Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

The month's best bets in the 'Burgh.

photo courtesy The Illusionists

April 19-24/ An all-you-can-eat buffet of magic and visual trickery travels from Broadway to Heinz Hall in The Illusionists. The show features seven magicians, each an expert in a different field, from deception to escape to weaponry. (600 Penn Ave., Downtown; 412/392-4900,

April 7-10/ If you doubt that Japanese popular culture is an important part of American popular culture, ask the nearest teen to explain the phenomenon: You’ll discover a widespread love of anime, manga and cosplay. The annual Tekko convention is where enthusiasts of these elaborate fantasies come together in Pittsburgh. In addition to a cast of special guests and musicians, the conference (now in its 14th year) includes a fashion show, a cosplay contest, a dance party and some intricately detailed LARPing (live-action role-playing). The four-day event at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center is expected to attract 7,500 people. (1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd., Downtown; 866/767-9708,

April 16/ Multiple Sclerosis fundraiser MuSic for MS is holding a preview concert (and fundraiser) at the New Hazlett Theater for its annual festival in August. Expect performances from national Americana acts River Whyless and Driftwood. (6 Allegheny Square East, North Side;

April 23-24/
Art All Night, the signature overnight artistic event of Lawrenceville, returns for its 19th year with an all-comers-welcome, non-juried, uncensored show that always is free and open to the public. (Arsenal Terminal Building, 3901 Butler St.; 412/235-1950,

April 13/ City of Asylum hosts a reading by the Nigerian writer and Black Mountain Institute fellow Okey Ndibe, whose novel “Foreign Gods, Inc.” follows a New York cab driver’s attempt to steal a war deity from his native Nigeria. (330 Sampsonia Way, North Side; 412/323-0278,

photo courtesy handerson gomes

April 15-16/  In a twist on the live storytelling trend of the moment, Bricolage Production Company combines true (and often funny) stories with a live musical soundtrack in WordPlay. Past performers have included Jessi Klein, Jen Kirkman and Eddie Pepitone. (937 Liberty Ave., first floor, Downtown; 412/471-0999,

April 22/ The Romani culture speaks to the yearnings of all humanity as few others. The idea of an oppressed, passionate, wandering people illuminates the mysterious spirit inside every man and woman. For nearly six decades, Esma Redzepova has given voice to that romanticized portrait. Known as the “Queen of the Gypsies,” the Macedonian singer brought her people’s music to a world stage. Her passion extends beyond music; she fostered 49 children and promoted many humanitarian causes. Her blend of politics and art nicely fits the University of Pittsburgh’s Year of the Humanities, which is hosting what is billed as Redzepova’s final public appearance. (Bellefield Hall, 315 S. Bellefield Ave., Oakland; 412/624-8519,

April 16/ Singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega (of “Tom’s Diner” and “Luka” fame) spends an evening at the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall, courtesy of Calliope. Vega’s strong and papery voice has been influencing modern American folk music for decades. (4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland; 412/361-1915,

April 7-24/ The notion of finding creativity within constraints takes on graver meaning when the constraints are provided by an oppressive political regime. The Iranian writer Nassim Soleimanpour was barred from leaving his homeland after becoming a conscientious objector. His creative solution was to create a theatrical production that could easily slip past national boundaries. “White Rabbit, Red Rabbit” requires no director, no set and no rehearsals. Actors receive the script as they approach a live audience. The local troupe 12 Peers Theater is bringing the dark comedy to Pittsburgh with a series of performances in which a new actor will perform the show at each manifestation. A bonus? Every show in 12 Peers’ current season is name-your-own-price. (Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, 937 Liberty Ave., third floor (elevator-accessible), Downtown; 412/626-6784,

April 21-24/ Pittsburgh Earth Day: Steel to Sustainable, the second annual citywide celebration, connects old and new Pittsburgh with an “eco-fashion show,” a TEDxPittsburgh brunch, a ball at the Carrie Furnace and more. (various locations;


Categories: Hot Reads, Things To Do