Seven Days in Pittsburgh: Dec. 17-23 | Arts + Entertainment | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Seven Days in Pittsburgh: Dec. 17-23

Virtual holiday celebrations including theater performances, music, readings, and more

click to enlarge Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre dancer in Pittsburgh Symphony’s Tapestry of Light: A Holiday Celebration - PHOTO: ED DEARMITT
Photo: Ed DeArmitt
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre dancer in Pittsburgh Symphony’s Tapestry of Light: A Holiday Celebration
Thu., Dec. 17
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
dances into your living room with Fireside Nutcracker, a virtual production following a young girl swept into a holiday adventure full of romance, danger, and magic. Even though it's not on an in-person stage, the show still features all the elements that have made it a favorite for generations, including stunning choreography by the PBT company and the timeless Tchaikovsky score. The opening night includes a virtual celebration, as well as a front-row seat to a beloved seasonal tradition from the safety of your own home. 7 p.m. Continues through Thu., Dec. 31. Free. Registration required.

You may think you know Pittsburgh, but there is still plenty of history to be uncovered. Out of the Archives: Pittsburgh Revealed 2020 can help. This unique selection of moving images, presented by City of Asylum, was created in or about the Pittsburgh region from the 1930s through the 1990s. The 90-minute film even includes home movies from legendary Pittsburgh photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris. 7-8:30 p.m. Free with registration.

Fri., Dec. 18

Join the August Wilson African American Cultural Center for Lit Fridays, a virtual salon featuring conversations and guest performances. This week will focus on mental health with educator, writer, and activist Lacrisha Holcomb, licensed counselor and author, Crystal Joseph, and Rowana Abbensetts, a Guyanese-American fiction and poetry writer who founded Spoken Black Girl, a mental health and wellness platform for women of color. The event will be moderated by the Center's literary curator, Jessica Lanay. 6 p.m. Free. Registration required.

One of Pittsburgh’s most anticipated yearly holiday performances can still be experienced this year at home as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra brings its principal pops conductor and soloist Byron Stripling to the virtual stage with Tapestry of Light: A Holiday Celebration. Recorded in Heinz Hall, the traditional performances include “old favorites and new surprises,” with a sensory-friendly version also available. 7:30 p.m. Free.

Sat., Dec. 19

Celebrate Kwanzaa 2020 style with a virtual event from pottery studio Kolor-n-Kiln. With the Virtual Kwanzaa Chalkboard Class, participants will make a "purpose board" to write down the different meanings of the holiday. While the class is virtual, all materials are provided in a kit to paint from the comfort of your home. 4 p.m. $30.

Sun., Dec. 20

The Harris Theater @ Home cinema program will stream a special presentation of The Hip Hop Nutcracker, a family-friendly, pre-recorded show that adds a new spin to an old favorite. Directed and choreographed by Jennifer Weber, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is described by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust as a “contemporary dance spectacle set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music” and taking place in modern-day New York instead of 19th-century Germany. The evening-length production features a cast of all-star dancers, a DJ, a violinist, and an appearance by hip-hop legend MC Kurtis Blow. Shows at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Available to stream through Jan. 3, 2021. $20.

Mon., Dec. 21

Since we’re temporarily unable to drink in bars because of the pandemic, pour a glass of wine at home and join Doors Open Pittsburgh for a night in with new friends online. With “A Virtual Storytelling Experience: Holiday Cheers with Enginehouse Wines, a Truly Unique Winery Experience,” wine aficionados can get virtual access to the famous wine cellar under the Roberto Clemente Museum, and, if you like, enjoy a tasting with wine experts. 7:30 p.m. $5 minimum donation. $95 for pre-ordered wine sampler.

Tue., Dec. 22

This is the last chance to see Delta Hill Riders and Magicicada at the Silver Eye Center for Photography. The two photography exhibitions offer a compelling look at two very different worlds. For Delta Hill Riders, Rory Doyle captures the historically overlooked subculture of African American cowboys and cowgirls in the rural Mississippi Delta. Sue Abramson focuses on the strange life-cycle of cicadas, following their 17 years of growing underground, then using the exoskeletons shed by the insects after their short time on earth. Silver Eye is currently closed, but you can take a virtual walk through the galleries on the Silver Eye website. On view through Thu., Dec. 31. 4808 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. Free.
click to enlarge Virtual Stories with Santa with Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens - PHOTO: PHIPPS CONSERVATORY AND BOTANICAL GARDENS
Photo: Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Virtual Stories with Santa with Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
What’s better than mom or dad reading bedtime stories? Having them read by Santa! With Virtual Stories with Santa, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has created a fun holiday activity for kids stuck at home during the pandemic. Get the little ones dressed in their favorite PJs and let the big guy from the North Pole read them Penguin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story, a tale about a little penguin who finds a lost pinecone in the snow. 6 and 7 p.m. Free. RSVP at for Zoom link.
click to enlarge Saige Smith and Karen Baum record a scene in PICT Classic Theatre’s A Christmas Carol - PHOTO: CATHERINE KOLOS
Photo: Catherine Kolos
Saige Smith and Karen Baum record a scene in PICT Classic Theatre’s A Christmas Carol
Wed., Dec. 23

There's something special about going to the theater around the holiday season. While you may not be able to physically be in a theater, the next best thing is experiencing actors over a livestream production, like Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. PICT Classic Theatre will perform Dickens' classic tale as a RadioPlay, streamed through Broadway OnDemand. Continues through Sun., Jan. 3. $18.95 per household.

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