Playhouse Rep Running ‘Choir Boy’; ‘Dulcy’ On Stage at Pittsburgh Playwrights (Thurs., 10/1/15)

1) Maybe it’s a cliché to say that a play “rocks” the audience. That, however, is precisely what Tarell McCraney’s Choir Boy has been doing to audiences across the country since it opened in New York in 2013. The video clip above was made by the Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C., which presented the play early this year. The REP at Pittsburgh Playhouse is performing Choir Boy here, and seat belts should be fastened—unless you are moved to stand up and rock along with the cast. Though filled with music, this is not a musical. It is a drama about a boys’ gospel choir at an African American prep school. Much of the drama revolves around the fact that one boy is gay. Themes of repression, rebellion, and liberation abound, shot through with wicked humor. Choir Boy is not always pretty, but the word is that it’s pretty powerful. 8 p.m. Runs through October 11. Pittsburgh Playhouse, 222 Craft Ave., Oakland. (MV)


A young Groucho? Nope, but close—it's George S. Kauffman, writer for the Marx Brothers and co-author of the 1921 comedy "Dulcy," in revival at Pittsburgh Playwrights.

A young Groucho? Nope, but close—it’s George S. Kaufman, writer for the Marx Brothers and co-author of “Dulcy,” in revival at Pittsburgh Playwrights.

2) As the name implies, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company is devoted to the work of Pittsburgh and locally born writers, with an emphasis on racial and cultural diversity. Known for its strong interpretations of plays by August Wilson and other modern artists of color, PPTCO is also prone to step outside that box, as it does by presenting Dulcy. The zany comedy is a throwback gem from 1921, co-written by Pittsburgh native George S. Kaufman and McKeesport native Marc Connelly when they were rising stars in New York. Both later won Pulitzer Prizes; Kauffman won another brand of fame as a writer for the Marx Brothers, and Dulcy has the Marxian spirit—except with a female flavor. The title character is a wild-witted woman who wades boldly into serious affairs of high society and big business, raising havoc all around. PPTCO’s production updates the setting from the Roaring Twenties to 2015 but aims to keep the roar factor intact. 8 p.m. Continues through October 11. Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, 937 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. (MV)


3) Stonewall – This could possibly be the most explosive film of the fall. For those of you who don’t know – the Stonewall was a slightly seedy gay bar in Manhattan. In June of 1969 local police raided the joint (standard practice back then) with the usual plan of arresting everyone inside. The patrons had a different idea – for the first time they fought back, got the police barricaded inside the bar and tried to set it on fire. The confrontation led to three days of rioting in Lower Manhattan and is considered the birth of the “Gay Power” movement. (The Pride celebrations every year commemorate those riots.) Roland Emmerich directs from a script by Jon Robin Baitz about the days and weeks leading up to the rebellion … so you’re going to have a lot of actors running around in 60’s fashions and wigs fighting the police. But that’s not the explosive part – the Stonewall bar was, in large part, a refuge for what we now know as the Transgender community, and the riots were led by transgender people of color. Unfortunately the filmmakers released a trailer for the movie showing the riots being led by young, white men. Uh oh! Already there’s a national boycott and folks are on edge about the finished product. If Emmerich and company have white-washed and de-trans-ed the rebellion, it could get messy. Check Fandango for screens and times. (TH)

Allegheny County RADical Days 2015


MCG Jazz/MCG Youth Arts: Music and Arts Celebration

Free admission 5:30-7:30pm
Groove to live music by Pittsburgh Jazz Legends at 6:30 pm! Watch previews of the PBS/MCG Jazz-produced documentary We Knew What We Had, presented by WQED-TV! Expand your creative horizons with MCG Youth & Arts demonstrations and hands-on projects! Eat desserts prepared by Bidwell Training Center’s culinary students!
1815 Metropolitan Street (North Side)

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Rick Handler

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