Songwriter showcase benefits Lupus

By Alex Avakian

Best in the Burgh With Bill Toms, Sarah Burgess and John M. Robinson Today, 9:30 p.m. Cabaret… Best in the Burgh With Bill Toms, Sarah Burgess and John M. Robinson Today, 9:30 p.m. Cabaret Theatre, 655 Penn Ave. British musician Joel Lindsey started Best in the Burgh last March at Connections Cafe in Oakland. Since then, the $5 charity event has grown to highlight some of the best artists in the Pittsburgh region. The events are known for placing an emphasis on songwriting and musicians who bring a personal, raw performance to the stage. However, the artists are also known to mix it up and play with one another, jamming with other musicians who are on the bill. There are also raffles and prizes given away during the show, with all the proceeds going to Lupus Pennsylvania. ‘I guess the best way of trying to get media attention is to get all the best musicians in one place and have a stage for all the best and try and promote that itself,’ said Lindsey. ‘It became extremely popular, and the public has really supported us.” ‘It’s always neat to be on the same lineup with such great songwriters in Pittsburgh,’ said Jason Kendall, a local musician who has performed at multiple Best in the Burgh events. ‘You’ll have someone who is more R’amp;B on the piano, somebody that’s kind of more of a troubadour on acoustic, somebody who is more on the pop aspect. I think Joel really goes out of his way to try and mix up what you’re going to hear whenever you hear Best in the Burgh.” ‘ ‘ What started as a relatively small event in Oakland has now grown and expanded itself to the popular Cabaret Theatre on Penn Ave. in Downtown Pittsburgh.’ ‘ ‘ The Cabaret Theatre is a large performance hall that features musical theater by day and opens up the Backstage Bar at night for shows. Audiences can also enjoy dinner during performances, adding to the whole cabaret experience. ‘It’s a great way to spend an evening,’ said Lindsey.