Peer Energy

Get to know Pittsburgh's best kept theater secret at 12 Peers' exciting new cabaret, premiering this Saturday.


Photo courtesy of the ModernFormations Gallery
 

Trust me: It’s a good time to live in Pittsburgh. Yes, I know that the Penguins are currently little more than an idea, the Pirates have discovered an all-new way to break our hearts, the Panthers can knock off Virginia Tech but fail when faced with a lowly flock of flightless birds and the Squirrel Hill Tunnel is allowing me to play long games of “Plants vs. Zombies” while seated on the parkway. Put these facts aside.

It’s a good time to live in Pittsburgh because creative performers of all stripes are flourishing, in unprecedented numbers. There’s always been underground and under-the-radar theater and comedy in town; there just used to be a lot less of it, and what was around was notoriously hard to find. Today, though, upstart theater companies, medium-molding comedy troupes and anomalous collectives of uncertain category are visible, successful and plentiful.

Take, for example, 12 Peers Theater. I reviewed their excellent horror anthology The Weird back in January; they’re a charming, passionate group that easily finds the fun in whatever they’re doing on stage. As they gear up for their season proper, they’re putting together a four-night event called the Cultivating Culture series; in their words, “A series of performances of new work designed to foster a culture of creativity as well as engage with the culture of Pittsburgh.”

This Saturday is the second installment in that series, a first-ever 12 Peers Cabaret featuring a few of the company’s favorites. Included are performances by Daina Michelle Griffith, a local stalwart who appeared in The Dark Knight Rises, and Sara Fisher, 12 Peers’ Associate Artistic Director and one of the standouts from The Weird. They’re keeping mum on what exactly a 12 Peers Cabaret features, but the group’s predilections and a cozy performance space — Garfield’s ModernFormations Gallery — promise an intimate and engaging show.

(4919 Penn Ave, Garfield; Saturday, 8 p.m.; $10; tickets and info here)

Elsewhere, the burgeoning local improv scene gains another regular feature in the form of MONDO!, an “improvised comedy clatter” appearing monthly at the Cabaret at Theater Square. The titular MONDO — or, more accurately, monologist — is a guest celebrity who performs a spoken piece at the beginning of the evening, giving rise to the improvised scenes to follow. It’s a refined and tricky format for improv, but fortunately, they’ve got the right company to handle it.

The lineup for MONDO! reads like a beginners course on noted ’Burgh improvisers — Woody Drennan, Dave Fedor, Jethro Nolen, Kristy Nolen, Abby Fudor (previously profiled here as part of Frankly Scarlett Comedy), Mike Rubino, John Feightner (also a 12 Peers alum, come to think of it) and Larry Phillis are on tap for this Saturday’s event. And the MONDO himself might be familiar to you as well: PM’s own Rick Sebak will be taking the mic.

(655 Penn Ave., Downtown; Saturday, 10:30 p.m.; $5; tickets and info at trustarts.org)

Come to think of it, with a fine parking job, you could easily attend both the 12 Peers Cabaret and MONDO! this Saturday night. As well you should. It’ll be one of your best chances to get a glimpse of the new world of performance in Pittsburgh — at least until next weekend.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

With a tear in our eye, we bid the “Flower” Au Revoir.
Finally, a Faster Way From Pittsburgh to Oakland and Beyond

Finally, a Faster Way From Pittsburgh to Oakland and Beyond

A proposed route for new electric buses will connect 30,000 people throughout 24 neighborhoods.
Extras Wanted: Cate Blanchett Shooting Movie in Pittsburgh

Extras Wanted: Cate Blanchett Shooting Movie in Pittsburgh

“Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” a movie based on the best-selling comedic novel, will begin filming in the ‘Burgh next month.
What We Know about Anthony Bourdain’s Visit to Pittsburgh

What We Know about Anthony Bourdain’s Visit to Pittsburgh

While Bourdain and his crew aren’t talking, they left plenty of hints about what’s likely to be in the Pittsburgh episode of “Parts Unknown.”
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Host an event in Pittsburgh’s urban sustainable homestead. Join a club for mushroom hunters. Tour a coal mine. Listen to some banjo music. We list our new favorite experiences, food, drink, personalities, stores, items and activities in the ’Burgh.
Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Fourteen years ago this month, the mighty Kinzua Viaduct met its match.
Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

The restaurant, run by Dinette’s Sonja J. Finn, boosts the dining experience at the Carnegie museums in Oakland.
Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

FASTER Pittsburghʼs Hip Hop Cardio promises to get your workout into a groove.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

With a tear in our eye, we bid the “Flower” Au Revoir.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Pusadee's Garden Will Close at End of Year (But Not Forever)

Pusadee's Garden Will Close at End of Year (But Not Forever)

Look for some big changes at the Upper Lawrenceville restaurant, which is expected to shutter for at least a year.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Read on for some under-the-radar ideas on how you and the kids can survive a rainy day this summer.

Comments


High-Wire Acts at Carnegie Science Center

High-Wire Acts at Carnegie Science Center

The North Shore landmark's new ropes course is a draw for adults and youths alike.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
History Can Wait Until Penguins Are Done Making It

History Can Wait Until Penguins Are Done Making It

The desire for more a year ago helped fuel the Penguins’ quest to repeat this season. Should their thirst for yet another Cup prove as unquenchable next season, there’s no limit to what they might yet achieve. Even a Three-peat.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Make the Cut with Jonathan Moran Woodworks

Make the Cut with Jonathan Moran Woodworks

The Strip District-based woodworker's cutting boards can be custom made with the wood of your choice.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Buckle Up ... Again, as Cars 3 Hits Theaters

Buckle Up ... Again, as Cars 3 Hits Theaters

Reviews of "Cars 3" and "47 Meters Down," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Enchanting Summery Trends to Illuminate Your Wedding Palette

Enchanting Summery Trends to Illuminate Your Wedding Palette

You’ll definitely want to pin these new summer wedding trends to your Pinterest board.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Blooming: Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Hosts Town & Country Tour

Blooming: Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Hosts Town & Country Tour

From a forest of Japanese maples to a rocky urban sanctuary, the annual tour covers 14 very different gardens across the East End.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Visit Thiel College for a Summer BBQ

Visit Thiel College for a Summer BBQ

On three days this summer, the college will host visit days for prospective students.

Comments