Pittsburgh Opera Staging ‘The Rake’s Progress’; Cubs vs. Bucs + Pups (Tues., 5/3/16)

Nick Shadow (David Pittsinger, L) sings of wonders to be had, but it's Tom Rakewell (Alek Shrader) who's being had in "The Rake's Progress."

Nick Shadow (David Pittsinger, L) sings of wonders to be had, but it’s Tom Rakewell (Alek Shrader) who’s being had in “The Rake’s Progress.” photo: David Bachman Photography.

1) To cap its current season, Pittsburgh Opera delivers the Pittsburgh premiere of a modern gripper: The Rake’s Progress, which debuted in Venice in 1951. Igor Stravinsky composed the opera to an English libretto co-written by the poets W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman. If you have read Auden, you know you may be in for a wry and spooky tale, and so this one is. The “progress” referred to in the title is no progress at all. It’s the story of a young ne’er-do-well named Tom Rakewell, who blows his inherited fortune and much more in a life of increasingly sleazy dissolution. Pulling the strings behind Tom’s downfall is a mysterious figure called Nick Shadow—and in case any art lovers out there were wondering: Yes, The Rake’s Progress was inspired by a series of paintings done by William Hogarth, under the same title. 7 p.m. Performances through May 8. Benedum Center, 237 7th St., Cultural District.

 

2) Do you want to go see the battlin’ Buccos play the division leading Chicago Cubs, but your dog is giving you the “we don’t spend enough time together” look. Don’t fret the Pirates got you covered with Pup Night, aka bring your dog to the pirate game night. There’s also a giveaway tonight—for dogs—a collapsible dog bowl! 7:05 p.m. PNC Park, 115 Federal St., North Shore.

 

3) The Jungle Book – Remember Phil Harris singing “The Bare Necessities?” Louis Prima swingin’ through “I Wan’na Be Like You?” Well get ready. Disney has decided to remake their 1967 classic (the last animated film supervised personally by Walt and considered by some to be his best) with this live action/CGI version featuring the vocal talents of, among others, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, and Idris Elba. It’s based on several short stories by Rudyard Kipling and concerns the doings of Mowgli, a human boy raised by wolves who navigates his way through the jungles of India. Jon Favreau directs from a script by Justin Marks. In place of Harris, you’ll be treated to Murray singing “The Bare Necessities” and, even though he’s been reviled for his “performance” as Captain Hook in the NBC live version of Peter Pan last year, Christopher Walken will be taking a stab at “I Wan’na Be Like You.” This could go either way. (TH)