Get the Full Scoop on 'Captain Phillips' and 'Orange Is the New Black'

The writers of both books are in town this evening to give the full scoop — at separate events.


Whenever Hollywood tackles a true story, questions arise. Was it really like that? What was embellished or dramatized — and what was left out? And did the real person look anything like the actor who took on the role? The writers behind two recently fictionalized accounts will be in Pittsburgh tonight, as Piper Kerman, author of the book on which the show “Orange Is the New Black” is based, and Captain Richard Phillips, subject of the Oscar-nominated “Captain Phillips,” speak at separate events.

Phillips’ book, “A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs and Dangerous Days at Sea,” was adapted into the screenplay for the 2013 Tom Hanks film, which received six Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture). Phillips will be the keynote speaker at the Traffic Club of Pittsburgh’s 112th annual dinner, to be held at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown hotel. Kerman, who is played by Taylor Schilling in the Netflix series, will speak at a Chatham University event in celebration of Women’s History Month. Since writing her memoir, “Orange Is the New Black: My Year In a Women’s Prison,” Kerman has become an advocate for prison reform.

[Traffic Club of Pittsburgh annual dinner: Wyndham Grand, 600 Commonwealth Place, downtown; 7 p.m.; $150; info and tickets: 412/331-7151. Chatham University event: Campus Chapel, 1 Woodland Road, Shadyside; 7 p.m.; free;]
—Sean Collier, PM Associate Editor

Sure, you might drop a nice chunk of change to see a summertime show from Bruce Springsteen or Katy Perry. There also are plenty of concerts that compete for a different kind of fan — the music lover who really wants to hear again the stuff he or she listened to in high school. Some bands do it through decade- (or at least era-) themed package tours; others play classic albums from beginning to end. Some of these experiences are thrilling reunions, and others . . . well, they remind us that we’re no longer in high school. In this week’s edition of After Dark, we’ll preview one such show coming up next week, plus a few on the summer calendar!

May is approaching faster than you think, which means Free Comic Book Day is around the corner. Prepare yourself by attending the Saturday’s Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo (PIX), co-presented by the ToonSeum and Copacetic Comics. The free event brings together comic masters and collectors for a day of comic art at the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers Building. Exhibited work ranges from such categories as handmade comics and self-published work to small-press and artist books. Meet and greet visionaries including local Jim Rugg of Street Angel and Afrodisiac fame, as well as comic historian Trina Robbins and illustrator Theo Ellsworth. The exhibitor room will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; after the dinner break, you can head over for presentations, panel discussions and lectures from 7 to 11 p.m.

[10 S. 19th St., South Side;]
—Krystal Hare, PM Fact-Checker

IN THEATERS: The hunt for the next “Hunger Games” franchise tears through theaters again this weekend, as YA sci-fi hit “Divergent” gets the big-screen treatment with Shailene Woodley in the lead. Elsewhere, there’s more puppet mayhem to be found in “Muppets Most Wanted,” and Wes Anderson’s acclaimed “The Grand Budapest Hotel” reaches Pittsburgh cinemas.

Such legendary musicians as Billy Cox and Buddy Guy will take the stage tonight at the Benedum for the Experience Hendrix Tour. —K.H.

The Music at Marty’s series continues tomorrow from 6-8 p.m. with local bouzouki player Sotiri Tsourekis, who also worked with the chef to create the evening’s Mediterranean menu. —K.H.


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