Monday, February 28, 2011

Bravo Riverdance!

LP Russell

Spellbinding, empyrean, frolicsome, whimsical, ethereal, mesmerizing and on and on. Riverdance, the Phenomenon, is all of this, and more.
A true test of a work of art is it’s longevity. Created over 17 years ago in the UK, Riverdance is still thrilling audiences around the world as it did at the Benedum Theater last weekend.

The first scene, Reel Around The Sun, prepares our emotions for the undulating journey to follow. The melancholy strains of a solo woodwind are soon interrupted by the first pass of lead dancer, Alan Scariff, as he emerges from the darkness and almost soars across the stage, setting the tone for the rest of the adventure.  The rhythms build to the point where the crowd cannot help but participate with hands clapping to the tempo of the music and the emotion of the dance. This feeling builds and builds, climaxing with the Riverdance Finale, where the entire cast awes the crowd with the power of an incredible ensemble dance… Irish style!

If you had the opportunity to watch the documentary of the making of Riverdance, you would assume that Moya Doherty, the producer and original catalyst in the creation of Riverdance, would ensure the overall excellence of the dancers and musicians. And she certainly has. But, along with that, there were two things that were exceptionally impressive to this fan.

First, the show has stayed true to what it was when if first began. If I were to go see CSN&Y in concert, I would be disappointed if the did not play their classic hits, like Suite Judy Blue Eyes and Wooden Ships. Riverdance did not disappoint. Most of the scenes held true to the original choreography created by the fist notable dancers, Michael Flatley, Colin Dunne and Jean Butler. But, this time I got to enjoy them live and to feel the power of their performance.

Then, there is the underlying theme of exploring the different, but similar, styles of, shall I say, Foot Dancing… Tap, Flamenco and Irish.  The street challenge between the Irish dancers and the Tap Boys from the ‘City’,  DeWitt Fleming Jr. and Michael E. Wood, exemplifies this perfectly. Facing-off against each other. Trading licks. One outdoing the last. Both styles utilize the same basic techniques. But, when compared side-by-side, the differences created a scene that is memorable and so enjoyable to watch. Yes… It ended as a tie!

Flamenco is similar in our comparison. But, this performance was uncommonly exquisite, astonishingly seductive, strikingly sensual. Marita Martinez-Rey creates what might best be described as Art in Motion… Beautiful.  Again, a stroke of genius that has made Riverdance such an enduring and unique entity, the combining of different disciplines of dance that find their first steps in the same textbook.

Riverdance… A terrific evening! The show was terrific. The theater was terrific. The company was terrific. Yes, the wine was terrific!
Only one thing left to do...I wonder if my old tap shoes are still hiding in the garage?

(c) Joanne Quinn-Smith and PositivelyPittsburghLive Talkcast, 2011 All Rights Reserved.

L.P. Russell   

Son of a Rocket Scientist...
Product of Private Schools...
Left college to play music across the western US...
Ended up in the Casino Poker business...
Became one of the most well known Poker Tournament Directors (like you see on TV... Knew many of those folks)  Dropped everything to come to .... Wait for it.... Pittsburgh!!!! Yikes....
After a 25 year hiatus....returning to the music business.  Here is where you can find his songs.'s  book about casino gambling `is there, too. You may download it. And ... Remember to Crank It Up when you listen to the music, it's good stuff.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

PositivelyPittsburgh News Week of 2-21-11

Positively Pittsburgh News from February 21, 2011

Listen to Archived News at: 

Amy Grant and Michael Smith
Thursday, March 3, 7:30pm at the Benedum Center
Two of Christian music’s most recognized and beloved artists reunite for the first time in more than two decades for a landmark concert tour.
ORDER TICKETS online at, Visit the Box Office at Theater Square, Call 412-456-6666. Groups 10+ Tickets 412-471-6930

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, co-founder of the Pittsburgh Promise and Promise board member, today issued a statement regarding the doubling of the Pittsburgh Promise scholarship from $20,000 to $40,000 per student over a four-year higher education program.

Sunday, February 27, 2011, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm at 1375 Washington Pike, Bridgeville, PA 15017
$5.00 for Adults, $3.00 for Kids Age 6-12, Free for Kids Under 6
Step back in time at Woodville Plantation as this living history museum explores the lives of the upper class in the 18th century. Guests are invited to “drop in” on the Neville family and their friends as they go about their daily routine at Woodville Plantation. For more information contact Rob Windhorst at 412-221-0348 or

Live Nation welcomes
Adam Carolla to the Byham Theatre
Thursday, March 31st, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.
The Adam Carolla Show has been playing to sold out audiences on stages all around the country. The show remains the internet's most downloaded daily broadband show since its debut in March of 2009... #1 on iTunes with over 150,000 daily listeners.

Live Rhythm, Jazz, & Blues
"Entrepreneurial Thursdays"
With Vocalist Jessica Lee & Friends
Musical Networking Happy Hour EVERY THURSDAY 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM at Little E's Jazz & Blues
949 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, 2nd Floor above Mahoney's Restaurant
Cover Charge: Only $5.00!

February 24, 2011
Pre-show networking session at 5:00 PM:
Informal matchmaking for job seekers, employers & new entrepreneurs!
Live music starts at 6:00 PM.
"Entrepreneurial Writers"
Featuring Interviews with: Co-host Chad Zwigart, Principal Business Consultant, The Write Plan, LLC, Tilda Comstock, Comstock Communications,, Maria Berdusco, Leadership International Strategist, Susan Paff, Owner Ideality Communications, LLC, and Ray Werner - Writer, creative consultant, playwright, and film maker

Shakespeare’s Shorts” BYOB
Thursday February 24 at 7 PM at The Te Cafe in Squirrel Hill
Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks' BYOB ("Bring Your Own Bard") series presents “Shakespeare’s Shorts”. Celebrate the shortest month with an evening of short scenes, speeches and monologues from Shakespeare’s greatest plays (or his obscure ones!) A tax-deductible donation is suggested at the door.
THE TE CAFÉ, 2000 Murray Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15217, (412) 422-8888 or
Anyone interested in reading should contact or 412.404.8531, or visit us on Facebook at Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks.
Read entire press release at:

Local Organization Recognized With Support From National Program
The Avon Breast Health Outreach Program has awarded a $50,000 one-year grant to the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s ENCOREplus Program. The program is a community-based outreach program that provides education, screening, and support services. Since 1994, ENCOREplus has reached close to 90,000 women with information about the importance of early detection of breast cancer and has referred over 9,000 women for mammograms and clinical breast exams.
Contact: Laura Harwin, YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, 412-255-1279
Karyn Margolis, Avon Foundation for Women, 212-282-5666,

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Ballet Hispanico at the Byham Theater
Saturday, March 5, 8pm
Ballet Hispanico’s dancers have roused audiences worldwide with their magnetic energy and eclectic choreography. “To miss one of their performances is to miss one of the great treasures in the world.” -Buenos Aires Herald
Join dancers from Ballet Hispanico at a salsa party at the Cabaret at Theater Square at 10pm. Dance to the salsa music of DJ Jeff Shirey, try salsa dance lessons and enjoy light bites.
ORDER TICKETS online at, visit the Box Office at Theater Square, or call 412-456-6666. Groups 10+ Tickets 412-471-6930.

February 24 at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture 7:30-10:30
CASH BAR / FREE COFFEE AND TEA / FREE ADMISSION Hosted by Aki Jamal. Questions? Call 412.338.8730

8pm Feb. 25- March 12 at University of Pittsburgh Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, 15213
Written by Vernell A. Lillie. Tickets $20. Available at Kuntu Administrative Offices 412-624-7298, Dorsey's Record Shop, 412-731-6607 and William Pitt Union at 412-648-7814.

NAWBO Members Set the Stage For International Women’s Business Development
The fourth annual festival—aimed at reaching out to women seeking to empower themselves with the tools and resources needed to succeed—is set for March 4-5th at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. Two of NAWBO’s members, Mary Schnack (Mary Schnack & Associates President) and Patty DeDominic (DeDominic & Associates CEO/Founder) founded the event and play an integral role in its success.
For more information or to register for the 2011 Women’s Festival visit or email

Bridging the Cross-Cultural Communication Gap in the Multicultural Workplace
February 23, 2011, 8:30-11:00 a.m. at WPDI Office, 414 Grant Street, City-County Bldg, Room 920, Pittsburgh, PA  15219
$10.00 for Members, $20.00 for Non-Members
This interactive, participative workshop will provide guidelines and information on how to communicate more clearly, efficiently and considerately with people from other cultures, especially with those who speak English as a second language.
Rhonda Coast, President of International Development Resources and Lynda Stuckey , President of ClearlySpeaking, LLC are our two presenters for this event.

Finally a scholarship for Using a Cell Phone
High school seniors with a minimum 2.0 grade point average have an opportunity to win up to $5,000 in scholarship money just by writing about how technology has changed the world.
The top 3 winners also get a netbook and a DROID by Motorola with Verizon Wireless gift cards that may be used toward wireless service. Deadline is March 15, 2011.
Roving Pittsburgher Report
Fox Chapel Eat n Park
From Roving Pittsburgher, Angel Thomas
All of the ingredients were fresh tasting in this newly opened Eat n Park in the Wateworks, Fox Chapel.  The Marinara sauce tasted homemade and the staff was congenial and attentive.  When we asked about salt content of gravy the manager came to us with a nutrition guide to find the answer.
P. F. Chang’s China Bistro in Pittsburgh Settlers Ridge
Settlers Ridge, 1600 Settlers Ridge Center Dr., Robinson Township, PA 15205, 412-788-2901
Techno Granny’s Seal of Approval for the best Moo Goo Gai Pan waiter and our charming and efficient waitress, Molly.  There is also a dedicated section on the menu for those who must eat Gluten Free.
Dor Stop Restaurant:
1430 Potomac Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15216, (412) 561-9320
Roving Pittsburghers, Anaiyah Thomas, JoAnn Forrester and JQS
Delightful Dormont Institution whose name comes from being at the Dormont Trolly Stop.  Moved from years ago to the opposite side of the street with same wonderful homestyle breakfasts, ham off the bone and homemade potato pancakes where you can see and taste the grated potatoes.  On the weekends you have to wait in line but it’s worth the wait and we compliment the waitresses on being kid friendly as Anaiyah will be three in March.
Movie Passes
A few tickets left for Drive Angry
To acquire two tickets info with subject, Drive Angry Passes
Thursday, February 24, 9:00 PM
425 Cinema Drive, Pittsburgh Southside Works Cinema
New Set of 25 tickets, for “Beastly”
Screening Date: Tue, Mar 1, 2011
Two per e-mail just released for moving screening passes to Beastly compliments of PositivelyPittsburgh Live and CBS Films
AMC Loews Waterfront, West Homestead, PA
Go to, screening passes and use the code for “BEASTLY” for 3/1: TECHGRQDN2

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.

Friday, February 18, 2011

PositivelyPittsburghNews week of 2-14-11

Positively Pittsburgh News from February 14, 2011

Recipe for hope to please pallets with celebrity cuisine
Benefiting Hair Peace Charities
February 26th at 7:30 p.m. at Blueberry Hill Center, Franklin Park - 1604 Blaine's Way Sewickley, PA 15143
Tickets are $60.00 and can be purchased at

Local media celebrities, along with some favorite restaurant chefs, will present pallet pleasing cuisine at Recipe for Hope to benefit Hair Peace Charities, a local non-profit providing wigs, as well as health, wellness, and spiritual support for women fighting cancer.

Disclosure Of A Disability Or Criminal Record: Is There A Right Choice?
With Shannon Austin, M.S., VR Supervisor at the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
February 17, 2011 at 8:30 a.m.
Please RSVP to 412-782-5344, ext. 209, or email us at

Disclosure of a hidden disability or criminal record can make or break success on the job.  Learn the legal requirements for disclosure and the accommodations available for those who do.  A light continental breakfast will be provided. 

Disability Resource Breakfast: How to Sell Your Abilities in a Job Interview
with Coralee A. Gionta, Human Resource Professional and Account Manager, Word FM PS:  March 17, 2011

Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania, Tel:  412.782.5344, ext. 209, Websites: /


Online Resource Guide for Deaf, blind, and Hard of Hearing Updated

A task force has updated its online resource guide, the Southwestern Pennsylvania Resource Guide of Behavioral Health Providers for Persons who are deaf, blind, or hard of hearing.
This resource guide lists regional behavioral health care providers that have experience working with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. The resource guide is available for download on the Allegheny County Department of Human Services website at "For Providers" and on the website for the Behavioral Health Task Force For Persons who are deaf, blind and hard of hearing of Allegheny County.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Welcomes Back
The Decemberists
Tuesday, April 21, 2011, 8 P.M. at The Benedum Center

Led by Colin Meloy, The Decemberists craft theatrical, idiosyncratic chamber pop rock that seamlessly translates to unforgettable live performances.

Online at, Box Office at Theater Square [655 Penn Avenue], or call 412-456-6666
Groups 10+ Tickets 412-471-6930

ROUND 2 AUDITIONS For A Tribute to the Queen of Soul ARETHA FRANKLIN
Presented by Teresa Hawthorne and Create-S-Team Academy of Music and Theater
Thursday, February 24, 2011 @ the Homewood Library Auditorium 

All qualified vocalists are welcomed to audition. You do not have to look or sing like Aretha Franklin to audition. For more information, please call 412.403.9537

8th annual Glass Slipper Ball
Featuring the best of the chefs and libation purveyors
7pm to midnight March 5, 2011 at the Four Points Sheraton, Cranberry

Live and silent auctions, signature hors d’oeuvres and desserts, libation sampling and music by Dancing with Dr. Zoot.
For tickets and information call 724-935-6100

Riverdance Comes to The Benedum Center in Pittsburgh
February 25-26, 2011

Riverdance, the thunderous celebration of Irish music, song, and dance that has tapped its way onto the world stage thrilling millions of people around the globe, will play three performances in Pittsburgh, PA.

Stage and Steel Production Presents
May 20th -22nd and 27th-29th, 8pm at St. Peter and St. Paul's Hall next to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church at 220 Mansfield Blvd Carnegie, PA

The show focuses on Princess Victoria, who wishes to prove that she is more than just a damsel in distress.
Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased on the website at

Auditions for "Sir Victoria" are set for Thursday March 17th Please email to set up an appointment.

Local schools invited to participate in Antony and Cleopatra project
February 7, 2011
Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre (PICT) is seeking a minimum of ten schools in the region to participate in a theatre education initiative accompanying its May production of William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra.

The Heinz History Center Celebrates the Contributions of The Pittsburgh Courier


As we celebrate Black History Month, The Heinz History Center is taking an in-depth look at the largest and most influential African American newspaper of the past 100 years; The Pittsburgh Courier. Tour the new exhibit.

Women of Color HERStory Month 2011 presents...
Young Women's Celebration: Sisterhood, Empowerment and Leadership
Wednesday, February 16, 5pm-8pm | FREE at Ujamaa Collective Boutique, One Hope Square, 
1901 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Young women from across the city will come together to be recognized for their demonstrations of youth leadership and commitments to change Pittsburgh. Follow for event information.

Contact:  Bekezela Mguni, Program Director, New Voices Pittsburgh,, 412.247.4084

Cohen and Grigsby Trust Presents Series
30th Anniversary KODO One Earth Tour
March 1 and 2, 2011 Byham Theater

Since 1981, Kodo has been exploring the limitless possibilities of the traditional Japanese drum, the taiko, and continues to forge exciting, new directions for this vibrant art-form.
To Order Tickets: 
Online at, Visit the Box Office at Theater Square [655 Penn Avenue], or
Call 412-456-6666, Groups 10+ Tickets 412-471-6930

Live Rhythm, Jazz, & Blues
"Entrepreneurial Thursdays"
With Vocalist Jessica Lee & Friends
Musical Networking Happy Hour EVERY THURSDAY 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM at Little E's Jazz & Blues

949 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, 2nd Floor above Mahoney's Restaurant
Cover Charge: Only $5.00!

February 17, 2011
Pre-show networking session at 5:00 PM:
Informal matchmaking for job seekers, employers & new entrepreneurs!
Live music starts at 6:00 PM.
"Entrepreneurial Couples" featuring Interviews with:
Co-host Bruce Conley, The Computer Coach  (, Marita & Frank Yenca, Reliv International, Independent Distributor ( Charlene & Ken Nagy - Confluent Translations (, Marilyn & Lynn  Landis- Basic Business Concepts, Inc (, Charlotte & Don Kaltenbaugh - Homemade Gourmet (; Charlotte Kaltenbaugh, owner & Don Kaltenbaugh, Director of Operations - Butler Asset Management, Greg & Ricki Paul, owners - Harmony Ridge Events and Catering (, Mary Ann & Bill McCollough - Experiam Marketing (, and Eva & Scott Kerschbaumer - ESSpa Kozmetika Organic Skincare & Spa (

Roving Pittsburgher Report

Plenty of Fish Dance. Friday February 11—over 200 people invaded the Two Lakes Golf Club formerly Alcoma Country Club and they "danced" late into the night.

Tango Fire from Buenos Aires, costumes beautiful, dance both athletic and erotic, music inspirational, choreography enlightening of the various types of Tango and Roving Pittsburghers Joanne Quinn-Smith,Gregg Matthis, Delana Flowers want to move to Argentina or Uruguay just to tango.  Full review at:

Melange Bistro on 6th St.  CD party for A-Game recorded by the artist Ambition.  Great rising star and the Melange is a neat upscale lounge hidden right in the heart of the cultural district.

Nakama Japanese Steakhouse and Restaurant with the KIA Hamster who wonder of wonders,doesn't eat nuts and seeds but loves sushi and sashimi.

Gallelry Sim, Kathryn Karr’s Scherenschnitte, Penny Stewarts Photography and Dan Peluso’s sculpture, runs thru Saturday. Februray 19th—owner Ron Beers Especially likes Kathryn Karr's, "Marionette."

Dormont United Methodist Church on 1641 Potomac Ave for  Scout Sunday where the pastor modeled her sermon after the Scout Law and Code.  Roving Pittsburghers JoAnn Forrester and JQS.


Free Movie Passes Compliments of Summit Entertainment and PositivelyPittsburgh Live
DRIVE ANGRY (3D) Thurs, Feb 249:00pm S. Side Works

E-mail with title line Drive Angry passes, two tickets per e-mail address will be reserved for you at South Side Works on February 24th. Only 25 pair are available, first 25 e-mails will receive the tickets.

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

(c) PositivelyPittsburghLive 2011 , allrights reserved PositivleyPittsburghLive shows and blog can be found at:, a syndicated Pittsburgh Internet Radio and TV network.

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.

“Tango Fire”, Inferno on Stage!

REVIEW:   “Tango Fire”, Inferno on Stage!

Totally true to the "sold out"  preview hype, “Tango Fire” at the Byham theatre was hot, hot, hot!
Ten dancers, a four-piece orchestra, and a single vocalist from Buenos Aires, Argentina made for an explosive night of wonder at the Byham Theater on Saturday, February 12th. To say that Tango Inferno was hot is an understatement.  Leaving the theatre we all wished for a Villa in Buenos Aires.

Director Yanina Fajar and Assistant Director German Cornejo choreographed a sensuous, athletically demanding show. “Tango Fire “ showcased their artistic vision in majestic execution. Both Fajar and Conejo performed as part of the company.

The first half of the show sparked a contained fire that introduced us to the entire company. We are privy to a collage of all ten dancers as they purposefully happen upon each other in a social setting, complete with tables, chairs, a live band, and a singer. The strength, agility, passion, and grace of each dancer, both male and female, add fervor and passion to an already exotic art form.

The show is interspersed with the beautiful, sultry sounds of vocalist Jesus Hidalgo and the violin, piano, bandoneon (looks like an accordion), and double bass of the orchestra, Quatrotnago. The audience was enraptured by these unfamiliar melodies and lyrics in an unknown tongue, swept away in every spiraling romance.   Hidalgo and Quatrotango were like gasoline to a heat that was already beginning to rise, as the flames were fanned by fast and fancy footwork. Yet this was a mere campfire, prelude to the forest fire to come.

In the second half, he stage literally sizzled with the unbridled and unparalleled feats of seductive but athletic dance. Even the costumes become increasingly elaborate as does the acrobatic movement we wouldn’t have believed if not seen with our own eyes.  This was not the tango featured in American movies of the fifties by any means.

“The tango cannot be danced individually; the woman seduces and the man leads. He protects and supports her, while she elaborates and outlines the dance breaking balance and resting on his chest.”

They say it takes two to Tango and as evidenced by these five couples, it takes two with amazing chemistry to get the temperature to the fever pitch of this second half. With each couple the audience seems to combust all over again, boiling up and over with amazement- oohs, aahhs, and applause escaped like steam without reservation. Each pair has been dancing together for many years and it shows as the sensuality of their chemistry burns before us. Their expertise is evident in that each couple choreographed their own dance.  True seductive art takes passion and there was more than enough to go around.

By the end of the show we are consumed, burned beyond the recognition of what we imagined tango could be. A final black out is followed by a spontaneous explosion of an ovation. Nothing could extinguish the thrill of such an outstanding performance.

Special thanks to Gus Mathews, the Beaver Falls KIA Hamster of the Ron Lewis Automotive Group, for giving me the opportunity to witness such greatness.  Gus, the only thing that might have made this better was the KIA Hamster in the audience tapping his foot and getting excited by the music and the dance, if he was on his wheel it would have churned him to butter.

(c) PositivelyPittsburgh Live, all rights reserved.

Review by Roving Pittsburgher Reporter, Delana Flowers.