Rawson, Christopher. “Change waits in the wings on the North Side.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 1993 Dec. 22: D-4.




CHILDREN'S CULTURAL DISTRICT? Why not? The Carnegie is leaving the old Buhl Science Center and the city will lease it to some worthy organization for $1 a year. If the Children's Museum could swing the $150,000 projected annual upkeep, it could bring in other tenants like Performing Arts for Children and the annual Children's Festival. And the city has pledged $3 million (to be matched by the state?) to the North Avenue-Federal Street Project, which could save the Garden Theatre, another prime performing space. Throw in the Masonic Temple as a rehearsal hall and the North Side could have its own cultural district, even without the Public Theater.

HITTING THE DAILY DOUBLE: It's Christmas week, so here's welcome good news: The Public Theater's longtime press relations whiz, Elvira DiPaolo (also a playwright -- "Bricklayers" at City Theatre), hit the jackpot Friday, getting a new job offer and a marriage proposal. She accepted both. The lucky folks are Reese Brothers, a marketing firm for non-profit groups, and Michael Hoff, a copy writer for Blattner/Bruner. DiPaolo will write for Reese Brothers, plan an October wedding with Hoff and -- she promises -- devote more time to playwriting.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Paul Kaup returned Friday as lead singer for Ms. Lum, a new NYC rock group. (Kaup was the subject of my and photographer Mark Murphy's five-part 1987-88 series on his sophomore year in the CMU drama program.) Rock singing is indeed acting, judging by Kaup's set at the Electric Banana.
PETS? PETTING? Actor David Kener of New York, here to appear in the Public Theater's "Dybbuk," has taped a special appearance for the Saturday "Today Show." The subject is "petography" -- not the adulation of Penthouse pets, but a pet photo service (and a new book about same). Kener will be on with his two pugs, Evis and Eloise. Why not Elvis? "Because I can't say the name of the King in vain," says Kener, making an oblique reference to "Dybbuk," where that's an issue.

CHRISTMAS PRESENTS: Stuck for last-minute gift ideas? Why not a gift certificate to a Pittsburgh theater? It's a good way to get a friend to try out a company you've enjoyed, and you can do it at the last minute, by phone. (If your children live in other cities, like mine, you can also give tickets to theaters there, as I have.)

CASTING CALLS: "Bent" (Upstairs Theatre) will feature Doug Mertz and Joe Shulz in the roles once taken at the Lab Theater by Bingo O'Malley and Ray Leghart. ... Pittsburgh's under-used actor, Don Marshall, is on his way to the Philadelphia Theater Center to appear in Romulus Lenney's "2" (Jan. 7-30). ... Paul Mochnick calls this "the year of the rabbi" -- he played one in ''Fiddler" at the Lakeview Theater and next week he opens as Rabbi Mendel in "The Dybbuk." Other Pittsburghers in the big cast are Larry Meyers, Allan Pinsker, Alex Coleman, Shirley Tannenbaum, Colleen Delaney, Carol Ferguson, Antone DiLeo, Colin Doty, Madeline Lagatutta, Julie Marie Paparella and Alexa Stern.
BES KIMBERLEY'S TRADITION CONTINUES: The CMU New York drama clan gathers today at Sardi's -- 4:30-8:00 p.m., if you're in the Big Apple.
WHILE IN NYC: The 3rd annual Christmas concert of East Liberty's own Billy Porter (CMU '91 and "Star Search" winner) is at Steve McGraw's, 158 W. 72nd St., 10:30 tonight and tomorrow.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Paid admissions at city's professional theaters for week ending Dec. 19:

Christmas Carol/CLO (77%).....9,075

Absurd Person/Public (97%)....3,538

Forbidden Pgh/City (54%)........764

Nunsense/Blarney Stone (90%).....72
FINAL WORDS: If a pre-Broadway tour is a try-out for New York, isn't a Broadway run really a tryout for the eventual national tour?