“Righteous Babe” Ani DiFranco Performs at Rex; Olio Trattoria Serves Up Quality Italian Fare (CPs Wed., 1/28/15)
1) Singer/songwriter/guitarist Ani DiFranco was one of the very first indie artists, having started her own record label—Righteous Babe—in ’89 when she was only 18. The label has allowed the Buffalo, N.Y., native to enjoy more creative freedom and forge a successful career, which she started at the tender age of nine playing Beatles songs at bars. She’s also busked with her guitar teacher. Amazingly, at 14, she began writing her own songs and launched a solo career playing coffee houses. DiFranco has also been a positive force for feminism and other social issues. Allergic to Water is DiFranco’s latest studio album and was released in November. 8 p.m. Rex Theater, 1602 E. Carson St., South Side.
2) Pittsburghers looking for upscale—but affordable—dining need look no farther than Olio Trattoria. The name, Italian for “oil tavern,” is a nod to one of the ingredients integral to Italian cooking. Pitt alum and Pittsburgh residents will recognize the restaurant as occupying the spot where Joe Mama’s used to be. But mourn not! Olio Trattoria offers a full lunch, dinner, and dessert menu. The restaurant specializes in pastas and traditional Italian pizzas, like margherita (red pizza) and bianca (white pizza). They also have antipasti—appetizers that include cured meats and vegetables. Drinks range from domestic/imported beers to an exotic wine selection. Also of note—“Homemade Limoncello,” a liqueur made from, what else, lemons. We like the sound of homemade. The menu plus the elegant inside decor make it perfect for date night. 3716 Forbes Ave., Oakland.
3) Mortdecai—High concept action comedy movie based on the cult novels by Kyril Bonfiglioli about dissolute art dealer Charles Mortdecai and his manservant Jock Strapp, who find themselves tangled up in international mystery. Johnny Depp plays Mortdecai, Paul Bettany is Strapp, Gwyneth Paltrow plays Mortdecai’s wife, and Ewan McGregor, Olivia Munn, and Jeff Goldblum are along for the ride. Check Fandango for times and screens.