The Hot List: Fun things to do this weekend

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Farmers Olympics

Cow milking, hay hauling, tractor driving -- sounds like a typical day on the farm. Unless you're racing, which is exactly what they'll be doing at the Farmers Olympics on opening night of the Westmoreland Fair on Friday (8 p.m.).

The fair opens at 9 a.m. with animal judging, and the daily family events there will include a petting zoo, camel rides and a circus.

The motor sports begin Saturday with lawn mower racing at 7:30 p.m. and continue with a Lawn Mower Tractor & Old School Rules Demolition Derby at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

On the music side, Girlz in Black Hats will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Admission is $7, with extra fees for some events. Early-bird discount $3 per person before 2 p.m. every day except Aug. 23 and 25. Children 2 and under are free. From Pittsburgh, take Pennsylvania Turnpike to Irwin exit and head east to Greensburg. Follow Route 30 to Mount Pleasant exit and go south 6 miles.

Information: 724-423-5005 or

Fair days

• The Washington County Agricultural Fair opened last weekend and has three more days left of country fun. There's a rodeo at 8 tonight, street stock trucks and mini mod tractors 7 p.m. Friday and a demolition derby at 6 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $9; $6 today. Information: 724-225-7718 or

• The Lawrence County Fair continues through Saturday with a performance by Josh Thompson Friday and drag racing followed by a fireworks display Saturday. Admission: $8 (rides included, grandstand extra). Information: 724-654-7745 or

• The Somerset County Fair opens Saturday and features the semi-truck pull at 7 p.m. Saturday and, on Sunday, the Farmers and Merchants Parade (7 p.m.) and The Amazing Chariot Race (8 p.m.) Admission is $8. Information: 1-814-634-5619 or

PICT's Chekhov Celebration

"Funny Chekhov," the final production of Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre's 37-day celebration of the Russian playwright, opens Friday with five rarely seen short comedies and vaudevilles.

Through Aug. 25 in the Charity Randall Theatre, the company of almost two dozen players will perform "The Bear: A Vaudeville," "The Proposal: A Vaudeville," "Swan Song: A One-act Play," "On the Evils of Tobacco: A Comic Sketch" and the ironically titled "Drama: A Comedy."

The last tells of a lecturer who veers from an absurd topic to confess problems with his 13 unmarriageable daughters, his difficult wife and his financial crises, all in the midst of an asthma attack.

Other continuing productions include "Three Sisters," through Aug. 26 (Henry Heymann Theatre), and "Ivanov," through Aug. 25 (Charity Randall). "After Chekhov," two Brian Friel plays inspired by Chekhov, runs through Aug. 26 at the Henry Heymann Theatre.

On Sunday at noon, a free panel features playwrights Frank Gagliano and Constance Congdon and translator Kristin Johnsen-Neshati discussing the joys and challenges of adapting the works of Anton Chekhov for American audiences; dramaturg Heather Helinsky moderates.

The Henry Heymann and Charity Randall theaters are at the Stephen Foster Memorial, Forbes Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard, Oakland. Tickets are $25-$48 at or ProArts Tickets at 412-394-3353.

And more theater

These are the last days of No Name Players' production of "reasons to be pretty" by Neil LaBute, directed by Marci Woodruff. The 18-and-over drama runs 8 p.m. today through Saturday in PITT Studio Theater, Cathedral of Learning basement, Oakland. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and there is no late seating. General admission is $15; or 412-207-7111.

• "SUDS: The Rocking '60s Musical Soap Opera," about laundress Cindy and two guardian angels who teach her that "You Can't Hurry Love" when you're "Goin' to the Chapel," is at Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown. Showtimes are 8 tonight, 2 and 8 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $17-$39; or 1-814-629-9201.


Young jazz

Rising jazz artists Anqwenique Wingfield and Joe Sheehan were selected through a competitive application process to perform the debut concert for JazzSpace, a new program that supports the development of emerging jazz artists in Pittsburgh.

They will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Mansions on Fifth, 5105 Fifth Ave., Shadyside. The program, founded in 2009 by jazz vocalist Maggie Johnson, awards each participant up to $400 to spend toward their creative work.

Ms. Wingfield began her music studies at the Afro-American Music Institute, where she now teaches voice and piano. She performs jazz standards, neo soul and gospel. Mr. Sheehan, who has a doctorate of music in composition and teaches music at Duquesne University and CCAC Boyce, performs in the ensembles Trio+ and Kinetic.

Tickets are $10-$25; or 412-254-3844.


Retro fun

In the mood for a little late-night, retro entertainment? "Dodge Intrepid and the Pages of Time" takes its cue from old-time radio as a comedy/adventure serial with "two-fisted heroes, resourceful sidekicks, nefarious villains, jaw-dropping cliffhangers and a dash of local history."

In this latest installment, "Flight of the Librarian" by James Catullo and Mike Rubino, our hero and his sidekicks, Dodge and Pluck, are on the run in Dodge's beloved city, Aliquippa. They find refuge in the wilds of Beaver County and must discover the secret force controlling their friends and taking aim at the world.

The show begins at 10:30 p.m. at the CLO Cabaret, adjacent to the Backstage Bar on Penn Avenue, Downtown. Tickets are $5 at the door. Information:


Check your treasures

Nearly 50 appraisers will be on hand at the fifth annual Pittsburgh's Hidden Treasures event at the Senator John Heinz History Center Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Appraisers will assess the historic significance of visitors' items and provide a verbal assessment of potential monetary value. Those items can include Civil War and World War II items, political and presidential memorabilia, antique coins and jewelry, sports memorabilia, textiles and fine arts.

Along with the appraisers, professional conservators from the Smithsonian Institution will provide tips on how to preserve items.

The most unique items will be featured as part of special 30-minute programs KDKA-TV will air later this year.

The event is free for members and is included in the regular History Center admission price for nonmembers: $10 for adults, $9 for senior citizens, $5 for children ages 6-17 and students with valid ID, and free for children age 5 and under. There is no registration necessary for this event.



Living history

The Ligonier Valley Historical Society will sponsor a Living History Weekend at the Compass Inn Museum in Laughlintown on Saturday and Sunday.

There will be log-hewing and pit-sawing demonstrations, along with activities in the cookhouse, blacksmith and carpenter shops. Colonel Proctor's Militia Company will be camping on the grounds and demonstrating 18th-century drills.

The museum is open Saturday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.

Activities are free with paid admission. Admission is $9, $6 for children and free for five and under. It is located along Route 30 in Laughlintown, three miles east of Ligonier.

Information: 724-238-4983 or


• The free concert at South Park at 7:30 p.m. Friday features Mike Doughty, the former Soul Coughing singer who has placed such songs as "Looking at the World From the Bottom of a Well" and "Busting Up a Starbucks" onto Triple A radio. His latest studio album was last year's "Yes and Also Yes," but he's also issued a subscription-based album called "The Lo-Fi Lodge." His memoir is titled "The Book of Drugs."

• Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre performs its annual free concert at Hartwood Acres at 7:30 tonight.

• The Iron City Sound Downtown Live! summer concert series in Market Square continues at 5 p.m. Friday with country band The Stickers along with Tarra Layne, who released her debut album in November.

• Reservoir of Jazz continues at Reservoir Drive in Highland Park at 5 p.m. Sunday with local sax stalwart Kenny Blake.

• Shadyside Summer Jams picks up again on Walnut Street at 7 p.m. Saturday with Donora and Radio Tokyo. It is free, but there is an admission charge to the drinking tent that benefits Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Go to

• Citiparks Cinema in the Park screens the animation hit "Happy Feet Two" at Brookline Memorial Park tonight; Arsenal Park (Lawrenceville) on Friday; Grandview Park (Mount Washington) on Saturday; and Flagstaff Hill, Schenley Park, on Sunday. Riverview Park (Observatory Hill) offers the Hitchcock classic "North by Northwest" on Saturday. Films start at dusk.

• Oldies group Pure Gold performs the fourth and final show of the Kean Theatre's Summer of Fun Concert Series at 8 p.m. Saturday. It's at 5847 Meridian Road, Richland. Cost is $29; 724-444-5326 or

• Pittsburgh hardcore punk band Polish Hill Strangler, featuring former members of Creta Bourzia, Drunk by Six and F-Bomb, releases its self-titled album -- with such songs as "Darwinism Through Class Selection" and "Hookers With Knives" -- at Howlers Coyote Cafe at 9 p.m. Saturday with Playoff Beard, Parking Lot Whiskey and Scott Drunk.

• Canadian post-hardcore band Silverstein plays Mr. Smalls in Millvale at 7:30 tonight with Such Gold, Lions Lions, Day Trader and Mace Ballard. Admission is $15; 1-866-468-3401.

• The Summer Company presents "A Night of Durang," a series of one-act parodies by Christopher Durang, for its 2012 finale. Titles are "Medea," "For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls," "Entertaining Mr. Helms," "Desire Desire Desire" and "Naomi in the Living Room." The show runs 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Gemini Theater on Penn Avenue. Admission is $15 or $10 for students and senior citizens at 412-243-5201 or at the door.

theater - lifestyle - music


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