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]

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Hot Reads

Chuck Noll: A Man for All Seasons

Chuck Noll: A Man for All Seasons

Two years after Chuck Noll’s death, University of Pittsburgh Press prepares to publish the first definitive biography of the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers coach. Pittsburgh Magazine is proud to share an interview with author Michael MacCambridge and an exclusive excerpt of “Chuck Noll: His Life’s Work,” scheduled for release in October.
The Changing Face of Campus in Pittsburgh

The Changing Face of Campus in Pittsburgh

Renovation is under way at nearly all of our area colleges and universities. For students heading back to school this fall — and their parents — we offer this crash course on the highlights of these projects and their projected benefits.
Fall Fashion: In the Black

Fall Fashion: In the Black

The little black dress, and shirt, and pants, never go out of style. Add mystery to your wardrobe with these easy-to-accent autumn staples.
Apteka: A Taste of Home

Apteka: A Taste of Home

Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski bring top-notch vegan, eastern European cuisine to Bloomfield.
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The 412

Casting Call: ‘A Long Day But You Will Be Fed Like a King’

Casting Call: ‘A Long Day But You Will Be Fed Like a King’

A new Netflix series filming in the Pittsburgh area is looking for thousands of extras.
Turning on the Tap: You Now Can Buy Beer at Pitt Home Games

Turning on the Tap: You Now Can Buy Beer at Pitt Home Games

It’s the first time beer will be sold stadium-wide at University of Pittsburgh games at Heinz Field.
Southwest Airlines Planning More Flights from Pittsburgh

Southwest Airlines Planning More Flights from Pittsburgh

The Allegheny County Airport Authority has been lobbying for more direct service from Pittsburgh to the West Coast.
Zing Basket Promises Speedy Grocery Delivery to Your Door

Zing Basket Promises Speedy Grocery Delivery to Your Door

The online grocery delivery service opened this week, promising delivery in 45 minutes or less to selected neighborhoods.

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Hot Reads

Chuck Noll: A Man for All Seasons

Chuck Noll: A Man for All Seasons

Two years after Chuck Noll’s death, University of Pittsburgh Press prepares to publish the first definitive biography of the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers coach. Pittsburgh Magazine is proud to share an interview with author Michael MacCambridge and an exclusive excerpt of “Chuck Noll: His Life’s Work,” scheduled for release in October.
The Changing Face of Campus in Pittsburgh

The Changing Face of Campus in Pittsburgh

Renovation is under way at nearly all of our area colleges and universities. For students heading back to school this fall — and their parents — we offer this crash course on the highlights of these projects and their projected benefits.
Fall Fashion: In the Black

Fall Fashion: In the Black

The little black dress, and shirt, and pants, never go out of style. Add mystery to your wardrobe with these easy-to-accent autumn staples.
Apteka: A Taste of Home

Apteka: A Taste of Home

Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski bring top-notch vegan, eastern European cuisine to Bloomfield.
Talk of The Tahn: City of Beer

Talk of The Tahn: City of Beer

There are plans afoot for a international museum of beer to be built and staffed right here in Pittsburgh.
Pitt vs Penn State: Resumption of Hostilities

Pitt vs Penn State: Resumption of Hostilities

After an extended hiatus, the storied rivalry between the Pitt Panthers and Penn State Nittany Lions returns in September to Heinz Field.
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On the Blogs


Casting Call: ‘A Long Day But You Will Be Fed Like a King’

Casting Call: ‘A Long Day But You Will Be Fed Like a King’

A new Netflix series filming in the Pittsburgh area is looking for thousands of extras.

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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.

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All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Where to Go at the Three Day Blow

Where to Go at the Three Day Blow

Our dining critic (and Three Day Blow organizing committee member) has a roundup of some open to the public events.

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Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The 5 Best Comic Shops in Pittsburgh

The 5 Best Comic Shops in Pittsburgh

These comic book shops offer more than just your casual Batman or Spider-Man choices.

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New Industry Public House Location Up to Par

New Industry Public House Location Up to Par

If you’re in need of a dining option that’s not a national chain while visiting the Robinson area, this is one to keep in mind.

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Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Le'Veon Bell Talks The Talk But Can’t Walk The Walk

Le'Veon Bell Talks The Talk But Can’t Walk The Walk

The Steelers running back emphasized his latest suspension resulted from missed random drug tests, and not a relapse into the marijuana-induced haze that got him jammed up last season. But if you lack the maturity to grasp the consequences of your actions (or, in this case, inactions), does it really matter?

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Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Work It

Work It

A new handbag from Sandra Cadavid’s is perfect for work — or play.

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Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
'Hands of Stone' Keeps the Boxing Movie Genre Strong

'Hands of Stone' Keeps the Boxing Movie Genre Strong

Reviews of "Hands of Stone" and "Don't Breathe," plus local movie news and notes.

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Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Not Your Typical Bachelorette Party, This One Had a Purpose

Not Your Typical Bachelorette Party, This One Had a Purpose

Bride-to-be Jessika Baldwin didn’t want a traditional bachelorette party — so she hosted a day out that benefited women other than herself.

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The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
West End Welcomes Antique Store

West End Welcomes Antique Store

What was old becomes new again at the recently opened Vintage 73 antique store in Crafton Heights.

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The hottest topics in higher education
Two Events Planned for Prospective Waynesburg Students

Two Events Planned for Prospective Waynesburg Students

A fall visitation day and a Saturday information session aim to allow interested students a look into life at the university.

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