Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pittsburgh Fall and Winter Events

Positively Pittsburgh Live! Originally broadcast on 10-18-10
Pittsburgh Fall and Winter Events

Listen to archived version at:

Ian Staab, CrossFit Confluence
Rebecca Harris, Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University
Roxanne Wolk, Social Enterprise Chair for National Council of Jewish Women Pittsburgh Section (NCJW)
William Powers, Pittsburgh Opera


CrossFit Confluence Event Barbells for Boobs October 22, 2010

Owner Ian Staab

CrossFit Confluence will be hosting the Barbells for Boobs Amazing “Grace” fundraiser on October 22nd, 2010. The event helps raise money to provide funding for qualified women who need screening and/or diagnostic procedures in the prevention of breast cancer. By supporting Barbells for Boobs, we help low-income and uninsured women get the examinations they need in order to stay cancer free! CrossFit Confluence athletes, including myself, will be performing a workout on October 22nd in order to support the fundraiser: All athletes that sign up will be completing as many Clean & Jerks as they possibly can in 5 minutes!

This event is a great opportunity for guys to step up for what is generally a woman's issue but there are actually just as many women participating in the workout as men. We all have mothers, grandmothers, sisters, girlfriends, etc, and we want them to know how much we care and want to help where we can.

This is the first year that Barbells for Boobs is nationwide. There are a number of different ways that gyms can provide support, we just chose to host a workout. Other gyms are more than welcome to join us at our event if they’d like!

For more information check out the website -
Feel free to visit if you would like more information about our gym.

Rebecca Harris, Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University

The Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series, Friday, Oct. 8, Nov. 12 and Dec. 10, 7:30-9:00 a.m. at Chatham University, Shadyside Campus
The Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series features prominent regional women business leaders speaking on a variety of progressive business topics. Casual networking and a continental breakfast precede engaging and interactive presentations on topics essential for women in business such as innovative entrepreneurship, strategic business growth, unique marketing strategies, and logistical business planning

Friday, October 8, 2010
Donna Sturgess, President of Buyology Inc.
Formerly Global Head of Innovation, GlaxoSmithKline
“Reinventing Marketing to Build Customer Value.”
Friday, November 12, 2010
Heather Arnet, Executive Director of the Women and Girls Foundation
“Women: Our Best Asset. How We Can Work Together to Achieve Business Success.”
Friday, December 10, 2010
Mona Generett, PhD, Vice President Community Development, Dollar Bank
“Finding Opportunity in the Strangest Places – Business and Community Reinvestment.”
For more information contact 412-365-1253 or

Fifth Annual Think Big Forum—Sales and Innovation – Keys to Competitive Success and Growth, Friday, October 22, 2010, 7:30 a.m.-Noon, Chatham University, Shadyside Campus Athletic and Fitness Center

Sales and innovation are critical to any successful business and will be the focus of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University’s fifth annual Think Big Forum. Think Big will feature panel discussions with prominent local and regional women business executives and entrepreneurs who will address strategies that have enabled their companies to remain competitive in the marketplace.

Keynote Speaker, Beth Kaplan President and Chief Marketing and Merchandising Officer of GNC, Inc.
Panel Discussions:
Innovation & Entrepreneurship
This panel will discuss specific strategies that these women used to grow their companies from ideas to multi-million dollar ventures, and how they continue to grow and use innovative strategies to stay competitive in today’s marketplace.

Innovation & Media
This dynamic panel will address innovative strategies required by the media industry to maintain their competitiveness.

Amy Hancock, President and Owner of AdvantageCare Rehabilitation, Advantage Home Health Services, and AdvantageCare Consulting
Danielle Proctor, President and CEO of Amelie Construction & Supply LLC, Owner and Founder of Core Pilates & Yoga, and General Manager of Fetch! Pet Care of North Pittsburgh
Deborah L. Acklin, President and CEO of WQED Multimedia Pittsburgh
Diana Block, Board of Directors and Former President and Co-Publisher of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Moderator s
Nancy Polinsky Johnson, Publisher and Editor of SHADY AVE Magazine
Lauren Lawley Head, Editor of the Pittsburgh Business Times

Register by October 20, 2010
Individual Registration: $45 Table of Ten: $450
Register at
For more information, contact 412-365-1253 or
Corporate sponsorships and tote bag product placement opportunities available.
Contact Rebecca Harris at 412-365-1301 or

Special Discount for friends of S. I. Business Associates and the Empress of Biz
Listen to JoAnn Forrester’s show on the Empress of biz on and hear what is all about episode 80
and use this code to get 20% discount CWE20

Rebecca Harris
Director, Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University
Woodland Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Phone 412-365-1301, Fax 412-365-1308

Roxanne Wolk, Social Enterprise Chair for National Council of Jewish Women Pittsburgh Section (NCJW)
Designer Days Celebrating 40 years of Fashion, Thursday October 28-31 at the Monroeville Convention Center

NCJW is celebrating 40 years of Designer Days. Designer Days is our biggest fund raiser and helps support our projects. We are honoring the past chairs of this event. The Fashion Flashback, celebrating 40 years of Fashion kickoff Thursday October 28 at the Monroeville Convention Center.. We start the sale with a Patron Event where we will honor the past chairs. The event runs 6-9pm with food, music, wine and shopping. We will also showcase fashion of the 70's 80's and 90's. There will be a silent auction of one of our honorary chair’s designs, along with a fur from Carl Hermann, a piece of furniture from Perlora and other fashion items. Also, we raffle baskets with a wine, theme, a pamper basket and a collection of Steeler items.

The cost of the event is $40. Tickets are available at or by calling 412-421-6118

The fun continues with a Preview Day on Friday, October 29. We offer the first chance to shop for $20 for those who want first dibs.Time of preview sale is 11am-4pm.
Free admission for our sale on Saturday October 30 10am-6pm
Free admission Sunday October 31 10am-6pm and it's 1/2 price day.
A very special bonus this year. A bridal salon went out of business and we have over 100 bridal gowns for sale.

Designer Days is a year long process of gathering donated clothing starting right after the sale through the next year. Items include women's, men's, children jewelry, handbags, shoes, books, luggage and furs. The clothing is gently worn and sometimes brand new. You can find designer items from high end to the department store brands.

For more information on NCJW Pittsburgh Section, please visit or call 412-421-6118.

William Powers, Pittsburgh Opera
Donizetti’s opera Lucia di Lammermoor at the Benedum Saturday, November 13, 8:00 PM, Tuesday, November 16, 7:00 PM, Friday, November 19, 8:00 PM, Sunday, November 21, 2:00 PM

• The production, which we own and previously presented in 2002, was declared one of the top 10 arts events of the decade by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
• Laura Claycomb, who will sing the role of Lucia, is a stunning singer who has won many, many international accolades.
• The opera has the feel of a psychological drama like the film Gaslight – and culminates in a spectacular mad scene, making it a great showpiece for the soprano who sings the role.
• Pittsburgh Opera presents several free events in conjunction with each opera – free Brown Bag concerts are on the 2nd Saturday of each month during our season, and Opera Up Close is a couple of weeks before each opera. We have also recently done free concerts at the Pittsburgh Public Market and the Farmers at Firehouse market.

Start at $10. Call 412-456-6666 or visit
About Pittsburgh Opera:
Founded in 1939, we’re a leading Western Pennsylvania arts organization; we recently relocated our headquarters to the former Westinghouse Air Brake Factory in the Strip District and exceeded our $8 million capital campaign goal, to pay off the mortgage just over 2 years after moving in. We’re also expecting LEED certification (Silver level) next month and will be the first green opera company in the U.S. Our Resident Artist program, a training program for emerging opera singers, is recognized nationally as one of the best – we receive around 600 applications each year for 3-5 openings.

The Season Marketing Campaign
Pittsburgh Opera’s 2010-11 season marketing campaign, created by MARC USA, has garnered attention and excitement for its unique approach. Continuing the “Discover Yourself” theme developed for 2009-10, the striking images that capture the essence of each opera feature notable Pittsburghers who are "transformed" as characters from that opera, just as audience members will find themselves transformed by the power of opera. Photographer Duane Rieder created the images from photos taken in his studio in Lawrenceville, also site of the Roberto Clemente Museum and Engine House 25 winery.
In the campaign images, advertising C.E.O. Michele Fabrizi brandishes a bloody knife as Lucia di Lammermoor; society columnist Kate Guerriero rides a chariot as Armida, the villainess from Rinaldo; knee surgeon Dr. Vonda Wright commands subservience as the princess Turandot; and Dr. Lisa Cibik “goes from scalpel to guillotine” as a nun from Dialogues of the Carmelites.
Images from the campaign and behind-the scenes video can be found on the Pittsburgh Opera website. For more information, contact Debra Bell, Director of Marketing and Communications, 412-281-0912 x 214 or

Opera Tickets and Group Discounts
As part of Pittsburgh Opera’s ongoing mission to make opera accessible to its diverse audiences, the Company offers single tickets starting at just $10. For tickets, call 412-456-6666 or visit Discounted tickets for groups of 6 or more are available by contacting Randy Adams, at 412-281-0912 x 213 or

OPERAEncore for young professionals
OPERAEncore is a unique opportunity for Pittsburgh young professionals to enjoy a high-end opera experience with an affordable ticket price. For each performance of Lucia di Lammermoor, OPERAEncore offers a $35 ticket for the best seats available at the time of purchase. Additionally, on Friday, November 19, young professionals are invited to the exclusive OPERAEncore lounge at intermission of Lucia di Lammermoor. To purchase OPERAEncore tickets, call 412-281-0912 or e-mail

Related Events

Opera Up Close: Lucia di Lammermoor
Sunday, October 31, 2:00 PM
Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters, 2425 Liberty Avenue
Opera Up Close is an entertaining and insightful program introduced by Music Director Antony Walker, featuring an in-depth analysis of the opera and a panel of opera artists who share anecdotes and behind-the-scenes tidbits. Attendees can meet the artists afterward and enjoy 21st Street Coffee. Opera Up Close is free and open to the public. For more information, call 412-281-0912 or visit

Pittsburgh Opera Previews on WQED-FM 89.3
Saturday, November 6, 1:30 PM
Friday, November 12, 7:00 PM
Hosted by WQED’s Stephen Baum, this half-hour preview of Lucia di Lammermoor will give listeners an in-depth introduction to the singers, music, and production of the opera. For more information, call 412-281-0912 or visit

Pre-Opera Talks
Ticketholders are invited to attend a Pre-Opera Talk on Lucia di Lammermoor one hour before each performance, in the Orchestra section of the Benedum Center. Learn about the composer, the story, and some juicy details! These talks are free to all ticketholders.

Audio Commentary, Tuesday, November 16
Large-Print Programs, Braille Programs
Audio Commentary for the visually impaired is available at Tuesday evening Pittsburgh Opera performances. Via infrared headphones, the listener receives commentary on stage ambiance and action, costumes, props, set changes, and other cues. Commentary is provided by a dedicated corps of volunteers who attend multiple rehearsals and study the opera in detail. Persons wishing to use Audio Commentary pay $10 for tickets in the Orchestra level and pick up headphones in the lobby. For more information on Audio Commentary, contact Dr. Marilyn Michalka Egan at 412-281-0912 x 242.
Large-print programs and Braille programs are available at each Pittsburgh Opera performance, at the Education table in the Benedum Lobby, free of charge.

Meet the Artists
Tuesday, November 16
Immediately following Lucia di Lammermoor, approx. 10:00 PM
Ticketholders for the Tuesday, November 16 performance of Lucia di Lammermoor are invited to enjoy refreshments and repartee after the opera. Join General Director Christopher Hahn and the cast in the Lower Lobby of the Benedum Center as he interviews singers and directors, and takes questions from the audience. This event is free to all Tuesday performance ticketholders.

2010-2011 Season
The Barber of Seville October 9, 12, 15, 17, 2010
Lucia di Lammermoor November 13, 16, 19, 21, 2010
Rinaldo January 29; February 1, 4, 6, 2011
Turandot March 26, 29; April 1, 3, 2011
Dialogues of the Carmelites April 30; May 3, 6, 8, 2011

Single tickets for as little as $10
Season subscriptions for as little as $43
For ticket information visit our website

To hear this episode of Positively Pittsburgh Live in its entirety go to

Delana Flowers is a Positively Pittsburgh Live reporter, an independent writer and owner of Ingenuity by Delana Flowers ©, writing effective copy so you don’t have to. Services include copywriting for newsletters, blogs, ad copy, marketing pieces, articles, reviews, invitations, postcards, flyers and more.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pittsburgh Roger's and Hammerstein's South Pacific, Historically and Artisticly--Smash Success

Presented at the Benedum Theatre, Pittsburgh, Pa.
November 2-6, 2010

I’d like to know where they got that audio of a twin-row Pratt & Whitney Wasp bolted to what must have been an F6 Hellcat or TBF Avenger thundering unseen across the stage about twenty feet up in the rafters. The first time I ducked; the second time I grinned. A big grin.

And who built that incredibly accurate stage prop of a Douglas TBD Devastator torpedo bomber? The story takes place during the 1942 US invasion of Guadalcanal Island. We were losing the war. Marines were clinging to the island’s airfield and the Navy was getting the pounding of its life by Japanese warships sneaking in at night. Coastwatchers like le Becque were critical in spotting these enemy ships and alerting our forces. The TBD, once the most modern torpedo bomber in the world, had by this stage in the War slid down to an obsolescent old deathtrap, too weak to fight and too slow to run away. But it was all we had, so our pilots went up again and again and once in a while some even came back.

The partial model on stage is absolutely authentic and compellingly accurate right down to its rivets, its folding wing, the small panes of its canopy used because in 1935 when the aircraft was first built we didn’t have the technology to mold large, clear bubbles, and its correct wing star markings for that period of the war. Somebody besides this writer knows their World War II Navy aircraft and no mistake about that.

And this is as it should be. Lt. James Michener , USN, author of Tales of the South Pacific from which the musical emerged, was a meticulous researcher. As a naval historian, he was sent to the South Pacific to make the Navy’s record of events. Michener usually got around pretty well because his last name, pronounced with two syllables, was often mistaken for the son of Navy Admiral Marc Mitscher. Well, whatever works, works. The accuracy and detail in these sets and sound effects do great honor to the name of a major American writer and father of the play itself.

Like every Harley Davidson motorcycle built in the last generation, the musical production South Pacific has become a pleasing hostage to its own idiom, a household fixture in American culture. You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, and you don’t mess with the original 1949 casting. Nobody would cast Knucklehead Nelly as a buxom brunette, or Emil de Becque as a twentysomething tenor. Nelly has got to be Mary Martin, Emile must be Ezio Pinza or pretty damned close.

Close enough, at least, so when we walk out of this Bartlett Sher performance, our footsteps wafting several inches above the pavement from the power and beauty to which we have just been treated, Pittsinger’s de Becque and Pinza’s can mesh in our souls to nine decimals. And they do.

Cusack’s Nelly, which is to say Cusack’s Mary Martin, is a flawless powerful amalgam of tough Navy officer and ineffably sweet little Arkansas runaway. Hard to miss in her performance is the quintessential American woman balancing her femininity between soul searching prejudice and glorious loving fulfillment. As, over time, must we all.

In fact, the plot was originally designed to turn on prejudice, moved along by Nelly’s aversion to de Becque’s black children from a previous relationship, and Cable’s reluctance to expose Liat to the prejudice he knew she will encounter in upscale Philadelphia. And therein lies my single criticism.

What was timely and even advanced thinking six decades ago simply doesn’t play today. Nobody cares whether kids are black or white or red with little green spots. They’re just kids and we love them. Actually, a more believable motivation for modern audiences would be Nelly rejecting de Becque not because of his black kids but because he’s French. Works for me.

Moreover, in today’s world, the transplanting of a lovely south seas beauty from the lush tropics to dank, noisome Philadelphia might cause some tongues to drag on the ground but not to wag with gossip. Yes, Virginia, you can bring home just about anybody you want nowadays and if they have a Green Card and no parole officer they’re likely to be welcomed.

I point this out, not to carp, but to praise. Hammerstein and Josh Logan’s book and Rogers tunes are so powerful and flow together so seamlessly that they completely overshadow what today might otherwise be a serious flaw in the story line. The musical is simply so good that who cares about a bunch of plot stuff anyway? Just listen to Cusack and the girls belting out Honey Bun, my personal favorite, or Pittsinger taking the audience’s chin in his hands and gazing into our eyes with his This Nearly Was Mine…and then tell me what you don’t like about the plot.

In other words, the reviewer loved this thing to pieces, at Pittsinger’s Some Enchanted Evening wept along with the rest, and would have hidden himself away in the theatre to sneak into the next night’s performance if he’d had the foresight to bring a couple of sandwiches to sustain him through the night.

Bravo, you guys; you did good.

reviewed by

Dr. Robert Beeman
author of No More Time for Sorrow

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Publisher: Joanne Quinn-Smith 412-628-5048