Entertainment briefs: '12 Years a Slave' descendant to host Q&A session at Manor

Singer Amy Grant
Singer Amy Grant
Photo by Southside Entertainment

Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, 6:36 p.m.

Clayton Adams, the great-great-great-grandson of the main character of “12 Years A Slave,” will be featured in a question-and-answer session at the Manor Theater in Squirrel Hill.

Adams, of the West End, is the descendant of Solomon Northup, a free African-American who was deceived by two men in 1841 and eventually sold into slavery.

The talk will be after the 1:30 p.m. screening Nov. 17.

Details: 412-422-7729 or www.manorpgh.com.

— Bob Karlovits

Cacaw unites rock and jazz in Lawrenceville

Rock and jazz seemed perfectly happy to go their separate ways, long ago.

Sometimes, though, they run into each other again. Often, it's a wreck, or a fight.

Once in awhile, though, there's a meeting of the minds, and something new and interesting emerges, like pianist/synthesizer ace Landon Knoblock's band Cacaw. There's something in Cacaw's music to offend both rock and jazz fans, but lots more for music fans willing to keep an open mind.

For prog-rock, post-rock and electronic music fans, there's lots to like about the moody, futuristic complexity of all-instrumental cuts like “Replicant Lover” and “Space Robot Falls in Love.” For jazz fans, when's the last time you've heard someone improvise intelligently with a synthesizer?

Cacaw will be at the Thunderbird Cafe in Lawrenceville at 8 p.m. Nov. 17. Admission is $7. Details: 412-682-0177 or www.thunderbirdcafe.net

— Michael Machosky

Christmas traditions of yore at Woodville

Colonial Christmas traditions will be explored at candlelight tours Nov. 17 at the Woodville Plantation near Bridgeville.

From noon to 8 p.m., the holiday celebrations will be observed with costumed guides, holiday displays and traditional decorations. Guests will learn about 18th-century holiday customs such as Twelfth Night, Boxing Day and the firing of Christmas guns. A full feast table from Twelfth Night will be decorated.

The plantation was the home of John and Presley Neville and was built in 1775.

Admission is $5 and free to those under 6. Details: 412-221-0348 or www.woodvilleplantation.org

— Bob Karlovits

Ex-'Burgh ‘Voice' hopeful makes Top 10

Former Pittsburgher James Wolpert is now in the top 10 on NBC's “The Voice.”

Viewers voted to keep the former Carnegie Mellon University student and Shadyside Apple store employee on the show earlier this week, after he performed “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers. Coach Adam Levine said Wolpert turned into “a rock star before our very eyes.”

He'll be back performing live on Nov. 18. Two more competitors will be eliminated on Nov. 19.

— Tribune-Review

Benatar and Grant performing at Palace Theatre

The Palace Theatre in Greensburg has a weekend full of diverse musical acts ahead.

• Pat Benatar, along with her husband Neil Giraldo, will be performing Nov. 15. Multiple Grammy-winning Benatar, considered one of the top female rockers and vocalists of the '80s, is known for numerous top hits including “Love Is a Battlefield,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “Shadows of the Night.” Giraldo, a guitarist, and Benatar have been making music and a life together for more than three decades. The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $49 to $75.

• Amy Grant, who has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, will perform on Nov. 16. Grant, often referred to as the “Queen of Christian Pop,” began as a teen singer in the '80s with songs like “Father's Eyes,” “El Shaddai” and “Angels.” In 1986, Grant crossed over to pop in a No. 1 duet with Peter Cetera called “The Next Time I Fall.” She went on to release two successful pop albums, “Unguarded” and “Heart in Motion,” and scored a No. 1 hit with “Baby, Baby.” The show begins at 8 p.m. Nov. 16. Tickets are $35 to $65.

• Country star Trace Adkins — known for hits including “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” — is shifting gears into yuletide mode with “The Christmas Show,” which he brings Nov. 17 to the Palace. This is Adkins' inaugural tour for “The Christmas Show,” which is styled like a theatrical musical and designed for the whole family. The concert follows on the heels of Adkins' release of “The King's Gift,” a Christmas album with a Celtic flavor. Adkins will sing songs from “The King's Gift” and other Christmas favorites. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $47.75 to $87.75.

Details: 724-836-8000 or www.thepalacetheatre.org

— Kellie B. Gormly

Seton Hill instructor to perform with youth orchestra

Ted DiSanti, an associate professor of music at Seton Hill University, will be the featured soloist in the opening concert of the Westmoreland Youth Symphony Orchestra at 3 p.m. Nov. 17.

The concert will be at Seton Hill's Performing Arts Center in Greensburg. DiSanti will be featured in Giuseppi Torelli's Sonata in D for trumpet.

The concert also will feature Aram Khatchaturian's “Sabre Dance” from his “Gayne” ballet suite, Edvard Grieg's “Peer Gynt” suite, Howard Shore's “Lord of the Rings” suite and Jacques Offenbach's overture of “Orpheus in the Underworld”

The WYSO String Ensemble will open the concert.

The event is free. Details: 724-837-1850 or www.westmorelandsymphony.org

— Bob Karlovits

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