Pittsburgh CLO Staging ‘Rock of Ages’ at Benedum; Mountain Playhouse Has ‘Things My Mother Taught Me’ (Wed., 7/14/19)

Multitalented singer, songwriter, and actor Ace Young, formerly one of People magazine’s Hottest Bachelors, is now married but you can catch him as Stacee Jaxx in ‘Rock of Ages.’ (photo courtesy of the artist)

1) Rarely does one get to attend a rock musical about architectural preservation, so fans of Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation are advised to catch Pittsburgh CLO’s Rock of Ages. This is a jukebox musical, loaded with hard-driving tunes from ’80s artists such as Twisted Sister, Pat Benatar,  Styx, and many more. The plot was inspired by true events. For years, up-and-coming bands in genres from punk to glam rock got their starts in grungy-but-hospitable clubs along the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. That began to change during the 1980s when the Strip grew more dominated by established record-industry acts and venues. Rock of Ages (with a book by Chris D’Arienzo) dramatizes this.

We’ve got developers who want to clean up the Strip by demolishing places like the fictional Bourbon Room. Thus, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” becomes a preservation protest song, as angry citizens insist that “We Built This City” on sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. Lots more stuff happens, accompanied always by lots more rock. Pittsburgh CLO’s cast for Rock of Ages features Ace Young as the heroic but maybe too hedonistic rocker Stacee Jaxx. Benedum Center. 7:30 p.m. Continues through July 28.  237 7th St., Cultural District. (MV) 

2) Three years ago, Stephen Karam’s The Humans rather surprisingly won the Tony Award for Best Play and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. It’s an interesting-enough seriocomedy, about a young couple moving into a new apartment while the woman’s wacky parents try to help; the surprising part was that a relatively lightweight play received such high accolades. But there is an even lighter play you might call The Humans lite. Katherine DiSavino, author of Nana’s Naughty Knickers, has a comedy titled Things My Mother Taught Me. Here, the young couple are moving into an apartment in Chicago, not New York (which shouldn’t be quite so tough), and you get a warm-hearted happy ending instead of a gloomy symbolic one. 2 and 7 p.m. Runs through August 4. See Things My Mother Taught Me at the Mountain Playhouse, 7690 Somerset Pike, Jennerstown. (MV)