FRIDAY to NEXT SUNDAY
It's the big one: Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, "Choral." How is a work written in the 1820s relevant today? It remains one of the most positive statements about the human spirit, and there's no time in human history that doesn't need that message. His sincere optimism is all the more compelling by its pairing with some of the most uplifting music ever written. Beethoven composed the music to metaphorically move through darkness and struggle until the symphony reaches the grand "Ode to Joy." Led by music director Manfred Honeck, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will perform it at Heinz Hall, Downtown, at 8 p.m. Fri. and Sat. and 2:30 p.m. Sunday with the Mendelssohn Choir. Tickets start at $20; 412-392-4900.
Aimee Mann performs at 8 p.m. at the New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. Her newest album, "Charmer," chronicles the human comedy better than any popular music in recent memory. Punk rock/indie rock songwriter Ted Leo is her special guest. He has played in Citizens Arrest, Chisel, The Sin-Eaters, The Spinanes, and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. Doors open at 7 p.m. For tickets, $46.50, www.newhazletttheater.org or www.ticketmaster.com.
Sandra Bernhard performs her show "I Love Being Me, Don't You?" at 8 p.m. at the Byham Theater, Downtown, as part of the Andy Warhol Museum's Off the Wall series. Ms. Bernhard, an actress, comedian, singer and author, delivers a blend of outrageous humor, biting satire and fiercely energetic live performance. For tickets, $35-$40, www.trustarts.org or 412-456-6666.
Beat Cabaret presents "Shakespeare After Dark" at 8 p.m. at ModernFormations Gallery and Performance Space, 4919 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. Shakespeare-inspired "moments" will be interspersed between spoken word performances by local poets and actors. Hosted by Beat Cabaret creator Michael McGovern and actress/writer Jennifer Schaupp, the show will include performances by Lori Howsare, Ashly Nagrant, Monica Lyde and Thomas. Shakespeare moments include Yvonne Hudson as Mrs. Shakespeare; "Preparing Banquo," a10-minute play about Shakespearean ghosts; plus a special appearance by Richard III and a sneak preview of "Wm. Shakespeare's Cannibal Girls." Admission is $10 at the door.
The John McIntire Dangerously Live Comedy/Talk Show with featured comedian Gab Bonesso ponders "Autopsy-Turvy -- The Death of Sanity" at the Cabaret Theater, 655 Penn Ave., Downtown, at 10:30 p.m. McIntire and co. will attempt to comedically dissect the apparent death of sanity in the world. When did sanity die? Is their a way to resurrect it? Would that make it Zombie Sanity and does that still count? Is there or is there not a Sanity Clause? Panelists include world renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht, political operative 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: www.trustarts.org or 412-325-6769.