Martin Giles, a stalwart of Pittsburgh stages as an actor, director and writer, is about to take it on the chin from his friends -- and like it. Bricolage Theater will present "The Roast of Martin Giles: A Cut Throat Affair!" at 7 p.m. Monday, April 14. 

Giles is in remission after battling throat cancer, and the roast is a benefit to help keep his recovery in full swing.

"Marty has given so much to our theater community,"  Bricolage producing artistic director Tami Dixon said of Giles, a Post-Gazette Performer of the Year. "He's been a staple on every stage in town for the last 30 years. As an actor he's giving us award-winning performances, as a playwright he's written beautiful scripts and as a director he's staged moving and memorable plays. We just know our community will come to his aid, and what better way than a roast!"

Featured roasters include stage veterans Tony Bingham, Jarrod DiGiorgi, Patrick Jordan, Jason McCune, Sheila McKenna, Joe Schulz, Gayle Pazerski Stephenson and the Post-Gazette's senior theater critic, Chris Rawson. 

A donation will get you in the door, plus food and drink. Proceeds go directly to the roastee. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; for reservations RSVP to Tami Dixon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


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Some news and notes from the Pittsburgh theater scene:

Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre will present "UnCommon Pleas: An Evening of Legal Theatrical Entertainment," in which the killer Macbeths (played by attorney Dennis Ukovic and Pittsburgh High Tech Council president Audrey Russo) "appeal their murder convictions in front of six noteworthy judges." The event, co-sponsored by the Arts and Law Committee of the Allegheny County Bar Association, is at the Duquesne Club March 27 and features cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, a three-course meal to go along with the case if Shakespearan proportions.

The first-time PICT UnCommon Pleas event was created to help the theater company fulfill a commitment to make classic theater in general and Shakespeare in particular accessible to all.

The event is co-chaired by PICT Theatre's board president Charles H. Moellenberg Jr. (Jones Day) and his wife Karen Moellenberg, also an attorney, and Thomas G. Donahue (Dinsmore & Shohl LLP). The six judges who will deliberate are the Honorable Maurice B. Cohill Jr., Judge Nora Barry Fischer, Court of Common Pleas president Judge Jeffrey Manning, Superior Court Judge Judith Olson, Common Pleas Complex Case Judge Christine Ward and Common Pleas Judge and former Pittsburgh Steeler Dwayne Woodruff.

Tickets are $250 per person or $200 for members of the Arts & the Law Committee, Homer S. Brown Division, and Young Lawyers Division of the ACBA; 412-561-6000 or http://picttheatre.org/plays-events/pict-uncommon-pleas/. 

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Pittsburgh CLO has announced the cast for CLO Cabaret's Johnny Cash "Ring of Fire" (May 22-Aug. 17) at the Cabaret at Theater Square. This is not a Johnny Cash bioplay, by the way, but drawn from almost 40 songs. The musical conceived by William Meade and created and directed by Richard Maltby Jr. when it debuted in 2006 is about three American couples and as they progress through life, Maltby told Playbill.com. Songs include "Country Boy," "A Thing Called Love," "Five Feet High and Rising," "Daddy Sang Bass," "I Walk the Line," "I've Been Everywhere," "The Man in Black" and Cash's final hit, "Hurt."

The cast includes  singer/songwriter and accomplished guitarist Jay Hitt, who last appeared at the CLO Cabaret in "Always ... Patsy Cline" and New York stage veteran Nicole Stefonek. Making their CLO Cabaret debuts are Point Park grads Paul Koudouris and Jon Rohlf; CMU grads Mitch Marois and Erika Strasburg; and Santino Tomasetti, a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Guy Stroman directs, with Chris "Red" Blisset as musical director.

Tickets for the CLO Cabaret show are available at CLOCabaret.com or 412-456-6666.



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Here's a first look at the cover from BroadwayWorld.com that Pittsburgh Billy shared on Facebook:


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A Tony Awards reminder came today: It's 100 days away

Thursday, 27 February 2014 05:26 PM Written by


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I've been watching Pittsburgh's own Billy Porter recount his adventures in recording on Twitter while he continues his Tony-winning run on Broadway as "Kinky Boots' " Lola, and now the album has a release date, per the press release that arrived today:

PorterBacksIt’s been almost a decade since Billy Porter released a solo album, and since then much has changed for the award-winning artist, who grew up singing in the Pentecostal church. Perhaps best known for his Tony Award-winning role as ‘Lola’ in the hit Broadway musical Kinky Boots, Porter’s musical background is based in gospel, soul and R&B. He released his first solo album, Untitled, on A&M Records, and a second album, At The Corner of Broadway + Soul, on Sh-K-Boom Records. On April 15, Porter releases his debut on Concord Records, Billy’s Back on Broadway. (Left: PorterBacks Unite is a Billy Porter fan site.)

Featuring ten classics made famous on the Great White Way that focus on inspiration, empowerment and hope, the album’s title is a nod to Sammy Davis, Jr.’s recording Sammy’s Back on Broadway. “The canon of great Broadway songs is so vast and I have so many favorites that the only way I could narrow them down was to choose a theme,” Porter says of the songs on Billy’s Back on Broadway. “Once I settled on what I wanted to say and the journey I wanted the listener to take, the songs made their presence known rather quickly.”

While Porter grew up in Pittsburgh as a gospel singer, he transitioned to theater, making his Broadway debut in the original cast of "Miss Saigon."

“Seeing Jennifer Holliday from Dreamgirls perform on the Tony Awards telecast and later discovering Barbra Streisand by listening to her albums at the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh really changed everything for me,” Porter says of his career path. “When Barbra released her first Broadway album I was about 15 years old, and I thought, ‘One day, I’m going to make my own Broadway album – just like Babs!’ ”

Cyndi Lauper, the Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award-winning rock icon who penned the score for Kinky Boots, makes a special guest appearance on Billy’s Back on Broadway, dueting with Porter on “Happy Days/Get Happy,” a tune made famous by Streisand and Judy Garland.

“I’ve said it before and I'll say it again. Cyndi is one of the godmothers of individuality,” Porter explains. “She forged a path for so many of us that didn’t fit into the status quo. I learned so much and have felt so inspired by her journey as an artist and human being before I even knew her. She’s a blessing and a gift, and I’m so thrilled she said ‘yes’ when I asked her to sing on this album.”

In January 2014, the Broadway cast recording of "Kinky Boots" won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. The musical celebrates its one year on Broadway anniversary in April 2014.

“It’s been unbelievable to be given the opportunity to circle back to the original dream, which for me started way back in the ’80s in Pittsburgh, when I dreamed of one day being a Broadway star,” says Porter, winner of the 2013 Tony  Award for Best Actor in a Musical.

Play list for Billy's Back on Broadway:

1. "But The World Goes Round"
2. "Everything’s Coming Up Roses"
3. "Don’t Rain On My Parade"
4. "On The Street Where You Live"
5. "I’ve Gotta Be Me"
6. "I’m Not My Father’s Son"
7. "Happy Days/Get Happy" w/Cyndi Lauper
8. "Luck Be A Lady"
9. "Take The Moment"
10. "I Am Changing"

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