Sponsored by

Culture

Back in the Lights!

After a one-year hiatus, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Pointe in Time gala returned to The Westin Saturday with an evening of dining, dancing and performance, including a sneak peek at choreography from Artistic Director Susan Jaffe’s new staging of “Swan Lake,” which will debut at the Benedum Center in May. The event welcomed 400 guests and took …

Back in the Lights! Read More »

An Elegy for Oscar

Some say we love our pets, particularly our dogs, because it pleases and comforts us to do so. I’m not convinced. From my experience with my own dog, who died helplessly of heart failure in his thirteenth year, I felt and still feel a sense of loss that is more than the absence of self-comfort. …

An Elegy for Oscar Read More »

PICT Emerges from the Darkness with a Brilliant “As You Like It”

It’s certainly more than a little ironic that the last play I reviewed before the pandemic shut down all the theaters nearly two years ago was a work by Shakespeare, set in a forest, and performed by PICT Classical Theatre in the Fred Rogers Studio at WQED. . . and now in reviewing the first …

PICT Emerges from the Darkness with a Brilliant “As You Like It” Read More »

In the Used To Time

There was a guy who’d sing  his way to work, walking on the path  I’d bike down,  and he’d sing at the top of his lungs, and  sometimes he’d close his eyes and sometimes he’d throw his arms up and sometimes he’d do a little sway and snap  of the fingers and the string bag …

In the Used To Time Read More »

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies Wins Widespread Acclaim for Wilkinsburg Writer

To say that Deesha Philyaw is having a moment would be an understatement. Since the beginning of this year alone, the Wilkinsburg-based author has raked in numerous awards for her debut story collection, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies (West Virginia University Press, 2020), beginning with the Story Prize in March, followed by the coveted …

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies Wins Widespread Acclaim for Wilkinsburg Writer Read More »

Casting a Net

You never know what you’re going to pull in when you cast a net. Not long ago, walking along Caswell Beach on Oak Island, N.C., I stopped to watch three elderly Asian men casting their nets. Now, I’ve done this many times. But not like they were doing it. I use a four-foot net, hold …

Casting a Net Read More »

Characters Successfully Drive Drue Heinz Prize-Winning Work “Now You Know It All”

Fiction is full of self-deception. Perhaps what makes J.D. Salinger’s Holden Caulfield and Vladimir Nabokov’s Humbert Humbert two of the most interesting narrators in contemporary literature is the way they continually delude themselves into believing whatever they’re selling. In a similar vein, author Joanna Pearson shows herself to be a deserving winner of the 2021 …

Characters Successfully Drive Drue Heinz Prize-Winning Work “Now You Know It All” Read More »

Big Time

If you are not yet awoke, Pittsburgh native Jen Spyra is on your side. Her jaw-dropping debut of 14 short stories runs the gamut from totally un-PC to downright offensive, but with such imagination and dark, disturbing humor that it’s kind of refreshing. Remember when it was okay to laugh at ourselves, to acknowledge that …

Big Time Read More »

Steelers vs. Browns: Assessing the Turnpike Rivalry

Dedicated to “all the sons who watched their first Steelers-Browns game with their fathers,” The Turnpike Rivalry: The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns ($24.95 Black Squirrel Books) is a sure thing, sparking nostalgia in even the most hardcore of these cities rabid fanbase. Penned by father-son duo Richard and Stephen Peterson, the book takes it …

Steelers vs. Browns: Assessing the Turnpike Rivalry Read More »

Brothers & Keepers?

Editor’s note: Between 1984 and 2019, attorney Mark Schwartz represented convicted felon Robert Wideman, ultimately securing a commutation of his sentence in 2019. This is his account of what transpired in the 35 years he dealt with Wideman and his famous older brother, the author of “Brothers and Keepers.” Over the past 40 years, I’ve …

Brothers & Keepers? Read More »

The Last Liberal Republican: An Insider’s Perspective on Nixon’s Surprising Social Policy

“The Last Liberal Republican” is a memoir of my decade in politics, especially the first three years in Richard Nixon’s White House. As special assistant to the president, I worked with him on his universal health insurance proposal, his overhaul of the Food Stamp program and, most significantly, his Family Assistance Plan (FAP), to place …

The Last Liberal Republican: An Insider’s Perspective on Nixon’s Surprising Social Policy Read More »

The Global Supply Chain is Collapsing

Over the past 18 months, I’m betting there isn’t a single person who hasn’t been affected by supply chain issues. From toilet paper to home appliances to semiconductor chips, it has become obvious that the global supply chain we have blindly depended on for so long is collapsing. Today we’re experiencing a period of massive …

The Global Supply Chain is Collapsing Read More »

On a Pedestal, Fall 2021

Jeffrey Romoff After nearly 50 years at the university of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Jeffrey Romoff can look back at what he has created with a sense of accomplishment that few, if any, people in Pittsburgh during that period can match. He is the visionary leader who, along with the man who hired him 48 years …

On a Pedestal, Fall 2021 Read More »

Considering the Record of Mayor Pete Flaherty

As Pittsburgh prepares to elect a new Mayor and embark on all that a new administration represents, it may be worthwhile to consider the tenure of another Democrat mayor who held the office 50 years ago. On January 5, 1970, Democrat Peter F. Flaherty was sworn in as mayor of Pittsburgh and, as promised, focused …

Considering the Record of Mayor Pete Flaherty Read More »

A Lifelong Friend

I’ve been lucky to have many close friends. But as I look back, it’s clear to me that, of all of them, my life has been most closely intertwined with that of my friend Chris Bentley. Chris and I were born less than two months apart, in early 1962, and we met before either of …

A Lifelong Friend Read More »

Your 8th Birthday

To Lucas I forget the comet’s name I looked for all night but never found. You slept in the tent while I kept the fire going, hoping an arrow of light and dust might pierce the air so I could stir you from your coma and show you. We could’ve seen crumbs of ice dissolving …

Your 8th Birthday Read More »

Norris Beach: “Swim Where You Will Be Welcomed”

Ninety years ago, on August 14, 1931, the city of Pittsburgh opened its largest and most luxurious public swimming pool in Highland Park. Opening day was one of great fanfare and pride. However, it was also a day that saw African Americans who tried to enter the pool turned away. When Black citizens returned the …

Norris Beach: “Swim Where You Will Be Welcomed” Read More »

Flight 93 National Memorial

“Are you guys ready? Okay! Let’s roll!” This is what telephone operator Lisa Jefferson, who’d been on the phone with United Air Lines Flight 93 passenger Todd Beamer, says she heard at 9:55 a.m. on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Four minutes later, as unarmed passengers and crew charged with a food cart and broke into …

Flight 93 National Memorial Read More »

Remembering 9/11: A Portrait of Shanksville

On Sept. 11, 2001, Judi Baeckel was working at the Shanksville Post Office and talking with a customer about news reports that hijackers had flown jetliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. “At least we know we’re safe in Shanksville,” Baeckel recalls the customer saying. Within minutes, the roof and windows of the …

Remembering 9/11: A Portrait of Shanksville Read More »

Loaves and Fishes

In April 1966, the Pittsburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment held a routine hearing to consider a plan from four East End churches (Calvary Episcopal, First Methodist, Third Presbyterian and Shadyside Presbyterian) to open a coffee shop for young people at 709 Bellefonte Street in Shadyside. Unlike some board hearings where neighboring property owners angrily opposed …

Loaves and Fishes Read More »

Finding Boba Fett

Looking across the detritus left to us by 2020, we understand that we have lost a great deal: people we knew and loved, people we did not know but admired, our personal mobility, social spontaneity and, perhaps, our confidence about what will come next. But we also found inspirations. We discovered abilities we never knew, …

Finding Boba Fett Read More »

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Myth?

In all the productions I’ve attended over the past several decades, I’ve never seen a playwright attack the play he was adapting in the program notes. Jay Ball writes that when director Jed Allen Harris asked him to collaborate on a production of Homer’s eighth century BCE epic poem “The Odyssey” for Quantum Theatre, he …

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Myth? Read More »

Top