Three seasoned performers -- an American, an Asian and a French/Swede -- explore the societal stories that season one's life at "Recipes Our Mothers Gave Us" at the New Hazlett Theater, North Side.
It's the latest installment of Corningworks founder Beth Corning's annual Glue Factory Project and will be performed by Ms. Corning, along with award-winning critically acclaimed guest artists Maria Cheng and Francoise Fournier. A complimentary tasting event will follow each performance, hosted by a local guest celebrity chef.
Times are 8 p.m. today, Friday, Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $30, $25 seniors/students at www.showclix.com or 1-888-718-4253. Info: www.corningworks.org or www.newhazletttheater.org.
Rhett Miller must like January in Pittsburgh, because he played Club Cafe last year on this week as well, with Black Prairie.
There are few people more charismatic with just an acoustic guitar than the Old 97's frontman, who mixed songs from that alt-country band with solo material.
There won't be any full band action this time, as he's touring with Trapper Schoepp, who will be without his backing group, The Shades.
It begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22; www.clubcafelive.com.
Carnegie International 2013-14 programming begins the year with a replay of the standing-room-only puppet performance given during the big exhibition's opening weekend at Carnegie Museum of Art.
Pittsburgh-based puppeteer Tom Sarver and original cast members Kristen Barca and Joann Kielar reprise CI13-14 artist Paulina Olowska's puppetry performance "Museum Piece (For Margo Lovelace)." Mr. Sarver will also preview a new work with fellow puppeteer Mike Cuccaro. The Culture Club event, "These Aren't Your Kids' Puppets!," begins at 5:30 p.m. today, when the bar opens, and continues until 9 p.m. with the performance and opportunity to create an original puppet ($10 includes admission and one drink ticket). Information: 412-622-3131 or www.cmoa.org.
"Arena: Remembering the Igloo," a photographic exhibition by David Aschkenas, opens Friday at the 707 Penn Gallery, Downtown, and runs through March 2.
It presents a visual record of the Civic Arena's last months in operation and its yearlong demolition process. A free opening reception will be held 5:30 to 8 p.m. Information: www.trustarts.org.
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens attempts to chase away the winter blues with the annual Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show, opening Saturday.
It will feature elegant orchids planted in garden beds and hanging baskets, and a viewing of the public garden's permanent collection of tropical bonsai, showcased in many forms, from the formal upright bonsai to the more dramatic slant bonsai that resemble windswept trees.
The show runs through March 9 and is open daily from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and until 10 p.m. on Fridays. Admission is $15; $14 for seniors/ students; $11 for children (2-18). phipps.conservatory.org.
Songspace in Shadyside
The fifth season of the Songspace series launches on Saturday at First Unitarian Church, Shadyside, with a pair of fine Pittsburgh singer-songwriters: Mark Dignam and Heather Kropf.
Mr. Dignam hails from Dublin and began as a Grafton Street busker along with Swell Season/Frames frontman Glen Hansard. His influences include Van Morrison, Elvis Costello and Billy Bragg.
Ms. Kropf, who came here from Portland, Ore., is a singer-songwriter-pianist combining jazz, folk and pop. She will be joined by Alex Peck on percussion and Pete Freeman on pedal steel.
It begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15, $10 students, available at the door. Information: www.uusongspace.com or 412-621-8008.
Poetry of Homer
Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story .... French Baroque ensemble Les Delices will let you relive the epic poems of Homer through a concert presented by Renaissance and Baroque.
Directed by Debra Nagy, the group will play "vocal settings of Homer's tales with instrumental music inspired by his stories," with music by Jean-Fery Rebel, Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Thomas-Louis Bourgeois and Michel Pignolet de Monteclair.
Make your odyssey over to Synod Hall, 125 N. Craig St., Oakland at 8 p.m. Tickets: $10-$35 at www.rbsp.org or 412-361-2048.
Honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend with "Let Freedom Sing!," a gospel concert featuring the Pittsburgh Gospel Choir, spoken-word artist Vanessa German, Jim Donovan (formerly of Rusted Root), high school choirs and others.
Music meets spoken word at the concert, which seeks to bridge groups from the city and the suburbs.
The concert starts at 7 p.m. Saturday at Ebenezer Baptist Church, 2001 Wylie Ave., Hill District; on Monday, a sibling show will take place at 7 p.m. at Norwin High School, 251 McMahon Drive, North Huntingdon.
There is no charge for admission, but donations will benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Band and the Westmoreland County Food Bank. More at www.letfreedomsing.net.
Philipp Meyer, New York Times best-selling author of "The Son" and "American Rust," and Brian McGreevy, Pittsburgh native, author of "Hemlock Grove" and executive producer of the Emmy-nominated Netflix series based on the book, will appear at "An Evening With the Authors," 7 p.m. at Waverly Presbyterian Church, Regent Square. The program will be moderated by Post-Gazette book editor Tony Norman. Tickets for the program are $10 and can be reserved in advance or purchased at the door. Tickets for the program, book signing and reception afterward are $15 and are by reservation only. (You may bring your copies of their books for signing or purchase one that evening.) Information, reservations: 412-242-0643.
"Flight: A Crane's Story," an interactive theatrical spectacle using puppetry and kiting, will premiere at the University of Pittsburgh's Stephen Foster Memorial, Oakland, this weekend. The environmentally themed work includes music indigenous to North America and was created by IBEX Puppetry, the company of Heather Henson, Muppet creator Jim Henson's youngest daughter.
The story follows a crane named Awaken, whose family has left abruptly on their annual journey south. The young crane must learn to fly and navigate to do what her family does naturally: migrate. Awaken overcomes windstorms, directional loss and loneliness to reunite with her family.
"We invite people to come and share space with us, the same way we all share our environment with the animals living around us. It's an experience that the entire family can enjoy," says Ms. Henson, whose IBEX Puppetry promotes health and healing for the planet through artistic spectacle and discussion and nurtures the growth of independent puppet artists.
Performances at the Charity Randall Theatre are 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $12-$25 at www.play.pitt.edu.
NEED TO KNOW
■ The Cincopation Woodwind Quintet and the Carnegie Mellon Honors String Quartet will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the University of Pittsburgh Greensburg's Mary Lou Campana Chapel and Lecture Center. Presented by the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra chamber music concert series, Cincopation will perform works by Grieg, Milhaud, Rota, Holst and Debussy; the strings will follow with Beethoven and Dessner. Tickets: $5-$10, available at the door.
■ The sixth Sports Debate is a roundtable discussion in front of a live audience with Clear Channel Pittsburgh's sports hosts Mike Prisuta, Mark Madden, Tim Benz, Stan Savran and David Todd. It takes place at Diesel, South Side, at 7:30 tonight. For tickets and more information: www.pittsburghsportshub.com.
■ Mr. Smalls has a strong lineup of indie/alt-country/power-pop bands on Saturday with The Harlan Twins, The Red Western, Triggers, Molly Alphabet, Paul Luc. It's at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10; www.mrsmalls.com.
■ Battery, a Metallica tribute band that takes its name from a "Master of Puppets" song, storms into Altar Bar at 8 p.m. Friday. James Hetfield reportedly once said of the band: "It was fun to see us live, finally." Tickets are $12-$15; altarbar.com.
■ The Legwarmers, an '80s tribute band from D.C., plays Altar Bar on Saturday at 9 p.m. www.thealtarbar.com.
■ Take part in "An Evening With Jessica Lee," featuring dance and jazz music with The Pillow Project dance company and local jazz singer Jessica Lee. Dancers will share the company's unique improvisational jazz dance style to Ms. Lee's music in celebration of her new CD release. It's 8 p.m. Saturday at The Space Upstairs, Point Breeze. Admission is $10. Information: www.pillowproject.org or www.jessicaleesong.com.
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