Kool & The Gang Plays Rivers Casino; PPG Hosts Casting Crowns; Aziz Ansari Performs at Heinz Hall (Sat., 3/9/19)

1) You can definitely “Get Down On It” with Kool & the Gang in concert. With hits like “Celebration,” “Misled,” and  “Fresh,” Kool & The Gang are one of the premier funk bands of the 1970’s and ’80s. The group was started in the 1960s by Robert “Kool” Bell and his brother Ronald. The Gang’s first chart success came with 1973’s Wild and Peaceful  album that spun off the hits “Jungle Boogie” and “Hollywood Swinging.” Kool & the Gang continued to chart in the ensuing decades, and they’ll be at Rivers Casino in the new event center. 8 p.m. Sold out. 777 Casino Dr., North Shore. (RH)

Kool & the Gang performing at Leverkusener Jazztage in Germany in 2017. (photo: Andreas Lawen, Fotandi and Wikipedia)

Kool & the Gang performing at Leverkusener Jazztage in Germany in 2017. (photo: Andreas Lawen, Fotandi and Wikipedia)

2) Casting Crowns will headline the PPG Paints Arena. From student-worship band to arena act, independent albums to top-selling Billboard Christian music act, Casting Crowns have risen meteorically since forming in 1999 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Meanwhile the members, now based in Georgia, haven’t forgotten their roots. Many still continue to minister. This includes frontman Mark Hall, who is also the author of many faith-based books. The moving “Oh My Soul,” from 2016’s The Very Next Thing, addresses his battle with cancer. Casting Crowns broke with their self-titled 2003 album, which went platinum. Their next album, 2005’s Lifesong, won a Grammy for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album. They released an EP, It’s Finally Christmas, in 2017 and an LP, Only Jesus, in 2018. Zach Williams, whose album Chain Breaker won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album in 2018, opens as does Austin French. 7 p.m. 1001 5th Ave., Uptown. (CM)

3) Actor/comedian Aziz Ansari was the first cast member hired for the hit NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation,” which began airing in 2009. Previous to that he performed stand up in New York City, worked with the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy troupe, had his own comedy sketch show on MTV, and appeared in several movies including Funny People and I Love You Man. Ansari is originally from South Carolina where his mother is an obstetrician and gynecologist and his father is a gastroenterologist. He attended college at NYU. Ansari has won two Emmys and one Golden Globe award. In January 2018 he was accused of sexual misconduct, but was not charged. Recent work by Ansari  includes the Netflix series “Master of None” and his appearance in the 2017 documentary, The Problem with Apu. 7:30 p.m. Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Cultural District.

4) In 2016, students and faculty at the Sharpe Academy of Theatre Arts in England set a Guinness World Record for Fastest Theatrical Production. Given a sealed packet revealing the show they were to do—the musical Annie—they learned, rehearsed, and staged it for a paying audience, complete with sets and costumes, 15 hours later. Stage Right of Greensburg is out to break the record. Members of the group’s professional company and school aim to prepare a musical in 14 hours and 30 minutes. You can see the result at 8 p.m. on March 9 at The Palace Theatre, 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg.(MV)

5) Bill Toms and Hard Rain with the Soulville Horns will be rockin’ out Portogallo’s Peppers N’ At tonight. Toms’ slightly raspy, deeply soulful voice and his guitar playing prowess combine with the drums, horns, and rest of the band to create a hot rock sound. Their last release was Good For My Soul. Toms and band will be holding a CD release party on March 30 at Club Cafe for a new live recording. 8 p.m. 28 Braddock Ave., Braddock