Things To Do This Weekend in Pittsburgh
Top Pick: Jazz Poetry Month at City of Asylum.
OLIVER LAKE | PHOTOS COURTESY CITY OF ASYLUM
If you were naming the most underappreciated events on Pittsburgh’s cultural calendar, Jazz Poetry Month from City of Asylum would have to rank at the top.
The event certainly is popular enough, and many of the (blessedly free) events do fill up. But this series — which brings jazz musicians and poets from around the world to the North Side to perform live and often improvisational sets — should be a jewel in our civic crown, the sort of only-in-Pittsburgh thing that draws not just neighbors and aficionados but every local with a curious mind and an appreciation for truly transcendent entertainment.
It’s a truly global affair. Among the upcoming performances: Ukrainian pianist Vadim Neselovskyi giving a timely recital of his full-length composition, “Odesa: A Musical Journey Through a Legendary City”; saxophonist and poet Oliver Lake, a Jazz Poetry Month regular, collaborating with Italian master Claudio Cojaniz; and Portuguese vocalist and composer Sara Serpa performing her new work, “Encounters & Collisions.”
There’s much more on tap through May 25; those unable to make it to Alphabet City can watch via livestream from home. Pick any show and you’ll be in on one of the city’s most delightful and worthy cultural traditions.
More This Weekend
Happy centennial to the Manor Theatre! The Squirrel Hill cinema’s 100th birthday is on Sunday, and they’re bringing back a landmark film from every decade of their lifetime to celebrate. The lineup reads like an all-star team of timeless flicks: “His Girl Friday,” “Casablanca,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “The Godfather,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Pulp Fiction,” “The Departed” and “Get Out.” Sunday night, there’s a one-show-only deep cut: The silent film “Hail the Woman,” which happens to be the first film ever screened at the Manor, returning 100 years later to the day. It’s a fitting silver-screen celebration for the most enduring movie theater in town.
“Children’s” is in the name, but it’s really a festival for everyone, from infants to adults. The EQT Children’s Theater Festival, taking place Saturday and Sunday in the Cultural District, has a raft of programming scheduled, including something for the very youngest audiences — “Flutter” from theater company Treehouse Shakers, a “discovery play” aimed at kids 6-18 months. Meanwhile, world-class acrobats — including Guinean/Canadian company Cirque Kalabante and Swiss outfit Compagnia Baccalà — will provide dazzling feats for all ages. There’ll be plenty of performances and many more roving events throughout the Cultural District, so come ready for a full day of fun.
I’m a fan of any event that boils down to “have a beer for a good cause,” and there’s a perfect example Thursday night. 412 Food Rescue will host a tasting of their collaboration with Helltown Brewing, 412 Food Rescue Brew, at the nonprofit’s facility in Millvale; guests get samples and some bites, along with a commemorative tasting glass. Proceeds go to the organization’s efforts to fight food waste and hunger in the region.
I’ve said it before: Some events simply sell themselves. This Saturday, a live Drag Brunch will be held as part of Car Bazaar, the weekly parking-garage flea market. Buy cool stuff out of trunks, have brunch, watch a drag show. If you don’t want to go, you may be allergic to fun; consult a doctor.
See more from Sean on KDKA’s “Pittsburgh’s Today Live.”⇓
Looking for more ideas? Check out our full events calendar here.