Pittsburgh Opera Running ‘The Barber of Seville’; Shrine Circus Opens at Consol (Fri., 4/8/16)

1) Amazing as it may sound, there are reported to be consumers of culture in our fair city who have gone through life without attending an opera. These poor souls need languish no longer in deprivation. Pittsburgh Opera is mounting the comic opera said to be ideal for first-timers, Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. The barber in question is none other than the immortal Figaro—just about anyone can sing along with “Figaro, Figaro, Figaro! And as the video excerpt above shows, this opera also features a formidable femme fatale. (That’s Corrie Stallings as Rosina, while Jonathan Beyer sings the title role.) If you don’t speak Italian, no problem: Pittsburgh Opera is staging The Barber of Seville with a line-by-line English translation projected throughout the show. As for the plot, there are romantic intrigues and complications, but the barber sees that we get a happy ending. He’s no Sweeney Todd, he is Figaro. Performances through Sunday. At Benedum Center, 237 7th St., Cultural District. (MV)


2) When I was a kid, my grandmother took me to see the Shrine Circus. It was my first opportunity to see several animal and human wonders up close. They were all there—elephants, tigers, clowns, acrobats, and the ringmaster. The Shrine Circus is a Pittsburgh Shriners’ fundraiser to support the 22 Shriner Hospitals for Children across North America. This is a great opportunity for family fun and to help out a great charity. 7 p.m. Runs through Saturday. Consol Energy Center, 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown.


3) Meet the Blacks – This may be either the funniest film of 2016 … or the year’s biggest bomb. Mike Epps plays Carl Black, a man who makes his living in Chicago through somewhat questionable means. When he comes in for a big payday he decides it’ll be safer if he’s not found in Illinois and, deciding that California is the place he oughta be, he and his family head west. And before you can say “swimming pools, movie stars” they’re moving into their new Beverly Hills home. What Black doesn’t realize is that he’s moved his family into a different movie franchise. D’you know those “Purge” movies? They’re set in a world where, once a year, all laws are suspended for 12 hours and everything is legal. That’s where the Blacks end up … in Beverly Hills just as the Purge is about to begin. The movie’s being described as a horror comedy spoof—and there aren’t many of those around. Maybe we’ll see why not. (TH)