We ended up at Work Song (see below for the review) as a result of Frank and his wife A, who invited us out. Frank is an old, old friend (and inspiration for Dragonbait from Azure Bonds), and we accepted, totally unaware that we were attending opening night. It was a different feeling in a theatre knowing that the production manager was four seats down, a well-respected Pittsburgh actor was your seatmate, and the reviewer from the Post-Gazette was four rows ahead of you (his review was a two-column extravaganza that left one wondering if he liked the play or not).
The New City is located on the South Side, across the Mon River from Pittsburgh itself. In my youth, it was a rough ethnic neighborhood, near the Homestead mills. Now the mills are gone, replaced by big-box theme restaurants, and East Carson Street holds what passes for Pittsburgh’s nightlife. We took an inadvertently long walk after the play looking for a place to eat and chat (one place was closed, a second too noisy, a third occupied by what were either mobsters or gay men or gay mobsters). The street itself was lined with clubs and saloons, and it did feel like most of Pittsburgh in the 21-25 age bracket was on the street.
Pittsburgh has a rep as a geriatric city, an old town, but East Carson Street on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving rivaled State Street in Madison for lights and raw body-age. After a few days in the suburbs, it was nice to change pace, even though the phrase “old enough to be their parents” was high in my mind.
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