Best of Culture: 45 Years of Color, FABulously Funny Jeanne Robertson

You'll want to make time this month to see these fine performances and exhibits.


Spanish artist Félix de la Concha’s paintings of the Cathedral of Learning between 1997-1999 added a chronological component to the familiar en plein air cityscapes. He painted the landmark from a different location on each calendar day. His newest foray, at Concept Art Gallery, is "Cathedral Redux & Swissvale Paintings 2015." Half of the exhibit will show how Pittsburgh has changed since the late 1990s; the other half will show how it’s stayed the same. [through Aug. 29, 1031 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square; 412/242-9200,; image courtesy the artist and Concept Gallery] — Eric Lidji



Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Aug. 16/ Award-winning principal dancer Yoshiaki Nakano, a native of Japan, enters his sixth season with PBT in a new role: choreographer. Nakano’s latest ballet is slated to premiere as part of PBT’s annual outdoor Hartwood showcase along with an excerpt from Marius Petipa’s classical ballet “La Bayadère” (1877). Set to a Ludwig Minkus score, the tragic narrative spins a tale of love, jealously and murder in ancient India. 
[Hartwood Acres Amphitheater, 200 Hartwood Acres, Hampton Township; 412/767-9200,]

CSA Series, Aug. 13/ Musician and artist David Bernabo forays into movement theater with "The Reduction." In this semi-autobiographical mixed-media work, he and dancer Ru Emmons-Apt alternate as soloists as they explore parallel states and various storylines. Bernabo’s “MODULES 10 (2013),” inspired by the stress, expense and time involved in documenting the artistic process, is incorporated into this production. 
[New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side; 412/320-4610,

Duquesne University Tamburitzans, Aug. 28/ As the internationally recognized troupe restructures its relationship with Duquesne University and moves towards autonomy, it continues its mission to preserve and present the cultural traditions of Central and Eastern Europe and to explore new concepts and choreography. Currently under the direction of George Kresovich, the ensemble launches its 79th season with a two-hour showcase of dance, song and music featuring 400 authentic costumes and 50 musical instruments. [South Park Amphitheater, Buffalo Drive, South Park; 412/835-4810;,]


"Is This Universal?," Kathleen Cochran Zimbicki

SOUTHERN ALLEGHENIES MUSEUM OF ART, LORETTO, through Dec. 5/ A living legend in local art receives her laurels in the retrospective "Kathleen Cochran Zimbicki: 45 Years of Color, 1970-2015." Nearly 50 works (mostly watercolors) chronicle the creative journey of this award-winning artist (and former gallery owner) known for her bold, lyrical, exuberant — and, yes, quite colorful — expressionism with an ebullient personality to match. Her style is expressed in an array of ways exhibited at the show: portraits of people young and old, even goddesses; studies of animal life, some found in nature and others drawn from the artist’s imagination; or landscapes, including a rain-scape dominated by gargantuan water droplets.

The artist also has a serious side. Zimbicki contemplates the human condition through “Is This Universal?” — part of Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art’s permanent collection — with a haunting landscape inhabited by emaciated figures.

Embarking on her creative journey as a student of renowned artist Henry Koerner, Zimbicki has evolved from plein-air impressionism to expressionism, and she’s moving toward the borders of abstraction. Find examples of these milestones at the show, with works that appeared in juried shows as well as some that never have been on exhibition before.
[St. Francis University campus, Loretto, Cambria County; 814/472-3920,; art courtesy SAMA]

“Green Orbs,” Kathleen Cochran Zimbicki

CARNEGIE MUSEUM OF ART, through Oct. 26/ Summertime and the livin’ is easy. It’s a time for reunions. And the viewing is easy when — never exhibited together before — CMOA assembles its entire collection of works by Edward Hopper (1882-1967). A fixture in the canon of American art, Hopper probably is best known for his depiction of loneliness and alienation. Here, in "CMOA Collects Edward Hopper," discover a wide range of Hopperabilia from early works, including “Sailing,” the first painting Hopper ever sold, to examples of his etchings and drawings. Also on display are prints by artists, including Rembrandt, who influenced Hopper.
[4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland; 412/622-3131,]

WOOD STREET GALLERIES, through Sept. 6/ “Pattern and Noise” marks the first solo exhibition of London-based artist collective D-Fuse, which, during its 15-year history, has employed audio-visual culture and emerging technologies to explore social and environmental issues. The show comprises two components: “Small Global” and “Tektōn.”
[601 Wood St., downtown; 412/471-5605,]



The Palace Theatre, Aug. 28/ A former 6-foot-2 Miss North Carolina, Jeanne Robertson presents her FABulously Funny stand-up comedy show. Hailed as “an overnight sensation a quarter-century in the making” the 70-something Robertson is as young at heart as she is gregariously funny. Robertson got her start as a popular convention speaker until her bits such as “Don’t send a man to the grocery store” went viral on YouTube, attracting millions of viewers. “We stopped shopping together because, frankly, I don’t care what things cost by the half-ounce,” she says. Her witty one-liners and side-splitting storytelling are well worth the jaunt to Greensburg.
[21 W. Otterman St.; 724/836-8000,]

Looking Glass Theatre, Aug. 5-22/ As if his “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” wasn’t traumatic enough, now this precocious little boy is back in Alexander, "Who’s Not Not Not Not Not Not Going to Move" when his Dad lands a new job 1,000 miles away. Adapted by Shelly Markham (music) and Judith Viorst (script and lyrics) from her hit book, “Alexander, Who’s Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move,” this child-charmer pits Alexander against his parents as he resists relocating. To avoid the inevitable, Alexander tries everything from rooming with the neighbors to living in a tent to hiding in a pickle suit until he realizes that the best things of home will be moving right along with him.
[Little Lake Theatre, 500 Lakeside Drive, Canonsburg; 724/745-6300,]

OFF the WALL Productions, Aug. 13-16/ off the WALL invites back playwright/actress Anne Stockton and Obie-Award-winning stage director Austin Pendleton after their acclaimed 2012 production of Stockton’s debut one-woman show, “The Speed Queen,” in which she portrayed a mass murderer. This time around, Stockton stars in the world premiere of her new play, "I Won’t Be in on Monday." She portrays a heroic woman about to embark on an adventure with the new man in her life, only to be thwarted by a detective investigating the robbery of her co-workers’ expensive jewelry. “It’s got a lot more humor in it than ‘Speed Queen,’” says off the WALL Artistic Director Virginia Wall Gruenert, “but with the same intense theatricality.”
[off the WALL performing arts center, 25 W. Main St., Carnegie; 888/71-TICKETS,]


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