The Hot List: Things to do this weekend

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Unauthorized 'Spank!'

"Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody" has a lot of fun poking fun at E.L. James' literary sensation "Fifty Shades of Grey" that began as fan fiction.

Jim Millan ("Kids in the Hall," "Larry King Standing Up" and "Mythbusters Live") has written a musical comedy that is clearly not authorized by either Ms. James or Vintage Press. In "Spank!," a writer named E.B. Janet is going solo for a weekend of writing the erotic adventures of innocent young Tasha and handsome Hugh Hansen.

Tickets for the Trust Presents show at the Byham Theater are $35.50 to $45.50 at or 412-456-6666. Showtimes are 8 p.m. today through Saturday.

Warmth of salsa

Nothing heats up a January night like a little salsa.

Winter SALSAbration Weekend has a full plate of salsa dance with workshops, performances and Friday and Saturday night dances.

It begins with a Friday Night Kick-Off Dance at Cabaret at Theater Square, Downtown, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. ($10), with performance by Boston's Andres and Leah Giraldo and music by Cleveland DJ Efrain Flores.

The Giraldos lead the Saturday workshops from 1 to 5:30 p.m. at the Wightman School Community Building, 5604 Solway St., Squirrel Hill (price ranges from $20-$65).

It concludes with 10 Year Anniversary Dance of BMNECC Salsa Social at the Bulgarian Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center, 449 West 8th Ave., West Homestead, at 10 p.m. ($10) with the Giraldos and DJ music by Jeff Shirey.

Information: 412-881-9237 or

Extended 'Stories'

The premiere production of "South Side Stories" was given an extended run on City Theatre's Hamburg stage, with solo artist and playwright Tami Dixon a newly crowned Post-Gazette Performer of the Year.

The one-woman show, two years in the making, re-creates residents' autobiographical tales to weave a patchwork of South Side history. Shows are 8 p.m. today and Friday, 5:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $35-$55 at 412-431-CITY (2489) or


Silly Gabba Gabba

Kids have cabin fever? Perhaps they could use a spoonful of Yo Gabba Gabba!

The Benedum plays host to the 50-city "Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE!: Get the Sillies Out!" tour that features DJ Lance Rock and the cast of colorful characters in a new musical theatrical adventure.

Bring extra money because "Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE!" -- based on the Nick Jr. show now in its fourth season -- is touring in support of its first national beverage launch, a new line of toys and sportswear and a DVD/CD collectors edition.

Performances are 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $29.95 to $129.95; or 412-456-6666.


Bluegrass in Butler

With temperatures expected to hit almost 60 this weekend, bluegrass fans won't have to worry about ice getting to the January Ice Jam.

The 16th annual event at the Days Inn on Route 8 in Butler will feature 32 bands playing traditional, contemporary and gospel bluegrass music.

The first band takes the stage at 7 p.m. Friday, and the jam picks up again at 1 p.m. Saturday. Bands play 30-minute sets up until midnight both nights. Food and drinks are available, and admission is free, but monetary donations are also accepted throughout the weekend with the proceeds benefiting the Bluegrass Relief Fund and WYEP Radio 91.3 FM in support of bluegrass music.

For the band details, go to


Sound of the court

The shift from the royal court to the concert hall is one of the most fascinating times in music history, when art music moved from exclusive to inclusive (to a point).

The period instrument ensemble Four Nations will navigate this period contrasting the prized and refined tastes of the French royal court and the more theatrical and volatile tastes of the newly founded public concert stage.

The program features the music of Couperin, Francoeur, Mondonville and Blavet, led by the virtuosic and versatile harpsichordist Andrew Appel at 8 p.m. Synod Hall, Oakland. It is presented by Renaissance & Baroque Society of Pittsburgh, with tickets ranging from $10-$35; or 412-361-2048.

Mascot Skate

Citiparks has lined up three of the biggest stars -- Pirate Parrot, Steely McBeam and Pitt Panther -- for the 26th annual Mascot Skate at Schenley Rink.

They are among dozens who will hit the ice from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Parents can get photos of their kids with the mascots, and there will be music and refreshments.

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


• Rapper-singer Dessa, from Minneapolis' Doomtree hip-hop collective, brings her full band to the Shadow Lounge in East Liberty tonight with Great Amuck. Her most recent release was 2011's "Castor, The Twin," but she'll preview new work from an album expected this spring with instrumentation that includes stand-up bass, viola, piano, vibraphone, mandolin and timpani. It begins at 8 p.m. All ages. Tickets are $12 advance; $14 door;

• G. Love & Special Sauce, the bluesy alt-hip-hop group from Philly, rolls into Stage AE at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $20 to $25; 1-800-745-3000 or

• McKeesport Little Theater presents "Disney's The Little Mermaid Jr.," a 60-minute musical designed for middle-school-age performers and based on the 2008 Broadway production and the 1989 animated feature film. Shows are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through Jan. 20. Tickets: $7 for students and $12 adults; 412-673-1100 or



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