The 10 best things to do in Pittsburgh this October.
Sing Like an Egyptian
It turns out that love triangles are as old as the pharaohs. In ancient Egypt, Radamès captures the beautiful Ethiopian princess Aida. Although he is supposed to hand over the prisoner to his king, Radamès falls in love with her. Meanwhile, the pharaoh’s daughter, Amneris, loves Radamès. Aida is a saga of loyalty, love and war. Pittsburgh Opera revives the Giuseppe Verdi piece this month. Be sure to pack handkerchiefs — this classic is a weeper.
[Benedum Center, 237 Seventh St., downtown; 412/456-6666, pittsburghopera.org]
No choral number packs more power than “O Fortuna,” the opening movement to Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. Composed in the 1930s and based on the bawdy poetry of medieval monks, Carmina Burana has wowed audiences with its emotional force and orchestral majesty. Having a perfect blend of voice, orchestra and mysterious Latin lyrics, it’s no wonder the cantata has been included in so many movie soundtracks. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra presents this popular favorite for a three-night engagement.
[Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., downtown; 412/392-4900, pittsburghsymphony.org]
The Buzz About Coffey
Chip Coffey is a curious case: He’s a psychic, an anti-bullying activist, an author and a recurring TV personality. As mediums go, Coffey seems particularly approachable — which is why “Coffey Talk” might appeal to a wide variety of people. Whether or not you believe Coffey can predict the future or commune with the dead, you should enjoy his intimate salons. If you’re lucky, you’ll get picked for a one-on-one reading.
Row, Row, Row Your Boats
Everybody knows about the Three Rivers Regatta, with its speedboats, Sea-Doos and high-flying aquabatics. In stark contrast, the Head of the Ohio Regatta is a shorter, quieter event, yet it’s no less formidable. It showcases rowers and shells, courtesy of the Three Rivers Rowing Association. You’ll find every level of competitive rower, from beginners to Olympians, plus student-athletes. These folks replace engines and horsepower with superhuman upper-body strength. Head of the Ohio may be brief, but it purports to be one of the nation’s biggest one-day regattas.
You don’t have to be a great cyclist to be part of the Trek Breast Cancer Awareness Ride. Heck, it’s OK if you haven’t hopped on a bike for years. As long as you care about women’s health and enjoy pedaling with like-minded folks, this ride is for you. Starting at 10 a.m. at the Robinson Township Trek store, participants can enjoy a relaxed excursion around the western suburbs. Enjoy fresh autumn air and help spread the word about cancer prevention, screening and treatment.
[6514 Steubenville Pike, Robinson Township; trekbikes.com]
There may be no more entertaining arthritis benefit than the Bone Bash Gala, which provides an opportunity to wear costumes, make silkscreens, get a drink from the open bar and cut a rug. Not everyone gets to visit The Andy Warhol Museum all that often, so the soirée is also a nice excuse to take a docent-led tour through the renowned art gallery. As expected, there will be a photo booth and silent auction — but the big attraction will most likely be The Factory Dance Party. Benefiting the Pittsburgh Arthritis Foundation, the Bone Bash Gala is a chance to eat, drink and be scary.
[117 Sandusky St., North Side; 412/250-3342, bonebashpittsburgh.com]
Rock and Roll All Afternoon
Just a few reasons you might love the second annual RocktoberFest: It takes place on an airstrip; it’s family-friendly; and it offers horseshoes, classic rock music and opportunities for a backrub on a massage chair. Do you need another reason? Oh, yes, RocktoberFest takes place at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. You may not normally celebrate Oktoberfest with ’80s power ballads, but there’s a first time for everything. At RocktoberFest, there will be one familiar feature: beer — in 70 different flavors from 30 regional breweries.
[1001 Lafayette Drive, Farmington; 724/329-8555, nemacolin.com]
Ten years ago, local wrestling fans may have seen a young CM Punk plying his trade in tiny gyms. Today, the Chicago-born grappler is one of the world’s most popular performers; he once held the WWE title for an impressive 434 straight days. For his enemies on the mat, that makes him a target. Who will dare throw Punk into the ropes? During this installment of WWE Raw, there are plenty of contenders, from Dolph Ziggler to The Shield. Watch them hurl each other around the ring at Consol Energy Center, and see if Punk can stay on top.
[1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown; 800/745-3000, consolenergycenter.com]
Yo, Ho, Ho!
One of the most arresting stories of all time is about a flying boy, an ornery pirate and a land where no one grows old. Ever since J.M. Barrie wrote the stage play Peter Pan in 1904, the narrative has been readapted many different ways. We’re pretty sure you’ve never seen it like this: In this new version of Peter Pan, presented by Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater, seven kids gather in an attic and recreate the story using found objects and their imaginations.
[Byham Theater, 101 Sixth St., downtown; 412/456-6666, trustarts.org]
Oct. 18, 19, 25, 26
Who would have guessed that Butler, Pa., is so thoroughly haunted? There’s a ghost-infested elevator, a phantom regiment and the specters of a Chinese laundry murder. After spending 60 minutes on the Butler Ghost Walk, guided by spook authority Bill May, you’ll doubt whether an inch of Butler County is free of the undead. As Halloween approaches, take a jaunt north and learn about the region’s eerie history, sponsored by the Butler County Civil War Roundtable.
[Diamond Park, Butler; reservations required; 724/256-9026, butlerghostwalk.com]