Luke Bryan in Concert at KeyBank; Point Park’s Rep Staging ‘Scottsboro Boys’ (Sat., 9/9/17)

1) One of the biggest acts in country music, Luke Bryan, hits the region on his Huntin’, Fishin’, & Lovin’ Everyday Tour. Early in his career, Bryan earned his keep as a Nashville songwriter by penning tunes for the likes of Travis Tritt and Billy Currington. He proved to be more than capable of stepping into the spotlight himself, winning the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year award in 2015. More often seen in a baseball hat than a cowboy hat, Bryan has become a fan favorite by writing music that deals with some pretty popular themes (see tracks like “Wild Weekend,” “Cold Beer Drinker,” and “I’m Hungover”). “Country Girl (Shake It for Me)” went triple platinum and is the third-best-selling song by a male country artist. Bryan also won the Billboard Music Award for Top Country Artist in 2016. He performs at KeyBank Pavilion. Brett Eldredge and Craig Campbell open. 7 p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. (EC, CM)

Luke Bryan accepting an award from the Academy of Country Music. photo: Keith Hinkle, w.c.c.

Luke Bryan accepting an award from the Academy of Country Music. photo: Keith Hinkle, w.c.c.

2) The Kander and Ebb musical The Scottsboro Boys is noteworthy in two respects. Although it won various other awards, the 2010 Broadway production set a record for most Tony Award nominations without winning any: a total of 12. And, though modern musical theater takes on a wide range of subject matter, this show still prompts the question: “How did they make that into a musical?” The Scottsboro Boys (with a book by David Thompson) is based on a sad legal episode from history. In Alabama in 1931, nine young African American men were charged with raping two white women. Their initial trials, conducted hastily amid threats of a lynch mob, were followed by appeals and retrials at which the evidence seemed to indicate the “boys” were innocent. Yet they were repeatedly found guilty and served substantial prison terms. The Scottsboro Boys puts the story to music with numbers including minstrel-show routines that mock the racial stereotypes of the time. The REP, Point Park University’s professional company, brings the musical to Pittsburgh Playhouse, 222 Craft Ave., Oakland.  2 and 8 p.m. Continues through September 24. (MV)

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Rick Handler

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