Comedy, chocolate, and great martinis are the main themes of this month’s Nightlife Guide. English comic Eddie Izzard will be performing comedy and discussing his recently published book Believe Me and even taking questions from the audience. Artie Lange known for his stint on the Howard stern Show and for his work on the HBO show “Crashing” is also in town. Topping off the comedy portion of the month are Brad Garrett who found big success and laughs on various hit TV shows including “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “‘Til Death,” and “Seinfeld.” Rita Rudner has also enjoyed sustained success; from her early start on the late night talk shows, to comedy specials, and as an author. (note: Garrett and Rudner’s show at the Palace has been cancelled).
Laughing burns off a fair amount of calories so to replenish one’s stores and soul The Chocolate Bar returns to the Benedum Center. There will again be chocolate, chocolate infused foods from local restaurants, fashion, and music. There’s nothing like a great martini and one place where that can be found is Olive or Twist Downtown. October looks to be a fun and tasty month so head out and have a blast.
Wednesday, October 4
English comedian Eddie Izzard visits the Byham Theater on his Believe Me tour. Bizarre and flamboyant, Izzard feverishly muses over questions we didn’t realize we had—and comes to conclusions we didn’t realize we needed—on a slew of subjects, ranging from history to religion to popular culture. Sometimes intellectual, sometimes merely silly, Izzard is a raconteur in the truest sense of the word. His imagination is incredibly active, brimming with absurdity, and he’s been bringing it to life before audiences (often improvised) for more than 25 years now. His career is nearly as chaotic as his stand-up routine. He didn’t begin appearing on this side of the Atlantic until the late ’90s, at which point he was quickly embraced by American audiences. Since then, he has appeared publicly in an impressive range of capacities—stand-up comedy, theater, television, film, commercials, even political activism. On this tour he will be doing standup comedy, discussing his life and book, Believe Me: a memoir of love, death and jazz chickens. 8 p.m. 101 6th St., Cultural District. (EC, RH)
Saturday, October 14
The ornate lobby and promenades of Benedum Center will once again be turned into a showcase of chocolate creations from some of the city’s best restaurants and chocolatiers. The Chocolate Bar, a fundraiser for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, will feature chocolate treats for attendees to both admire and consume. Chocolate-infused creations from Pittsburgh’s finest chocolatiers and restauranteurs will be offered. DJ SMI will also be on had to provide the party tunes. Dancers from The Staycee Pearl Dance Project will perform. Pittsburgh fashion icon Richard Parsakian will dress models in chocolate influenced outfits. Izzazu Salon, Spa & Serata will also assist in styling the models. Awards will be given for best dishes in several different categories. The theme of the evening is Love Never dies and attendees can create their own masquerade mask. A true celebration of the confectionery arts! Don’t forget to brush your teeth after attending. 8 p.m. 237 7th ave., Cultural District. (RH)
Saturday, October 21
Artie Lange, a supporting cast member on “The Howard Stern Show” for five years, is in town at the Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall for a night of laughs. Before signing with Stern, Lange played New York City comedy clubs and was part of the “Mad TV” troupe. He’s also a New York Times best-selling author with his 2008 memoir, Too Fat to Fish, which was co-written by journalist Anthony Bozza. The pair wrote Crash and Burn, another New York Times best-seller, in 2013. Lange co-wrote and produced his own feature film, Artie Lange’s Beer League, in 2006. Most recently, he had a recurring role on the HBO television series Crashing, created by fellow comedian Pete Holmes. Lange plays himself and both mentors and exasperates a fictionalized version of Holmes. The latter often tries to help Lange get out of trouble with predictably frustrating and comedic results. 8 p.m. 510 E. 10th Ave., Munhall. (EC, CM)
Wednesday, October 25
Brad Garrett and Rita Rudner co-headline The Palace Theatre for an evening of stand-up comedy. Most people know Garrett as Robert Barone, Ray Romano’s deadpan brother on the CBS television series “Everybody Loves Raymond.” “Seinfeld” fans remember him as Jerry’s overly obsessive car mechanic, Tony. And kids (and plenty of adults) recognize his voice from animated movies, such as Finding Nemo and Ratatouille. But Garrett is also an accomplished stand-up, one of the youngest to perform on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson.” The MGM Grand Las Vegas Hotel and Casino is home to his own comedy club.
Rita Rudner also has a Vegas connection. Her comedy show is the longest-running by a single performer in Vegas history. She began her career in her teens as a Broadway dancer. After discovering New York City comedy clubs, she switched to stand-up. She too appeared on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” as well as “Late Night with David Letterman.” Her television specials include HBO’s “Born to Be Mild” and “Married Without Children” and PBS’s “Rita Rudner: Live from Las Vegas.” This last one, released in 2008, is her first television stand-up special in over a decade. Her bibliography includes two novels and three nonfiction books. She and her husband, Martin Bergman, have collaborated on multiple works, including the screenplay for 1992’s Peter’s Friends. 7:30 p.m. 21 W Otterman St., Greensburg. (CM) Show has been cancelled.
Olive or Twist in the Cultural District has been recognized as one of Pittsburgh’s best restaurants for cocktails. The restaurant and bar are well-known for their martini selections. It is a perfect place to wind down for happy hour, dinner before a show, or a post-performance nightcap. Get there early and enjoy Happy Hour, 4 – 6 p.m., Monday; and 4-7 p.m., Tuesday through Friday when it’s $1 off all draft beers, $5 for a glass of Chardonnay or Cabernet, and $2 off specialty martinis. There’s also half-price Buffalo Chicken Spread, nachos, and crispy kalettes. Live music is featured on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Olive or Twist also features one of Pittsburgh’s best bartenders, Linda, who is friendly and knowledgeable. Sounds like a fun and inexpensive outing. 140 6th St., Downtown. (RH)
Rick Handler is executive producer of Entertainment Central.
Writer and editor Christopher Maggio contributed to this guide.