Things to Do: Nov. 22-24

A pair of plays, music, comedy and an afternoon of enchantment are among the many options.

The Best Reason to Leave Your House This Weekend
See a Play (or Two)

Two of my favorite Pittsburgh theater companies — Pittsburgh Public Theater and City Theatre — are well into the runs of the second plays of their respective seasons. Both companies are centering the work of African-American playwrights, and both shows are worth seeing.

Jocelyn Bioh is the writer of “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play.” Bioh’s play, which sold out two off-Broadway runs last season, is set in 1986. The comedy about the rivalries playing out surrounding a Ghanaian beauty pageant frame more serious issues surrounding colorism. Shariffa Ali directs. 

At City Theatre, playwright Kemp Powers’ “One Night in Miami” imagines a 1964 meeting between Cassius Clay, Sam Cooke, Jim Brown and Malcolm X following Clay’s triumph over Sonny Liston. The 90-minute, one-act play is based on a real event — the four influential figures did indeed meet in a hotel room — but the conversation about the complexities of being a high-profile Black man in the Civil Rights era is fictional. Reginald L. Douglas directs. — Hal B. Klein

Another Excellent Reason to Leave Your House This Weekend
Comcast Light Up Night
Noon-10 p.m. Friday

Even if there wasn’t a great big pop star headlining the show, the main concert stage at Light Up Night would be a great reason to brave the crowds and head Downtown.

The Comcast Stage, located at Fort Duquesne Blvd. and Stanwix St., kicks off at 6 p.m. with a set from the Nox Boys, who have risen to become one of the city’s most dynamic and entertaining rock bands. They’ll be followed by local legend Joe Grushecky and his aptly named Houserockers. The night concludes with a reliably fantastic fireworks display. What more do you need?

Okay, how about serious superstar Adam Lambert to headline the show? The hitmaker, occasional Queen frontman and thoroughly likable entertainer takes the stage at 8:30 p.m.; get there early for a litany of seasonal celebrations great and small.

A word of advice, though: Park at one of the South Hills T stations and ride into the city. You’ll thank me. — Sean Collier

Rooftop Garden Benefit Dinner / In Bed By Ten Dance Party
7 p.m. Thursday / 6 p.m. Friday

Great events are more or less a given at Spirit, the city’s de facto Heavyweight Champion of nightlife. A pair of parties on consecutive nights deserve special mention, however. Thursday, a “friendsgiving” dinner will feature a four-course meal served inside “Vault,” the soon-to-depart light installation by Ian Brill. Friday, an edition of the periodic In Bed By Ten dance party — so named because it’s early and you can head home before your younger friends even head out — brings DJs from the equally lauded Jellyfish parties and will raise money for Pittsburghers for Public Transit. — SC

I Made It! Market
11 a.m. Saturday
Edgewood Towne Center

You won’t find “As Seen on TV” or mass-produced gadgets at the I Made It! Marketplace, where local vendors sell their handmade items just in time for the holiday season. More than 100 boutique artists will be stationed around the space, offering everything from art and jewelry to decor and home goods. The festive atmosphere and free admission is complemented by seasonal refreshments. — Caroline Bourque

Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton & Jontavious Willis
7:30 p.m. Saturday
Carnegie Lecture Hall

Jerron Paxton may only be in his twenties, but his music harkens back a century to the rhythm and blues of the 1920s. His career kicked off at Carnegie Hall in 2016, when he took the stage with legends Buddy Guy and Edgar Winter to play for a sold-out audience. Now he’s taking the stage at Pittsburgh’s very own venue of the same name, and promising yinzers a taste of his musical abilities. Paxton sings and plays the banjo, guitar, piano, fiddle, harmonica, Cajun accordion and percussion — supplementing the whole shebang with humor and storytelling. With opener Jontavious Willis — a blues wunderkind at only 22 years old — setting the tone for the evening, it’s sure to be a memorable event. — CB

Thunderbird Comedy Showcase
7 p.m. Sunday
Thunderbird Cafe and Music Hall

I’ll confess to some bias, here; comedian Suzanne Lawrence is a friend, and I’ve shared plenty of stages with her. But if you haven’t yet seen her stand-up, you’re missing one of the funniest voices in the Pittsburgh comedy scene. She’ll headline this Sunday-night showcase of local talent. Also on the bill: longtime favorite Tim Ross, who just crowdfunded his first album; Samantha Bentley, featured in this year’s “Best of the ’Burgh” issue; Leslie Cavala; Ian McIntosh; and Doug Sluk. — SC

Afternoon of Enchantment
1 p.m. Sunday
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Audiences have been watching the story of “The Nutcracker” unfold from within the darkness of the theater for more than a century. This weekend, the line between audience and stage dissolves, as participants have the chance to step inside the world of “The Nutcracker” at PBT Studios. Children can learn ballet basics with class samplings and take home themed crafts. Floating throughout the venue, characters such as the Sugar Plum Fairy will be making appearances throughout the day. This event also features inclusive activities and performances for those with sensory sensitivities and other individualized needs. — CB

For Kids
Light Up Night Sleepover
6 p.m. Friday
The Carnegie Science Center

What kid doesn’t want to spend the night at a museum — and get a front row seat to the annual holiday fireworks Downtown, followed by an evening centered on the theme of light. Catch a laser light show, participate in an experiment involving the science of light, and then take home a souvenir bracelet or keychain that reacts to UV light. Sleep among the center’s exhibits, then wake up the next day for a continental breakfast. The overnight event wraps up around 10 a.m. Saturday. — CB

Looking for more things to do this weekend and beyond? Check out our Events Calendar

Nov 22 – Dec 14 all-day

Exhibition features individual and collaborative works by first and second year students in the Department of Art’s MFA Interdisciplinary Visual Arts program.

I Made It! Market @ 31st Street Studios
Nov 23 2019 – Jan 4 2020 all-day

Under the spectacle of half a million Christmas lights, I Made It! Market at Lumaze is a one stop shop for one-of-a-kind finds. From November 23rd to January 4th more than 40 artisans and boutiques will sell items ranging from art, home goods, decor, and apparel at the Strip District’s 31st Street Studios. Tasty baked goods and yummy craft spirits will also be available for gift-giving needs. Live music and delectable food trucks accompany the festive experience for a real-life winter wonderland. All ages are welcome. For more information, visit

Hortus Hibernus @ Sewickley Public Library
Nov 26 2019 – Jan 4 2020 all-day
Hortus Hibernus @ Sewickley Public Library | Princeton | West Virginia | United States

The Sewickley Library display cases will present Hortus Hibernus, a group show centered on botanical themes, on November 26, the show will run through January 4th. Like a conservatory, the artwork will provide a winter garden through artist’s interpretations of the natural world in the form of paintings, prints and ceramics. Artists featured: Vanessa Adams, Ali Karsh, Vanessa Kettering, Soren Lundi, Cicely Murray, Joseph Noderer, Jack Taylor,Mark Vander Heide.

A Journey through Newman’s Advent Sermons @ National Institute for Newman Studies
Dec 2 @ 7:00 pm – Dec 16 @ 7:00 pm
A Journey through Newman's Advent Sermons @ National Institute for Newman Studies | Pittsburgh | Pennsylvania | United States

Join the National Institute for Newman Studies on Monday evenings in December for a series of reflections on John Henry Newman’s advent sermons, led by Dr. Bud Marr and Dr. Elizabeth Huddleston.

Event Dates:
December 2 | 7:00-8:00 p.m.
December 9 | 7:00-8:00 p.m.
December 16 | 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Holiday Magic! Winter Flower Show and Light Garden @ Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Dec 2 2019 @ 9:00 pm – Jan 12 2020 @ 11:00 pm
Holiday Magic! Winter Flower Show and Light Garden @ Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens | | |

Make plans to experience one of the best holiday attractions and treasured family traditions in Pittsburgh at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden's Holiday Magic! Winter Flower Show and Light Garden. There’s more to explore at Phipps, with both indoor and outdoor holiday displays encompassing 15 acres. New holiday displays are filled with festive trees, capturing the magic, beauty and splendor of the holidays. Indoors, you'll explore the colorful Forest of Trees, captivating carousel, delightful topiary animals and a visit to the North Pole amidst classic poinsettias and festive flora. Stroll outside to be surrounded by millions of captivating holiday lights! Walk through the mesmerizing Tunnel of Lights, explore all of the incredible holiday tree displays and see the spectacular new Rainbow Glow Tree, exclusively at Phipps. Additional family-friendly activities include new Garden Railroad display, Santa Visits, interactive Find the Snowflakes treasure hunt, kids Discovery activities, crafts and games, Holiday Music Nights and more! Plus, there are picture-perfect #selfie photo opportunities throughout the conservatory, providing the perfect photo backdrop at one of the most Instagrammable places in Pittsburgh. Holiday Huts are open to enjoy hot cocoa, wine and spirits plus enjoy delicious treats, in addition to award-winning Café Phipps for lunch or dinner. Phipps is open til 11pm nightly during the holiday season – visit for operating hours and event updates. All proceeds support Phipps' programs and activities, a 126-year-old non-profit organization, to benefit the community.

Pandora Partners with The IMPROV & Pittsburgh Street Artist Brian Holderman, Unveils Interactive Mural @ Pittsburgh Improv
Dec 5 2019 – Jan 1 2020 all-day
Pandora Partners with The IMPROV & Pittsburgh Street Artist Brian Holderman, Unveils Interactive Mural @ Pittsburgh Improv | Homestead | Pennsylvania | United States

Pandora, the largest music streaming provider in the U.S., has partnered with local Pittsburgh street artist Brian Holderman and Pittsburgh Improv to unveil an interactive, large-scale mural at The IMPROV located at 166 East Bridge St.

The mural celebrates living life at full volume, and has a QR code that leads to a customized playlist by artist Brian Holderman. Channeling the vibrancy and creativity of Pittsburgh, Brian has curated a playlist of tracks that inspired the art featured on the Pittsburgh Improv Comedy Club. The playlist highlights songs from artists such as MF Doom and Joan Jett, as well as comedy tracks from comedian Doug Stanhope.

Take a picture in front of the mural and post it on Instagram and receive a free pass for
2 to a future show!

The world-famous IMPROV has been the cornerstone of comedy on the Waterfront in Homestead since opening in 2002 and is excited to partner with Pandora and artist Brian Holderman to bring this innovative art project to the community. The IMPROV is dedicated to bringing Pittsburgh the biggest and brightest stars in comedy, delivering exceptional service and a quality, laugh-out-loud entertainment experience

Yinzer Scrooged: A Pittsburgh Christmas Carol @ Bricolage Production Company
Dec 5 @ 8:00 pm – Dec 21 @ 8:00 pm
Yinzer Scrooged: A Pittsburgh Christmas Carol @ Bricolage Production Company | Pittsburgh | Pennsylvania | United States

Set in present-day Pittsburgh, this comedy is an uproarious parody of Charles Dickens’ classic holiday story, A Christmas Carol. In this radio-style rendition, classic characters like the notorious curmudgeon, Ebenezer Scrooge, and the mischievous Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future are not so subtly re-imagined as local Pittsburgh legends and celebrities! Whether you’re a Pittsburgh native or new to the area, you’ll feel right at home.

A longtime fan favorite, our Midnight Radio series takes the form of a classic 1940s radio broadcast. In this show YOU are cast as the live studio audience, so play your part and don’t miss your cue when the applause sign flashes! Always memorable and never at midnight or on the radio, this series brings you back to a simpler time. Plus! Don’t miss our free Happy Half-hour 30 minutes before every show with free drinks and interactive holiday-themed activities! Enjoy a fun night out in our cozy downtown Pittsburgh theater.

Winter In The Woods @ Gateway Lodge
Dec 6 @ 4:00 pm – Dec 8 @ 12:00 pm
Winter In The Woods @ Gateway Lodge | | |

Snuggle up to two nights in a Fireside Jacuzzi Suite with breakfasts both mornings. Indulge in a Holiday Five-Course Dinner on Saturday evening with live musical entertainment. Add on a Winter Riverside Carriage Ride to your Stay! Let yourself be carried away this winter at the Gateway Lodge. Take a ride on a beautiful horse-drawn carriage in the heart of Cook Forest on each Saturday of the Winter in the Woods Weekends. As you go dashing through the snow along River Road, snuggle close to that someone special and take in the breathtaking scenery. Space is very limited and is open to lodging or dinner guests only, so reserve your spot today. $60 per couple. Contact us for available times. Only interested in dining with us? The Winter in the Woods Tasting Events are on Saturday, December 7th and 14th. Tickets are $120 per couple + $25 per person for wine pairings. *Non-refundable tickets go on sale on 11.16.19. Tax and gratuity are added to ticket sale. Seatings available at 5:30pm and 8pm. Call ahead to reserve at (814) 744-8017.
Sponsor: Gateway Lodge

2019 Pittsburgh Winter Avant-Garde Art; Craft Show @ Teamsters Local Union 249 Banquet Hall
Dec 7 all-day

The holidays are fast approaching! Shop local this holiday season! This large show will feature artists and crafters selling their original handmade items at this beautiful venue! Admission is $3 to the public, children under 12 are free! A portion of proceeds will benefit local non-profit, Girls on the Run. This show is currently accepting vendors. Please email for more information!

For more information about the Avant-Garde Art & Craft Shows, please visit Also, become a fan and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn!

Teamsters Local Union 249 Banquet Hall
4701 Butler St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15201

DATE: Saturday, December 7, 2019

TIME: 10:00am-5:00pm

Ben Avon Holiday House Tour @ Anchor & Anvil Coffee Bar
Dec 7 all-day

Saturday, December 7, 2019
10am-4pm and 6pm-9pm
$25 in advance, $30 day of tour

This year, we proudly present our 2019 Holiday House Tour, where we will offer tours through 8 beautiful homes in the Ben Avon Borough. The homes we have chosen represent a wide variety of architectural styles and designs, as well as diversity in age of the homes. Each is beautifully decorated to not only honor the historical features of the home, but also to demonstrate the unique style and taste of the homeowners. Our homeowners are happy to share their journey with you regarding their home, including any upgrades and changes made. This year we are pleased to present some of the very old historic homes, and some of the newer, more recently built homes. In the older homes, special attention was paid to preserve the original character of the house. The newer homes were carefully crafted to complement the historic borough and its local architecture, while incorporating modern designs. We will also provide our guests with a detailed history of the homes, and of our area in general. This gives our guests a fascinating look back into times past and also see how the newer homes have transitioned across time. For more details, visit: