‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ Continues Strong Run at Stage 62; Apple Hill Playhouse Staging ‘Spitfire Grill’ (Thurs., 7/28/16)

1) What’s to be said about Jesus Christ Superstar is pretty simple. If you are an Andrew Lloyd Webber fan, you know the show and probably love it. You can also bet that the production by Stage 62, a top-notch community theater company, will be a good one, so you book your tickets and go. And if you don’t know J.C. Superstar a bit of background may help. The story is based on the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ last days, though with much interpretation and with Judas as a major character (that’s him fronting the chorus girls in the movie clip above.) The show is more properly called a rock opera than a musical, since all lines are sung and none spoken. Jesus Christ Superstar began as a concept album. Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice then fleshed it out and put it on tour—with the premiere performance staged right here in Pittsburgh, at the Civic Arena on July 12, 1971. The show’s Broadway opening came later that year and it has been playing worldwide ever since. See our review. 8 p.m. Performances through Sunday. In the Music Hall at Andrew Carnegie Free Library, 300 Beechwood Ave., Carnegie. (MV)

2) Definition of a cult classic: You don’t see much about it in the mainstream media, maybe not even in social media, but it keeps surfacing here and there with a frequency that indicates there’s something to it. The Spitfire Grill is that kind of musical. Never a Tony Award winner—indeed, the show didn’t qualify for nomination by making it to Broadway—it nonetheless drew raves from critics during its modest off-Broadway run in 2001, and has become a favorite of regional theater companies nationwide. The Spitfire Grill is now getting its second production of this year in the Pittsburgh area. If you missed the recent one by Front Porch Theatricals, you can catch it at Apple Hill Playhouse. The musical, co-written by James Valcq and Fred Alley, borrows its story from a (non-musical) film of the same title. A woman is paroled from prison after serving a term for manslaughter. Seeking a new start, she takes a job at a small-town eatery where unexpected adventures await. We won’t give spoilers except for a brief cautionary note: Tearjerker alert! 7:30 p.m. Continues through August 6. 275 Manor Rd., Delmont. (MV)

3) Mario’s East Side hosts Team Trivia Night every Thursday. Win, place, or show and your team will earn Mario’s gift certificates. Play against the Miller Lite Girls, and you could even win Miller Lite trinkets and giveaways! Feed your brain some chewy trivia and your stomach some delicious Mario’s food. 8 p.m. 5442 Walnut St., Shadyside.