The Hot List of events for the coming weekend

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Second City revue

The Second City -- the company that launched the careers of such stars as Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell -- visit Pittsburgh Public Theater this weekend for "The Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue."

It's a seasonal blend of songs, scenes and improvisation spotlighting the company's next generation of talent: Adam Peacock, Asher Perlman, Pat Reidy, Marlena Rodriguez, Sarah Shook, and Emily Walker.

Shows are 8 tonight through Saturday at the O'Reilly Theater, Downtown. Tickets are $28, $38, $48, and $15.75 for ages 26 and younger. Seating onstage at tables of four is available for $220. Call 412-316-1600 or visit

PSO for the holiday

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh celebrate the season with Highmark Holiday Pops.

The PSO will paint Heinz Hall green and red with carols, holiday favorites, guest artists (including a visit from Santa Claus) and more. Todd Ellison will conduct the concerts, which take place tonight at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets, $21-$99, are available at 412-392-4900 or

'Black Nativity'

Members of the Shona Sharif African Dance & Drum Ensemble will bring Langston Hughes' "Black Nativity" story to life at Alumni Hall at the University of Pittsburgh. The show will combine the classic Christmas story with African dance and gospel music.

It's 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Dec. 20-21; and 5 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 22. Tickets: $20 for adults, or $10 for children, students with valid college ID and senior citizens. Group rates are available. Purchase tickets at the door or at


WYEP Hootenanny

WYEP presents its Holiday Hootenanny & Pajama Jam at Stage AE tonight with Pittsburgh artists Joy Ike, Billy Price, Casey Hanner (Donora), Chet Vincent and Josh Verbanets (Meeting of Important People). Pittsburgh band Neighbours will perform and serve as the house band.

In support of Jeremiah's Place, Pittsburgh's first crisis nursery, guests are invited to wear their favorite pajamas to the event and to donate a pair of new pajamas, size 0-6, and receive a free WYEP music sampler.

Holiday Hootenanny will feature tasty desserts from local bakeries and a cash bar. It begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 at


Thriving Crowns

Contemporary worship band Casting Crowns hits Petersen Events Center on Friday with "The Story Tour," combining the Georgia group's Christian rock faves, new songs and holiday selections.

The group, led by Mark Hall, will release its seventh album, "THRIVE," in January, accompanied by the book, "Thrive - Digging Deep, Reaching Out."

"The idea of 'THRIVE; came out of our student ministry and what we've been teaching for years on what a believer looks like," he said in a press release. "This record and book is an effort to draw a picture of what a believer would look like if they dug into their roots and understood God and themselves more."

Steven Curtis Chapman opens the 7 p.m. show. Tickets are $29 to $49,


Beatles Laser Live

The Beatles never had lasers, and surely didn't need them, but things are different now, so it's no surprise that a tribute group would hit the road with "GetBack! The Beatles Laser Experience LIVE!"

It's a laser-guided tour through the Fab Four catalog led by The GetBack! troupe, assembled from the London and Broadway musical "Beatlemania," thrilling audiences since 1980.

They have vintage instruments, more than 40 classic songs and five costume changes to take you from the British Invasion 1964 to the rooftop ending of "Let It Be."

The show is at the Carnegie Library Music Hall at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $25 to $35;; 412-368-5225.


Meet the Pirates

It's not often that the Steelers are down and out when PiratesFest takes place, but it looks like this is one of those years.

The Bucs should get a warm greeting for the 24th annual indoor baseball carnival Saturday and Sunday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

* The event will feature free autograph sessions with current and former Pirates players and coaches.

* An opportunity to purchase season and individual game tickets.

* A free 2014 Pirates wall calendar, 2014 pocket schedule and PirateFest program upon entrance.

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

* The chance for fans to join players in versions of "Card Sharks" or "Let's Make A Deal," take on the Pirate Parrot in "Beat the Parrot," play "Deal Or No Deal" and take part in pierogie eating contests, sponsored by Mrs. T's Pierogies.

* Kids Fun Zone featuring many activities for children.

* "Pirates Authentics" area to include game-used jerseys, bats, baseballs and more available for purchase.

* A charity raffle with proceeds to benefit Pirates Charities.

* Inflatable rides, batting cages and carnival games.

Fans are also encouraged to donate a new toy at the Pirates Charities booth throughout the weekend to support the Allegheny County Department of Human Services Holiday Project. Fans 14 years of age and older making a new toy donation will receive a special Pirates Charities coffee mug (Limit one mug per eligible fan, while supplies last).

Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $12; $6 kids 14 and younger. Go to

Little trains running

The Carnegie Science Center, home to the Miniature Railroad & Village, presents Locomotion Weekend on Saturday and Sunday featuring a rail yard full of guest train displays by local hobbyists.

Scheduled activities include an interactive Kid's Zone with easy-to-use train sets for building. Bring your own model trains for a free checkup at the "Loco Doctor" table, which includes basic repairs, cleaning and oiling. Engineers of all ages will love the operating train layouts and special hands-on activities.

For details, call 412-237-3400 or

Classical cheers

The Butler County Symphony puts on its annual holiday concert featuring Butler county native Elizabeth Matchett Freimuth, principal horn of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and the Slippery Rock University Choir.

Saturday's show takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the Butler Intermediate High School, 551 Fairground Hill Road, Butler, and Sunday's performance is at 2:30 pm at the Seneca Valley Intermediate High School, 126 Seneca School Road, Harmony.

Tickets are $5.50-$23, or 724-283-1402. More at

* The Pittsburgh Camerata wraps up "It Was All Shining," holiday concert series, with a performance Saturday at 8 p.m. at Sixth Presbyterian Church, Squirrel Hill. Tickets are $5-$20, available at 412-421-5884.

* The Girls Choirs of the Pittsburgh School for the Choral Arts will perform "Mary Speaks" at 4 p.m. Saturday at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, 5121 Westminster Place. The 80-plus-strong choir will sing new and old carols that explore the Nativity. Works including two versions of the Magnificat text by Frank LaRocca and Z. Randall Stroope. $5-$15, available at

Continuum Dance

Sarah Parker and her company Continuum Dance Theater will explore the depths of human yearning through dance in the premiere of "Objects of DESIRE," part of the New Hazlett Theater's Community Supported Art Performance series.

Artists interviewed people in the community to construct the show's characters and their relationships with love, success, comfort and pain.

It's 8 p.m. Saturday at the New Hazlett Theater, North Side. Tickets: $20 at Information: or


Santa skates

Before Santa gets on his sleigh, he's going to get on skates at the annual Citiparks Skate With Santa on Sunday at Schenley Park Skating Rink.

There will be holiday music and lots of photo ops with Santa in the scenic outdoor setting.

It runs from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Admission is $4; $3 kids (17 and younger). Skate rental is $2.50.


* Comedian and actor Charlie Murphy, who created "Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories" on "Chappelle's Show," will perform at the Pittsburgh Improv at the Waterfront in Homestead. Times are 8 p.m. today; 8 and 10 p.m. Friday; and 7 and 9 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $27; or 412-462-5233.

* Nellie McKay returns to the Andy Warhol Museum, North Side, at 8 p.m. Saturday as part of the museum's Sound Series. Her intimate solo performance on piano and ukulele will span the range of her material. Tickets are $20; $18 members and students; or 412-237-8300. Free parking in the Warhol lot.

* The North Suburban Symphonic Band performs Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Temple in Ross. The concerts includes works by Sousa and Vaughan Williams, amoung others. Tickets are $5-$8, free for kids under $10, available at

* The Met Live in HD performance of Verdi's "Falstaff" will take the stage -- er, movie theaters -- Saturday at 12:55 p.m. James Levine conducts a cast that includes Ambrogio Maestri as Sir John Falstaff. A local showing is at Cinemark Robinson Township, with an encore on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

* Nashville-via Boston songwriter Tom McBride, touring in support of his second album, "Morning in Glen Burnie," combines blue-eyed soul and country at Club Cafe at 8 tonight with Grey's Fool and Bobby Johns. Tickets are $8.

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