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Donnie Iris, Marvel heroes and the ballet take the stage this Pittsburgh weekend

November 15, 2018

Local music icon Donnie Iris and the Cruisers will perform for the first time at Mr. Smalls Theatre on Oct. 27. Another area venue — Stage AE —will host legendary artist Alice Cooper on Oct. 26. If the ballet is more your thing, attend the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater’s “Mozart in Motion” Oct. 26-28 at the Benedum Center. PPG Paints Arena welcomes Marvel Universe Live where heroes face off against villains Oct. 26-28, while Market Square celebrates Halloween holiday with zombies galore on Oct. 27 for Fright Up Night.

Action packed

Marvel Universe Live is an original live-action arena experience unlike anything you have seen. Spiderman, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Panther, Hulk, Black Widow and the Guardians of the Galaxy -- Marvel’s mightiest heroes face off against some of the most threatening villains in the Marvel universe through Oct. 28 at PPG Paints Arena, Uptown.

Details: marveluniverselive.com

It’s frightful

Party like a zombie from 5 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 27 in Market Square and throughout Downtown at the second annual spine-tingling Fright Up Night presented by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership in conjunction with The Scarehouse. The Golden Triangle will be crawling with creepy creative cocktails and creatures of the night. The event is centered around zombie wrestling, and the final Saturday Night Market.

Details: downtownpittsburgh.com

Cooped up

The legendary singer Alice Cooper will perform at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at Stage AE on the North Side. Cooper pioneered a grandly theatrical brand of hard rock that was designed to shock. Drawing equally from horror movies, vaudeville and garage rock, the group created a stage show that featured electric chairs, guillotines, fake blood and boa constrictors. Cooper brings his own brand of rock psycho-drama to fans as a solo artist.

Details: alicecooper.com

Mozart in Motion

The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre presents Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music as muse for three works by dance icons George Balanchine and Jiri Kylian along with the Pittsburgh Ballet Orchestra for “Mozart in Motion” Oct. 26-28 at the Benedum Center, Downtown. Balanchine considered Mozart’s Divertimento No. 15 as one of the finest ever written, and he named this majestic neoclassical ballet after its spirited score. Kylian’s “Sechs Tanze,” set to Mozart’s “Six German Dances,” is a comedic clash of the classical and contemporary, sophisticated and absurd, peppered with powdered wigs and dry wit. By contrast, Kylian’s profound “Petit Mort” juxtaposes the slow movements of two Mozart piano concertos with powerful dancing that integrates baroque dresses, fencing foils and black silks to striking effect.

Details: pbt.org

Pittsburgh’s own

Pittsburgh icon Donnie Iris and the Cruisers will perform at 8 p.m. on Oct. 27 at Mr. Smalls Theatre in Millvale. Iris learned how to sing from his mother and then from Tony Bennett and Marvin Gaye. In 1970, as a member of the Jaggerz, Iris earned a gold record for writing and singing the No. 2 song “The Rapper.”

He was asked to join Wild Cherry in the late 1970s which is where he met Mark Avsec, his future collaborator and partner. The two began writing songs in Iris’ basement and joined forces with a bass player named Albritton McClain and a guitar player Marty Lee Hoenes. Avsec invited drummer Kevin Valentine and Donnie Iris and the Cruisers was born. The song “Ah! Leah!” was passed by every major label but came to fame on the radio. It became one of the most played songs in the album-oriented radio format.

At the age of 75, Iris is now an elder statesman of rock and roll. Avsec has earned a living as a studio musician, producer and song writer, writing about 400 songs for, among other artists, Bon Jovi. He also went to law school.

The group has been managed by Belkin Personal Management for over 30 years. In August 2004, the group celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Details: donnieiris.com

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-853-5062 or jharrop@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Jharrop_Trib

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