Take a Sick Day on Monday ('Tis the Season)

I'm declaring this weekend lasts until Monday so you can go see a baseball game. Really.

I should note, at this point, that I do occasionally follow my own advice. If you  heeded my recommendation this past Sunday and headed to Sharp Edge Beer Emporium in Friendship for the brutal, thrilling Steelers-Ravens matchup, you would’ve found me in a booth near the bar, sipping mystery brews and downing an inadvisable number of Buffalo-Bleu Bites. (Including a second order, around halftime, after a full entree and appetizer. This was particularly unwise, tasty though it may have been.)

So if you do happen to see me out and about at one of the events or establishments recommended herein, do say "hello." It’s always nice to talk to someone who’s vaguely aware of who I am and what I do.

You may not have noticed, but … it’s cold. It’ll take a hell of a lot more than beer and social interaction to get you out of the house this weekend, I know. So here’s a trio of truly unique events—and I apologize, but to fit the last one in, I’m declaring that this weekend goes ’til Monday. Use a sick day already. It’s the season.

FRIDAY: EXPERIENCE THE ALL-NEW STAGE AE WITH GEORGE CLINTON

Stage AE, the magnificent new indoor/outdoor concert spot nestled between Heinz Field and PNC Park, is instantly Pittsburgh’s finest venue. Excellent construction with great sightlines for everyone in the house, fine acoustics, the flexibility to create an appropriate space for a variety of events and perfect location make this the undisputed champion around here, at least among mid-sized halls.

And tomorrow’s show, with the neverending funk train that is George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic bringing a big, dirty party to the banks of the Allegheny, is definitely the time to check the place out.

However, it is my duty as one of the city’s only dedicate nightlife writers to register a complaint: The drink service at Stage AE, at least at last Friday’s Girl Talk show, was unabashedly terrible. The main bar, downstairs, had a wait of at least half an hour for any service. Not because the crowd was that big, but because the staff clearly didn’t care about keeping things moving. I’ve never seen such apathy from the bar crew at a major venue, anywhere. And the lesser-attended upstairs bar served me one skunked beer and one that was half-head. Stage AE is a great new venue, but they need to get their bar staff in line in a hurry.

Don’t let that stop you from checking out P-Funk, though. Just don’t take any crap up there, and don’t be afraid to send a drink back if it’s no good—they’ve gotta figure this stuff out. (George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic, Stage AE, North Shore. Friday, December 10. Doors open at 8:00 PM. $35.75. Info: 412/229-LIVE or promowestlive.com/pittsburgh)

SUNDAY: EXPAND YOUR THEATRICAL HORIZONS WITH PITTSBURGH IRISH AND CLASSICAL

PICT is in the middle of the final show of their 2010 season—the unique comedy Hobson’s Choice—but they’ll take a break Sunday night to start their offseason staged reading series, New Classics. The series highlights up-and-coming playwrights and their newer works. This month, it’s multiple-award-winning young playwright Jason Hall and his new drama The Tulip Brothers.

The topic is intriguing—a tense conflict over the tulip craze in 17th century Holland, one of the most bizarre economic incidents in history—but the real draw here is the opportunity to see great theater at a nascent stage. A staged reading from a playwright of this caliber is a unique chance to see the process at work, and graduate students in theater at Pitt will add more energy to the proceedings as they take on Hall’s characters, under the direction of PICT’s Melissa Hill Grande.

And afterward, head over to Joe Mama’s for a stiff drink. Their classic cocktails are nothing to mess with, and will keep you warm on a frigid December evening. (Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theater’s New Classics series presents The Tulip Brothers, Charity Randall Theater, Stephen Foster Memorial, 4301 Forbes Ave, Oakland. Sunday, December 12, 7:30 PM. Free. Info: picttheatre.org. Joe Mama’s, 3716 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Info: 412/621-7282, joemamas.com)

MONDAY: AN INCREDIBLY UNFAMILIAR SPORTING EVENT AT AMC/LOEWS WATERFRONT THEATER

Bear with me, here: baseball. In December.

If you can wrap your head around that, here’s the big one: championship baseball. Involving the Pirates.
A completely foreign concept, I know. But that’s what you’ll get Monday night at AMC/Loews at the Waterfront—a rare screening of the Pirates’ 1960 Game 7 victory over the Yankees. You know, the one with the homer at the end. The big one.

If you missed the story a few months ago, it was thought that footage of that fabled game was lost long ago; the oft-seen clip of Maz’s homer was thought to be all we had. This year, though, a complete reel was unearthed in what can be easily described as an unexpected spot: Bing Crosby’s old root cellar.

See, Bing was part owner of the Pirates at the time, and was too nervous to watch the game live. So he had someone set up a camera to capture the broadcast, threw it in the root cellar when he was done, and fifty years later, we get to see it at the Waterfront.

It’ll air on MLB Network later in the month, but think about it: It’s your only chance to go out to a ballgame until May. It’s your only chance to be in a crowd cheering the Pirates to a championship until who knows when. And if you need an extra incentive, you can make the night feel even more like a trip to the ballpark: remember, they serve beer at AMC. (1960 World Series Game 7, AMC Loews Waterfront 22, 300 Waterfront Drive W, Homestead. Monday, December 13, 7:30 p.m. Info: 412/462-6550.)

Categories: After Dark