Tag Archives: Things to do.

Frozen, The Broadway Musical comes to your home

Great news, Frozen, the musical is coming to the Benedum Theater, right across the street from you home. The schedule for this is October 5-16, 2022.

Be sure to get your tickets. This will be a record-breaking season for the Pittsburgh Broadway season 2022-2023!

Here is plot of the musical Frozen:

Plot

Act I

Greek chorus introduces Princess Elsa of Arendelle and her playful younger sister, Princess Anna (“Vuelie”, “Let the Sun Shine On”).[41] While the family knows about Elsa’s magic, it is kept a secret from the people of Arendelle. One night at bedtime, Elsa and Anna build a magical snowman and name it Olaf (“A Little Bit of You”); Elsa creates snow in their room. In their excitement, Elsa accidentally injures Anna with her icy magic. Their parents, King Agnarr and Queen Iduna, call for the aid of the colony of hidden folk, led by Grand Pabbie. He heals Anna and removes her memories of Elsa’s magic. Elsa asks Grand Pabbie to remove her magic, but he says that it is a part of her. He gives her a vision of her future, frightening Elsa, who believes that her magic will cause death. The King isolates the sisters within the castle. Elsa shuts Anna out when Anna seeks to play (“Do You Want to Build a Snowman?“), and Elsa’s fear of her powers grows. While the princesses are still young, the Queen and King sail to seek a solution to help Elsa control her powers, and they die at sea during a storm.

Years pass. The day before Elsa’s coronation as Queen of Arendelle, Anna asks if there is anything she can do for her sister. Elsa, her room coated in ice, refuses to open her door out of fear of hurting Anna again. Anna is excited for the castle’s gates to open (“For the First Time in Forever“) and meets the handsome Prince Hans (“Hans of the Southern Isles”). Elsa is terrified that the kingdom’s citizens might find out about her powers and fear her, while wishing to be able to reconnect with Anna (“Dangerous to Dream”). Elsa’s coronation goes smoothly, and she initiates her first contact with Anna in years. They enjoy the coronation together, with Anna talking the Duke of Weselton out of dancing with the newly crowned Queen. However, Elsa leaves after Anna asks about keeping the gates open. Anna falls in love with Hans (“Love Is an Open Door“), who quickly proposes marriage to her, and the two share a kiss after she accepts. The couple asks for Elsa’s blessing, who objects because the two have only known each other for a day. After intense questioning from Anna about shutting her out of her life, Elsa accidentally unleashes her powers before the court. The Duke brands her a monster. Elsa flees to the North Mountain without realizing that her suppressed magic has engulfed Arendelle in an eternal winter.

Anna goes in search of Elsa, leaving Hans in charge of the kingdom during her absence. Up in the mountains, ice harvester Kristoff and his reindeer Sven (“Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People“) are found by the ill-equipped Anna, still in her coronation dress. She orders Kristoff to take her to the North Mountain, the source of the storm. Kristoff gives her a set of winter clothes, and she leaves her dress behind. In view of her sudden engagement, Kristoff and Anna disagree about love as they cross a bridge (“What Do You Know About Love”), and Anna saves Kristoff from falling off the bridge. Anna and Kristoff then encounter a newly created Olaf, who offers to guide them to Elsa and sings about his love for summer (“In Summer“). A soldier arrives in Arendelle with Anna’s dress, and Hans fears for Anna’s safety. He assembles a search party (“Hans of the Southern Isles” (reprise)), including the Duke and two of his men, who intend to put her in her place. Meanwhile, on the North Mountain, Elsa builds an ice castle with her powers and transforms her coronation dress into a sparkly ice gown (“Let It Go“).

Act II

Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf arrive at Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Sauna to meet the owner, Oaken (“Hygge”). Anna enjoys the sauna together with its many other patrons. Kristoff convinces Oaken and his patrons to aid their journey; Oaken gives them provisions and a winter dress for Anna.

Reaching the ice palace, Anna meets Elsa, but when she reveals what has become of Arendelle, Elsa becomes angry and frustrated, saying that she cannot fix it, and she accidentally freezes Anna’s heart (“I Can’t Lose You”). Out of fear of hurting Anna further, Elsa forces her, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf out of the palace. Anna’s hair begins turning white, so Kristoff takes her to meet the hidden folk, his adoptive family, who recognize Anna as the princess and attempt to match her with Kristoff, despite him mentioning her betrothal to Hans (“Fixer Upper“). Grand Pabbie attempts to remove the magic freezing Anna’s heart but fails; Kristoff realizes that he is falling in love with her (“Kristoff Lullaby”). Grand Pabbie reveals that Anna will freeze solid unless “an act of true love” reverses the spell. Kristoff selflessly races Anna back home so Hans can give her true love’s kiss.

In the ice castle, Elsa considers whether she is a monster and wonders how can she end the storm, unsure whether the storm would end or grow worse if she were to die (“Monster“). She resolves to stay alive to end the storm and lowers the defenses around the castle, allowing Hans and his men to capture her. Home, Anna is delivered to Hans, but rather than kissing her, he reveals that he has been plotting to seize the throne of Arendelle by allowing Anna to freeze to death and accusing Elsa of her murder (“Hans of the Southern Isles” (reprise 2)). Hans locks Anna in a room to die, as Anna reflects on her mistakes while still holding on to the idea of love (“True Love”). Olaf frees Anna, and they venture into the blizzard outside to meet Kristoff, whom Olaf reveals is in love with her.

Hans publicly charges Elsa with treason and sentences her to death. Elsa escapes her chains and flees outside as a blizzard grows (“Colder by the Minute”). Kristoff and Anna struggle to find each other. Hans confronts Elsa, claiming that she killed Anna, causing Elsa to break down and the storm to pause. Anna finally finds Kristoff but spots Hans about to kill Elsa; she leaps in the way and freezes solid, stopping Hans. Devastated, Elsa mourns her sister, who thaws out, her sacrifice constituting “an act of true love”. Realizing that her magic is controlled by love, Elsa ends the winter (“Vuelie (Love Thaws)”). Anna punches Hans, and she and Kristoff become a couple, with Elsa’s blessing. Elsa and Anna reunite without fear for the first time, as their parents, young Elsa and young Anna appear in the background, signaling the healing of the sisters’ painful past (Finale).

Warm Regards, Janet and Charlie

Luke Wholey’s Wild Alaskan Grille

A Predominately seafood restaurant that has several fish based dishes on the menu. The restaurant has a separate section for children along with a bar menu that offers seasonal cocktails, a wine list and a special Draft list for beer. All of the beverages in the menu go well with the seafood on offer, but each can be ordered by the glass as well. Luke Wholey’s Alaskan Grille also boasts a separate sushi menu which is divided into a full 3 course meal. Traditional favorites include shrimp, eel, salmon, scallops, flying fish roe along with a variety of seafood rolls that range from shrimp and salmon to veggie and crab. The signature rolls on the menu include the Spider Roll which is filled with soft shell crab, fresh vegetables and sauces.

Its a 7 minute scooter or bike ride on the bike lane. Just leave your door at http://www.skyloftpgh.com and bike over to Luke Wholey’s this weekend. Buon appetito, Janet & Charlie

Dance Theater Ballet

Dance companies in Pittsburgh and around the globe are looking at ways to bring ballet into the 21st century. The Pittsburgh Dance Council will introduce local audiences to one such innovator, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, described as transcending tradition in a “groundbreaking mix of styles ranging from ballet to hip hop.”

Complexions Contemporary Ballet presents “Bach 25” and “Woke.” 8 p.m. Byham Theater. 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $10-65. 1 Block over from your starloftspgh home.

To Kill a Mockingbird

See Atticus Finch, Scout and Boo Radley like never before when one of “the most successful American plays in Broadway history” comes to town for a special eight-show run. Adapted from Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece by renowned playwright and director, Aaron Sorkin, the gripping drama stars Richard Thomas as Alabama lawyer Atticus Finch.

Tuesday, April 19: To Kill A Mockingbird at the Benedum Center
7:30 p.m.

Who needs a television when you have a live theater right next door to your home at the http://www.StarLoftPgh.com

Simply Devine: A Retrospective of Danny Devine – Opens in March!

Simply Devine: A Retrospective of Danny Devine (1982-2021) showcases thought-provoking, uplifting, joyful, and playful works created by the late Pittsburgh native. Danny was a respected graffiti writer, muralist, photographer, printmaker, painter, mentor, and friend to many. The immersive exhibition embodies Danny’s dedication to creativity and his prolific artistic output—taking viewers on a visual journey exploring his complexity as an artist.
Simply Devine: A Retrospective of Danny Devine

820 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pa 15222
March 2 – June 12

Walk to the Gallery Crawl from your front door.

The first Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District of 2022 is a literally at your doorstep when you live at the http://www.starloftspgh.com —packed with more than a dozen Crawl Stops including new gallery exhibitions, two live music showcases, and one-of-a-kind events in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh. Check out the full lineup at TrustArts.org/Crawl.

Make a Puppet

First Night, Cultural District Pittsburgh

Looking for some hands-on, creative fun? Head to the Family Tent, 5:30 – 7 pm, to help the creative team behind the signature New Year’s Eve Parade presented by Giant Eagle before it steps off at 8 pm. Teaching artist Alison Babusci and others will show you how to create parade ribbon wands. Afterwards, you can join the parade and march along Penn Avenue through the Cultural District!

Come out of your home at http://www.starloftspgh.com and join the excitement!

Pennsylvania leaves change color in Fall.

Fall is the perfect time to watch the foliage around us explode in color. Deep reds, bright yellows and cozy oranges shimmer in the wind for just a few weeks before the branches are once again bare and the cold weather ensues.

But why do leaves change color in the fall, and while we’re at it, why do they fall off their trees at all? 

Why do leaves change color and fall?

What leaves do for a tree

In a nutshell, leaves make food for the plant they are attached to, whether that be a tree, a shrub or a flower. Leaves are connected to its plant through a vascular system that carries these nutrients around the plant, similar to how our human vascular system carries blood around our body. They do this all through a process called photosynthesis, a system you probably remember learning about way back in middle school. 

During the warmer months that make up spring and summer, leaves work constantly to convert sunlight into nutrients for the plant. Chlorophyll, the chemical that gives leaves that green color, absorbs light energy and contains it in the leaf, which then interacts with the natural enzymes found in plant cells found in the leaf. That reaction between the light energy and the enzymes helps to break down the chemical components in the water (supplied to the plant from the roots), breaking it down into oxygen and hydrogen. 

The hydrogen reacts with the carbon dioxide found in the plant enzymes to create a form of sugar, and that sugar is what’s funneled through the plant’s vascular system to provide the nutrients the tree needs to grow. Any remaining oxygen is released through miniscule pores found on the leaf’s surface. 

A forest road covered in fallen autumn leaves that are green orange yellow red and brown

Leaves are falling all around…

Not all trees are able to handle the colder weather later in the year, so they drop their leaves until spring peaks its sunny head around the corner a few months later. 

Interestingly enough, leaves don’t just fall off with a strong breeze or a cold wind; the trees actually shove the leaves off! If anything, this season should be called “Push” rather than “Fall,” if we want to be scientifically accurate. But anyway… 

If we think of leaves as solar-powered cooks, then during the summer months these tiny cooks are working all day every day to make the most of that bright sunlight, all the while depositing an abundance of food and nutrients into the plant. It’s a great system, and those leaves make it well-worth the effort of keeping them around full-time.

In the colder months, though, the days are much shorter and the sun is not nearly as direct. The quality and quantity of sunlight decreases with each passing day, and the tree has to decide if it wants to keep its staff of full-time chefs all winter long, or if it wants a break. It takes a lot of nutrients to keep leaves alive, and if the leaves themselves aren’t able to make a lot of nutrients in the first place, then the tree can be quickly sapped of its reserve. Plus, if the water in those leaves gets cold enough to freeze, then the leaves could die completely and damage the tree’s vascular system.

For these trees, then, it makes more sense to get rid of its leaves and go dormant over winter, rather than hang onto the leaves and run the risk of a bad freeze. 

The process by which trees drop their leaves is a fascinating one, and it all starts with the decreasing sunlight.

Hormones inside the leaves can sense when there is less sunlight and lower temperatures, so those hormones will activate a process called abscission that starts to shut down the production process. This means that the chlorophyll stops working, changing the leaf’s color back to its natural state of yellow, orange or red (yes, leaves are not naturally green!). It also means that tiny cells begin building a wall between the leaf and the twig it’s attached to, slowly cutting off the flow of nutrients and water from the leaf. 

These abscission cells eventually grow thick enough that the leaf is shoved completely off the twig with just the slightest of breezes, falling to the ground in that magnificent display that we just love to watch. And, because those cells formed such a thick wall, there is no open wound on the branch where the twig was, and the scab of plant cells keeps the twig protected all through winter as the tree lies dormant.

This process is purely self-preservation, and we see this happening in other adverse conditions, too. When faced with a particularly horrific drought, the tree may cut off nutrients to leaves or branches in order to strengthen the more vital parts of the tree. The tree will reactivate these dormant pieces when there are enough nutrients available, and the process starts all over again!

Food for spring

Wading through a forest full of fallen leaves can feel like trudging through snow, as there are just so many leaves! Yet when we return in spring, those blankets of leaves are gone! Where do they go?

Fallen leaves decay through natural processes, as fungus, bacteria and invertebrates cover the forest floor and provide the vital processes of decay and deconstruction that keeps the circle of life running smoothly. 

Webs of fungus called mycelium send tiny strands of hyphae into organic matter around them, where those hyphae secrete enzymes that break down the chemical structure of the fallen leaves. The nutrients extracted from those leaves are transported through the mycelium to the trees and plants all around it, feeding and strengthening the forest through this massive underground web. 

Finally, small critters and bacteria eat through the remaining leaves, breaking down the physical structure and secreting even more nutrients into the soil via their waste. 

In the end, all the nutrients stored in those bright green leaves returned right back to the ground, where they will feed the tree yet again come spring. Then, the cycle continues once again.

Fall is a magical time for many reasons, but seeing how this brief interval of time can so drastically affect the livelihoods of deciduous trees makes it all the more fascinating.

Enjoy the beauty of the changing color of the leaves. Take a short rode from your home at http://www.starloftspgh.com to the Laurel Highlands this weekend.

Happy Fall! Best, Janet.

Lights On!

After many long months, the streets of the Cultural District will again be bustling, the theaters and galleries will be full, and arts lovers from around the region and beyond will share experiences, live and in person. Lights On! A Three-Day Celebration of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District marks this special occasion with more than 50 free outdoor performances, exhibitions, and more presented by your favorite Cultural District organizations, right next to your home at http://www.starloftspgh.com!