Things To Do This Weekend in Pittsburgh

Get small for some microscopic magic from Cirque du Soleil, get shaking at the Ace Hotel and see if a sequel can live up to the original ... band this weekend.


The Best Reason to Leave Your House This Weekend
Cirque du Soleil Presents OVO
PPG Paints Arena

The central philosophy of Cirque du Soleil, as far as I can tell, is this: Let’s come up with things that no human has ever thought to do, then do those things in a more impressive way than any human could.

Even when the acts in question are relatively comprehensible — like, say, juggling oversized kiwis with one’s feet, the opening act of “OVO” — the performers of Cirque du Soleil perform with a mind-boggling level of proficiency. When the acts fall into established circus arts, such as trapeze or tightrope-walking, there is so much artistry, beauty and strength displayed that they’ll cause the most skeptical viewer’s jaw to drop.

“OVO,” a feast of insectoid acrobatics and humor currently taking residence at PPG Paints Arena, is funny, dazzling, artful and inspiring. The largest routines in this show are maddening acts of death-defying acrobatics; you’ll find the smaller moments of refined clowning equally as memorable.

When I first saw a Cirque du Soleil show a year ago, I became an instant fan. After this latest installment, I’m contemplating out-of-town trips to see more. There aren’t many nights of entertainment more dazzling than this.

Led Zeppelin 2 Plays III
8 p.m. Friday
Rex Theater

There’s tribute, then there’s chutzpah. Anyone can say they’ve got a Led Zeppelin tribute band. Every city has one or more knock-off Zeps. But to actually call yourself Led Zeppelin 2 — implying that you are, in fact, a direct sequel to the original band — now, that takes chutzpah. Fortunately, this particular cover act backs up its gumption with artistry and, yes, remarkable accuracy; if anything distinguishes Led Zeppelin 2 from the real thing, it’s that the group is probably a bit soberer onstage than the genuine article. They’ll roll into the Rex Theater this Friday night to play “Led Zeppelin III” (the one with “Immigrant Song”) in its entirety.

Pittsburgh Shakedown 2020
Ace Hotel

Pittsburgh Shakedown, a swing dance and music weekend at the Ace Hotel, will include a Friday night opening dance with the Boilermaker Jazz Band, dance workshops and ballroom social dancing with the Hot Metal Swing Orchestra, a 14-piece big band. Learn to swing, watch the pros and hear music from years gone by. — Jesseca Muslin

8 p.m. Saturday (Also Jan. 28, 31, Feb. 2)
Pittsburgh CAPA Theater

It’d be awfully convenient if we could still excuse our own behavior by claiming we were under an evil spell. “I know I missed all of my obligations for the past three days, but you see, I was entranced by a sorceress.” That kind of thing. You could get out of a lot of social situations that way. Handel’s “Alcina” concerns just such a sorceress, who lures lovers to her island home only to turn them into animals when she tires of them. (Again: This is not the worst version of romance I’ve heard of.) See this masterpiece performed by Pittsburgh Opera, partnering with Chatham Baroque, in the intimate CAPA Theater. 

8 p.m. Friday & 2:30 p.m. Sunday
Heinz Hall

In 1803, Beethoven made a resolution to write an opera. And folks, he did it … a decade later. To be fair, the composer premiered two versions of the opera during that time, but it wasn’t until 1814 that the final revisions were made. Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will perform that final draft, “Fidelio,” this weekend, conducted by Manfred Honeck and joined by the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. Experience for yourself the rewards of patience. — Cassidy Gruber

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

Derek Hughes @ Liberty Magic
Jan 8 – Feb 16 all-day
Derek Hughes @ Liberty Magic | Pittsburgh | Pennsylvania | United States

Quintessential funny man Derek Hughes has been lauded by audiences and critics alike, with the New York Times calling him “thoroughly entertaining.” Awarded First Place in Stage Magic by the International Brotherhood of Magicians, Hughes has performed his magic on MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, and the CW’s Penn & Teller: Fool Us. Derek has joined the ranks of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” He’s a consulting producer on TRUtv’s hit magic series, The Carbonaro Effect and was a finalist on season 10 of NBC’s America’s Got Talent where he gained notoriety for his provocative materializations.

Downstairs @ City Theatre
Jan 11 – Feb 2 all-day
Downstairs @ City Theatre | | |


By Theresa Rebeck
Directed by Marc Masterson

January 11 – February 2, 2020

This ominous, darkly intriguing new play – from Broadway’s most produced female playwright – confronts family secrets, regrets, and the threat of madness in the search for the good life.

Clear Your Chakras for Vitality (Seven Week Series) @ Aspect Life Coaching & Serenity Center
Jan 14 – Feb 25 all-day
Clear Your Chakras for Vitality (Seven Week Series) @ Aspect Life Coaching & Serenity Center | | |

Chakras are the energy centers in your body, like wheels that link together mental, physical and spiritual parts of you. When you understand what each Chakra represents, and how you can keep the balance, it can positively impact all parts of your life.
$290 for all seven sessions.
focus on one Chakra at a time.
Experience a guided energy clearing meditation with Tibetan bowls and Essential
Experience a guided energy meditation with Essential oils. .
Receive a set of Affirmation cards, focusing on Positive statements to guide your energy. .
doTERRA Essential Oil Roller-ball blends for each chakra will be available to purchase.
This class is appropriate for those who would like balance and improved energy flow.
We will meditate in comfortable chairs. Class limited to 15 people.
An Eden Energy Practitioner and a Life Coach will be facilitating the series.
Visit us at or call for details at 724-299-3621.

Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show: Out of This World @ Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Jan 18 @ 9:30 am – Mar 8 @ 5:00 pm
Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show: Out of This World @ Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens | | |

Starting Sat., Jan. 18, grab your spacesuit and prepare to blast off into a galaxy of gardens at Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show: Out of This World! At this all-new show, guests will enjoy hundreds of star-shaped and otherworldly orchids, plus our cosmic collection of tropical bonsai. Escape from the cold and embark on an interplanetary adventure right inside the display rooms of our Victorian glasshouse!

hush. Kimberly Chapman @ McDonough Museum of Art
Jan 24 – Mar 7 all-day

With a penchant for shedding light on dark topics, Kimberly’s delicate, white porcelain sculptures touch on issues including silencing woman, school shootings, domestic violence, and the refugee crises.

Red Press Collaborative | Decennial Celebration @ McDonough Museum of Art
Jan 24 – Mar 7 all-day

The Red Press Collaborative is a program designed to promote Fine Art Printmaking at Youngstown State University and within the Mahoning Valley region. A limited edition print will be created throughout the week in collaboration between our visiting artist and YSU art students. Various printmaking methods, such as Intaglio, Relief, Lithography, Screenprint, and Digital Printing will be showcased through this collaboration.

Scatter Surge @ McDonough Museum of Art
Jan 24 – Mar 7 all-day

Ken Rinaldo Will consist of two art series by Ken Rinaldo. The Seed Series, post nature portraits of phantasmagorical seeds; imagined manipulations with CrisprCas9 targeted gene splicing. The worldwide premiere of the Microbiome portrait sculptures, which look at primordial earth, pluripotent stem cells, bacteria, and our human microbiomes. The microbiome portraits will be collected and grown, for all those entering the exhibition at the McDonough Museum of Art

Something to Believe In @ McDonough Museum of Art
Jan 24 – Mar 7 all-day

Kristina Paabus In the solo exhibition, Something to Believe In, Kristina Paabus examines the systems that we use to control our surroundings – as well as the structures that try to control us. Our personal and cultural narratives are formed by tools such as language, architecture, Internet, beliefs, and government. Through abstraction and metaphor Paabus investigates the operations, fractures, and perceptions of these strategies to uncover the underlying common codes of our shared experiences.

As a first-generation Estonian-American, Paabus has been influenced by growing up in between these two cultures, histories, and places. Much of her creative work has focused on the lasting impact of Soviet occupation on both tangible and invisible spaces. Paabus creates hybrid spatial conversations that observe, interpret, and respond to experiences of attempted containment. This exhibition spans the past seven years of her multidisciplinary creative practice through drawings and sculptures. These speculative renderings translate visual remnants to question, disrupt, and abstract power structures.

The PTC and CGI Present Beyond Big Data: AI/Machine Learning Summit @ Marriott City Center
Jan 30 @ 8:00 am – 5:30 pm
The PTC and CGI Present Beyond Big Data: AI/Machine Learning Summit @ Marriott City Center | | |

Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning are empowering businesses, solving tough challenges, and have the potential to make life easier and more productive for us all.

C-level executives in a variety of industries are using these technologies to make better business decisions and to serve their customers better and more efficiently. However, navigating through the hype and the magnitude of data may be a challenge.

Now in its 5th iteration, Beyond Big Data: AI/ML Summit is a unique opportunity for managers on every level to learn more about the opportunities of these technologies while connecting with others in the industry. With a focus on trends and best practices, the event aims to explore strategies, best practices and technologies surrounding data analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning while keeping in mind the implications of regulations, privacy, data protection, and ethics that govern this field.

The one-day event will feature keynote speakers and several panel discussions. This program is designed to enrich, enlighten and entertain.

Wine & Cheese Pairing Class: Cheddar @ Palate Partners & Dreadnought Wines
Jan 30 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Wine & Cheese Pairing Class: Cheddar @ Palate Partners & Dreadnought Wines | Pittsburgh | Pennsylvania | United States

A classic pairing if ever there was one! In these classes we will explore cheese by category, talking about each type of cheese, it’s history, and how they are made. Cheeses for this class series will be purchased from local cheese experts including the Pennsylvania Macaroni Company, Chantal’s Cheese Shop, and more!

Our CIA trained chef and in-house Wine Expert, Deb Mortilarrio, will discuss how to pair these cheese with wines as well as how to use them in cooking where appropriate. We will match both white and red wines in these classes.

Join us for this inaugural class exploring one of the most popular cheeses in the world – Cheddar! We will explore a variety of cheddar cheeses, their history, and what wines pair best!

Categories: After Dark, Things To Do