Pittsburgh’s top events: Dec. 15-21

This‌ ‌week’s‌ ‌must-see‌ ‌arts‌ ‌and‌ ‌cultural‌ productions

click to enlarge Tabletop view of a record player and headphones
Photo: Courtesy of Joinery Hotel
Hotel Holiday Listening Nights at Joinery

Thu., Dec. 15

Horror isn’t just for Halloween. Check out a new holiday sick flick when the Parkway Theater screens Christmas Bloody Christmas, in which a small town finds itself at the mercy of a killer robotic Santa. The film is directed by Joe Begos and stars Jonah Ray, the new host of Mystery Science Theater 3000. This is the last night for local audiences to see it on the big screen, so don’t miss it. 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. 644 Broadway Ave., McKees Rocks. $8. communityreelartscenter.org

The Government Center presents Tough Pill #17, a performance series held at different venues throughout Pittsburgh. This installment features New York City jazz soloist Josh Sinton along with improvising brass and string musicians Mimi Jong, Mila Shadel, Mai Khoi, Jason Belcher, Jay Rauch, and Patrick Breiner. Expect a groovy night that, according to Government Center’s website, will “create space for practitioners while also expanding the scope of the experimental art audience.” 7 p.m. Government Center. 715 East St., North Side. $5-10. thegovernmentcenter.com/events/tough-pill-17

Class up your holiday with cocktails and music in Joinery’s chic lobby. The newish Downtown spot will host Hotel Holiday Listening Nights, a series showcasing local musicians. For this installment, acoustic artist Scott Riggle will play a mix of rock, blues, folk, country, and contemporary music, including covers from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews, Old Crow Medicine Show, and more. 7-9 p.m. 453 Boulevard of the Allies, Downtown. Free. joineryhotel.com

click to enlarge A person takes an underwater picture of a humpback whale
Photo: Courtesy of MacGillivray Freeman
Humpback Whales 3D at Carnegie Science Center

Fri., Dec. 16

Get steamy at Club Pittsburgh with Bathhouse Betty, a queer dance music night from DJs Leonce and Clark Price (one-third of DJ powerhouse Honcho), and performances from Remy Black and moon baby, hot off her debut electro-pop album The One You Need. The event — named after Bette Midler’s ninth studio album — is the first Bathhouse Betty since the pandemic, so get ready for an all-night party till the early dawn. 12–6 a.m. 1139 Penn Ave., Strip District. $10-15. clubpittsburgh.com

New Hazlett Theater showcases two holiday operas with Amahl and the Night Visitors and The Ballad of the Brown King. Both shows revolve around the Biblical story of The Three Kings, with Amahl and the Night Visitors telling the story of a young boy and his mother’s miraculous run-in with the men on their way to Bethlehem. The Ballad of the Brown King makes an apt partner: the 1950s cantata was written in honor of Balthazar, one-third of the Three Kings. Plus, check out the world premiere of Nancy Galbraith’s holiday opera Rededication, performed by librettist Sara Stock Mayo. 7:30 p.m. Continues through Sun., Dec. 18. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $15-52. newhazletttheater.org

Sat., Dec. 17

Head ringside when Enjoy Wrestling brings an event packed with drama, daring stunts, and dreamy athletes to Mr. Smalls Theatre. Enjoy Odyssey will present two title matches, an appearance by AEW star Lee Moriarty, and an Enjoy Championship battle royale. Fans will also get to witness the debut of intergender wrestling legend LuFisto. Tickets are selling fast so get yours before it’s too late. 7 p.m.400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $25. linktr.ee/Enjoywrestling

All families are welcome at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center for its Holiday Community Day. The free event will highlight Kwanzaa, an African American holiday celebrated from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. Expect local vendors selling clothes, jewelry, and art. DEMASKUS Collective, a Pittsburgh theater collective, reggae group The Flow Band, and Kwanzaa dancers and drummers will also present live performances to round out the afternoon. And don’t forget to take a pic with Santa and Mrs. Claus before you leave to re-up your holiday nice points. 12-4 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Registration required. awaacc.org/event/holiday-community-day

Pittsburgh can never get enough holiday events, and Necromancer Brewing has one packed with food, brews, fun, and more. The Night Before Krampus promises festive tap takeovers by various partner breweries, pop-ups, flash (including a Necromancer design) by Evolver Tattoo, a mini drag show from Mostbeautifullest and the Doll House, and music by DJ Scottro. There will also be food by Black Sheep Barbecue and Pittsburgh Taco Boys, and the debut of Necromancer’s Holiday Mixed four-pack. 6-10 p.m. 2257 Babcock Blvd., North Hills. Free. necromancer.beer

Sun., Dec. 18

Bring the kids for a performance of Princess and the Pea at Gemini Theater Company. Performed by an all-child cast, the play tells the story of King Viktor and Queen Nova, soon-retired rulers searching for a worthy successor who can pass their centuries-old family “test.” The hiring process gets a little complicated after Viktor’s embittered cousin enters the scene. Will they ever find a suitable ruler? Check out this musical, long delayed since its inception before the pandemic, and find out. 1 and 3:30 p.m. 420 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. $5-15. geminitheater.org

Mon., Dec. 19

See one of the ocean’s most majestic mammals when the Carnegie Science Center continues screening the short film Humpback Whales 3D. Presented on the Rangos Giant Cinema screen, the 40-minute work by MacGillivray Freeman drops audiences into the waters of Alaska, Hawaii, and Tonga for an up-close look at these enormous creatures. Narration provided by famous actor Ewan McGregor will provide plenty of information about the habits of these fascinating animals. 12:15 p.m. Continues through Jan. 1, 2023. One Allegheny Ave., North Side. $6-7. carnegiesciencecenter.org

click to enlarge A Black man holds playing cards
Photo: Courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Ran'D Shin at Liberty Magic

Tue., Dec. 20

Local celebrity Rick Sebak returns to Bottlerocket Social Hall for Happy Holidays in Pittsburgh. Sebak will present the WQED documentary about December traditions in the ‘burgh, which has become a staple of many a family’s holiday season since its 2002 release. Watch the movie over the cidery winter edition of the bar’s specialty drink, the Bottlerocket Punch. Have questions for Mr. Sebak? Stick around for the Q&A after the movie. 7-9 p.m. Bottlerocket Social Hall. 1226 Arlington Ave., Allentown. $5. bottlerocketpgh.com

Wed., Dec. 21

Pick a card, any card when Ran'D Shine shows off his signature illusions for Evidence of Things Unseen at Liberty Magic. Described on the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust website as immersive, surprising, and unexpected, the show will put on display why Shine has appeared in over 25 countries all over the world. Beyond performing, Shine has also sought to diversify his industry by hosting a show featuring an all-Black cast of magicians, and by serving as the co-founder and past president of the International Association of Black Magical Artists. 5 p.m. Continues through Fri., Dec. 30. 811 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $40-65. trustarts.org

The new exhibition at here gallery will feature five sculptures that promise to examine “how boundaries can inform our own lived and deeply psychological experiences.” Chains are a recurring theme in Rachel Mica Weiss: GRAVITY, with Weiss, a New York-based sculptor and installation artist, amplifying or distorting their size and weight. “Net,” Weiss’ first wall-based chain work, draws the eye in with “a smoky-gradient of resin [that] adorns the wall as if it were cloaking an absent body.” Continues through Jan. 7, 2023. 527 North Taylor Ave., North Side. Free. gallery-here.com/RMW-Gravity