Pittsburgh Playwrights Presents ‘The Gospel Singer’; Black Taxi Stops Meter at Club Cafe (CPs Thurs., 8/28/14)

1) For one final weekend, the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre presents The Gospel Singer, a guest production from the Lab Project. Penned by C.S. Wyatt and directed by Lab Project artistic director Monteze Freeland, The Gospel Singer features a robust mix of past Gospel favorites mixed with contemporary jazz compositions guaranteed to set your foot a tappin’. Set in 1987 and based on true events, The Gospel Singer examines spirituality and faith. The titular gospel singer, Isaac Dumont, draws a steady crowd to Eden Club, a jazz hang out where he sings. His singular yearning in life, though, is to sing gospel music. However, Isaac’s spiritual longing bedevils his partner and Eden’s emcee, Donnie, who has lost faith not only in God but in people generally. Therein lies the production’s conflict—will Isaac’s Gospel singing reinstate Donnie’s spirit? 8 p.m. Through Aug. 31. 937 Liberty Ave., Suite 3, Downtown.

2) Brooklyn-based indie rockers Black Taxi stop at Club Cafe as they work their way west on a coast-to-coast tour. Formed in 2007, Black Taxi has quickly grown into one of New York’s—and the U.S.’—most eminent contemporary artists. With an upbeat, melodic, often expansive and decidedly clean sound that doesn’t shy away from a groovy synth backbone, it’s no wonder the band has found success on a national level over the past seven years. With only two full-album releases under their belt, this quartet fits right in with nationally recognized bands like Tame Impala or Portugal. The Man, while the band members themselves invoke well-listened acts like Talking Heads and Daft Punk. Likewise, the group boasts airplay “from Maine to California” and has been featured on both television and film soundtracks. Joined by Heaf and The Deep Vees. 8 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side.

3) Though it’s been in theaters for three weeks, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to see Marvel Studio’s Guardians of the Galaxy, directed by James Gunn and starring “Parks and Recreation’s” Chris Pratt. The film’s basic premise is simple: A ragtag band of space misfits led by Starlord (Pratt) swashbuckle across the galaxy in search of an item of galactic importance. Though the storyline, based on the Marvel Comics title of the same name, is simple, the movie’s success lies in its execution. Between the killer ‘70s soundtrack, stunning visuals, a charming cast, and a script that effortlessly flips between (hilarious) comedy and sentimentality, Guardians is set to be the hit blockbuster of the summer. What’s even more exciting is Guardians’ place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s canon—a few summers from now, we’ll undoubtedly be seeing Starlord, Marvel Comics superhero Rocket, and the rest of the Guardians matching wits with Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and his pals in an Avengers installment, as they join forces to defend the Earth. Check your favorite theater’s website for show times.

4) In their fourth and final preseason performance, the Pittsburgh Steelers hosts the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field. 7:30 p.m. 100 Art Rooney Ave., North Shore.

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Dan Hoyt

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