The 10 best things to do in Pittsburgh in June.
May 23 through September 2
When friends Barbara Gehring and Linda Klein decided to share their diaries one day, they had no idea the laughter that ensued would evolve into a full-fledged cabaret show. Yet here it is, Girls Only – The Secret Comedy of Women, a hilarious revue dedicated to everything sugar and spice. Produced by the Pittsburgh CLO, it’s an estrogen-fueled blend of improv, sketch comedy and (be prepared) audience participation. This new dinner theater performance will play all summer long, but don’t delay — seats sell out quickly.
(655 Penn Ave., downtown; 412/456-6666, clocabaret.com)
Full Bloom Summer Dance Party
In a month packed with hoppin’ happenings, the Full Bloom Summer Dance Party is probably the only one with fire-throwers, hula-hoopers and a kickin’ dance floor in a theater lobby. Full Bloom benefits the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, but it also harvests a vast garden of local talent. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to see what East Liberty has to offer, you won’t find richer entertainment than this.
(5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty; 412/441-1576, kelly-strayhorn.org)
Pittsburghers often forget that their city was once a jazz mecca. Musicians would arrive by train from across the country and play gigs in dozens of smoky clubs. The tradition continues with JazzLive, a weekly jam session produced by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. This month, to complement the Three Rivers Arts Festival, JazzLive International will bring together 240 musicians from around the world. For three days straight, fans can savor the limitless range of contemporary jazz, blues and funk — from local talents to timeless legends.
(Various locations and times; downtown; 412/456-6666, pittsburghjazzlive.com)
Walk Now for Autism
It’s is not a protest, it’s not a parade and it’s not a race. So then what is it? Well, it’s basically a massive get-together for people affected by autism spectrum disorder — friends, family, teachers, researchers and the gamut of others — who have helped raise money for Autism Speaks, one of America’s leading autism advocacy groups. The event celebrates a months-long fundraising campaign and helps introduce newbies to the autism community. The walk is easy, and spirits run high.
(Heinz Field, 100 Art Rooney Ave., North Shore; 412/367-4571, walknowforautismspeaks.org)
Pride in the Street
For Pittsburgh’s LGBT community, Pride Week is a serious statement to the world. But Pride in the Street? It’s one gigantic dance party in the heart of downtown. Think of it as a block party — with DJs, freaky rainbow-colored lights and headliner Melissa Etheridge, all courtesy of the Delta Foundation. After the Awareness March, the Advocacy Rally and the Big Gay Picnic, celebrants pull out the glow-sticks and urban fashion for some late-night revelry. Activism never looked so hot.
(900 Liberty Ave., downtown; pittsburghpride.org)
DJs are a peculiar breed. On one hand, they’re not musicians in the traditional sense. On the other hand, they are masters of music — they spin, sample and mix. They transform the mood of a room with the drop of a needle. No large-scale party is complete without them. And Tim Bergling, alias Avicii, is among the most acclaimed DJs of all time. The Swedish-born jockey plays around the world and has topped charts with his remixes. No wonder his debut at the CONSOL Energy Center is expected to sell out. If progressive house is still on your radar, check it out: This party should vibrate the Center to its foundations.
(1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown; 800/745-3000, consolenergycenter.com)
Furries love Pittsburgh, indeed. For people who enjoy wearing giant, fuzzy costumes of cartoon animals, the Steel City is a favorite kennel. Their annual gathering, Anthrocon, has become a regular David L. Lawrence Convention Center event, and downtowners have grown accustomed to passing pedestrians in paws, whiskers and tails. This year’s affair promises more attendees than ever. The Convention Center will become a regular foxhole of games, social networking and costume workshops. And a tip for amateur photographers passing by: Many Furries love to pose.
(1000 Ft. Duquesne Blvd., downtown; anthrocon.org)
Urban Garden Party
If you’ve ever visited the Mattress Factory, you’ve probably walked into Yayoi Kusama’s installation piece, “Infinity Dots Mirrored Room,” a small antechamber that reflects in all directions. This place is dizzying, surreal and totally fun — and that’s exactly what the Urban Garden Party is like, too. This year’s theme is “Alice at the Factory,” and staffers expect thousands of fans to flood the avant-garde museum. What will await you once you enter this looking-glass world? Expect a bonanza of musicians, special exhibitions and performance artists. For Pittsburgh’s culturati, no party is more hotly anticipated.
(500 Sampsonia Way, North Side; mattress.org)
Pittsburgh Oyster Urban Adventure Race
What if you signed up for a race but had no idea where it led? Suppose you didn’t even know what the race entailed. Would you have to jump over walls? Kayak a river? Swig beer? That’s the idea behind the Pittsburgh Oyster Urban Adventure Race, a magnet for athletes who embrace the unknown. Competitors must choose between “Urban Adventure” and “Off Road,” but beyond that, anything goes. Originated in Denver, Oyster Races have become a national sensation, much like the Ruckus Run and Warrior Dash competitions. The key differences? There’s no clear course, and racers must follows clues. May the cleverest team win.
(Heinz Field, 100 Art Rooney Ave., North Shore; oysterracingseries.com)
In style and demeanor, no place is more distant from a Jimmy Buffett song than Pittsburgh. But why dwell on the differences? Pittsburghers like cheeseburgers. We’re “down-to-earth.” We even have a South Side bar called Margaritaville. And for Parrotheads who still like to keep up with “The Pirate,” this concert is the perfect excuse to enjoy a frosty beverage, stay up late and sway like a palm tree.
(First Niagara Pavilion, 18 U.S. 22, Burgettstown; 724/947-7400, ticketmaster.com)