Top 10

The 10 best things to do in Pittsburgh this April.




Through the Looking Glass
April 18-20
For those accustomed to a calm and collected Carnegie Mellon campus, Spring Carnival is a shocker. Blinking lights, crowded lawns, mind-bending funhouses and whiplash-inducing rides await the curious visitor; all those engineers can get pretty wild when they put away the TI-89 and let their hair down. CMU students like to finish their academic year with a bang, and this year’s event even has a theme: “Fractured Fairytales” promises to play off old-time folk stories. Whether you plan to see school clubs compete in games or you just want to eat cotton candy, Spring Carnival is a great way to celebrate the end of winter — and final exams.


(5000 Forbes Ave., Oakland; springcarnival.org)

Top Brass
April 11
There are some songs that most people love. The moment you hear, say, “Blue Moon” or “In the Mood,” you instantly smile with recognition. The
River City Brass Band specializes in such songs, but Big Band & Doowop Brass is a particularly nostalgic concert. Not only will you hear these mid-century classics performed by the 28-piece ensemble, but you’ll listen to the stylings of vintage-tribute band Johnny Angel and the Halos as well. Snapping and foot-tapping are encouraged — and extra credit if you pull up to the Carnegie Music Hall in a finned Cadillac.

(Carnegie Music Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland; rivercitybrass.org)

He is Legend
April 6
Eric Clapton has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times. The master guitarist has authored some of the most memorable riffs in music history, and hardly an hour goes by that one of his songs doesn’t air on a classic rock radio station. This month, the Cream veteran takes over Consol Energy Center, accompanied by a band of hand-picked musicians. Meanwhile, Clapton shares some stage time with chart-topping(and opening) act The Wallflowers.

(1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown; 800/745-3000, consolenergycenter.com)

Big Laughs
April 13
If you put a heavyweight guy onstage, and he can talk in funny voices, he’s bound to get people chuckling. But
Gabriel Iglesias is also an expert storyteller, and his impersonations are based on real encounters. The San Diego native pokes fun at his “fluffy” girth, his Mexican-American heritage and his penchant for Hawaiian T-shirts. After doing the late-night circuit and some significant movie cameos, Iglesias is on fire — and he hits Pittsburgh with a one-night stand-up set. Not sure what the “Five Levels of Fatness” are? Iglesias will explain.

(Benedum Center, Seventh Street and Penn Avenue, downtown; 412/456-6666, trustarts.org)

Big Mac
April 26
The British blues musicians of
Fleetwood Mac have been going strong since the ’60s, and they bring their 34-city North American tour to Pittsburgh this month. Celebrating the 35th anniversary of blockbuster album Rumors, Mac will almost certainly sell out the Consol Energy Center, attracting age-old groupies and young fans alike.

(1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown; 800/745-3000, consolenergycenter.com)

Take Me Out to the 5K
April 13
One of the most beautiful places to jog in Pittsburgh is the North Shore, where the river sparkles, suspension bridges reflect in the water and downtown skyscrapers soar. The
Pittsburgh Pirates 5K Home Run offers a chance to run this route, take in the scenery and cross a finish line inside PNC Park. This charity race also has prizes, free Pirates tickets and an after-party. For sheer invigoration, there’s no better way to start a spring morning than a jaunt along the river. No need to hurry, though; walkers are also welcome.

(115 Federal St., North Shore; pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com)

Hell with the Lid Off
April 27-Oct. 19
Thirty-four years ago, the machines of the
Carrie Blast Furnace shut down, and the factory — which had produced iron for the Homestead Works since 1907 — went silent. Today, the rusty ruins of the Carrie Furnace are a monument to Pittsburgh’s steel industry. Visitors can explore the furnaces’ remains via an interactive tour … without enduring infernal fire and smoke. Organized by the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, these guided treks illustrate the anatomy of a steel mill. Designed for history buffs and tourists alike, the Carrie Furnace nakedly reveals why Pittsburgh was once known as a “titan of industry” ... as well as “hell with the lid off.”

(623 E. 8th Ave., Homestead; 412/464-4020, riversofsteel.com)

Lonely Planet
April 19-20
When most people think of folk festivals, they envision bearded guys with banjos (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But ever since 1956, when the
Pittsburgh Folk Festival was first held, organizers have valued “unity in diversity.” The 500-plus dancers and musicians who turn out for the fest represent such diverse places as Scandinavia, China and the Iberian peninsula. Visitors can also take free dance lessons, try exotic dishes at the cafe and peruse global handicrafts at the festival’s bazaar.

(Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall, 4141 Fifth Ave., Oakland; pghfolkfest.org)

Banzai!
April 5-7
Anime! Cell-phone novels! Samurai films! For such a small island, Japan gushes pop culture — from its massive film industry to its immeasurable comic-book scene.
Tekkoshocon is a pop-culture convention that honors Japanese art and media, an unabashedly nerdy gathering of illustrators, gamers, collectors and trivia junkies. This year’s meeting features all kinds of activities, including movie screenings and a masquerade. For Japanophiles who can’t get enough “Lone Wolf” and “Sailor Moon,” Tekkoshocon offers more events than you can shake a katana at — plus an opening event at Dormont’s Hollywood Theater.

(David L. Lawrence Convention Center, 1000 Ft. Duquesne Blvd., downtown; tekkoshocon.com)

Bodysnatchers
April 25 & 28
If you’re not familiar with Jewish folklore, you probably don’t know that a “Dybbuk” is a malevolent spirit that invades the body of a living person. This creepy concept lurks within The Dybbuk: Between Two Worlds, a chamber opera by Ofer Ben-Amots. As part of the
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Music for the Spirit Festival, the Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival celebrates its tenth anniversary with this haunting thriller, in which a bride must choose between life with a stranger or death with her beloved. This new production (sung in Hebrew with English translations) features video projections, an inventive score, the vocals of the Pappert Chorale and Children’s Festival Chorus, and the dance talents of Texture Contemporary Ballet.

(New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side; 412/392-4900, pjmf.net)
 

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Pittsburgh's Best Restaurants 2015

Pittsburgh's Best Restaurants 2015

Which 33 establishments did our independent Restaurant Review Panel include among its top picks this year? Find them here.
The Right Recipe: Spy Inside 5 Killer Kitchens

The Right Recipe: Spy Inside 5 Killer Kitchens

Executive chefs often are given much of the credit for their restaurants’ success, but that praise would be hard to bestow if each did not lead an outstanding kitchen brigade.
The Beginner's Garden: How to Easily Create a Summer Eden

The Beginner's Garden: How to Easily Create a Summer Eden

From ferns to forsythia, there are ample growth opportunities for creating a gorgeous, low-maintenance garden this year in your own backyard.
PittGirl Believes She is Totally Right about the Pittsburgh Left

PittGirl Believes She is Totally Right about the Pittsburgh Left

In this case, as in most others, it's better to give than take.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Pittsburgh Magazine Wins 7 Golden Quill Awards

Pittsburgh Magazine Wins 7 Golden Quill Awards

Sponsored by the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania, the contest recognizes excellence in magazine, newspaper, broadcast and online journalism.
Got Tickets? Pittsburgh's Best, Biggest Food Event Is Weeks Away

Got Tickets? Pittsburgh's Best, Biggest Food Event Is Weeks Away

Join us on June 8 at Heinz Field for the 26th annual Best Restaurants Party.
Bow Wow: Pittsburgh Gets Props for Dog Parks

Bow Wow: Pittsburgh Gets Props for Dog Parks

The city earned a No. 1 ranking for giving our four-legged friends plenty of room to roam.
Idlewild Park Opening with New Ride

Idlewild Park Opening with New Ride

The park begins its 138th season this weekend.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Pittsburgh's Best Restaurants 2015

Pittsburgh's Best Restaurants 2015

Which 33 establishments did our independent Restaurant Review Panel include among its top picks this year? Find them here.
The Right Recipe: Spy Inside 5 Killer Kitchens

The Right Recipe: Spy Inside 5 Killer Kitchens

Executive chefs often are given much of the credit for their restaurants’ success, but that praise would be hard to bestow if each did not lead an outstanding kitchen brigade.
The Beginner's Garden: How to Easily Create a Summer Eden

The Beginner's Garden: How to Easily Create a Summer Eden

From ferns to forsythia, there are ample growth opportunities for creating a gorgeous, low-maintenance garden this year in your own backyard.
PittGirl Believes She is Totally Right about the Pittsburgh Left

PittGirl Believes She is Totally Right about the Pittsburgh Left

In this case, as in most others, it's better to give than take.
On Par with Arnie, She is America's 'Queen of Golf'

On Par with Arnie, She is America's 'Queen of Golf'

The world of golf may have been slow to embrace women, but Sewickley amateur Carol Semple Thompson always has found her way into the club.
Last in the Water But First at the Finish Line

Last in the Water But First at the Finish Line

Penn State Behrend swimmer Mia Pietropola’s deafness may give her competitors an advantage at the starting blocks. She beats them anyway.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module