James McDonald, left, and Morgan Wolk star in "Toyer," a thriller set and performed in an apartment.
Rick Ross headlines WAMO's Summer Jam at Consol Energy Center.
Intimate theater takes on new meaning with the thriller "Toyer," set in an apartment -- literally. "Toyer" takes place in an actual apartment, seating the audience in the living room with the intent to "blur the line between performance and reality."
This production of the Gardner McKay play was first staged by three Point Park University graduates in late December, and now the trio -- director Charlie Wein and actors Morgan Wolk and James McDonald -- are continuing the project as a Richard Rauh presentation in an apartment on Joe Hammer Square, between Ophelia Street and Craft Avenue, near the Pittsburgh Playhouse in Oakland.
The plot finds well-known psychologist Maude called by police to treat victims of and build a profile on the elusive criminal known as the "Toyer." Maude's paranoia begins to run rampant when a stranger comes to her door one night asking for help.
" 'Toyer' is my theater job now, but we all have part-time jobs. Morgan, one of my actors, she's off to New York every other day for auditions, but 'Toyer' is my main thing," said Mr. Wein, who plans to move to Chicago to pursue his theater career.
Ms. Wolk can be seen briefly in the trailer for "Perks of a Wallflower," which was filmed in Pittsburgh.
Performances are 8 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays and 8 and 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 5. Tickets are $10. Admittance by reservation only by calling 412-334-2633.
A reception will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at Pittsburgh Filmmakers Galleries for "#You'reTearingMeApart," a two-part site-specific performance and exhibition that arises from and is about performance art.
Co-curators Sarah Humphrey and Adam Welch consider the challenges of documenting and exhibiting the ephemeral form, and relevant issues such as the impact of social media and reality TV culture. Participating artists are Nina Marie Barbuto, Gena Salorino and Kyle Vannoy.
The reception is free. The exhibition continues through Sept. 30 at 477 Melwood Ave., North Oakland. Information: http://pittsburgharts.org or 412-681-5449.
VIA, the Pittsburgh-based audio-visual collective behind the annual VIA Music & New Media Festival, will unveil a new event space in East Liberty on Friday called 6119.
Taking the place of a former social club at 6119 Penn Ave., 6119 will be a 3,000-square-foot space for exhibitions, concerts, screenings, DJs and more. VIA is partnering with building owner East Liberty Development.
Friday's event features French beatmaker/producer Onra with visuals by Tim Sherman.
On Saturday, it's Toy Selectah -- "the mix-master wizard for Monterrey's Hip Hop en Espanol Pioneers Control Machete" -- with visuals by Di-Ay Battad.
Bodybuilders and fitness athletes from throughout the country will flex their muscles in Pittsburgh this weekend.
Flex magazine, GNC and Muscletech are hosts to the NPC Teen, Collegiate and Masters National Championships in bodybuilding, fitness, figure, bikini and physique Friday and Saturday in the ballroom of the Sheraton Station Square.
More than 500 strength and fitness athletes are expected to compete in several different age groups.
Prejudging for all women's events begins at 11 a.m. Friday, with the finals starting at 6 p.m. Prejudging for men's events begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, with the finals following at 5 p.m.
Tickets, available at the door, are $30 for each prejudging session and $60 for each finals session.
Sounds of silence
Listing the individual composers for this week's Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble concert won't do justice to the experience that artistic director Kevin Noe plans to create. The connection is not similar styles but that "they all speak to a sweet sadness that surrounds the modern lifestyle: silence," he says.
He elaborates in the program: "At times meditative, at times deafening, silence can calm us or divide us from each other or ourselves."
Compelling, but we'll list the composers anyway: David Lang, Thierry de Mey, Jeffrey Nytch, Alfred Schnittke, David Stock and Randall Woolf. Concerts are at 8 p.m. $15-$30, free for first-time patrons; 412-431-2489 or pnme.org.
The Umajaa Collective presents "Spice the Pot," a Caribbean Carnival Weekend, Friday and Saturday at 2030 Center Ave. in the Hill District.
It runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday with vendors, food and music.
Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., will feature Caribbean Vibes Steel Band, DJ X Factor (from Brooklyn) and Guaracha Latin Dance Band
WAMO Summer Jam
It takes a big rapper to play the Consol Energy Center, and Rick Ross is just the right size. He'll headline WAMO's Summer Jam 2K12 on Saturday with Wale, Meek Mill, Tyga, Kardinal Offishall and Adam D.
Ricky Rozay, as they call him, overcame a bout with seizures last fall to get back in the game. The Florida rapper and former correctional officer is five albums into a career that started in 2006 with the chart-topping "Port of Miami."
Next week, he'll release the ominously titled "God Forgives, I Don't," with the lead singles "You the Boss" and "I Love My B----s."
" 'God Forgives, I Don't' is a very dark story," he said of the album. "It's extremely lyrical, the music is next level. I'm expecting nothing but the biggest results." The guest list on the album includes Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Andre 3000, Meek Mill, Usher and Drake.
Representing Pittsburgh on the bill is S. Money, who was recently signed to Waka Flocka Flame's label Brick Squad Monopoly.
The show starts at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster locations as well as Dorsey's Records, Sons of Stedeford's and Upbeat Records. 1-800-745-3000.
Beach House in Millvale
What does a beach house remind you of -- a summer getaway, a place to relax and unwind? A beautiful, serene scene of lulling waves and sea-side life? A dream that may never be realized?
The Baltimore band of that name must've known that these would be the feelings and images evoked when its members chose the moniker Beach House. The beats are slow, like a receding tide, and the total sound is surreal -- a dream that can be grasped by listening enough.
The two components of the band -- Alex Scally and the French-born Victoria Legrand -- are bringing their act to Mr. Smalls Saturday at 8 p.m. The indie darlings have released four albums to date, all of which were received warmly by critics.
Tickets are sold out, but the road to true relaxation is always filled with obstacles.
Wind in its sails
The American Wind Symphony Orchestra, best known for its barge theater, returns to Pittsburgh. OK, a little background might be needed: Conductor Robert Austin Boudreau founded the ensemble in 1957 with the idea that he could take classical music to small communities that don't have their own performing arts centers or orchestras. The barge, Point Counterpoint II, is actually a self-propelled boat.
He has navigated to more than 265 ports of call around the world and returns to Pittsburgh after a 15-year absence at 8 p.m. Saturday at Point State Park. The concert will feature Cuban art and music and is free. See story, page W-15.
Demolition derbies, tractor pulls, farm shows, corndogs ... here we go, it's county fair season. The first two are a bit far out there.
Clarion County Fair kicks off with a car cruise Sunday, then follows with the Nationwide Demolition Derby Tuesday and Wednesday and farm tractor pulls July 27-28.
Daily events include a children's barn, livestock exhibits and home and garden exhibits. It runs through July 28 at Redbank Valley Municipal Park in Alcola, 1.5 miles north of New Bethlehem on Route 28 north. Admission is $8; free parking. 1-814-365-5179 or www.clarioncountyfair.com.
Daily family events at the Bedford County Fair include the midway rides and an animal show. Among the musical acts will be Nancy DeKart on Sunday, The Sharp Tones on Tuesday and Big River Boys on July 28.
It continues through July 28 at the Bedford County Fairgrounds, west of Bedford on Business Route 30, West Pitt Street. Admission: $9, $5 on Monday; $3 for parking. 1-814-623-9011 or www.bedford-fair.com.
NEED 2 KNOW
• The South Park Amphitheater presents a free show with hometown heroes Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
• Hartwood Acres has the Pittsburgh Blues Festival Friday through Sunday. See page W-10 for details.
• The blues gets a good ride tonight at Bike Nights at Station Square with singer-guitarist Ana Popovic and Guitar Zack. The free show runs from 6 to 10 p.m. in Bessemer Court.
• Soul man Billy Price and his band will play the free Iron City Sound Downtown Live! show Friday at 5 p.m. in Market Square.
• River City Brass performs at Bach, Beethoven & Brunch 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Mellon Park, Shadyside.
• Citiparks Cinema in the Park presents "Dolphin Tale" at Brookline Memorial Park tonight; Arsenal Park (Lawrenceville) on Friday; Grandview Park (Mount Washington) and Riverview Park (Observatory Hill) on Saturday; and Flagstaff Hill, Schenley Park, on Sunday. Films start at dusk.
• Brooklyn roots band Langhorne Slim and the Law -- touring on the new album "The Way We Move" -- plays Club Cafe at 9 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $15; 1-866-468-3401.
• Luke Mayernik, organist for the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling, gives a free recital at St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland 4 p.m. Sunday. 421-621-6082.