Last Day for ‘Hooking Up With The Second City’ at PPT; ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Musical Continues (Sat., 1/9/16)

Hooking Up cast

1) When it comes to comedy, The Second City is second to none. Founded in 1959, the Chicago-based company played a major role in developing and popularizing the modern form of improv comedy. (Its early members were pioneers of the art.) Since then the group has also created over 50 years’ worth of outstanding sketch comedy, while turning out a long list of famous “alumni” including John Belushi, Tina Fey, Amy Sedaris, Steve Carell, and Stephen Colbert, to name a few. This weekend you can catch some of their classic skits—along with new material—in the road-show revue Hooking Up With The Second City performed by The Second City’s current touring company.  Hooking Up With The Second City is brought to town by Pittsburgh Public Theater and it’s a chance to see top-notch comedy done by some of the nation’s up-and-coming stars. 5:30 and 9 p.m. Performances through Saturday. O’Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave., Cultural District. (MV)


It's all green light in Emerald City when the remake of "The Wizard of Oz" visits the Steel City. And should you want wizardry newer than Oz, there's plenty of that scheduled for Pittsburgh stages too.

It’s all green light in Emerald City when the remake of “The Wizard of Oz” visits the Steel City. And should you want wizardry newer than Oz, there’s plenty of that scheduled for Pittsburgh stages too.

2) Update alert: If you haven’t heard “Red Shoes Blues” (above), you are missing the latest version of The Wizard of Oz. The song is one of the new numbers added by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber when they teamed with director Jeremy Sams to re-conceive the classic movie as a stage musical. Their Wizard premiered in London in 2011, and now the North American touring production is booked into Heinz Hall. The show also includes the songs that Judy Garland and company made famous in the 1939 film— “Over the Rainbow,” “We’re Off to See the Wizard,” “If I Only Had a Heart,” etc.—and, like the film, the new musical stays close to the plot of L. Frank Baum’s original children’s novel. Baum published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900. Since then the Oz story has been adapted into plays, movies, and other media in languages from Turkish to Japanese. It has been animated, Motowned, and Muppeted. This is your chance to see it Riced and Webbered. 2 and 8 p.m. Runs through Monday. Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Cultural District. (MV)

3) One of the more interesting venues in town is Pittsburgh CLO’s Cabaret theater, an intimate space where the group presents comical musical fare in extended runs. Up currently is Altar Boyz, a cheerfully irreverent send-up of two popular trends: boy bands and Christian-themed music. The fictional Altar Boyz of the title are a group with members named Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan, and Abraham (he’s Jewish). Song-and-dance bits like “Church Rulez” and the hip-hop “Miracle Song” stop short of the outrageousness seen in The Book of Mormon but are quite rousing. The original off-Broadway production of Altar Boyz, by Gary Adler, Michael Patrick Walker, and Kevin Del Aguila, ran for five years, from 2005-10, and it has become a staple of regional theaters and fringe festivals worldwide. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Ends tomorrow. CLO Cabaret, 655 Penn Ave., Cultural District. (MV)

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Rick Handler

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