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Fall Arts: Sleuths, foodies, 'Potter' — a mixed bag brings delights

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 4:45 p.m.
A scene from “Potted Potter – The Unauthorized Harry Experience, A Parody by Dan and Jeff,”
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
A scene from “Potted Potter – The Unauthorized Harry Experience, A Parody by Dan and Jeff,”
Crowds are usually big at the annual Handmade Arcade at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
Handmade Arcade
Crowds are usually big at the annual Handmade Arcade at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
Alton Brown
Food Network
Alton Brown
Jerry Seinfeld
John Shearer/Invision for David Lynch Foundation
Jerry Seinfeld
Chef Ina Garten
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Chef Ina Garten
Attorney Mark Geragos
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Attorney Mark Geragos
Dr. Cyril Wecht
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Dr. Cyril Wecht

If you're looking for something different when it comes to being entertained — such as ventriloquism, crime experts, food or burlesque — there's plenty of off-the-wall events offered in Pittsburgh this fall and winter.

Start with The Three Sleuths, a moderated onstage examination and Q&A with the world's top crime experts — Dr. Cyril Wecht, forensic pathologist; Dr. Henry C. Lee, an expert on contemporary crime-scene investigation; and attorney Mark Geragos. The event includes a roundtable discussion of high-profile cases from Wecht discussing JFK's assassination to Lee talking about O.J. Simpson to Geragos examining the death of Laci Peterson and Michael Jackson. It's at the Benedum Center, Downtown, on Nov. 20.

For the foodies, Ina Garten is bringing her act to the Benedum Center on Oct. 17. The best-selling cookbook author and star of Food Network's “Barefoot Contessa” will share her natural approach to food: offering tips, stories and maybe even some recipes. Alton Brown from the Food Network's “Good Eats” show brings his brand of quirky humor and culinary science antics to the stage, with plenty of audience interaction Feb. 23 at the Benedum Center.

“The Potted Potter, The Unauthorized Harry Experience: A Parody by Dan and Jeff” is in town for seven shows from Nov. 20 to 24 at the Byham Theater, Downtown. This event takes on the ultimate challenge of condensing all seven Harry Potter books into 70 hilarious minutes.

There plenty of laughs to be had this fall, too.

Jerry Seinfeld visits the city Oct. 5 at the Benedum Center. The 7 p.m. show is sold out, and tickets to the 9:30 show start at $50.

Funny guy and game-show host Drew Carey should have the audience laughing at the Carnegie Music Hall in Homestead on Nov. 22. The Cleveland native who has starred on “The Drew Carey Show” and “Whose Line Is It Anyway,” currently hosts “The Price is Right” game show.

The Pittsburgh Improv in Homestead will play host to variety of comedians including Ralphie May (Oct. 21 and 22), Carlos Mencia (Oct. 25 to 27) and Eddie Griffin (Nov. 1 and 2).

Jeff Dunham, an American ventriloquist and stand-up comedian will be performing at Consol Energy Center on Dec. 6. His television specials and series have been the highest-rated programming in Comedy Central history. He has plenty of help on-stage with a unique cast of characters from Walter, the grumpy retiree to Jose Jalapeno, the spicy pepper from South of the Border.

For crafty types, Handmade Arcade celebrates “A Decade of DIY” at its main annual event Dec. 7 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at

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