Winter Guide 2015 | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Winter Guide 2015

Don't let the cold keep you inside. Check out CP's Winter Guide for activities and events happening this season.

Winter Guide 2015
Winter Guide 2015

Snowy owls, like the one above, don't retreat from cold weather, and neither should you. So spread your wings — after dressing warmly, of course — and head out. Our staffers have rounded up plenty of local happenings through March that you can give a hoot about.


The under-renovation Westmoreland Museum of Art is still in its temporary spot on Route 30, where you can catch Peddling Personalities: Portrait and Still Life Pairings, an exhibition in which 14 regional artists chose a portrait from the collection and paired it with a still life of their own. Through March 1. Greensburg. 412-837-1500 or

click to enlarge Cataphote by Christopher Meerdo
"Cataphote" (2014), by Christopher Meerdo, at Silver Eye

The work of photographers Christopher Meerdo and Matthew Conboy is featured in the Silver Eye Center for Photography's 15th annual Fellowship competition. Meerdo's works invite exploration through dreamlike alterations of the landscape, while Conboy's project examines a skate park in Ohio. Through March 21. South Side. 412-431-1810 or

You don't run a successful business losing track of time. Something to ponder while admiring Time Machines: Watches from the H.J. Heinz Collection, which showcases more than 20 timepieces, including a gold mechanical "repeating watch" and a watch owned by Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson. Starts Jan. 31. Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Oakland. 412-622-3131 or

click to enlarge Someday Is Now: The Art of Corita Kent, the Warhol Museum north side
Image courtesy of the Corita Art Center Los Angeles
Someday Is Now: The Art of Corita Kent, at Warhol

Corita Kent was a printmaker, designer, educator, activist, feminist and Catholic nun whose bold posters, murals and prints influenced many. The Andy Warhol Museum hosts Someday Is Now: The Art of Corita Kent, the first full-scale survey of her decades of work. Starts Jan. 31. North Side. 412-237-8300 or

SPACE Gallery goes ballistic with Unloaded. The group show organized by Susanne Slavick examines issues revolving around the availability, use and impact of guns in our culture. Contributing artists include Vanessa German, Dadpranks, Jessica Fenlon and Andrew Ellis Johnson. Starts Feb. 13. Downtown. 412-325-7723 or

In conjunction with its Hillman Photography Initiative, the Carnegie Museum of Art opens Antoine Catala: Distant Feel, in which the multimedia work (sculpture, photography and video) investigates the way images provoke emotion, particularly when they "travel" long distances to us, via the Internet. Starts Feb. 14. Oakland. 412-622-3131 or

click to enlarge Cables by Karl Struss
Photo courtesy of art2art Circulating Exhibitions. © 1983 Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas
"Cables" (1912), by Karl Struss, at the Frick Art & Historical Center

See the early evolution of art photography in Impressionist to Modernist: Masterworks of Early Photography, at the Frick Art & Historical Center. Among the hand-crafted vintage prints are display are those by Gertrude Kasebier, Karl Struss, Edward Steichen and Paul Strand. Starts Feb. 21. Point Breeze. 412-371-0600 or


If you're in your 30s, Marilyn Manson was the name that terrified your parents when you were a teen; two decades after his early work, the industrial-shock-rocker is still at it, with his latest, The Pale Emperor, having dropped this week. Jan. 30. Stage AE, North Side. 412-229-5483 or

click to enlarge Josh White Jr. and Rev. Robert B. Jones
Josh White Jr. (left) and Rev. Robert B. Jones, Jan. 31

Lead Belly is arguably the biggest name in the history of Delta blues; the guitarist and singer informed early rock and made "Goodnight Irene" a household phrase. Josh White Jr., Rev. Robert B. Jones and Radoslav Lorvokic pay tribute in a program presented by Calliope. Jan. 31. Carnegie Lecture Hall, Oakland. 412-316-1915 or

click to enlarge Zap Mama
Photo courtesy of Columbia Artist Management Inc.
Zap Mama, Feb. 4 / Photo courtesy of Columbia Artist Management Inc.

Zap Mama grew to fame in the early '90s, melding polyphonic vocal styles with African rhythm; Antibalas is an American standard-bearer of Afrobeat, having been the band in Broadway's Fela! The two groups are touring together this winter, with both separate and collaborative sets. Feb. 4. Byham Theater, Downtown. 412-456-6666 or

Former Drive By Trucker and songwriter's songwriter Jason Isbell broke out as a certified solo artist with a hit record in 2013; this winter he tours with another, slightly less twangy but similarly respected name in writing, Damien Jurado. Feb. 9. Carnegie Library Music Hall of Homestead.

click to enlarge The New Pornographers band
Photo courtesy of Chris Buck
The New Pornographers, Feb. 13

Last year's Brill Bruisers was a lauded new release from longtime Canadian indie band The New Pornographers, something of a supergroup: Since the band's founding, acts like Neko Case and Destroyer have spun off their own successes. Feb. 13. Mr. Small's Theatre, Millvale. 412-821-4447 or

Producer and songwriter RJD2 was one of the headliners of the first Thrival Festival, in 2013; he returns to town this winter with Chrome Sparks, the buzzworthy project of Pittsburgh-born Jeremy Malvin. Feb. 20. Mr. Small's Theatre, Millvale. 412-821-4447 or

Longtime folkie David Bromberg returns to town this winter with his quartet; the fiddler and guitarist has recorded with a laundry lists of greats, from Bob Dylan to Carly Simon and even Sha Na Na. Feb. 20. Rex Theater, South Side. 412-381-6811 or

Cory Henry is well known for his work with the group Snarky Puppy, the Texas jazz outfit that shared a Grammy with Lalah Hathaway last year. He brings his other group, the Cory Henry Trio, to town on its winter tour this year. Feb. 23. Thunderbird Café, Lawrenceville. 412-682-0177 or

click to enlarge Silk Road Ensemble
Photo courtesy of Max Whittaker
Silk Road Ensemble, Feb. 25

Yo Yo Ma has the distinction of being one of a handful of classical instrumentalists with instant name recognition even among non-music-types. This winter, his Silk Road Ensemble, which aims to entertain and educate about the traditions of Asia's Silk Road, comes to town. Feb. 25. Heinz Hall, Downtown. 412-392-4900 or

Pitt music professor Mathew Rosenblum has made microtonality — the use of tones between what we think of as the notes of a conventional scale — a big part of his work. And the group he cofounded, Music on the Edge, helps present Beyond: Microtonal Music Festival along with The Warhol this winter. Feb. 27-March 1. The Andy Warhol Museum, North Side, and Pitt Music Building, Oakland.

click to enlarge Will Butler or Arcade Fire
Photo courtesy of Will Butler
Will Butler, March 12

Time was when you could see Arcade Fire in a tiny venue; now that band is playing arenas. But keyboardist (and past Oscar nominee) Will Butler is playing small rooms again on a solo tour supporting his new solo record, Policy. March 12. Brillobox, Bloomfield. 412-621-4900 or

click to enlarge Perfume Genius
Photo courtesy of Angel Ceballos
Perfume Genius, March 27

The music of Perfume Genius, a.k.a. Mike Hadreas, has morphed from bedroom indie pop to sweeping, beautiful soundscapes, with pop underpinnings. Last year's Too Bright was released to great acclaim; he comes to town touring behind that record. March 27. The Andy Warhol Museum, North Side. 412-237-8300 or


Along Garfield's recently liberated stretch of Penn Avenue you'll find Brahman/I, "a one-hijra stand-up comedy." In a borrowed community center, Quantum Theatre Pittsburgh-premieres Aditi Brennan Kapil's play rendered as a comedy routine exploring history, mythology, gender and high school. Jan. 30-Feb. 22.

How about a farce featuring the young Friedrich Nietzsche? Adventuresome, up-and-coming local playwright Gab Cody has the ticket in Prussia: 1866, a comedy about "Fritz," his mentor and his mentor's wife. Kim Martin directs for The Rep. Feb. 6-22. Oakland.

click to enlarge Evidence
Evidence, Feb. 7

As collaborators, acclaimed choreographer Ronald K. Brown and Brooklyn-based dance troupe Evidence are known for blending African dance, ballet, modern dance and more. Pittsburgh Dance Council hosts them for a program including "On Earth Together," set to the music of Stevie Wonder and featuring Pittsburgh-based guest dancers. Byham Theater, Downtown, Feb. 7. 412-456-6666 or

With a mix of sketch, improv, standup and more, Arcade Comedy Theater has defied the odds by thriving in a dedicated space Downtown. The troupe marks two years in business with four shows Feb. 13-14.

People can't seem to get enough of Andrew Lloyd Weber's The Phantom of the Opera, so here's Cameron Mackintosh's giant new production, lately off a sold-out U.K. tour. It's at the Byham Theater for 11 performances from Feb. 18-March 1. Downtown. 412-456-6666 or

The New Hazlett Theater offers visionary art in the form of stop-motion-animated video opera "The Crumbling," a world-premiere work by locally based artist Alexis Gideon. The 21-minute work, with projected video and live music, follows an apprentice librarian trying to save her city from collapsing around her. Feb. 21 and 22. North Side.

click to enlarge Malpaso
Photo courtesy of Roberto Leon
Malpaso, Feb. 27-28

The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater launches its World Stages Fund series with the U.S. premiere of two new works by Cuban contemporary-dance company Malpaso. The fledgling company performs pieces by Trey McIntyre with music by Grammy winner Artyuro O'Farrill. Feb. 27 and 28. East Liberty. 412-363-3000 or

Pittsburgh Dance Council hosts an on-stage collaboration between This American Life host Ira Glass and dancers Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass. Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host combines Glass' storytelling and the dancers' interpretations for one night at the Byham Theater. Feb. 28. Downtown. 412-456-6666 or

click to enlarge How I Learned What I Learned at Pittsburgh Public
Photo courtesy of Josh Lamkin Photography for Atlanta's True Colors Theatre
How I Learned What I Learned, at Pittsburgh Public Theater

August Wilson was renowned for his Pittsburgh Cycle of 10 plays, but the Hill District native wrote one more before he died. Pittsburgh Public Theater presents the local premiere of How I Learned What I Learned, Wilson's one-man show about his formative years, starring Eugene Lee (pictured) and directed by Wilson's protégé, Todd Kreidler. March 5-April 5. Downtown. 412-316-1600 or

Like the name says, PBT Premieres features three Pittsburgh-premiere works, by three iconic choreographers. The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre orchestra backs performances of Jiri Kylian's "Petite Mort," Jerome Robbin's comedic "The Concert" and Mark Morris' playful ensemble work, "Sandpaper Ballet." Benedum Center, March 6-8. 412-456-6666 or

Rinat Shaham returns to Pittsburgh Opera to sing the title role in Carmen. The famed Israeli mezzo-soprano, joined by tenor A.J. Glueckert, as Don Jose, tackles Bizet's memorable, tune-filled score March 21-19 at the Benedum Center. Downtown. 412-281-0912 or


Galway Kinnell was a great American poet with notable Pittsburgh ties. He died in October. On Jan. 31, the who's-who of local poets at the Galway Kinnell Memorial Reading includes Terrance Hayes, Jan Beatty, Sam Hazo, Ed Ochester, Lynn Emanuel and Jimmy Cvetic. East End Book Exchange, Bloomfield.

click to enlarge Jesmyn Ward
Photo courtesy of Tony Cook
Jesmyn Ward, at Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures

In Men We Reaped, Jesmyn Ward writes of losing five young men she knew. The novelist and memoirist speaks at Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures' Monday Night Series about what the loss of young black men means to communities. Feb. 9. Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland. 412-622-8866 or

The Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series continues with a visit from Jennifer Clement. Clement is an acclaimed memoirist, novelist (Prayers for the Stolen) and poet (Newton's Sailor). The reading, at the Frick Fine Arts Building, is free. Feb. 19. Oakland. 412-624-6508

click to enlarge Sheri Fink
Photo courtesy of Jen Dessigner
Sheri Fink, at Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures

Five Days at Memorial is Sheri Fink's award-winning 2013 account of what unfolded at a New Orleans hospital during Hurricane Katrina. The medical doctor and Pulitzer Prize-winner speaks at Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures' Monday Night Series about her work and end-of-life issues. March 2. Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland. 412-622-8866 or


It's a lesson in economics and deferred pleasures: A snowball collected now, and stored in the freezer, means reduced entry to the Carnegie Science Center on June 21, when snowball-holders can name their own price.

click to enlarge Ligonier Ice Festival
Photo courtesy of Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce
Ligonier Ice Festival, Jan. 24-25

Embrace the beauty of cold at the 24th annual Ligonier Ice Festival, during which skilled craftsmen turn giant blocks of ice into glittery sculptures. Enjoy them before they melt! Also, kids' events, music and kettle corn. Jan. 24 and 25. Diamond area, Ligonier.

ART: ventureoutdoors

CAPTION: Cross-country skiing, with Venture Outdoors

The gang at Venture Outdoors doesn't let winter stop them from doing stuff: Join them for winter activities (skiing, snowshoeing), as well as hikes and bird- and tree-spotting. Many of the hikes come with food and/or booze incorporated to keep your caloric level up.


Looks don't matter in the romance between Beauty and the Beast. Gemini Theater's original, musical production of this classic tale is also interactive, letting audiences be part of the show. Through Feb. 8. Point Breeze. 412-243-6464 or

click to enlarge NFL PLAY 60 at Heinz History Center
Photo courtesy of Heinz History Center
NFL PLAY 60, Jan. 31

Get active indoors on all five floors of the Heinz History Center during NFL PLAY 60. Try out the 40-yard dash, get jiggy with a sanctioned touchdown-celebration dance and scope out cooking demonstrations. Exercise your brain with the museum exhibits. Free for kids under 17. Jan. 31. 412-454-6000 or

Take the kids to Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, which, besides featuring an adorable mouse, also teaches lessons about good behavior and welcoming a new sibling. The hour-long play, presented by the Pittsburgh International Children's Theater, is adapted from Kevin Henkes' book. Feb. 22-March 1. Byham Theater, Downtown, and other locations. 412-456-6666

Guess who's going to be at Disney on Ice Presents Princesses and Heroes at the Consol Energy Center? Only Elsa, Anna and Olaf from Frozen! Those Nordic fairy-talers are sure to be aces on skates, but also look for Ariel, Aladdin and a dragon from Maleficent. March 4-8.


The East End Food Co-op has your cure for January blues: Winterfest, featuring music, food and fun for the whole family (from kids' activities to wine and beer). Nosh on light fare while grooving to DJ Selecta, Shelf Life String Band and Union Rye. Jan. 31. Hosanna House, Wilkinsburg.

Low gas prices tempting you to buy a new car? Check out this year's models at the Pittsburgh International Auto Show, but remember: Choose wisely — gas prices are sure to up again. Feb. 13-16. David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

click to enlarge Bronx Obama
Photo courtesy of Bronx Obama movie
Bronx Obama screens at Faces of Work

First we drink, then we eat. Quench your thirst with malted beverages at the Pittsburgh Winter Beerfest (Feb. 20-21,, then prepare for post-winter harvests at the annual Farm to Table Conference (March 27-28,, celebrating all manner of local produce and preparations. Both events at David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown

Who doesn't want to make their home more beautiful — or more efficient? Aisles and aisles of products — from shower stalls to patio furniture, track lighting to rain barrels — await your perusal at the annual Home and Garden Show. March 6-15. David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

More than a month's worth of interesting American and foreign films at two upcoming annual festivals. First, it's Carnegie Mellon University's International Film Festival: Faces of Work (March 19-April 11,, followed immediately by JFilm (April 16-26,, which presents films related to Jewish and Israeli culture and issues.

The 2024 Pittsburgh Dyke March
24 images

The 2024 Pittsburgh Dyke March

By Mars Johnson