Friday, February 23, 2018

Day 267-Pittsburgh Ballet-Swan Lake-Masterful, Classical, Beautiful –A Fairy Tale

My blog inspiration book, “Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book” reminds us to “Take in some culture once in awhile”. There is nothing more cultural than the  ballet Swan Lake. In fact, this love story is the pinnacle of classical ballet with the demanding technique of the dance for the principle dancer  who takes on the roles of both  Odette (White Swan) and Odile (Black Swan). With the  additional pairing of  Tchaikovsky’s  score which was performed  live by the  PBT Orchestra, this was a masterful performance!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Day 266 Dave Bennett -“From Swing to Rock” with Pittsburgh Symphony POPS-Musical Journey

Dave Bennett, Multi-talented repertoire

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra collaborated with  Dave Bennett to bring the  legendary  swing sound of Benny Goodman and the rock n’ roll sounds of   Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, and Johnny Cash to Heinz Hall  in the show “From Swing to Rock”this weekend.  Dave Bennett, a self-taught jazz clarinet player, also played the electric guitar, piano, drums and sang, taking everyone on a musical journey with the Grammy winning Pittsburgh Symphony conducted by Sarah Hicks.
Sarah Hicks

Dave Bennett with his multi-talented repertoire had the audience on a musical ride from the 1930's big band swing era to the 1950's rock n' roll beginnings. Opening with "In the Mood", he played the clarinet in the famous Benny Goodman style. He then slid into a "Swing Medley" adding five more big band favorites with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. “Serenade in Blue” with the  full sounding orchestra  was “dreamy” but during most of this set, I wanted to jump up and do a jitterbug. I joined many in the audience who were tapping their feet and bobbing to this music.     
Bennett playing Jerry Lee Lewis Medley with PSO
Then Dave Bennett transitioned into  piano playing  Jerry Lee Lewis with a medley of six songs which ended with “Whole Lot of Shakin Going On”.  He injected  energetic key pounding adding his foot to the keys, which is characteristic  of “wild man” Lewis!

It was a fun ride.  Bennett even produced that smooth low tone “Elvis voice” with his  guitar riffs  which made the Elvis Medley from “Heart Break Hotel” to  “"Blue Suede Shoes" bounce. He then cruised into “Love Me Tender” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” which was impressive with the added symphonic sound.  

In the second half, there was a  Johnny Cash set and Bennett performed his original “Lonesome Highway” . The jazzy "Wichita Lineman" allowed his band to jam  and then “Sing Sing Sing”  gave us all a little more big band sound near the conclusion of the show both of which are on  Bennett's new CD, Blood Moon.

Sarah Hicks was wonderful to watch as she conducted the PSO down this musical  highway.   Bennett  and his jazz band with the Pittsburgh Symphony gave us a  fantastic whimsical  musical journey from swing to rock n’ roll!

I will definitely keep the Pittsburgh Symphony POPS 2017-2018 season in my survival tool box. I am looking forward to  Midtown Men, with the  four original Broadway singers  from Jersey Boys, continuing the musical journey  through the 60’s with this  Grammy winning Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Spiritual Reflection
And the priest said to them,"Go in peace. The journey on which you go is under the eye of the Lord"  (Judges 18:6)

Other Sources
Wichita Lineman

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Day 265 Multiple Choice Events at Wilson Center- (Meetings) Anthony Hamliton, Experimental Dance

Movement  performed to the sound of 64 miniature robotic devices that  produce  rhythms for the  show Meetings is definitely thinking outside the box which is just what Austrian choreographer, Anthony Hamilton is known for, and is  just what this blog is all about.  I was excited to experience Hamiton's collaboration with dancer, composer and sound engineer, Alisdair Macindoe, which brought  a unique performance duo for  another Multiple Choice Event to the August Wilson Center. I was ready for Meetings, my first  “experimental dance/sound instillation” experience!  

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

March/February Preview of Events and Posts

Since this blog is  all about keeping a forward trajectory in midst of change and reaching your personal best, I wanted to preview some of my planned experiences in  the hope  that it will inspire some to join in. As Dale Carnegie once said, "Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." Let's all get busy!

RENT-PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh-March 27-April 1, 2018- Heinz Hall 

Rent  is a 1996 rock musical about poverty struck artists living in a NYC Greenwich Village flat who are determined to follow their  dreams but  have problems paying the  rent.  Being of a practical mind, my first thought about this  plot was, “get a job so you can pay the rent”.  After experiencing the show  several years ago, I was hooked by the fantastic music that emulates the power of love.  Rent chronicles an unforgettable  and inspiring  year of  these individuals in the shadow of  HIV/AIDS .  

Join me and experience the power of  love in all forms in this rock musical at the Heinz Hall, Pittsburgh. For tickets go to

RUSH: The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is sponsoring $25.00  tickets on a first come in- person bases  2 hours before the show at the Heinz Hall box office.   Tickets for the RUSH are  for the  first three rows of the orchestra section available for cash only and  limited to two tickets per person

Blog Post to Here 

Pittsburgh Opera -Moby-Dick - March 17, 20 23, 25, 2018- Benedum Center

I have recently added the Pittsburgh Opera to my empty- nest repertoire but I have only experienced one American Opera (see Day 212 Summer King). Moby-Dick  is an American opera with music by Jake Heggie and lyrics by Gene Scheer .  It is based on the classic novel by Herman Melville. With the strong male cast  and a story that  chronicles  Captain Ahab’s feverish pursuit of the great white whale that previously took his leg, this should be a powerful musical night!  

Join me and experience this Pittsburgh premier of the American Opera Moby-Dick at the Benedum Center March 17,20,23,25, 2018. For tickets go

 Blog Post to Follow

Pittsburgh Opera Fashion show-“ Songs of Thrones”- March 19, 2016-Opera Headquarters, Strip District 

The Pittsburgh Opera Fashion Show, "Songs of Thrones"  is going to feature some of their ornate costumes in conjunction with fashions by Diana Misetic of Shadyside fashion studio and boutique, Little Black Dress. How fun to mix the pageantry of operatic fashions with life fashions!  I have never watched the epic series “Game of Thrones” but know that it has medieval  plot. I can’t wait to see how they combine the past with the present in this night of song and fashion.

There will also be resident opera artist molding the costumes from the vault, hair and make up styling by Studio Booth, and jewelry designed pieces for the show and for purchase by artist Deborah Phillips and Murial Spitz.  

Join me and support the Pittsburgh Opera at this evening of  fun and fashion with a medieval twist at  at the Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters in the Strip District. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres  are at 6:30 with the show  at 7:30.  For tickets  click here

Blog Post here

Heisenberg, March 8 to April 8, 2018 Pittsburgh Public Theater

It’s always fun to laugh at romance and Heisenberg  is a romantic comedy named after physicist, Werner Heisenberg that pioneered the  “Uncertainty Principle”- that  particles position and momentum  can not be  measured at the same time.  The play applies this scientific unpredictability to a relationship between a spirited 40 something year old American women and a 75 year old Irishman.  I can’t wait to see the stages of this seemly mismatched relationship  as it is performed in the round with the audience on all sides.

Join me for a little Irish/American unpredictable romance in Heisenberg at the Pittsburgh Public Theater.  For tickets go to

Blog Post to here

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Day 264- Pittsburgh Broadway Series, Wicked The Musical-Friendship and Love in a Mysterious World

Even as an adult I loved the mysterious land of Oz in the movie The Wizard of Oz. The musical, Wickedtells us more about this world. It’s the story about a woman born with green skin who is misunderstood and labeled because of her appearance. She becomes the Wicked Witch of the West but as a young girl she had a beautiful popular friend, Glinda, the Good Witch. Wicked is an adventure about political struggles, social injustice, but mostly, friendship and  love in this mysterious world.