Kenny Chesney and Eric Church Play Heinz Field; “The Last Five Years” Continues at Front Porch (Sat., 5/30/15)

1) A Facebook group dedicated to banning Kenny Chesney from ever returning to the North Shore may have gained 6000 likes, but that’s not going to stop the country star from playing Heinz Field again this month as part of The Big Revival tour. Chesney’s last concert at Heinz Field in 2013 left behind kind of a mess. The fans, parking lot operators, and city officials all pitched in to make last year’s concerts at Heinz Field run a little smoother. The Big Revival is Chesney’s 15th studio album, and includes the single “Till It’s Gone”, which topped country charts. Chesney regularly plays the annual Farm Aid benefit. Also on the bill are Eric Church, Brantley Gilbert, Chase Rice, and Old Dominion. 5 p.m. Heinz Field, 100 Art Rooney Ave., North Shore.

2) This is the musical that bends time’s arrow and once triggered a lawsuit. The Last Five Years tells the story of a failed marriage from two viewpoints: the husband relates his side in chronological order while the wife presents hers in reverse, from breakup back to first meeting. Writer/composer Jason Robert Brown based the story on his own failed marriage—perhaps too closely, for after the show premiered in 2001, Brown did some rewriting when faced with legal action from his ex. Aside from these quirks, music fans like The Last Five Years for its intricate, unusual songs and melodies. Front Porch Theatricals is producing the show at the New Hazlett Theater 8 p.m. Runs through May 31. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side.

3) Talk about strange cycles: In 2006, Miki Johnson played a featured role in Quantum Theatre’s After Mrs. Rochester, which was staged at the historic Braddock Carnegie Library and marked the debut of modern avant-garde theater in that steel mill town. Johnson later moved to Houston, Texas where she became a playwright as well as an actress. Now Pittsburgh’s barebones productions is mounting her lauded first play, American Falls, in—where else?—Braddock. The venue this time is the former Superior Motors building, where chef Kevin Sousa will soon open a destination restaurant. American Falls is a slice-of-life drama about people in the small Idaho town of the same name. It’s been called an “Our Town for our times” and won Johnson the 2012 Houston Press award for Best New Playwright. 6 p.m. Continues through May 31. 1211 Braddock Ave., Braddock.

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Rick Handler

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