'Doctor Strange' shares new IMAX 3D footage in Pittsburgh and theaters across North America

Written by Sharon Eberson on .



"Doctor Strange" hit theaters at 7 tonight -- for about 15 minutes.

Marvel Studios' sneak peak "Expand Your Mind: An IMAX 3D Exclusive First Look" showcased 15 minutes of exclusive "Doctor Strange" footage in more than 115 North American theaters, including the AMC Loews Waterfront (as seen in the screen above).

The Game Guy, Max Parker, and I joined a few dozen others excited to see the magic happen -- or to see Benedict Cumberbatch. At least one person there was wearing an "I AM SHER-LOCKED" T-shirt. I'm with her, but I like my Marvel comic-book movies, too.

In a statement, director Scott Derrickson says, "As a movie fan, I am thrilled to take audiences along on the visual journey of 'Doctor Strange' and give them an early peek at what we've been working on. The completed film will feature more than an hour of specially formatted IMAX sequences that will provide audiences with a totally immersive — and mind-blowing — filmgoing experience, and I'm excited to share a taste of that with our fans on 10/10."

After collecting our poster and 3D glasses, we sat down to see Cumberbatch -- as himself -- appear onscreen to introduce the footage. In his minute of air time, he perform a little magic trick: As he moved his hands apart, the screen expanded upward. "Cool," as he put it.

I admit trepidation -- I was wondering how I would buy the oh-so-British Cumberbatch as a wisecracking American named Steve (Dr. Stephen Strange). It was a little disconcerting to hear him rattling off pop culture names to ... Benedict Wong, who plays Wong. Honest. He's nothing like the Wong of the comic books, who is Strange's manservant. Here, he's seen as a tough librarian who will teach this Strange upstart a few lessons.

Oscar winner Chiwetel Ejiofor, who was a slave to Cumberbatch's plantation owner in "12 Years a Slave," here plays Baron Mondo, a villainous rival to Doctor Strange in the comic books but here, seen as a sidekick in a multiverse war against Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius.

In the 15 minutes, we see most of Doctor Strange's origin story. Arrogant surgeon with love interest Rachel McAdams who gets into a car accident that ruins his life -- until he goes to the mysterious enclave known as Kamar-Taj, where he becomes a student of the Tibetan sorcerer known as the Ancient One, played by a bald Tilda Swinton.

A major portion of the footage was reserved for special effects. Think of the mind-bending cityscapes of "Inception" and the psychedelic dreamscapes of the "The Fountain," all in kinetic flux, and you get the picture. It was eye-popping and certainly "cool," as Cumberbatch said, and certainly a lure for the full-length movie due to be released Nov. 4.

Before the screening, there was an announcement to check out the website, where a video of Cumberbatch, standing in the same brick-lined room where he shot the aforementioned intro, announces a global initiative to boost childhood education through the charity Save the Children.

Marvel Studios Hero Acts asks you to upload a photo of yourself in your favorite Marvel superhero pose on the website and share it on social media with the hashtags #marvelstudios #heroacts, and Marvel will donate $5 for each post, up to $1 million through the end of the year.



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PSO strike coverage, in one place

Written by Elizabeth Bloom on .

UPDATE (Dec. 5, 2016): The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra strike has concluded. I updated all links through Dec. 4, 2016. 


If you've made it to this blog post, you probably already know that the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra are on strike.

20160930dsMusiciansStrikeLocal02-1Peter Guild of Mt. Lebanon carries a sign asking “What Would Beethoven Say?” on Sept. 30, the first day of the PSO musicians' strike. Mr. Guild has been with the PSO for 18 years. (Post-Gazette/Darrell Sapp)

This work stoppage is a complicated issue, so I thought it would be helpful to gather all of the Post-Gazette's coverage — from news articles to letters to the editors — in one place. I'll do my best to update this page with some frequency, so check back often. Here goes:

News stories

Sept. 2, 2016: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra management, musicians in contract talks

Sept. 4, 2016: Pittsburgh Symphony management, musicians extend contract talks

Sept. 18, 2016: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians, management agree to continue private negotiations

Sept. 30, 2016: PSO musicians go on strike

Oct. 3, 2016: Pittsburgh Symphony cancels performances through Oct. 27 in wake of musicians' strike

Oct. 7, 2016: Brian Regan show at Heinz Hall postponed

Oct. 9, 2016: Musicians say quality at heart of PSO strike 

Oct. 10, 2016: Amid strike, Downtown audience cheers PSO musicians at free concert 

Oct. 17, 2016: PSO cancels concerts through Nov. 18 in wake of musicians' strike

Oct. 19, 2016: Elvis Costello show canceled due to PSO strike

Oct. 20, 2016: PSO management, musicians agree on virtually nothing

Oct. 21, 2016: PSO musicians, management to meet with mediators

Oct. 25, 2016: Peduto, Fitzgerald trying to mediate symphony strike

Nov. 1, 2016: PSO management and musicians are talking to each other, but not to the media

Nov. 1, 2016: Comedian Brian Regan to offer free show at Heinz Hall

Nov. 12, 2016: PSO is fundraising in the midst of a strike by musicians

Nov. 15, 2016: Pittsburgh Symphony cancels concerts through Dec. 5

Nov. 22, 2016: PSO management, musicians nearing deal to end two-month strike

Nov. 23, 2016: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, musicians reach 5-year contract

Dec. 2, 2016: PSO musicians return to thunderous ovation

Dec. 4, 2016:A midnight deal: PSO concerts resume after two-month labor dispute

PSO-strike-1975 1The PSO musicians went on strike once before, in 1975. During that work stoppage, flutist Bernard Goldberg played on the picket line outside Heinz Hall. (Morris Berman/Post-Gazette)

Opinion pieces from Post-Gazette staff

Oct. 5, 2016: Brewed On Grant: PSO Strike (editorial cartoon by Rob Rogers)

Oct. 7, 2016: Make music together: PSO, musicians should get back to bargaining (Post-Gazette editorial)

Nov. 16, 2016: Money talks: PSO fundraising during strike cannot hurt (Post-Gazette editorial)

Nov. 29, 2016: Play on: The bitter PSO strike was a reality check (Post-Gazette editorial)

Letters to the editor

Oct. 2, 2016: PSO musicians enrich our city; please back them

Oct. 4, 2016: PSO musicians should face the reality at hand

Oct. 5, 2016: Consider the sacrifices these musicians have made

Oct. 5, 2016: A great symphony orchestra deserves great pay 

Oct. 7, 2016: The PSO musicians' strike is sad but justified 

Oct. 8, 2016: The PSO musicians should be well paid

Oct. 8, 2016: PSO musicians are high-caliber pros, like the Steelers 

Oct. 9, 2016: All Pittsburghers can bask in the glow of the PSO 

Oct. 9, 2016: PSO management and musicians must consider market forces 

Oct. 10, 2016: Pittsburgh Opera also offers world-class performances 

Oct. 12, 2016: Management must meet PSO musicians in the middle

Oct. 13, 2016: PSO musicians deserve better than what led to this strike

Oct. 17, 2016: As subscribers and contributors, we're frustrated with PSO management

Oct. 21, 2016: PSO management has the wrong strategy

Oct. 21, 2016: The PSO needs new marketing

Oct. 26, 2016: Here's hoping the PSO musicians are back on stage soon

Oct. 27, 2016: The PSO management and board are custodians of a jewel

Nov. 1, 2016: The PSO's balancing act: classics vs. new music (for new audiences)

Other coverage

Aug. 8, 2014: The Digs: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's September 1975 strike

Oct. 7, 2016: WESA's The Confluence: Presidential Polling In The Swing States And Striking Musicians

Oct. 9, 2016: KD/PG Sunday edition, Part 1 (TV interview with symphony CEO Melia Tourangeau)

Oct. 9, 2016: KD/PG Sunday edition, Part 2 (TV interview with orchestra committee members Micah Howard and Jeremy Branson)

Oct. 13, 2016: Elizabeth Bloom's Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra strike chat transcript

20161019ng-Symphony3Melia Tourangeau, right, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, walks by as principal oboist Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida and other symphony members walk the picket line outside Heinz Hall on Oct. 19. (Nate Guidry/Post-Gazette)

Social media and PSO websites

PSO management websites:,,

PSO musicians' websites:,

Twitter: I (@BloomPG) have been using the hastag #PSOstrike to gather all Post-Gazette coverage and my own Tweets in one place. The musicians (@PSOmusicians) and their supporters generally have been using the hashtag #musiciansofsteel. PSO management is on Twitter @pghsymphony


Instagram: @psomusicians@pittsburgh_symphony_orchestra

Thanks for reading,
Liz Bloom ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 412-263-1750)

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Union rocker Mike Stout keeps up the fight on 20th album

Written by Scott Mervis on .

Mike Stout PhotoPittsburgh rocker Mike Stout keeps churning them out, now releasing his 20th CD, “Blue And Green in Black And White.”

Stout, a union leader dubbed the World’s Grievance Man who specializes in songs of political and social justice songs, covers a wide range of topics here and all the genre bases, from bluegrass to rock, with blues, country and Irish in between.

"One Big Union" is a Celtic-style rally anthem, the folky “Terry Greenwood” salutes a farmer/truck-driver-turned-anti-fracking activist, rocker “Stand Up –The Water’s Running Out” is a warning about diminishing resources, “Under the Table” is a jazz vamp about underpaid, overworked employees and “Kidney Stone Blues” is a more personal take on a painful spell.


One song, “Keep ‘Em Safe and Alive,” was commissioned by Operating Engineers Local 66 and the Allegheny Labor Council to focus on the safety of road construction workers.

The 13-song album was recorded with a band of veteran Pittsburgh musicians including Jim Dougherty, Bob Banerjee, Joe Munroe, Corey Congilio Kevin McDonald and Tom Valentine at Red Medicine Recording Studio, Wilkins Audio and Soundscape Studio.


The Mike Stout & the Human Union CD Release Party release show, sponsored by the Union Edge labor talk radio show, is at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Letter Carriers Branch 84 Union Hall, 841 California Ave., North Side, Admission is $20;; 724-787-5890

The CD is available for at:



It is available for streaming on Spotify at


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Pittsburgh band Carousel calls it quits

Written by Scott Mervis on .

CAROUSEL2-1Jim Wilson, Matt Goldsborough, Dave Wheeler and Jake Leger.


Pittsburgh has lost one of its best and most-traveled hard rock/metal bands. 

Carousel, which released the excellent second album "2113" last September on the prestigious NYC label Tee Pee Records (Sleep, Witch, Graveyard) and toured internationally, announced Monday that it is disbanding.

Frontman Dave Wheeler posted on Facebook, "Hello fans and friends... It's difficult to make this post but the time has come for carousel to call it quits. It's been a hell of a ride but frequent lineup changes and other unfortunate events have necessitated this decision. Thanks to anyone who supported us over the years. We're still humbled by the fact that anyone gave a crap about us or our music and we're truly grateful to our label Tee Pee Records for taking a chance on us. Jim and Dave will carry on with their other band Outsideinside. We leave you with a clip of Jeweler's Daughter live in Bilbao, Spain from our last tour. Again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It's been a dream come true."

Carousel, which formed in 2012 with members from 70,000 BC, Magic Wolf, The Karl Hendricks Trio and Mary Celeste, was divided between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia when it replaced departing guitarist Chris Tritschler with the Philly-based Matt Goldsborough from '70s metal pioneers Pentagram. Also, soon after the album was released last year, Carousel abruptly parted ways with enthusiastic drummer/founding member Jake Leger.

As noted, Wheeler and bassist Jim Wilson will continue in Outsideinside. Wheeler and Goldsborough could not be reached for further comment early Tuesday.

Updated on Wednesday, Sept. 7: 

Dave Wheeler tells us when Goldsborough left the band after the last tour, "It was just getting harder to keep a lineup together. We ended up getting fill-ins on drums and guitar for our last tour but that's not sustainable... Also, one of those guys was from Boston and one was from New York. We thought about getting a band together made of just Pittsburgh heads but the thought of teaching another lineup these songs was really unappealing. I guess we could have taken a break and seen if we wanted to continue later but I thought it would be best to make a clean break. That way we can all move ahead with other things."



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Zara Larsson will headline free Nightmare on Hellsworth show

Written by Scott Mervis on .

NOH--Zara Larrson Approval LargeNightmare on Hellsworth, a free outdoor Halloween event sponsored by the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh and Kiss 96.1 FM., will return to Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside on Oct. 7 with Swedish sensation Zara Larsson.

The singer-songwriter, working in the electropop vein of Lorde and Robyn, broke internationally last year with the singles "Lush Life" and “Never Forget You,” and she just released the new song "Ain't My Fault."

The party runs from 7 to 10:30 p.m. on Ellsworth Avenue at Maryland. It is free but those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Costumes are encouraged. Additional performers will be announced soon.

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