1) Although not necessarily ignored by radio programmers, Robert Randolph and the Family Band have built their fan base night after night through killer live shows, a la the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers. Their concerts have all the spitfire of a tent revival. The band encourages—even demands—audience participation, enticing people into singing along, even occasionally pausing the music to give dance instructions. Leader Randolph is known for his fiery skills on the steel guitar, an instrument played sitting down, but he’ll rise up, kicking over his chair as he does. With their roof-raising brand of soul, funk, and rock, the New Jersey-born band is set to acquire a few more admirers tonight at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. 8 p.m. 285 Northgate Dr., Warrendale.
2) While most of the folks from vocal groups of the ’50s and ’60s have retired or, well, passed on, there is still a handful on tour, acting as roving ambassadors for America’s rich musical past and instant portals into yesteryear. Some will be at Heinz Hall tonight for the Holiday Doo Wop Show. On the bill are Gene Chandler (“Duke of Earl”), The Legendary Teenagers (“Why Do Fools Fall in Love“), Sonny Turner, former lead singer of The Platters (“The Great Pretender”), Tommy Mara and The Crests (“Sixteen Candles”), Barbara Harris and the Toys, and Pittsburgh’s favorite doo wop group—Johnny Angel and The Halos. Expect to hear seasonal favorites and top hits. 7:30 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Cultural District.
3) In contrast to Dickens’ Oliver Twist—which was made into the Broadway musical Oliver!—his later and more nuanced novel Great Expectations translates nicely to straight (non-musical) theater. It’s the seriocomic saga of an orphan boy who becomes a fashionable gentleman, then ultimately something better: a mature man. PICT Classic Theatre is performing the artful adaptation by Irish playwright Hugh Leonard that premiered in Dublin in 1995 but is seldom staged in the U.S. Dylan Marquis Meyers—the young acting phenom seen previously in PICT’s Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme—stars in Great Expectations as Pip, the orphan. 2 p.m. Runs through Dec. 20. Charity Randall Theatre in the Stephen Foster Memorial, 4301 Forbes Ave., Oakland.