Israel’s Gesher Theater Staging ‘In The Tunnel’; ‘Welcome to Night Vale’ at Byham; Reel Q Film Festival Begins (Thurs., 10/11/18)

1) Gesher Theater of Israel, founded by Russian immigrants to that country, visits Pittsburgh to perform the company’s acclaimed new play In the Tunnel. Tel Aviv-based Gesher is known for its creative adaptations, and this one makes a leap across cultures. In the Tunnel was inspired by the award-winning Danis Tanović film No Man’s Land, set during the Bosnian War of the 1990s. The movie is a tense tragicomedy about soldiers from opposing Bosnian ethnic groups trapped together in a trench and trying to get help, while NGO officials and TV news teams turn their predicament into a mass-media spectacle. Roee Chen, a playwright associated with Gesher, took the premise and ran with it. His In the Tunnel features a bad-bedfellow group of Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants stuck underground in a similar jam, while assorted zany doings of life in the contentious land transpire outside. The satirical play has been called a must-see for persons of all factions and persuasions. It’s performed in Hebrew with English subtitles projected. Presented as part of the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts at the August Wilson Center. 7:30 p.m. Continues through October 13. 980 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. (MV)

2) Night Vale is the town where losers in the lottery are devoured by wolves at the petting zoo, unless they set fire to their homes, because the wolves cannot detect the presence of arsonists. It is where a young woman led a “book drive” that consisted of rounding up books and herding them on the long trail out of town. Traffic reports in Night Vale are filled with philosophical musings about the meaninglessness of going anywhere, while the Sheriff’s Secret Police struggle to protect the town from supernatural phenomena, and local folks take courage in the slogan “We have nothing to fear except ourselves. We are unholy, awful people.” The bimonthly podcast  Welcome to Night Vale premiered in 2012. It has been called a dark version of Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon stories, but this is inaccurate; it exists in a separate aesthetic dimension. Now the Welcome to Night Vale creative team visits Pittsburgh to perform a new live episode of the saga, titled “A Spy in the Desert.” Audience participation is promised, and the weather—always sung by indie guest artists—is provided by singer/songwriter Mal Blum. 8 p.m. Byham Theater, 101 6th  St., Cultural District. (MV)

3) Reel Q: Pittsburgh LGBT Film Festival is programmed and presented by the Pittsburgh Lesbian and Gay Film Society and features films created by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered writers, directors, and actors. On their site they state that “Reel Q is the 5th oldest LGBTQ+ film festival in the United States, the 6th oldest in the world, and the 2nd oldest festival in Pittsburgh. We bring approximately 20 first-run LGBT-themed full-length films and 25 short films ranging from comedies, dramas, avant-garde, and documentaries.” The festival begins tonight with a screening of Ideal HomeThe festival continues through October 14. For more info on films and events visit their website. 7:30 p.m. Harris Theater, 809 Liberty Ave. Cultural District.

Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum
Free admission: noon-8PM
Special event included (6:30PM-8PM): Spotlight on The Unknow Soldier of D-Day – A Lecture by George Gaadt about the unique story behind one of the most famous photographs taken during the D-Day invasion of Normandy.
The nation’s only military memorial and museum dedicated to honoring the men and women of all branches of service, from all generations and conflicts. The marble tiled floors of Soldiers & Sailors lead you on a pathway of discovery where you walk a timeline of themed displays ranging from the Civil War through our most recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. View artifacts and learn about objects ranging from uniforms, medals, firearms, artwork and equipment.
4141 Fifth Ave. (Oakland)

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Rick Handler

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