Best of Culture: June

Watch summer roll in with these vibrant outdoor performances, visual-arts shows, plays and readings around Pittsburgh.




 

Squonk Opera's The Spirit of Art
June 13-15

Music and design “struggle for supremacy” while science and art “have at it” in the world premiere of Squonk Opera’s “Pneumatic” at the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. Celebrating the many meanings of the Greek word “pneuma” — air, breath, spirit, wind and creative energy — the show is equal parts abstract art, avant-garde theater, eccentric rock concert and hands-on science demonstration. The transparent, four-story-tall “Lady Pneumatica” breathes steam and boasts a menagerie of air-powered mechanics while five musicians, some wearing gas masks and inflatables, perform the all-instrumental homage to atmosphere. As if that weren’t enough to take in, look for the debut of Squonk’s newest musical toy: the electronic bagpipe.

[Point State Park, downtown; 3riversartsfest.org]

CLO Cabaret
May 22-Aug. 17

“Ring of Fire” provides a toe-tapping evening of musical entertainment. It also will touch your heart as the show chronicles Johnny Cash’s extraordinary life through his songs. From the trauma of his brother’s tragic death to his struggles with drug addiction and marriage to soulmate June Carter, the show is, as billed, a rousing and riveting “journey into the heart of America, courtesy of one of our most beloved musical poets.” A multitalented cast performs more than 30 of the crossover legend’s greatest hits, including rock, country and gospel classics.

[The Cabaret at Theater Square, 655 Penn Ave., downtown; 412/456-6666, pittsburghclo.org/cabaret]

No Name Players
June 13-28

No Name opens its 2014 season with the outrageously off-kilter rock comedy and cult sensation “Evil Dead: The Musical.” The Pittsburgh premiere — a hilarious sendup of low-budget horror films based on the ’80s film series — takes us to an abandoned cabin in the woods, where five college students plan to spend a wild spring break. They inadvertently unleash evil forces, turning them all into a zany chorus line of soul-eating demons. The show’s hero then battles to save mankind from a mass invasion. Such songs as “All the Men in My Life Keep Getting Killed by Candarian Demons” will have you rolling in the blood-filled aisles. On that note: Wear a poncho — there’s a splatter zone.

[Off the Wall Theater, 25 W. Main St., Carnegie; 888/718-4253, nonameplayers.org]

Pittsburgh Public Theater
May 29-June 29

Widely hailed as “the funniest farce ever written,” Michael Frayn’s “Noises Off” fittingly closes out the Public’s Masterpiece season. In Act I, we’re introduced to a bumbling, under-rehearsed touring troupe attempting to run through a dress rehearsal of the hilariously horrible sex comedy “Nothing On.” In Act II, we catch the same play — this time from the backstage perspective, as tensions from love triangles, nervous dispositions and drinking habits wreak hysterical havoc onstage. In the final act, we’re back out front for the last week of the play’s run; we observe the burned-out cast deviating from the script to an increasingly preposterous degree. The mile-a-minute mayhem is a side-splitting salute to theater life.

[O’Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave., downtown; 412/316-1600, ppt.org]

 

Occupying Space
Maree ReMalia | Merrygogo, June 14

Independent choreographer Maree ReMalia premieres “The Ubiquitous Mass of Us,” a collaborative, interdisciplinary work investigating how individuals occupy space. Visual, costume and sound designs provide the nine-member cast with an exploratory environment for wide-ranging physicality and emotion.

[New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side; 412/320-4610, newhazletttheater.org]

Attack Theatre
June 22

Which attributes of the North Side capture the imagination? Attack Theatre wants to know as it launches “Northside | Remainder,” a yearlong community performance project. Neighborhood residents may participate in the free dialogue-based event.

[New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side; 412/281-3305, attacktheatre.com]

Pillow Project
June 19-23

Choreographer Pearlann Porter’s “A Pale Blue Jazz” is an evening-length performance installation. The work draws inspiration from the Golden Records, a collection of songs, music and images launched into the cosmos in 1977 aboard the Voyager spacecrafts.

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

 

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts
through July 20

As the center’s Artist of the Year, Hyla Willis presents a multimedia installation, “America’s Least Livable City and Other Works.” Here’s the scoop: Back in 1985, Rand McNally called Pittsburgh “America’s Most Livable City.” That same year, it named Yuba City, Calif. — Willis’ hometown — the “Least Livable City.” Comprising video, paintings and drawings, Willis’ installation examines “the struggles of everyday life and the community cohesion that still occurs when the outside world disregards you.” The AOY show also features other new works as well as archival material from Willis’ association with the subRosa art collective, a feminist cyber-group founded in 1998. Willis, an interdisciplinary artist and graphic designer, teaches media arts at Robert Morris University and holds an M.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University. The AOY award, a center tradition since 1949, honors “a significant artist with a body of work that has had an impact on the region.” In 2001, an Emerging Artist of the Year was initiated to recognize a promising artist at an earlier stage in his or her career. This year’s honoree, Mia Tarducci Henry, is a painter whose PCA show features work both literal and abstract, but they’re connected by theme. “All the work will reflect my thoughts about and experience with depressive disorders,” she says. “Humor, color and scale are integral in the overall conveyance of the theme.” Sculpture and other 3-D elements complement the paintings.

[Fifth and Shady avenues, Shadyside; 412/361-0873, pca.pittsburgharts.org]

Westmoreland Museum of American Art @rt 30
June 1-Aug. 31

The 103rd Annual Exhibition of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh offers an all-time first in its long history: This year marks the first Annual held outside Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Considering that one criterion for participating artists is that they live within a 150-mile radius of the City of Pittsburgh, this show at the temporary location of Westmoreland Museum of American Art actually is close to the center of gravity. This year’s juror is Barbara L. Jones, the Westmoreland Museum’s chief curator. At press time, such major details as juror’s statement and prize winners weren’t available.

[4764 Route 30, Unity Township; 724/837-1500, wmuseumaa.org, aapgh.org]

 

Acquired Taste Reading Series
June 21

You don’t have to be Marcel Proust to see that good food and good writing go hand in hand. A relative newcomer to the local lit scene, Acquired Taste holds events in various area locales, pairing writers and themes like a fine wine with a gourmet meal. Organizer Marissa Landrigan and guests Lori Jakiela, Sarah Shotland, Sheryl St. Germain and Becky Tuch will explore the theme of local food at the Pittsburgh Public Market.

[2401 Penn Ave., Strip District; facebook.com/acq.taste]

ModernFormations Gallery
June 7

If you put Walt Whitman behind the wheel of a 1969 Dodge Charger and sent him out to take a long, hard look at contemporary America, he might return with a book like Jason Baldinger’s “The Lower Forty-Eight.” Baldinger’s poems are epic in nature, blending history, travel writing, biography and landscape portraiture into sweet blue-collar blues. Poets Stephanie Brea, Bob Pajich and Taylor Grieshober will join Baldinger for the book launch; Red Bob will be the host.

[4919 Penn Ave., Bloomfield; modernformations.com]

Mystery Lovers Bookshop
June 21

It seems that everyone had such a great time at the 2013 Summer Solstice Soiree that Mystery Lovers has decided to present another event this year. Once again, a cavalcade of great writers will read from and discuss their recent books. The garden party also will feature lemonade, cookies and good music.

[518 Allegheny River Blvd., courtyard, Oakmont; reservations recommended; 412/828-4877, mysterylovers.com]

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best Restaurants 2016

Best Restaurants 2016

Which 33 Pittsburgh-area establishments did our independent Restaurant Review Panel include among its top picks this year? Find them here.
Six Pittsburgh Chefs Who Are Outstanding in Their Field

Six Pittsburgh Chefs Who Are Outstanding in Their Field

In addition to awarding Best Restaurant honors this year, our Independent Restaurant Review Panel also voted to recognize six chefs for their contributions to Pittsburgh’s culinary community in 2015.
Citizen Artist: Vanessa German

Citizen Artist: Vanessa German

German blends a collage of community activism and soul-searching artistry.
PittGirl to Wooers: ‘Not Today Satan, Not Today’

PittGirl to Wooers: ‘Not Today Satan, Not Today’

It only takes one person, one jagoff, one childish, attention-seeking, discourteous jerk to send a woo through PNC Park.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

5 Reasons PyroFest Will Light Up Your Memorial Day Weekend

5 Reasons PyroFest Will Light Up Your Memorial Day Weekend

PyroFest will also include live music, food, a Kids Zone and more.
8 Things You Might Not Know About Kennywood’s Jack Rabbit

8 Things You Might Not Know About Kennywood’s Jack Rabbit

When you compare what it cost to build the coaster in 1920 to what it would cost today, it's obvious Kennywood's owners got their money's worth.
Second New Restaurant Moving into Union Trust Building

Second New Restaurant Moving into Union Trust Building

The upscale seafood eatery is expected to open in late 2016 or early 2017.
Local Filmmaker Celebrates Pittsburgh Food

Local Filmmaker Celebrates Pittsburgh Food

Artist David Bernabo creates a series of films that track various aspects of Pittsburgh's food culture.

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 Restaurants 2016

Best Restaurants 2016

Which 33 Pittsburgh-area establishments did our independent Restaurant Review Panel include among its top picks this year? Find them here.
Six Pittsburgh Chefs Who Are Outstanding in Their Field

Six Pittsburgh Chefs Who Are Outstanding in Their Field

In addition to awarding Best Restaurant honors this year, our Independent Restaurant Review Panel also voted to recognize six chefs for their contributions to Pittsburgh’s culinary community in 2015.
Citizen Artist: Vanessa German

Citizen Artist: Vanessa German

German blends a collage of community activism and soul-searching artistry.
PittGirl to Wooers: ‘Not Today Satan, Not Today’

PittGirl to Wooers: ‘Not Today Satan, Not Today’

It only takes one person, one jagoff, one childish, attention-seeking, discourteous jerk to send a woo through PNC Park.
Daytripping: Canonsburg is a City of Antiques

Daytripping: Canonsburg is a City of Antiques

Nearby Canonsburg is a rare find for antiques collectors.
U.S. Open at Oakmont: Will The Town Finally Be a Player?

U.S. Open at Oakmont: Will The Town Finally Be a Player?

The U.S. Open is returning to Oakmont — and unlike previous tournaments, this one could make the community a vital part of the action.
Edit Module

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


5 Reasons PyroFest Will Light Up Your Memorial Day Weekend

5 Reasons PyroFest Will Light Up Your Memorial Day Weekend

PyroFest will also include live music, food, a Kids Zone and more.

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
Richard DeShantz Plans Two New Restaurants at Salt of the Earth Building

Richard DeShantz Plans Two New Restaurants at Salt of the Earth Building

DeShantz owns three other Pittsburgh restaurants and is about to open a fourth.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Best 6 Places to Get a Cup of Tea in Pittsburgh

The Best 6 Places to Get a Cup of Tea in Pittsburgh

The quiet rise of Pittsburgh's tea scene gives us a few favorite gems.

Comments


Highmark Stadium Pub Wants Your Attention

Highmark Stadium Pub Wants Your Attention

The in-house tavern at the Riverhounds' home stadium is now welcoming guests during weekdays. But is it worth a dedicated stop?

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Resurrected Penguins Writing Their Story Their Way

Resurrected Penguins Writing Their Story Their Way

These Penguins have been downright unrecognizable, individually and collectively, on the way to the Stanley Cup Final.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Flip the Switch: Industrial-Style Lighting Made in Pittsburgh

Flip the Switch: Industrial-Style Lighting Made in Pittsburgh

An electrician by trade, designer Thomas Verscharen creates custom lighting out of repurposed pieces.

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.
The X-Men Would've Done Better in Wonderland

The X-Men Would've Done Better in Wonderland

Reviews of "X-Men: Apocalypse," "Alice Through the Looking Glass," "A Bigger Splash" and "Love and Friendship."

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Get with the (Wedding) Program

Get with the (Wedding) Program

Have you ever considered making programs for your wedding guests? If not, think again and get creative.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
A Tiny House that's Big on Energy Savings

A Tiny House that's Big on Energy Savings

Spread out across the city for these upcoming events, including a “Tiny House” exhibit at the Carnegie Science Center displayed by the FIY Network.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Duquesne University to Host Small Business Networking Event

Duquesne University to Host Small Business Networking Event

The event will connect hundreds of small business managers and owners and provide useful information to help them take their enterprises to the next level.

Comments