Wicked Is “Defying Gravity” at Benedum; Shari Richards at Jergel’s (CPs Wed., 1/15/2014)

1) There are two sides to every story, and we get to hear the “other side” of one of the most well-known tales of all time, Wicked, at the Benedum Center. It’s the tale of the Emerald City we didn’t get to see in The Wizard of Oz. Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, the critically acclaimed musical follows Elphaba (before she got tagged as Wicked Witch of the West) and her extremely “Popular” roommate, Galinda (before she dropped the “a” to become simply Glinda). With music and lyrics written by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, Children of Eden), the show has taken Broadway by storm and has since won a Grammy and three Tony awards. Moving music like “Defying Gravity” and gripping plot lines will leave audiences cheering for a villain we never actually liked. 7:30 p.m. Runs through Feb. 9. 237 Seventh St., Cultural District.

2) Have you got a case of the winter blues? Local music staple Shari Richards is singing them away at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. Richards was once cast as the Acid Queen in the rock opera Tommy, and she has also collaborated with the likes of local favorites Norm Nardini and Billy Price. Tonight she performs solo with her trusty guitar to show us all that anything the boys can do, she can do better, and in heels. 8 p.m. 285 Northgate Dr., Warrendale.

3) A few cups of culture, copious amounts of motherly advice, and a pinch of nostalgia give us the Corning Works’ play Recipes Our Mothers Gave Us at the New Hazlett Theater. Like a “walks into a bar” joke, the performance begins with an American, an Asian, and a French/Swede. Think of all the times your mother gave you recipes: for cookies, chicken soup, disaster, success, or anything else. Mothers know best, right? Each woman explores her upbringing and all the recipes that became the spice of life. A complimentary tasting event follows each performance, hosted by a local chef. 7 p.m. Through Jan. 19. 6 Allegheny Sq. E., North Side.

4) If the Brass Bed’s rockin, do come a-knockin! The indie rockers take the stage at Club Café to explore their album, The Secret Will Keep You. With themes of jadedness, growing older, and the impossible reach for dreams, the album features upbeat yet haunting songs like “Please Don’t Go” and “Begs Me Not to Beg.” The contradiction of music tempo and lyrics ultimately invokes a variety of feelings. Understanding that not everything is fully black or white, Brass Bed explores the inevitable gray area in their music, creating an extremely likeable sound audiences can relate to. 8 p.m. 56-58 S. 12th St., South Side.

5) The Penguins take on their bitter rivals, the Washington Capitals, at the Consol Energy Center. With less than a month between now and the Sochi Olympics, we’re hoping that the competitors get each others’ frustrations out of their systems before combatants become teammates (namely, Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin, both of whom were named to team Russia). 8 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown.

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Jessica Dayhoff

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