PSO Holiday Doo Wop Show at Heinz Hall; Lyrical Christmas Carol at New Hazlett (CPs Thu., 12/19/13)
1) While most of the folks from vocal groups of the ’50s and ’60s have retired or, well, passed on, there is still a handful of them on tour, acting as roving ambassadors for America’s rich musical past and instant portals into yesterday. Some will be at Heinz Hall today to team up with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for a Holiday Doo Wop Show. Jay and The Americans (of “She Cried” and “This Magic Moment” fame) headline a show that also includes Johnny Angel & The Halos, Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, Jay Siegel’s Tokens, The Chiffons, Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs, and Tommy Mara of The Crests. Expect to hear seasonal favorites both old and really old. 7:30 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Cultural District.
2) Back in 1991, local theater producers Ken and Jane Gargaro created a new adaptation of A Christmas Carol, bolstering the intensity of Dickens’ often-staged ghost tale by incorporating choral works of Bach, Mozart, and Vaughn Williams. Except for one year, they have managed to stage the show, entitled A Lyrical Christmas Carol, every December since. The bonafide local tradition returns to the New Hazlett Theatre for a four-day run starting today. 7:30 p.m. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Shore.
3) The Venetia Fair is a punk band—and they’ve posted pictures of stage-dive facial injuries to Facebook to prove it. But don’t think the Boston-based five-piece is all fists and shouts. They have enough musical sophistication to fold horns, piano, and pop rhythms into their debut album, Every Sick, Disgusting Thought We’ve Got in Our Brain, for a surprisingly smooth sound. Check them out today at The Smiling Moose after a set by Upstate New York’s Storm the Bay. 6 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side.
4) Hambone’s is the watering hole of the city’s most eccentric locale, Lawrenceville. On Thursdays, the bar/restaurant particularly gels with its neighborhood’s unusual, artsy vibe by bringing in Bobbi Jean, “Pittsburgh’s number one psychic,” for $25 bar-side readings. Though while you’re at Hambone’s, you won’t need anyone to tell you what your immediate future holds; chances are your fate will include munching down one of the irresistible deep-fried pretzels they make. You might also have visions of a giant burger or plate of chicken tenders. 4207 Butler St.