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New City Theatre production shines with humanity

January 17th, 2018 |By Mary Pickels
January 17, 2018

Online reviews of earlier performances point to Pelkey’s tendency toward flamboyance as potentially contributing to his disappearance. Characters also depict a growing cultural trend of compassion and acceptance for those identifying as gay, reviews note. Smith’s character, with the assistance of some colorful locals, takes on the case of a story that ultimately uses warmth and humor to demonstrate how one person can lift up a community.

<Read the full article at>

Stage preview: City Theatre mystery sheds light on community collaboration

January 17th, 2018

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | By Sharon Eberson
January 17, 2018

“There’s only so much you can ‘fake’ — if you try to doodle like a 3-year-old, it’s really hard to do. With Leonard, it’s so genuine to have these two queer youths create these props. I am so happy that [Director Laura Savia] had this idea. It just made this so much better.” -Britton Mauk
<Read the full article at Pittsburgh Post Gazette>

City Theatre presents: THE SKIVVIES in SLEIGH MY NAME

November 29th, 2017

City Theatre presents: THE SKIVVIES in SLEIGH MY NAME

December 15 & 16, 2017
City Theatre Main Stage

“The Skivvies have managed to carve out a niche that we never knew needed to exist: It’s part Weird Al-parody and part sexy burlesque… an unusual explosion of satire and sultry.” – Out Magazine

“The Skivvies are best thing to happen to NYC nightlife in years…a shot of pure joy to the heart… A MUST-see! Repeatedly!!!” – Perez Hilton

Pittsburgh, PA (November 28, 2017) – City Theatre is unwrapping something special this holiday season with our favorite New York undie-rock duo The Skivvies in the premiere of Sleigh My Name. Broadway performers Nick Cearley and Lauren Molina return to City Theatre for two nights of mashed-up musical fun with some of Pittsburgh’s favorite theatre stars. The lineup includes special guests Paige Davis, Daina Michelle Griffith, Michael McGurk, Stephen Santa, and more, performing stripped-down arrangements of holiday classics and eccentric originals with an array of zany instruments on the City Theatre Main Stage, December 15 & 16 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now for this outrageous City Event.

Kicking off each evening is babyGRAND, one of Pittsburgh City Paper’s “Best Comedy Troupes” in 2017. babyGRAND–aka local improvisers and actors Connor McCanlus and Missy Moreno– perform a condensed classic film (think: It’s a Wonderful Life) in ten minutes with an original score invented on-the-spot using audience suggestions.

Special Guests Paige Davis (TLC’s Trading Spaces and CLO’s Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage), Joe DeLien, Daina Michelle Griffith (The Last Match, A Broadway Holiday), Michael McGurk, Jason Shavers (Wild With Happy), and Stephen Santa will perform on both evenings along with Hope Anthony, Ryan Patrick Kearney, Kevin William Paul, Jerreme Rodriguez, Lisa Velten Smith (Hand to God), and Becki Toth. See below for cast lists by evening.

Ugly Sweater Contest: Patrons shouldn’t sport their skivvies to the theater but are encouraged to wear their tackiest holiday flair! babyGRAND’s Missy Moreno is Pittsburgh’s self-described queen of ugly sweaters and is looking to meet her match. Special prizes will be given at intermission.

About The Skivvies: The Skivvies perform stripped-down arrangements of eccentric originals and eclectic covers. Not only is the music stripped down – electric cello, ukulele, glockenspiel, melodica – but The Skivvies literally strip down to their underwear to perform. Nominated for “Show of The Year” for the 2015 MAC Award, The Wall Street Journal calls them “smart, sophisticated…ingenious,” People Magazine named The Skivvies “The Most Playful Performers” in The Most Talked-about Bodies of 2014 issue, and Sports Illustrated named them “Favorite New Band.” The New York Times calls them “a hot musical comedy duo specializing in unexpected arrangements, incongruous mashups, and of course, highly toned displays of skin.”

Molina (Broadway’s Rock of Ages, Sweeney Todd, Mary Zimmerman’s Candide – Helen Hayes Award, Marry Me A Little) and Cearley (Broadway First National Tour All Shook Up, Pageant, and on the OUT 100 list as one of the “most compelling actors of 2014”) met in 2003 performing in Theatreworks USA’s  national tour of the Just So Stories. Quickly becoming best friends and musical collaborators, they began performing together in the city, with clothes on. The Skivvies were born in 2012, when they became YouTube sensations with their unique covers of artists like Robyn, Carole King and Rihanna. The videos led to live shows, and now this “musically thrilling”, undie-rock, comedy-pop duo continues to perform to sold-out audiences in New York and beyond.

About babyGRAND: Pittsburgh natives Missy Moreno and Connor McCanlus are an award-winning musical comedy duo of outrageous proportions, babyGRAND. Recently voted one of the “Best Local Comedy Troupes” in the Pittsburgh City Paper 2017 Readers’ Poll, they also received a nomination for Best Local Stage Production 2017 for What Ever Happened to babyGRAND?, their original musical parody of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? babyGRAND has performed and taught workshops in national comedy festivals including the inaugural Chicago Musical Improv Festival, Chicago Improv Festival, Duo Fest, 2nd Best Comedy Fest, and their hometown Pittsburgh Comedy Festival.  The duo can be found monthly in The babyGRAND Show, third Fridays at Arcade Comedy Theater.

This City Event is sponsored by Cheeks Boutique and TRIM Pittsburgh, who are donating the apparel for Ms. Molina and Mr. Cearley.

The Skivvies: SLEIGH MY NAME

December 15-16, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.
City Theatre Main Stage

Performing Friday, December 15 at 8:00 p.m.:

Paige Davis

Joe DeLien

Daina Michelle Griffith

Michael McGurk

Stephen Santa

Ryan Patrick Kearney

Jason Shavers

Becki Toth


Performing Saturday, December 16 at 8:00 p.m.:

Hope Anthony

Paige Davis

Joe DeLien

Daina Michelle Griffith

Michael McGurk

Kevin William Paul

Stephen Santa

Jason Shavers

Lisa Velten Smith

Jerreme Rodriguez


412.431.CITY (2489) or
Tickets start at $40.

Under 30: Rush pricing applies. Get $20 tickets at the door, beginning two hours before curtain with valid ID. Subject to availability.
Groups of ten or more: Contact Joel Ambrose at 412.431.4400 x286.

1300 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (South Side)
Port Authority bus routes: 48, 51, 54, 81, 83

Patron parking is available in the lot across from the City Theatre entrances for $8, subject to availability.
South Side Nite Rider: On Friday and Saturday evenings only, patrons may park for free at the Second Avenue Parking Plaza and use a shuttle with drop off at nearby Bedford Square. Details:

City Theatre is Pittsburgh’s home for bold new plays. Located in the historic South Side, the company produces a season of regional and world premieres, including the upcoming Citizens Market by Cori Thomas and Nomad Motel by Carla Ching. City Theatre’s mission is to provide an artistic home for the development and production of contemporary plays of substance and ideas that engage and challenge a diverse audience.


REVIEW: “The Old Man and the Old Moon” at City Theatre

November 22nd, 2017

The Pittsburgh Tatler | By Wendy Arons
November 22, 2017

“But as charming as the wizardry of their puppetry and sound effects are, the real source of enchantment in The Old Man and the Old Moon comes from its keen insight into the human heart.”

<Read the full article at The Pittsburgh Tatler>

REVIEW: If you like deeply impassioned work, then PigPen Theatre Co. is for you

November 22nd, 2017

Pittsburgh City Paper | By Stuart Sheppard
November 22, 2017

“The shadow-puppet scenes — mini plays within the play — are mesmerizing, as are the sound effects, which are executed with a kind of raw, Foley magic. You see both being done, but you don’t know how.”

<Read the full article at Pittsburgh City Paper>

REVIEW: The Old Man and the Old Moon

November 22nd, 2017

Pittsburgh in the Round | By Mark Skalski
Nov. 22, 2017

“The Old Man and the Old Moon reminds us that the world is full of amazing stuff, and that adventure will always await those who choose to seek it.”

<Read the full review at Pittsburgh in the Round>

CitySpeaks: PigPen Theatre Co. Brings Storytelling Back To Its Roots

November 20th, 2017

The Old Man and The Old Moon appeals to human nature’s need to connect with others and tell stories.

By Jillian Bradshaw
Artistic Intern

PigPen Theatre Co.’s The Old Man And The Old Moon at The Gym at Judson on Broadway.

When you hear the word “storyteller,” what comes to mind? A stand-up comedian? A wise old man who recounts stories of his past? Or a poet, perhaps? How about an ensemble theatre company that’s taken DIY (do-it-yourself) theatre across the country? PigPen Theatre Co. originated in 2007 when the creators met as freshmen at Carnegie Mellon University. Since graduation, the company has produced their original plays in New York City and toured them across the country, produced an album and EP, as well as made their feature film debut in Jonathan Demme’s Ricki and the Flash, starring Meryl Streep. As part of their creative methodology, PigPen is known to use found objects to create props. A sheet becomes ocean waves; a mop head and empty cleaning container becomes a shaggy dog; and a piece of cardboard lit with a flashlight creates a rickety old ship. In addition, the creative team behind The Old Man and The Old Moon provides indie-folk music and Foley SFX (stage reproductions of everyday sounds) to enhance the play’s sense of time, space, and movement. With the use of found objects, light, and music, PigPen Theatre Co. is able to bring this intimate story to life with some theatre magic.

“Our stories come from our lives and from the playwright’s pen, the mind of the actor, the roles we create, the artistry of life itself and the quest for peace.” ~ Maya Angelou

Whether teaching lessons and morals, providing inspiration, or preserving history, storytelling is innately human. In order to tell stories based in fact or fiction, you must have use of your imagination. That’s why children make the perfect storytellers. Although you may not fancy yourself a storyteller now, there is no doubt that as a child, you once dipped into your imagination to tell a story; if only for entertainment’s sake. When watching The Old Man and The Old Moon, you may be struck by the imaginative world and childlike essence of the production. PigPen has mastered the art of creating a world so fantastic, yet grounded in the tradition of storytelling.

PigPen Theatre Co. in The Old Man and The Old Moon.

The transition from oral storytelling to theatrically-staged performances has created a framework that deeply influenced the theatrical experience of PigPen’s production. Beginning as an oral tradition passed from generation to generation, folklore and stories developed into a theatrical form around the world. The roots of oral storytelling are evident in Japan’s Rakugo, a theatrical performance in which a single performer gives a complicated, yet comical performance by themselves while seated in front of an audience. The Old Man and The Old Moon shares similarities with the Japanese puppet theatre, Bunraku. In Bunraku, puppets act as the visual medium for audiences, while music and songs are provided by separate performers. Like this traditional form of theatrical storytelling, the characters in The Old Man and The Old Moon transition from being portrayed as puppets to the actors performing as the characters without a mask.

“There is no force on earth, be it electric, hydraulic, or whatever you call the other one for wind, that comes even near close to matching the power of memory.” ~ PigPen Theatre Co.’s The Old Man and The Old Moon

After observing a tech rehearsal for The Old Man and The Old Moon, I can say without a doubt that the story is transformed by the Foley SFX, folk music, props, and lighting. These tools help the story stay grounded in the concept of memory. Although not a memory play in the traditional sense, The Old Man and The Old Moon, uses memory to transport characters from one scene to another. In The Old Man and The Old Moon, The Old Man is on a quest to find his wife who is traveling to the end of the world searching for the source of a tune she hears calling for her. The tune she hears comes from a memory that both the Old Man and the Old Woman share but neither can remember. Their love for each other is tested and grows stronger through the journey they undertake, presenting a message of love and forgiveness, aligning this piece with stories that have been told since the beginning of time.

The guys of PigPen Theatre Co. from left to right: Curtis Gillen, Dan Weschler, Arya Shahi, Ryan Melia, Alex Falberg, Matt Nuernberger, and Ben Ferguson.

If you would like to see PigPen Theatre Co. give an in-depth interview on their approach to storytelling, check out their TEDxTalk presented at Columbia University in 2013:

The Old Man and The Old Moon runs at City Theatre from Nov. 11 – Dec. 3, 2017. Tickets for PigPen Theatre Co.’s, The Old Man and The Old Moon can be purchased here, or by calling the City Theatre box office at 412-431-2489.

By the light of the silvery moon – a review of ‘The Old Man and the Old Moon”

November 20th, 2017

‘Burgh Vivant | By Michael “Buzz” Buzzelli
November 20, 2017

“The folktale is bright and imaginative. It’s a sophisticated children’s show. While it can be enjoyed by younger audiences, PigPen never panders to the lowest common denominator. It’s more of a mishmash of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”  It is a quantum leap from “Disney on Ice” or “Sesame Street Live.”

<Read the full article at ‘Burgh Vivant>

REVIEW: Over the moon for PigPen’s musical folktale at City Theatre

November 19th, 2017

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | By Sharon Eberson
November 19, 2017

“The production’s stop in Pittsburgh marks a triumphant return to the PigPen seven’s college town, in a show that aims for the moon and lands with a giant leap in artful, engaging storytelling.”


<Read the full article at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette>

City Theatre Presents ‘The Old Man And The Old Moon’

November 14th, 2017

Pittsburgh Today Live
November 14, 2017


<See the full video at Pittsburgh Today Live>