Things To Do This Weekend in Pittsburgh

Top Pick: A Collection of Rock’s Greatest Hits at Heinz Hall


Music aficionados are often lured to a particular concert with the promise of a favorite piece of music. The program will be advertised to devotees eager to hear the works of a preferred composer; specific compositions, of course, have the power to stir emotions.

I’m talking, of course, about songs such as Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”

That hit, by the finally-inducted Hall of Famer who made a long-overdue arrival in Rock’s pantheon last year, is but one of the songs on the program for “Women Rock,” a celebration of some of the most iconic performers in rock and pop history (timed to coincide with Women’s History Month).

A lineup featuring conductor Byron Stripling and a trio of vocalists — Crystal Monee Hall, Kelly LeVesque and Brie Cassil — will give the Heinz Hall treatment to favorites including “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” “Proud Mary,” “Dancing in the Street,” “I Love Rock ’n Roll” and other hits by the likes of Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin and Heart.

This is a concert that will remind you that, as storied as Heinz Hall’s place in classical music may be, there’s rock history here too — and for good reason. Ray Charles played at Heinz Hall. So did Johnny Cash. Stevie Ray Vaughn, Santana, Bruce Springsteen. It’ll rock that hard this weekend.

“Women Rock” will be performed Friday and Saturday night and at a Sunday matinee.

More This Weekend
Listen, I’m not here to pretend I know everything, so here’s a confession: I have no idea what “Steel Magnolias” is about. Haven’t seen the play, haven’t seen the movie. So I excitedly bought a ticket for the production of the influential play currently running at Pittsburgh Public Theater. The show has a loaded cast, including Elizabeth Elias Huffman, Kyra Kennedy, Robyne Parrish, Helena Ruoti and Saige Smith — the latter, in the interest of disclosure, being a colleague and friend who told me that the script is among the best she’s ever read. The show is in previews now and runs through April 9.

The annual Pittsburgh Humanities Festival brings writers, thinkers and cultural commentators together for a series of talks and presentations in the Cultural District. Main events in this year’s series include a presentation on “The Legacy of Women in Hip-Hop,” scheduled for Friday at the Trust Arts Education Center, and a talk from public-radio superstar Ira Glass on Saturday night at the Byham Theater. Throughout the three-day festival, the “Core Conversations” series offers onstage talks on a wide variety of topics.

At a time when Pittsburgh is overflowing with wrestling events (trust me, I’m an expert), only one evening of grappling dares to conquer East Carson Street. WrestleRex, a night of lucha libre-inspired action, returns to the former Rex Theater — now dubbed The Enclave — this Thursday night. The show pairs seasoned Pittsburgh-based fighters with top independent talent from around the country; it’s the creation of Sam Adonis, a Pittsburgh native who has become a household name as a rudo (that means bad guy) in Mexico.

I noticed a New Orleans-style jazz brunch on the lineup at the Bridge Music Bar in East Liberty, and my interest was piqued — I enjoy both live jazz and Creole dishes, after all. I was surprised to learn that we have an in-house connection to the event: Chris Fennimore, the writer and chef who has contributed to Pittsburgh Magazine for years, plays banjo with Dixie Doc and the Pittsburgh Dixieland All-Stars. Come for a slate of old-school jazz standards — and if Chris is involved, I’m betting the food is pretty good, too.

The Found Footage Fest celebrates those bizarre slices of video madness found in bargain-bins and mail-away catalogs in the VHS era. The longstanding riff on, and bizarre celebration of, slices of filmed ephemera returns to town this Thursday night for a stop at Bottlerocket Social Hall; expect the hilariously cringey.

Watch Sean Collier discuss this weekend’s events on KDKA’s “Pittsburgh Today Live” here:

Looking for more things to do. Check out our complete list of events in Pittsburgh for today, tomorrow and the weeks ahead.

Categories: Things To Do