Arts & Culture

Weekend Watch
3:36 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

90.5 WESA Weekend Watch 7/13 & 7/14

The art festival season continues with this weekend’s Southside Works Exposed. Running all weekend long from Friday to Sunday, the event features live music from two stages, sidewalk sales and special deals from retail venues. Featured Saturday performers include Lava Game, Mercedez and Green Eggs. Sunday will feature a family fun day, with Wild World of Animals, Zumbatonic and Kelsey Friday and the Rest of the Week Band.

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Opera
3:20 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

It's an Opera Night (And Weekend) in Pittsburgh

Summer Fest includes some well-known works such as Jacques Offenbach’s "The Tales of Hoffmann."
Photo by Patti Brahim, via the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh

It will be a weekend full of opera performances in Pittsburgh, but they will be far from the grand Eurocentric affairs you might imagine.

The Opera Theater of Pittsburgh began its second annual Summer Fest last weekend, but it hits its peak over the four days that began Thursday. In all, there will be eight different operas performed along with several concerts of Mozart’s works and free cabaret performances.

“Opera Theater has a little mantra, which is ‘up close and personal and we do everything in English,’” said Theater director Jonathan Eaton.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:18 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Steelers Former Offensive Linemen Speaks Out About Stigma of Epilepsy

Alan Faneca was an All-Pro Guard for the Steelers
Credit Steel City Hobbies / Wikipedia


Former Steelers offensive lineman and all-pro guard, Alan Faneca returns to Pittsburgh this week, as honorary chairman of the Epilepsy Foundation of Central and Western Pennsylvania’s 25th Family Fun Run and Walk, taking place Saturday.

Faneca was diagnosed with epilepsy as a teenager in Texas. And despite the condition, he played 13 seasons in the NFL, 10 of which with the Steelers, including a victory over Seattle in Super Bowl XL.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:17 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Central New York State of Mind

Keuka Lake is one of the many bodies of water that makes up the Finger Lakes region of New York State
Credit Darren McGee / Finger Lakes Region

Upstate New York covers a lot of territory. From the Adirondacks to the Thousand Islands there's a lot to see in the Empire State. Travel contributor Elaine Labalme scopes out the central New York region, from Cooperstown to the Finger Lakes.

“The Finger Lakes region is fairly close to western Pennsylvania and there’s lots of arts and recreation you’ll want to access there and it’s an easy trip from Pittsburgh,” says Labalme.

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Arts & Culture
10:55 am
Thu July 11, 2013

8th Annual Trail Fest Coming to a Park Near You

The Pittsburgh Trail Advocacy Group (PTAG) is trying to attract more bikers, hikers and visitors to Allegheny County’s trails by broadening this year's celebration.  

The eighth annual Trail Fest, formerly the Mountain Bike Fest, will feature a wider variety of events than in years past. Trail running and hiking have been added to the list of activities,  with the mainstay — mountain bike riding returning.

Peter Greninger, president of PTAG, said the festival is for any nature lover.

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Arts & Culture
3:50 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Accepts $1.2 Million Donation

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has had financial troubles over the last few years.

With its endowments down millions of dollars and the deficit tripling, the musicians agreed to a 9.7 percent pay cut in 2011.

In addition to the salary cuts, the musicians themselves donated a combined $100,000 in 2011-12 to keep the symphony going.

That’s when Michele and Pat Atkins took notice.

The retired Point Breeze couple will give $1.2 million over the next three years to contribute to salary increases in the musicians’ new contracts.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:40 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

R.A. Dickey Pitches Memoirs and the Knuckleball

Starting pitcher R.A. Dickey of the Toronto Blue Jays in a game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 23, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Credit Keith Allison / Wikipedia Commons

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher,R.A. Dickey is a religious man, a family man and the only pitcher in the major leagues that still throws a unique pitch known as the knuckleball.  He addresses all of this in his book, Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball

Last year, after pitching for the New York Mets, Dickey became the first knuckleballer to win the prestigious National League Cy Young Award

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Weekend Watch
8:29 am
Sat July 6, 2013

90.5 WESA Weekend Watch 7/6 & 7/7

This weekend enjoy the diverse genres of music at the Deutschtown Music Festival. A wide range of styles will play throughout the day, including jazz, blues, rock, bluegrass, acoustic, German, and electronic. Musical performances will occur at both indoor and outdoor venues. Featured performers include Meeting of Important People, Grand Piano, and Chet Vincent and the Big Bend. The daytime portion of the festival will be family-friendly, beginning at 2 p.m., while the evening programming starting at around 8 p.m.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:49 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Summer Brews and Beer Cocktails from Hal B. Klein

Wheat beers and lagers are the best brews to mix for summer beer cocktails
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Full of ideas for refreshing summer drinks, Hal B. Klein suggests some of his favorite brews and beer cocktails including a number of drinks foreign to most Pittsburghers.  What makes for a good brew this season? For beer lovers, Klein recommends lagers such as the Brooklyn Lager or lagers brewed nearby at Penn Brewery.  Lagers are unique because they are fermented at a lower temperature, are lighter in alcohol and tend to be more crisp and refreshing.  But wheat beers, such as those found at East End Brewery, also provide a fun summer flavor, especially when adding a slice of orange or other fruit.

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Arts
2:24 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Mosaic Mural to Depict Pittsburgh as a Green City

The EQT Three Rivers Regatta is famous for its powerboat races, concerts and fireworks, but this year, the largest collaborative mosaic flash mural ever will make an appearance.

“Moving the Lives of Kids Community Mural project” (MLK Mural) and ImaginePittsburgh.com have teamed up to create the EnviroMural.

“It’s unlike any we have ever done at MLK Mural Project and unlike any we’ve seen around the country or around the world," said executive artist Kyle Holbrook. "The reason is it involves 2,400 participants, this is families, people of all ages, kids to seniors.”

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Weekend Watch
3:48 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

90.5 WESA Weekend Watch 6/29 & 6/30

Keep your kids physically active with We Can! Day at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Presented as part of the We Can! Series and sponsored by the UPMC Health Plan, the event runs throughout Saturday and features a variety of activities designed to encourage healthy play. Events include mud activities, a hula hoop dance party, and a capoeira dance fighting training session. Join UPMC in promoting children’s health from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:42 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Visiting Disney with the New Girl

Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World in Florida
Credit Wikipedia

Each year millions of tourists flock to Florida to soak up the sun on the beach or visit one of its many family friendly destinations. Trips to Disney World have become time honored trips for many families across the nation, and Essential Pittsburgh travel contributor Elaine Labalme is no exception. According to the seasoned traveler, Disney World always has plenty to offer, and has continued to impress throughout her many trips.

What is it about Disney World that keeps her coming back?

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Art From the Ground Up
7:11 am
Thu June 27, 2013

City of Asylum/Pittsburgh Firmly Rooted in Its North Side Neighborhood

“Cities of asylum” form a global network of support for oppressed and endangered writers.


In Europe they are supported by governments. In the United States they are usually sponsored by universities. City of Asylum/Pittsburgh, however, operates on a different model.

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:04 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Summer 2013 Movies with Film Critic Barry Paris

Johnny Depp's decision to play "Tonto" sparks controversy for Disney film.
Credit http://disney.go.com/the-lone-ranger/

Summertime is perfect for beaches, barbeques and blockbuster movies.  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette movie critic and author Barry Paris joins Essential Pittsburgh to give his suggestions and input on this summer's hottest releases.

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Speaking Volumes
3:30 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Lewis, Tolkien and the 'True Myths' of Faith

Steve Tuell is a professor at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
Credit Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

Steve Tuell studies Hebrew and the Old Testament at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. As a theologian and a scholar of ancient languages, he has a special appreciation for the fantasy fiction of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

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History
3:04 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

At 249 Years Old, the Block House is Holding Strong

The Block House in Point State Park is approaching 250 years old is said to be in good condition.
Credit Roy Engelbrecht

The oldest man-made structure in Pittsburgh is looking pretty good, according to a local architecture firm hired to assess the Block House in Point State Park.

The building will celebrate its 250th year in 2014, and its owners are hoping to spruce it up a bit before blowing up the balloons and cutting the cake.

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Weekend Watch
11:53 am
Fri June 21, 2013

90.5 WESA Weekend Watch 6/22 & 6/23

This Saturday the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra presents a truly cinematic performance. Pixar in Concert features music from the beloved movie studio, from "Toy Story" to "Up" and including their latest release, "Brave." The movie scores will be performed live, accompanied by movie clips projected on an overhead screen. Pixar in Concert will run Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Heinz Hall downtown.

 

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:43 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Who's Paying Attention to Alonzo Bodden?

Photo courtesy of Integrated PR Agency

Public radio listeners may know Alonzo Bodden best from his stints as a panelist on NPR's Wait.. Wait,..Don't Tell Me. Described as a comedian who combines intimidation and intelligence, he is also a past winner of NBC's Last Comic Standing.

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:38 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

The Men Behind the Creation of Superman

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, creators of Superman, were unable to share in the wealth their famed character garnered.

The latest Superman movie Man of Steel opened last weekend to record box-office. The character, created by two guys from Cleveland, has been recognized as one of the leading pop culture icons.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:00 am
Thu June 20, 2013

New Girl in Town Enjoys Sunshine State

Bahia Honda State Park
Credit tripadvisor.com

How many of us don’t pass some of our time dreaming of relaxing on a warm, sandy beach? Would you like to kick back with a cool, refreshing drink, a good book and listen to the waves with few people around? Travel contributor Elaine Labalme is back from a recent visit to the sunshine state with the lowdown on secluded beaches.

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Arts & Culture
4:20 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Giant 'Yarn Bomb' Project to Cover Andy Warhol Bridge

As part of Knit the Bridge, the Andy Warhol Bridge’s towers will be covered in 2,500 linear feet of brightly colored panels, the rails will be covered with black yarn and the panels inside the rails will consist of designs created by volunteers.
Photo of test install courtesy Amanda Gross

Starting August 10, one of Pittsburgh’s famous steel bridges will be getting a makeover when the largest “yarn bomb” ever in the United States blankets the Andy Warhol Bridge.

Amanda Gross, outreach coordinator for Fiberart International, is the lead artist of a project called Knit the Bridge, in which she and 1,267 volunteers from all over Allegheny County have spent the last year knitting panels to cover the bridge.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:00 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Arts & Culture and Brian's "American Originals"

Credit The Andy Warhol Museum / pictify.com

The Andy Warhol museum's newest exhibits feature local and national artists with unique styles, perfect for the Warhol. Arts and Culture contributor Brian Siewiorek talks about what you can look forward to with this summer's artists.

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Arts & Culture
2:21 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

What To Expect At This Year's Three Rivers Regatta

More than 500,000 people attend the 4th of July extravaganza every year, flooding the banks of the Allegheny River, Point State Park and the North Shore river-walk for the annual Three Rivers Regatta.

This year should be no different.

The powerboat championships, rock n’ roll and the “Anything That Floats” boat race are returning, but the 2013 Regatta Board has added some new features for this year’s celebration.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:15 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Haynes to Debut Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration in Pittsburgh

Guitarist Warren Haynes will debut his symphonic celebration tour of Jerry Garcia with the Pittsburgh Pops tonight
Credit warrenhaynes.net

A symphonic hall is probably the last place you would expect to hear the music of The Grateful Dead. However, the Pittsburgh Pops, with special guest guitarist Warren Haynes, will present a symphonic celebration of Jerry Garcia.
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Essential Pittsburgh
7:24 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Chasing Greatness: Johnny Miller, Arnold Palmer and the Miracle at Oakmont

The book Chasing Greatness recounts the final round of the 1973 U.S. Open
Credit Adam Lazarus

Forty years ago, in 1973, a week after Secretariat won the third leg in racing’s Triple Crown, another great sporting event took place. The finish of the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club is considered by some to be one of the greatest golf rounds ever played.

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