A good yarn
Would you like a green scarf, maybe for next St. Patrick's Day?
Learn how to knit one or just pick up the yarn at the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival this weekend at the Four Points Sheraton North in Marshall.
In its ninth year, this festival will offer everything "from the tiniest of installations to Yarn Bombing!"
A highlight this year is the original designs by Anna Hrachovec, whose knitted toys are inspired by characters from Hello Kitty, "Pee-wee's Playhouse" and Dr. Seuss.
This year's free class is Woven Prayer Flag, an interactive global art project inspired by Tibetan prayer flags, Shinto paper prayers and messages, and the Buddhist concept of impermanence.
The festival also will highlight the Knit the Bridge Lounge supporting the efforts of Knit the Bridge, Pittsburgh, a community-led arts project with a goal of creating a large-scale fiber arts installation on a Downtown bridge.
Other features include fashion shows, giveaways, demos, a marketplace and exhibits.
Hours are 1:30-6:30 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m-5 p.m. Saturday; and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Knit the Bridge kick off reception is at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Pajama Party with StevenBe is at 9 p.m. Saturday. On Sunday afternoon from noon-4 p.m., seniors over 65 may attend for $5, courtesy of UPMC Senior Communities.
For more information or to register for classes: www.pghknitandcrochet.com or 412-963-7030.
Slice of horror
This extended weekend will provide a little slice of horror heaven for folks who want to meet the killer kid or sheriff from "Night of the Living Dead," a onetime "Friday the 13th" villain or new frightful films.
• "Cross Bearer" will get a sneak preview today at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont as part of something called Wunder Sleaze. The movie is about a group of strippers looking to score big with a drug deal but who soon find themselves hunted by a hammer-wielding maniac.
For a full lineup of acts and special appearances, see www.facebook.com/wundersleaze. Event starts at 7 p.m. and admission is $10 in advance at showclix.com or $15 at the door.
• Horror Realm's Spring Break Massacre convention will be Friday through Sunday at the Crowne Plaza Pittsburgh South, 164 Fort Couch Road in Bethel Park across from South Hills Village.
It will feature panels, sneak previews of films (including "The Cemetery," which counts crew from Tom Savini's Special Make-Up Effects Program, and "Cross Bearer"), video vault dance party and presentation about movie posters. The long list of guests includes Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder and actors from George A. Romero's "Day of the Dead."
Admission is $25 for a weekend pass, $15 for Friday or Saturday, and $10 for Sunday. Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.showclix.com/event/HR13SpringBreakMassacre or at the door.
See www.horrorrealmcon.com for information.
Public and City
Pittsburgh Public Theater and City Theatre have official openings of shows that have been in previews until now:
• "Thurgood," the Public's solo show about the first African-American Supreme Court justice, stars stage and TV actor and Homestead native Montae Russell. It's at the O'Reilly Theater, Downtown, through April 7 with show times at 7 p.m. Tuesdays; 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays (except March 20); 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays (no 2 p.m. this weekend); 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays (matinee only April 7). Tickets: $23-$55 (students and age 26 and younger $15.75 with valid ID); 412-316-1600 or ppt.org.
• Classical vocalist Jubilant Sykes makes his acting debut in the biographical play "Breath & Imagination," the City production that reveals the remarkable life of Roland Hayes, the first African-American classical singer to tour the world. It continues at City Theatre, 1300 Bingham St., South Side, through March 31 with performances at 7 p.m. Tuesdays-Wednesdays; 8 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays; 5:30 and 9 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays; plus 1 p.m. matinees March 20 and 27. Tickets: $35-$55 (under 30, $15 in advance; 62 and older, $22 two hours before show time); 412-431-CITY (2489) or citytheatrecompany.org.
Old 97's rumble in
Rhett Miller already paid us one visit this year, and he rocked an acoustic guitar as hard as a person can. Tonight, he returns with his old crew, Dallas alt-country stalwarts the Old 97's, to headline Mr. Smalls.
The band formed in 1993 and hit its stride with 1997's "Too Far to Care," which included the twangy, punk-fueled blasts "Timebomb" and "Barrier Reef."
All Music wrote at the time: "The curse of Old 97's may be that country fans consider it too rock 'n' roll, and rock fans can't get past the twang," and to some extent, that turned out to be true, as the Old 97's never broke beyond club level. Nonetheless, their fans are still loyal, and the music has never gotten old.
The show is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20-$22 through i.ticketweb.com or 1-866-468-3401.
In describing her music, USA Today made the provocative connection of "Mozart meets Skrillex,"
That's because Lindsey Stirling is a classically trained violinist who mixes classical violin with dubstep and ... contemporary dance. She does the dancing while playing violin.
Ms. Stirling came to fame by making it to the quarter finals on the fifth season of "America's Got Talent," and Internet videos have done the rest. She's touring on her self-titled debut album, backed by drummer Drew Steen and keyboardist Jason Gaviati.
The show is at Stage AE tonight. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $17-$20 through ticketmaster.com.
River City Celtic
In advance of St. Patrick's Day, River City Brass brings out a different wind instrument in its "Celtic Connections" concerts: the bagpipes. Pipers Brian Donaldson of Fife, Scotland, and George Balderose of Pittsburgh's Balmoral School of Piping and Drumming join the group for music from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Irish dancers Melissa Barton and Aaron Wolf and singer Richard Manning, a detective in the Allegheny County Sheriff's office, will join in at 7:30 tonight at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland. Tickets range from $19-$41; www.rivercitybrass.org or 1-800-292-7222.
ToonSeum will host the opening reception of "The Art of Bill Plympton" Friday at 6 p.m. with a visit by the indie animator known for such films as "Mutant Aliens," "Idiots and Angels" and the Oscar-nominated short "Guard Dog."
Following the reception he will head to Point Park University for an 8 p.m. screening of some of his most iconic works. On Saturday he will teach an animation master class at 3 p.m. at the Point Park University in conjunction with the ToonSeum.
Tickets are $10 for screening and reception is $10 (ToonSeum members are free; $5 for screening). Master class is $25; students and Toonseum members $15. Toonseum is at 945 Liberty Ave. Downtown. Go to www.toonseum.org or call 412-232-0199.
'Ruth' lives at Kelly-Strayhorn
Choreographer Lionel Popkin questions cultural sourcing and representation in "Ruth Doesn't Live Here Anymore," loosely inspired by the career of modern dance pioneer Ruth St. Denis, who died in 1968. While creating the piece, he researched her archives, journals, photos, sketches and more for insight on how she represented the Orient in her dances. Guy Klucevsek composed the original accordion and violin score.
It's 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, East Liberty, as part of the KST Presents series. Tickets: $25 in advance and $35 at the door. Discounts for artists, students and residents of 15206 available. Information: www.kelly-strayhorn.org or 412-363-3000.
pUNKapalooza in Blawnox
It's been going for eight years, so by now you probably know that pUNKapalooza is not a punk rock event.
Rather, the annual spring rite is a jam band and bluegrass festival split between the sister clubs Moondog's Pub and Starlite Lounge in Blawnox.
It begins Friday with Vocational Suicide (8 p.m.), The Flying Cunninghams (9 p.m.), Patti Spadaro Band (10:30 p.m.); Rusty Haywhackers (11:30 p.m.); Fourth River Revival (12:30 a.m.).
On Saturday the doors open at noon and it begins at Willis Tree (1 p.m.), Sugapablo (1:45 p.m.), The AntipsYchotics (2:30 p.m.); Grooveshifter (3:15 p.m.), Dizzywoosh (4:15 p.m.), The Weedrags (5:15 p.m.), One Gig At A Time (6:30 p.m.), Fab & In The Way (7:45 p.m.), Sandoz 30th Anniversary (9 p.m.), theCause (10:30 p.m.), Juggling Suns (midnight).
Admission is $5 advance, $7 door Friday; $10 advance, $12 door Saturday; $12 advance, $14 door Weekend Pass. Children under the age of 12 are free. www.punkapalooza.com; 412-828-2040.
Turns out that "Bloody Mary," the Catholic Queen who rose in the 1550s amid a brutal time of religious conflict and political maneuvering in England, appears to have been a patron of music. At least she didn't behead musicians. In any case, some of England's greatest composers, such as Tallis, Byrd and Sheppard, worked in this time, creating some of the most celebrated Renaissance vocal polyphony.
The acclaimed vocal-ensemble Pomerium will explore this music in a concert at Calvary Episcopal Church in Shadyside at 8 p.m. The 12-voice a capella choir headed by Alexander Blachly is presented by the Renaissance & Baroque Society of Pittsburgh. Tickets are $20-$35 (students $10); www.rbsp.org, or 412-361-2048.
Sounds of Iceland
Icelandic composer/musician Valgeir Sigurosson performs his ambient and minimalistic electro-acoustic music at The Andy Warhol Museum, North Side, at 8 p.m. as part of the museum's Sound Series.
Mr. Sigurosson's third full-length album, "Architecture of Loss," features like-minded young composer Nico Muhly on piano. Recently named one of NPR's "Top 100 Composers Under 40," he is best known for his collaborations: producing and engineering work by fellow Icelander Bjork and Bonnie "Prince" Billy.
Tickets: $15 general/$12 members and students at www.warhol.org or 412-237-8300.
NEED TO KNOW
• The John McIntire Dangerously Live Comedy/Talk Show with featured comedian Gab Bonesso ponders "Strange Days Indeed" at Cabaret Theater, 655 Penn Ave., Downtown, at 10:15 p.m. Saturday. Panelists include Scott Paulsen of WDVE-FM, council candidate (and son of Franco) F. Dok Harris and the PG's John Allison. Admission is $5 or free with ticket stub from a same-night Cultural Trust event. Information: www.trustarts.org or 412-325-6769.
• Reggae/rock jam band Slightly Stoopid, last seen here opening for 311 at Stage AE in the summer, returns there for an indoor show with The Expendables at 7 p.m. (doors) on Friday. Tickets are $22.50-$25; ticketmaster.com.
• It's been some time since mime Dan Kamin has presented his funny orchestra bit of a concert that "goes horribly wrong when an annoying mime battles a conductor for control of the symphony." This time it will be the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra and conductor Walter Morales when the orchestra presents "The Classical Clown" as part of its 25th anniversary season. The concerts are at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill. $10-$15; www.showclix.com.
• Mr. Smalls has a circus atmosphere this weekend with the sold-out Tyler, The Creator show on Friday and, on Saturday, The Bam Margera Experience, featuring the "Jackass" star backed by alt-metal band CKY. It begins at 6:30 p.m. $20-$40 through i.ticketweb.com; 1-866-468-3401.
• Perpetuum Jazzile, a Slovenian choir that performs jazz and pop, will perform at Carnegie Library Music Hall of Homestead in Munhall at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $20-$25; 412-368-5225.
• Artists Jonathan Chamberlain, David Montano and William McAllister will speak about their work at 6 p.m. today at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, 6300 Fifth Ave., Shadyside. Each has a solo exhibition at the Center through April 7. Information: 412-361-0873 or http://pittsburgharts.org.