Pittsburgh-based storytellers and a musician will take on the theme "On Point: Stories of Balancing Acts" for the fifth annual local appearance of The Moth Mainstage. The show at the Byham Theater marks the first time The Moth Mainstage has been presented in the Cultural District, through a new partnership between Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
The Moth has presented more than 10,000 stories by people of all walks of life via stage shows, weekly podcasts and a Peabody Award-winning radio program, "The Moth Radio Hour" (broadcast locally on 90.5 WESA-FM).
Mainstage shows feature five storytellers, a local musician to act as timekeeper, and a host -- in this case, comedian Dan Kennedy, host of The Moth's weekly podcast. Local storytellers are David "Mr. McFeely" Newell; Justin Strong, who operated the Shadow Lounge in East Liberty; and Kelly Flanagan Dee, producer of the Pittsburgh Moth StorySLAM. Travelling tellers are Shannon Cason and Trisha Coburn. Pittsburgh singer-songwriter Joy Ike will perform musical accompaniment and keep tellers to their time limits.
The show begins at 7:30 tonight. Tickets are $20, $30 or $55 VIP at www.pittsburghlectures.org or 412-622-8866.
Aaron Lewis is sounding quite a bit different these days. The singer for angst-filled alt-rock band Staind is on a country kick, having released his Nashville-produced solo debut, "The Road." It follows the 2011 EP "Town Line," which featured the Academy of Country Music award-nominated song "Country Boy."
He said of the breezy new single "Endless Summer," "It proves I can write a happy tune. It's a story about me and the family going to our beach cottage on the weekends. It's all true. We drive down there, cook striper on the grill, and dig our own clams."
He plays at Carnegie Library Music Hall, Munhall, at 7:30 tonight. Tickets are $39-$59 at www.librarymusichall.com or 412-368-5225.
The Westmoreland Fair runs through Saturday with daily family events including a petting zoo, camel rides and a circus.
Today is WTAE-TV Family Day with $6 admission. The grandstand feature is Pro Stock/Super Stock and Mini Modified Tractors and 2 Wheel Drive Truck Pulls at 7:30 p.m.
Friday is Superstock 4X4 Truck, Limited Pro/Super Farm Tractors, Hot Rod Semi Trucks and more at 7:30 p.m. There's also an Animal Dressing Contest at 3:30 p.m., which could be very amusing.
Saturday, Twisted Fate performs at 7 p.m. and the grandstand has the Powder Puff Derby and Demolition Derby at 7:30 p.m.
Admission is $7, with extra fees for some events. Children 2 and under are free. Take Pennsylvania Turnpike to Irwin exit and head east on Route 30 toward Greensburg, take the Mount Pleasant exit and go south 6 miles. Information: 724-423-5005 or www.westmorelandfair.com.
Nealon at Improv
The Improv at the Waterfront gets a visit from Kevin Nealon, who spent nine years on "Saturday Night Live" (1986-95), where he was an anchor on Weekend Update.
He's appeared in such films as "Happy Gilmore," "Anger Management," "Little Nicky" and "Daddy Day Care" and on the Showtime series "Weeds."
Times are 8 and 10 p.m. Friday and 7 and 9 p.m. Saturday. Go to http://pittsburgh.improv.com.
Off the Wall Event
Dancer Ingrid Ullrich and boxer Josh Himes take their real-life flair to the stage for "The Main Event," a comedy presented at Off the Wall Theater about an Italian couple who happen to be a dancer and a boxer. In the show, they showcase their talents and swap places "to discover what a dynamic duo they make despite their differences, and just how powerful their love truly is."
Ms. Ullrich has modeled in FHM and Maxim magazines and has written about her travels as a cruise-ship entertainer in her book "Ocean Dancer." The book also tells the story of how she came up with the show "The Main Event" for herself and her fiance, boxer Josh Himes, with vocals by her sister, Jewel Ullrich.
Performances at Off the Wall, 25 W. Main St., Carnegie, are hosted by Mike Buzzelli. Tickets are $20 for the 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday shows at 1-888-71-TICKETS or www.showclix.com.
The Horror Fan Flea Market returns to the Hollywood Theater in Dormont Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a chance to buy and sell old horror VHS movies, DVDs, figures, posters, T-shirts and other merchandise.
There will also be a bake sale, and the concession stand will be open.
Nonprofessional vendors interested in purchasing a space may contact Horror Realm at firstname.lastname@example.org. Admission is free.
Following the flea market, there will be special screenings of "Rewind This!" at 3 p.m. ($5) and "Bloodsuckers From Outer Space" at 5 p.m. (on 35 mm film; $7); $10 for both movies. All proceeds of the flea market and films will benefit the theater at 1449 Potomac Ave.
Run through Frick
Saturday is the 31st Run Around the Square, a 1.5-mile fun run/walk and 5K run through Fern Hollow, Frick Park. The race features musicians along the course.
It begins at 8:15 a.m. at Regent Square School. Information: 412-246-9506 or www.runaroundthesquare.com.
Shadyside will be bustling once again this weekend for the 16th annual Shadyside ... The Art Festival on Walnut Street.
The event, produced by the Florida-based Howard Alan Events and hosted by the Shadyside Chamber of Commerce, will feature 200 artists from 30 states presenting paintings, sculptures, photography, glass, wood, jewelry, collage and ceramics, with prices ranging from $25 to $30,000.
Patrons will have the opportunity to win an original artwork by Julie Keaten-Reed, valued at $395. The painting will be on display at her booth throughout the weekend. Info at www.JulieKeatenReed.com.
There will also be live music and food vendors.
The festival is free and takes place along Walnut Street between South Aiken and South Negley avenues. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Information: www.ArtFestival.com.
Mayer on the run
John Mayer has made more headlines the past few years for his dating life and off-color comments than his music.
But now the seven-time Grammy winner from Connecticut has recovered from a throat granuloma, and he's back on the road for the first time in three years. He brings along a laid-back new album, "Paradise Valley," that has him sounding comfortable in his own skin while steering away from guitar heroics.
Two of the most talked about songs are the duets with current girlfriend Katy Perry ("Who You Love") and Frank Ocean ("Wildfire"), neither of whom will be on board Sunday night at the First Niagara Pavilion. The other song that's drawn attention is "Paper Doll," his understated response to Taylor Swift's stinging "Dear John."
He credits the easygoing front-porch vibe to another popular singer-songwriter, telling Billboard, "I was listening to Jack Johnson this morning [sings] 'I got youuuu ... I got everything,' and I'm like, 'Man, that song is great.' He's not trying to put out the encyclopedic record for the times. But, man, that song works when it's time to call it up from the bullpen. And that's the kind of artist I want to be. There's a time and place for my records. I don't mind being the guy you call up for this one moment where you appreciate it but you don't necessarily have to give your life over to it."
Opening the show is Philip Phillips, the Dave Matthews sound-alike who has spun his season 11 "American Idol" win into a hitmaking career with the songs "Home" and "Gone, Gone, Gone."
The show is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $24.50 to $63.50; ticketmaster.com.
Ripe and ready
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will celebrates two classics with its ninth annual Red, Ripe and Roasted tomato and garlic festival.
The family-friendly event will feature cooking demonstrations, a tomato contest, a farmers market and activities for kids -- all to benefit Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. It will be held on the public garden's front lawn and in the Outdoor Garden.
Cafe Phipps will prepare and share a variety of delicious dishes to sample, Restaurant Echo executive chef and owner Brian Hammond will offer a cooking demonstration, and a farmers market featuring organic and Certified Naturally Grown produce will give guests an opportunity to buy tomatoes and garlic to experiment with at home.
Home gardeners are invited to enter their ugliest, smallest or largest ripe tomatoes for a chance to win special prizes. Sharing recipes will be PG garden writer and television/radio host Doug Oster -- author of "Tomatoes, Garlic, Basil" -- and food writer Miriam Rubin.
It runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information: phipps.conservatory.org.
Day of Treasures
Wondering what your old stuff is worth? Take it to the sixth annual Pittsburgh's Hidden Treasures at the Senator John Heinz History Center. It will feature more than 40 appraisers assessing the historical significance of visitors' items and providing a verbal assessment of potential monetary value. It runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Items can include books, china, Civil War militaria, coins, collectibles, furniture, glass, jewelry, musical instruments, paintings, photographs, quilts, silver, sports memorabilia and toys. KDKA-TV's Dave Crawley, Kimberly Gill, and Mary Robb Jackson will roam the History Center seeking the most interesting items for interviews.
Admission is free for History Center members and included with regular admission for nonmembers: $15 for adults, $13 for seniors (age 62+), $6 for students and children (age 6-17), and free for children (age 5 and under). www.heinzhistorycenter.org.
We the Kings, a Warped Tour band that broke out in 2007 with the single "Check Yes Juliet," headlines Stage AE Indoors Sunday with Breathe Carolina, T. Mills, The Ready Set and Like The Movies.
The Florida pop-rock band is in the studio finishing up a fourth studio album that features the singles "Just Keep Breathing" and "Find You There."
Doors are at 6 p.m. Tickets are $22-$25; ticketmaster.com.
THE FREE STUFF
• The free Dollar Bank Cinema in the Park series continues with the fantasy adventure based on Jack in the Beanstalk, "Jack the Giant Slayer" 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 most recent James Bond film, "Skyfall." The films begin at dusk.
• The free County Concert Series features Rickie Lee Jones at Hartwood Acres at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. The Duquesne Tamburitzans dance a free show at South Park at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
• Latin group Salsamba performs at the Stars at Riverview Jazz Series in Riverview Park at 7 p.m. Saturday.
• The Reservoir of Jazz continues in Highland Park, Highland Avenue and Reservoir Drive, at 5 p.m. Sunday with singer Michele Bensen.
First Published August 22, 2013 4:00 AM