Laurels & lances: Theater, politics and resurgence – TribLIVE

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Laurel: To an encore performance. “Hamilton” has been undeniably the biggest thing to hit musical theater in years. It wasn’t just a smash on Broadway. The traveling company has been just as in demand when it visits, as it did in Pittsburgh in 2019, and again now as live theater hits its stride again after a long pandemic hiatus.
But it isn’t just the people who are getting tickets that are benefiting. Nikisha Williams is a member of the “Hamilton” ensemble and an understudy for the female roles. This week, she was also a teacher as she conducted a class for Valley High School students preparing their spring musical, “Newsies.” There were also some guests from Riverview School District.
And in case those students think that a real Broadway-caliber career isn’t the kind of thing a kid from Southwestern Pennsylvania can aspire to, they can just cast their eyes to the “Hamilton” company manager. Brad Broman, 38, is a Penn Township native.
“I’m really excited to bring ‘Hamilton’ back to Pittsburgh, not just to share it with my friends and family but the city of Pittsburgh in general,” he said. “It’s such a great theater town.”
Lance: To being targeted. Pennsylvania has been a key market in nationally important elections for years, and 2022 will be no different.
The razor-thin balance of the U.S. Senate could tip with the seat of Republican Pat Toomey, who is stepping down when his term ends at the end of the year. That has meant a glut of candidates for that seat with interest from both major parties.
It has also meant a deluge of ads in Southwestern Pennsylvania as high profile candidates like Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick take to the airwaves. The Pittsburgh market has seen more ads than anywhere else in the state.
Look, we get it. Political ads are a reality of the election cycle. But do they have to start so aggressively this early?
Laurel: To bouncing back. Westmoreland County Transit Authority is seeing ridership rise after stagnation and decline during the coronavirus pandemic.
This is good news for riders. It’s also a kind of herald of better things to come, like springtime daffodils or that first robin. It is a way to see that rider use isn’t the only thing bouncing back. It’s also rider confidence.
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