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OUR NEW ENVIRONMENTAL COLUMN FROM LARRY SCHWEIGER

VOL. 3 ISSUE 2

Jan. 28, 2020 - Feb. 11, 2020

PGHCURRENT

PGHCURRENT

PGHCURRENT

BRINGING UP

THEYBIES

The triumphs and challenges of raising gender-expansive children in a gender-obsessed world By Brittany Hailer

Our Thaw guide will keep you busy until summer


2 | JANUARY 28, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT


STAFF Publisher/Editor: Charlie Deitch Charlie@pittsburghcurrent.com Associate Publisher: Bethany Ruhe Bethany@pittsburghcurrent.com EDITORIAL

Art Director: Larissa Mallon Larissa@pittsburghcurrent.com Music Editor: Margaret Welsh Margaret@pittsburghcurrent.com Visuals Editor: Jake Mysliwczyk Jake@pittsburghcurrent.com Craft Beer Writer: Day Bracey info@pittsburghcurrent.com Listings Clerk: Makinley Magill Makinley@pittsburghcurrent.com Contributing Writers: Jody DiPerna, Nick Eustis, Hugh Twyman, Brittany Hailer, Emerson Andrews, Dan Savage, Larry Schweiger info@pittsburghcurrent.com Logo Design: Mark Addison

contents

Vol. III Iss. II January 28, 2020 Thawed Guide 2020 begins on page 15

NEWS 4 | Bringing Up Theybies OPINION 7 | Bald Eagle Are Back 8 | Brewed On Grant MUSIC 9 | Upon Reflection 9 | New Record 10 | First/Last 11 | Chart Toppers 12 | Music Listings ART 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 25 |

Forced Into Flight A Different Lens Weighty Subject The Can't Miss Art Listings

FOOD 29 | Day Drinking EXTRA 30 | Savage Love

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CREDIT:

COVER PHOTO BY: JAKE MSLYWCZYK The Fine Print The contents of the Pittsburgh Current are © 2019 by Pittsburgh Current, LLC. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this publication shall be duplicated or reprinted without the express-written consent of Pittsburgh Current LLC.The Pittsburgh Current is published twice monthly beginning August 2018. The opinions contained in columns and letters to the editors represent the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Pittsburgh Current ownership, management and staff. The Pittsburgh Current is an independently owned and operated print and online media company produced in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Beechview neighborhood, 1665 Broadway Ave., Pittsburgh, PA., 15216. 412-204-7248. Email us or don’t: info@pittsburghcurrent.com.

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | JANUARY 28, 2020 | 3


NEWS

Turtle in their playroom. (Pittsburgh Current Photo by Jake Mysliwczyk

BRINGING UP THEYBIES

GENDER-AFFIRMING PARENTING IS ALLOWING KIDS TO EXPLORE THEIR OWN IDENTITIES BY BRITTANY HAILER - PITTSBURGH CURRENT CONTRIBUTING WRITER INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

Turtle and their little brother, Philip, play make believe, conjuring relationships and modeling adult life. Philip always plays the mom because Turtle always wants to be the dad. When their aunts or uncles send dresses or shirts that are sparkly, Turtle refuses to wear them. Philip will bring his blue, typically boy clothes over to his sibling and say, “‘I’ll wear your shirt and you can wear my shirt.” Caitlin Evan knew Turtle was non-binary from the moment they were born. This was a gut feeling, something that bubbled up, and, she admits, scared her. Despite her instinct, Evan chose a feminine name and used feminine pronouns for the baby. However, by the time her child was 3, they wanted to be called Turtle.

“I want to be a boy!” Turtle said. Turtle refused to respond to any other name and wanted their pronouns to be he/him. [For the purpose of this story, Turtle’s preferred pronouns were they/ them/their.] At first, Evan had a “weird reaction to it.” “I wouldn’t say it caused negative emotions, but fear. What is the life my child will have? Will I have to let go of the life I thought this person would have or be? It wasn’t shocking, though. They never wore dresses. Never liked sparkles, stuff like that,” Evan said. Evan decided to affirm Turtle’s gender exploration instead of asking them to conform to the gender they were assigned at birth. Gender-affirming parenting -- or supporting a child and

4 | JANUARY 28, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

building their self-esteem as it relates to their gender identity-- is on the rise throughout the United States. In the 70’s and 80’s there was a surge of “non-gendered” parenting, which focused more on eliminating gender than exploring it. (Turns out, kids hated it and it's impossible to eliminate one’s gender identity) Today, the gender affirming parenting is more about exploration and expression--allowing children to pick and choose how they want to perform gender. In Evan’s case, Turtle started exploring on their own, but there are other families who are raising “Theybies”-babies born without a gender designation at birth. Parents choose not to reveal the sex of their child, however, that doesn’t mean they’re eliminating

gender entirely. As the child grows into their own identity and personality, they are encouraged to explore masculinity, femininity, and everything in between without expectation. Turtle’s daycare accepted their new name immediately. Teachers and fellow students respected their gender exploration at it ebbed and flowed. If Turtle wanted to be a boy that day, they were a boy. If they wanted to be a girl, they were a girl. Even the lunch ladies gifted Turtle stuffed toys and trinkets that matched their name. “They’ve know Turtle since they were under a year old, and they followed,” said Evan Evan says she still stumbles over pronouns and fears she’s “doing things wrong.” She tells Turtle, “If Mommy calls you something you don’t want to be called, just remind me.” When Evan enrolled Turtle in the Fox Chapel Area School District (FCASD) this past fall, she felt pause. The paperwork only allows for male or female gender designations. Evan was also unsure what to put down under name, so she filled out the name Turtle was assigned at birth. However, the paperwork did ask for a nickname and Evan wrote down Turtle. “As soon as they learned to spell Turtle, they wrote it in parentheses under all their name tags at school,” Evan said. The Pittsburgh Current reached out to FCASD and according to Bonnie Berzonski, the district’s coordinator of communications, the institution does not have a policy pertaining to gender-neutral or gender-expansive children. “We recently deleted all fields requesting information about gender on our online enrollment portal/forms except one -- as we are required to submit a gender to the state. We updated the question to read: ‘For state reporting purposes, please select how you would like us to report your student's gender.’ Parents then select ‘Male’ or ‘Female’,” Berzonski wrote in an email. FCASD does not have a non-binary gender designation for enrolled students. According to Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s Media Reference Guide:


NEWS Non-binary and/or genderqueer is defined as terms used by some people who experience their gender identity and/or gender expression as falling outside the categories of man and woman. They may define their gender as falling somewhere in between man and woman, or they may define it as wholly different from these terms. The shift from Turtle’s daycare experience to public school has also been an adjustment in communication. Evan was used to getting daily updates from Turtle’s teachers. They talked openly about Turtle’s name and gender designation. At FCASD, gender isn’t discussed: “The teachers won’t give updates if they’re calling them Turtle or a girl,” Evan said. At the beginning of the school year in August, Evan told Turtle’s teacher that they sometimes identify as a boy. The teacher seemed receptive. However, when Turtle comes home from school, they say they were called a girl. They were called their birth name. Evan asks who Turtle played with and they say, “Nobody.” “I don’t know how much they would stick up for themselves,” Evan said. Berzonski wrote in an email, “We encourage parents/guardians and students to let us know about any special circumstances pertaining to any of our students. And, again, we would meet with the parents/guardians and/or the student to determine how we can best serve the student's needs. We do not utilize a one-size-fits-all approach as that may not be helpful for all students and parents/guardians.” But, Evan feels that puts a lot of pressure on a kindergartener to assert their gender identity. She’d rather their teachers inquire and encourage them. No one at Turtle’s school offered a plan or sit-down meeting with the family. “I think in part we were still in a place of fear in August/September when school started and trying to not make a big deal about it so other people felt comfortable with it instead of making sure [Turtle] felt safe being themselves,” Evan wrote. Dr. Diane Ehrensaft is developmental and clinical psychologist who specializes in gender and the author of “The Gender Creative Child: Pathways for

Nurturing and Supporting Children Who Live Outside Gender Boxes.”Ehrensaft encourages parents to forget any assumptions about gender when it comes to children. She says adults can learn a lot from kids. “We’re straddling and new world and old world--our children are revolutionary leaders,” she said. While the children can teach adults a thing or two, it is up to adults to advocate and affirm gender expression. Gender expansive, gender nonconforming and non-binary children will experience microaggressions both from peers and adults. However, it’s up to the adults to intervene and educate youth. According to Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s Media Reference Guide: Gender Non-Conforming is a term used to describe some people whose gender expression is different from conventional expectations of masculinity and femininity. Please note that not all gender non-conforming people identify as transgender; nor are all transgender people gender non-conforming. Many people have gender expressions that are not entirely conventional – that fact alone does not make them transgender. Many transgender men and women have gender expressions that are conventionally masculine or feminine. Simply being transgender does not make someone gender non-conforming. Sometimes, a child will inquire about a peer’s gender expression and hurt their feelings without even realizing. Ehrensaft recommends that classrooms have circle time where gender is discussed. Children should learn from an early age that gender is fluid, ever-changing. Gender expression and identity can look different for each and every person. “You want to build up a gender resilience. They need their own toolbox. Your child will learn how to respond with confidence and pride--and empathy for those who don’t understand,” said Ehrensaft. Parents can role play with their child. A parent can ask, “What are some things we can say when someone calls you a girl instead of a boy?” If the child is shy, Ehrensaft recommends teaching them to find a favorite teacher or caregiver

when they encounter a microaggression. “Eyes need to be wide open by all caregivers...We must keep an eye out for those microaggressions. If they occur, you step in to press pause,” said Ehrensaft. Siblings also play an important role for gender expansive kids and are often the child’s first ally. When gender creativity and expression is fostered in the home, siblings will build a connection and resilience when they encounter challenges in society. If a school does not have a gender policy in place, Ehrensaft recommended that parents visit Genderspectrum. org and download the organization’s gender support plan. Some of the plan’s questions include: What training (s) will the school engage in to build capacity for working with gender expansive students? How will the school work to create more gender inclusive conditions for all students How will a teacher/staff member respond to any questions about the student’s gender from Other students? Staff members? Parents/community? Who will be the student’s “go to adults” on campus? If these people aren’t available, what should the student do? What, if any, will be the process for periodically checking in with the student and/or family? Ehrensaft says to tell administrators, “I want this completed for my child. I am asking you to implement it. I am asking you to do this under Title IX and I am expecting it to be enforced.” Title IX is a federal civil rights law that was passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972 that states that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” When it comes to raising a gender expansive child, Ehrensaft says “there is no such thing as a helicopter parent. There is only an advocating parent.” Recently, Turtle’s been experimenting with their name again. First Blue. Then Squirtle, like the Pokemon. When they’re mad, they’ll shout,

“Squirtle! Squirtle! Squirtle!” But with each name comes the same gender: boy, boy, boy. *** Nicholai’s long blond hair whips down his back during hockey games and practices. He wears in a braid, which he calls his “hockey braid.” Nicholi wears leggings with pink stars and when someone misgenders him, he corrects them politely. Nicholai is 9 years old, and the eldest of Dana’s three children. His younger sibling, Daphne, is almost 5. She loves Frozen, the color pink and she dances. Their mother, Dana (who asked to go by her first name only) said that Daphne is a girly-girl, always has been. The family lives on the North Side. “We didn’t use he or she pronouns with either of them until they were old enough to give us [a preference]. If they wanted to go by they, their and them forever that would have been fine by us. My oldest took a little bit longer to have a preference, he didn’t really care,” said Dana. Dana and her husband did not reveal the sex of their children when they were born and their anatomy did not dictate their gender. Each child was allowed to explore and express their gender identity however they wanted. In the beginning, each baby’s pronouns were they/them. “They’re a baby, they don’t know the difference,” Dana said. As the children got older, they designated a pronoun preference on their own. They’re also allowed to change that pronoun at any time. Daphne declared she/her pronouns by age 2. Dana calls her a whirlwind compared to Nicholai who didn’t care what people called him. Dana says he’s been more fluid in his gender since he was a toddler. Nicholai was 5 when he told his mom, “I’d really like it if people used, he.” Dana took his lead and said she would help him correct people. Shortly after, Dana and Nicholai were at the grocery store and a stranger misgendered him: “You have a beautiful daughter.” Nicholai looked up at his mom and she corrected the stranger, “Oh, this is my son.” The stranger, embarrassed, apologized directly to Nicholai.

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | JANUARY 28, 2020 | 5


NEWS “Why are you sorry?” Nicholai asked, “There’s nothing wrong with being a girl.” Dana homeschools her children in an environment where they can explore gender without expectation. Nicholi’s hockey team and coach are aware of his gender exploration. Dana also makes sure to advocate for her kids’ choices out of the home. She has experienced pushback, especially at sports-related events, but Dana has sat down with different adults to explain how her children are exploring and expanding their genders. Dana said she and her husband wanted to give their kids options to choose. She added, “No child has a problem expressing their opinions once they are four. Any parent with a four-year-old will tell you that.” According to lana Michelle Sherer of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children develop their gender identity and can express it usually around age two. “So, it's great that parents want to avoid making assumptions about who they are before then and avoiding gender-based stereotypes. The AAP supports children of all gender identities and supports parents in following their leads to promote healthy development. While not all parents will use they/them pronouns for their kids, allowing kids to make their own decisions about play, clothing, and yes, pronouns, is a positive move toward a more inclusive world,” Sherer wrote. AAP’s policy statement “Ensuring Comprehensive Care and Support for Transgender and Gender-Diverse Children and Adolescents” a family’s acceptance or rejection has little influence on the gender identty of the child “however, it may profoundly affect young people’s ability to openly discuss or disclose concerns about their identity.” AAP research also suggests that parents put less focus on who the child will become. Instead, value who they are now. This will foster a secure relationship as well as resilience. Dana said she and her husband’s major motivator was, “Do no harm.” “For us it just came down to having all these big expectations for such tiny people didn’t seem realistic...It’s not just for the sake of doing things different, or

being a snowflake, there’s actual, tangible harm from having these stringent, arbitrary expectations of humans based on what's in their pants. Anybody who is putting any thought into it--when you break it down to that level, it doesn’t make sense,” Dana said. Jay Yoder came out as non-binary in their mid-twenties. On Facebook, they changed their name to Jay and designated they/them pronouns. Yoder’s family called: “Can you just tell us? Did you change your name and pronouns?” Yoder gulped. “Yeah...” they admitted. And, that was that. No blow up. No shame. Their family just wanted to know and followed Yoder’s lead. Yoder wasn’t sure why they were so scared to tell their parents directly. “I think it was the, emotional, over intellectual fear of finding your family’s boundary. I’m already the survivor of violence. I’m already the feminist. I’m already the lesbian. I’m the queer. Now I’m going to tell them I used a different name,” Yoder said. They felt a societal pressure, a burden. Yoder says their family did nothing wrong and had always been supportive. “It’s in my head. It’s a narrative I see out in the community. They’re really important to me. If they had said, ‘Jay, you’re changing identities. You’re crazy.’ It would have been devastating to me,” Yoder said. Yoder navigated gender and queerness with a family who was open, but who didn’t necessarily have the language for what they were experiencing. They wanted to be seen for who they were and said it hurts when adults, parents, siblings, pastors, or teachers, refuse to do that. “And,” they said, “It hurts when they do see you for exactly who you are, and want you to change it.” Charlie Borowicz is the transgender health project manager at the Center for Inclusion Health for Allegheny Health Network. They train departments and offices throughout the health system--making sure doctors and healthcare providers are using the correct pronouns for patients and coworkers. Borowicz also advocates within the healthsystem. When a non-binary or trans person calls, Borowicz is

6 | JANUARY 28, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

their ambassador, connecting them with the appropriate department and recommending different docotors or healthcare providers who are specifically trained in pronoun usage and trans / nonbinary healthcare. “We work with traditionally excluded or marginalized populations who struggle with access to healthcare...It’s more than just using someone’s name, it’s ensuring that somebody feels welcomed and is supported. But also that their identity is affirmed when they’re doing things to take care of their bodies,” said Borowicz. Borowicz also uses they/them pronouns within the healthcare system, which informs their work as well. “It’s pretty much a constant education of people,” they said,” Any time I meet somebody new who I am going to continue to interact with, it's a conversation about what pronouns are appropriate. Sometimes that conversation happens once, and that’s great. And sometimes that conversation has to happen a few times, which is not as great,” said Borowicz. Borowicz observed that it's become easier--people are catching on quicker or have met a non-binary person outside of the workplace. (“I have a friend, cousin, neighbor, who uses ‘they’ too!”) Borowicz encourages parents to not only educate themselves, but expand their child’s vocabulary in regards to gender. Gender expression and identity isn’t just cis, or trans, or boy or girl, there’s gender fluid, non-binary, gender neutral, gender expansive--a whole array of identities. “I started thinking about gender identity when I was about 18,” Borowicz said. Gender exploration wasn’t something they were encouraged to do as a child. It didn’t occur to them to challenge the identity they were assigned until they got older. When they were 18 the question became, Am I a trans man? “I thought you could be a male or you could be a female and nothing in between. I was uncomfortable for 9 years until those words came about. It wasn’t anything in the middle until much later. I didn’t come out as non-binary until I was 27. “And that’s simply because I did not have the vocabulary to understand.”

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OPINION

(Pittsburgh Current Photo by Dan Dasynich)

BALD EAGLES ARE BACK IN PITTSBURGH AND ACROSS PENNSYLVANIA BY LARRY J. SCHWEIGER - PITTSBURGH CURRENT COLUMNIST INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

Bald eagles are once again soaring over the skies of Western Pennsylvania. Adult bald eagles are hard to miss with their white head and tail. Their flight is marked by deep, powerful strokes, and when soaring, their flattened 6 to 8-foot wingspans are hard to mistake. Bald eagles have binocular eyesight that is five or six times sharper than a human's so they can soar high while searching for food. Some people, seeing an eagle gliding over one of our rivers, may take this sighting for granted. We should not. Much like the Nation it symbolizes, the bald eagle has had its share of ups and downs. In 1782, Congress selected these majestic birds to be a part of our nation's seal as they are striking symbols of power and majesty that a young nation sought. At the time, bald eagles were abundant and believed to number about 100,000 birds. Bald eagle numbers started collapsing in the 1940s to 417 nesting pairs by the early 1960s in the lower 48 states. Biologists wondered why. Austrian chemist Othmar Zeidler synthesized DDT in 1874 but had no practical use for the chemical. In 1939, Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Müller

discovered its insecticidal potency. Soon DDT was widely deployed in World War II to control malaria and typhus. Soldiers were given green tin salt-shaker like containers to put DDT on their bodies, in their clothing or their tents. Müller was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1948 "for his discovery of the high efficiency of DDT as a contact poison against several arthropods." After the war, DDT was extensively promoted commercially for agricultural and public use. Soon after, bald eagle populations declined catastrophically. It was later proven by scientific research that DDT was bioaccumulating and biomagnifying up the food chain. Nature acts like a vacuum sweeper concentrating DDT residues in birds of prey, causing eggshells of several species of birds to become thin and break. Rachel Carson, a scientist and a respected author turned what scientists had found into a widely read book. For that important work, Carson still gets criticized by the uninformed to this day. Fifty years ago, a number of Pittsburgh college students experienced an "environmental awakening" during the week of the first Earth Day. As a student at the Community College of Allegheny

County, I organized a college biology club field trip to Pymatuning and the Conneaut Marsh to see the last pair of nesting bald eagles in Pennsylvania. We chartered a bus to visit the site. The response to the field trip was so large that we needed to rent a second bus to allow all the students to travel. In preparation for the field trip, students were encouraged to read Rachel Carson's Silent Spring to better understand the role DDT played in reducing the number of bald eagles to dangerous levels. On the bus, we talked about DDT and its impact on raptors like bald eagles and peregrine falcons that faced a bleak and uncertain future.) The enormous Conneaut eagle nest sat at the top of a large white oak tree overlooking Pennsylvania's largest marsh. The nest had been used over many years and accumulated branches and other nesting materials that weighed more than a ton. The nesting tree anchored in shallow swamp soils was leaning under the weight. Visiting with a Game Commission biologist who had earlier inspected the nest, we learned that this endangered pair of bald eagles-the last nesting pair in Pennsylvania-produced two weakened eggs that failed from DDT thinning. My classmates were impressed with these magnificent birds and their huge nest, and at the same time, we were all deeply saddened by their shrinking numbers. For many, it was their first sight of our Nation's endangered symbol, and they feared that it might be their last. More than a decade after Rachel Carson published Silent Spring warning of the dangers of DDT and eight years after her death, EPA's first administrator, Bill Ruckelshaus, was finally able to ban its use in 1972 in the US. A decade after the ban, Pennsylvania eagles had some slow recovery as there were three pairs of nesting eagles in the Pymatuning-Conneaut Marsh region in Crawford County. In 1983, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, an agency funded solely by hunter licenses, launched a seven-year restoration program as part of a federal restoration initiative. From 1983 to 1989, the Commission's biologists obtained 88 eaglets from wild nests in the province of Saskatchewan. The eaglets were raised in specially constructed hacking towers and kept in a semi-wild condition. At the same time, personnel provided food until they could fend for themselves in the wild. The Game Commission's efforts triggered a remarkable recovery as more than 300 bald eagle pairs are now

preparing their nests across the Commonwealth for egg laying that should start in February. As I reflect on the 50 years that span between this day and that first Earth Day, I am reminded that we have made incredible progress in efforts to clean our rivers, to purify our air, to curb acid rain, control toxics and to purchase and protect critical wildlife habitats. DDT has been restricted in this country, and bald eagles, ospreys, and peregrine falcons have come back in numbers sufficient to be removed from the Federal endangered species list. Bald eagles have rebounded so much that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that at least 9,789 nesting pairs populated the contiguous United States. The Commonwealth stopped listing the bald eagle as threatened in 2014. Landmark environmental laws were enacted at both the state and federal levels. Our rivers have rebounded. Bass are now caught at the West End Bridge at the head of the Ohio River. Bald eagles are returning to Pittsburgh, including at least three nesting pairs in Allegheny County. Last year, a North Park nesting pair joined a Harmer and Hayes nesting sites, and soon more may be found in the region. There are lessons to be found in the bald eagle recovery. First, we need to apply the cautionary principle before putting any new human-made chemicals into our environment through sound regulation based on rigorous testing and monitoring. Second, we have seen many environmental improvements, but we cannot sit back now. The Trump administration has been systematically rolling the clock back, retreating on nearly a hundred vital environmental protections, including rules controlling climate pollution. As we approach the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, let’s rededicate ourselves to responsible stewardship and sound ecological regulation to protect our planet and its living resources. A special note to the baby boomers who may have taken part in that first Earth Day. Our children and grand children’s future is clearly threatened by our mismanagement of the environment and by our continued dependence on coal, oil and more recently fracked gas. We must give voice to confront an uncertain future by demanding a clean energy future. The generation that heralded the first Earth Day must rekindle our zeal for our children’s future before it is too late.

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | JANUARY 28, 2020 | 7


OPINION

8 | JANUARY 28, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT


MUSIC UPON REFLECTION

LIANNA ANKNEY OF DIAMOND SHAPES EXPLORES HER PAST IN A NEW SOLO EP BY MARGARET WELSH - PITTSBURGH CURRENT MUSIC EDITOR MARGARET@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

In 2010, Lianna Ankney started taking guitar lessons. She also started going to yoga. Five years later, she released her self-titled debut album under the name Diamond Shapes. That was also the year she decided to become a yoga teacher. Ankney always had a sense that the two things were meant to coincide in some way, she says in a recent phone conversation. “They both just happened to come into my life exactly when I needed both of them. Back then, Ankney worked as a graphic designer. These days she teaches yoga full time (a transition, she’s quick to note, was made easier thanks to the help of her husband, Dan, who she says is her biggest supporter and fan). And on Friday, Jan. 31 she’ll release a new EP, called La-La-La. Diamond Shapes still exists, as a band -it's a three-piece with Matt Zeoli on guitar and Teena Bee on ukulele -- but Ankney decided to release La-La-La as a separate project, under her own name. After that first release, “I kind of hit this patch where I didn’t know what to do next,” she recalls. “I was always kind of writing songs, but I never really finished anything.” She took her guitar with her to teacher training, and throughout the process was given opportunities to share music with the group. There she wrote “Shraddha,” -which appears on La-La-La -- and started using music, alongside yoga practice, to untangle some things from her past that she’d never quite worked through. When Ankney released Diamond Shapes, “I was terrified to be in front of people,” she says. And when she started practicing yoga, she’d never really done much physical exercise. “So I was figuring out in my body what to do, and also what to do with my voice.” But, she says, she’s always considered herself a storyteller: “Hearing about yoga and learning … that it was this tradition that was first passed down orally, and the Bhagavad Gita was a song originally. I was so drawn to that.” As with the Diamond Shapes record, Ankney’s sparkling soprano is at the heart of La-La-La, but where Diamond Shapes brings to mind the dreamy flower-power of ’70s proto-freak-folk, Ankney’s solo work feels more emotionally raw and upfront and -- despite some lofty lyrical

Glam Hands - Photo courtesy Ciara Grey

NEW RECORD

GLAM HAND'S NEW EP IS A JANGLY, EXISTENTIAL DELIGHT BY MARGARET WELSH - PITTSBURGH CURRENT MUSIC EDITOR MARGARET@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

Lianna Ankney

themes -- earthier. If Diamond Shapes is Vashti Bunyan, La-La-La is Judee Sill. “The things I learned in studying yoga and having my own practices are the things that come forward when I write my songs,” she says. And yoga philosophy does make its way into her songs -- “Shraddha,” for one, functions as both a celebration and a tutorial of the Sanskrit word which, in the most basic terms, deals with the concept of faith. Shraddha was an important concept for Ankney during her first teacher training (she recently began a second one). But -- while she does sometimes incorporate her own music into her yoga classes -- she doesn’t write or perform devotional music, pre se. If anything, she says, “I think this music is a devotion to the younger version of myself.” La La La is the product of “dissecting and seeing what happened in my past, and being with it and finding space to move on from it,” she says. “I think yoga has helped bring that forward and helped me to find words for the songs that i wrote.”

LIANNA ANKNEY

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with

p.m. Friday, Jan. 31. De Fer Coffee & Tea, 2002 Smallman St., Strip District. defer.coffee

Cole Tucci kicks off the new Glam Hand EP, Glum Hum with a big question. “Can I live forever if I make a pretty painting?” he sings, his voice sweeping open over a couple of simple guitar strums. On the next line, as the drums drop in, he tightens the lens, shifting slightly away from eternity: “What good is my health if I always live inside?” These sorts of concerns are, Tucci explains, somewhat recurrent on the EP, which the band releases this Friday, Jan. 31. “It’s sort of about this idea of creating something in the hopes that you can immortalize yourself,” he says. “I feel like a lot of artists do that without even realizing it. They’re hoping for a way to preserve themselves through making something.” Musically, the song -- “Plastic” -- is as strong as any album opener I’ve heard in recent memory: it’s jangly, bittersweet psychedelia, simple enough to sing along to on your second listen, with Ray Davies-esque melodic twists that light up the brain’s pleasure center. The Kinks are a major influence, Tucci says, which accounts for the EPs springlike British Invasion elements. There are hints of brainey proto-prog bands like Soft Machine, and a little bit of ’90s slack-rock as well. But, where other neo-psych-pop artists might try to cram every moment full of sound, Glam Hand -- like another of its influences, the Velvet Underground -- knows how to hold space. That’s partly because as a three piece, Tucci says, “it can actually be kind of a challenge to fill up space.” But the project began minimally, with Tucci writing songs on his own and experimenting with home recording. “Prior to doing any of this band stuff i was more of an acoustic musician,” he says. “It was very singer-songwriter...it

was very stripped down. I think that’s just the way that I thought of performing at the time, just me and an acoustic guitar.” About a year and a half ago, he started playing with drummer Evan Harris and offered the songs he’d been writing to the project. Tosh Chambers joined the band after the original bassist left town. Tucci moved to Pittsburgh from Slippery Rock about five years ago, and studied philosophy and psychology at Pitt. “I don’t really want to write about philosophical topics in songs,” he says, prefering to treat poetry as a separate pursuit. But it's easy to see the influence of both areas of study in Glam Hand’s lyrics, whether in the abstract existentialism of “Plastic,” or in the slightly detached watchfulness of “Dylan.” “There he goes up and down the stairs,” Tucci sings, recounting the actions of a particularly wild young man he and Harris once witnessed at a basement show. “Dinosaur Dylan doesn’t know we’re here/ there he goes walking/straight through the wall.” “He was sort of just teetering on the edge of being way too reckless with his own body,” Tucci recalls. “So that's where that song came from, it’s basically [about] enjoyment to the point of being reckless with yourself.”

GLAM HAND EP RELEASE SHOW

with SWELL TIDES, TV BLUE. 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31. The Government Center, 519 E. Ohio St., North Side. $7. www.thegovernmentcenter.com

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | JANUARY 28, 2020 | 9


MUSIC In the Aeroplane Over the Sea both take me far away whenever I listen, albeit to very different places. Least favorite/most disappointing album? Goths, by the Mountain Goats. I was in a big MG phase and loved Beat the Champ, I was so hyped but nothing on this album grabbed me. First concert attended? Iron Maiden, Radio City Music Hall, NYC, Jan 21, 1985. The fans showed their love by destroying Radio City Music Hall, subsequent shows were cancelled and Iron Maiden was permanently banned from the venue. I was 15 … mind blown. Last concert? The Cult in December 2019. I’m Just realizing there is lots of hard rock on here, but I'm a mellow acoustic guy. I guess I like to blow off steam at live music.

FIRST/LAST BY HUGH TWYMAN - PITTSBURGH CURRENT CONTRIBUTING WRITER INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

Aloha Salvation is the moniker of Pittsburgh based singer/songwriter John Lecky. The band name Aloha Salvation uses the word “aloha” to mean “hello or goodbye or both”, so welcoming salvation when we feel it or watching it slip away... When John moved to Pittsburgh from his home state of New Jersey in 2014 he committed to acoustic guitar- and piano-based songwriting only and getting back to performing original material steering away from his experience in cover bands. Through Pittsburgh’s daily open mics he was able to work through his new stuff and get it ready for recording. In 2019, he released two albums of new songs don't worry now, baby in March and more recently, Lean Into It, this past

December. Expect a release show sometime in February with a full band of musicians, some of whom worked with him on the album to fill out his songs. I want to thank John for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last. The first album you ever bought? AC/DC, Back in Black: My first LP, spun it about a million times on a kiddie record player. So, let me just date myself right off the bat. Your last album purchased? Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Colorado: I thought it was really good. Favorite album of all time? This is Insanely tough. The Best of Sam Cooke and Neutral Milk Hotel's

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Favorite concert ever? Bright Eyes at the Waiting Room (his hometown bar) in Omaha, NE. I was standing and chatting with his mom and dad. Least favorite concert? Bob Dylan always disappoints me, sorry. Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh? I've had an amazing time making

and playing music in Pittsburgh. The best part is the people I've met along the way. Everyone is so supportive, I try and return the support but I don't think I ever will be able to at the levels I receive. It's great to be part of the Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle. I met Mike Hickman there and he recorded, produced and mixed my last two albums at his Electric Eye Recorders in Polish Hill. I love going to open mics you hear some absolute gems in terms on songwriting and performance - I'm amazed with the talent level in this town. It's such a good music city, patiently waiting for it's day in the national spotlight. I can feel it coming... Hugh’s Take: Thanks, John. This album of yours is so good. It is impossible to relay the joy I take in discovering new music (to me) and to find that it comes from my hometown? Simply wonderful. Support Aloha Salvation: https:// alohasalvation.com Hugh Twyman (AKA HughShows) has been documenting the Pittsburgh music scene since 2004. His website (www.hughshows.com) features a comprehensive Pittsburgh Concert Calendar, episodes of HughShowsTV, a newly launched public Pittsburgh music database, exclusive audio streams from local bands, thousands of his concert photos and his trademark First/Last interview series.


MUSIC CHART TOPPERS

LIVE SHOWS YOU'LL WANT TO CHECK OUT THIS WEEK BY MARGARET WELSH - PITTSBURGH CURRENT MUSIC EDITOR MARGARET@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

Devilish Merry (Photo: Neketa Forde)

ECLECTIC

On Saturday, Feb. 1, Moondog’s hosts a showcase of local talent that isn’t exactly easy to categorize. But Robert Wagner, guitarist/singer/ songwriter for long-running Western Pa.-based poet-rockers The Little Wretches, takes a stab: “An Evening of Musical Portraits and Cinematography of the Soul.” His band appears, along with equally-seasoned (both have been around for about four decades) Irish/Appalachian folk group Devilish Merry, which features the “passionate historical balledry” of Sue Powers and Jeff Berman’s world beat-influenced approach. Multi-instrumentalist Steve Sciulli opens with a set of sound-healing meditation music created with synth, shakuhachi and bansuri. 8 p.m. 378 Freeport Rd., Blawnox. $10. www.moondogs. us

POST-PUNK

When Patrick Kindlon played Drug Church’s 2018 record Cheer for his other band, Self Defense Family, “they said it sounds like Sum41 and P.O.D.,” he told Revolver Magazine in an interview earlier this year. And, well, they weren’t wrong, exactly. The Albany, New York post-hardcore band takes plenety from the era: melodic pop punk hooks, blown-out vocals, arena-sized guitar riffs, emo-y feelings. But those sounds and sentiments have been refined for a new age: On “Weed Pin,” Kindlon rages, “Fuck you/ at $12.50 an hour i should have started a chemecal fire/ I should have burned this fucking place to the ground.” Hell yeah, I’ll mosh to that. The band joins Thrice on its tour celebrating the 15th anniversary of the record Vheissu, along with mewithoutYou and Holy Fawn on Monday, Feb. 3. 5:30 p.m. Stage AE, 400 North Shore Drive, North Side. $25-29. www.stageae.com

King Princess (Photo courtesy of Vince Aung)

POP

Mikaela Straus -- a.k.a. King Princess -- grew up around the music business (her dad owns Mission Sound, in Brooklyn) and she was offered her first recording contract at age 11 (she didn’t take it). But Straus still wasn’t quite prepared for the sort of attention she’d garner when she released the single “1950,” in 2018: within the first week, the track hit a million streams. Last year’s debut full-length, Cheap Queen -- which Straus fully wrote and produced -- lives up to the promise of “1950.” It’s a beautiful collection of polished, soulful pop that glitters like dark water. And echoing the dichotomy of her stage name, Straus’ music is as tough as it is openhearted. Check out the Cheap Queen tour when it stops by Stage AE on Saturday, Feb. 8. Kilo Kish opens. 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Drive, North Side. $27.50-$30. www.stageae. com

AMBIENT

Since it began in 2012, BLACK YO)))GA has been equally invested in music and movement, with Kimee Massie leading vinyasa style yoga set to drone, stoner rock, dark ambient, and traditional meditation music. On Saturday, Feb. 8, the yoga collective hosts Black Yoga Live featuring Cleveland-based artist Sean HØlt, who will offer lend a live soundtrack of experimental soundscapes to the evening’s yoga class. There are only 20 spaces available for the event, and tickets can be purchased online in advance. (And if you can’t make it to this one, be sure to check out BLACK YO)))GA’s full schedule of classes). 8 p.m. Early: Media Collective, 827 E. Warrington Ave., Allentown. $30-35. www.black-yoga.com

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MUSIC MUSIC LISTINGS JANUARY 29 CHUCK PROPHET

ROCK Chuck Prophet perform-

ing solo concert. With two special guests, Rob Eldridge and Sam Baldigowski. 8:00 PM. Club Cafe, 56 S. 12th St.. clubcafelive.com

JANUARY 30 LETTUCE

HIP HOP/FUNK/JAZZ Live

performance for all ages. The group Lettuce invites all. 8:00 PM. Roxian Theatre, 425 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. Roxianlive. com

WAYNE "THE TRAIN" HANCOCK

AMERIPOLITAN Hancock is the

quintessential Ameripolitan musician. Western Swing, Rockabilly, Honyk Tonk and the occasional Outlaw, he can play it all really, really well. 6:30 PM. Club Cafe, 56 S. 12th St., South SIde. clubcafelive.com

SQUIRB MUSIC APP

HIP HOP The Music App and

Showcase includes special performances by Yung Island, Phresh Larosa, Aria Redae, Legenderry, Immajin, Jay Hill and Architect. 9:00 PM. The Lodge at Spirit, 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. Spiritpgh. com

JANUARY 31 PHAT MAN DEE'S ROARING 2020S STAGE, JAZZ Double the 20s,

double the fun. It’s the New Roaring 20s, and Phat Man Dee is bringing her jazz band The Cultural District and featured dancers Sundae Service and Christine Andrews to show us how it’s done! Live music! Themed cocktails! Costume contest! 7:30 PM. The Oaks Theater, 310 Allegheny River Blvd., Oakmont. https://www.theoakstheater.com/

Jan. 30: Lettuce

MAT KEARNEY CITY OF BLACK & WHITE TOUR REVISITED

FOLK ROCK To celebrate the

10th anniversary of his breakout album, City of Black & White, Mat Kearney decided to revisit some of his favorite songs off of the record and re-record them with a new perspective 7:00 PM. Roxian Theatre, 425 Chartiers Ave., Mckees Rocks. Roxianlive. com

GIN & TRONIC VOL 1

ROCK With Bonnie & The Mere

Mortals, Flower Crown, Drauve, and Flub Dub. 9:00 PM. The Lodge at Spirit, 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. Spiritpgh.org

TITLE TOWN SOUL & FUNK PARTY FUNK, SOUL Join us as we re-

turn to burn up the dance floor with five hours of soul and funk 45S! 9:00 PM. The Lodge at Spirit, 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. Spirit.pgh. com

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AN EVENING WITH GHOST LIGHT

ROCK Presented by Roxian Live

and Grey Area. 7:00 PM. Thunderbird Cafe & Music Hall, 4053 Butler St., Lawrenceville. Greyareaprod.com

FEBRUARY 1 ROOTS OF CREATION: GRATEFUL ROOTS TOUR

REGGAE-ROCK Billboard and

radio chart topping, award-winning, international reggae-rock sensation Roots of Creation, are a touring powerhouse. 7:00 PM. Thunderbird Cafe and Music Hall, 4053 Butler St., Lawrenceville. Roxianlive.com

A COMMON CROWN "THE RECKONING" ALBUM RELEASE PARTY

ROCK With Blue Crutch and Vic-

toria Fire 8:00 AM. Funhouse at Mr. Smalls, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. Mrsmalls. com

RAVE AMI 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY SHOW

INDIE ROCK Featuring Weird

Paul Rock Band, String Machine and Good Sport 7:00 PM. Mr. Smalls Theatre, 400 lincoln Ave., Millvale. Mrsmalls.com

COLORS WORDWIDE PRESENTS: R&B ONLY

R & B Are you ready to experience

the all new R&B ONLY! New DJ sets, new production, new surprises! DJ Tiara Monique and Apex Laurent are finally bringing R&B ONLY to Pittsburgh! 8:30 PM. The Rex Theater, 1602 E Carson St., South Side. rextheater. net

PROPER FACES

ROCK Experimental rock duo from Akron, Ohio with Grant Charney, June Kills and Before you leave. 7:00 AM. Roboto, 5106 Penn Ave., Garfield. facebook.com/robotoproject


MUSIC FEBRUARY 2

FEBRUARY 7

VERMONT

DON FELDER

Vermont and a trio of Pittsburgh bands: The Noughts, Dirty Antix Band and Hippo Crazy Hypocrisy 7:00 PM. Roboto, 5106 Penn Ave., Garfield. facebook.com/robotoproject

the fact that Don Felder played guitar with the Eagles, he also taught a young musician, Tom Petty, to play slide guitar. 6:00 PM. Jergels, 103 Slade Lane, Warrendale. druskyent.com

INDIE Rock Groundhog .Day with

ROCK If you're not impressed by

CITIZEN COPE

TAUK

Producer Clarence Greenwood performs as Citizen Cope and is touring in support of 2019's "Heroin and Helicopters." 8:00 PM. Carnegie Lecture Hall of Oakland, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. livenation.com

TAUK has been laying down an all-instrumental blend of progressive rock, hip-hop and jazz on stages across the U.S. for the last several years. With Optimus RIFF 7:30 PM. Rex Theater, 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. roxianlive.com

ALT-ROCK Singer/Songwriter/

PROG-ROCK New York-bred

THE DERYCK TINES GOSPEL CHOIR - “WE SHALL OVERCOME SOMEDAY!” GOSPEL An evening of hand

clapping, soul stirring, foot stomping gospel singing and music from the recently released live project “We Shall Overcome Someday”- a medley of traditional gospel songs, spirituals and hymns from the last 100 years 6:00 PM. Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave., North Side. alphabetcity.org

THE QUIET LOUD

DREAM ROCK Groundhog Day

show with this eccentric outfit out of Crafton. 7:00 PM. Mr. Smalls Funhouse, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvalle. mrsmalls.com

MISERY LOVES COMPANY, LONELYOUTH

EMO South Jersey post-emo band co-headlines with Lonelyouth, a Nashville based rock outfit 6:00 PM. Smiling Moose, 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. druskyent. com

LYNSANITY

HIP HOP Lynsanity with Lyn Star, Feb. 14: Durand Jones & the Indications

THRICE: VHEISSU 15TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR

POST-HARDCORE This Califor-

nia-founded hardcore outfit is touring to celebrate the 15th anniversary of their fourth record Vheissu. 5:30 PM. Stage AE, 400 N. Shore Drive, North Shore. livenation.com

FEBRUARY 4 FREDDY JONES BAND

ROOTS ROCK Band best known

for their number one hits “In a Daydream” and “One World”. 6:00 PM. Jergels, 103 Slade Lane, Warrendale. Druskyent.com

KARAOKE TUESDAY

LIVE KARAOKE Come Sing Y'all.

Hosted by Shaggy & Courtney. 9:00 PM. The Lodge at Spirit, 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. spiritpgh.com

FEBRUARY 5 FEBRUARY 3 DR. DOG

INDIE Philadelphia Indie Rock

5-piece on their Winter 2020 Tour. Michael Nau opens.. 7:00 PM. Roxian Theatre, 425 Chartiers Ave., Mckees Rocks. Roxianlive. com

LIQUID STRANGER: ASCENSION TOUR DUBSTEP DJ known for

genre-bending beats. Also scheduled to appear: Dirt Monkey, Luzcif, Sully 7:00 PM. Roxian Theatre, 425 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. roxianlive. com

YANG JIN AND FRIENDS

CLASSICAL/ORCHESTRAL

This program will feature extremely talented and passionate musicians from all over the world. Together they will explore the relationship between East and West through creativity and virtuosity. 7:00 PM. Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave., North Side. alphabetcity.org

FEBRUARY 6 BULLETBOYS

METAL L.A.-based Glam Metal

outfit that formed in 1986 taking full advantage of the days when Mtv actually played music. 6:00 PM. Crafthouse Stage & Grill, 5024 Curry Rd., Baldwin. druskyent. com

STANDARD BROADCAST

INDIE ROCK Pittsburgh-based

Indie Rock 4-piece. With whelming waters, Back Alley Sound 7:00 PM. Thunderbird Cafe and Music Hall, 4053 Butler St., Lawrenceville. roxianlive.com

THE BAD MAN

PUNK Minnesota ska-punk and

jazz-rock with openers Anti-Psychotics and Skratchtrax. 8:00 PM. Funhouse at Mr Smalls, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. 412-6820591

Deejay Aesthetics, Quiet, E.L.B.A, James Perry, and Dejah Monea 7:00 PM. Mr. Smalls Theatre, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. bit.ly/0207lynsanity

SATAN'S FALL

ROCK OPERA The Mendelssohn

Choir of Pittsburgh presents the world premiere of a new, commissioned work by former rock drummer and founder of The Police, Stewart Copeland, who has been responsible for some of the film world’s most innovative scores. Written for chorus and rock orchestra, Satan’s Fall delves into the title character’s darkness, insurrection, and eventual fall from grace as conceived by John Milton in Books V and VI of Paradise Lost. Two nights 8 p.m.. Roxian Theatre, 425 Chartiers Ave.,McKees Rocks,. www.thmendelssohn.org

FEBRUARY 8 FERDINAND THE BULL WITH WORKING BREED AND STONETHROWERS FOLK Ferdinand the Bull is the

project of Pennsylvania-based singer/songwriter Nick Snyder and multi-instrumentalist Bryce Rabideau. 7:00 PM. Thunderbird Music Hall, 4053 Butler St., Lawrenceville. Roxianlive.com

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MUSIC behind its latest record, Kingdom in my Mind. $1 of every ticket goes to Thistle Farms, a nonprofit that helps women recover from the horrors of human trafficking. 8:00 PM. Roxian Theatre, 425 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. Roxianlive. com

JASON BOLAND AND THE STRAGGLERS ALT/COUNTRY Gritty Oklaho-

ma-bred country group with Caleb Caudle 7:00 PM. Thunderbird Cafe and Music Hall, 4053 Butler St,, Lawrenceville. roxia nlive.com

FEBRUARY 12 BIG SOMETHING VS. ANDY FRASCO & THE U.N.

Feb. 2: Vermont

FRUITION WITH LINDSAY LOU

YOU'VE GOT A FEST IN PENNSYLVANIA

fit touring behind their latest effort, "Wild as the Night." 7:00 PM. Rex Theater, 1602 E. Carson St.. roxianlive.com

including, Short Fictions, Mover Shaker, niiice, Taking Meds, Stress Fractures, Thank You, I'm Sorry, Teamonade, Bothersome 4:00 PM. Roboto, 5106 Penn Ave, Garfield. facebook.com/robotoproject

FOLK ROCK Portland-based out-

BLACK YO)))GA LIVE WITH SEAN HOLT BLACK METAL Saturday night

yoga class, with live music by Sean Holt (Black Metal) 8:00 PM. BLACK YO)))GA, 827 E. Warrington Ave. , Allen Town. black-yoga.com

KING PRINCESS

INDIE POP King Princess is a

vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. Her 2018 debut single, an ode to untold queer histories titled "1950," became an overnight smash hit with over 200 million streams to date. 7:00 PM. Stage AE, 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. Visitpittsburgh.com

TOWNE

FOLK Rock Nashville Folk-Rock Trio touring behind their debut record "In the In Between 8:00 PM. The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. Mrsmalls.com

DIY Full slate of great bands

FEBRUARY 9 JOHN DOE, KRISTIN HERSH AND GRANT LEE PHILLIPS: THE EXILE FOLLIES

FOLK These three legendary sing-

er/songwriters will each perform an individual set before teaming up as a powerhouse trio performing in the round. 6:30 PM. Club Cafe, 56 S. 12th St., South SIde. clubcafelive.com

ROCK A 6 piece powerhouse

with a sound that is both unique and timeless, Big Something fuses elements of rock, pop, funk, and improvisation to take listeners on a journey through a myriad of musical styles. 8:00 PM. The Rex Theater, 1602 E Carson St., South Side. rextheater. net

FEBRUARY 13 SOUL Roxian Live and Grey Area

Productions present Soulive with the Mike Dillon Band. Runs through February 14. 8:00 PM. Roxian Theatre, 425 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. greyareaprod.com

FEBRUARY 14 QUEENSRYCHE

Justin Park. 7:00 PM. The Rex Theater, 1602 E Carson St., South Side. rextheater. net

with John 5 and Eve to Adam. 8:00 PM. Roxian Theatre, 425 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. Greyareaprod.com

FEBRUARY 11 THE WOOD BROTHERS W/ KAT WRIGHT

ALT/FOLK Alt-Folk group touring

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INDIE Pgh-to-LA indie-pop trans-

plants return home for a Valentine's gig with locals Benefits & Holotypes 8:00 PM. Hambones, 4207 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-682-0591

FEBRUARY 19 BENNY BENACK III

JAZZ Join us as third generation

Pittsburgh Jazz musician Benny Benack III returns home to celebrate the release of his sophomore album “A Lot of Livin’ to Do” 7:00 PM. Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave., North Side. alphabetcity.org

FEBRUARY 24 POST MALONE

HIP HOP/CRUNGE/TRAP The Runaway Tour with Swae Lee and Tyla Yaweh 8 p.m.. PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. Ppgpaintsarena.com

ETHNIC HERITAGE ENSEMBLE JAZZ Chicago AACM avant-garde

jazz legends since the 70s, with openers Patrick Breiner & Ben Opie 7:30 PM. First Unitarian Church, 605 Morewood Ave., Shadyside. 412682-0591

SOULIVE

AMBER LIU TOUR X

HIP HOP With Meg & Dia and

THE CEILING STARES

METAL 1980's Hair Metal Band

DURAND JONES & THE INDICATIONS

R & B Live Nation Pittsburgh presents: Drand Jones & the Indications with Y La Bamba. 7:00 PM. The Hall at Spirit, 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. Spiritpgh.com

FEBRUARY 25 THE LUMINEERS

FOLK ROCK With special guests: Mt. Joy and JS Ondara 8 p.m.. PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. Ppgpaintsarena.com

M AY 3 1 THE GREATEST GENERATION: AN AMERICAN ORATORIO CLASSICAL/ORCHESTRA The

Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh presents The Greatest Generation: An American Oratorio, an homage to the American family at war. This oratorio combines the popular tunes from the World War II era with new original compositions and arrangements. TBA. Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, 4141 Fifth Ave., Oakland. www.thmendelssohn.org


THE GUIDE

2 5 T H I N G S T O K E E P YO U B U S Y A S W I N T E R M E LT S I N T O S P R I N G BY CHARLIE DEITCH - PITTSBURGH CURRENT EDITOR CHARLIE@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

For some, winter is a beautiful time of the year. A time for skiing, sledding, or cozying up to a warm fire with a cup of cocoa and a good book. For others, the winter is a heartless, wretched beast whose winds and jagged ice pellets rain down from the sky beating down on you until you surrender to its wrath. It is the demonic bastard spawn of Steve Bannon, Donald Trump and Stephen Miller (it’s called a throuple for the socially ignorant). Last year, the Pittsburgh Current presented you with its “Chill Issue,” a periodical full of ideas to help you while away the winter. But we found that concept to be, well, depressing as hell. But the fact is, there is plenty of stuff to do in the winter and they shouldn’t be used simply as ways to pass the time. It’s also an inaccurate description of the period of time we’re talking about. Winter ends in March, technically, and spring begins. So instead of offering you a winter-themed issue, we present the “Thaw Guide,” and 25 things you must do to take advantage of as winter melts into spring. Also, full disclosure, I wanted to call it the Sprinter Guide, but was quickly voted down. It’s probably for the best.

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | JANUARY 28, 2020 | 15


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GO FOR A RUN. Everybody knows about the Pittsburgh Marathon in May and the Great Race in September,

but there are plenty of races to run between now and the end of April. Some are competitive and some are for great causes. Here’s a quick sampling of events: Cupid’s Chase Run is on Feb.8, sponsored by Community Options Inc. which supports people with disabilities. That same day is also Cupid’s Undie Run. On April 4 is the Race for Grace, to raise funds to support patients and families of children with pediatric brain cancer. April 18 is the Pittsburgh Pirates Home Run Race, 5K and 10K. And on April 25 in North Park is the Superhero Run with proceeds benefiting Court Appointed Support Advocates, which works with abused children. There are plenty of other options.

IF YOU HAVE TO GO OUTSIDE, AT LEAST BE ACTIVE. Some people like winter activities. I have no

idea why. But to each their own. Luckily, Allegheny County Parks has you covered. Whether you want to ski, snowboard or go tubing at Boyce Park, skating at North Park and South Park. Or, you can even go cross-country skiing at all nine county parks. Pittsburgh’s parks also offer plenty of activities including hikes, skating and cross-country skiing. One notable event is Schenley Park’s Mascot Skate. Yes, it’s exactly as it sounds. See one of the Greatest Musicals Ever Produced. I’m no theater critic, but I know what I like. And Hair is the musical that made me want to watch musicals. Pittsburgh Musical Theater is producing the show, which is in its last weekend, January 31-Feb. 2. Go see it in all of its shining-gleaming-streaming-flaxen-waxen glory. pittsburghmusicals.com

SEE ONE OF THE GREATEST MUSICALS EVER PRODUCED. I’m no theater critic, but I know what I

like. And Hair is the musical that made me want to watch musicals. Pittsburgh Musical Theater is producing the show, which is in its last weekend, January 31-Feb. 2. Go see it in all of its shining-gleaming-streaming-flaxen-waxen glory. pittsburghmusicals.com

EXPERIENCE SHRINKAGE FOR A GOOD REASON. We all do crazy things for one reason or another

-- on dare or to launch a successful Youtube channel. So you may as well head down to the Pittsburgh Polar Plunge at 11 a.m. Feb. 29 at Heinz Field. Raise a minimum of $50, jump in a cold pool and all the money goes to the athletes of the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania.

SEE HOW CULTURED BUGS BUNNY WAS. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra presents “Bugs Bunny

Goes to the Symphony” March 20-22 at Heinz Hall. Most younger folks might not know much about the Looney Toons gang beyond the various incarnations of Space Jam. A lot of those old cartoons had themes and soundtracks rooted in classical music and opera. The Orchestra will play as the classic cartoons are projected on the big screen.

GET DRUNK WITH A FEW THOUSAND OF YOUR CLOSEST FRIENDS. The winter installment of the

Pittsburgh Beerfest hits the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on Feb. 28 and 29, presented by Fathead’s Brewery. There will be food, music and dozens of craft beers to warm your cockles or whatever else needs a little heat.

LEARN ABOUT THE HISTORY AND IMPORTANCE OF ONE OF AMERICA’S GREAT NEWSPAPERS. You knew we weren’t talking about the Post-Gazette, right? The still-publishing Pittsburgh Courier is undoubtedly one of the most important newspapers in the history of this country. At the height of this nation’s fight for civil rights for African Americans, the Courier was the Vanguard of national black newspapers. Learn its history at 5:30 p.m. on Wed. Feb. 26 at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Homewood, 7101 Hamilton Ave. There will be a screening of Kenneth Love’s documentary, Newspaper of Record: The Pittsburgh Courier, 1907-1965. A panel discussion will follow.

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SPEND AN EVENING WITH CATS. No, not the horrific film and especially not the even more so Broadway

production that started it all. The Carnegie Science Center is putting its new giant screen to good use when it hosts CatVideoFest 2020 Feb. 28-March 8 (check times at www.carnegiesciencecenter.org). The show is an 80-minute string of cat videos made up new submissions, old favorites that will make you think your a cat by the time you leave. So, don’t leave this film and go right into one of the center’s laser shows, you’ll lose your mind!

WATCH YOUR WINTER DOLDRUMS LITERALLY DISAPPEAR. The things that The Queen of Cardistry, Anna DeGuzman can do with a deck of cards would knock your Aunt Connie’s socks off. Her residency at Liberty Magic runs from Feb. 19-March 29. This will be the rising talent’s first stage show.

CHECK OUT THE BIG-ASS FARMER’S MARKET AT THE DAVID L. LAWRENCE CONVENTION CENTER. Well, farmer’s market may be an oversimplification of the 14th Farm to Table Expo at the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show March 6-15 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. There will be more than 60 local food vendors and 10 days of demonstrations and speakers. Farmtotablepa.com/conference for more information.

NERD IT UP. NERD IT UP BIGTIME. It would be hard for anyone to argue that the Steel City Con at the Monroeville Convention Center isn’t one of the top pop-culture cons in the country. There are tons of artists and vendors, a costume contest and great panels. Bit more than that, the list of attending celebrities gets more impressive with each installment. This year’s crop is pretty impressive with talent like John Bernthal from The Punisher and Walking Dead. In fact the Walking Dead contingent is amazing with Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha), Avi Nash (Siddiq), Alana Masterson (Tara), Cailey Fleming (Judith) and Steven Ogg (Simon) also the star of the wildly popular Grand Theft Auto V video game. Steelcitycon.com for more info

PARTY ON MARS? The Phipps Conservatory transforms into a unique nightspot. On March 6, they pay trib-

ute to David Bowie, the space odyssey, himself. Dance to new wave and synth pop hits in a tropical paradise. Drinks and appetizers are available for purchase. Reservations suggested.

GATHER YOUR CREW AND HEAD TO A FESTIVAL. Support local artists, savor local fare or listen to

some great music at any number of local festivals. I Made It! Mine market on Feb 8 highlights local crafters and vendors just in time for Valentine’s Day gifts.The 21st Annual Pittsburgh Arts & Crafts Spring Fever Festival runs March 20-22. Check out Vintage Pittsburgh on April 4 for one-of-a-kind vintage accouterment. Visit our listings section for other events..

GET YOUR IRISH ON. Participant in any of the million St. Patrick’s Day activities in Pittsburgh. You could

always experience the nation’s 2nd largest St. Patrick’s Day parade, participate in Lucky’s St. Patrick’s Day Crawl, or enjoy music and food in Market Square. When deciding what to do, don’t forget to consider listening to the Bastard Bearded Irishmen at the Rex Theatre, March 14 at 6PM.

PULL OUT YOUR LEGWARMERS, FINGERLESS GLOVES AND PARACHUTE PANTS! The Heinz History center presents the 22nd annual History Uncorked. This year, the party centers on the history of the 80’s. Dance, drink and participate in 80’s themed activities throughout the 5 floors. Tickets for the Feb 21 event on sale now!

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DON’T HAVE LEG WARMERS? HOW ABOUT TARTAN PLAID? Attend Carnegie Mellon’s annual Spring Carnival and help them celebrate what it means to be a Tartan. April 16-18 brings three days of amusement park rides, junk food, booth activities and buggy races.

LEARN A LITTLE SOMETHING. The Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures presents a series of lectures in the Car-

negie Library Lecture Hall or the Carnegie Music Hall. There is a lecture for everyone: Dan Gemeinhart on Feb 2, Tommy Orange on Feb 10, Sara Piper Gilliam on Feb 20, Colum McCann on Feb 26, Linda Park on March 1, Esi Edugyan on March 9, Jarret Krosoczka on March 12, Anny Enright on March 16, Mo Rocca on March 30 (my personal choice) and Michael Ondaatje on April 6.

VISIT THE THEATER DISTRICT AND ATTEND AT LEAST ONE SHOW. Consider Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. We all know her iconic music, but most don’t know about the risks she took and the barriers she broke that paved the way for others to follow. Learn more about her life and listen to her incredible music April 7-12. Tickets on sale now at the trustarts.org. GET A JUMP ON SUMMER SPORTS AT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM. Big League Fun opens on Feb 1. It’s an exhibit that explores the math and science behind Major League Baseball through hands-on, engaging activities for children.

OH, THE HUMANITIES FESTIVAL ! Sponsored by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the Humanities Cen-

ter at Carnegie Mellon University, this three-day event is meant to help you expand your horizons and your knowledge base. One of the main attractions is Ira Glass, host of NPR’s This American Life. But there’s so much more including acclaimed African American historian Blair Imani, Pittsburgh’s documentarian-in-chief Rick Sebak and the very special event, Shit-faced Shakespeare, which is exactly what it sounds like. tinyurl.com/ humanities2020

IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY TO LOOK FOR A SUMMER JOB OR INTERNSHIP! Allegheny County’s Learn & Earn Summer Youth Employment Program opens in March. Interested? Check out partner4work.org. The Pittsburgh Zoo holds their annual Job Fair for hundreds of summer jobs on February 29.

VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME AND SKILLS. As a non profit affiliate of the HandsOn Network, Pittsburgh Cares works to advance a culture of volunteerism and civic engagement in the Pittsburgh region. Be part of the solution. Visit pittsburghcares.org.

EXPERIENCE AN OTHERWORLDLY ADVENTURE. Starting Jan 18 and running through March 8, the Phipps Conservatory takes you through a galaxy of gardens at Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show: Out of This World. Step out of the cold and into a world of star-shaped orchids and a cosmic collection of tropical bonsai.

LISTEN TO 21ST CENTURY CHAMBER MUSIC. On March 1, the Del Sol String Quartet and FretX Guitar Duo perform for the Andy Warhol Museum’s Sound Series: Beyond Microtonal Music. Doors open at 7:30. Tickets available in advance or at the door. Visit warhol.org for more information.

RAISE A GLASS TO CONSERVATION. The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium’s Sip & Swirl : Wine Tasting Series begins on Friday, April 3. The event includes wine tasting, live music, small bites and animal visits. There’s even an opportunity to bid on Animal Art. Tickets go on sale Feb 13.

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PRESENTED BY THE PITTSBURGH CULTURAL TRUST AND THE HUMANITIES CENTER AT CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY

SMART TALK ABOUT STUFF THAT MATTERS

FEATURED EVENTS TICKETS START AT $16.25

SH!TFACED SHAKESPEARE: MACBETH FRIDAY, MARCH 20 BYHAM THEATER

PITTSBURGH

IRA GLASS

SATURDAY, MARCH 21 BYHAM THEATER

HUMANITIES

FESTIVAL

BLAIR IMANI

SUNDAY, MARCH 22 GREER CABARET THEATER

CORE CONVERSATIONS TRUST ARTS EDUCATION CENTER • $5 PER CONVERSATION KENNYWOOD BEHIND THE SCREAMS: RICK SEBAK AND BRIAN BUTKO

CARNEGIE MELLON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

JANIS JOPLIN: LIFE AND MUSIC

PREDICTING ELECTIONS: TRUMP’S CHANCES OF WINNING IN 2020 WITH JONATHAN WOON

WITH HOLLY GEORGE-WARREN

BECOMING A QUEEN DRINKING WITH SHAKESPEARE DANCE MAKER: BLACKNESS IN WHITE SPACES

BREWING BLACK BEER: A CONVERSATION WITH FRESH FEST FOUNDERS AND BLACK FROG BREWING PUBLIC OPEN CALL

EVERYBODY WANTS TO GO TO HEAVEN BUT NOBODY WANTS TO DIE WITH

LIFE SENTENCES: THE AMAZING JOURNEY OF WALKING OUT OF AN AMERICAN PRISON

JONATHAN D. MORENO

COOKIE ACTIVISM: USING SUGAR AS A PLATFORM FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE WITH JASMINE CHO

MARCH 20–22, 2020 • CULTURAL DISTRICT BOX OFFICE AT THEATER SQUARE • 412-456-6666 • GROUPS 10+ 412-471-6930

TRUS TARTS.ORG/HUMANITIES PITTSBURGH CURRENT | JANUARY 28, 2020 | 19


ART

Author Photo_Cody McDevitt

FORCED INTO FLIGHT

NEW BOOK EXPLORES A SHAMEFUL PIECE OF JOHNSTOWN'S PAST BY JODY DIPERNA - PITTSBURGH CURRENT LIT WRITER JODY@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

In September 2013, about 2,000 African American and Mexican residents fled Johnstown, Pennsylvania. They left in a hurry, fearing they would be jailed. Or worse. Cody McDevitt's new book about the forced exile just released from History Press, Banished from Johnstown: Racist Backlash in Pennsylvania, is built upon research he did for the Somerset Daily American. Back in 2016 when he went digging around for stories to report for the paper, he never expected to find this one. "I'm a fourth generation Johnstown guy and I never heard the story. The story was never told to us," McDevitt said when he sat down to speak with the Current. "You know about all three of the Johnstown floods. You know about Slapshot. But you don't know about this." With stunning cover art by Alisha B. Wormsley and a forward by the outstanding Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman, McDevitt's book reveals this vital, but hidden history. During World War I and immediately thereafter, many southern African Americans and Mexicans were

recruited to work in Johnstown's mills. As the new workers settled in, the city was segregated, as most industrial towns in the north were. It certainly reflected entrenched racism, but it also served the interests of capitalist robber barons and coal operators who felt it would be harder for workers to organize collectively if they were kept apart by racial and ethnic groups. It happened all through the Appalachian coal vein and what we now think of as the rust belt. There were a few black neighborhoods in Johnstown, but one of the poorest neighborhoods with few municipal services was Rosedale. As often happens, it was one of the roughest, too. On August 30, 1923, there was a deadly shootout in Rosedale. Robert Young was killed by police, but not until after he had shot and killed two officers and critically wounded several others. Young was known to be a dangerous guy, who drank to excess and had a sketchy criminal past. In the days following, many white residents of Johnstown were in an

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uproar. Some threatened to burn the entire Rosedale neighborhood to the ground as tensions ratcheted up. The KKK, already a considerable presence in the area, burned crosses on the hills surrounding the town. It was all exacerbated by the fact that the two local papers, the Johnstown Democrat and the Johnstown Tribune, had ginned up the flames of racism for years by demonizing both black and latino residents. Mayor Joseph Cauffiel seized this chance to wield the power he had as both Mayor and Magistrate. [This appalling lack of separation of powers was something McDevitt says he didn't see coming before he started researching, but wearing both of these hats allowed Cauffiel to function as a petty tyrant with few or any checks on his authority.] Sensing a political opportunity and getting to flex his own noxious racist beliefs, Cauffiel issued an order that all African-Americans and Mexicans who hadn't resided in the town for at least seven years should leave immediately. "I'm doing it for their own good because the Klan might kill them," is how McDevitt described Cauffiel's public stance. The notion is absurd on too many levels. "The idea that you've got de-robed Klansmen walking down the street and they're going to know the

Cover art by Alicia B. Wormsley

African-American and Mexican residents? If it weren't so terrible, if it weren't so inhumane, you would sit there and laugh at the absurdity of it," McDevitt says. Welcome to a Western Pennsylvania sundown town. Found all through the United States, from Pennsylvania to Texas and from Virginia to Oregon, Sundown Towns were places where it was known that any African Americans in the town after dark were in grave danger. "This isn't unique to Johnstown. It has a reputation and it's earned, but Pittsburgh had a racial edict like this in Stowe Township," McDevitt said. "There was one that happened in Beaver County in 1933, where they took a truckload of African Americans and just drove them to the West Virginia border. I hope an enterprising Pittsburgh journalist will research and do more document-driven journalism about these events." Which stories get told and which stories are swept away matter. The histories that newspapers and books and magazines cover help us to understand the times in which we live by understanding that which came before. "Some people are still like, 'let's not talk about it.' And I feel like we've never talked about it before. When are we ever going to talk about it?," McDevitt says.


ART

The set for "Terminer"

A DIFFERENT LENS

'TERMINER' IS A DRAMA AT THE INTERSECTION OF HISTORY AND MODERN TECHNOLOGY

works. “It learns from variations of language happening over and over again. It can’t invent the future; it has to be trained on something that happened in the past.” Knowledge of the Salem Witch Trials is not necessary to see and enjoy TERMINER. The examination of power imbalance and marginalized communities transcends the subject matter. And, while you might think we don’t have anything in common with the Puritans, Gates disagrees. The examination of this time period with this technology was actually quite deliberate. “We put so much faith in machines and computers, we structure our whole lives around them.” As Gates explains, that’s very similar to who the Puritans lived, albeit with a different ‘god’. Gates had originally asked for queer femmes on the audition call sheet because they wanted to a feminist take on the work. They did end up with an all queer ensemble, and moslty queer design crew. Gates likes to use their work as a way to create spaces for queer artists. “I want to nourish the community,” Gates explains.

BY BETHANY RUHE - PITTSBURGH CURRENT ASSOCIATE EDITOR BETHANY@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

The Salem Witch Trials are one of those historical cultural events that we all have some sort of knowledge about. From February 1692 to May 1693 more than 200 people in Salem, Massachusetts were accused of witchcraft. 30 of them were found guilty, and 20 of them were executed by hanging. Nearly all of them were women. Long a study in mass hysteria, the trials are being looked at yet again, but this time from a different angle. Director Philip Wesley Gates has fed every scrap of text they could find on the subject into an algorithm and is using the resulting artificial intelli-

gence (AI) as the basis of their new work, TERMINER, which debuts at the New Hazlett Theater next month. TERMINER, which is a part of New Hazlett’s Community Arts Performance series, is constructed as a ritual by four actors, one of whom is actually a modern day witch. The stage is set with some of the same books whose text had been fed into the algorithm, developed by the folks at Carnegie Mellon Robotics. The AI is listening as the actors speak, taking in all of their words, eventually constructing its own text that the actors then read. It is, as

Gates says, ‘eerily accurate.’ To Gates, bringing together a historical event and modern technology is a way to cast a light on current social issues. “I wanted to examine power and how it plays out,” Gates says, adding ‘Marginalized people didn’t do so well during the Salem Witch Trials.” And the Salem Witch Trials had a lot of repetitive language that lent itself to the algorithm. “A lot of the language they used to accuse people, such as ‘I verily believe” and ‘most dreadful,’ appears over and over again, which is good, because as Gates explains, that’s how the AI

TERMINER

runs at the New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, on February 6-7.

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | JANUARY 28, 2020 | 21


ART

WEIGHTY SUBJECT

WORK OF THE FREEDOM RIDERS HIGHLIGHTED IN 'TOO HEAVY FOR YOUR POCKET' AT NEW HORIZON THEATER BY NICK EUSTIS - PITTSBURGH CURRENT CONTRIBUTING WRITER INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

With the dawning of a new decade comes new chapters, new beginnings. What better way to start this new era than to put your best foot forward? New Horizon Theater is doing just that by kicking off 2020 with Too Heavy For Your Pocket, a new play by Jiréh Holder. A 2016 graduate

of the Yale School of Drama, Too Heavy For Your Pocket is Holder’s post-graduation sebut play. He received the Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award for the work in 2017. “It’s the story of two young African-American couples in their twenties in 1961 Nashville, Tennessee,” said Herb Newsome, the produc-

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tion’s director. Both couples seem to be on the road to a successful family life. One of the young women has just earned her cosmetology license, and her neighbor, Bowzie Brandon, has received a scholarship to a university, the first in his family to do so. But while attending school, Brandon comes in contact with civil rights activists, who introduce him to the civil disobedience tactics that were the hallmarks of the movement. One of these practices was called “freedom riding,” in which African-American passengers would ride on the same buses as white people, challenging the non-enforcement of a Supreme Court decision that outlawed segregation on public buses. Brandon becomes an ardent supporter of the movement, but his activism puts him in a dilemma. He wants to take part in the freedom rides, to stand up for what he knows is right, but doing so would mean giving up his life-altering scholarship. “We see the effects of that, what it is to stand up for what is right, as opposed to sitting back and doing what’s right for you,” said Newsome. While the show is certainly a drama, and deals with a serious subject, there is a definite levity to the play, a humor that breaks up the show’s darker moments. “It’s a serious theme and topic, but it’s a fun play too. You don’t really have drama without comedy, and you can’t have comedy without drama,” said Newsome. In addition to directing the production, the idea to put “Too Heavy” on the New Horizon stage stemmed from Newsome. A resident of Los Angeles, Newsome saw a production of the play while there, and brought it to the attention of Joyce Meggerson-Moore, chair of the board at New Horizons. “This is a show that I actually suggested they produce,” said Newsome. “I’d seen it in Los Angeles and it was amazing, and I was like, ‘I’ve got to direct this one day.’” Once the play had been decided on, casting became the next priority. The four roles in the play are filled

by a cast of highly talented, freshfaced Pittsburghers: Brendon Peifer, Hope Anthony, Jadah Johnson and Maurice Redwood. Together, under Newsome’s direction, they hope to convey fully the power of Holder’s story, and leave audiences changed for the better. “The goal is to get people to walk away touched, and walk away changed a little,” said Newsome. “[We want to] spark the conversation about some of these issues that we, at times, choose not to deal with, but they’re super important.”

“TOO HEAVY FOR YOUR POCKET.”

FEBRUARY 7-23 at the Falk School of the University of Pittsburgh, 4060 Aliquippa Street. Shows run Friday through Sunday, with evening shows on Friday and Saturday, and matinees Saturday and Sunday. For tickets and more information, visit newhorizontheater.org.

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ART THE CAN’T MISS BY EMERSON ANDREWS PITTSBURGH CURRENT CONTRIBUTING WRITER INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

FEATURED EVENTS IN AND AROUND THE PITTSBURGH REGION

JANUARY 28

Fans of The Shining can head to their own Overlook Hotel Popup at Industry Public House for food, drinks and interactive scares. Hotel souvenirs will be available while supplies last, and gusts may also enter a raffle to win a prize basket. Reservations are required. 7 p.m. 4305 Butler St. $10. 412-683-1100 or industrypgh.com

JANUARY 29

Southern Tier Brewing Co. is holding its first ever Pints & Puzzles Night. Ten teams of up to five people will compete to complete 500-piece jigsaw puzzles, provided by STBC, the fastest for a $50 gift certificate. The event is free entry with reservation. 6 p.m. 316 N. Shore Dr. Free. 412-301-2337 or stbcbeer.com Port Authority holds three Community Discussions throughout the day at the David Lawrence Convention Center to discuss the future of transit, answer questions and engage in conversation with Pittsburghers. 9 a.m. 1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd. Free. portauthority.org

JANUARY 30

The Sembene Film Festival continues with a screening of Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels, Official Selection of the 2015 Pan African Film Festival. Directed by Tony Buba, the film follows scholar Marcus Rediker and his team to Sierra Leone where they search for the descendents of the 1839 slave rebellion. Rediker and Buba will lead a discussion after the screening. 6 p.m. 622 N. Homewood Ave. Free. 412-6576916

Leyla McCalla

The program will include consumer awareness films from the decade, a reel from the 1986 Clio Awards and a series of 30-Second-Spots made by Joan Logue, who will participate in a discussion via Skype after the screening. This event is BYOB but open to all ages. 7 p.m. 460 Melwood Ave. $8. shaines@jumpcuttheater.org or jumpcuttheater.org

FEBRUARY 2

Dan Geimhart joins the Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures series at Carnegie Lecture Hall. Geimhart, an elementary school teacher and librarian, has penned five middle grade novels, including his most recent, The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise. A book signing will follow the lecture. 2:30 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave. $10. 412-622-8866 or info@pittsburghlectures.org

JANUARY 31

Reverend Deryck Tines and The Deryck Tines Gospel Choir perform at City of Asylum @ Alphabet City. The group’s latest project, “We Shall Overcome Someday!” blends gospel, spiritual and hymns from 100 years of black music in America. The event is free with reservation. 6 p.m. 40 W. North Ave. Free. 412-435-1110 or alphabetcity.org

FEBRUARY 1

Professor Clifford Bob joins City of Asylum @ Alphabet City for readings from his book Rights as Weapons: Instruments of Conflict, Tools of Power. The book explores how institutions make use of majority rights to oppress the weak. The discussion will be moderated by Ambassador Sarah E. Mendelson, who previously served as a Deputy Assistant Administrator at USAID from 2010-2014. The event is free with reservation. 7 p.m. 40 W. North Ave. Free. 412-435-1110 or alphabetcity.org

Phat Man Dee comes to The Oaks Theater with her jazz band and featured dancers to hold a roaring 20s party for the new 2020s. Attendees can participate in a costume contest while they enjoy the themed cocktails and live music. The event is for 18 year olds and up. 6:30 p.m. 310 Allegheny River Blvd. Oakmont. $12 auditorium seating, $15 table seating. 888-418-4253 or theoakstheater.com

The Glitterbox Theater hosts another installment of Commercial Cinema, this time looking at vintage television commercials from the 1980s.

FEBRUARY 4

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | JANUARY 28, 2020 | 23


ART FEBRUARY 5

Yang Jin(杨瑾) & Friends combines East and West into a musical program at City of Asylum @ Alphabet City. The featured musicians will utilize a range of instruments from around the globe and mix musical traditions from different regions into an evening of creativity. The event is free with reservation. 7 p.m. 40 W. North Ave. Free. 412-435-1110 or alphabetcity.org

FEBRUARY 6

The Andy Warhol Museum presents singer, songwriter, cellist and multi-instrumentalist Leyla McCalla at Carnegie Lecture Hall as part of their Sound Series, which features performances by contemporary independent artists from around the world. McCalla, the daughter of Haitain immigrants, studied cello performance and chamber music at New York University and is inspired by Louisiana Creole music and culture. 7 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave. $15 for students and members, $20 general admission. 412-237-8300 or warhol.org

FEBRUARY 8

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens holds a Tropical Forest Cuba Festival. Participate in activities for all ages while learning about the entertainment, food and rich diversity of plant life in Cuba’s forest region. 11 a.m. One Schenley Park. $11.95 for kids, $17.95 for students and seniors with ID, $19.95 general admission. phipps.conservatory.org

History Month, is based on and features songs associated with the Underground Railroad. The event is free with reservation. 6 p.m. 40 W. North Ave. Free. 412-435-1110 or alphabetcity.org Kids are invited to a “Beauty and the Beast” workshop at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. The class will be led by Kaila Lewis, PBT School’s Children’s Division Coordinator, and features music, crafts, costuming and a special appearance by Beauty herself. Families of attendees will also receive a promo code for 30% discounted tickets to redeem on Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s upcoming performances of Beauty and the Beast at the Benedum Center. 10 a.m. 2900 Liberty Ave. $75. pbt.org

FEBRUARY 10

ACLU-PA Young Leadership Outreach Team Pittsburgh brings a screening of The Bail Trap to City of Asylum @ Alphabet City. The documentary discusses how the money bail system works and how it disproportionately disadvantages impoverished inmates in the United States. ACLU-PA Legal Fellow Ali Szemanski will lead a discussion after the screening about the ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice. The event is free with reservation. 7 p.m. 40 W. North Ave. Free. 412-435-1110 or alphabetcity.org

Enjoy a free Brown Bag Concert by Pittsburgh Opera. An informal reception with the resident artist will follow the performance. The event is bring your own lunch. 11:30 a.m. 2425 Liberty Ave. Free. pittsburghopera. org The Edgewood Symphony Orchestra holds their 3rd Annual Rhapsody in Brew homebrew competition to benefit their non-profit group. Sample different beers from local brewers and enjoy live music, including a special VIP hour played by the Bartlett Street Quartet. The event is for twenty-one year-olds and up. 5 p.m. for VIPs, 6 p.m. general admission. 242 51st St. $65 for VIP, $40 general admission, $20 designated drivers. edgewoodsymphony.org

FEBRUARY 9

Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh opens their For You Were Strangers exhibit, featuring the history of Jewish immigrants to Pittsburgh in the 19th and 20th centuries and how it has impacted our society today. The event is free with registration. 11 a.m. 826 Hazelwood Ave. Free. jfedpgh.org/ strangers City of Asylum @ Alphabet City hosts Hilliard Greene as he performs “Milestone Negro Spirituals: When Folksongs Bring Freedom”. The performance, to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday and Black

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Written by Jiréh Breon Holder Directed by Herb Newsome

February 7th - 23rd, 2020 FRIDAY AND SATURDAY @ 7:30 PM SATURDAY AND SUNDAY @ 3PM Falk School/University of Pittsburgh 4060 Allequippa St. Pittsburgh, PA 15260 parking across the street at the VA hospital Tickets: $20 General admission, $15 Student rate and seniors 65 and over. (Group rates available for 10 or more) Call (412) 431-0773, email newhorizontheater@yahoo.com, visit Dorsey’s Digital Imaging on Frankstown Ave. or online at brownpapertickets.com For more information visit newhorizontheater.com


ART ART LISTINGS JANUARY 28 DOWNSTAIRS

STAGE This ominous, darkly intriguing new play – from Broadway’s most produced female playwright – confronts family secrets, regrets, and the threat of madness in the search for the good life. Runs through Feb 2. 7:00 PM. City Theatre, 1300 Bingham St., Southside. https://citytheatrecompany.org/

I CAME BY BOAT SO MEET ME AT THE BEACH

EXHIBITS Ayana M. Evans, New York-based performance artist, and Tsedaye Makonnen, multidisciplinary artist from Washington, DC, present new collaborative works and performances that explore the legacies of Black radical womanhood in relationship to well-being, ritual, and physical labor. Runs through March 29. Gallery Hours. The BNY Mellon Gallery, first floor, 500 Grant St., Downtown. aacc-awc.org

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

STAGE Pittsburgh Public Theater presents the classic Menken and Ashman musical. Through Feb 23. Times Vary. O'Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave., Downtown. ppt.org

VANISHING BLACK BARS AND LOUNGES

EXHIBITS New Orleans-based photographer L. Kasimu Harris documents disappearing social halls and leisure clubs that were safe gathering spaces for African Americans for entertainment, benevolent causes, and community activism. Runs through March 29. Gallery Hours. Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation Gallery, 980 Liberty Ave., Northside. aacc-awc.org

JANUARY 29 THE C-WORD

STAGE The C-Word is a dark comedy about mental illness and family. It explores how different generations handle mental health and how those attitudes have shifted over the years. The story takes place after Grace returns home after being released from a psychiatric hospital. Runs through Feb 2. Tickets available online or at the door. 8:00 PM. Duquesne University’s Genesius Theater, 600 Forbes Ave., Uptown. www. duqredmasquers.com

JANUARY 30 TAMMY PESCATELLI

COMEDY Arguably one of the hardest working women in comedy today, Tammy Pescatelli brings brassy sexiness with a female voice of witty sarcasm to her audiences, holding her own on the topics of sports, television, dating and family life using tongue-in-cheek humor. Runs through February 1. 8:00 AM. Pittsburgh Improv, 166 E. Bridge St., Homestead. improv.com/pittsburgh

Feb. 2: Miss Saigon-Photo Matthew Murphy and Johan Persson

THE BOOK OF MERMAN

STAGE Two Mormon missionaries ring the doorbell of Ethel Merman and hilarity ensues in this new musical comedy. Runs through February 14. Times Vary. CLO Cabaret, 719 Liberty Ave., 6th Floor, Downtown. visitpittsburgh.com

THE WOMEN WHO RODE AWAY

STAGE Featuring original music and projected paintings by Zukerman, this intimate portrait recounts the artist's journey of finding her own voice through the stories of the women in her life that paved the way. Runs through Feb 1. 8:00 PM. Carnegie Stage, 25 West Main St., Carnegie . pghintheround.com

FEBRUARY 1 LOVE IS IN THE AIR

STAGE Roses are red, violets are blue, Fiddlesticks loves music, and you do too! In February, Fiddlesticks celebrates love's many shapes with family, friends, and neighbors. Hear how Gershwin, Elgar, and Mister Rogers express their love through music and share photos of the people you love for a special slideshow on the Heinz Hall screen. 11:15 AM. Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. pittsburghsymphony.org

FEBRUARY 2 ANATOMY OF A MOVIE

JANUARY 31 HAIR

STAGE The American tribal love-rock musical HAIR celebrates the sixties counterculture in all its barefoot, long-haired, bell-bottomed, beaded and fringed glory. Runs through Feb 2. 7:30 PM. Gargaro Theater, 327 South Main St., West End. pittsburghmusicals.com

THE SKEPTIC'S GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE

STAGE A live recording of the weekly 80-minute science podcast that looks at the newest scientific discoveries and explains them in laymen's terms 7:00 PM. Rex, 1602 E Carson St., South Side. druskyentertainment.com

FILM What was the writing thinking? In this presentation, we are going to show one of the “great movies you’ve never heard of,” and dissect it during a showing to determine (the best way we can) what the screenwriter was thinking during the story structure and the outline process. 12:30 PM. Carnegie Library, 2205 East Carson St., Southside. writeyourscript@live.com

MISS SAIGON

STAGE This is the story of a young Vietnamese woman named Kim who is orphaned by war and forced to work in a bar run by a notorious character known as the Engineer. There she meets and falls in love with an American G.I. named Chris, but they are torn apart by the fall of Saigon. Runs through Feb 9. Times Vary. Benedum Center, 237 7th St., Downtown. trustarts.org

FEBRUARY 3 TRUTHSAYERS: MICHAEL ERIC DYSON

LIT/LECTURES Dr. Dyson has authored nearly twenty books on subjects such as the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. in April 4, 1968, Malcolm X, Nas’s debut album Illmatic, Tupac, Marvin Gaye, and Hurricane Katrina’s devastating and long lasting effects. 7:00 PM. August Wilson African American Cultural Center, 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. aacc-awc.org

FEBRUARY 4 OUTSIDE THE ACADEMY: RIGHTS AS WEAPONS

LIT/LECTURE Join us in our intimate Word Cellar for an evening of readings by Professor Clifford Bob. Ambassador Sarah E. Mendelson will moderate the discussion. 7:00 PM. City of Asylum, 40 W. North Ave., North Side. alphabetcity.org

FEBRUARY 6 MEMOIR SERIES: JAQUIRA DIAZ & KAVEH AKBAR

LIT/LECTURE Join us for an evening of readings & discussion celebrating the work of Jaquira Díaz and Kaveh Akbar, presented in partnership with Chatham University‘s Creative Writing MFA program, Words Without Walls, and funding from The National Endowment for the Arts. Poet Steffan Triplett will moderate the discussion. 7:00 PM. Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave., Northside. alphabetcity.org

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ART TERMINER

STAGE In the new work from Pittsburgh writer Phillip Wesley Gates, Somewhere in the dark, a queer cyborg coven is performing a ritual for the future of humankind. 8:00 PM. New Hazeltt theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. newhazletttheater. org

FEBRUARY 7 BODIOGRAPHY'S UNVEILED

DANCE Bodiography welcomes guest artists of Buglisi Dance Theatre to the stage as well as guest choreographers Virginie Mecene and Ze’eva Cohen for new and existing works. Also Feb. 8. 8:00 PM. Byham Theater, 101 6th St., Downtown. trustarts.org

KOUNTRY WAYNE

COMEDY Wayne Colley performs yearround, regularly selling out clubs & theaters across the country to a diverse, wide-reaching audience with his unique brand of high energy, faith based, and clean content. Runs through February 9. 7:30 PM. Pittsburgh Improv, 166 E Bridge St., Homestead. improv.com/pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

LIT/LECTURE Join Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra conductor Earl Lee and world renowned violinist Ray Chen for an evening of “connections,” featuring poets Melissa Dias-Mandoly and Keith S. Wilson 7:00 PM. Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave., North Side. alphabetcity.org

STEPHEN LYNCH

COMEDY 7:00 PM. Oaks Theater, 310 Allegheny River Blvd., Oakmont. druskyentertainment.com

THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD

STAGE Shady Side Academy Senior School presents the winter student musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online, at the theater, by phone or at the door. Some content may not be suitable for children under 13. Performances run through February 9. 7:30 PM. Hillman Center for the Performing Arts , 423 Fox Chapel Road, Fox Chapel. www.shadysideacademy.org/theater

FEBRUARY 9 BE OUR GUEST AT THE "BEAUTY AND THE BEAST" WORKSHOP!

DANCE Dancers are invited to take this fairytale-themed workshop inspired by Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s upcoming performance of “Beauty and the Beast”. 10:00 AM. Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, 2900 Liberty Ave., Downtown. pbt.org

WHEN FOLKSONGS BRING FREEDOM

FOLK, LECTURE In honor of Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday and Black History Month, Hilliard Greene presents “Milestone Negro Spirituals: When Folksongs Bring Freedom.” 7:30 PM. City of Asylum, 40 W. North Ave., North Side. alphabetcity.org

FEBRUARY 10

42-THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY

FILM Join us at the CEC in Homewood to watch the 2013 film " 42" directed by Brian Helgeland! 5:30 PM. Community Engagement Center, 622 N. Homewood Ave., Homewood. cec.pitt. edu/homewood

THE BAIL TRAP

FILM Join the ACLU-PA Young Leadership Outreach Team Pittsburgh for a screening of the documentary film The Bail Trap. Following the screening, ACLU-PA Legal Fellow Ali Szemanski will discuss the ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice. 7:00 PM. Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave., North Side. alphabetcity.org

TEN EVENINGS LECTURE SERIES: TOMMY ORANGE

LIT/LECTURE There is the shattering debut novel by Tommy Orange that caught the critics by storm, winning multiple prizes, and topping year-end Best Book lists. 7:30 PM. Carnegie Music Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. pittsburghlectures.org/

FEBRUARY 11 SHAKESPEARE VALENTINE’S IMPROV GAME NIGHT

FEBRUARY 8

STAGE, COMEDY Create our original Shakespearean romantic comedy, and help our star-crossed lovers wind up wed! Everyone's a player in lively story that promises laughter and surprises. The goal? To celebrate a match made by PSIP fans! Cocktails available for purchase. Finger foods served to those who donate to Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks! 7:00 PM. Station, 4744 Liberty Ave,. Downtown. 412-512-0589

DIGITAL STORYTELLING: BUILDING BRIDGES

FEBRUARY 13

FILM A special multicultural event highlighting the personal stories of African and African American adults living in Northview Heights through autobiographical videos of their own creation. 3:00 PM. Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave., North Side. alphabetcity.org

Feb. 22: Mahogany Brown

NEGRO LEAGUES CENTENNIAL COMMERATION

Join the Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh Pirates, Josh Gibson Foundation, and Carnegie Museum of Art for an evening commemorating the centennial of baseball’s Negro Leagues. 6:00 PM. Sports Museum, 1212 Smallman St., Strip. heinzhistorycenter.org

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FEBRUARY 20 SARA PIPHER GILLIAM

FEBRUARY 14 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

STAGE, DANCE Beauty comes from within. So does the nature of the Beast. See both sides of the story in Beauty and the Beast. Runs through February 23. 8:00 PM. Benedum Center, 237 7th Street, Downtown. pbt.org

GARY GULMAN

COMEDY Stand up Comedian best known as a finalist on NBC's Last Comic Standing. 6:00 PM. The Rex, 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. druskyentertainment.com

FEBRUARY 16 FREE ASSOCIATION READING SERIES

LIT/LECTURE Intimate readings with exceptional writers co-curated by Pat Hart and Marc Nieson of the Free Association Reading Series 5:00 PM. Alphabet City , 40 W. North Ave., North Side. alphabetcity.org

I LOATHE LUCY

STAGE Pittsburgh best Murder Mystery troupe returns to The Oaks Theater with this great Valentines Day Murder Mystery "I Loathe Lucy." Only you can solve the crime as part of this immersive murder mystery! 7:30 PM. The Oaks Theatre, Oakmont, 310 Allegheny River Blvd., Oakmont. theoakstheater.com

goofs and insanity, including some very special surprises we can't talk about right now. 7:00 PM. Carnegie Music Hall of Oakland, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. druskyentertainment.com

FEBRUARY 17 TIM & ERIC - MANDATORY ATTENDANCE WORLD TOUR

COMEDY Tim and Eric return to the road for a WORLD TOUR filled with more spoofs,

LIT Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures presents the author of Reviving Ophelia, which examines the impact that social media has, explore the rising and empowering importance of student activism in girls’ lives. 7:00 PM. Carnegie Library Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. www.pittsburghlectures.org

FEBRUARY 21 ANDREW SCHULTZ

COMEDY A native New Yorker and internationally touring stand-up comedian, Andrew Schulz is known for his hilarious and unapologetic viewpoints. Schulz challenges conventional wisdom with a NYC tone that is often idiotic, at times brilliant, and always hysterical. Runs through February 22. 7:30 PM. Pittsburgh Improv, 166 E. Bridge St., Homestead. improv.com/pittsburgh

DANGEROUSLY IN LOVE

STAGE A collection of original material addressing the issue of abuse in teen relationships. Songs, dances, scenes and poems created and performed by the unparalleled ATC Teen Ensemble. Appropriate for ages 14+ Children under 10 not admitted. Ends Feb 22. 7:00 PM. Alumni Theater Company, 6601 Hamilton Ave., Homewood. www.alumnitheatercompany.org

SEEING DOUBLE SCREENING

FILM Join us for a showcase of video art and tiny tiny films we curated! This free


ART THE OUTISDERS

STAGE S.E. Hinton's Classic novel about class war and friendship is presented by Prime Stage Theatre. Through March 15 Times Vary. New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. primestage.com

MARCH 9 TEN EVENINGS SERIES: ESI EDUGYAN

LIT/LECTURE Prize-winning novelist Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black is an epic adventure about a boy who rises from the ashes of slavery to become a man of the world 7:00 PM. Carnegie Library Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. pittsburghlectures.org

MARCH 16 ANNE ENRIGHT

LIT Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures presents Dublin-based author Anne Enright to discuss her newest novel, The Actress. Entry includes a copy of the novel. 7:00 PM. Carnegie Library Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. www.pittsburghlectures.com

MARCH 18 Jan. 30: Ghosts of Amistad screening highlights Pittsburgh artists and makers creating work about duality. All works screened are three minutes or under! 6:00 PM. CDCP Project Space, 317 South Trenton Ave., Wilkinsburg. 412-552-3600

TCHAIKOVSKY VIOLIN CONCERTO

CLASSICAL/ORCHESTRAL The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra presents Tchaikovsy's Violin Concerto. Don't miss one of two performances. Ends February 23. Times Vary. Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. pittsburghsyphony.org

THE CHELSEA GIRLS EXPLODED

EXHIBITS In celebration of the museum’s publication Andy Warhol’s The Chelsea Girls and its ongoing film digitization project, The Chelsea Girls Exploded exhibition showcases the film and a selection of promotional material, photography, and art, while revealing the extent of the film’s influence on cinema and popular culture during its time. Runs through March 22. Museum Hours. The Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St., North Side. warhol.org

TUBMAN

STAGE This one woman show presents the story of Harriet Tubman reimagined as a young woman growing up in Harlem through a theatrical lens. 10:30 AM. August Wilson African American Cultural Center, 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. aacc-awc.org

THE TIPPING POINT

FEBRUARY 22 YOUTH AUTHOR SERIES: MAHOGANY L. BROWNE

LIT/LECTURE A reading with acclaimed spoken word poet, visionary, and activist Mahogany L. Browne who will present various stories from her many books. Her reading will be followed by a Q&A conversation. 3:00 PM. Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave., North Side. alphabetcity.org

FEBRUARY 24 PITTSBURGH FASHION SUMMIT

FASHION Mayor William Peduto and The Downtown Community Development Corporation will host Pittsburgh's first ever Pittsburgh Fashion Summit with an aim to put Pittsburgh on the fashion map, Noon. Union Trust Building, 501 Grant St., Downtown. www.pghfw.com

7:00 PM. Carnegie Library Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. www.pittsburghlectures.org

WHAT DOES TROUBLE MEAN?: NATE SMITH'S REVOLUTION

FILM A screening of “What Does Trouble Mean?: Nate Smith’s Revolution” part of the 2020 From Slavery to Freedom Film Series. 5:30 PM. Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman St., Strip. heinzhistorycenter.org

FEBRUARY 27 DISNEY ON ICE

KIDS Annual Showcase of Disney stars on ice Times Vary. PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. ppgpaintsarena.com

MARCH 6 NEW WORKS SHOWCASE

FEBRUARY 26 COLUM MCCANN

LIT Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures presents Colum McCann to discuss Apeirogon, his latest novel about the real-life friendship of teo men united by loss. Entry includes copy of the novel.

STAGE Looking for a night of bold new work? Come check out 4 original plays, fresh music, inspirational dances, and brand new poetry all created and presented by ATC’s brilliant Professional Ensemble. Appropriate for ages 14+. Children under 10 will not be admitted. 7:00 PM. Alumni Theater Company, 6601 Hamilton Avenue, Homewood. www.alumnitheatercompany.org

STAGE Multi-disciplinary, immersive production featuring local actors/dancers and a group of resettled refugees. Through March 29 7:00 PM. 25 Carrick Ave, 25 Carrick Ave., Carrick. https://25carrickave.com/

MARCH 20 HERE + NOW

STAGE, DANCE This mixed-repertory production brings together three celebrated choreographers to create stunning dance for the here and now in the August Wilson Cultural Center. Runs through March 29. 8:00 PM. August Wilson African American Cultural Center, 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. pbt.org

APRIL 17 BALANCHINE + TCHAIKOVSKY WITH THE PBT ORCHESTRA

SYMPHONY, DANCE Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s storied history with Balanchine and Tchaikovsky is revived in this mixed-repertory production celebrating two of ballet’s greatest contributors. Runs through April 19. 8:00 PM. Benedum Center, 237th Street, Downtown. pbt.org

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ART FEBRUARY 11 RENEWAL OF DEMOCRACY: JAMES B. LIEBER

LIT/LECTURE Join us in for an evening of readings and conversation with James B. Lieber, who will discuss the current status of gerrymandering not only in Pennsylvania, but in other states where legislatures are fighting for fairer representation for their constituents. 7:00 PM. Alphabet City, 40 W. North St., North Side. alphabetcity.org

FEBRUARY 14 BLACK WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Feb. 27: Disney on ice

COMMUNITY LISTINGS JANUARY 29 DOWNTOWN MOBILITY PLAN PUBLIC WORKSHOP

PUBLIC Meetings Join the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership for the first public workshop to guide the development of a comprehensive Mobility Plan for the Downtown neighborhood and Central Business District. 6:00 PM. Point Park University's Thayer Hall Auditorium, 201 Wood St., Downtown. downtownpittsburgh.com

JANUARY 30 GHOSTS OF AMISTAD

FILM Filmmakers Marus Rediker and Tony Buba travel to Sierra Leone in search of the descendants of the 1839 slave rebellion to get the African side of the story. Discussion to follow the film. 6:00 PM. Pitt Community Engagement Center, 622 N. Homewood Ave., Homewood. https://cec.pitt.edu/

FEBRUARY 1 HOUSES OF FREEDOM: BLACK HISTORY TOUR

HISTORICAL TOUR Join DOORS OPEN Pittsburgh as we celebrate Black History Month by going inside some of the most significant black churches in Pittsburgh on a bus tour. 9:45 AM. Church of St. Benedict the Moor, 91 Crawford St., Hill District. http://www. doorsopenpgh.org

LASER-CUT VALENTINE'S DAY CARDS

KIDS Design and create your very own laser-cut Valentine’s Day cards in BNY Mellon Fab Lab Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh’s digital makerspace. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult who also registers for the workshop. Runs through Feb 8. 11:30 AM. Carnegie Science Center, One Allegheny Ave., North Shore. 412-237-3400

FEBRUARY 2 DAN GEMEINHART, MIDDLE GRADE AUTHOR LIT/LECTURE Dan Gemeinhart is an elementary school teacher-librarian and the author of five middle grade novels. His latest heartwarming novel The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrisewas named a 2019 Parents’ Choice Award Gold Medal Winner. 1:30 PM. Carnegie Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. www.pittsburghlectures.org

FEBRUARY 9 HEARTS IN HARMONY HOLISTIC BAZAAR

FAIR/FESTIVAL Follow your heart and find gifts of Love at the Hearts in Harmony Holistic Bazaar- the second annual event at Thrive on Health themed on all things Love! 5:00 PM. Thrive on Health, 730 Brookline Blvd., Brookline. 412-714-6620

FEBRUARY 10 BLACK HISTORY MONTH BUTTON MAKING

CRAFTS Wear History by making a button commemorating African American leaders, events, and our own hill history. For all ages. 4:00 PM. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, 2177 Centre Ave., Hill District. carnegielibrary.org

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LIT/LECTURE In celebration of Black History Month, the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship and the Women’s Institute at Chatham University will host a panel of speakers representing “Black Women in Leadership & Community Development.” 7:30 AM. James Laughlin Music Center, 6585 Penn Ave., Larimer. chatam.edu/cwe

FEBRUARY 19 BLACK HISTORY MONTH LECTURE: FREEDOM'S BLOOD MEMORIES

LIT/LECTURE The sixth annual Black History Month lecture features Sowande Mustakeem, Ph.D., author of “Slavery at Sea: Terror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage.” 6:00 PM. Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman St., Strip. heinzhistorycenter.org

PITTSBURGH CITY COUNCIL

PUBLIC HEARING Public Comment will be heard regarding the designation of four buildings as Historic Structures, including the City-County Building and Federal Courthouse. 1:00 PM. Council Chambers, 414 Grant St., Downtown. pittsburghpa.gov

FEBRUARY 23 BLACK HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION

LIT/LECTURE Civil Rights Tour Presentation by Dr. Todd Allen. Dinner will be served and a Free Will Offering collected. 3:30 PM. Webster Avenue Christian and Missionary Alliance, 2325 Webster Ave., Hill District. tinyurl.com/WACandMA

FEBRUARY 25 NORTHSIDE MARDI GRAS FAT TUESDAY

FAIR/FESTIVAL The Annual Northside Mardi Gras celebration involves 25+ businesses in Pittsburgh's Northside and will be featuring New Orleans/Mardi Gras-inspired food/drink/retail specials and live entertainment! $10 in advance, $12 at the door, cash only 7:00 PM. Allegheny Elks, 400 Cedar Ave., Duetschtown. www.pittsburghnorthside.com/ mardigras

APRIL 1 NATIONAL GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE CERTIFICATION PROGRAM (NGICP)

EDUCATION This certificate program covers the design, installation, inspection, and maintenance of green storm water infrastructure relating to the Pennsylvania Best Management Practices (PA BMP) manual. Candidates who complete this program are prequalified to sit for the Water Environment Federation’s certification exam. Ends April 29. 8:30 AM. Energy Innovation Center, 1435 Bedford Avenue, Suite A, Hill District. 412482-3463

APRIL 25 HANDBAG BINGO

OTHER Proceeds benefit Mainstay Life Services, a local nonprofit that provides lifelong, high-quality support services, ensuring that people with developmental disabilities lead fulfilling lives and realize their vision of a desirable future. Tickets are $30 which includes 11 games and lunch. 11:00 AM. Keystone Oaks High School, 1000 Kelton Avenue, Baldwin. https://tinyurl.com/ BingoPC

FOOD/DRINK LISTINGS JANUARY 31 OPEN MIC 18+

OTHER Open Mic 18+ , come enjoy refreshments and fun. Everyone 18 and older is welcome. 8:00 PM. Alumni Theater Company, 6601 Hamilton Ave.. alumnitheatercompany.org

FEBRUARY 6 BLACK HISTORY MONTH DINNER AT THE PERCH OTHER Gather at the University of Pitt's Sutherland Hall for a Black History Month Dinner. 5:00 PM. Sutherland Hall, 3725 Sutherland Dr., Oakland. tinyurl.com/dinnerperchpgh

MY SNARKY VALENTINE: A 21+ EVENT

ADULT Crafts Follow your heart and join us for an evening of food, drink and amore. And sass. We provide the making, you decide if your valentine will be snarky or scandalous. 6:30 PM. Museum Lab, 6 Allegheny Square E #101, North Side. museumlab.org

FEBRUARY 15 PITTSBURGH CHOCOLATE, WINE AND WHISKEY FESTIVAL

FESTIVAL Entry includes unlimited tasting of Chocolates, wine and Craft Spirits Noon. Rivers Casino, 777 Casino Drive, North Side. riverscasino.com


FOOD DAY DRINKING

KEEPING TABS ON PITTSBURGH'S CRAFT BEER SCENE BY DAY BRACEY - PITTSBURGH CURRENT CRAFT BEER WRITER INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM Dec 13, 8 a.m.:: After months of tirelessly and fruitlessly searching for a venue in Pittsburgh that has enough space for 5,000 people and won’t Black tax me on the rate, I get an email from Josh Lucas, founder of Work Hard Pittsburgh, saying Allentown may be the answer. No, not THAT Allentown. We’re talking Allentown, Pittsburgh, a predominantly black “redeveloping” neighborhood between Mount Washington and the South Side. By “redeveloping,” I mean “pre-gentrified.” They have a coffee shop and folks are actively looking to open a brewery there. Once that happens, the flood of white people will be inevitable and Pittsburgh will have a Lawrenceville 2.0, or rather an East LIBERTY 3.0. What better way to combat this than by filling the streets with 5,000 people who may be interested in gentrifying responsibly, with investments in both the people and the buildings? For those who don’t know, Work Hard and Allentown have been the home of the Drinking Partners Podcast for 5 years now. Who says nothing good can come from living in someone’s basement? Dec. 23, Noon: I meet up with Matt Thorton of Work Hard Pittsburgh and Joe Calloway of Re360 to take a tour of the place. We start with the dive bar that Kevin Sousa plans to make his new home, a possible VIP area? We tour the warehouse, the alleys, parking lots, office space, and even the roof. With enough cooperation from the city, this may be a thing. Not sure we should have too many drunken people on a roof though. Let’s run that past an insurance agent first. Jan. 1, 12 a.m.: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Jan. 1, 1205 a.m.: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! Jan. 7, 2 p.m.: Josh and I are meeting with Aaron Sukenik and Gordon

an author and former collaborator of the festival, to discuss her role as Project Coordinator for 2020. We find a table and sip heavy stouts as we exchange visions for the future and try our luck at some of the questions thrown out during quiz night. Luckily, we’re much better at planning events than retaining random bar knowledge. Jan. 16, 8 p.m.: I’m at Hop Farm to meet up with Tom Poet, the best sales rep in the business. Wouldn’t it be dope if the Black brewers could find taps to occupy in Western, PA? Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to drive to Ohio, DC, or NY to get a black-owned beer? Well, if anyone can help make that happen, it’s got to be Tommy “Hustle Harder” Poet. Beer is being consumed during this meeting, but my ability to read labels has been greatly diminished. I think my favorite was the one with the alcohol in it. You know the one!

Allentown is the site of FreshFest 2020

Hall of the Hilltop Alliance to discuss the feasibility of bringing 5.000 people to Warrington Ave. There are so many more moving parts when you’re dealing with open streets as opposed to closed venues. So many more entities both private and public that need to be consulted and on board for it to happen, along with various motivations to be taken into consideration. Did I just become a politician?!? Jan. 13, 1 p.m.: Josh, Aaron, Gordon, and I are meeting with Henry Pyatt of the Mayor’s office to discuss the possibility of street closures, public transportation options, and support from the city. While mapping out the area, Josh makes an

odd suggestion. “What if we do a free stage here?” The thought of a free component at a ticketed event sounds silly. But then the gears start to turn. I mean, we are coming into this area and making life inconvenient for the residents here for the day, the least we can do is offer them some entertainment for their troubles. Isn’t that what being a good neighbor is all about? Isn’t that what this festival is about? Uplifting the community, getting shitfaced, and dancing in the streets? Yes. Yes it is. So, why stop at one free stage? Jan. 15, 6 p.m.: I’m at Eleventh Hour to meet with Melanie Dione,

Jan. 17, 10 a.m.: I’m with Khamil Scantling of Cocoapreneur to discuss her role as Equity Officer and a partnership with her organization. Who better than the originator of the Black Pittsburgh Business Directory to make sure the services employed by the festival are as Black as possible? With this addition, I think it’s time to pull back the curtain on this production. Jan. 17, Noon: Fresh Fest 2020’s new home is officially announced as Allentown, Pittsburgh. The folks are equally excited and confused. “No, not THAT Allentown.” This is going to get old fast.

FRESHFEST 2020

tickets go on sale Feb 1 at midnight, freshfestbeerfest.com

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EXTRA

Savage Love

Savage Love | sex | relationships BY DAN SAVAGE MAIL@SAVAGELOVE.NET I’m a 33-year-old woman in a relationship with a 43-year-old man. My boyfriend’s fantasy is to have a threesome with another man. He enjoys watching me have sex with other men and then intermittently fucking me. But he mostly likes to watch me get fucked. For a long time, my boyfriend would send nudes or videos of him fucking me to men we met on dating apps. We would talk dirty about it during sex. Recently, we met up with a man for the first time. I don’t think it went well. My boyfriend and I have had conversations about my fear of contracting an STI. So before the threesome started, I explained to my boyfriend and the other guy that condoms were required. They both agreed. This guy was really nervous and when he put a condom on, he went flaccid. He would try to fuck me with his flaccid, condom-covered penis, but it just didn’t work. He would take the condom off, jerk off, get semi-hard, put a condom back on, go completely soft again. Even when I sucked the guy’s dick: nothing. (He actually told me to stop trying!) So my boyfriend, who was observing and jerking off, suggested we forget the condoms in the hopes this guy could stay hard. I said no and restated my boundary. The guy still couldn’t get it up, hopped out of bed, and started getting dressed. My boyfriend offered to let the guy cream pie me if he would stay. I said fuck no and the guy left. He didn’t even say bye. I don’t know why the guy couldn’t get hard. But I certainly don’t think my boundary should be compromised because a stranger can’t get it up. My boyfriend keeps suggesting we meet up with this guy again so he can “get closure.” He really wants to watch this guy at least come on me. My boyfriend and this guy have since texted about him fucking me again. I’m all for being GGG, but... what the fuck? I thought this guy was kind of an asshole. My boyfriend was definitely an asshole. My questions are: If I’m uncomfortable during a threesome,

how do I politely call it off? I don’t want to embarrass anyone, but this went on for two hours and the guy never got it up. How do I terminate a threesome without sounding like a bitch? Threesome Obviously Dried Up My Pussy To politely call off a threesome, TODUMP, all you gotta say is, “Hey, this isn’t working for me—let’s take a rain check.” Say it while pulling up your pants and use your “final answer” voice. And the “rain check” thing doesn’t have to be sincere. It can be, of course, if you’re interested in trying again sometime, but it doesn’t have to be. The “rain check” thing is mostly a nice, polite, face-saving, ego-sparing way to ease someone out of your pants/bed/playroom/apartment/whatever. And if anyone starts arguing with you—if your third or your primary partner starts arguing with you—don’t worry about being polite, TODUMP. Go ahead and be a bitch: “This is over, you/they need to go, rain check rescinded, asshole/ assholes.” And while we’re on the subject of terminating things with assholes, TODUMP, you need dump your incredibly shitty fucking boyfriend immediately—and there’s no need to be polite about it. Fuck him. Your boyfriend tried to coerce you into having sex without condoms when he knew you didn’t want to; you consented to having a threesome on the condition that condoms be used. Attempting to reopen negotiations about your stated boundaries once the threesome was underway was a violation of your consent. And your boyfriend knew you wouldn’t want to embarrass anyone and maliciously attempted to weaponize your consideration for other people’s feelings against you! Can’t you see that? He was hoping you wouldn’t embarrass him by refusing to have sex without condoms after he “offered” to let this

30 | JANUARY 28, 2020 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

guy cream pie you (come inside you) to get him to stay! He was hoping you’d rather risk an STI than risk embarrassing or contradicting him! And on top of that, he spoke to this guy like it was up to him—up to them—what happened next, like you were a Fleshlight or tube sock or something! And now your asshole boyfriend is pressuring you to get back together with a guy who couldn’t get it up with a condom on when he knows you don’t want to have sex without condoms? A guy who couldn’t be bothered to say goodbye after you sucked his fucking dick? And your boyfriend is claiming you owe him (or them) closure? WTF? This relationship should have been over the moment your boyfriend made it clear some stranger’s dick was more important to him than your health, safety, and boundaries. In that moment—that moment he attempted to barter away your boundaries—he proved he can’t be trusted and you aren’t safe with him, TODUMP, alone or with a third. DTMFA. This is every woman’s nightmare scenario when it comes to cuckolding or hotwifing—that her boyfriend or husband will pressure her to do things she doesn’t want to do during a sexual encounter with another man. Guys like your boyfriend not only don’t deserve to have GGG girlfriends or their fantasies fulfilled, they ruin things for other wannabe cucks, stags, and hot husbands. He not only deserves to be alone forever, TODUMP, he deserves to be kicked in the balls forever. One of my closest friends kissed me while very drunk, told his female partner, and now he’s not allowed to see me anymore, even in group settings. (I am also female.) I understand that cutting off contact is the universally recommended first step after someone cheats, but considering how close we are as friends, it is heartbreaking to think I might lose him over this one incident. We are former coworkers and we’ve been close friends and regular drinking buddies for 12 years. Nothing has EVER happened between us before this one very drunk night. We ended up making out on the sidewalk outside of a bar and exchanged a few semi-dirty text messages later

that night, which—unfortunately for all of us—his partner saw. He thinks we just need to be patient and one day we’ll be able to pick up our friendship where we left off. And while I know he needs to prioritize his partner now, I’m scared that we actually won't be able to stay friends after this. Do I just swallow my sadness about the likelihood of losing a best friend over a relatively minor infidelity? Or is there anything I can do to help the situation? FWIW: I’m in a happy open marriage and have never once tried to initiate anything with him. I’ve never been attracted to him before and wouldn’t want anything to happen between us again, anyway, even if the kiss was hot. Complicating matters, my friend wanted to re-raise the possibility of opening up his relationship with his partner, which he insists has nothing to do with me. (My friend is male and his partner and I are both female.) Friend With No Benefits Hmm… I have a hunch you were something of a sore subject before this incident, FWNB, however isolated. If the text messages your friend’s partner saw confirmed fears she’d already been told were irrational, your exile is likely to last as long as their relationship does. But take heart: if your friend decides to reopen discussions about opening up their relationship in the wake of this incident, your friend will likely be single again soon. If they do manage to stay together, FWNB, the only way to get back into her good graces—and back in your friend’s life—is to gracefully accept your exile. (Going to her and saying, “It only happened because we were so drunk!” isn’t quite the slam-dunk you think it is, seeing as you and her boyfriend are drinking buddies.) It’s a paradox, I realize, but if she sees that her boyfriend is willing to cut off all contact with you to set her mind at ease, FWNB, she may be willing to give your friendship her blessing down the road. On the Lovecast—Raising children in a happy, poly home: savagelovecast.com. mail@savagelove.net Follow Dan on Twitter @FakeDanSavage.


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