The Hot List -- What's going on around town this weekend

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Race Weekend

Gentlemen, start your engines. It's race weekend in Schenley Park.

The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix puts 150 vintage racers on 2.33 mile course with 23 turns. It is best viewed on Bob O'Connor Golf Course, also the scene of an International Car Show with more than 2,000 vehicles on display, plus sponsor tents, vendors, and food and refreshment. There is no cost for spectators to enter, but they encourage donations that benefit charities.

Here is the weekend schedule:

Tonight: "Cars & Guitars" Concert at the Hard Rock Cafe, Station Square, with the Gathering Field and Maddie Georgi. 7 p.m.

Saturday: International Car Shows & British Car Day with classic, antique, and exotic vehicles. (11 a.m.--4 p.m.). Also, racers compete for Sunday's featured races from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday: Race Day with races and car shows.

8:15 a.m.-noon: Vintage Practice Sessions

9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.: British Car Day and International Car Show

Noon-1 p.m.: Vintage Track Rides

1-5 p.m.: Vintage Qualifying Races

For more details, or 412-559-3500.

Celebrate Downtown

Coinciding with its 20th anniversary of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, this week it has been presenting Celebrate Downtown to highlight the city's revitalization.

Here are a few things happening this weekend:

* Project Pop Up: Picnic: From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, visitors will be able to picnic on Upper Mellon Green at Ross and Sixth avenues, with Hundred Wood, a new restaurant opening on the Point Park University campus, offering three different pre-ordered lunches. The PDP will provide picnic blankets. Tickets are $12 each and can be obtained on the PDP website.

* Open Streets Pittsburgh: From 8 a.m. until noon Sunday, Sixth and Market streets from the Roberto Clemente Bridge to Market Square will be closed to vehicles for walking, dancing, skating, playing and socializing. Yoga, Zumba, dance classes and a climbing wall will be available along the half-mile stretch. The PDP, Bike Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust are sponsoring the event.

There are also rooftop tours, but tickets are going fast.

For details, go to

Messenger of death

Throughline Theatre presents "A New Death," a play about a newly minted messenger of death, finding success in a new job and vintage TV characters. The work by local writer C.S. Wyatt is at the Grey Box Theatre in Lawrenceville Friday through July 26 (8 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday). Tickets are $15 (add $10 for the opening-night party) or $12 for students and seniors at the door or

Opera on tap

Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's SummerFest continues with performances of Schmidt's "The Fantasticks" (7:30 tonight), Strauss' "Ariadne on Naxos" (7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday), Lehar's "The Merry Widow" (7:30 p.m. Saturday), and several smaller events such as a children's opera (11 a.m. Saturday), a vocal recital and late-night cabarets. All events take place at the Twentieth Century Club, Oakland. Details and tickets at or 412-326-9687.


PSO Stayin‘‍ Alive

Barry Gibb, the only surviving member of the Bee Gees, has been touring after a long time away from the music scene, but there hasn't been a Pittsburgh stop.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra steps up wth "Stayin' Alive," a Bee Gees tribute featuring such favorites such "Stayin' Alive," "You Should Be Dancing" and "How Deep Is Your Love." It's a multimedia experience with video clips, photos and imagery from the '70s.

It's led by resident conductor Fawzi Haimor and features Tony Mattina, Todd Sharman, Joseph Janisse as the brothers, with drummer Tom Wolf and bassist Chris Mullen.

The 7:30 p.m. concert takes place at Heinz Hall, Downtown. $25-$75, or 412-392-4900.

Christmas in July

If this week's milder temperatures aren't cool enough for you, Jack Frost will nip your nose today at the Market Square Farmers Market, Downtown, when cast members for "Irving Berlin's White Christmas" will perform "Christmas in July." The market runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The performers for the show at the Benedum Center Nov. 18-23 are Drew Humphrey, Jeremy Benton, Kelly Sheehan and Maddy Apple, and they'll sing all the favorites such as "Happy Holiday," "Sisters," "Blue Skies" and of course, "White Christmas." CLO Mini Stars also will perform.

Thursday's event, which also will bring in a few of the vendors that appear at the People's Gas Holiday Market in Market Square, will include an appearance from Santa Claus.

A musical treat

If staycations are more your style, take a musical trip from a seat at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater during "Swinging With a Blindfold," a concert with pianist/composer David Cutler and Project Pinata presented by Chamber Music Pittsburgh.

The concert promises "Indian rhythms, Bulgarian wedding, salsa montuno, Bach Minuets, Nuevo tango, techno grooves" and much more.

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m., with a pre-concert mixer (with a free drink and food included with admission) at 6:30 p.m. Tickets, $25 in advance, $28 at the door, at 412-624-4129 or


Lord’‍s harmonies

FLA indie folk band Lord Huron is on its biggest U.S. headlining tour yet, playing Coachella, Bonnaroo, Firefly and Newport Folk Festival. On Friday, it hits Millvale for a stop at Mr. Smalls.

The band started as the solo project for frontman and Michigan native Ben Schneider, who played music as a child around the campfire on Lake Huron.

Following a series of self-released EPs beginning in 2010, the band's 2012 debut album, "Lonesome Dreams," has drawn praise for its warm and dreamy Americana filled with vocal harmonies.

It begins at 8 p.m. with James Apollo. Tickets are $20;


Families and faith

"Children of Eden" replaces another scheduled production of a Stephen Schwartz musical at The Theatre Factory in Trafford Friday through Aug. 3. The Trafford company lost the rights to the musical "Pippin" due to the impending national tour and instead will present "Eden," with a book by John Caird and songs by Schwartz. The musical celebrates families and faith, based on parents and children in the Book of Genesis.

Tickets are $18 ($32 with dinner); or seniors (60 and over) and students $16/$30. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday this week, then 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Details: 412-374-9200 or


Scores and screens

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will perform a concert featuring works by the great film composer John Williams at 2:30 p.m. at Heinz Hall, Downtown.

Resident conductor Lawrence Loh will lead the PSO in music from "Jaws," "Star Wars," "Jurassic Park" and more. The performance features solos by principal harp Gretchen Van Hoesen and principal contrabassoon James Rodgers.

Tickets, $25-$50, 412-392-4900 or


Yes albums

Yes, primed to release the new album "Heaven & Earth," plays a sold-out show at the Carnegie Library Music Hall that will feature the classic "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge" albums performed in full.

The band features the core of bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe and drummer Alan White joined by keyboardist Geoff Downes and singer Jon Davison.

Stage AE has a bill of indie/Americana groups Band of Horses and Midlake. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $36/$40;

Polish Hill festival

The Seventh Annual Polish Hill Arts Festival will feature more than 30 local artists and contemporary craftspeople, live music, hands-on art-making presented by Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and more, and food vendors with Polish, vegan and vegetarian options.

Performing will be Pandemic (DJ set), Timbeleza (Brazilian samba), The Polish Hillbillies (country), Geña y Peña (salsa, jazz and world music), Olivia Kissel (Middle Eastern dance), Virasamba (samba), Gangwish (electronic/rock duo) and Jaguar Mountain Rundown (alt country).

It's presented by the Polish Hill Civic Association noon to 9 p.m. on the corner of Brereton and Dobson streets. Admission is free;

Whiskey Rebellion

Oliver Miller Homestead in South Park celebrates Whiskey Rebellion Day with historic skits and displays. There will be an updated play on serving the federal government's writ upon the Miller family, re-enactors representing the era and a children's corner with hands-on activities. It runs from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. The four-part play starts at 2 p.m.

The Oliver Miller Homestead is on Stone Manse Drive in South Park. Admission is $2; or 412-835-1554.


* The free Citiparks Cinema in the Parks series continues with the classic musical "Mary Poppins" tonight at Brookline Memorial Park, Friday at Arsenal Park in Lawrenceville, Saturday at Grandview Park, Mount Washington, and Sunday at Flagstaff Hill, Schenley Park.

* "Saving Mr. Banks," a film about bringing "Mary Poppins" to the screen starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, is shown in Riverview Park, Observatory Hill, Saturday. All screenings are at dusk.

* In what is sure to be one of the better attended shows at Hartwood Acres, jazzy roots band Lake Street Dive performs at 7:30 p.m. Sunday with singer-songwriter Brooke Annibale.

* Southern/folk-rock band Sister Hazel performs at South Park Amphitheater at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

* Stacia Abbott plays the Citiparks Stars at Riverview Jazz Series at Observatory Hill, Riverview Park, at 7 p.m. Saturday.

* Citiparks' Bach, Beethoven and Brunch Concert Series continues in Mellon Park, Fifth and Shady avenues, from 10:30 a.m. to noon Sunday with The Matt Murchison Mutiny, playing music from Copland to Corigliano to Elvis Costello.

* Louisiana Cajun band Beausoleil plays the SummerSounds series in Greensburg's St. Clair Park at 7 p.m. Friday.

* Bastard Bearded Irishmen and Good Brother Earl play the Station Square Summer Jam Friday at 6:30 p.m.


* Electronic rocker Tobacco, of Black Moth Super Rainbow, plays Mr. Smalls at 8 p.m. Saturday with The Stargazer Lilies and Zackey Force Funk. Tickets are $15;

* New Jersey-born, Pittsburgh-raised Steve Byrne brings The Cast of Sullivan & Son Comedy Tour to the Rex Theater tonight, joined by Owen Benjamin, Roy Wood Jr. and Ahmed Ahmed. It begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 (18 and over).

* The Pittsburgh Pirates Fun Run/Walk for Epilepsy on Saturday is a 5K run, 2-mile walk and tailgate party. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Run/walk begins at 9:30 a.m. People who register for $30 get an event T-shirt and a ticket to one Pirates' game. 412-322-5880.

* It's time once again for Alan Olifson's "WordPlay" at Bricolage, where actors, writers and the rest of us read true stories to a live score created in collaboration with a DJ. The July 18 entry at 8 p.m. features stories from James Kincaid, Lisa Kirchner, Jason McCune. Todd Shaffer and Olifson; with Keebs serving as DJ. Tickets are $20; more at or 412-471-0999.

* Summer in Ligonier is a craft festival with children's activities taking place On the Diamond Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 724-238-4200.

* Blues band Sugar Ray and The Bluetones, featuring Monster Mike Welch on guitar, plays the Thunderbird Cafe in Lawrenceville at 9 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $12-$15;

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