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Friday, September 7, 2018

Catch Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown tonight on Treehouse Masters

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2018 at 1:24 PM

Antonio Brown (center) with Kennihan employees - PHOTO: KENNIHAN PLUMBING, HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING
  • Photo: Kennihan Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Antonio Brown (center) with Kennihan employees
I only watch Animal Planet to learn about treehouses. (I would rather see animals in person than on TV.) And I’m not even super into treehouses, but an upcoming episode of Treehouse Masters piqued my interest.

Tonight, Pittsburghers should join me in my new tree house obsession because a special Pittsburgh guest is featured: Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.

Since the premiere of Treehouse Masters in 2013, the scale and quality of the treehouses built by Pete Nelson have upgraded from treehouses to tree-mansions. In recent seasons, especially the current one, the treehouses on the show are nicer than most people’s homes. Brown’s is no exception.

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

First Night 2018 attractions announced

Posted By on Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 1:52 PM

  • Courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Some cities drop pickles, roses and bologna at midnight. But on Highmark First Night, the ball rises as the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve.

Now in its 24th year, Highmark First Night, sponsored by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, returns on Dec. 31 with more than 100 events throughout Downtown's 14-block Cultural District. (While some First Night performances and attractions take place outdoors, most are indoors.)

This year’s theme, as announced this morning at a press conference Downtown, is “Love, Peace, Pittsburgh.”

The festivities begin at 6 p.m. with children’s fireworks sponsored by Dollar Bank on the Highmark Stage. Afterward, steelpan band Barrels to Beethoven kicks off the night's musical performances with its energetic tropical sound.

Other attractions include the Allegheny Health Network Parade, with Grand Marshal Randy Gilson, artist and creator of the North Side's Randyland, at 8 p.m.; performances by Arcade Comedy Theater’s Penny Arcade, at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Player One, at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. at its new location at 811 Liberty Ave.; and Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers at the Benedum Center, at 7 p.m.

Outdoor warming and cell-phone charging stations return this year, and are located at the August Wilson Center and Katz Plaza.

  • Courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Lee Fields & The Expressions headline the night, performing soul and funk anthems from 10:45 p.m. to 12:10 a.m. at the Highmark stage, at Liberty and Stanwix. During the performance, Lee and company will ring in the New Year with the raising of the Future of Pittsburgh Ball and Zambelli fireworks.

Admission buttons for First Night are $10, and are free for children 5 and under. They are available online at www.firstnightpgh.trustarts.org, in person at the box office at Theater Square on 655 Penn Ave.; or by phone at 412-456-6666. They are also available at a $1 discount with an Advantage Card at participating Giant Eagle stores.

For $40, attendees can purchase First Night Friend VIP buttons that grant access to priority seating, parking and a private lounge in the O’Reilly Theater, where they can relax with hot beverages and sweet treats.

For more information and a complete list of events, visit www.firstnightpgh.trustarts.org.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Pop-up Nickelodeon begins Downtown on Friday

Posted By on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 10:17 AM

  • CP photos by Amanda Reed
From being the backdrop for films like The Dark Knight Rises and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Pittsburgh is known for its small but mighty role in the film industry. But it all started in 1905, with a small storefront theater begun on Smithfield Street by Harry Davis and John P. Harris.

The Theatre Historical Society of America (THS) is honoring that history in time for Light-Up Night beginning tonight with a pop-up nickelodeon at 811 Liberty Ave., transforming the former Arcade Comedy Theater space into a 20th-century theater with donated banquet chairs from the David Lawrence Convention Center and a fresh coat of paint.

“There isn’t a whole lot of exposure in Pittsburgh about the nickel
odeon and Pittsburgh’s role as the birthplace of the commercial movie-theater industry,” says THS executive director Richard Fosbrink. “We thought, ‘What can we do to make the public aware of this?’ so we decided to do a recreated nickelodeon.”

The Nickelodeon will screen classic silent short films, including Edwin S. Porter's "The Great Train Robbery," from 1903, Georges Méliès' groundbreaking 1902 short "A Trip to the Moon" and a 1910 silent version of Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol,” plus short films introducing the Theatre Historical Society of America — all for just a nickel.

The Nickelodeon also features an exhibit on Pittsburgh’s role in the film industry, beginning with Harris and Davis’ Nickelodeon.

The pop-up Nickelodeon runs through First Night festivities — Sunday, Dec. 31 — and is open from noon to 7 p.m. every day except Monday, when it is closed.

THS, which recently relocated to Pittsburgh, is a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating the history of America's theaters, and showcasing their role in American architectural, cultural and social history.

For more information about the pop-up, visit www.historictheatres.org.

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Escape artist Michael Griffin takes on new challenge in Pittsburgh

Posted By on Thu, Aug 4, 2016 at 8:45 AM

Michael Griffin
  • Michael Griffin
Michael Griffin defines death-defying. As a two-time World Magic Award-winner and escape artist, the Pittsburgh local has survived a hanging while on the back of a horse and, in a separate stunt, while being submerged in the ocean trapped in Harry Houdini’s original underwater box. Griffin has been featured on Masters of Illusion, America's Got Talent and Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

On Aug. 12, at 7:30 p.m., Griffin will perform his latest interactive show, 50 Shades of Great, at the Oaks Theater in Oakmont. The program is filled with mind experiments, dangerous stunts and audience participation.

As a special challenge, if 200 tickets or more are sold by Aug. 10, Griffin will be handcuffed and attached with 30 pounds of chains to a cement block and dropped into the Allegheny River at noon on Aug. 11. The location has yet to be specified.

Tickets for 50 Shades of Great range from $17 to $25 for VIP front table seating.

The Oaks Theater is at 310 Allegheny River Blvd., in Oakmont.

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Pittsburgh's SouthSide Works Exposed festival returns tomorrow

Posted By on Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 11:09 AM

SouthSide Works Exposed is back for its 12th year, partnering with I Made It! crafts marketplace to bring nearly 70 local artisans to South 27th Street for a packed three-day weekend. Handmade crafts in all sorts of media will be available for purchase each day. 

The crowd at an earlier SouthSide Works Exposed
  • The crowd at an earlier SouthSide Works Exposed
Live bands will perform throughout the weekend. Friday will feature Tres Lads and Bastard Bearded Irishmen, while Saturday showcases Shelley Duff, The Delaney’s, Lyndsey Smith & Soul Distribution, Kierra Darshell & Drag Performers and closer No Bad JuJu.

Sunday is Kids Day, with live animals, a magic show, kids' Zumba and a set from Kelsey Friday and the Rest of the Week Band. 

Additionally, about 10 food trucks, with menu items ranging from Japanese cuisine to gourmet meatballs to the timeless pierogie, will be available through the festival.

SouthSide Works Exposed takes place 5-10 p.m. tomorrow; noon-10 p.m. on Sat., July 9; and noon-5 p.m., on Sun., July 10. Admission is free. For more information, including a full schedule, see here

The festival is centered at the corner of Sidney and South 27th streets, on the South Side.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Ball on the Bridge highlights LGBT ball culture on the Andy Warhol Bridge

Posted By on Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 11:55 AM

Ball on the Bridge, an event highlighting ball culture and the need for improved health-care services for Pittsburgh’s LGBT community, took place on the Andy Warhol Bridge Saturday night. The event had 28 competition categories on the bridge, which was closed down to traffic. The sidewalks remained open and passersby were encouraged to take in the action.

“We want to see you up here on this stage!” the MC hollered to those who stopped to watch. 

Ball on the Bridge, which the Delta Foundation helped to organize, was meant to “bridge the gap” of health-care access for members of the LGBT community. Dalen Hooks, a longtime participant of the Pittsburgh ball scene and the main organizer of the night, told City Paper’s event preview.

“One of the perks of having this outside is [that] it is taking something that it is underground and making it mainstream,” Hooks told CP.

The night also brought a sense of community. Everyone seemed to know everyone else, greeting each other with hugs and kisses. Check out our highlights from the event below.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Arts Festival announces lineup, new features

Posted By on Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 3:05 PM

  • Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
  • Squonk Opera's "Cycle Sonic"

The festival’s 57th annual incarnation, June 3-12, will be broadly familiar: a Point State Park-based footprint, lots of bands, the artists’ market, large-scale outdoor public artworks, a juried visual-art show, festival food.

There’s even the welcome, lately near-annual tradition of a new show by performance-art rock-band faves Squonk Opera.

And it’s all still free, thanks largely to the title sponsor in what’s officially titled the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival.

But according to info released today by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, there’ll be a few new wrinkles in the festival-going experience, and this year’s public art has a local bent.

For one, the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s CREATE Festival, which last year merely happened in conjunction with the arts fest, is more fully integrated – and it, too, is now free. The day-long festival, will take place June 9 at the Fairmont Hotel, with talks, the Innovation Salon exhibition and more.

Things will also be more comfortable and culinarily pleasing for some fest-goers. Sarah Aziz, the Trust’s new program manager for special events, announced that for the first time the festival will include sensory-friendly “breakout areas” for people on the autism spectrum. Also look for the fest’s first ever feeding room for parents and kids, with a changing station, quiet space for breast-feeding and more.

For those on solid food, there will also be extended availability of food trucks.

At today’s press conference, at the Trust’s Peirce studios, Downtown, Aziz also recapped the previously announced musical guests, including opening-night headliner Michael Franti.

The public art, which in years past has often featured work by visiting artists, this year offers work by three locals.

In Gateway Center, look for large-scale installation “Multiverse Wall,” by Jesse Best (CREATE Festival’s featured artist of the year), and “Dandelions,” street signs mimicking the ubiquitous plant, by Carin Mincemoyer. Meanwhile, Point State Park will host the visionary “WindNest Prototype,” a quarter-scale model of a proposed artwork that doubles as a renewable-energy generator, by Trevor Lee (of Philadelphia-based Suprafutures) and Pittsburgh-based Land Art Generator Initiative.

The surrealism-minded Squonk Opera’s latest, Cycle Sonic, gets six performances June 11 and 12.

Also on the performance front, for the first time Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co.’s Theatre Festival in Black and White (with black playwrights directing one-acts by white playwrights, and vice versa) is part of the arts fest.

For a full schedule, see here.

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Bark, Baby! It’s the Fifth Annual B*tches Ball drag competition benefiting Pittsburgh’s Animal Rescue League

Posted By on Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 3:04 PM

The Fifth Annual B*tches Ball — a drag competition held to raise money for the Animal Rescue League — got its groove on last night at the Pittsburgh Opera. The event brings together local celebrities, queens and animal-lovers for cocktails and entertainment in celebration of World Spay Day. In 2013 and 2014, City Paper readers voted the B*tches Ball “Best Local Fundraiser,” in the annual Best of Pittsburgh Readers’ Poll.

The ball, presented by VCA Northview Animal Hospital Specialty Referral Center, was hosted by the hilarious Akasha L Van-Cartier and Miss B*tchburgh 2015, Paris Young Boutté. After an upbeat night of performances, celebrity judges Tall Cathy, from local radio station 96.1 KISS-FM; Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner; and Natalie Bencivenga, SEEN editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; along with animal judges Pussy Willow, R.C. Fox and Scout, the Camp Bow Wow mascot, crowned contestant Confetti Gunn Miss B*tchburgh 2016.

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Central Blood Bank promotes donations with The Walking Dead

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 12:49 PM

A Central Blood Bank promotion through Jan. 29 allows donors to meet The Walking Dead actresses. - IMAGE COURTESY OF THE CENTRAL BLOOD BANK
  • Image courtesy of the Central Blood Bank
  • A Central Blood Bank promotion through Jan. 29 allows donors to meet The Walking Dead actresses.

Three days are left in the Central Blood Bank's The Walking Dead promotion. Donors who go to any Central Blood Bank location and mention the word "walk" will be given tickets to meet two actresses from the series — Katelyn Nacon ( who plays Enid) and Madison Lintz (Sophia Peletier) — this Sat., Jan. 30 from noon-5 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Green Tree.

"It’s a meet-and-greet with both Katelyn and Madison and fans who are our donors," says Megan Lakatos of the Central Blood Bank. "They’ll have an opportunity to meet them, [get] photos, autographs."

The blood bank is using the connection between zombies and blood to promote awareness and is hoping that cable TV's No. 1 rated show, on AMC, will attract donors. The show's sixth-season premiere drew 19.5 million viewers. Lakatos says that in order to keep up with demand from the approximately 40 area hospitals the bank provides blood to, it needs 500 donors each day. 

"I’m very excited because I love to meet fans and talk to them. They’re all so avid and dedicated," Madison Lintz told City Paper by phone. "They all remember me even though I was in [the show] a couple seasons ago. They all appreciate my last scene that I did, which is nice. And I totally support blood [donations] because it helps so many people."

Spoiler alert. if you're really behind on The Walking Dead.

Lintz's character was killed off in season two, when the character Rick Grimes shot her in the head after he found her reanimated as a zombie in a barn full of zombies.

Lintz chuckled and said when she booked her new show — the crime series Bosch on Amazon Prime — that she "put in my contracts that they were not allowed to have any barns."

Nacon's character Enid is still a survivor of the zombie apocalypse on the show.

The show is in its sixth season, and the mid-season premiere is Feb. 14. 

The Central Blood Bank has 22 donation centers throughout the area. The centers are open Thursday from noon-7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

A look back at Pittsburgh City Paper's 2015 behind-the-scenes cover videos

Posted By on Thu, Dec 31, 2015 at 9:17 AM

This year we've taken you behind the scenes to see how we created some of our most fun and interesting City Paper covers. Here's a look back at our video series: 

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