Monday, January 23, 2012


12 Peers, Pittsburgh’s newest theatre company, makes an impressive debut with a pulpy mix of comic books and horror in Roberto Aquirre-Sacaba’s The Weird.
Consisting of a series of varying vignettes, the play is reminiscent of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone or (better yet) his Night Gallery.
Director Vince Ventura has assembled a very strong cast of some of the Pittsburgh’s finest actors: Brian Edward, Randy K Deshong, Naomi Grodin, Rebecca Steer, Jim Scriven, Sara Fisher and John Feightner.
All but Feightner play multiple roles.  He has the task of playing a Cryptkeeper-like character, who serves as the narrator between the playlets.  Feightner, who fully looks the part, embodies the role completely, interacting with the audience and making the most of the ghoulish humor.
Brian Edward again shows his range as an actor by playing everything from a milquetoast scientist to an oversexed repairman.
Grodin and Deshong supply many of the laughs in the show.  Steer, a new transplant from Chicago, makes an impressive debut, both as a research assistant and a sexy (but twisted) Southern belle gone bad.
Both Scriven and Fisher are engaging onstage and have great chemistry, particularly playing young lovers in both “Bloody Mary” and “10 Minute Play About Rosemary’s Baby.”
Utilizing simple sets, director Ventura keeps the pace lively, bringing the show in at ninety minutes (with no intermission).  Sometimes the writing helps him; sometimes, it hurts.  A few of the small tales move to surprising endings (in particularly “Bloody Mary” and “Swamp Gossip).  Others just seem to go no where (“Insect Love” and “10 Minute Play About Rosemary’s Baby’).  Fortunately The Weird is like the weather in Pittsburgh.  If you don’t like it—wait ten minutes.
There are no deep messages in The Weird, but it is a frothy and lively evening of entertainment.
If The Weird is any indication, 12 Peers has a great artistic future and will be a welcome addition to the Pittsburgh theatre scene.
The Weird continues through January 29 at the Greybox in Lawrenceville.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Pittsburgh newest theatre company 12 Peers makes its debut this week with The Weird by Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa.  Described as six short, creepy plays that blend horror and a comic book sensibility, Directed by Vince Ventura, The Weird runs January 19-29 at the Greybox Theatre.  Call the 24 hour ticket hotline at 1-800-838-3006 or visit to reserve your seats for this Pittsburgh premiere.
The Theatre Factory in Trafford presents the children’s musical Alexander Who Is Not, Not, Not, Not, Not, Not Going to Move from January 21-29.  Originally commissioned by the Kennedy Center, this family-friendly show is about a little boy who does not want to leave his home.  Order your tickets at 412-374-9200.
It’s an Edwardian romp through the woods as Ted Pappas directs the classic As You Like It from January 19-February 19 at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre.  The production will feature original music by Michael Moricz, who spent five years as the music director for Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.  Book your tickets by calling 412-316-1600 or visit

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


It’s a New Year, and barebones productions is kicking it off with a bang.
Opening January 12 and running through January 29 is a play the New York Times called “a probing, intense portrait of lives behind bars.”  It is Stephen Adly Guigis’ Jesus Hopped the A Train.
Directed by Derrick Sanders, this intense drama will star OBIE Award winner Edwin Lee Gibson.
Performances will be at the Hazlett Theatre on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side.  Tickets are available at
If barebones productions’ earlier productions are any indicator, Jesus Hopped the A Train is sure to start the 2012 theatre season on an intense note!