Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks' BYOB ("Bring Your Own Bard") explores "Shakespeare's Men" at Te Cafe, 2000 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill, at 7:30 p.m. Explore the measure of manhood in Shakespeare through feature readings and scenes starring bold heroes and crafty villains, men of honor and self-serving social climbers. Show up with a monologue or scene ready to read, jump in and join another scene, or just listen and enjoy. Open to all ages, professional actors and non-actors alike; children welcome. A $10 donation is suggested. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. Anyone interested in reading should contact BYOB@pittsburghshakespeare.com or 412-521-6406, or visit Facebook at Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks.
OPEK plays the music of Sun Ra at 8 p.m. at the New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. Sun Ra drew inspiration from ancient Egyptian cultures, spiritualism and Afro-American history to create a repertoire that encompasses the entire history of American jazz. OPEK, a collective of creative improvising musicians, also will perform several unrecorded Sun Ra compositions. Doors open at 7 p.m. For tickets, $12 in advance ($16 at the door), www.newhazletttheater.org or www.showclix.com.
FRIDAY THROUGH NEXT SUNDAY
Classical music can sound difficult to perform when it actually isn't and can seem simple when it's actually difficult. Richard Strauss' "Ein Heldenleben" is as difficult as it sounds. In fact, it is a measuring stick for any concertmaster, who plays a ridiculously difficult set of solos throughout the work that depicts the composer's own life. Music director Manfred Honeck conducts the Pittsburgh Symphony in concerts that also include Rossini's "William Tell Overture" (Does anyone under 40 know "The Lone Ranger" theme?) and Haydn's Symphony No. 93. Performances are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. next Sunday. Tickets: $20-$93; 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org.
The Renaissance City Choirs of Pittsburgh will present "Cabaret: So You Think You're a Diva?" to benefit the Washington County Gay Straight Alliance Inc. at 7:30 p.m. at Olin Fine Arts Center, 285 E. Wheeling St., Washington, Pa. It is a program of hit songs made famous by performers such as Barbra Streisand, Peggy Lee, One Direction and Queen. For tickets, $25 adults, $10 students, visit www.WCGSA.org or contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The John McIntire Dangerously Live Comedy/Talk Show with featured comedian Gab Bonesso ponders "DOGS AND CATS LIVING TOGETHER -- MASS HYSTERIA" at the Cabaret Theater, 655 Penn Ave., Downtown, at 10:30 p.m. It seems sage philosopher Dr. Peter Venkman's dire predictions have come true -- Barack Obama is accused of being Nixon; kidnappings occur in Cleveland; dogs and cats are cohabitating. Panelists include PG cartoonist Rob Rogers, PG columnist and comedian Gene Collier and Democratic mayoral candidate Bill Peduto. Admission is $5 or free with ticket stub from a same-night Cultural Trust event. Information: www.trustarts.org or 412-325-6769.
Full Bloom Summer Dance Party "Clubhouse Confidential" takes place at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty, at 9 p.m. Performers include the DJ duo Tracksploitation. This event offers a night full of dancing, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and performances. Tickets are $50 in advance, $60 at the door. Tickets are $125 for the 7 p.m. VIP reception -- which includes live entertainment, special food and drinks, a silent auction, other clubhouse perks and admission to the dance party. Tickets: www.kelly-strayhorn.org.
The Pittsburgh Concert Society's annual alumni concert presents violinist Aaron Boyd and pianist Walter Morales in a recital at Kresge Hall on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University, Oakland, at 2 p.m. next Sunday. $10-$15; 412-279-2970.