“We Will Rock You” at the Benedum; “Vanya” on the South Side (CPs Tues. 10/29/13)

1) We Will Rock You is a popular musical based on the rock band Queen that’s been playing in London for 12 years. The award-winning musical, written by British comedian Ben Elton, features some of Queen’s top hits, including “We Are the Champions” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.”  Some great music and a few laughs make a  royal combination. Runs through Nov. 3. 7:30 p.m. (free pre-show talk tonight). Benedum Center, 237 7th St., Cultural District.

2) The Pittsburgh debut of the critically acclaimed 2013 Tony Award-winner for Best Play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang, continues its run at the City Theatre. Middle-age melancholy has set in on a brother (Vanya) and sister (Sonia) living outside of Philly, until their movie-star sister (Masha) returns with her younger boyfriend (Spike), which leads to a hilarious family reunion. Directed by Tracy Brigden. Runs through Nov. 3.  7 p.m. 1300 Bingham St., South Side.

3) Freedom isn’t cheap, so it’s always a good time to examine its costs. You can do so at the Pennsylvania’s Civil War exhibit at the Senator John Heinz History Center. It chronicles Pennsylvania’s role in the Civil War, including the Battle of Gettysburg and Pittsburgh’s contribution as the “Arsenal of the Union.” View over 150 artifacts, including a smooth-bore Rodman Cannon reproduction that’s over 20 feet long and weighs 18,000 pounds; a tintype camera and portable printing press on loan from the Smithsonian Institution; tools, weapons, and uniforms (some made by Pittsburgh factories); 19th-century board games and musical instruments;  and letters, formal documents, and more. Look for the signatures of soldiers inscribed into an “Old Iron City” camp fiddle retrieved by members of Pennsylvania’s 193rd regiment. Runs through Jan. 4, 2014.  Open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 1212 Smallman St., Strip District.

4) Looking for the perfect Tuesday perk-me-up? Make a point to stop at Carnegie Coffee Company. Located in the former Carnegie Post Office, the newly opened coffeehouse specializes in the European coffee experience. This is also the only coffee-house in the area serving llly coffee, which prides itself in educating growers on sustainability and ethical farm practices. Pair an espresso with locally made pastries and sandwiches, and you’ll have the boost you need to get through the rest of the week. 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. 132 E. Main St., Carnegie.


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Rick Handler

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