The Hot List: Hip-hop festival, 'Walking With Dinosaurs,' 'Disney Junior,' Smokey Robinson and more

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Hip-hop heavies

The biggest rap show of the weekend, in terms of attendance, will be the homecoming of Wiz Khalifa on Friday in Burgettstown with a cast of playful characters.

The more serious rap show takes place at the two-day Cultured Steel Hip-Hop Festival, which presents a bill with Talib Kweli and Rapsody, Jasiri X, Kellee Maize and Palermo Stone.

The Brooklyn-based Kweli is among the premier consciousness rappers, coming of age in the mid '90s with Mos Def in Black Star before launching his solo albums a few years later. He's been outspoken on issues of social justice and police brutality and in support of Occupy Wall Street. Last year, he released two albums, "Prisoner of Conscious" and "Gravitas," of which he said he was telling his story through music.

The concert is at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty, at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Tonight, the "40 Years of Hip-Hop Arts & Culture" exhibit opens at The Alloy Studios, 5530 Penn Ave., East Liberty. Doors open at 6 p.m., gallery opening at 7 p.m. with a light reception. The screening of 9th Wonder's film "The Hip Hop Fellow" follows at 8 p.m.

Day 1 tickets are $10. Day 2 tickets are $15. Two-day passes also are available for $20. More info and tickets:

Dino Magic

"Walking With Dinosaurs -- The Arena Spectacular," based on the BBC television series, returns to the Consol Energy Center through Sunday, displaying life-size dinosaur puppets in an entertaining and informative setting.

The show will feature 20 dinosaurs in all, representing 10 species. The dinosaurs each weigh 1.6 tons, roll around on six wheels, and require a team of three people to act as drivers and puppeteers.

Times are 7 p.m. today and Friday; 11 a.m. and 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday; and 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25-$75; or 1-800-745-3000.

’Undateable’ comic

Chris D'Elia, star of the NBC comedy "Undateable," appears this weekend at the Pittsburgh Improv, at The Waterfront, Homestead.

The comedian, who took part in the Oddbally Comedy Festival last summer, also starred opposite Whitney Cummings on the NBC comedy "Whitney" and was named by Variety as one of the Top 10 Comics to Watch in 2011.

Showtimes are 8 tonight, 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday, and 7 and 9:15 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $25; or 412-462-5233.


Disney Junior

"Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure" makes its first trip to Pittsburgh for two days at the Petersen Events Center in Oakland.

Geared toward preschoolers, it features characters from the hits "Sofia the First" and "Jake and the Never Land Pirates," as well as Mickey and Minnie. It begins with an interactive pre-show featuring Doc McStuffins, the 6-year-old doctor to toys and stuffed animals, and allows kids and parents to sing along to "I Feel Better."

"Disney Junior Live" will take fans on a journey to Enchancia, where Sofia has the honor of delivering the perfect gift to her royal subjects at a celebration, visited by Cinderella. It continues with a trip to Never Land, where Jake and his Yo Ho pirate friends, Izzy and Cubby, are in a race against time to locate a mysterious treasure-filled volcano.

Times are 7 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. and 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday. Tickets start at $35;


Smokey’s miracles

Motown legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Smokey Robinson, once called America's "greatest living poet" by Bob Dylan, performs Saturday at the Meadows Casino in Washington, Pa.

The 74-year-old singer-songwriter from Detroit, who led The Miracles in '60s and wrote hits for Marvin Gaye, The Temptations and many more, is best known for "Tears of a Clown," "The Tracks of My Tears," "You Really Got a Hold on Me" and "My Girl."

On Aug. 19, he will release "Smokey & Friends," a new duets album featuring James Taylor, Elton John, Steven Tyler, Sheryl Crow, Mary J. Blige, John Legend, John Mayer, Miguel and more.

The show is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39.95-$59.95;

PSO light

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concludes its summer concert series with "Triple Play," a light classical concert with conductor Christian Capocaccia and pianist Xiayin Wang.

Works by Glinka, Suppe, Offenbach and Rossini will be featured, as well as music from "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Batman: The Dark Knight Rises" and "Star Wars." Ms. Wang will perform Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major. The 7:30 p.m. concert is at Heinz Hall, Downtown. Tickets: $25-$50; 412-392-4900 or


Music fundraisers

Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers will play their 10th annual summer picnic at the Serbian Club in Mr. Grushecky's hometown of Biddle (near Irwin) on Sunday. The club, which has served the former coal mining community for more than 60 years, has fallen on hard times, according to the Houserocker frontman. The event will help keep the doors open. The music starts at 4 p.m. Admission is $5. Go to

· The Mr. Roboto Project, 5106 Penn Ave., Bloomfield, hosts the Pittsburgh Zine Fair Fundraiser at 7 p.m. Sunday with local bands Geriatrics, Host Skull and Shaky Shrines, along with artwork and merchandise from several local artists. Proceeds will benefit the fourth annual Pittsburgh Zine Fair, on Sept. 28 at the Union Project in Highland Park. A $5-$10 sliding scale donation is requested.


· The free Citiparks Cinema in the Parks series continues with the wintry animated hit "Frozen" tonight at Brookline Memorial Park, Friday at Arsenal Park in Lawrenceville, Saturday at Grandview Park, Mount Washington, and Sunday at Flagstaff Hill, Schenley Park. The Jackie Robinson biopic "42" will be shown in Riverview Park, Observatory Hill, Saturday. All screenings are at dusk.

· Bluegrass guitarist Jerry Douglas plays Hartwood Acres at 7:30 p.m. Sunday with Nameless in August.

· South Park Amphitheater presents Serena Ryder with The Harlan Twins at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

· Poogie Bell 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 Carnegie Brass.

· The Citiparks Reservoir of Jazz Concert Series opens in Highland Park (Highland Avenue and Reservoir Drive) from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday with Maureen Budway.

· The Duhks play the SummerSounds series in Greensburg's St. Clair Park at 7 p.m. Friday.

· Bruce in the USA and Traffic Jam play the Station Square Summer Jam Friday at 6:30 p.m.

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