Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen in Concert Together; Pittsburgh Opera Staging ‘La Traviata’ (Tues., 10/11/16)

1) Talented Texans Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen are in concert together tonight at The Palace Theatre. Singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Lovett crafts colorful songs, which tell compelling tales by fusing together many different musical genres, including country, swing, and jazz. He is also a four-time-Grammy-award winner. Keen similarly blends musical styles while simultaneously weaving stories into his music. Artists such as Joe Ely and the Dixie Chicks have covered his songs. Lovett and Keen have been friends since their college days at Texas A&M University. While there, they co-wrote a song that would later appear on their respective debut albums, though the title of that song would differ slightly. Keen titled it “The Front Porch Song” on 1984’s No Kinda Dancer; Lovett, “This Old Porch” for his 1986, self-titled debut. For their show at the Palace, expect them not only to play acoustic versions of their hits but also to banter as only two good friends can. 8 p.m. 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg. (RH/CM)

2) Opera seasons should open resoundingly, and Pittsburgh Opera answers the call by staging an acclaimed chandelier-shaker and tear-jerker, La Traviata. This Verdi masterpiece takes off with the famous “Brindisi” (“Drinking Song”) at an all-night party, soars into a blossoming love story, shatters amid scenes of conflict and misunderstanding, and ends tragically. Who could ask for more? La Traviata has become one of the world’s most-performed operas since its 1853 premiere in Venice. The story will be familiar to readers of classical romantic novels as it is based on The Lady of the Camellias, a.k.a. Camille, by Alexandre Dumas the younger. Verdi’s librettist for La Traviata was Francesco Maria Piave. In the roles of the ill-fated lovers, Pittsburgh Opera has cast a suitably dashing pair: soprano Danielle Pastin as Violetta and tenor Cody Austin as Alfredo. 7 p.m. Pre-opera talk begins at 6:30 p.m. Continues through October 16. Benedum Center, 237 7th St., Cultural District. (MV)

3) Asheville, North Carolina, has long had a reputation as a laid-back, hippie town, a Californian city which somehow drifted to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. No surprise it produced Papadosio, who play what they call “space rock,” an amalgamation of electronic, jazz, and rock. The quintet is on the rise. This May, the band headlined Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Morrison, Colorado, a performance available via their YouTube channel. They then toured the festival circuit this summer, playing sets at Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee; Electric Forest in Rothbury, Michigan; and more. They’ve been prolific in the studio too, releasing the LP Extras in a Movie in 2015 and the EP Pattern Integrities this year. In between, the group also found time to make a puppet feel good on his birthday. (See the cute music video for “Epiphany.”) Their fall tour includes a stop at Mr. Smalls. Be ready for tight instrumentals and a brilliant light show. Broccoli Samurai opens. 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. (CM)

4) Irony, folks, irony. The Playboy of the Western World may sound like a high-society comedy of manners, but this landmark Irish play set off riots when it premiered in 1907, and it’s a working-class satire full of wicked twists. One night in rural County Mayo, a handsome young stranger stumbles into a small town’s pub. He says he’s been on the run from the family farm, where, in a fit of passion, he killed his old dad by smiting him with a spade. The first twist is that the renegade becomes a hero to the townspeople—including to the young women, who see his dire deed as an act of daring and are charmed by his gift of gab. Further twists follow when it turns out the deed did not go down as he had described. Dublin theater fans were outraged. They felt playwright John Millington Synge had painted an insulting picture of Irish commoners (and it didn’t help that Synge, though Irish himself, was an upper-class Protestant). But The Playboy of the Western World has endured, with audiences worldwide finding it a multi-leveled lampoon that speaks to many times and cultures. Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama is performing the play to open its 2016-17 mainstage season. 8 p.m. Performances through October 15. In the Philip Chosky Theater on the Carnegie Mellon campus, 5000 Forbes Ave., Oakland. (MV)

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Rick Handler

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