Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in January

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.




photo courtesy Ellen Allston

 

Jan. 8, 22/ The Music in a Great Space series at Shadyside Presbyterian Church includes two concerts this month in the midst of its 2016-17 season: “Scott Bell, Oboist, and Friends” on Jan. 8 and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra on Jan. 22. (5121 Westminster Place, Shadyside; 412/682-4300, shadysidepres.org/migs)
 


photo courtesy Seasame Street workshop

 

Jan. 13-15/ “Sesame Street Live: Make a New Friend” at the Benedum Center brings the long-running PBS children’s program to the stage. Joining the usual cast of characters — Big Bird, Elmo and the crew — is Chamki, who is visiting from India to see her friend Grover. (237 Seventh St., Downtown; 412/456-6666, trustarts.org)
 


photo courtesy of THE ARTIST
 

Through Jan. 15/ Artist Adam Milner squirrels away interesting objects he comes across, from locks of hair to candle stubs to tiny speckled eggs to any number of other gewgaws and tchotchkes. Andy Warhol famously did the same thing with his Time Capsules. For Milner’s new installation, Remains, the seventh installment of The Andy Warhol Museum’s Exposures series featuring emerging artists in the city, the artist has dug through Warhol’s archives in search of objects that echo his personal archives. The collection focuses on the human body — wind-up chattering teeth, false eyelashes, dolls’ eyes — making a nice accompaniment to the current main exhibition “Andy Warhol: My Perfect Body.” (The Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St., North Shore; 412/237-8300, warhol.org)


Through March 5/ The Garden Railroad at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens celebrates Pittsburgh’s bicentennial with 200 Years of Pittsburgh, which miniaturizes milestones in the history of the city, starting with the opening of the H.J. Heinz factory in 1869. (Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 1 Schenley Drive, Oakland; 412/622-6914, phipps.conservatory.org)
 


 

Jan. 20-22/ The World of Wheels convention at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center is a parade of post-war pleasures. Expect gleaming souped-up hot rods, twangy rockabilly music, a pinball tournament and a pin-up contest. (1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd., Downtown; 412/565-6000, autorama.com)
 

Jan. 13-15/ The highlight of the annual Fire & Ice Festival in downtown Somerset is watching craftsmen make elaborate ice sculptures. Past works include a model of the USS Somerset (LPD-25). This year, the theme is “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” (814/443-1748, somersetinc.org)
 


PHOTO courtesy Craig Knox

 

Jan. 15/ The trombone is among the most versatile instruments in western music, shifting easily from symphony orchestras to military marches to jazz bands. The Pittsburgh Trombone Project is an ensemble of four local trombonists devoted to increasing the prominence of their instrument by commissioning new compositions, writing trombone-heavy arrangements of classical, jazz and pop works, teaching classes and performing concerts. Twice each year, the ensemble hosts a “Trombone Sunday” at the Memorial Park Presbyterian Church. Aspiring trombonists can practice with the quartet during a morning warm-up rehearsal followed by a concert with a choir and guest performers. (8800 Peebles Road, Allison Park; 724/554-0738, pittsburghtromboneproject.com)
 


PHOTO courtesy Aysu Arsoy

 

Through Jan. 29/ The world is full of people living in places they never expected to be living or in circumstances they never expected to be living under; the United Nations estimates there are 65.3 million people whose lives have been upended by civil war, environmental change, economic hardship and other causes. With Carolina Loyola-Garcia’s new exhibit, The Domesticity of Abandonment, the SPACE gallery curator presents artistic visions of the daily lives of people who have been abandoned in these ways and others. The show brings together 15 artists, including some from Pittsburgh, for an international exhibition. (812 Liberty Ave., Downtown; 412/325-7723, spacepittsburgh.org)
 

Saturdays and Sundays/ When weekend winter weather dips below 50 degrees, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium hosts Penguins on Parade, weather permitting. The beloved flightless birds get a chance to leave their icy enclosure and waddle among the public. (One Wild Place Highland Park; 412/665-3640, pittsburghzoo.org)
 


 

Jan. 19/ In an attempt to spur conversations about important issues, four organizations — Chatham University Women’s Institute, New Voices Pittsburgh, the Women and Girls Foundation and the Women’s Law Project — launched the series Just Films in September. The monthly series features 10 documentaries, one each month through June, at Chatham University’s Eddy Theater. The films cover topics such as immigration, human trafficking, families adjusting to a transitioning parent and paid leave, among others, and many are being shown in Pittsburgh for the first time. The January feature is “Trapped,” which surveys recent legal challenges to abortion and reproductive health clinics around the country. (Woodland Road, Squirrel Hill; 412/365-1578, justfilmspgh.org)
 

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