Pittsburgh Ballet Stages ‘Alice in Wonderland’; Garter Shake Joins Rockers for ‘Big Chill’ at James Street (Fri., 2/17/17)

1) Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre will take audiences down the rabbit hole. Derek Deane, a former principal dancer with England’s Royal Ballet, choreographed Alice in Wonderland to the music of Tchaikovsky with additional music by Carl Davis. The ballet is based on Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel, a hallmark of whimsy and wordplay. Carroll, an English mathematician, couldn’t have foreseen all the adaptations his book would beget: ballets, movies, even comic books. All the old favorites will be on stage, such as the mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, and Alice herself. The costumes number over 100 and include tutus made from playing cards. The sets, which promise to shift size and include color-changing roses, will also surely dazzle. Both the design and costumes come courtesy of Sue Blane. Ballet, Lewis Carroll, and Tchaikovsky—surely enough for most everyone to find something to enjoy. And if not? “Off with their heads!” 8 p.m. Performances through February 19. Benedum Center, 237 7th St., Cultural District. (CM)

2) If your prom was less than stellar, here’s your chance for a redo. From the organizers behind Lawrenceville’s Rock All Night Tour (RANT), comes The Big Chill, a prom-themed, evening music festival. Local musicians are taking over two floors of James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy. These include punk-rockers Brazilian Wax and surf-rockers Vertigo Go. Also on the bill are Chet Vincent and the Big Bend, Grand Piano, Steeltown Horns, The Park Plan, and a few more. Garter Shake will make their live debut. Jenn Jannon-Fischer, bassist for The Park Plan, plays in Garter Shake as does Becki Gallagher, the vocalist and keyboardist for LoFi Delphi. Wear your favorite tuxedo (or favorite tuxedo-emblazoned T-shirt) for the photo-ready backdrop. The evening also includes a crowning of prom royalty and a 50/50 to raise money for the ACLU. 8 p.m. 422 Foreland St., North Side. (CM)

3) Upper St. Clair native Ann Talman returns home for a one-woman, autobiographical show directed by John Shepard. Woody’s Order!, which Talman wrote, takes its title from when eight-year-old Woody, who has cerebral palsy, “orders” a sibling the only way he can: by pointing “to Mom’s tummy and Dad’s … lap,” according to Talman’s website. He gets a sister, Ann, an aspiring actress and comedian, who is torn between pursuing her Broadway career playing Elizabeth Taylor’s daughter or remaining her brother’s caregiver. Woody’s Order! debuted at the fourth annual United Solo Theatre Festival in New York, an international festival promoting one-person performances. Woody’s Order! was part of the encore series for the fifth annual festival. Talman has appeared in numerous on- and off-Broadway productions and on film and television. She was one of the inaugural inductees of Upper St. Clair High School’s Hall of Fame. 8 p.m. Runs through Sunday. The REP at Pittsburgh Playhouse, 222 Craft Ave., Oakland. (CM)

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Rick Handler

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