Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Best of Culture: August

This month’s finest exhibits, dance, theater, lectures and more.




Photo by Rich Sofranko
 


By Karen Dacko

International Choreography Competition/Jazz Dance World Festival
Aug. 1-4

Jazz Dance World Congress, established in 1990 by late jazz-dance meister Gus Giordano and Northwestern University, is an international educational event, offering master classes and public performances (including a choreography competition and a main-stage festival). Imported programming features 10 troupes, including Mexico’s Cuerpo Etéreo Danza Contemporánea and Japan’s Masashi Action Machine — plus companies from Chicago, Salt Lake City and Philadelphia. Three local troupes — August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and students from Point Park University’s Conservatory Dance Co. — will also perform.

(Byham Theater, 101 Sixth St., downtown; 412/456-6666, jazzdanceworldcongress.org)

Pillow Project
Aug. 11 & 31

This month’s “Second Saturday” event showcases ( ) — an evening-length minimalist jazz work about interpersonal connections. “Fifth Friday,” a new Pillow Project initiative, offers works by the troupe and informal opportunities for audience participation.

(The Space Upstairs, 214 N. Lexington St., Point Breeze; 412/225-9269, pillowproject.org)

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
Aug. 16

Recently promoted principal dancer Christine Schwaner and soloist Amanda Cochrane — along with new apprentices Corey Bourbonniere, JoAnna Schmidt and Casey Taylor — perform in Ballet Under the Stars, PBT’s annual outdoor showcase featuring Dwight Rhoden’s “Chromatic” and “Napoli Variations” by August Bournonville.

(Hartwood Acres Amphitheater, Middle Road, Allison Park, 412/767-9200; PBT: 412/281-0360, pbt.org)



By Mike May

“Humor in Craft”
July 20-Oct. 27

Funny thing — art doesn’t often have a sense of humor. Art is Serious stuff. That’s why a show like “Humor in Craft” is refreshing — especially during the summer. Guest curator Brigitte Martin, artist and author of the new book Humor in Craft, has assembled a fun group of 33 artists from around the globe to tackle this theme in a world-premiere exhibit at Society for Contemporary Craft. Of course, being funny requires talent and creativity — sometimes in greater abundance than when the goal is to create Serious art. The humor here can range from laugh-out-loud funny to more subtle wit, employing irony, sarcasm and political shadings. And let’s not forget that some of the most Serious things in life can be expressed in jest.

(2100 Smallman St., Strip District; 412/261-7003, contemporarycraft.org)

“American Idols”
Aug. 3-Nov. 10

It’s election time — and what better way to salute the season than with heads of state: busts of all our American presidents, from Washington to Obama. But don’t expect a staid, civics-class look at our leaders. In “American Idols,” glass sculptor John Moran offers an offbeat whimsical interpretation: Consider Abraham Lincoln as a hipster or Rutherford B. Hayes as a lumberjack.

(Pittsburgh Glass Center, 5472 Penn Ave., Friendship; 412/365-2145, pittsburghglasscenter.org)



By Kristofer Collins

Carolyne Whelan
Aug. 19

Whelan, who will speak at the Carnegie Library Main Branch event, is the author of recently published The Glossary of Tania Aebi, a poem cycle concerning the first American woman to circumnavigate the globe. In the past, I’ve referred to Whelan’s poetry in these pages as “spare, even austere, with nary a word wasted. The terminology of sailing frames defines Aebi’s world, providing a structure to safely move her across the water and into her own self. The experience of a young woman at sea becomes a metaphor for the insignificance we can sometimes feel in our less-dramatic lives on dry land.”

(4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland; 2pm; free; carnegielibrary.org)

Reading Room in Market Square
Aug. 28

Now in its third season, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Reading Room in Market Square offers a generous sampling of CLP programs for downtown workers and visitors. Spend your lunch hour getting your bookworm on! Librarians will be on hand to help steer you toward your new favorite book. Special book discussions are also on the lunchtime menu. And I’m sure if you ask nicely, the librarians will throw some french fries on top.

(Market Square, downtown; 11am-2pm; free; downtownpittsburgh.com)


By Robert Isenberg

Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre
Aug. 2-25

Nikolai Ivanov is kind of a jerk. He’s manipulative, he owes money and he’s ambivalent about his wife’s tuberculosis. Ivanov, a four-act drama, is a difficult pill to swallow — but like all of Chekhov’s works, the play is a heartfelt tale of choices and regret, made all the more splendid in this Tom Stoppard adaptation. Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre presents this lesser-known masterpiece by the great Russian master. But that’s not all for PICT: Every other year, Pittsburgh’s premier classical company shows its mettle with a month-long festival. This year, “A Celebration of the Life and Theatre of Anton Chekhov” lasts five weeks, from July 19 to Aug. 26. Catch “Funny Chekhov”, a series of Chekhovian comedies, and “After Chekhov”, with Russo-inspired plays by Brian Friel — but be sure to check the PICT site for all the details.

(Charity Randall Theatre, Stephen Foster Memorial, University of Pittsburgh, 4301 Forbes Ave., Oakland; 412/624-7529, picttheatre.org)

Comtra Theatre
Aug. 17-Sept. 1

Elle Woods is just your prototypical sorority girl, until her boyfriend dumps her. Why would Warner move on? Because he wants a “more serious” girlfriend. So Elle struts her way into Harvard Law, with unexpected results. Based on the satirical novel by Amanda Brown — and 2001 film — Legally Blonde is a romp through Valley Girl and law-school cultures. Comtra presents this high-energy musical, featuring such pop hits as “Omigod, You Guys.”

(20540 Route 19 North, Cranberry Township; 724/591-8727, comtraplayers.com)

No Name Players
Aug. 3-18

Greg is a bored underachiever — and so is his girlfriend Steph. But then he describes her to friends as “regular” — not beautiful or even cute. In Neil LaBute’s super-realistic morality tale, Greg tries to understand why his sweetie might not be thrilled by that description. No Name Players presents Reasons to be Pretty, a complex relationship drama with a young powerhouse cast.

(Studio Theatre, Cathedral of Learning, Oakland; nonameplayers.org)

Bricolage Theater
Aug. 1-Sept. 1

What exactly is an “immersive urban adventure?” How about a “refitnessing center?” Like a lot of Bricolage’s projects, you may not have any idea what you’re watching until the house lights dim. Strata is a collaboration with Riley Harmon, a multimedia artist whose innovative work has involved billboards, film, drum kits and video games. Don’t ask. Don’t guess. Just see what happens.

(Mystery venue revealed when purchasing tickets; bricolagepgh.org)

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Mobile Service To Connect Hungry Pitt Students to Free Food

PittGrub app will send folks in need to events with leftovers.

What's It Like When You Go from Laborer to Being The Boss?

Pitt's Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence has been teaching business strategies to startups and century-old companies for 25 years.

The 400-Word Review: The Equalizer 2

An unnecessary sequel to the Denzel Washington action flick arrives for a quick beat-em-up fix.

The 400-Word Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

The sequel to the 2008 ABBA musical is far from perfect, but might have enough charm to keep you on board.

You're Going to Be Upside Down a Lot on New Kennywood Coaster

Kennywood has revealed its replacement ride for “The Log Jammer” which will be located in a new portion of the park entitled “Steelers Country.”

Restaurant Review: Poulet Bleu

Richard DeShantz steps it up with a move from Downtown to Lawrenceville and shows Pittsburgh how to make French dining fun.

Pittsburgh to Host Nation’s First Black Beer Festival

Day Bracey and Ed Bailey of Drinking Partners Podcast and Mike Potter of Black Brew Culture online magazine will bring 12 black-owned breweries to Pittsburgh in August for Fresh Fest.

Coming Clean: Why We Aren't a Green City ... Yet

Pittsburgh is no longer a smoky city, but that doesn’t mean it has cleaned up its act. Pittsburgh's air quality still ranks among the worst in the nation. What steps are being taken to reduce Pittsburgh's ongoing dependence on fossil fuels?

Ultimate Comfort Food: The Joy of Dumplings

Why our dining critic thinks dumplings might be his ultimate comfort food.

Our Seven Favorite Dumplings in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, of course, is best known for the pierogi. Our love of dumplings extends beyond that, however. These seven dumplings are our favorite restaurant versions of their various styles.

The Tailor's Dumpling: Kreplach

A Pittsburgh chef and his family continue to craft a family recipe with roots in Poland.

The Pittsburgh Region's Top Dentists 2018

Our annual list, which contains 376 dentists across 11 specialties, as determined by topDENTISTS.

A Weekend Mission of Mercy in Pittsburgh

More than a thousand people come to PPG Paints Arena once a year for free dental care, thanks to an ambitious, all-volunteer effort.

Jump Into the River: Open Waters Beckons Strong Swimmers

It takes a strong swimmer and the right timing to dive into the three rivers. for those up to it, the difference between the pool and open water is profound.

Pirates Are Still a Long Way From a Hollywood Ending

Despite an 8-1 winning streak going into the All-Star break, the Bucs are in desperate need of a sequel, not only to win back some credibility with fans, but also to convince their owner not to sell off more pieces of the team.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Mobile Service To Connect Hungry Pitt Students to Free Food

Mobile Service To Connect Hungry Pitt Students to Free Food

PittGrub app will send folks in need to events with leftovers.

Comments

You're Going to Be Upside Down a Lot on New Kennywood Coaster

You're Going to Be Upside Down a Lot on New Kennywood Coaster

Kennywood has revealed its replacement ride for “The Log Jammer” which will be located in a new portion of the park entitled “Steelers Country.”

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Pittsburgh to Host Nation’s First Black Beer Festival

Pittsburgh to Host Nation’s First Black Beer Festival

Day Bracey and Ed Bailey of Drinking Partners Podcast and Mike Potter of Black Brew Culture online magazine will bring 12 black-owned breweries to Pittsburgh in August for Fresh Fest.

Comments

A Pop-Up Bar in Pittsburgh that Serves a Sober Alternative

A Pop-Up Bar in Pittsburgh that Serves a Sober Alternative

Empath provides the vibe and social space of a bar, as well as stepped up beverage service ... without the alcohol.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Eight Best Frozen Treats in Pittsburgh

The Eight Best Frozen Treats in Pittsburgh

Our dining critic picks his favorite ice cream, ice pop, frozen custard, vegan delight and more.

Comments

Six Underrated Kennywood Rides You Need to Try Again

Six Underrated Kennywood Rides You Need to Try Again

Leave enough time in your next visit to Kennywood to revisit some old favorites and these underrated gems.

Comments


National Aviary's New Renovations Make it Essential Pittsburgh

National Aviary's New Renovations Make it Essential Pittsburgh

It's time to add the National Aviary to the list of local favorites you visit again and again.

Comments

Stop Using Uber and Lyft, Renting a Bike is Better

Stop Using Uber and Lyft, Renting a Bike is Better

You'll save money and have an easier time hopping between neighborhoods on a Healthy Ride bicycle.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Pirates Are Still a Long Way From a Hollywood Ending

Pirates Are Still a Long Way From a Hollywood Ending

Despite an 8-1 winning streak going into the All-Star break, the Bucs are in desperate need of a sequel, not only to win back some credibility with fans, but also to convince their owner not to sell off more pieces of the team.

Comments

Compelling World Cup Worth a Periodic Embrace

Compelling World Cup Worth a Periodic Embrace

The competition is as fierce as the fans are passionate and both can be appreciated without a firm grasp of the details.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: The Equalizer 2

The 400-Word Review: The Equalizer 2

An unnecessary sequel to the Denzel Washington action flick arrives for a quick beat-em-up fix.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

The 400-Word Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

The sequel to the 2008 ABBA musical is far from perfect, but might have enough charm to keep you on board.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Perfect Proposals that Flashed Back to First Dates

Perfect Proposals that Flashed Back to First Dates

Return to your roots before your relationship blooms into a beautiful marriage.

Comments

I Do, Now Let’s Have Some BBQ

I Do, Now Let’s Have Some BBQ

A five-course meal doesn’t fit with every wedding. These laid-back couples opted for casual — and delicious — cuisine perfect for their outdoor and barn receptions.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Wow Factor: Empty Nest Inspires Timeless Makeover

Wow Factor: Empty Nest Inspires Timeless Makeover

When her last child graduated from college, Ingrid Meenen did something she had been wanting to do for 20 years — renovate the first floor of her Upper St. Clair home.

Comments

Head to the North Hills for Two Blooming Garden Tours

Head to the North Hills for Two Blooming Garden Tours

The Wexford Garden and Pond Tour and the Southern Butler County Garden Club tour both take place this weekend.

Comments