Mannheim Steamroller at Benedum; Jergel’s Hosts Samantha Fish; PMT Opens ‘Lyrical Christmas Carol’ (Tues., 12/13/22)

1) Mannheim Steamroller will bowl you over with their combination of great holiday music, special effects, and innovative lighting. Grammy Award-winner Chip Davis founded Mannheim Steamroller—named in part after an 18th-century German musical technique, the Mannheim roller—in 1974 to play a blend of rock and classical music. No record company would produce their records, so Davis set up his own, American Gramaphone, which paved the way for the band’s success. Mannheim Steamroller hit a higher level of popularity in ’84 with its first holiday album and are now one of the highest rated Christmas music acts in entertainment. There is such a demand for their Mannheim Steamroller Christmas show during the holiday season that two different tours crisscross the country spreading rock ‘n’ roll joy. Pittsburgh will get the red tour. There’s also a green tour. Talk about holiday colors. 8 p.m. Benedum Center, 237 7th St., Cultural District. (R.H.)

2) In the past year and a half two friends of mine, who also appreciate good music, independently told me about blues rock guitarist/singer Samantha Fish. I saw that she is coming back to Pittsburgh again and thought it was time that I discovered more about her. She’s a native of Kansas City, Missouri, a cauldron of good blues music, but Fish’s songs also blend into other genres too including rock, country, and funk. Her 2019 LP release Kill or Be Kind reached no. 1 on both the Billboard Heatseekers and Blues Albums charts. And 2021’s Faster also reached no. 1 on the Blues Albums chart. Fish will be performing at Jergel’s this month with special guest, The Jesse Dayton Band. 8 p.m. 285 Northgate Dr., Warrendale. (R.H.)

A LYRICAL CHRISTMAS CAROL (musical) by Ken and Jane Gargaro, from the Dickens story. Pittsburgh Musical Theater. December 13 – 18. 

A toast to Holiday traditions, including PMT's 'A Lyrical Christmas Carol.'

A toast to holiday traditions, including PMT’s ‘A Lyrical Christmas Carol.’

3) The centuries have seen countless stage versions of the Christmas tale by Charles Dickens, and a longtime standard here in Pittsburgh is Ken and Jane Gargaro’s A Lyrical Christmas Carol. Ken Gargaro was founding director of the Pittsburgh Musical Theater school and performance center. He wrote A Lyrical Christmas Carol with Jane and premiered the show in 1991. It has been delighting local audiences ever since. This year’s show features up-and-coming young performers from the PMT school along with professional artists Richard McBride as Scrooge and Rob Jessup as The Narrator. A Lyrical Christmas Carol includes song-and-dance numbers that will send you home in a supercharged holiday spirit. 7:30 p.m. At PMT’s Gargaro Theater, 327 S. Main St., West End. (M.V.) 

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Rick Handler

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