The Zac Brown Band hits First Niagara Pavilion Saturday night.
Parrotheads in Paradise
The Parrothead Party commences at 3 p.m. today when the First Niagara Pavilion lots open for the annual Jimmy Buffett and The Coral Reefer Band show.
By now, you all know the drill: Hawaiian shirts, umbrella drinks, barbecues, faves like "Margaritaville," "Come Monday," "A Pirate Looks at Forty," "Cheeseburger in Paradise."
A couple of rules from the venue: One car, one space; no trailers; no saving parking spaces; individuals on property must possess an event ticket.
Tailgaters must bag and dispose their trash in the designated containers, so it doesn't look like the Kenny Chesney concert by the end. It begins at 8 p.m. $36-$136; www.ticketmaster.com.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the kids will be firmly in the 2013 moment with NYC pop-rock band fun., which along with putting youthful anthems like "We Are Young" and "Carry On" on the radio, won two Grammys this year, including Best New Artist.
Fun. frontman Nate Ruess can be heard on the Pink hit "Just Give Me a Reason."
This is the band's second sold-out trip to Stage AE, and the first one in the great wide open. Opening the show will be Canadian indie-rock duo Tegan and Sara (twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin), touring on their seventh album, "Heartthrob."
Doors open at 7 p.m.
Pittsburgh Pride Theater Festival offers four one-act plays this weekend and next that explore LGBT themes. Featuring local writers, directors and actors, the plays have been produced under the auspices of Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company for presentation at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday through July 27 at Playwrights' Pittsburgh Cultural District home, the third floor of 937 Liberty Ave.
The quartet of plays will be staged at each performance:
• "Is That a Gun in Your Pocket ..." by Carol Mullen, directed by Monteze Freeland. A down-on-his-luck entrepreneur runs afoul of a loan shark and the sexy hit man sent to collect on a debt.
• "The Session" by Wali Jamal, directed by Kim El. Marital woes drive a wacky lesbian couple to counseling.
• "Sibling Rivalry" by Kathryn Miller Haines, directed by Kaitlin Mausser. A daughter desperate for her mother's affection will do anything to get her attention.
• "Defense of Marriage" by Jeff Cordell, directed by Melissa Hill Grande. A gay couple ponder a more committed life together -- will it clean up some misunderstandings or be a drag?
Tickets are $15 Thursday and early Saturday and $20 Friday and Saturday nights. For reservations, e-mail PPTF13@gmail.com or call 412-256-8109.
Zac Brown Band
Zac Brown Band will return to First Niagara Pavilion on Saturday on its summer tour. The country-rock jam group is also playing in various festivals and making special appearances on Kenny Chesney's No Shoes Nation Tour.
The Grammy-winning band doesn't have a new album, but the last one, "Uncaged," topped the Billboard chart and won Best Country Album.
The Atlanta-based band -- which Mr. Brown described as "your basic country-Southern rock-bluegrass-reggae-jam record" -- has a solid list of No. 1 Billboard country chart singles, including "Toes," "Chicken Fried," "Free" and "Knee Deep."
Levi Lowrey, fellow big-bearded singer-songwriter and Georgian, will be joining the tour as the ZBB opener. He's signed to Mr. Brown's label Southern Ground and co-wrote ZBB hit "Colder Weather."
Riding the wave of the Broadway musical "Jersey Boys," the popular Broadway musical about Franki Valli and the Four Seasons, Franki Valli will come to Heinz Hall at 8 p.m. You can expect to hear hits like "December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)," "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You." Tickets are $39-$129; 412-392-4900 or pittsburghsymphony.org.
Polish Hill bash
The sixth annual Polish Hill Arts Festival takes place from noon to 9 p.m. Sunday with more than 30 local artists and craftspeople displaying and selling their artwork, live music, food and hands-on art-making.
It is presented by the Polish Hill Civic Association. Admission is free.
Performers include Lungs Face Feet (Cumbrian-influenced brass band); Timbeleeza (Brazilian samba drumming band); Pandemic (DJ set); King Fez (World Beat Turkish Disco Exotica); Flora and Fauna (original rock) and Steel Clover (Celtic tunes).
There will be Polish food prepared by Immaculate Heart of Mary church; Thai chicken, and vegetarian and vegan options.
It's at the corner of Brereton and Dobson streets in the heart of Polish Hill. A limited amount of free parking is available at the West Penn Recreation Center and on neighborhood streets. Walking, biking and taking the bus are encouraged. For more information, visit http://blogski.phcapgh.org.
It's county fair time already.
• The Clarion County Fair, which runs through July 27, begins Sunday, with daily shows that include Hot Dog Pig Races, rubber duck races, 4-H barns, firefighters training shows and Have Monkey Will Travel. Admission is $8. It is in Redbank Valley Municipal Park in Alcola, 1.5 miles north of New Bethlehem on Route 28 north, 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. 1-814-365-5179 or www.clarioncountyfair.com.
• The Bedford County Fair, also running through July 27, will open with midway rides and an animal show. Elaini, traditional country music band, plays Sunday. Admission is $9 daily, except $5 on Monday. The Bedford County Fairgrounds are west of Bedford on Business Route 30, West Pitt Street. Information: 1-814-623-9011 or www.bedford-fair.com.
NEED TO KNOW
• The free Dollar Bank Cinema in the Park series continues with the snowy holiday animation "Rise of the Guardians" screening tonight in Brookline Memorial Park; Friday in Arsenal Park in Lawrenceville; Saturday in Grandview Park, Mount Washington; and Sunday on Flagstaff Hill, Schenley Park, Oakland. Also on Saturday, Riverview Park, Observatory Hill, screens "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." The films begin at dusk.
• The Pittsburgh Blues Festival takes place at Hartwood Acres Friday through Sunday (see page W-10). Pittsburgh country band The Stickers play the free show at South Park at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
• Spanky Wilson plays the Stars At Riverview Jazz Series in Riverview Park at 7 p.m. Saturday.
• West Hills Symphonic Band plays the free Bach, Beethoven and Brunch series in Mellon Park, Fifth and Shady avenues, Shadyside, from 10:30 a.m. to noon Sunday.
• The John McIntire Dangerously Live Comedy/Talk Show with featured comedian Gab Bonesso ponders Pittsburgh's hipness at the Cabaret Theater, 655 Penn Ave., Downtown, at 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $5 or free with ticket stub from a same-night Cultural Trust event. Information: www.trustarts.org or 412-325-6769.
• 1Hood and 720 Music will celebrate rapper-activist Paradise Gray's Golden Anniversary and the release of Jasiri X's excellent new album, "Ascension," at Ava, 126 S. Highland Ave., Saturday, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Special guest is rapper Rhymefest. Admission is $5.
• Country fiddler Chris Higbee, formerly of Povertyneck Hillbillies, plays his Summer Barn Party Concert Series this weekend, stopping at National Great American Food Drive Friday at the Washington County Fairgrounds (gates open at 4 p.m., truck pull at 6 p.m., band at 8:30 p.m.; $10; $5 kids 7-11; 6 and under free). It benefits the Greater Washington Food Bank. On Saturday at 7 p.m., he headlines his Barn Party at Rivers Casino North Shore Amphitheatre. Mr. Higbee has released two solo albums, including a new self-titled one. More info at www.chrishigbee.com.
• Tickets at the door to Calypso Rose's Saturday appearance at the Kelly Strayhorn have been lowered to $20. The Trinidad diva of calypso music will perform at 7:30 p.m. as part of the East Liberty Live summer series. 412-363-3000, ext. 312, or www.kelly-strayhorn.org.