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 Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Meet Rescued Animals at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Meet Rescued Animals at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

The new Live Animal Encounters program introduces museum visitors to rescued wildlife.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Feast Series Returns to Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland This September

Feast Series Returns to Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland This September

The third iteration of the series will feature chef J.J. Johnson, formerly of The Cecil and Minton's Supper Club in Harlem.

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


Tres Rios Has Potential, But Hasn't Distinguished Itself Just Yet

Tres Rios Has Potential, But Hasn't Distinguished Itself Just Yet

The tacos-and-tequila bar and restaurant on the South Side doesn't do anything wrong, exactly, but has room to grow.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Who Belongs on a Pittsburgh Steelers Mount Rushmore?

Who Belongs on a Pittsburgh Steelers Mount Rushmore?

As the team prepares the inaugural class of its Hall of Honor, Mike Prisuta selects the four members of the Steelers family most deserving of inclusion.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Make a Trendy Transition into Fall Style

Make a Trendy Transition into Fall Style

No. 14 Boutique in Lawrenceville put together this chic outfit for the tricky period when summer cools into autumn.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
A Hitman and His Bodyguard Get Into Trouble (No Need to Overcomplicate Things)

A Hitman and His Bodyguard Get Into Trouble (No Need to Overcomplicate Things)

Reviews of "The Hitman's Bodyguard" and "Wind River," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Delicious Design: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner & Runners-Up

Delicious Design: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner & Runners-Up

These Pittsburgh couples certainly know how to bring the cookie table tradition to life.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Produced in Pittsburgh: MONMade Takes Local Crafters National

Produced in Pittsburgh: MONMade Takes Local Crafters National

Close to a half dozen local businesses, among them Savannah Hayes and Stak Ceramics, will make their debut next week at the mega interior design and home goods-focused show in New York City.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

School trustees voted this week to increase tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Comments

Edit Module

Edit Module