The winter Gallery Crawl brings not only the usual blend of art, music, dance and theater but also a new reason to laugh.
Friday night will mark the soft opening of the Arcade Comedy Theater, a new 60-seat performance space at 811 Liberty Ave., Downtown, the former location of La Prima Espresso.
Sprung from the comedy programming at The Cabaret at Theater Square, the Arcade Comedy Theater will be a space for all varieties of live comedy as well as a training ground offering classes to would-be comics and comic actors.
"Late night comedy in this city has everything from all-female sketch troupes to quirky radio plays; from murder mysteries to improv jams," co-founder Randy Kirk, who also manages the Cabaret Theater, said in a statement. "There's stand-up, music, and more. It's a growing scene on both the artists-creating-content front and the audience-who-wants-more front."
Joining him in the project are four players who have been gathering at the Thursday night Pittsburgh Improv jams: Abby Fudor, of Friday Nite Improvs and the all-female sketch/variety group Frankly Scarlett; Kristy Nolen, a returning Pittsburgh native with experience at Chicago's Second City Touring Company; her husband, Jethro Nolen, a Texas native who has performed scripted and improvised comedy; and graphic designer Michael Rubino with ties to improv troupe The Cellar Dwellars.
"Our programming looks to include improv, a common denominator among us five, plus stand-up, sketches, music acts, theatrical comedy, play readings, video screenings ... the list goes on," noted Ms. Nolen.
Other Gallery Crawl highlights include the opening of Miguel Chevalier's "Power Pixels," two self-generative video installations at Wood Street Galleries and, at the Trust Arts Education Center, the Pittsburgh-based Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra (E.L.C.O.) performing music from Beck's new "Song Reader," an album available as sheet music.
The Gallery Crawl is free and runs from 5:30 to 9 p.m. in the Cultural District. For more information and a map, visit www.trustarts.org or call 412-456-6666.
Here is a sampling of events:
Wood Street Galleries, 601 Wood St.: "Power Pixels 2013" by Miguel Chevalier.
SPACE, 812 Liberty Ave.: "Romper Room" -- blanket forts, cubby holes, night lights and more -- guest curated by Ladyboy, with DJ Dave Zak.
Shaw Galleries, 805 Liberty Ave.: second annual Bad Art Sale.
Trust Arts Education Center, 805-807 Liberty Ave.: Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra (E.L.C.O.) performs music from Beck's "Song Reader" (6:15, 7:15 and 8:15 p.m.). Also, Continuum Dance Theater performs excerpts of "The Movement" (6, 7 and 8 p.m.) and Associated Artists of Pittsburgh work (third floor).
Harris Theater, 809 Liberty Ave.: Selections from the 2012 Three Rivers Film Festival competitive shorts program.
937 Liberty Avenue, second floor: "Six x Ate: Sound, Time, Space."
Toonseum, 947 Liberty Ave.: Visit the new StarKist Charlie's Hall of Legends.
August Wilson Center for African American Culture, 980 Liberty Ave.: "Glamazonia," by Mario Epanya, features images of black women celebrating the beauty and diversity of the Diaspora. Also, "The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936" and "Pittsburgh: Reclaim, Renew, Remix."
Tonic, 971 Liberty Ave., second-floor gallery: "NOT UNIVERSALLY ACCESSIBLE" by Keith Schmiedline, and live music by Dylan Reynolds.
Urban Pathways 6-12 Gallery, 914 Penn Ave.: "The Heart Is Lonely ..." student artwork based on the works of Jacob Lawrence; plus Ceramics & Photography, and Poetry Slam at 6 and 7:30 p.m., plus the Sounds of Steel steel pan band.
Future Tenant, 819 Penn Ave.: Best of Arbor Aid with Tree Pittsburgh.
Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, 810 Penn Ave., Suite 200: "Steel-Life II," photo assemblages by Fran Gialamas.
709 Penn Gallery: New works by Fabrizio Gerbino.
707 Penn Gallery: Craig Freeman: Cartoon Nihilism
Katz Plaza, 7th Street and Penn Avenue: Steel Town Fire performance (6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.)
Backstage Bar, 655 Penn Ave.: "Symphony of Colours" and music by Jason Kendall Duo.