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flickr/Mathew Bajoras

Pittsburgh Performing Artsflickr/Mathew Bajoras
The city's arts scene is growing, becoming more varied, more vital and more progressive. This is perhaps most apparent in Pittsburgh's theater offerings.

The Pittsburgh Public Theatre is a professional Equity company offering classical and modern dramas, including a new play each year. Its home is in the downtown O'Reilly Theater, designed by noted architect Michael Graves; phone (412) 316-1600 for ticket information. On the South Side, contemporary American plays are presented by the City Theatre Company during its late September to early June season; phone (412) 431-2489. The always-interesting Quantum Theatre moves from one unique venue to another; phone (412) 362-1713. Carnegie Mellon University's theater is as active and excellent as ever; phone (412) 268-2082. Point Park University's Pittsburgh Playhouse in Oakland is the site of a wide range of classical and contemporary productions; phone (412) 392-8000 for ticket information. University of Pittsburgh Stages (formerly the University of Pittsburgh Repertory Theatre) performs at the Stephen Foster Memorial; phone (412) 624-7529.

Dance of many kinds, from folk to modern, also is available. As they have for more than 80 years, The Tamburitzans bring to vivid life the folk dances, songs and music of Old Eastern Europe at several venues, including Duquesne University; phone (412) 224-2071. The lavish Benedum Center for the Performing Arts, formerly the Stanley Theatre, is home to the acclaimed Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, which performs October through April or early May; phone (412) 281-0360. The Pittsburgh Dance Council performs at the Byham Theater; phone (412) 456-6666 for the box office.

The August Wilson Center for African American Culture , (412) 258-2700, named for the Pittsburgh native and playwright, is housed in a contemporary facility downtown on Liberty Avenue. Its offerings include dance, music and theater performances.

For orchestral music at its best, the Pittsburgh Symphony has few rivals. This orchestra packs the opulent 1926 Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., September through June for its regular program series as well as for its Pops, Schooltime Concerts and Tiny Tots' series. Its excellent acoustics, elegant decor and dramatic architecture now form the backdrop for much of Pittsburgh's cultural activity. A courtyard with wrought-iron benches and water sculptures have been added to the hall. Phone (412) 392-4900 for ticket information.

The Pittsburgh Opera performs also at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts. The Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera (CLO) also performs at the Benedum as well as at the Byham Theater.

The CLO Cabaret always entertains at the intimate Cabaret at Theater Square.

Contemporary American music is the specialty of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, which performs at the City Theatre in July; phone (888) 718-4253. Free chamber music concerts are held at The Frick Art Museum on Sundays, October through April. The Summer Concert in the Parks series provides a variety of free concerts, including bluegrass, folk and jazz in several of the city and county parks.

These are only a few of the possibilities; Pittsburgh magazine and the newspaper carry complete lists.

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Pittsburgh, PA

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Travel Information

City Population

305,704

Elevation

1,370 ft.

Sales Tax

Pennsylvania's statewide sales tax is 6 percent. An additional 1 percent is collected by Allegheny County, as is a 7 percent lodging tax. The city levies a 5 percent amusements tax.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(412) 323-7800

Time and Temperature

(412) 391-9500

Hospitals

Allegheny General Hospital, (412) 359-3131; UPMC Mercy, (412) 232-8111; UPMC Passavant—McCandless, (412) 367-6700; UPMC Presbyterian, (412) 647-2345; UPMC St. Margaret, (412) 784-4000; West Penn Hospital, (412) 578-5000.

Visitor Information

120 Fifth Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Phone:(412)281-7711 or (800)359-0758

Air Travel

Pittsburgh International Airport

Rental Cars

Hertz, at the Pittsburgh International Airport, offers discounts to AAA members; phone (412) 472-5955 or (800) 654-3080.

Rail Service

An Amtrak passenger service station is on the lower level of The Pennsylvanian, formerly Penn Central Station, at 1100 Liberty Ave. at Grant Street; phone (800) 872-7245 or TTY (800) 523-6590.

Buses

The Greyhound Lines Inc. terminal is at 55 11th St. near Liberty Avenue; phone (412) 392-6514.

Taxis

The leading taxi company is Yellow Cab, (412) 321-8100. Cabs are metered, and the base rate is $4 plus $1.75 per mile. A fuel surcharge may be charged.

Public Transportation

Port Authority of Allegheny County Transit operates public transportation throughout the city and Allegheny County. A section of downtown Pittsburgh is a fare free zone. Other areas have a base fare of $2.75; exact change is required. Discounted fares are available through the purchase of weekly or monthly passes, which can be purchased at the transit's downtown service center at 534 Smithfield St. For route information, phone (412) 442-2000.

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