Arts, Entertainment, Living

Brubeck Quartet's Final Gig: Pittsburgh Hilton, 1967

Friday, 16 September 2011 03:21 PM Written by

Legacy Recordings has just announced the pending release of the Dave Brubeck Quartet's Last Time Out: December 26 1967.  It chronicles the final concert by the "classic" Brubeck Quartet (Brubeck, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, bassist Eugene Wright and drummer Joe Morello).  This 13-song, two-CD set will appear November 11.  It would be a significant historical release for that alone. What makes it even more significant is that the concert took place in a city with a distinctive jazz heritage acknowledged worldwide: here in Pittsburgh, at the Hilton, in front of a crowd of 1700.  The tapes are not from Columbia Records; Brubeck ended up with a mono tape made almost surely from the soundboard.

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The Making of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood"

Friday, 16 September 2011 01:51 AM Written by
I know I have written a lot about Fred Rogers here, but today (Friday Sept. 16th) you can hear from those who knew him and his work like no others.   At 3:30 p.m. there will be a very special "Making of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" event at the William Pitt Union Ballroom at the University of Pittsburgh.  This event is free and open to the public.   (See www.steeltown.org for details) 
Below is some thoughts about Fred and those who will be part of this event: 
Once there was a young man who saw television when he was in college, and dreamt that he could use that new medium to help change the world for the better.  Fred Rogers would go on to work behind the scenes as a floor manager in NBC during the golden age of television, but then returned to Pittsburgh near his hometown of Latrobe with his wife Joanne to become part of WQED, the nation's first community supported television station.   There Fred and then station secretary Josie Carey volunteered to do children's show, and station manager Dorothy Daniels handed Fred a puppet which would change his life and that of generations of children.  Fred did the voice of Daniel the Striped Tiger and other puppets for years on "The Children's Corner" before he would be offered his own show which began in Canada, and then evolved into the show Fred would bring back to Pittsburgh that would become "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."
It was soon after that an intern Hedda Sharapan would join the team which would produce the show along with David Newell who not only played "Mr. McFeely", but also worked behind the scenes doing props and eventually becoming the show's director of public relations.   There were many "behind the scenes" figures who played key roles in the show-- from the great jazz musician Johnny Costas who gave life to Fred's compositions (and not to mention Handyman Joe Negri who was a great musician in his own right; to a great supporting cast including many talented Chuck Haber, Maggie Stewart, and others; to producers like Margy Whitmer and Adrienne Wehr who kept the production going; to consultants like Elizabeth Seamans who helped with the scripts and who also played "Mrs. McFeely" to Dr. Margaret McFarland, the Pitt professor of Child Development who Fred met with each week to talk about children and the show.
From these humble beginnings would come one of the longest running and most influential television shows in history which would change the lives of generations of children.  
Ultimately, when he was inducted into the television Hall of Fame, Fred would talk about how those who created television having their greatest challenge of "making good attractive."   Fred and his colleagues spent their lives producing over 850 television episodes which strived to do just that.   Today at the University of Pittsburgh some of these stories will be shared with the hope they will inspire a new generation to build on this powerful legacy which literally began on the Pitt campus.
For more information on this event, please visit www.steeltown.org 

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The Making of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood"

Friday, 16 September 2011 01:51 AM Written by
I know I have written a lot about Fred Rogers here, but today (Friday Sept. 16th) you can hear from those who knew him and his work like no others.   At 3:30 p.m. there will be a very special "Making of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" event at the William Pitt Union Ballroom at the University of Pittsburgh.  This event is free and open to the public.   (See www.steeltown.org for details) 
Below is some thoughts about Fred and those who will be part of this event: 
Once there was a young man who saw television when he was in college, and dreamt that he could use that new medium to help change the world for the better.  Fred Rogers would go on to work behind the scenes as a floor manager in NBC during the golden age of television, but then returned to Pittsburgh near his hometown of Latrobe with his wife Joanne to become part of WQED, the nation's first community supported television station.   There Fred and then station secretary Josie Carey volunteered to do children's show, and station manager Dorothy Daniels handed Fred a puppet which would change his life and that of generations of children.  Fred did the voice of Daniel the Striped Tiger and other puppets for years on "The Children's Corner" before he would be offered his own show which began in Canada, and then evolved into the show Fred would bring back to Pittsburgh that would become "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."
It was soon after that an intern Hedda Sharapan would join the team which would produce the show along with David Newell who not only played "Mr. McFeely", but also worked behind the scenes doing props and eventually becoming the show's director of public relations.   There were many "behind the scenes" figures who played key roles in the show-- from the great jazz musician Johnny Costas who gave life to Fred's compositions (and not to mention Handyman Joe Negri who was a great musician in his own right; to a great supporting cast including many talented Chuck Haber, Maggie Stewart, and others; to producers like Margy Whitmer and Adrienne Wehr who kept the production going; to consultants like Elizabeth Seamans who helped with the scripts and who also played "Mrs. McFeely" to Dr. Margaret McFarland, the Pitt professor of Child Development who Fred met with each week to talk about children and the show.
From these humble beginnings would come one of the longest running and most influential television shows in history which would change the lives of generations of children.  
Ultimately, when he was inducted into the television Hall of Fame, Fred would talk about how those who created television having their greatest challenge of "making good attractive."   Fred and his colleagues spent their lives producing over 850 television episodes which strived to do just that.   Today at the University of Pittsburgh some of these stories will be shared with the hope they will inspire a new generation to build on this powerful legacy which literally began on the Pitt campus.
For more information on this event, please visit www.steeltown.org 

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TV Q&A: 'The Closer,' 'Rescue Me' and a WQED experiment

Friday, 16 September 2011 12:00 AM Written by

For a link to headlines of recent TV news and views posts, click here.

TV Q&A with Rob Owen

Submit a question to TV Q&A by clicking here.

This week's TV Q&A (after the "Read more" jump below) responds to questions about “Bob’s Burgers,” “Rescue Me” and a WQED experiment.

As always, thanks for reading, and keep the questions coming.
- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

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Some reminders for your bluesy weekend

Friday, 16 September 2011 12:00 AM Written by

I mentioned it earlier this week, but Moondog's in Blawnox has a special double-header tonight with swampy, soulful Eric Lindell and the gritty Bernard Allison. And I've heard reports that The Doghouse is undergoing a facelift of sorts. That sounds good, as long as hanging ferns aren't part of the plan.

Also tonight, Keb' Mo' brings his talented self to the Palace Theater in Greensburg. Mo can play great old blues, but he's also a musical shapeshifter who brings special qualities to just about anything he performs.

Tomorrow night, the Blues Society of Western Pa. is sponsoring Helping the Kids Lose the Blues, a benefit for "at-risk" kids, with Circle C Youth and Family Services at the Clarion in Greentree. Society members pay $15, everyone else, $25. For that you get the fine blues of Ms. Freddye and Blue Faze, plus food. 

Whatever you do, have some good blues this weekend. Any kind you like.

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Gears of War 3 - review

Thursday, 15 September 2011 01:21 AM Written by

Gears of War 3 is more than just a triple-A, fall release for the Xbox 360.  The franchise’s history shows a symbiotic relationship between console and game that is rarely seen in our current era of cross-platform gaming.  It’s out of the ordinary to see a franchise born, live, and ride off into the sunset all on the same console, yet that’s what we’re seeing in Gears of War.

We saw it have a huge impact on gaming culture five years ago in 2006.  Arguably, the first Gears of War did as much for the 360 as the 360 did for it in return.   We suffered from online woes in its sequel in 2008, but rejoiced at the arrival of “Horde Mode.”  Remember, without Horde mode, there would be no Call of Duty “Nazi Zombies.”  And today as we await the release of the final chapter, Gears of War 3, we hope that Epic Games perfected the recipe to create the enduring farewell that this extraordinary series deserves.

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'Big Bang Theory' enters syndication

Thursday, 15 September 2011 12:00 AM Written by

BBTCBS's "Big Bang Theory" has its fifth season premiere on Sept. 22 but it begins its run in syndication on Monday with episodes airing at 6 and 7 p.m. weeknights on WPGH starting Monday. Reruns will also air on TBS Tuesday and Thursday nights starting next week.

But in the meantime, you can enjoy an extended version of the show's theme song by Barenaked Ladies in a music video after the jump. ...

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Clutch at NYFW: Day 2

Thursday, 15 September 2011 12:00 AM Written by

8:00 am: Up and at ‘em.

9:00 am: First show of the day at Lincoln Center: Emerson.

01emerson

Designed by Jackie Fraser-Swan, Emerson is for the contemporary woman. In my opinion, the collection is perfect for the woman who wants both sophistication and edge in her look, as well as the ability to easily transition from urban street style to modern office wear. My favorite piece included this printed dress shown towards the end of the show. You can watch the entire runway show on YouTube here.

Before the runway show started, I was able to move my seat to the front row. And, who was standing in front of me: but THE Kelly Cutrone, fashion publicist and founder of People’s Revolution, who produced the Emerson Show.

10:30 am: UGG Showroom for brunch with pal Julia.

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UGG was gracious enough to host a post FNO brunch with delicious food, especially the creme brulee bread pudding and tomato/spinach/goat cheese frittata. After brunch, we toured the showroom and view the lasted fall collections by UGG: UGG + Tom Brady Fall 2011 men’s line and the high-end, UGG collection. As a parting gift, we received a pair of UGG slippers. Yeah, I’ll be wearing these all Pittsburgh-winter long. You can view both collections at the UGG website here. 

Noon-ish: Starbucks for some quick email checking and Facebook updating.

1:00 pm Back to Lincoln Center for General Idea Runway show.

01generalidea

I decided to go to this show because General Idea is a menswear line and I know nothing about menswear. I learned a lot by attending this show.  I saw a lot of bright orange for spring, along with navy and aqua colors. Also, stripes were big. You can see more photos on the Clutch Facebook Page here. 

2:00 pm: Free time to explore. Ventured from the Lincoln Center area  to Times Square for the remainder of the afternoon.

5:30 pm: Back to hotel to freshen up for the evening events.

7:00pm: ModCloth Swap Party with pal Julia. ModCloth hosted a swap party with bloggers attending Fashion Week. By bringing two of your own items, you had the chance to swap with other bloggers and pick out something new from the ModCloth rack. I felt very at home at this event, surrounded by fellow and former Pittsburghers.

8:15 pm: Subway back to hotel. Freshen up once again. Free time. Union Square and Brooklyn for cocktails.  One thing that I’ve taken away from NYC is their idea of serving free pizza with each cocktail you order. Please, someone in Pittsburgh do this.

4:00 am: Back at hotel. Sleep. 

Have a great weekend! Check back on Monday for details on my last day at New York Fashion Week. 

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