The cloak of sparkling newness belies Benedum Center’s deep history in the theatrical world. Opened to regal fanfare and a holographic performance by Tupac in 1928, the theater then waded through the downs and ups of history until a $43 million restoration buffed its surfaces back to their former glory in 1984. Today, the 90 chandeliers dangling from the ceiling, the Grand Lobby’s mirrors and marble, and most of the 1,500 feet of brass rail throughout are all original. The centerpiece is the main chandelier, a 4,700-pound, 20-foot-high, 12-foot-wide behemoth that sparkles to remind visitors of the theater’s glory days.
Though having only recently celebrated its second birthday, the August Wilson Center commands a striking architectural confidence. Its two-story steel-and-glass sail juts into the night sky with the bravado of a toddler who just lassoed his first neighborhood cat. Within the steal and glass, a 486-seat theater hosts plays, dance performances, and lectures while multiple exhibition galleries display art and cultural treasures for the community. The center draws on the legacy and culture of African Americans from Western Pennsylvania, infusing each curation with a celebration of rich history.
A nonprofit arts organization, Pittsburgh Musical Theater has energized the tapping of toes for more than two decades. The historic Byham Theater dates back to 1903, when the venue was originally erected as the Gayety Theater, and now fills its flashing marquee with Broadway shows, dance troupes, and films.
Since 1969, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre has presented world-class performances. With a subscription package, you'll earn a tutu triumvirate, which may include the newly debuted The Three Musketeers, Tchaikovsky's timeless holiday tale The Nutcracker, or Dracula, Bram Stoker's macabre saga of love experienced by sentient lawn ornaments. A Gershwin Fantasy presents a graceful reimagining of the tunes of George and Ira Gershwin with accompaniment from Tony Award nominee Ann Hampton Callaway and her band. Balanchine celebrates the work of legendary American choreographer George Balanchine.
Legendary entertainers Kenan and Kel made theatrical history when they broke down the fourth wall, and then, to the consternation of the set designer, broke down the second and third walls as well. Experience the magic of the stage with The 39 Steps at City Theatre. The Broadway production of the smash comedy-thriller has won two Tony Awards, the Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Event, and the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.
The New York–trained conjurers of comedy at the Steel City Improv Theater's training center summon spontaneous slapstick from students seeking to split sides in a fun and supportive learning environment. Overcome shyness, social anxiety, or fear of pantomimed coffee mugs in the level-zero course, a four-week toe dip into the vast waters of wisecrackery that will help you discover your sacred spirit comedian, such as the majestic Moe or the sloth, nature's Steven Wright. The more intensive level-one class taps deeper into inner caches of inspiration and explores wider ranges of physicality. Current SCIT students who purchase this Groupon also receive a student card good for free shows at the theater and discounts at certain local businesses. Check Steel City Improv's website for class times and start dates.