Because I’ve been in rehearsals this past week for the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh‘s performance of Handel’s Messiah – which has just one more performance, today at 4 pm, in direct competition with the Steelers (oh, my! I know what I would choose…) – and because the School of Drama’s PLAYGROUND Festival of Independent Student Work happens next weekend, I’m going to either come late to, or miss altogether, a number of exciting productions and events around town. You, Dear Reader, may have a more free schedule; why not take an evening out and treat yourself to some theater, music, or dance?

For example, this weekend Off The Wall productions in Carnegie opened a production of Duncan Macmillan’s play Lungs, which is a play I really love: it’s about a man and a woman grappling with the eco-ethical implications of bringing a child into the world. It’s funny, smart, theatrically challenging (the playwright dictates that the play be performed without set or props, and the script gives no indication of where one scene ends and a new one begins, or where time has jumped forward, although the time span of the story encompasses a couple of decades or more), and urgently necessary. I won’t have a chance to see it until mid-December, but you shouldn’t wait, particularly if you are interested in seeing theater that attempts to wrap its arms around the issue of climate change.

Also recently opened is Quantum Theatre’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for A Hat, a chamber opera based on a book about intriguing neurological disorders by Oliver Sacks. I’m looking forward to seeing this show later this evening, intrigued to see how Sacks’s nonfiction work has been turned into an evening of opera.  And next week Tamara Tunie will return to Pittsburgh to perform an evening of song, Legends from the ‘Burgh ,at City Theatre.

Then there are the holiday offerings! If you’re in the mood for holiday music, in addition to the Bach Choir Messiah today, there’s also the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh/Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Highmark Holiday Pops Concert – the orchestra’s second concert since its strike was settled. Pittsburgh CLO presents A Musical Christmas Carol December 9-23; and of course, there’s The Nutcracker at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre through the end of the month. And if yinz’re in the mood for a little holiday spoofing, Bricolage Production Company’s got you covered with Pittsburgh-inflected takes on holiday classics in its Midnight Radio: Holiday Spectacular, playing through December 17.

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