Hot Picks: 'Murder at the Convent,' David Cook

By Tribune-Review, The | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 29, 2009 | Go to article overview
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Hot Picks: 'Murder at the Convent,' David Cook

Tribune-Review, The, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Theater: Sister mystery

Unconventional behavior takes on a whole new meaning in producer Jude Pohl's latest offering.

"Murder at the Convent" invites audiences to help solve the mystery when a nun is found murdered.

The show features five local performers -- Elyse Alberts, Erin Collopy, John Phillips, Tricia Raines and Joan Russell -- all of whom are doing their first-ever show for Pohl Productions.

"Murder at the Convent" begins performances Friday and continues through Aug. 8 at the Crowne Plaza Cabaret Dinner Theatre, 164 Fort Couch Road, Bethel Park.

Dinner service begins at 6:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and the show follows at 8 p.m. An earlier show is scheduled for this Sunday, when dinner service begins at 4:30 p.m., followed by the show at 6.

Price of the dinner-theater package, including dinner, show, tax and tip, is $38, or $36 for senior citizens.

For details or to make reservations, which are necessary, call Pohl Productions at 724-746-1178.

-- Alice T. Carter

Music: Between the genres

Scott Miller is one of those musicians who, because he can't be neatly categorized, slips between far too many cracks. He has one of those big, soulful voices suited to rabble-rousing rock or crying- out-loud country tunes. Live, Miller performs like his life is on the line at every show and writes song lyrics that are three or four cuts about average.

Miller's new album, "For Cryin' Out Loud," wipes out any demarcations between genres; let's just say that, like the beer of the same name, it goes down easy and sounds good.

Miller performs as a guest of WYEP-FM's Final Fridays at Schenley Plaza in Oakland. The free show begins at 7 p.m.

Details: 412-381-9131 or

-- Rege Behe

Music: Ensemble closer

The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble will complete its 2009 season with typically wide-ranging concerts this weekend in the South Side.

Artistic director Kevin Noe will open with "Court Studies from 'The Tempest'" by English composer Thomas Ades, whose piano trio "Catch" was featured in earlier seasons. The concert will conclude with "Dance/Drop" by David Lang, performances supported by a National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces grant.

The program also will include "The Evidence" by John Fitz Rogers for solo actor and tape. It is based on a 1949 speech by U.S. Rep. George Dondero of Michigan, who asserted modern aesthetics were subversive and communist.

The performances start at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at City Theatre, South Side. Admission: $15; $10 for students and senior citizens; free for those seeing the ensemble for the first time.

Details: 412-431-2489.

-- Mark Kanny

Music: Victory lap

David Cook, the seventh "American Idol" winner, will be coming Thursday to Mr. Small's Theatre in Millvale for a concert.

Millions of viewers grew to love Cook, who wowed "American Idol" audiences week after week by taking other artists' songs and making them his own. One of his most memorable performances was his rocked- up rendition of Lionel Richie's hit "Hello." Cook won 56 percent of the nearly 100 million votes cast, beating David Archuleta, who is establishing his own successful solo career. Cook's self-titled debut album came out in November.

The show begins at 8 p.m., and doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30.

Details: 866-468-3401 or

-- Kellie B. Gormly

Special event: Flood of support

Ten bands -- including Deuce, the KISS tribute band that is headlining -- will participate in "Floodstock," a fundraising effort Sunday at the Irwin Park Amphitheater to help families who suffered in the June 17 flooding in the area.

The Westmoreland County show will help people in that county and in Allegheny County. The Salvation Army will collect funds raised from the $10 admission to help the flood victims.

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