PTL Weekend Guide: April 4, 2021

Pittsburgh Magazine's Sean Collier has a look at some of the best events going on around town this weekend!

Video Transcript

- Well, if baseball is not your thing or you didn't get tickets to the game, no worries.

- Yeah, there's still plenty to do around town this weekend. And here with his top three picks of what's happening is our PTL Weekend Guide, Sean Collier. And, Sean I like to think of you as like our weekend concierge. You just sort of lay out all the plans for us.

- Wow, well.

SEAN COLLIER: I thought i was going to continue the pirate theme of the segment. That I would be the Weekend First Mate for the Weekend Swashbuckler of some kind.

- I do like Sean the

[INTERPOSING VOICES] the Swashbuckler.

SEAN COLLIER: That's nice.

- OK, that's what we will refer to you as for the rest of this segment. Hey, let's talk about the opera first, because this is an actual in-person event, right?

SEAN COLLIER: That's right. Pittsburgh Opera is one of the only organizations that did have very few, very limited in-person events at various points last year. They worked overtime, really went above and beyond to make sure that this was as safe as possible.

Now, they are back this weekend with a new show, Charlie Parker's Yardbird. It is a recent opera from 2015. And this takes a look at the life of the legendary Jazz figure Charlie Parker, kind of revisiting some of his successes and compositions, and the highlights of his life. It opens Saturday night at Pittsburgh Opera's facility in the Strip District.

Now, the in-person performances, because they are so limited to comply with COVID safety-- again, go above and beyond in COVID safety-- the in-person performances are sold out right now. They do have a waiting list. So if you are just hearing about this and you want to check it, out get on the waiting list. You might get in. If not, there is a live stream-- a free live stream-- coming up next Friday, the 16th, on the Opera's Facebook and YouTube pages.

So, if you're vaccinated and you can get in through that waiting list, head on down, maybe see your first live performance in a year. If not, they've got a live stream coming up for you next weekend.

- Provides some hope, though, that things are opening back up, right?

- Exactly. I mean, going back in person-- that's so cool.

- It is so cool. And next, Sean, I am so interested in what Quantum Theatre is doing. And this kind of reminds me-- I don't know if I'm wrong about this-- like a podcast, almost.

SEAN COLLIER: Almost. Quantum is always an innovator. They're always performing in new ways and new places. And during the pandemic, they have really come up with a lot of great ways to make safe shows and safe experiences that you can kind of go through on your own, and at your own pace.

The latest one is called 10 for 21. Now, the "10" there is 10 local Pittsburgh-based young performers that have all recorded audio performances that string together in these two sets. Now, you can listen to these at home or anywhere else you are-- like a podcast, like you said.

But, if you want the full experience, they are meant to be heard on two walks through the city. There's one path-- kinda wanders through historic sites downtown. There's another that takes a route through Frick Park , and you can kind of enjoy the performance in the setting where it was conceived.

Again, a very cool opportunity to get a performance, support local arts, although it is free. Just check out some local artists and a great, great local company while getting outside in a nice and safe way, especially to Frick park. I've spent so much time in Frick Park over the past year, and it's just such a gem. If you haven't been down there, here's a great opportunity.

- Isn't it funny that I was looking at that map and I was like, Oh I know where that coffee shop is. I could stop there and keep on listening.

- You're mapping out your travel already.

- No, I do love that idea of being outside. I've never heard of that combination before, but it's great. All right, hey, let's talk about the Humanities Festival, because we have mentioned this before on the show. It's different this year, but they're moving forward with it.

SEAN COLLIER: Yeah, this one is purely virtual still. The Pittsburgh Humanities Festival-- usually a series of events presented by the Cultural Trust at venues throughout downtown, talks with some brilliant people about some really thought-provoking subjects. That's still the case. It's just going to happen virtually.

Each Wednesday night at 7:00 PM, throughout the month of April, they will have some fascinating conversations. They have one coming up with Jasmine Cho called Cookie Activism. She is an Asian-American-- or rather, she is an Asian-American-- who creates cookies of Asian-American icons to raise awareness of social justice issues among the Asian-American community, kind of increase representation in that way. She'll be talking.

There's a talk with young leaders from Not My Generation, the gun violence prevention group that was formed in the wake of Tree of Life. And last night was the kickoff about preserving the National Negro Opera House-- Opera House, I should say-- in Homewood. This is a remarkable landmark, a vital part of history in Pittsburgh that was about to be knocked down, and it's now being preserved. You can hear more about it, that video is live right now.

- Very cool.

- Yeah. I always feel prepared for the weekend after we talk to Sean. Thank you, Sean.

SEAN COLLIER: Happy to help. And happy opening day!


- Yeah, there you go. Sean Collier-- swashbuckler, comedian, movie critic, editor with Pittsburgh Magazine, and regular PTL contributor. Add that to your business card, Sean-- Swashbuckler. He's here every Thursday with our Weekend Guide, and we appreciate it.