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Hot Ticket: Luke Bryan; ComiCon; Art Car Festival

| Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Legendary puppeteer Caroll Spinney and his two most famous puppets, Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.
Legendary puppeteer Caroll Spinney and his two most famous puppets, Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.
Bricolage Production Company artistic director Jeffrey Carpenter warms up for his performance in “Shakesburgh.”
Bricolage Production Company
Bricolage Production Company artistic director Jeffrey Carpenter warms up for his performance in “Shakesburgh.”
Grainne Hambly and William Jackson, 'Masters of the Celtic Harp'
Allegheny Historic Preservation Society
Grainne Hambly and William Jackson, 'Masters of the Celtic Harp'
Artist Jason Sauer makes an art car, wrecks it, and takes it on tour. It will be at the Pittsburgh Art Car Festival.
Jason Sauer
Artist Jason Sauer makes an art car, wrecks it, and takes it on tour. It will be at the Pittsburgh Art Car Festival.



Luke Bryan has taken an unusual approach to the business side of his career since winning the Academy of Country Music's entertainer of the year in April: He's turning down almost everything.

Rather than cashing in on his win and successful ACM co-hosting gig with Blake Shelton, country music's newest platinum-selling, arena-filling star has decided to leave sacks of money on the table, ignore television and double down on the live performances that have gotten him this far.

“It's my first year in,” the 37-year-old Georgia native said. “I won entertainer of the year, and I ain't really been an entertainer yet, or what the definition of that is. I had the same feelings when I was asked to co-host with Blake. I turned the ACMs down the first time.”

Bryan, who performs Sept. 28 at First Niagara Pavilion, Burgettstown, reached platinum status with 2011's “Tailgates & Tanlines.” His latest album, “Crash My Party,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart when it was released in August, and it is expected to be the year's top-selling country album. Last week, he led Billboard's hot country songs and top country albums charts for a fourth straight week, with “That's My Kind of Night” and “Crash My Party,” respectively.

The Sept. 28 show, with opening acts Thompson Square and Florida Georgia Line, is sold out.

Details: 800-745-3000 or

— Staff and wire reports



Each year since 1995, Jason Sauer has chosen a car, painted it and wrecked it in an American folk art performance of demolition derby at the Great Stoneboro Fair in Mercer.

The remains of this year's car will be equipped with an audio-visual display and presented as sculpture as part of a multi-city tour stopping in Pittsburgh from noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Pittsburgh Art Car Festival on a side street and parking lot off of Penn Avenue along Winebiddle Street in Friendship.

The festival is a car exhibit and community event with a focus on street-legal vehicles that artists have permanently altered. It will include an opening performance by Phat Man Dee, timed art duels, children's activities, food and craft vendors, musical and dance performances, airbrushing and face painting.


— Rachel Weaver



Shakespeare goes Dahntahn as Bricolage Production Company salutes the Bard in “Shakesburgh,” which kicks off season five of Midnight Radio.

According to the news release: “A yinzer will be tamed, hauses will be divided and a coward will die his last death” as actors Patrick Jordan, Sam Turich, Elena Alexandratos and Sheila McKenna perform in this variety show in the style of an old-time radio broadcast. The Living Room Chamber Music Project also will offer musical interludes.

Each Midnight Radio episode includes classic radio plays performed with vintage sound effects, comedic news segments, commercial spoofs and game shows.

Performances are Sept. 26 to Oct. 5 at 9 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays at Bricolage Production Company, 937 Liberty Ave. Downtown. Admission is $25; $15 for students and seniors.

Details: 412-471-0999 or

— Alice T. Carter



Harpists Grainne Hambly and William Jackson will present a program called “Two Sides of Celtic” on Sept. 29 on the North Side, part of the Tiffany Concert Series which benefits the Allegheny Historic Preservation Society.

The Irish and Scottish music will range from ancient music written for klans and kings to contemporary tunes written by Junior Crehan and Patrick Davey.

Hambly won the senior all-Ireland titles on harp and concertina in 1994, has published three CDs and two books of her arrangements and tours internationally. Jackson has been a major figure in traditional Scottish music since he formed his band Ossian in 1976.

The concert is presented in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Harp Society.

The music starts at 4 p.m. Sept. 29 at Calvary United Methodist Church, 971 Beech Ave., North Side. Admission is $10, $8 for seniors and $5 for students.

Details: 412-323-1070

— Mark Kanny



The voice of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on “Sesame Street,” Caroll Spinney, will be coming to Monroeville this weekend to sign autographs and do some sketching for his first visit to the annual Pittsburgh ComiCon, which is a three-day celebration of all things comic.

Spinney has been performing the roles of Oscar and Big Bird, with their distinctive voices, for more than 40 years and still loves doing it. He is not only a puppeteer, but a painter and cartoonist. At the event, you can meet Spinney and purchase autographed photos and sketches, along with other merchandise.

Spinney will appear all three days of ComicCon, from Sept. 27 to 29, at the Monroeville Convention Center. From 11 a.m. to noon Sept. 29, Spinney will participate in a Q&A, hosted by the ToonSeum's Joe Wos.

Show hours are from 1 to 7 p.m. Sept. 27, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 28 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 29. Admission is $20 for one day, $35 for two days and $50 for three.


— Kellie B. Gormly

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