Nightlife



Bonesso brings stand-up storytelling and alternative comedy to brillobox. Also, learn how to successfully have a night out in Squirrel Hill, and there’s advice for those looking to get a head start on likely Oscar nominees.

I was just sitting at my computer, sobbing. While laughing. Crying through laughter.”

Local comedian Gab Bonesso is describing a performance by Mike DeStefano to me, and—while the tale does seem moving—her reaction seems a bit much. I have to hear the story for myself.

DeStefano is a gruff, foul-mouthed New York comedian. Hardly a likely candidate to bring anyone to tears, but in his story, he describes the experience of caring for his wife in the early 1980s as she was dying of AIDS. His natural ability as a comedian shows through—hence the laughter—but the story is heartbreaking. It’s just a 10-minute story, but it’s perfect.

The recording I heard was part of “The Moth,”  a monthly New York City storytelling event that’s become a cultural force in Manhattan. The format is simple enough—any kind of (true) story, funny or sad, remarkable or unremarkable, 10-minutes long, presented sort of like stand-up comedy.

Pittsburgh’s “Moth”-inspired storytelling night, “For Real For Real,” is now entering its third month, and Bonesso and PITTSBURGH MAGAZINE contributing editor Robert Isenberg are co-producers of the event. The performers, in addition to Bonesso and Isenberg, who host and perform, change with every show; there are also slots left open for volunteers from the crowd to tell a story. Bonesso says she “wants it to be very universal” in terms of the crowd; in New York, “The diversity of people was unbelievable,” she says.

Bonesso, a 2001 graduate of Duquesne University, has emerged as Pittsburgh’s premier alternative comedian—and the modifier “alternative” is important. “Club comedy is safe,” she explains, “and alternative comedy is not.” The rift in styles has become a point of contention in several cities; here, however, Bonesso identifies her shows as “alternative” as more of a caution to the crowds. “There’s no editing. If it’s weird, if it’s dark, if it’s what you don’t joke about,” that’s alternative comedy.

This month, Bonesso is headlining a comedy showcase called “Pittsburgh Alternative Comedy Exists.” The bill also features longtime local pundit John McIntire. (brillobox, 4104 Penn Ave., Lawrenceville. “For Real For Real”: Tues., Jan. 5, 8 p.m. $5. “Pittsburgh Alternative Comedy Exists”: Fri., Jan. 15, 8 p.m. $5. Info: 412/621-4900, gabbonesso.com)

Squirrel Hill Nightlife

So you’ve decided to go out for a night. In Squirrel Hill. Well, I’ve lived in that particular neighborhood for the past year, and I’m sorry to inform you that you’ve made a bit of a mistake. Breakfast in Squirrel Hill, sure. Shopping, coffee, dinner, pleasant walks—all of these are good decisions. A night on the town? That’s tricky.

But, fear not. If you do find yourself so inclined, I can make some recommendations. The all-around clear choice is Silky’s Sports Bar & Grill (1731 Murray Ave. Info: 412/421-9222). Get a table downstairs and pounce if the shuffleboard table is free. There are great drink specials weeknights, too.

For open-mic night (Tuesdays), karaoke (Thursdays) and live music (Fridays and Saturdays), head over to Forward Avenue and check out PD’s Pub (5832 Forward Ave. Info: 412/422-5027). Finally, for a quieter evening, definitely head to the Murray Avenue Grill (1720 Murray Ave. Info: 412/521-1272, murrayavenuegrill.com). There’s great beer and great food—a nice place for a long conversation.

“Best Picture” Predictions

In response to some perceived snubs last year, the Academy Awards made the bold decision that a full 10 films will receive “Best Picture” nominations starting in 2010. This means that, though we’re still weeks away from the candidates being announced, you’re really going to have to push it to see all the contenders by Oscar night. Tune in on Tues., Feb. 2, to find out who’s up for what.

Here are a few that will most likely be up for “Best Picture”: the Oprah-endorsed urban drama Precious; Peter Jackson’s deft adaptation of the novel The Lovely Bones; Carnegie Mellon University’s own Rob Marshall giving the Broadway hit Nine the big-screen treatment; Clint Eastwood’s flick Invictus, about Nelson Mandela and soccer; and the George Clooney comedy-drama Up in the Air.
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

2017 Pittsburgher of the Year: Kelly Frey

2017 Pittsburgher of the Year: Kelly Frey

No one would blame the veteran WTAE anchor if she took time off while undergoing intensive breast cancer treatment. Instead, she chose to use humor and grace to educate and inspire others, all while in the public eye.
Green Medicine: The Business of Medical Marijuana

Green Medicine: The Business of Medical Marijuana

For many, medical marijuana is a panacea capable of alleviating a wide range of symptoms. As Pennsylvania begins allowing the drug’s medical use, patients are relieved — and business is booming.
Restaurant Review: Casbah Still is Rocking

Restaurant Review: Casbah Still is Rocking

More than 20 years into its run, Casbah remains one of Pittsburgh’s most relevant restaurants.
First There Was Hot Yoga. Then There Was Goat Yoga

First There Was Hot Yoga. Then There Was Goat Yoga

Believe it or not, yogis have been practicing with goats in the Unites States for more than a year.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Yinzers Eating Chicken Wings Are Going to Be on TV

Yinzers Eating Chicken Wings Are Going to Be on TV

Mt. Washington’s Bigham Tavern is the latest ‘Burgh eatery to host a film crew.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Madeline Bakery and Bistro to Open in Wilkinsburg

Madeline Bakery and Bistro to Open in Wilkinsburg

The French-inspired bakery will feature croissants, cookies, bread and more.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best of the ‘Burgh Gift Guide for 2017

Best of the ‘Burgh Gift Guide for 2017

Here are some of our favorite ‘Burgh-inspired gifts for him, her, kids, foodies and more.

Comments


Enjoy a Relaxing Evening of Wanton Destruction at Break Room

Enjoy a Relaxing Evening of Wanton Destruction at Break Room

The Irwin business offers the chance to smash inanimate objections for a little "therapeutic demolition."

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Steelers Can't Ease Their Patriots Pain Until January

Steelers Can't Ease Their Patriots Pain Until January

Much as they’d like to, the Steelers won’t be able to exorcise the ghosts of AFC Championship Games Past, even with a win on Sunday.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Movie Review — Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Movie Review — Star Wars: The Last Jedi

A review of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," the latest entry in the massive franchise.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
New Weddings Website Aims for Equality

New Weddings Website Aims for Equality

A local wedding photographer has created a business to connect same-sex couples with LGBTQ-friendly vendors.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
It’s Back! ‘Restored by the Fords’ Gets Premiere Date

It’s Back! ‘Restored by the Fords’ Gets Premiere Date

The new season of the home improvement show featuring Pittsburgh siblings Leanne and Steve Ford debuts on HGTV in January.

Comments

Edit Module

Edit Module