Pittsburgh Opera Opens ‘Proving Up’; Joe Grushecky & Houserockers Play Rivers; Pat McArdle Art Show (Sat., 2/17/24)

PROVING UP  (opera) by composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek, based on a short story by Karen Russell. Pittsburgh Opera. February 17, 20, 23 & 25.

Pittsburgh Opera's 'Proving Up' features The Zegner family (l. to r.) Pa (Brandon Bell), Miles (Fran Daniel Laucerica), and Ma (Emily Richter). (Photo: David Bachman Photography for Pittsburgh Opera)

Pittsburgh Opera’s ‘Proving Up’ features The Zegner family (l. to r.) Pa (Brandon Bell), Miles (Fran Daniel Laucerica), and Ma (Emily Richter). (Photo: David Bachman Photography for Pittsburgh Opera)

1) In 1862, President Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, encouraging families who had “the gumption” to travel west and claim raw land. If those same pioneers could prove, after five years of hard labor, a steady and stable harvest, as well as a habitable domicile, up to 160 acres of land was theirs for mere pennies. In Nebraska, for some odd reason, the law required pioneer homes to include at least one pane of glass, a rare material in the western wilds. Proving Up is a contemporary opera that tells the story of the Zegner family who, upon learning the government inspector is coming soon to approve their claim, offer to share their glass window with neighbors so each can satisfy the inspector on his rounds.  Written by acclaimed composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek, Proving Up has earned accolades in Omaha, Washington, and New York, expressing its tragic take on achieving the American dream with simplicity, honesty and palpable compassion. The opera runs about 80 minutes. Pittsburgh Opera’s production has four performances at the Bitz Opera Factory. 8 p.m. 2425 Liberty Ave., Strip District. (C.P.O.)

2) Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers are Pittsburgh rock royalty that have risen through several incarnations—from the Brick Alley Band to Joe Grushecky and the Iron City Houserockers to the unit’s present day form—Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers—to become one of Pittsburgh’s top bands. Over the years Grushecky’s sound is one of both hard-driving rock and roll and insightful ballads. The lyrics and music seek higher ground, and find it. Top songs include “Pumping Iron,” “Have a Good Time (But Get Out Alive),” and “Rock and Real.” Joe Grushecky’s latest album is 2018’s More Yesterdays Than Tomorrows. There is also a 25th Anniversary edition reissue of Grushecky and The Houserockers’ classic, American Babylon, which was produced by Grushecky’s friend and associate, Bruce Springsteen. Hear Grushecky classics and newer tunes tonight at Rivers Casino. 9 p.m. 777 Casino Dr., North Shore. (R.H.)

Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers.

Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers.


'Devils Tower' by Kim Ward.

‘Devils Tower’ by Kim Ward.

3) Art connoisseur/collector Pat McArdle  has curated eight one-night shows composed of works from his collection—some of which date back to the 1920’s. Each exhibition is uniquely themed and have over 40 original works. Tonight’s exhibition in the Live•Worship•Shop series features nine special needs artists from the Vault Arts Studio. The final exhibit in the series will be next Saturday night. 6 to 9 p.m. John A. Hermann Memorial Art Museum, 318 Lincoln Avenue, Bellevue. (R.H.)

'Jerry Webber' by Charlie Wallace.

‘Jerry Webber’ by Charlie Wallace.

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Rick Handler

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