gained from his post-football career as a public speaker. A special Sept. 15 performance benefits Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. 7:30 p.m. One night only. Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Cultural District. (MV)


2) Melanie Martinez was only 17 when she auditioned on season three of NBC’s “The Voice.” Martinez played an acoustic version of Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” complete with kick-tambourine. That goosebump-inducing performance got three judges to hit the “I Want You” button. She chose Adam Levine as her vocal coach, sang covers of artists ranging from Ray Charles to The White Stripes, and made it all the way to the top six before being eliminated. Despite the loss, Martinez found post-talent-show success. Her debut EP, Dollhouse, plays like Siouxsie and the Banshees meets Goodnight Moon. (Check out “Carousel.”) She brings her bubble gum goth to The Club at Stage AE tonight. Special guest is Handsome Ghost. Doors open 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (CM)

3) Getaway to the tropics with a trip to Brillobox for Tropical Tuesdays. There you’ll feel the trade winds (breeze from the fans) soothing your overdue vacation bones. Here’s a sampling of their specials: $3 select craft cans, $4 frozen drinks, $10 California bubble bath, $10 Eva Peron, $7 Fernet con cola, and $6 Coronita Margaveza. You can also sop up the island drinks with $7 pineapple soy-glazed chicken or tofu skewers served with Caribbean sweet potato salad. Shoes and shirt required. 5 p.m. – 2 a.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield.

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Rick Handler

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