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Something's Rotten about this 'Jesus Christ Superstar'

Written by Scott Mervis on .

john-lydon

Buried in the middle of the second paragraph of the press release about the touring “Jesus Christ Superstar” is this little bombshell:

“English singer-songwriter and lead singer in Public Image Ltd. (PiL) and Sex Pistols, John Rotten Lydon, will play ‘King Herod’.”

This is absolutely classic (!) starting with the dainty reference to Rotten as “English singer-songwriter.”

“I’m here to sing with the King of the Jews, who could ask for anything more?” the punk rocker says in the release.

His previous experience for this would be working with Malcolm McLaren — Jewish King of the Punks in England. (As for acting, he was most notably in the 1983 film "Corrupt" with Harvey Keitel, and you have to figure this is better than him playing a hippie in "Hair.")

Herod has all of one song in “JCS,” but Rotten is likely to draw an inordinate amount of the attention for this production.

The 50-plus city tour, which hits Consol Energy Center on Aug. 12, also stars Brandon Boyd of Incubus as Judas, ‘N Sync vocalist JC Chasez, as Pontius Pilate, Destiny’s Child Michelle Williams as Mary Magdalene and young Brit Ben Forster, who won England’s ITV Superstar competition in 2012, as Jesus. There will be more 50 cast and musicians on stage.

Andrew Lloyd Webber notes in the release: “Jesus Christ Superstar began life as a rock album...probably because nobody believed back in 1969 that you could present a stage musical about the last days of the life of Jesus Christ. I shall never forget its first live performance in the Civic Arena, Pittsburgh on July 12th 1971. Of course JCS subsequently became a legit theatre stalwart, but I, personally, have always hankered after seeing it again in the arenas where it started.”

Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan sang on the original album, but that first arena tour featured Jeff Fenholt (who became a Christian evangelist and claimed to be a member of Black Sabbath briefly in 1985) as Jesus, Carl Anderson as Judas, and Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene (the latter two also played in the film and Broadway versions).

Co-creator Tim Rice added: “In 1971 Andrew and I were thrilled by the first-ever Jesus Christ Superstar tour of the United States. We certainly did not imagine then that 43 years later we would be witnessing another America-wide tour of our first big hit show. We are delighted and grateful that enthusiasm for Superstar has been maintained over the years and this new production presents the work in its most powerful format — as a true rock experience.”

Boyd noted: “I grew up on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classics and never imagined I would be playing a role in one, let alone with such an incredibly diverse cast of players. Truly an honor!”

The tour kicks off on June 9 and runs through Aug. 17, so Pittsburgh is at the tail end.

We’ll have to hope that Jesus or one of his disciples doesn’t strangle the abrasive Rotten before they get here.

Me? I'm only going if this ends with an encore medley of Sex Pistols/'N Sync/Incubus songs.

Tickets details will be announced soon. American Express® Card Members can purchase tickets before the general public beginning Friday, April 4 at 10am local time. They range from $29.50 to $125 plus applicable fees and service charges. In addition, a limited number of Gold Circle tickets and Superstar Premium VIP packages are available.

 

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Trend spotting at Fashion for the Wild at Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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Fashion was out in full force Thursday night at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium's first Fashion for the Wild benefit event.

Influential fashionistas from across Pittsburgh were present, either displaying their designs at vendor booths, modeling or showing off their collections in a fashion show emceed by Sally Wiggin and David Conrad.

The aquarium where the event was held was filled with fashion eye candy. Here are some of the top trends spotted during the night:

Colorful prints: Collections by Lana Neumeyer, Tidal Cool Creations and Jazmin Jackson were peppered with eye-catching prints in bright colors. Ms. Jackson dabbled a lot in blacks and golds (references to Pittsburgh perhaps?), while Ms. Neumeyer's designs brought the flavor of her native country of Brazil with bold florals in warm hues. 

Cozy chic: Kiya Tomlin's sweatshirt dresses prove comfort and chicness can combine. Super soft fabrics in a few colors and cuts allow ladies to find a look that suits their style.

A sprinkle of sparkle: The table of sparkly accessories from Sabika's spring/summer line attracted a lot of attention as women gathered around to try on the Swarovski pieces in rich shades of blue, pale pink and silver.

Statement scarves: Never mind those who say scarves are just for winter. Wraps in seasonal shades or floral prints and stripes, like those from Carabella boutique in Oakmont, are a simple way to switch up a look.

Bold cuffs: Arm cuffs etched with creative designs were among the offerings from luxe handbag and jewelry designer Sandra Cadavid.

jewelSparkly Swarovski jewelry by Sabika.

 clutchClassic envelope clutches by Sandra Cadavid.

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People can be trained, at a price

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

 

In a recent article in Atlantic Cities, “3 Enormous Benefits to Charging the Right Price for Parking, Eric Jaffe makes a case for rethinking how cities can get the most out of their transit investments.
 
 carsHe writes:
 
“Most U.S. cities do everything they can to abide the theory. They undervalue the price of street spaces. They keep parking so cheap it encourages driving (and thus undermines their own transit investments, leading to more driving). And they require a minimum number of parking spaces for new developments whether residents need them or not.
 
“Three recent studies highlight big benefits to setting the right price for city parking: less traffic, more transit use, and greater tax revenue.”
 
The article includes links to the studies.
 
It makes the point that cheap parking is a motivation for people to drive into a city and that higher fees to park provide the incentive for them to use transit. 

 

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"Setting the Seen" Video Blog: Wild Week of Fun and Fashion!

Written by Natalie Bencivenga on .

Enjoy my latest video with Style Editor, Sara Backnecht, as we discuss all-things Pittsburgh, from social events to fashion trends! Happy Friday!

Follow us on Twitter @NBSeen and @SaraB_PG

If you are free on Saturday night, I will be a guest on the John McIntire Show at the Cabaret Theater. We will be talking about the changing social scene here in Pittsburgh. It will be a fun night! For more information: CLICK HERE

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Blues Challengers vying for shot at Memphis

Written by Scott Mervis on .

 

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Fourteen acts will have 20 minutes to make it to Memphis on Saturday.

The bands/solo artists will hit the stage April 5 for 10th annual Blues Challenge, presented by the Blues Society of Western PA at the Tonidale in Oakdale.

Each will play a 20-minute set, and one band and one solo artist or duo will be chosen to represent the society at the 2015 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. It begins at 1:30 p.m. A dinner buffet will be available during the break early in the evening, and there will be an after party/jam with last year's winner, Billy the Kid and the Regulators, at 10:30 p.m.

Tickets are $12; $10 for society members; $6 students. The Tonidale is at 7011 Steubenville Pike, Oakdale. Go to bswpa.com

Here is the list of contenders:

1. Mia Z
2. Jimmy Adler and Charlie Barath
3. Chris Yakopcic
4. Bo Hog Brothers
5. Pet Cro
6. Melinda
7. Scott Albert Project
8. Blues Devils
9. Ms. Freddye Band
10. Paul the Resonator
11. Bottom Shelf Blues Band
12. Eugene Morgan
13. Gordon James Band
14. Ruby Red and the Dirty Devils

 

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