Things To Do This Weekend in Pittsburgh
Top Pick: Face the choices, and fears, of refugees in “The Tipping Point”
In “The Tipping Point,” an innovative combination of immersive-theater experience and dance, audiences are forced to consider the choices they’d make if they were forced to flee their homes. What would you take? What would you be willing to sacrifice along the way? What conditions would make you risk your life — and what would life be like if you no longer had a home?
Those decisions aren’t merely discussed, though; they’re experienced. In an interactive, jarring series of scenes, audiences are led from place to place, forced to negotiate and barter for their own survival. (Full disclosure: Some of the cast are colleagues.) This portion of the show is eye-opening and, frequently, troubling. I was invited to a trial run of the experience and found it to be a visceral, lingering illustration of a daily reality we often prefer to forget.
The long journey gives way to an intimate, haunting dance performance, created and choreographed by Beth Corning of Corningworks. (Playwright and theater creator Gab Cody collaborated on the immersive portion.) Corning worked with Doctors Without Borders and a Kurdish refugee family to create the show, further developing it when COVID postponed its initial run.
“The Tipping Point” runs through Jan. 30 at church-turned-venue 25 Carrick Ave.; due to COVID restrictions, space is limited.
More This Weekend
“You despise me, don’t you,” Peter Lorre asks. “Well, if I gave you any thought, I probably would,” Humphrey Bogart replies. There are a dozen better-known exchanges in “Casablanca,” a solid contender for the greatest film ever made — that’s my favorite, though. See every line of the masterpiece in a beautiful, 80th-anniversary presentation by TCM; their Big Screen Classics series brings revivals of timeless flicks to select cinemas. “Casablanca” plays Sunday and Wednesday at AMC Waterfront 22, Cinemark locations in Monroeville Mall and Robinson Township and Phoenix Theaters in Bridgeville.
Hip-hop artist Jordan Montgomery, the founder of Pittsburgh indie hip-hop label Driving While Black Records, sounds like a superstar. With a style — both lyrically and sonically — reminiscent of turn-of-the-century rap hitmakers, he’s a good candidate for a national breakout. See why Friday at the Greer Cabaret Theater as part of the two-night Soul Stage series, a showcase of local hip-hop, R&B and soul artists also including Chandra Rhyme, pvkvsv, Sierra Sellers, Cam Chambers and Buscrates.
A local, public appearance by anyone who ranks among Time Magazine’s most influential people in the world is notable. If they’re funny, so much the better. Comedian Hasan Minhaj, who parlayed years on “The Daily Show” into his own Peabody-winning series, “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj,” will bring his “King’s Jester” show to the Benedum Center Thursday night.
The Pittsburgh-based pro wrestling outfit Enjoy Wrestling has emerged quickly as a top indie promotion. The buzz is partly on the basis of its “Wrestling is Forever” credo — the company is focused on maintaining a roster notable for its diversity of gender, race and sexual orientation — but largely for its excellent shows. The group will make its debut at Mr. Smalls Theater Saturday night, welcoming guest performers from national league All Elite Wrestling including Nyla Rose and Pittsburgh native Lee Moriarty.
If you have some lingering melancholy about the end of the Steelers season, remember: This is Pittsburgh. We roll right on to the next team — and the Penguins are hot. Their 23-10-5 record puts them third in the Metropolitan Division, with only a few points separating them from the first-place Rangers. They’ll look to add some wins as they take the ice at PPG Paints Arena Thursday (against the Senators) and Sunday (vs. the Jets).
Looking for more ideas? Check out our full events calendar here.