The Watoto Children's Choir from Africa will visit four communities this weekend with "Beautiful Africa: A New Generation," a performance that includes African music and dance routines and life-transforming stories.
Each child in the choir has suffered the loss of one or both parents. Choirs have traveled internationally since 1994 as ambassadors for the millions of children in Africa orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS, war and poverty, and have visited Australia, Brazil, China, Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, Germany, France and the U.S,, among other places.
The choir performs at 7 p.m. Friday at the First United Methodist Church, 148 E. Shenango St. in Sharpsville, Mercer County; at 4 p.m. Saturday at Beulah Presbyterian Church, 2500 McCrady Road, Penn Hills; at 8 and 10:15 a.m. Sunday at Mount Pleasant Church of God, 936 W. Main St., Mount Pleasant; and at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Graystone Presbyterian Church, 640 Church St., Indiana, Pa.
All performances are free and open to the public. For more information: www.watoto.com.
Little Lake Theater presents "Miracle on South Division Street," a new comedy by Tom Dudzick about a working-class family in Buffalo. Matriarch Clara tends to the care of the treasured family heirloom -- a 20-foot shrine of the Virgin Mary that commemorates the day in 1942 when the Blessed Mother appeared in her father's barbershop. When Clara's grown actress daughter announces her plan to launch a one-woman show highlighting the family miracle, the family legend begins to unravel.
The play, directed by Jena Oberg and starring Martha Bell, Gregory Caridi, Liz Roberts and Jennifer Sinatra, opens tonight and runs through June 8, 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, plus 2 p.m. June 2. Tickets are $18 Thursdays and Sundays and $20 Fridays and Saturdays, or $15 for children 15 and younger; 724-745-6300 or www.littlelake.org.
Foreigner would have been right at home on that bill last weekend with REO Speedwagon and Styx at First Niagara Pavilion.
Instead, the band that gave us "Feels Like the First Time," "Cold As Ice," "I Want to Know What Love Is" and many more hits is playing a rare indoors show here Friday at Carnegie Library Music Hall of Homestead in Munhall.
The band, which debuted in 1976, is down to a single original member -- founder and guitarist Mick Jones -- and features singer Kelly Hansen in place of Lou Gramm, plus bassist Jeff Pilson multi-instrumentalist Tom Gimbel, keyboardist Michael Bluestein and drummer Chris Frazier.
Its last release was "Can't Slow Down" in 2009.
The show is at 8 p.m. with Silent Partner. Tickets are $52-$200; www.carnegieconcerts.com.
Saturday brings the opening of Sandcastle Water Park in Homestead, but you're going to have to like cold water.
With temperatures predicted to drop this weekend, Sandcastle will be open Saturday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It reopens June 1 and 2, and then opens daily on June 8.
In sad news for the oldies crowd, after 10 years, the Jukebox Sunday Nights have been discontinued for the 2013 season.
Daily passes are $28.99; $18.99 for 48 inches and shorter, and seniors 55 and over. Season passes are $69.99 or two for $99.99. Parking pass is $24.99.
The Carrie Blast Furnace Tours in Rankin begin Saturday with a visit from Animal Friends and some of their adoptable pets along with rock band The Seams. A portion of the tour proceeds will go toward the animal shelter organization.
The blast furnace complex, managed by Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area since 2010, used to be part of the US Steel Homestead Works.
Tours begin at 10 a.m. every Saturday in May through October and every Friday June through August. Visitors can also be shuttled to the site Saturdays June through August by Lenzner Coach from Downtown Pittsburgh. Cost of the tour is $25 with discounts for seniors and youth. Information: www.riversofsteel.com.
Saturday is Children's Discovery Garden Day at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens with hands-on crafts and activities for kids of all ages.
It takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the public garden's multi-sensory outdoor garden and features games, potting stations and crafts focusing on the fascinating world of pollinators, the life cycle of plants from seed to fruit, and the botanical origins of the foods we eat.
Participants can enjoy the garden, which has a giant tree stump for climbing; plots designed to attract birds, butterflies and bees; a color wheel garden; a bog garden with carnivorous plants; a sensory garden; and a new Nature Play Area, where kids can let their imaginations run wild as they play.
Light refreshments and entertainment are included with regular paid admission: $15, $14 for seniors and students, $11 for children age 2 to 18. Members and kids under 2 enter for free. Go to phipps.conservatory.org.
Mr. Smalls gets a jolt of electro house music Saturday night from The Bloody Beetroots, aka the venom-masked Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo, who rose out of the Italian garage-punk scene.
The Bloody Beetroots, whose recent collaborations include Killing Joke and Dennis Lyxen from The Refused on the club single "Church of Noise," dives into "everything from new wave to the primal screams of hardcore punk."
The show is at 9 p.m. $25; www. mrsmalls.com.
NEED TO KNOW
• On Saturday, The National Aviary opens the new show "Talons!" which focuses on birds of prey, their skills and the threats they face. Shows are noon and 2:30 p.m. Information: www.aviary.org.
• John Henton, who got his big break on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson in the early 1990s, will perform at the Pittsburgh Improv at the Waterfront in Homestead this weekend. The actor-comedian is best known to TV audiences from his roles in "Living Single" and "The Hughleys." Shows are 8 tonight, 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15-$17. For tickets or more information, www.improv.com or 412-462-5233.