The Hot List: Cultural events for the weekend

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Rev Wright talks

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright is the featured speaker at the Bayard Rustin Lecture Series at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. Mr. Wright is pastor emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, where President Barack Obama was a member of the congregation.

The president titled his book "The Audacity of Hope" after one of Mr. Wright's sermons, and his pastor was the first one Mr. Obama thanked when he was elected a U.S. senator in 2004, according to The New York Times. Then the media aired parts of the Rev. Wright's accusatory sermons about oppressive "white America," creating a firestorm of controversy during the 2008 presidential election. Mr. Obama eventually denounced his former pastor's remarks and broke ties with him, and the pastor resigned his membership in the church.

Advance tickets for the lecture at 7 tonight are $20 general admission or two for $30; free for students age 12 to 20; or $45 for VIP seating and post-lecture reception. Tickets are available at or 412-983-8895.


Mac is back

Another tour and not much has changed in the world of Fleetwood Mac, which plays Consol Energy Center Friday. Since its last visit, in 2009, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks have released solo albums. But the last album as a band is still "Say You Will," way back in 2003.

In other words, this is another greatest hits tour, with songs like "Rhiannon," "The Chain," "Sara," "Landslide," etc., and one new twist. They've introduced a song called "Sad Angel," which featured Mr. Buckingham on the lead and a shared chorus with Ms. Nicks. "It's the best stuff we've done in a long time," he said in Philadelphia earlier this month, adding that it will come out soon on an EP.

Based on past experience and current reviews, concertgoers can expect his usual guitar prowess, the band's tight rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie and vocals that may be a little rough around the edges.

The concert is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $47 to $169 via

Vocal charmer?

Aimee Mann was an MTV sensation in the mid-'80s, scoring the hit "Voices Carry" as the frontwoman for Til Tuesday.

When the band split after three albums, she found success as a solo artist, particularly with the Grammy- and Oscar-nominated song "Save Me" from the 1999 "Magnolia" soundtrack.

She arrives at the New Hazlett Theater, North Side, Friday night, having just released her eighth solo album, "Charmer," described by All Music as "an immediate, engaging pop record."

Ms. Mann, known for her cool, aloof stage presence, will be joined by charismatic punk rocker Ted Leo in the opening slot.

The show is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $46.50; or


Fragile Phipps

The delicacy and beauty of glass and flowers bloom in Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens' Summer Flower Show: Glass Roots, opening Saturday, with a special preview Meet the Artists night on Friday.

The exhibit highlights Pittsburgh talent, including:

• Jenn Figg and Matt McCormack, showcasing passion flower vines and blooms made of glass.

• Daviea Davis, presenting stained-glass towers lit from within.

• Travis Rohrbaugh and Christopher Hofmann, from Pittsburgh Glass Center, debuting a partial articulated glass wooly mammoth skeleton.

• Jason Forck, featuring oversized glass Chinese lantern seed pods.

Designed by Phipps exhibit coordinator Jordyn Melino, it runs through Oct. 6. The meet-and-greet with the artists will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday. Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors and students, and $11 for children (2-18). Members and kids under 2enter free.


A Best Black Play

The award-winning play "Ma Noah" by Mark Clayton Southers returns to Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater Company with a preview Friday and Saturday's opening-night "mini" fundraiser, a wine and cheese post-show reception with the cast and creative team.

The play, which won the 2004 Theodore Ward Prize at Columbia College and is published in the Anthology "Best Black Plays" from Northwestern Press, tells the story of Rebecca Pratt, a single mother of four who struggles to keep her family intact while coping with problems including drugs and unemployment.

Tracey Turner directs Chrystal Bates (Aunt Esther in Playwrights' "Gem of the Ocean") as Rebecca and her daughter, Cheryl Bates-White, as stage daughter Mary. The cast also includes August Wilson Monologue winners Heaven Bobo and DeVaughn Robinson and Point Park freshman Trevor Butler in his Playwrights debut.

This weekend, the shows are 9 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday; they continue at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through May 12. Tickets are $20 at, $25 at the door. Preview, Thursday and student tickets are $15/$20; opening-night tickets are $35. More information at 412-377-7803.


Love being Sandra

Friday night is the Gallery Crawl. On Saturday, Sandra Bernhard is let loose in the Cultural District.

The Andy Warhol Museum's Off the Wall series continues Saturday with the comedian, singer, actress and author performing her show "I Love Being Me, Don't You?" at the Byham Theater, Downtown.

Ms. Bernhard began her career at L.A.'s Comedy Store in the '70s, leading to a role on "The Richard Pryor Show" in 1977 and an unforgettable breakthrough role in Martin Scorsese's 1983 film "The King of Comedy."

Her first one-woman show, "Without You I'm Nothing," ran for six months off-Broadway in 1988, and from 1991-96 Ms. Bernhard played the openly gay character Nancy Bartlett on "Roseanne."

Through her career, she has sung with or opened for The Pretenders, Cyndi Lauper and the Scissor Sisters, among others. Of her latest show, she told the Long Island Press, "It's a big, fabulous, fun show that covers all the different bases of entertainment, from burlesque to cabaret to rock 'n' roll to comedy. It's old school and post-modern, all put-together!"

It begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 to $40, or 412-456-6666.

Dangerously Live

Soon after Sandra Bernhard's exit, The John McIntire Dangerously Live Comedy/Talk Show enters with "Autopsy-Turvy -- The Death of Sanity" at the Cabaret Theater, 655 Penn Ave., Downtown, at 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

McIntire and Co. will attempt to comedically dissect the apparent death of sanity in the world with comedian Gab Bonesso, Dr. Cyril Wecht, Mike Mikus and one player to be named later. Admission is $5 or free with ticket stub from a same-night Cultural Trust event. Information: or 412-325-6769.

All new Waterplay

At 10 a.m. Saturday, the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh will open a completely redesigned and renewed Waterplay exhibit with nearly 20 new hands-on components.

Occupying 3,100 square feet on the third floor of the Museum's Lantern Building, it will present water through sights, sounds and concepts that variously pump, circulate, channel, rain, spray and freeze water.

The redesigned Waterplay features a 7-foot diameter water mover that enables visitors to pour water into a system of nearby channels. Visitors can alter the flow of water by sending objects through the channels. The snow/ice table allows for experiments and observations. Children can also experiment with buoyancy and hydraulics. Waterplay also includes an original artwork, Rain Meander, by Stacy Levy.

"The new Waterplay is full of fresh artistic ideas that enhance our core education values," museum executive director Jane Werner said in a statement.

For more information, 412-322-5058 or

Real country

Jamey Johnson is not a flashy performer, and he doesn't talk much, but, he's intense and, man, can he sing -- and write.

The deep-voiced Alabama country singer-songwriter is the real deal and he returns to town, this time at Carnegie Library Music Hall in Munhall at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Expect to hear songs from last year's critically acclaimed "Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran."

"If I had to dream up somebody like Hank to influence songwriters, I couldn't have done a better job," he said of the country legend.

Tickets are $32 to $60;; 412-368-5225.


Yngwie way

Swedish guitar hero Yngwie Malmsteen, who came along in the '80s and blew people away with his speed and technique, is touring on his 19th album, "Spellbound,' which finds him playing every instrument.

He won't be able to do that at Carnegie Library Music Hall in Munhall at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, but it would save money on musicians.

"The thing about this album," he told the Oakland Press, "is I reverted back to my way of making music when I was, like, 17 -- completely and utterly throwing caution to the wind. I threw away anything that was like, 'Well, maybe this should be more radio (-friendly) or whatever. I couldn't give a (care) about any of that."

Tickets are $25-$50 through; 412-368-5225.


• Duquesne University and the Mary Pappert School of Music will celebrate the career of legendary jazz guitarist and faculty member Joe Negri Friday with an event that will support the Joe Negri Jazz Guitar Endowed Scholarship. There will be a 6 p.m. cocktail reception and 7 p.m. dinner with a performance by Mr. Negri, joined by Max Leake, Tony De Paolis, Tom Wendt, Mike Tomaro, Maureen Budway, Sean Jones and Joe Dallas. It takes place at the Power Center Ballroom, Forbes Avenue at Chatham Square, Duquesne University. Cost is $100. Donations can also be made by visiting Call 412-396-5131.

• Beat Cabaret presents "Shakespeare After Dark" at 8 p.m. Saturday at ModernFormations Gallery and Performance Space, 4919 Penn Ave., Garfield. Shakespeare-inspired "moments" will be interspersed between spoken word performances by local poets and actors. It is hosted by Beat Cabaret creator Michael McGovern and actress/writer Jennifer Schaupp. Admission is $10 at the door.

• Allegheny Drifters, Mac Martin and the Dixie Travelers, Mon River Ramblers, Fern Hollow Boys and Mountain Therapy will be among the groups playing the 15th annual Bluegrass Benefit Concert for Catholic Charities' St. Joseph House of Hospitality at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Synod Hall, 125 N. Craig St., Oakland. Tickets are $20, and proceeds benefit St. Joseph House, which provides a residence and supportive services for men ages 50+ who were homeless or at risk for becoming homeless. Call 412-471-0666.

• Gangstagrass is the rare group that attempts to meld bluegrass and hip-hop. The Brooklyn band, which did the theme of the FX show "Justified," plays Howlers in Bloomfield at 9 tonight. Tickets are $7. Go to

• The ToonSeum and the Pittsburgh Meetup Group Creative Crafters offer a comic decoupage workshop to make over your favorite pair of pumps, flats, or sneakers from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday. You bring the shoes to the ToonSeum at 945 Liberty Ave., Downtown, they supply the materials. The event is BYOB; $10 per person or $7 for members. Info at or 412-232-0199.

• Calliope: The Pittsburgh Folk Music Society heads to the Roots Cellar in the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Shadyside, for some Irish music with the Teetotallers. The show at 7:30 tonight consists of three traditional music standouts: fiddler Martin Hayes (The Gloaming), flautist Kevin Crawford (Lunasa) and guitarist John Doyle (Joan Baez, Solas). Tickets are $28 (includes handling fee), $12 (student rush with ID).; 412-361-1915.

Vivica Genaux and "La Cenerentola"; Bricolage's In the Raw festival.

theater - lifestyle - music


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