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Hot Ticket: Students bring 'Miss Saigon' to Downtown's Byham Theater

| Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Man Man
Man Man
Umphrey's McGee
Chad Smith
Umphrey's McGee
Vieux Farka Toure
Vieux Farka Toure
“Ouch,” a mixed-media piece by Sherry Rusinack.
Nicole Capozzi
“Ouch,” a mixed-media piece by Sherry Rusinack.
Aubrie Knapp and Zander Lyons in Pittsburgh Musical Theater's 'Miss Saigon.'
Rockhan Photography
Aubrie Knapp and Zander Lyons in Pittsburgh Musical Theater's 'Miss Saigon.'

Teenage students with the Richard E. Rauh Conservatory for Musical Theater will be performing in the student edition of “Miss Saigon” this week at the Byham Theater in Downtown.

The emotional Broadway show is based on the Giacomo Puccini opera “Madame Butterfly.” This updated version, which premiered in 1989, tells the story of a doomed romance between an American GI and a Vietnamese bar girl in 1970s Saigon during the Vietnam War. The student edition primarily tones down some of the language from the original; it's best suited for middle schoolers and older.

It includes a famous score, performed by the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School orchestra, with favorites such as “The Movie in My Mind,” “I Still Believe,” “Why God Why” and “The American Dream.”

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. from Oct. 24 to 26 and 2 p.m. Oct. 27. Tickets are $15.25 to $25.25.

Details: 412-456-6666 or

— Kellie Gormly


Halloween show by bach choir

Connect Halloween and the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh's seasonlong presentation of Masses and the obvious result is a “monster” of a piece by Anton Bruckner.

Well, it is obvious to Thomas Wesley Douglas, at least. The artistic director of the choir says he decided to program Bruckner's Mass in E minor when the idea of scheduling a work near Halloween developed.

“I thought, ‘What comes around at Halloween?' Well, monsters,” he says. “So then I thought of the Bruckner Mass, because it is a real monster in size.”

He has encouraged audience members to dress up for the Halloween holiday and hinted there may be some surprises.

The work by Bruckner (1824-96) will be contrasted by a much smaller and shorter work by William Byrd (1540-1623). His mass for four parts will be sung a cappella while the Bruckner piece will be performed with the Carnegie Mellon University Wind Ensemble.

The works will be performed at the St. Agnes Center at Carlow University, Oakland. Concerts are at 8 p.m. Oct. 26 and 4 p.m. Oct. 27. Admission is $30, $22 for seniors and $12 for students.

Details: 888-718-4253 or

— Bob Karlovits


‘War of the Worlds' revisited

Bricolage is paying homage to a radio show that caused widespread panic when it first went out over airwaves 75 years ago. The company will present “War of the Worlds,” the second episode of Midnight Radio Season 5, from Oct. 24 through Nov. 9. A special live performance will play on 90.5 WESA on the 75th anniversary of the original broadcast on Oct. 30.

Midnight Radio is the company's hit live variety show performed in the style of a classic old-time radio broadcast, with vintage sound effects, commercial spoofs and more.

Orson Welles directed and narrated the infamous broadcast of the radio adaptation of “War of the Worlds,” a novel by H. G. Wells, on Oct. 30, 1938, on CBS Radio, creating confusion among listeners, many of whom actually believed the United States was under attack by Martian invaders.

Performances are at 9 p.m. from Oct. 24 to 26, Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 and Nov. 8 and 9 at 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown, and features musical guest the Ortner-Roberts Trio. Admission is $25 or $15 for students and seniors. Cost for the 75th anniversary live broadcast is $75 per ticket.

Details: 412-471-0999 or

— Rachel Weaver


Pieces created from found objects

Artist Sherry Rusinack is a Dumpster-diving, trash-night-loving, thrift-shop junkie who specializes in transforming mundane materials into fine art that is anything but disposable.

Rusinack has filled the walls at Box Heart Gallery with expressive works cobbled together from watch parts, nails, baby-doll heads and whatever else she could find for her solo show, “Hats Off to the Insane: New Work by Sherry Rusinack.”

The works are all-at-once visionary, steampunk, new brow and outsider, yet each seems to rise from Rusinack's innate personal vision to transcend our physical world and portray a wider vision of awareness.

Come see these imaginative works before the exhibit closes Nov. 9.

Box Heart Gallery is at 4523 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Details: 412-687-8858 or

— Kurt Shaw


Weekend Acts

If you're interested in live music of just about any variety, there's a good chance you can find it around Pittsburgh this weekend.

• ‘90s rap star MC Hammer will headline the 96.1 KISS FM Trannies, Grannies and MC Hammer Halloween event at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at Stage AE, North Shore. Admission is $32 for the all-ages show. Details: 800-745-3000 or

• Progressive-rock sextet Umphrey's McGee of Chicago is touring in support of its latest studio album, “Death By Stereo.” They'll be at Stage AE at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25. Admission is $25; $22.50 in advance. If you can't make it there, the band will be streaming live during the show. Sign up for $6.99 in advance at Details: 800-745-3000 or

Vieux Farka Toure, son of legendary Malian guitar player Ali Farka Toure, carries on his father's art but gives it his own twist, combining Malian desert blues with a little Jamaican dub, reggae, funk and ‘60s-style blues-rock. Calliope, the Pittsburgh Folk Music Society, brings him to town at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Carnegie Lecture Hall in Oakland. Admission is $20 to $39. Details: 412-361-1915 or

• Experimental band Man Man of Philadelphia has recently reconstructed its sound, focusing on the songwriting collaboration between frontman Honus Honus and drummer Pow Pow. The band will be at Mr. Small's Theatre in Millvale on Oct. 24 in support of its latest album, “On Oni Pond.” The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. Details: 866-468-3401 or

— Tribune-Review

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