Pure Prairie League Plays Jergel’s; CHMH Hosts Colbie Caillat (Wed., 10/19/16)

1) “Amie, what you wanna do?” It’s one of the sweetest refrains in country rock, and if you wanna hear the latest incarnation of the group that broke to national fame with “Amie” (above) back in the ‘70s, you can catch Pure Prairie League at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. PPL’s lineup has changed over the years, of course, and the music has evolved somewhat, too. But when it comes to that easy-rollin’ Pure Prairie sound—with bluegrass inflections, from the band’s origins in Waverly, Ohio, midway between Chillicothe and the Kentucky line—the sound is still there. Country music star Vince Gill was a member of the band in 1979. Pure Prairie League took their name from a fictional 19th-century temperance union in the 1939 Errol Flynn cowboy movie Dodge City. 8 p.m. 285 Northgate Dr., Warrendale. (EC,RH)

2) American singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat made her breakthrough with a smash single, 2007’s “Bubbly,” from her debut album, Coco. Other songs and albums followed, such as the first single released off 2014’s Gypsy Heart, the sweet self-acceptance anthem, “Try.” A duet with Jason Mraz (“Lucky”) won her a Grammy as did her work on Taylor Swift’s Fearless. Caillat sang background vocals on Fearless, and when it won Album of the Year in 2010, she received a Grammy for her involvement. She is now promoting her sixth album, this year’s The Malibu Sessions, with a new tour, which includes a stop at Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall with special guests Justin Young and High Dive Heart. Young is also Caillat’s fiancé, and the new album charts their courtship. The couple, plus other musicians, recorded it together in a rented house in—where else?—Malibu. One half of High Dive Heart, meanwhile, is Jason Reeves, who co-wrote “Bubbly” with Caillat. 8 p.m. 510 E. 10th Ave., Munhall. (HM/CM)

3) Plays with puppets in them are not just for children, and some are not targeted to small children at all. The musical Avenue Q set an adult tone a decade ago with its depictions of puppet sex and drunkenness, and now Hand to God raises the bar. This dark comedy by Robert Askins is set in a small Texas town where a church has started a faith-based puppet club for teenagers. Things literally get out of hand when an evil hand puppet takes on a life of its own—spewing foul obscenities, oozing lust and rebellion, and otherwise acting out (one suspects) the repressed impulses of the shy teenaged boy who made him. Hand to God was a smash hit off-Broadway, then moved last year to Broadway, where it was nominated for five Tony Awards. Here in Pittsburgh, City Theatre opens its season with the play. 7 p.m. Performances through October 22. 1300 Bingham St., South Side. (MV)

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Rick Handler

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