Arts & Culture

Essential Pittsburgh
4:12 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Patrick Cassidy Does OKLAHOMA! His Own Way

Patrick Cassidy with his mother Shirley Jones, in a performance of The Music Man. Cassidy is directing the Point Park University musical OKLAHOMA!
Credit Wikipedia

Broadway star Patrick Cassidy is in town directing the musical OKLAHOMA! at Point Park University.  He's been in show business his entire life thanks to his famous mother, actress Shirley Jones. She starred in the film version of OKLAHOMA!

While one might think Cassidy would be tempted to get input from his mother about directing the stage version, he says “I haven’t asked her one question.”

Jones says she's willing to help her son, but understands that he wants to take a different approach with the Rodgers & Hammerstein production.

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Arts & Culture
3:00 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Speaking Volumes: Mike Doyle

Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Forest Hills) likes page-turning crime dramas and thrillers with a political bent. He has a unique vantage point on novels set in Washington, which — as it turns out — are more true to life than you might think.

David Baldacci, The Forgotten

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Weekend Watch
4:08 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

90.5 WESA Weekend Watch 10/5 & 10/6

The onset of October means it is time for Halloween preparations to begin. This month, the Manor Theater helps movie-lovers gear up for the season with the film series Manor at Midnight. Come out every Saturday in October to view classic ghoulish cinema on the big screen. The series begins with Steven Spielberg’s classic ocean thriller Jaws. Look for the series to continue throughout the month of October, as the Manor answers the important questions: Where is Johnny?

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:58 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

An Uncertain Future for the August Wilson Center

The August Wilson Center is in financial trouble as the organization faces a threat of foreclosure.
Credit AWC / Facebook

When it comes to the August Wilson Center's current financial situation, cost and constructions fees caused “substantial debt” from the beginning, says Mark Clayton Southers, a playwright and former producer at the center.

Charlie Humphrey, CEO and Executive Director of Pittsburgh Filmmakers, says a problem the August Wilson Center faces now is that “nobody wants to fund debt” people want “to fund programs.”

Southers agrees that it's hard to fund a sinking ship and adds that some creative solutions are needed to gather enough funds to clear $7 million in debt.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:14 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Storytelling in the Modern Age

Radio host and producer Joe McHugh talks about storytelling in the modern age.
Credit Joe McHugh / American Family Stories


What happens when modernity meets storytelling?

Storyteller and story collector Joe McHugh, producer of The Telling Takes Us Home, a Celebration of American Family Stories, travels the country meeting people and gathering their stories.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:23 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Punk Rock Humanitarian Billy Bragg Returns to Pittsburgh

Credit Kris Krug / Wikipedia

Punk rocker and humanitarian protest lyricist Billy Bragg returns to Pittsburgh after sixteen years.

His influences derive from 1960’s Motown music and the civil rights movement to the arrival of punk rock in Britain.

Following the 1984 United Kingdom miner strike, Bragg began writing and performing protest songs expressing the discord in ideologies between working citizens and upper class public officials. He returned to Pittsburgh to play at Mr. Smalls theater on October 1.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:17 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Rediscovering Pittsburgh's Ragtime Roots

Pittsburgh's rich jazz history documented here on Centre Avenue.
Credit Boring Pittsburgh / flickr

Recently rediscovered compositions of early 20th century ragtime tunes will be presented by the Allegheny City Ragtime Orchestra as tribute to the rich musical history of Pittsburgh.

Noted pianist and conductor Tom Roberts says it took some digging to piece together Pittsburgh’s jazz history between Stephen Foster and bebop, but results reveal a wealth of contributions by local musicians.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:09 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Fall Festivals Lineup Includes Fire Truck Pull & Apple Pancakes

Travel contributor Elaine Labalme shares five of her favorite upcoming fall festivals.
Credit Sophia Greco / flickr

As autumn arrives and trees transform their tint, fall festivals appear throughout the region. Travel contributor Elaine Labalme shares some of her favorites of the season.

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Arts & Culture
11:33 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Braddock Carnegie Library to Lend Artwork as Part of Carnegie International

Starting Sunday, the Braddock Carnegie Library will expand its lending offerings to something a bit more visual thanks to a partnership with the 2013 Carnegie International.

Patrons will now be able to check out original artwork along with traditional library offerings.

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Carnegie International 2013
3:30 am
Thu October 3, 2013

A Post-Disaster World Without Soccer Becomes Art at Carnegie International

Ei Arakawa and Henning Bohl explore a post disaster world in their film "Helena and Miwako."
Credit Courtesy of Ei Arakawa © Ei Arakawa and Henning Bohl. Commissioned by Carnegie Museum of Art for the 2013 Carnegie International. Supported by The George Foundation and The Japan Foundation, New York

From the very beginning, the curators of the 2013 Carnegie International wanted the art exhibition to be about play, so they built a playground in front of the museum.

Several artists have picked up on that theme, including Brooklyn-based performance artists Ei Arakawa.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:54 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

"En Plein Air" - Painting the Town in Mt. Lebanon

One of the plein air paintings created by David Csont.
Credit David Csont / Mt. Lebanon Plen Air

This Monday marked the beginning of the week long 2nd Annual Plein Air Mt. Lebanon Arts Festival where twenty-five artists from around the country are quite literally painting the town.

The festival gets its name from the French expression “en plein air”, meaning “in the open air” and describes the style of painting outdoors. Plein air painting began in the impressionist era led by famous artists such as Claude Monet and Edouard Manet who took their easels, brushes and tubes of paint into nature.

Linda Csont, co-organizer of the art festival and competition says last year’s event was inspired by a similar plein air painting exhibition one summer in Easton, Maryland, which her husband competed in. Their goal was to bring plein air painting to Pittsburgh to showcase the area of Mt. Lebanon and raise funds for the town’s art programs. Artists paint scenes, architecture, fall foliage and people from all around the city, rain or shine. 

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Arts & Culture
7:41 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Festival of Firsts Moves From the River to the Stage

The Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts has had quite an eventful first few days. It started with a splash, stumbled when an installation might have caused three seizures and hopes to get back on track Wednesday with the opening of a stage show.

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Arts & Culture
4:06 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Six Students Picked For Young Playwrights Festival

Move over August Wilson, there’s a new playwright in town — actually, there are six.

Western Pennsylvania middle and high school students will see their work come to life on stage this weekend as part of 14th annual Young Playwrights Festival.

City Theatre receives more than 200 scripts a year from aspiring playwrights, and a literary committee whittles that number down to three middle school plays and three high school plays.

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Carnegie International 2013
7:57 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Barlow's Art Extends the Carnegie International to Forbes Avenue

Sections of Phyllida Barlow's creation for the Carnegie International wait to be installed in the work that extends from the museum's front door to the sidewalk along Forbes Avenue.
Credit Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Carnegie International artist Phyllida Barlow makes big art. 

“I want to reach sculpturally into spaces that are beyond my reach. I’m not really interested in making monumental works, but more anti-monumental works,” Barlow said.

“I hope, despite their size, there is an intimacy within the way the sections, or the pieces, are actually made, that are all to do with being all well within my reach as a human being.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:31 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Duck, Duck, “DUCK!” - The History of the Rubber Ducky

The 40 foot tall rubber duck created by artist Florentijn Hoffman, will continue to float at Point State Park until October 20th, 2013.
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

If you are a resident of Pittsburgh, you have undoubtedly heard about the enormous 40 foot tall rubber duck that is now floating majestically in the river. But where does this iconic bath toy originate from?

According to Joe Wos, Executive Director of the Toonseum, it goes all the way back to the late 1800’s, when regular Saturday baths first became popular. In order to be clean for church on Sunday, the entire family would gather to take their one and only bath of the week. Wos says dips in the tub went from oldest to youngest, Dad went first, then oldest brother, down to the youngest child.

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Video
2:09 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Rubber Duckie, You're the One: Pittsburgh Welcomes Giant Floating Duck

The Rubber Duck Project passes by Point State Park in Pittsburgh Friday afternoon.
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Scores of Pittsburghers turned out Friday evening to welcome a much-anticipated four-story inflatable duck as it made its U.S. debut.

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Hay Day Festival
1:39 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Green & Innovation Festival Offers More Vendors and Presentations This Year

A long-standing fall tradition at Hartwood Acres is back for another year, and organizers say it will be bigger than ever. 

The Allegheny County Green & Innovation Festival and Hay Day will have more vendors, presentations and crafts than previous years when it opens for business Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

County Special Events Coordinator Katie Harbison said last year’s high attendance was unexpected.

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Weekend Watch
1:22 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

90.5 WESA Weekend Watch 9/28 & 9/29

The folks at Midnight Radio have dreamed up an outrageous combination for their season opener. This weekend they mix the ‘Burgh with the Bard with "Shakesburgh." The live comedy show is sure to provide yinzer-brand hilarity to William Shakespeare. In their own words, “A yinzer will be tamed, hauses will be divided, and a coward will die his last death.” Midnight Radio’s take on the legendary writer begins this weekend. “Shakesburgh” goes live this Saturday at 9 p.m.

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Arts & Culture
9:31 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Just How Big is that Giant Floating Rubber Duck?

Artist Florentijn Hofman's giant floating rubber duck will make its way to Pittsburgh Friday as part of the International Festival of Firsts.
Credit Photo courtesy of Studio Florentijn Hofman

Artist Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck Project will float down the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers Friday, kicking off Pittsburgh’s Festival of Firsts.

The duck has been on display all over the world, with stops in Amsterdam, Lommel (Belgium), Osaka, Sydney Harbour, Sao Paulo and Hong Kong. It's also spawned some counterfeit quackers.

Now the real deal is set to make its American debut.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:23 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Pirates Post-Season Travel

From the home of Coca-Cola to the lightest fluffiest pancakes in the country. Find out where to visit while on the road with the Pirates.
Credit Cavalier92 / Flickr

After more than two decades, the Pirates will finally play in the post-season.

Travel contributor Elaine Labalme shares her favorite hangouts in potential Pirates playoff cities.

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Carnegie International 2013
3:30 am
Thu September 26, 2013

From Death to Music: Artist Pedro Reyes Makes Instruments from Weapons

A piece from Pedro Reyes' Disarm, which will be part of the 2013 Carnegie International
Credit Courtesy of the artist, Lisson Gallery, London, and Alumnos47 Foundation

When the Carnegie International Exhibition opens Oct. 5, the Hall of Sculptures will be filled with weapons bent on communicating a message of peace, rather than violence.

Mexico City artist Pedro Reyes transforms guns confiscated and decommissioned by the Mexican military to make works of art that are also musical instruments.

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Arts & Culture
3:25 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Giant Rubber Duck Poised to 'Change Pittsburgh for a Bit'

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has been handing out miniature rubber ducks in anticipation of the Rubber Duck Project. The giant duck will make its first American appearance on Pittsburgh's waterways Friday.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

A giant, floating rubber duck will temporarily change the Pittsburgh skyline this weekend as the American debut of the Rubber Duck Project kicks off the Pittsburgh Festival of Firsts.

In the meantime, one is reminded of the question asked by Arthur Weasley in the movie "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets:" "What exactly is the function of a rubber duck?”

Many would say its function is a child’s bath toy, but to others, it’s art.

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Arts & Culture
5:13 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

New Website Catalogs Southwest Pennsylvania's 'Art Places'

Renee Piechocki, director of the Office of Public Art at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, says the idea for the new website Pittsburgh Art Places has been percolating since the organization first published the Pittsburgh Art in Public Places Downtown Walking Tour guide in 2006.

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:52 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

2013 Carnegie International Explores a Sense of Place & Play

Exploring the not so serious side of the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Carnegie International
Credit Carnegie International

Founded in 1896, the Carnegie International is one of the world’s longest-running exhibitions of contemporary art. The International has become Pittsburgh’s premiere event for groundbreaking modern art. The 2013 Carnegie International marks the first time three curators have been chosen.

Daniel Baumann, Dan Byers, and Tina Kukielski were tasked with finding art which portrays a sense of place. One of the first things they all discussed was how an exhibition of international ambition, can have its roots in Pittsburgh, in a meaningful way.

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Arts & Culture
2:48 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Voting Underway to Save PA's 'Endangered Artifacts'

A statewide campaign top save Pennsylvania’s “Top 10 Endangered Artifacts” has begun.

Through Nov. 1, people can go online, vote, and if they want, give money to museums to help preserve their works.

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