Hot List: Cultural events happening this weekend

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PirateFest first pitch

OK, so the season didn't end well, but can you muster some excitement for the 2013 Buccos?

Maybe having a new catcher who can throw out a runner will get people to PirateFest 2012 this weekend at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Among the reasons for going:

• Free autograph sessions with current and former Pirates players and coaches.

• Opportunity to purchase 2013 season and individual game tickets.

• A free 2013 Pirates wall calendar and pocket schedule.

• A 60-foot replica baseball field to host Youth Baseball Clinics with Pirates coaches.

• Q&A sessions with Pirates executives, coaches and players.

• Kids Fun Zone, plus inflatable rides, batting cages and carnival games.

It runs noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $12; $6 kids 14 and younger. Central Blood Bank will be hosting a blood drive both days with all participating donors receiving free entry. Fans are also encouraged to donate a new toy at the Pirates Charities booth throughout the weekend. Fans making a donation of any kind will receive a special Pirates gift.

Jazz 'Nut'

You can spice up the holidays with a trip back to the swing era in Point Park University Conservatory Dance Company's production of "The Jazz Nutcracker." Conceived and choreographed by Doug Bentz, the not-your-ordinary "Nutcracker" follows Clara to a cabaret, where she meets such sultry characters as Sugar Rum Cherry, Hong Kong Charlie and The Arabesque Cookies. A Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn-based musical arrangement, played live by the Benny Benack Band, will accompany dancers.

It's 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Rockwell Theatre at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, Oakland. Tickets: $18-$20, with special student and group rates available, at 412-392-8000 or

Baroque holiday

Chatham Baroque has been bringing in a singer at least once a season to allow it to tap into the vast repertoire of Renaissance and baroque-era arias, airs and songs. Tenor Joseph Gaines got the call for the period-instrument ensemble's holiday concerts this year. He will join the trio in "Continental Christmas," a program of vocal and instrumental holiday music.

If you haven't heard "Messiah" on original instruments, this would be a good time because he will sing selections from the holiday favorite, as well as from Corelli's "Christmas Concerto."

With Erika Cutler (baroque violin) and Alan Lewis (chamber organ) 8 p.m. Friday at St. James Parish, Sewickley; 8 p.m. Saturday at Synod Hall, Oakland; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Laughlin Music Center, Chatham University, Shadyside. $30 (discounts for seniors and students); 1-888-719-4253 or


'DVE party

WDVE will host its annual Randy Baumann and the 'DVE Morning Show Christmas Party at 7 tonight at Diesel, South Side.

There will be classic bits from the 'DVE Morning Show and performances by Joe Grushecky, Donnie Iris, Scott Blasey and Rob James from The Clarks, Chris Higbee, Bastard Bearded Irishmen, Fist Fight in the Parking Lot, Tres Lads, The Hawkeyes, The Triggers, The Yellers (formally Paul Luc Band), Good Brother Earl and Donora,

UPMC's Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh will be on site to recruit new Children's 'DVE Rock Star donors, who can sign up to make a monthly donation of as little as $10, and Equitable Gas will match the donations up to $1,000. Admission is free.


On Penguin Pond

The lack of a hockey season thus far is a major bummer, but here's some good news on ice. Highmark Stadium, the future home of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds soccer team and Pittsburgh Passion women's football team, will open as an ice skating and hockey venue called Penguins Pond at 2 p.m. Friday.

The Station Square facility will provide play for youth and adult hockey and public skating through Jan. 13.

Rink hours for open skating will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 3 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 to 7 p.m. Sundays. Holiday hours will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Christmas Eve. The rink will close for Christmas.

Rates are $7 for adults, $5 for youth, with $3 skate rentals. Information:

That's Jerrod

The country music hasn't stopped in Burgettstown just because it's December. On Friday, the Pepsi Roadhouse welcomes Jerrod Niemann, rolling in with his sophomore album, "Free the Music."

A co-writer on Garth Brooks hits, the Liberal, Kan., native is a little funkier than the average country artist. In fact, the title track off the new album could almost be mistaken for Beck.

He'll throw in some funky island and New Orleans beats, while incorporating a larger-than-life sense of humor.

Sean Patrick McGraw opens the show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $21 to $25; 724-947-1900.

Fox Newsreels

Greg Wilsbacher will screen "Fit to Print: Fox Movietone Newsreels (1928-42)" at The Andy Warhol Museum at 8 p.m. Friday.

Mr. Wilsbacher, curator of the Newsfilm Collections at the University of South Carolina -- Columbia, will introduce an eclectic program of 35mm Fox Movietone newsreels from headlines past.

"Fit to Print" brings an hour of these early sound news stories to Pittsburgh for the first time. All films are 35mm, black and white, in sound. Tickets $10; or 412-237-8300.


TSO jam

Trans-Siberian Orchestra returns Sunday for another round of hard rocking, high-flying, laser-shooting Christmas jams.

The progressive rock band will be performing 2004's "The Lost Christmas Eve" album in its entirety, along with its full arsenal of Christmas standards.

The tour coincides with the release of a new five-song EP, "Dreams of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night)," its first release since 2009's "Night Castle." It features the acoustic ballad "Someday," the gospel-tinged "I Had a Memory," the lullaby "Time You Should Be Sleeping" and instrumentals "Winter Palace" and the title track, incorporating Vivaldi's "Winter."

Concerts are 3 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $31-$68.50;

Santa skate

Citiparks gets the jolly old man on ice for Skate With Santa at the Schenley Park Skating Rink.

Bring the camera for a photo with St. Nick. There will also be music and refreshments from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Admission is $4 for adults and $3 for youth (17 and younger) and seniors (60 and older). Skate rental is $2.50, and skate sharpening is $3.50. Information: 412-422-6523 or


• Tickets are still available to hear columnist and author Ellen Goodman at 7:30 tonight at the Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland. Her lecture is part of the Ten Literary Evenings, the Monday Night Lecture Series made possible by the Drue Heinz Trust. Tickets are $15-$35 and are available at the door, by calling 412-622-8866 or at

• As City Theatre's "Sister's Christmas Catechism" enters its final weekend of 2012, it was announced that the show has raised more than $340,000 for retired nuns. City has presented 742 "Catechism" performances since 2005. Remaining shows: 8 p.m. today and Friday, 2 and 5:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. More at 412.431.CITY (2489) or

• Oakland Girls Choir brings 80 girls from grades 1 through 12 to the Church of the Ascension in Oakland, for more than a holiday concert. In addition to carols from around the world, its performance at 7 p.m. Saturday features larger works such as Britten's "Ceremony of Carols" and Frank La Rocca's "Magnificat." $5-$10; or 1-888-71-TICKETS.

• The Pittsburgh Camerata combines carols old and new at 8 p.m. Saturday at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church. "The Light of Christmas" has members traveling from the 15th-century English carol "A Babe Is Born" to modern works. Flutist Josie Kost and oboist Lenny Young join the vocal ensemble. Tickets are $5-$20; 412-421-5884 or

• Calvary United Methodist Church, 971 Beech Ave., North Shore, will host a "Messiah" sing-along at 4 p.m. Sunday. David Bridge conducts a chamber orchestra with soloists Anna Singer, soprano; Paula Signorino-Richter, mezzo-soprano; Daniel Teadt, baritone; and Christopher Quigley, tenor; in Handel's masterpiece. $5-$20; or 1-888-71-TICKETS.

theater - lifestyle - music


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