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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Posted By on Wed, May 31, 2017 at 9:48 AM

Stage productions with great pedigrees don’t always turn out great. But ABBEY: In The Red did. This world-premiere dance work with live music gorgeously evoked the life and music of its inspiration, jazz singer Abbey Lincoln.

Photo courtesy of Kitoko Chargois
The production was a blending of some top-notch, all-local talent. Choreographer Staycee Pearl guided seven dancers from her STAYCEE PEARL dance project (plus guest performers from Pittsburgh’s Legacy Arts Project) through several numbers, all new interpretations of classic Lincoln tracks as arranged by composer and reeds player Ben Opie, and played by a six-piece ensemble including vocalist Anqwenique Wingfield. The musical direction was by Soy Sos (a.k.a. Herman Pearl), who contributed electronics and light percussion.

As seen this past Saturday night, at the August Wilson Center, the show began with a silent tableau centering on Wingfield in a striking gown by costume designer Tereneh Mosley and fabulous headdress by artist Atticus Adams. (Mosley and Adams also contributed the textiles and sculptural elements that dressed the set.) Wingfield and the band launched into a foreboding version of Lincoln’s blues “Driva Man,” shortly joined onstage by the dancers.

That was followed by group works set to the joyous “Freedom Day” and the contemplative “Straight Ahead” and other solo and group works set to tunes including “Garvey’s Ghost” and “African Lady.” The work was mostly drawn from Lincoln’s 1960s output, known for its lyrics referencing the civil-rights struggle, and for what Pearl has called its avant-garde sound. (You can download the soundtrack here.) The choreography included jazz and traditional African dance, and a good bit of ballet. Featured dancers included LaTrea Rembert and Chandra Tanel.

Here’s Steve Sucato’s preview article on the show for City Paper.

Saturday’s performance concluded a three-show premiere run. But you can catch excerpts of ABBEY as soon as June 7, when SPdp performs on the main stage at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, in a set including its terrific work FLOWERZ (from earlier this year); a similar program follows on June 8, at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Both performances are part of a showcase by Tracks.

The program later goes on the road, with performances scheduled in Cambridge, Mass., and Newport, R.I.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Posted By on Tue, May 30, 2017 at 2:34 PM

The transgender flag - PHOTO COURTESY WIKI COMMONS
Photo courtesy Wiki Commons
The transgender flag
Scores of political pundits, media personalities and even comedians have commented on how quickly transgender individuals have been accepted into mainstream society. And while the perception of acceptance might be growing with trans individuals like Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox emerging into the celebrity spotlight, a new nationwide survey shows the average trans person is far from receiving equal treatment in the U.S.

The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, released this month, showcases how trans individuals face significantly higher rates of poverty, unemployment and workplace discrimination nationwide. The survey received responses from 1,171 trans individuals in Pennsylvania, and asked them questions about their work status, housing situation, education and restroom access.

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Posted By on Tue, May 30, 2017 at 1:07 PM

Photo Courtesy of Ebru Yildiz
We've always wanted to insert little computer chips and speakers into City Paper, so that when you open it, music from artists featured in the paper plays while you read about them (like a big old greeting card). But that's just not realistic. This is the second-best thing: a Spotify playlist featuring music from tomorrow's issue. Listen up.

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Posted By on Mon, May 29, 2017 at 8:51 AM

Photo courtesy of Kitoko Chargois​
Each week, we post a song from a local artist online for free. This week, it’s a track from ABBEY: In The Red, the new multidisciplinary dance performance from Staycee Pearl Dance Project and Soy Sos. “Driva Man” is an Abbey Lincoln classic, revived in a stirring performance here with Soy Sos Extended Ensemble and Anqwenique Wingfield on vocals. Stream or download below.

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Posted By on Fri, May 26, 2017 at 1:25 PM

click to enlarge Future at KeyBank Pavilion on Thu., May 25 - CP PHOTOS BY LUKE THOR TRAVIS
CP photos by Luke Thor Travis
Future at KeyBank Pavilion on Thu., May 25

The Nobody Safe Tour came to KeyBank Pavilion in Burgettstown last night, bringing Future, A$AP Ferg, Migos and Tory Lanez to the stage. Here are our favorite photos from the night.

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Posted By on Fri, May 26, 2017 at 11:34 AM

click to enlarge City Paper's Golden Quill Winners, from left, Margaret Welsh, Ryan Deto, Bill O'Driscoll, Rebecca Addison, Charlie Deitch, Celine Roberts and Ashley Murray.  Not pictured are Kim Lyons and DJ Coffman - CP PHOTO BY MARK ADDISON
CP Photo by Mark Addison
City Paper's Golden Quill Winners, from left, Margaret Welsh, Ryan Deto, Bill O'Driscoll, Rebecca Addison, Charlie Deitch, Celine Roberts and Ashley Murray. Not pictured are Kim Lyons and DJ Coffman

Pittsburgh City Paper
writers, editors and artists won 10 first place Golden Quill Awards from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania. The paper had 14 finalists overall in 12 categories.

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Posted By on Fri, May 26, 2017 at 10:13 AM

Today is the final day to vote for your favorite design in the Sprout Fund's "Belonging," a community art project in support of immigrants and refugees. Allegheny County residents were invited to submit a design that showed Pittsburgh welcoming new friends and neighbors in hopes of having their artwork made into posters and yard signs to be distributed free to the community.

Among the 42 finalists deserving a shout out are some friends of Pittsburgh City Paper.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Posted By on Thu, May 25, 2017 at 5:15 PM

Last January, some were amused and others terrified when Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said guns could be used in “schools to protect from potential grizzlies.” The meme-worthy comment was made during DeVos’ confirmation hearing when U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D- Connecticut) asked her if “guns have any place in or around schools?” Murphy previously served as a member of the House of Representatives where he represented Newtown, Conn., the town where 20 elementary school students and six school employees were shot and killed in 2012.

While many have pushed for stronger gun control measures since the Sandy Hook massacre, others are pushing measures to increase the presence of firearms in schools. One such measure is currently being considered in the Pennsylvania Senate and could be voted on next month.

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Posted By on Thu, May 25, 2017 at 4:36 PM

click to enlarge Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul Mango's McKinsey & Company profile page before it was removed this month - IMAGE COURTESY OF MCKINSEY & COMPANY
Image courtesy of McKinsey & Company
Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul Mango's McKinsey & Company profile page before it was removed this month
Paul Mango, who is running for Pennsylvania governor as a Republican, worked for years as the head of Pittsburgh’s branch of the consulting firm McKinsey & Company. He stepped down as Pittsburgh branch director in February 2017, but while there, he was well known as being an expert on health care, health insurance and health-system reform.

A now-removed bio from the McKinsey & Company website described Mango as focusing on “the implications of health reform, the impact of consumer-directed health, the application of lean manufacturing principles to patient care delivery processes, and the rise of medical tourism.”

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Posted By on Thu, May 25, 2017 at 4:21 PM

click to enlarge Milia Ayache
Milia Ayache
Real/Time Interventions scored when its new cabaret musical, Angelmakers — a one-woman show about female serial killers — was chosen for the prestigious Orchard Project Summer Residency. But there’s a catch for the small troupe: Its lone collaborator, performer Milia Ayache, lives in Lebanon and still needs airfare.

RTI is running a gofundme campaign to raise $2,500 to get Ayache to Saratoga Springs, N.Y., by June 10.

Angelmakers: Songs for Female Serial Killers, explores the “moments and motives” of eight female serial killers in songs by Molly Rice. Local theater fans will remember Rice from her inventive script forThe Saints Tour — Braddock, an immersive theater piece RTI staged with Bricolage Productions for a sold-out run in 2015.

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