Best of Culture: April

As spring blossoms, so, too, does our rich arts scene, with its many dance performances, theatrical productions, exhibits and readings.




Record Timing

You could say that every day is Record Store Day in Pittsburgh. After all, we have more brick-and-mortar outlets than one might expect for a mid-sized metropolis in the 21st century. Once a year, our city observes the official Record Store Day, a worldwide celebration of independent outlets centered on rare releases. So far, 12 local shops have signed the pledge to sell special products on April 19.

— Eric Lidji



 


By Elvira DiPaolo-Hoff

 


Bricolage Production Co.
April 4-5

True to its name, Bricolage once again is “making artful use of what is at hand” for the ninth annual “B.U.S.” fundraiser. The 24-hour theatrical thrill ride — its name is an acronym for “Bricolage Urban Scrawl” — will begin on a Friday evening, when six playwrights each take a 90-minute trip on a different city bus to garner inspiration for a 10-minute play. Upon their return, they’ll assemble for the Parade of Actors, during which 24 local thespians “audition” by either answering three questions or accomplishing three tasks. Afterward, dramatists head home to pen their plays, which premiere the following evening. “B.U.S.” fares range from the “Double-Decker” (for both twilight events) to “Mini” (for the Saturday performance and post-show bash).

>> April 4: Bricolage Theater, 937 Liberty Ave., first floor, downtown. April 5: New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side; 412/471-0999, bricolagepgh.org; photo courtesy of Bricolage Production Co.

Quantum Theatre
April 11-27

Pittsburgh’s avant-garde maestro Jed Harris directs “Pantagleize” by Michel de Ghelderode in a world-premiere adaptation by dramaturge Jay Ball, a Pitt Theatre Arts alumnus. Written in 1929 when political crises engulfed de Ghelderode’s France, the tragi-comedy’s subtitle is “a farce to make you sad.” The show’s namesake character is an American savant who arrives in Czechoslovakia to serve as “King of May” at the spring carnival. Unwittingly, he sets off a revolution. From toilet-plunger scepters to parodies of network news, the madcap scenarios escalate; the Americans’ consequences for involving themselves in conflicts take a serious turn.

>> Lexington Avenue Technology Center, 400 N. Lexington Ave., Point Breeze; 412/362-1713, quantumtheatre.com

CLO Cabaret
through April 27

CLO Executive Producer Van Kaplan conceived, commissioned and directed “Judge Jackie Justice,” the sidesplitting spoof of courtroom reality-TV shows. A pair of Carnegie Mellon graduates — librettist/lyricist Christopher Dimond and composer Michael Kooman — together created the musical. The homegrown farce stars Point Park grads Kara Mikula and Maggie Carr, CMU alumnus Jason Coll, local improv veteran Connor McCanlus and seasoned Pittsburgh actor Jonathan Visser. Any cast member is a potential show-stealer, including the viewers randomly brought onstage to play zany parts.

>> Cabaret at Theater Square, 655 Penn Ave., downtown; 412/456-6666, clocabaret.com



 


By Karen Dacko

 


Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
April 11-13

The PBT orchestra accompanies the three-act production of “Don Quixote,” a comedic classical ballet focusing on the romance between Kitri and Basilio. On the way to matrimony, the pair encounters the adventurous Don, along with gypsies and a lascivious nobleman.

>> Benedum Center, 237 Seventh St., downtown; 412/456-6666, pbt.org; photo by Randy Choura

Sean Dorsey Dance
April 4-5

In “The Secret History of Love,” award-winning transgender choreographer Sean Dorsey explores the LGBT world of clandestine romance, fraught with risk, loss, passion and humor.

>> Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty; 412/363-3000, kelly-strayhorn.org

Wayne McGregor|Random Dance
April 26

Award-winning, London-based choreographer Wayne McGregor and his 10-member contemporary-dance troupe present “FAR” (2010) as part of the Pittsburgh Dance Council season. The 60-minute performance contains athletic, eclectic movement and original music fueled by Roy Porter’s book “Flesh in the Age of Reason,” a treatise on 18th-century scientific innovation.

>> Byham Theater, 101 Sixth St., downtown; 412/456-6666, trustarts.org

Conservatory Dance Co.
April 17-19

Point Park University once again presents its annual main-stage showcase of ballet and modern and contemporary dance. Undergraduates perform new and existing works by well-known choreographers, including Dwight Rhoden, David Parsons, George Balanchine and Pittsburgh native Martha Graham.

>> Byham Theater, 101 Sixth St., downtown; 412/392-8000; pittsburghplayhouse.com



 


By Mike May

 


Gallery on 43rd Street
through April 11

“Don’t Shoot the Bunny!” is the imperative, season-appropriate title for Robert Villamagna’s exhibit of new assemblages and metal collages. It’s inspired by a piece in the show that incorporates an image of two kids pointing weapons ominously at an unsuspecting rabbit. Everything old is new again in Villamagna’s visually engaging, clever and sometimes jarring work. Found objects and lithographed metal, including old product containers and signage, are reworked and reimagined through Villamagna’s magic. If your interpretation on the meaning of these creations differs from Villamagna’s intentions, don’t worry. “The story that the viewer gets from a particular piece may not be the one I am telling, but I am OK with that,” he says. “I love the fact that my work can evoke a wide range of emotions.” Sometimes the finished assemblage even defies Villamagna’s original intent. That’s OK, too; he calls that the “serendipity factor.”

>> 187 43rd St., Lawrenceville; 412/683-6488, galleryon43rdstreet.com; photo courtesy of gallery

Carnegie Museum of Art
April 12-May 26

“Architecture + Photography” explores the relationship between our built environment and its transmission and interpretation through the camera. Tracy Myers, curator of architecture, and Alyssum Skjeie, curatorial assistant, have created an exhibit billed as the Heinz Architectural Center’s first “to explicitly mine the two fields’ common terrain.” Four groupings culled from CMA collections illustrate its premise: photos by two architectural photographers, Ezra Stoller and Frances Benjamin Johnston; selections from “Carnegie Art Set,” images of significant sites and buildings the Carnegie Corp. commissioned in the 1920s; and a selection of work by various other photographers, including W. Eugene Smith. “All four groups of works are principally concerned with the way in which architecture figures in photography,” says Myers, “but each group provokes different kinds of questions.”

>> 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland; 412/622-3131, cmoa.org

Pittsburgh Filmmakers Gallery
through May 16

Halloween falls in October, but some ghosts linger year-round. “Palimpsests: Ghost Signs of Pittsburgh” celebrates those old advertisements we see gradually fading away on local buildings. Photographer Kelly Bogel and Will Zavala, ghost sign project director, present more than 30 of these relics, whose reign was eclipsed by the advent of freestanding billboards. In some cases, earlier ghosts can be seen lurking beneath the paint of later signs — hence the “palimpsests.”
The show also will include a map of all locations and a monitor to allow for digital viewing of some of the 150 locations scouted for the project.

>> 477 Melwood Ave., Oakland; 412/681-5449, pittsburgharts.org

Westmoreland Museum of American Art/Westmoreland @rt 30
April 2-27

Duncan MacDiarmid, the Pittsburgh artist whose work frequently centers on the figure, presents a pop-up exhibit of sculptures and drawings at Westmoreland Museum that reflects his “interest in representing the natural world in unique ways.” Using a variety of media, MacDiarmid envisions “environments that question our role as everyday caretakers of the world.”

>> 4764 Route 30, Unity Township, Westmoreland County; 724/837-1500, wmuseumaa.org



 


By Kristofer Collins

 

Carlow University
April 5

Carlow University is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its MFA program with a reading from the leading lady of Irish literature, Edna O’Brien. A novelist, poet and memoirist, O’Brien published her first novel, “Country Girls,” in 1960 to nearly as much debate as praise. Frank and direct in its depiction of female sexuality, the tome roused negative attention from Ireland’s conservative corners and was both banned and burned. The novelist Andrew O’Hagan credits O’Brien with bringing “the woman’s experience and sex and internal lives of those people onto the page.” At age 82, O’Brien is the author of more than 30 works and has been the recipient of such honors as the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Writer’s Guild Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award in Irish Literature. Do not miss this opportunity to see a great writer of our time as she reads from her 2013 memoir “Country Girl.”

>> Rosemary Heyl Theatre, Antonian Hall, 3333 Fifth Ave., Oakland; 412/578-2095, carlow.edu


Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best of the 'Burgh 2016

Best of the 'Burgh 2016

We scoured the region to bring you 53 items we’ve deemed this year’s “Best of the ’Burgh,” as well as 8 stellar local Instagram accounts you don’t want to miss.
See Yinz: PittGirl Says Goodbye

See Yinz: PittGirl Says Goodbye

After writing for seven years about the city for Pittsburgh Magazine and pittsburghmagazine.com, Virginia Montanez is discontinuing her blog and column.
Restaurant Review: Whitfield at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh

Restaurant Review: Whitfield at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh

The restaurant at Ace Hotel in East Liberty hits some high notes as it finds itself.
Pride of McKeesport: WNBA Star Swin Cash

Pride of McKeesport: WNBA Star Swin Cash

During her final season of professional basketball, Cash remains ferocious on the court and selfless everywhere else.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Pittsburgh's Union Trust Building Renovated and Restored

Pittsburgh's Union Trust Building Renovated and Restored

The historic Downtown building reopens after a two-year, $100 million renovation.
The Section of Mystery: What’s behind the door?

The Section of Mystery: What’s behind the door?

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History opens new permanent exhibit featuring 3-D holograms.
Our JazzLive International Festival Cheat-Sheet

Our JazzLive International Festival Cheat-Sheet

We break down each day of the festival so you don’t have to improv your way through it.
Avatar-inspired Cirque Du Soleil Show Takes Off in Pittsburgh

Avatar-inspired Cirque Du Soleil Show Takes Off in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Magazine has a backstage view of “Toruk: The First Flight,” which runs this week at Consol Energy Center.

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our new, daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best of the 'Burgh 2016

Best of the 'Burgh 2016

We scoured the region to bring you 53 items we’ve deemed this year’s “Best of the ’Burgh,” as well as 8 stellar local Instagram accounts you don’t want to miss.
See Yinz: PittGirl Says Goodbye

See Yinz: PittGirl Says Goodbye

After writing for seven years about the city for Pittsburgh Magazine and pittsburghmagazine.com, Virginia Montanez is discontinuing her blog and column.
Restaurant Review: Whitfield at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh

Restaurant Review: Whitfield at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh

The restaurant at Ace Hotel in East Liberty hits some high notes as it finds itself.
Pride of McKeesport: WNBA Star Swin Cash

Pride of McKeesport: WNBA Star Swin Cash

During her final season of professional basketball, Cash remains ferocious on the court and selfless everywhere else.
Idol Find: Pittsburgh Rapper Teams Up with Dad Jimmy McNichol for New Show

Idol Find: Pittsburgh Rapper Teams Up with Dad Jimmy McNichol for New Show

Research led Kellee Maize to discover she is the daughter of the former teen singing sensation. Now she and McNichol are teaming up to develop a television series to help other parents and children find each other.
Daytripping: Rating the Roller Coasters at Cedar Point

Daytripping: Rating the Roller Coasters at Cedar Point

One day, 18 roller coasters, four queasy stomachs, two cheeseburgers, one fried dough … whew.
Edit Module

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Pittsburgh's Union Trust Building Renovated and Restored

Pittsburgh's Union Trust Building Renovated and Restored

The historic Downtown building reopens after a two-year, $100 million renovation.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

Kennywood Park opens soon and new this season is the return of the famed whale at the entrance of Noah’s Ark. In the name of science, PittGirl paid an early visit to test the squishiness quotient of the whale's all-important tongue.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour Stops In Pittsburgh

James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour Stops In Pittsburgh

Justin Severino and Hilary Prescott Severino of Cure and Morcilla organized the event, which featured celebrated chefs from DC, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Best 7 Spots in Pittsburgh to Watch the 2016 Euro Cup

The Best 7 Spots in Pittsburgh to Watch the 2016 Euro Cup

Grab your kits, scarfs and get ready to watch the Euro 2016 Pittsburgh-style. We'll show you where to go to get your fan on.

Comments


Beer Cults and Brick Ovens: An Evening at Fuel & Fuddle

Beer Cults and Brick Ovens: An Evening at Fuel & Fuddle

The restaurant and bar in Oakland welcomes college students and locals alike.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Perspective Accompanies Long-Awaited Second Crosby Cup

Perspective Accompanies Long-Awaited Second Crosby Cup

The Pittsburgh Penguins may be more poised to establish a dynasty in 2016 than they were in 2009.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Add a Bygone Beacon to Your Living Room

Add a Bygone Beacon to Your Living Room

Vintage signs can add a pop of personality to your decor.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Demons, Orcs, Hipsters and More at the Multiplex

Demons, Orcs, Hipsters and More at the Multiplex

Reviews of "The Conjuring 2," "Warcraft," "Maggie's Plan," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
True to Tradition: Incorporating Your Heritage at Your Wedding

True to Tradition: Incorporating Your Heritage at Your Wedding

Honoring tradition at weddings is important for many couples, whether that means including heirlooms and unique customs or hosting a full-blown second ceremony.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Decor Calling: Home Furnishings Go Mobile

Decor Calling: Home Furnishings Go Mobile

House15143 is Sewickley debuts “House Calls,” a mobile Airstream designed to bring the shopping experience to you (or an event near you).

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Summer Robotics Camp Offered to High-School Students

Summer Robotics Camp Offered to High-School Students

The camp is a collaboration between two area universities and is open to students entering grades 9-12.

Comments