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

2016 Homes of the Year

2016 Homes of the Year

Our independent panel of judges recognizes three local, unique residences as our Homes of the Year in the categories of New Build, Renovation and Green.
Goin' to the Chapel – Or Not?

Goin' to the Chapel – Or Not?

With so many options in and around the city, every couple can find the special space that feels just right — whether they’re looking for nature, rustic charm, fairytale romance, stained-glass beauty, treasured religious ritual or classic tradition.
Underground Pittsburgh: Explore our City of Tunnels

Underground Pittsburgh: Explore our City of Tunnels

Delve below the surface to explore the underground areas that serve as vital pathways to our region.
Kitchen Roots: Ruta, Solomonov and Ehland

Kitchen Roots: Ruta, Solomonov and Ehland

Chefs who grew up in Pittsburgh are shaping the culinary scene in other cities across the country — and gaining national recognition in the process.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Back From the Dead? Parkway Center Focus of New Development Talk

Back From the Dead? Parkway Center Focus of New Development Talk

Aside from a Giant Eagle, the mall has been empty for the past three years.
Great Catch: Easiest Way to Tasty Lenten Fish Frys

Great Catch: Easiest Way to Tasty Lenten Fish Frys

Looking for a delicious battered fish sandwich or golden-brown pierogies on Friday? Here’s a handy guide plus a few fun facts about our fascination with fish.
Sweetheart Ideas: How to Make the Most out of Valentine's Day

Sweetheart Ideas: How to Make the Most out of Valentine's Day

From a hotel “Love Lockdown,” to a museum breakfast in bed, to a rooftop singles event - there's plenty to eat, drink at do in Pittsburgh on this weekend for love.
Beer News: East End Brewing Moving to Bigger Space in Strip District

Beer News: East End Brewing Moving to Bigger Space in Strip District

The new space, called the East End Brewery Taproom, will offer lunch and dinner service, expanded hours and a place for customers to sit and enjoy a pint of beer from one of the brewery’s 12 taps.

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

2016 Homes of the Year

2016 Homes of the Year

Our independent panel of judges recognizes three local, unique residences as our Homes of the Year in the categories of New Build, Renovation and Green.
Goin' to the Chapel – Or Not?

Goin' to the Chapel – Or Not?

With so many options in and around the city, every couple can find the special space that feels just right — whether they’re looking for nature, rustic charm, fairytale romance, stained-glass beauty, treasured religious ritual or classic tradition.
Underground Pittsburgh: Explore our City of Tunnels

Underground Pittsburgh: Explore our City of Tunnels

Delve below the surface to explore the underground areas that serve as vital pathways to our region.
Kitchen Roots: Ruta, Solomonov and Ehland

Kitchen Roots: Ruta, Solomonov and Ehland

Chefs who grew up in Pittsburgh are shaping the culinary scene in other cities across the country — and gaining national recognition in the process.
Restaurant Review: Gaucho Parrilla Argentina is Smokin'

Restaurant Review: Gaucho Parrilla Argentina is Smokin'

The meat-centric restaurant in the Strip District is helping to redefine Pittsburgh's dining expectations.
Cranking Out Old School Valentines Sealed with a Quirk

Cranking Out Old School Valentines Sealed with a Quirk

In Lawrenceville, a love for letterpress leads to a business whose greeting cards reach audiences across the country.

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Back From the Dead? Parkway Center Focus of New Development Talk

Back From the Dead? Parkway Center Focus of New Development Talk

Aside from a Giant Eagle, the mall has been empty for the past three years.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: Yikes! Imagine This Instead of a Fountain at the Point

PittGirl: Yikes! Imagine This Instead of a Fountain at the Point

City leaders considered many options for Pittsburgh's confluence including something that looked like it was designed by the Jetsons, or an absolutely bonkers, batpoop insane idea by the one and only Frank Lloyd Wright.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Pittsburgh Chef Move: Lily Tran New Executive Chef of Soba

Pittsburgh Chef Move: Lily Tran New Executive Chef of Soba

Tran takes over big Burrito's Ellsworth Ave. restaurant from Dustin Gardner, who moves back to Casbah on Highland Ave.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
7 Best Restaurants for College Students in Pittsburgh

7 Best Restaurants for College Students in Pittsburgh

Easy access from universities, wallet-friendly prices and really good food make these our favorite choices for the university set.

Comments


End Your Work Day at Muddy Waters' Oyster Happy Hour

End Your Work Day at Muddy Waters' Oyster Happy Hour

Some of the best oysters available in Pittsburgh can be yours for a steal at the new East Liberty spot.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Super Bowl Predictions: Can I Have That One Back?

Super Bowl Predictions: Can I Have That One Back?

Denver's upset win over Carolina -- predicted by hardly anyone (including yours truly) -- should be interpreted as good news for Steelers' fans.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Shirts We Love For Valentine’s Day

Shirts We Love For Valentine’s Day

Let your heart do the talking with these fun sweaters from Rosewood Boutique.

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.
Leave Your Kids at Home and See 'Deadpool'

Leave Your Kids at Home and See 'Deadpool'

The R-rated superhero flick is foul-mouthed fun. Plus reviews of "How to Be Single," "Where to Invade Next" and more.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
This is How You Pop the Question: Four Fabulous Proposals

This is How You Pop the Question: Four Fabulous Proposals

On Day Four of our Week of Wedded Bliss, we said “yes!” to these four beautiful proposals from our Real Pittsburgh Weddings couples.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Say Hello (and Goodbye) to These Home & Lifestyle Shops

Say Hello (and Goodbye) to These Home & Lifestyle Shops

Divertido and Jack + Jules close in Lawrenceville, while the neighborhood welcomes Brambler Boutique. Plus, Splurge expands to a new location in Fox Chapel.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Mock Crime Scene to be Held at Waynesburg University

Mock Crime Scene to be Held at Waynesburg University

The event is for high school students who are interested in criminal justice, law enforcement and forensic science.

Comments