Bocelli tests interest of concertgoers to return to venues

Assorted ramblings from the world of entertainment:

l Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday to see renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh on Dec. 5.

So, to paraphrase Dirty Harry, “Do (you) feel lucky? Well, do you, Paisan?”

Many concertgoers have cash in limbo from tickets purchased months ago for concerts that are postponed until 2021 or until a date to be determined because of COVID-19.

It will be interesting to see if concertgoers are ready to gamble that life — and the concert industry — is back to normal before the year ends.

Not surprisingly, tickets for Bocelli aren’t cheap. They range from $80 to $330, and that’s for standard seating. Platinum seats or VIP tickets that include wine tastings or dinner cost around $500 and more.

A pair of good tickets with all of the service fees added in will eat up most of that stimulus check.

An online presale runs through 11 p.m. Sunday at ticketmaster.com. The password is “MUSIC” for anyone who is interested.

Out of curiosity, I logged on shortly after it started on Wednesday to see how easy or difficult it was to get tickets. Let’s just say it wasn’t the mad rush that presales often are.

There was one of those online waiting rooms set up, but I had no delay in getting in it to make seat choices.

The first 10 rows or so on the floor weren’t available, although some of those tickets may be held back for the actual on-sale date. Other than that, there were thousands and thousands of tickets to pick from throughout the venue more than two hours after the presale started.

If the concert industry was looking for an encouraging sign, this didn’t appear to be one.

l Without any concert to see, the TV binging continues.

I finished all three seasons of “Ozark” in less than three weeks. It is the rare series where each new season was better than the last. The third season had no shortage of outrageous twists, but what happened as the seasons progressed seemed more rooted in the characters than simply crazy for crazy’s sake.

Tom Pelphrey is a great addition to season three, playing Ben Davis, the bipolar brother of Laura Linney’s Wendy Byrde. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t earn an Emmy nomination for best supporting actor.

My older daughter and I also binged all seven episodes over the weekend of “Hollywood,” the new Ryan Murphy series on Netflix.

The show is either supremely optimistic or supremely delusional as it imagines a film industry (and a film audience) that breaks down racial, gender and sexual barriers in the late ’40s.

It mixes real-life figures (Rock Hudson, Anna May Wong, Hattie McDaniel, George Cukor, Noel Coward, Tallulah Bankhead) with thinly disguised version of real figures (Dylan McDermot’s service station gigolo) and fictional characters. They include a gay black screenwriter (Jeremy Pope, who’s excellent), a half-Filipino director (Darren Criss), an aspiring black actress (Laura Harrier) who wants to play leading roles instead of servants and a wife (Patti LuPone) who becomes a studio executive when her husband has a heart attack.

It plays with the dichotomy of the squeaky-clean life portrayed in most post-World War II movies with what was really happening in Hollywood. But the backstage stories here are as hokey as the movies were 75 yeas ago.

Then again, maybe that’s the point. “Hollywood” gives a fairy tale love story and a happy ending to the kinds of people who seldom had one in real life in those days.

My younger daughter and my wife bailed after three episodes. I’m glad I stuck with it, but knowing it was a limited series and not season one of an ongoing story made it easier to finish (Murphy has said if there is a second season, it will focus on a different era of the film business).

It definitely is worth checking out, at least for fans of other Murphy series like “Feud: Bette and Joan.”

Andy Gray is the entertainment editor of Ticket. Write to him at agray@ tribtoday.com


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