Arts & Culture

Arts and culture reporting from 90.5 WESA.

A New Historical Marker with a Cherry on Top

Apr 8, 2013
Wikipedia

  We all scream for ice cream, especially when it’s a banana split. You may not know it but the fruity ice cream concoction known as the banana split has a tie to the Pittsburgh region. And it's being recognized by the state. Latrobe City Manager Alex Graziani tells us what it's all about.

What about Bob? Sports Talk with Bob Dvorchak

Apr 8, 2013
Bob Dvorchak / Sports n'at

  Our sports guy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sportswriter Emeritus Bob Dvorchak joins us to talk about the dismissals and controversy surrounding Rutgers men's basketball, the recent defections of prominent Pitt athletes, and a couple of national championships coming to Pittsburgh.

Josh Raulerson/90.5 WESA

As a civil engineer, and as a reader of fiction, Katie Bates is interested in "why people act the way they do."

Anne Applebaum, The Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956

Restoration & Renewal: A Tale of Two Theatres

Apr 4, 2013
Westmoreland Cultural Trust

  Officials in McKees Rocks hope restoration of the Roxian Theatre will have the economic impact the Palace Theatre has had on Greensburg. We’ll discuss the importance of these theaters to their communities with Taris Vrcek, executive director of the McKees Rocks Community Development Corporation and Michael Langer, president of the Westmoreland Cultural Trust.

Fame High: The Discipline Behind the Glamour

Apr 4, 2013
CMU International Film Festival

  Oscar-nominated director Scott Hamilton Kennedy joins us to talk about his latest feature length documentary Fame High which screens Saturday at the CMU International Film Festival. The film looks at the in-class and at-home drama involving students at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. We'll talk about the pressures of being a talented young performer in a school full of talented young performers. Dennis Childers, a digital media instructor at CAPA High School in Pittsburgh joins us to talk about the benefits and pressures of attending an arts school.

See a trailer for the documentary Fame High

The New Girl in Town Discovers Columbus, OH

Apr 3, 2013
John Mueller / Wikipedia

Travel contributor Elaine Labalme paraphrases the title of a Philip Roth novella and says, "Hello, Columbus." Just a short drive away, she'll tell us what the intrepid traveler can discover in Columbus, Ohio, the capital city of the Buckeye State.

Find out more about the places Elaine has visited in Columbus:

La Roche College

Graphic design students at La Roche College have taken the immigrant experience and turned it into a hands-on exhibition.

“Their intent was that their colleagues, students, peers would experience this simulation and have an experience similar to what someone would have who was coming from the southern border country,” said Sister Michele Bisbey, professor of religious studies at La Roche.

Boy Choir Reborn in Pittsburgh

Apr 3, 2013

Pittsburgh will soon have a new choral group.

The Pittsburgh Boy Choir will be the first multi-genre boy choir for the city since at least 1998. Artistic director Todd Alexander said the group will perform many types of music.

“Most of the choral music that has been composed is in the tradition of the church," he said. "But there are many secular pieces and many popular pieces that have been written more recently, and we will be touching on all of those genres."

As the weather begins to warm up and snow starts to melt in Western Pennsylvania, anglers from around the state are beginning their yearly trek to fly-fish in the Laurel Highlands.

With the second most cold-water streams in the nation, behind Alaska, the Commonwealth is home to the most trout anglers in the U.S., besides California.

Monty Murty, president of the Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited, a cold-water conservation organization, said people can fly-fish year round in Pennsylvania, but most start in the early spring and go through June.  

Josh Raulerson/90.5 WESA

North Sider Betsy O'Neill admits: "In a previous life, I probably lived in the 19th century." In her present incarnation, she spent the summer of 2012 immersed in Melvilliana.

What About Bob? Live From the Pirates Season Opener

Mar 29, 2013
Bob Dvorchak / Sports n'at

  Our weekly sports contributor Bob Dvorchak joins us from the Pirates' Season Opener. We'll talk about the upcoming season, the Penguins' push for the Stanley Cup, and even though March is over, the madness continues with the final four.  And looking forward to Pittsburgh hosting the college hockey Frozen Four.

The Star-Spangled Symphony Orchestra

Mar 29, 2013
Noah Bendix-Balgley Website

  Monday is opening day of the Pittsburgh Pirates' 2013 season and before you hear the cry of, “Play ball,” there are some other traditions observe, one being the performance of the national anthem. Noah Bendix-Balgley, violinist and concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra talks about performing the national anthem for the Pirates' season opener.

The Pittsburgh Opera Turns 75

Mar 28, 2013
Pittsburgh Opera

This year, the Pittsburgh Opera will celebrate its 75th season. 90.5 WESA Senior News Editor Mark Nootbaar, talks with Pittsburgh Opera General Director Christopher Hahn about the upcoming season and their Diamond Jubilee.

The New Girl in Town on Eco-Friendly Traveling

Mar 27, 2013
Charles & Hudson / Flickr

From buildings to household products we're finding more and more ways to be environmentally conscious. So why not extend our sustainable lifestyles to our vacations?  Travel contributor Elaine Labalme tells us how we can apply eco-friendly awareness to our travels. 

Take a look at some green travel options:

The Book of Mormon

Mar 27, 2013
Twitter

Everywhere it goes, the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon is sold out. Pittsburgh is no exception. We sit down with Mark Evans, one of the stars of the touring show to talk about the themes of this controversial play and getting into character.

The inaugural Pittsburgh Bicycle Film Festival will take place Thursday evening, with doors at the Regent Square Theater on South Braddock Avenue opening at 6 p.m. 

Twenty five percent of ticket sales will go to Bike Pittsburgh to support their mission to make the city and the region safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

According to Seth Gernot of Events Unlimited, there will be two unusual bikes in the lobby: one that makes popcorn by pedaling and one that makes smoothies.  

Bob Kosturko

As the popular British drama "Call the Midwife" returns for a second season on PBS, Morgantown-based author and certified nurse-midwife Patricia Harman offers recommendations for readers with an interest in the practice.

Jennifer Worth, The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

90.5 WESA Weekend Watch

Mar 23, 2013

Saturday, March 30:

First, the downtown gallery “Space” is hosting a reading entitled “Mean Girls” tonight at 7:00. The readings are meant to raise awareness and increase discussion of the problem of bullying among teenage girls, and the literature works in tandem with an ongoing art exhibit of the same name.  Tonight’s readings begin at 7:00 at the “Space” gallery on Liberty Avenue downtown.

What About Bob?

Mar 22, 2013
Bob Dvorchak / Sports n'at

  Our sports guy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sportswriter Emeritus Bob Dvorchak joins us to preview Cinderella Robert Morris University's second round game in the NIT, discuss Pitt's early exit from the NCAA tourney and the Penguins' winning streak.

Soldiers and Sailors Unveils Medal of Honor Exhibit

Mar 22, 2013

If you’ve ever wondered what a Congressional Medal of Honor looks like but have never had a close up look, now’s your chance.

The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum in Oakland opens an exhibit Sunday that displays its five Medals of Honor.

The Medal of Honor is the United States’ highest military award and is presented for "personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty."  Since the beginning of the Civil War there have been 3,460 Medal of Honor recipients.

The Globetrotter Diaries

Mar 21, 2013
Hearst Corporation

  Michael Clinton is the president of marketing and publishing for Hearst magazines. The Pittsburgh native is a seasoned world traveler. He'll talk to our travel contributor Elaine Labalme about his latest book The Globetrotter Diaries: Tales, Tips and Tactics for Traveling the 7 Continents and how you can be a better traveler.

The New Girl in Town on Traveling Alone

Mar 21, 2013
Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

It's been said, "He travels fastest, who travels alone" as long as you know all of the good spots to visit.  This week our travel contributor Elaine Labalme discusses the joys of going solo when it comes to traveling.

A March Madness Upset

Mar 20, 2013
Helen Wigger / WESA

Tuesday night, in an unlikely National Invitational Tournament first round game, tiny Robert Morris University upset the defending NCAA champion, the Kentucky Wildcats. Robert Morris University Coach Andy Toole joins us to talk about the victory.

The Capitol Steps: 30 Years of Satire

Mar 19, 2013
Capitol Steps

  The political performers known as The Capitol Steps, are a singing troupe that began with a group of Senate staffers who set out to satirize the government that employed them. Collectively, they’re said to represent 18 Congressional offices and 62 years of collective House and Senate staff experience. This week, members of the Capitol Steps are coming to town to perform for the Traffic Club of Pittsburgh. We'll talk with Elaina Newport, a founding member and writer who worked in the Senate as a legislative aid.

Watch the Capitol Steps' 30 Years of Satire video

Vantagen

As President of the Forbes Funds, Kate Dewey is interested in how nonprofits can adapt along with changing technology. 

What About Bob? Sports Talk With Bob Dvorchak

Mar 16, 2013
Bob Dvorchak / Sports n'at

  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sportswriter Emeritus Bob Dvorchak joins us for his regular Monday segment. This week he'll preview Pitt's appearance in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, discuss NHL realignment and how free agency is draining the Steelers' star players.  

A Taste of Wigle Whiskey

Mar 15, 2013
Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Each weekend Wigle Whiskey, located in the Strip District, offers distillery tours connecting whiskey lovers to Pittsburgh history. On the tour, Meredith Grelli tells 2 stories. The first is a story about turning organic rye grains into whiskey. The other is about the distillery’s namesake, the rebellious Philip Wigle; who almost died for the sake of whiskey. Here’s a taste of the Wigle tour.

This segment of Essential Pittsburgh originally aired on August 23, 2012

What's a St. Patrick's Day Parade Without Bag Pipes?

Mar 13, 2013
Bonnie Cousins / Pittsburgh St. Patrick's Day Parade

Award Winning Bagpiper, E.A. Channon, author of "Ballad of a Bagpiper: Whatever Blows Up Your Kilt" has performed for royals like Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana and icons like Bill Gates and President Reagan. He tells us everything we could possibly want to know about bagpipes.

Then, Pittsburgh St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee Chairman Pat O'Brien joins us to talk about how the Steel City's St. Patty's Day parade has become the second biggest in the country.

Spa Day with the New Girl

Mar 13, 2013
Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Whether it’s an exotic locale or a local day spa, a massage, facial and aromatherapy could be just what the doctor ordered. Travel contibutor Elaine Labalme offers some tempting spa suggestions.

Jeff Meade/Flickr

On Saturday Pittsburgh's annual family-friendly St. Patrick's Day parade and festivities will begin at 10 a.m. The Pittsburgh parade is held March 17 or the Saturday immediately preceding that date.

Leave the green beer at home though, because city code prohibits drinking alcohol in public. The ordinance is more commonly known as the "Open Container Law."

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