Hot Ticket: Old 97s; 'Wizard of Oz' by Pops; Blue Stocking Babes improv show
BAND EVOLVES COUNTRY-PUNK STYLE
More than a decade ago, the Old 97s roared out of Texas like a freight train on fire, when their combination of old-school country authenticity and manic, reckless punk rock energy was pretty unique. Now, of course, many bands have followed in their wake and taken bits and pieces of their sound for their own purposes.
The Old 97s themselves seemed to mellow out a bit, too — concentrating more on Rhett Miller's songwriting and Beatles fascination. In short, they grew up.
They're still an energetic live act, though, as they'll no doubt demonstrate on March 14 at Mr. Small's Theatre in Millvale. Tickets are $20 and the show starts at 8 p.m.
Details: 866-468-3401 or www.mrsmalls.com
— Michael Machosky
‘WIZARD OF OZ' GETS MUSICAL BACKUP
Heinz Hall will be a movie theater again from March 14 to 17 for “The Wizard of Oz,” with Pittsburgh Symphony Pops led by Lawrence Loh performing the original orchestrations with the movie as a backdrop. Before opening as a concert hall in 1971, the venue was the Loew's Penn Theater, which showed movies starting in 1927.
Deluxe treatment of the musical elements of “The Wizard of Oz” is especially appropriate because the iconic movie won the 1939 Academy Award for best musical score and best song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” sung by Judy Garland.
The concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. March 14, 8 p.m. March 15, 2:30 and 8 p.m. March 16 and 2:30 p.m. March 17 at Heinz Hall, Downtown. Admission is $20 to $98.
Details: 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org
— Mark Kanny
IMPROV GROUP MIXES FUN, INTENSITY
The Blue Stocking Babes, an all-female, long-form improv group, celebrates its two-year anniversary with two performances.
Improv comedy veterans Ayne Terceira, Keara Kelly, Beth Fogle, Tamara Siegert and Molly Bain will perform scenes and characters made up on the spot and ranging from the zany to the serious.
While comedy is one of their strengths, the players are not afraid to explore intense relationships or the wildly fantastical. Expect a spontaneous mix of cerebral complexity, offbeat sex appeal and, most importantly, blue legwear.
The group's mission is to seek out and encourage female comedic talent to get involved with Pittsburgh's improv community. The performances, which are suitable for those 18 and older, are at:
• 10 p.m. March 16 at the newly opened Arcade Comedy Theater, 811 Liberty Ave., Downtown, 412-339-0608 or www.arcadecomedytheater.com
• 8 p.m. March 22 at the Steel City Improv Theater, 5950 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside, 412- 404-2695 or www.steelcityimprov.com
Admission: $5 at the door
— Alice T. Carter
TEXTILE ARTIST PRESENTS WORKS
In town to supervise the selection of artwork for the upcoming “Fiberart International 2013,” Costa Rican textile artistPaulina Ortiz will present a PowerPoint retrospective of her work at 6:45 p.m. March 15 at the Society for Contemporary Craft in the Strip District.
Ortiz has exhibited and lectured internationally, and her work has been included in several publications, including Textile Forum and Embroidery magazines. She is founding president of the Iberoamerican Textile Network and has organized several major international exhibitions.
The lecture traces Ortiz's spiritual and intellectual journey as an artist, touching on her early years, highlighting her neo-tapestries and “sotobosque” (undergrowth) series, and finishing with the spectacular lighting fixtures she is designing today.
Admission is $5; it is free to Fiberarts Guild members.
The exhibit “Fiberart International 2013” will be on display from April 19 to Aug. 18 at both the Society for Contemporary Craft and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.
Details: 412-261-7003 or www.contemporarycraft.org
— Kurt Shaw
STUNT PAIR WANT RECORD-BREAKING SHOW
Mark Hayward, an Edgewood-based juggler, comedian and yo-yo artist, will be performing his popular show, “Stunt Lab,” on March 16 at the Strand Theater in Zelienople, Butler County.
Hayward and his goofy partner, Jonathan Burns from Lancaster, have played this show to sold-out audiences at the Canal Park Playhouse in New York City. The show, set in a fictional stunt lab, includes many stunts, such as walking a dog with a yo-yo, that attempt a win in the Guinness World Records. Hayward has appeared on television shows including “America's Got Talent” and “The Late Show with David Letterman.”
The “Stunt Lab” performance begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $20, and $10 to $15 for kids younger than 12. Details: 724-742-0400 or www.thestrandtheater.org
— Kellie B. Gormly