The Pittsburgh-premiere staging of this acclaimed play has three more showings at The Phoenix. More in Program Notes.
It's been a banner year for Pirates slugger Andrew McCutchen: The center fielder helped steer the team to the playoffs for the first time this century, ranked near the top of the National League in batting average and stolen bases, and was voted NL MVP. But it doesn't stop there
The American Music Awards, taking place Sunday night, unveiled its cast of presenters today, and it includes musicians (2Chainz, Michael Bolton), actors (Alicia Silverstone, Zoe Saldana), TV personalities (the folks from Shark Tank) and ... Cutch!
Barring any surprise guests — and some are promised — McCutchen is the only athlete on the docket. (Unless you count former soccer player Juan Pablo Galavis, who is only gonna be there because he's The Bachelor.)
The show airs at 8 p.m. Sunday night, Nov. 24, on ABC.
A chaotic 24 hours that included three separate votes to pass a transportation bill in the state House finally ended last night with a 104-95 vote to approve a gas-tax increase that will help fund mass transit, bridge and highway projects.
The bill passed along with a hotly contested change to the state's prevailing wage law, which I explained in a story in this week's City Paper (on newsstands now!)
In fact, on Monday night, two unsuccessful votes in the House made it look like the bill might be doomed as long as the House Republican prevailing wage proposal was attached.
But the prevailing wage change, which would cut workers' wages on small construction projects, meant plenty of local Democrats voted against the bill including Frank Dermody, Dan Miller, Anthony DeLuca, Dom Costa and Paul Costa. Plenty of Republicans voted against it too, including Daryl Metcalfe and Mike Turzai. The Trib has an info-graphic roundup of how Western Pennsylvania legislators voted.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie McGinty is now urging the state Senate to back an amendment that would strip the prevailing wage piece of the House bill, a sign that the prevailing wage debate may not quietly fade.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit today against a Pittsburgh police officer who arrested a teacher outside a Homewood Community Empowerment Association meeting this summer, an incident that incensed many community members.
The lawsuit claims Dennis Henderson, a teacher at the Manchester Academy Charter School, and photojorunalist Rossano Stewart "were arrested and hundcuffed merely for criticizing the way that Officer [Jonathan] Gromek, who is white, drove down a residential street."
"I worked hard to stay out of the system," Henderson said at a press conference this afternoon. "If it wasn't racial, I have no idea what it was. I hope this lawsuit opens candid dialogue about racial profiling in the region."
As snow began to fall earlier today, nearly 100 Rivers Casino employees marched from the Carnegie Science Center to their place of employment on the North Shore. The employees have been trying to start a union at the casino since April but claim they are being met with anti-union intimidation from management.
“I think what we’ve been doing the past seven months is showing them we have the power and we’re going to make the changes,” said Meredith Maloney, a two-year casino employee.
The march was part of a nationwide campaign calling for unionization at the Rivers Casino and two other casinos in Chicago and Philadelphia, all owned by Chicago billionaire Neil Bluhm. In Pittsburgh there have been nearly 30 complaints filed against the casino with the National Labor Relations Board.
“We’re hitting them on all three fronts and we’re going to keep hitting them until we get a fair process,” said Matt Arling, a casino bartender.
As the employees approached the casino, a group of valet workers wearing anti-union hoodies looked on.
“Don’t be intimidated,” said Dorthy Hall, who has worked at the casino for two-and-a-half-years.
After showing their IDs in the lobby, the employees made their way upstairs to the executive offices in hopes of talking to Craig Clark, the casino’s general manager. But they were only able to leave a message with his receptionist.
“We know when we come here. They hide because they’re afraid of our power,” said Matt Fred Lapka, who works as a waiter. “Today the victory was the fact we all showed up.”
The march was organized by the Steel City Casino Workers Council, which is comprised of workers from UNITE HERE Local 57, Teamsters Local 211, Operating Engineers Local 95, and the United Steelworkers. UNITE HERE is an international union representing employees in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, and airport industries.
We've reached out to River's Casino and will update with a response.
Rivers Casino issued the following statement:
“We take great pride in our team and respect the rights of our Team Members to choose. So far, the overwhelming majority of our Team Members have consistently chosen to remain independent,” said Mike Gross, Rivers Casino spokesperson.
Bricolage Productions’ play-reading series In the Raw launches what’s sure to be a solemn week marking the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination.
Tonight’s the free staged reading of Noah’s Ark, a new work by local playwright Ginny Cunningham. The play tells the story of a fictional White House military insider tortured by the thought that he might have been unwittingly complicit in the assassination.
Noah’s Ark spans the Kennedy presidency, including the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the build-up to U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
The play is inspired by James Douglass’ 2009 book JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, which posits that Kennedy was killed by forces within the American national-security state because he was turning away from a Cold Warrior stance and toward world peace. Fans of the book include Oliver Stone.
Tonight’s reading features a strong local cast including Jeffrey Carpenter and Tami Dixon (both of Bricolage), John Gresh, William Cameron, Jack Erdie, Wali Jamal and Matt Henderson.
The reading is directed by Nancy Bach. A talkback with playwright Cunningham will follow the performance.
Pittsburgh is one of eight cities where the play will be read this month to mark the 1962 assassination. Notably, the Nov. 21 reading, in Dallas, features actor and activist Martin Sheen.
Tonight’s reading is at 7 p.m. at the Bricolage space, at 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. For more information, see here.
Writer Matthew Newton continues his chronicles of life during the Great Recession with "In Case of Emergency," the zine that's the first publication of his new small press, No Empire. The launch is tomorrow night, in Braddock; details in Program Notes.
The Three Rivers Film Festival runs through Sat., Nov. 23. Check out City Paper’s reviews of Week Two films here.
We haven’t seen these films but are some playing over the next couple of days that look like interesting picks. For the complete schedule and more info, see www.3rff.com.
FRIDAY, NOV. 15
The Armstrong Lie. Let the master of explanatory documentaries (Enron, WikiLeaks: We Steal Secrets), Alex Gibney, spread out the details of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal. 9:15 p.m. Fri., Nov. 15. Harris
Micro Cinema: Spectacle. Visiting from Brooklyn, the Spectacle micro-cinema group screens a program spotlighting selections from the venture’s second year of operation, including many custom trailers. 7 p.m. Fri., Nov. 15. Brillobox, 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield
SATURDAY, NOV. 16
Blood Brother. This locally produced doc about a young American man who finds meaning in an Indian orphanage for children with HIV/AIDS won Best Doc at Sundance last spring. Director Steve Hoover is scheduled to attend. 4:30 p.m. Sat., Nov. 16. Regent Square
Nothing But a Man. Michael Roemer directs this 1964 independent drama about an African-American mill worker who faces challenges at home and at work (where he attempts to unionize), as well as pervasive discrimination in his Southern town. 6:30 p.m. Sat., Nov. 16. Also, 9:15 p.m. Tue., Nov. 19. Harris
Micro Cinema: Incite Journal. Both a release party for the fourth issue of INCITE Journal of Experimental Media — and a screening of said media. 9 p.m. Sat., Nov. 16. Melwood
SUNDAY, NOV. 17
Micro Cinema: Nightingale. The Chicago-based micro-cinema group, Nightingale, visits Pittsburgh with a hand-picked selection of recent Windy City moving-image works. Local filmmakers are welcome to bring their works to be considered for future Nightingale programs. $10 ticket includes a champagne brunch. Noon, Sun., Nov. 17. The New Bohemian, 87 Progress St., North Side
Carolyn Elliot's new self-help book emphasizes positivity. More inner realizations in Program Notes.
Democratic Gubernatorial candidate John Hanger says he believes next spring’s Democratic primary for governor could turn into a referendum on reforming and legalizing marijuana laws.
“I don’t want to arrest and lock up thousands of Pennsylvanians every year for possessing and using small amounts of marijuana,” Hanger told City Paper Thursday. “I think if people come out and vote in favor of their liberties in May then we will win the Primary.”
Hanger was in Pittsburgh Thursday to receive the endorsement of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Hanger received the endorsement in front of the Allegheny County Jail Thursday morning.
Hanger, who headed the Department of Environmental Protection under former Gov. Ed Rendell, was the first candidate to enter a now-crowded field for governor just weeks after the 2012 Presidential election. Since then, he has campaigned as an unabashed progressive. He has vowed to repeal the death penalty, supports marriage equality, is pro-choice and is a proponent of single-payer healthcare.
Hanger is touting a three-step plan “to allow medical cannabis, decriminalize possession and by 2017 to regulate and tax marijuana in Pennsylvania.” Hanger says he has been talking to residents across the state who are concerned about the issue. Some want to use marijuana for medical purposes. Others, he says, have been unable to get out from under convictions for marijuana possession that have kept them from finding employment.
“For a lot of people in this state, this is the top issue in their lives,” Hanger says. “And If I’m elected I support expunging the criminal records of anyone convicted of possessing small amounts of cannabis.”
A recent Harper Poll has Hanger running fourth in the primary with 7 percent support behind the race’s leader, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (22 percent), former DEP secretary Katie McGinty (15 percent) and state treasurer Rob McCord (12 percent).
But Hanger says he’s gaining momentum and hopes to hit double digits by the start of 2014 and he’s hoping the marijuana legalization issue will help get him there.
“I think this issue will open up a lot of doors because I’m the only candidate in this race talking about it,” Hanger says.
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