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Hot Ticket: Pittsburgh Chinese Cultural Festival comes to Oakland

| Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, 11:53 a.m.
The  Pittsburgh Chinese Cultural Festival will celebrate all aspects of Chinese culture.
The Pittsburgh Chinese Cultural Festival will celebrate all aspects of Chinese culture.
The work of artist Lisa Sigal is among those on display at the Mattress Factory in “Factory Installed.”
Courtesy of the Mattress Factory
The work of artist Lisa Sigal is among those on display at the Mattress Factory in “Factory Installed.”
Author Hector Tobar
Patrice Normand | Opale
Author Hector Tobar
Jeffrey Gaines
Artemis Records
Jeffrey Gaines
Freedy Johnston
Devious Planet
Freedy Johnston
Karter Schachner (from left), Derrick Shane and Katie Trupiano in a scene from Throughline Theatre Company’s world premiere of F.J. Hartland’s “Games of the Mind.”
Rick Moore | Throughline Theatre Company
Karter Schachner (from left), Derrick Shane and Katie Trupiano in a scene from Throughline Theatre Company’s world premiere of F.J. Hartland’s “Games of the Mind.”

The city's Chinese community gets a chance to showcase itself and its network and build new connections with the Pittsburgh Chinese Cultural Festival. The free event will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 19 at Bigelow Boulevard, from Forbes to Fifth avenues in Oakland.

There will be Chinese and Asian foods, stage performances, Chinese culture exhibitions and a kids zone.

Organizers say the event is about reunion, unity and the celebration of the harvest. This type of festival is also celebrated by other East Asian cultures. Pittsburgh's Chinese community started with a small group of international students and has since grown to a community representing professionals in academia, medicine, research, commerce, professional services, government and social services.

The day will include food, visual arts, interactive exhibits, a fashion show, educational lectures and panels, theatrical performances and a variety of vendors.


— Joanne Klimovich Harrop


Site ‘Installed'

Last presented a year ago, The Mattress Factory's residency program “Factory Installed” supports and exhibits new work by a selection of artists from throughout the world who each take hammer and nail, and whatever else necessary, to several floors of the museum's main exhibit space and create installations unique to the space and the artists themselves.

Since the beginning of August, four artists — Lisa Sigal, Bill Smith, Rob Voerman and Marnie Weber — have been in residence at the museum creating new site-specific works for the second installment of the exhibition series. It will open Sept. 18 with a reception for the artists from 6 to 8 p.m., and the public is invited. Admission for this reception is $15, and free for Mattress Factory members, Carnegie Mellon, Pitt and Point Park University students with an ID.

The exhibit will continue through spring. The Mattress Factory is at 500 Sampsonia Way, North Side, and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. General Factory admission is $20, $15 for seniors and students and $10 for veterans.

Details: 412-231-3169 or

— Kurt Shaw


Mining the true story

It began around noon during the dayshift in a Chilean mine. A massive explosion trapped 33 miners deep inside a mountain.

For 69 days, the world watched and hoped for news of the miners' rescue. Eventually, it came. All 33 were saved.

The survivors chose to tell their story to one man — Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Latin American scholar Hector Tobar.

Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures will open its 2015-16 Literary Evenings, Monday Night Lecture series with Tobar at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland.

The son of Guatemalan immigrants, Tobar will discuss his newest book, “Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine and the Miracle That Set Them Free.”

The book was chosen as the inaugural book for NPR's Morning Edition Book Club and has been made into a feature film starring Juliette Binoche and Antonio Banderas.

Tickets range from $15 to $35, $10 for students with ID. Doors open at 6:30 PM.

Details: 412-622-8866 or

— Tribune-Review


Double the strings

Audiences will get a double dose of solid guitarist-songwriters — Freedy Johnston and Jeffrey Gaines — Sept. 23 at Hard Rock Cafe at Station Square, South Side.

Johnston is known for his critically lauded 1990s albums “Can You Fly” and “This Perfect World,” which featured his breakthrough song, “Bad Reputation.” His music, often praised for its literary qualities, touches on the themes of loss, tough luck and bad timing.

Gaines has been heralded for his soul-searching lyrics and his powerful live performances. Raised in Harrisburg, Gaines moved from garage bands covering The Who and The Kinks to a solo act, and he quickly landed a record deal. Gaines is perhaps best known for his hit 2001 cover of Peter Gabriel's “In Your Eyes,” along with originals including “Hero in Me.”

Also on the bill for the night will be Ryan & Dylan Caldwell and Matt Aquiline.

Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $12 to $15.

Details: 412-481-7625 or

— Tribune-Review


Mind ‘Games'

Two performances remain for Throughline Theatre Company's world premiere of F.J. Hartland's “Games of the Mind.”

Hartland, who lives in South Park, examines obsession, identity and madness with a comedy that revolves around the former members of the Scholastic Scrimmage for Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrows High School as they assemble for their reunion 10 years after winning the Scholastic Scrimmage.

A decade's worth of neuroses, betrayal and sexual confusion come to a head as the estranged teammates struggle to find their path to the future and discover the machinations that brought about their miraculous victory back in high school.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Sept. 17 and 18 and 2 and 8 p.m. Sept. 19 at The Grey Box Theatre, 3595 Butler St., Lawrenceville. Admission is$20, $15 for students and seniors.

Details: 888-718-4253 or

— Alice T. Carter


What the Hay!

The second annual Welcome Autumn Stable Tour & Hay Ride will be in two sessions — 1 to 3 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. — Sept. 20 atHartwood Acres , Indiana Township.

Guests can tour the Hartwood Mansion stables that were built to resemble a Cotswold village, have cookies and fresh apple cider and take a guided hayride to see parts of the park many people don't even know exist.

Space is limited, and reservations are advised. The cost is $20, free for one child admission (age 17 and under) with each paid adult admission and $5 for each additional child (17 and under). Children under age 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

Reservations are required by calling 412-767-9200 or


It takes two

Art can be a rather personal endeavor. However, the pieces on display in Penn State Art Gallery's “The Unspoken” are collaborative efforts by two artists.

In the exhibit, artwork was started by one artist, then finished by another. The artists created hybrid pieces that give audiences a new way of looking at familiar objects.

An artists' reception for the exhibit will be at 6 p.m. Sept. 18 at the gallery at Penn State New Kensington campus, Upper Burrell.

The exhibit will feature 45 works by Kyle Ethan Fischer, Joshua Hogan, Kuzana Ogg, Jennipher Satterly, Nicole Schneider, Romi Sloboda, Brenda Stumpf and Shawn Watrous, instructor in art at the New Kensington campus.

The reception and exhibit are free to the public. The exhibit will be on display through Sept. 26.

Details: 724-334-6056 or

Special events

Marching to their own tunes

Deer Lakes and Kiski Area High School marching bands will compete in one of the nation's most prominent championships, Music for All's Bands of America Regional Championship on Sept. 19 at Gateway High School Stadium, 3000 Gateway Campus Bl vd., Monroeville.

The preliminary competition will begin at 10:30 a.m. and conclude at about 4 p.m. Gates will open for the finals at 6:45 p.m., with performances beginning at 7:45 p.m. Admission is $14 for preliminaries or finals, $22 for a day pass to both, and free for those age 10 and under for general admission seats. Details: 800-828-2263 or


Cruisin' to help

The E.C. Cruisers car club will host its annual “Cruisin' to Help the Kids” car cruise from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 20 at the Delmont Volunteer Fire Department, Rout e 66.

Cars, trucks and motorcycles are welcome. There will be a DJ, bake sale, dash plaques, door prizes and a Chinese auction.

A donation of $7 will benefit the Westmoreland County Children's Bureau Christmas Fund to purchase coats, hats, gloves and toys.

Details: 724-433-1593


Interesting homecoming

Author Julie Long will be at The Hole in the Wall Gallery, 276 4 Leechburg Road, Lower Burrell, from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 17 with her first fictional novel “Rooville.”

When Southern California TV weatherman Owen Martin is fired from his job, he heads home to Martinville, Iowa, to the town his ancestors founded and the simple life he knew before his father died. In his absence, Martinville has become the center of the Transcendental Meditation movement. “Rooville” is a new-age twist on the age-old question: can you ever go home again? The event is free.

Details: 724-335-8888


‘Unbroken' valor

Oakmont Carnegie Library 's Page to Screen Film Series will present “Unbroken,” a film based on the 2010 book “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,” at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at 700 Allegheny River Bl vd.

The PG-13 film revolves around the life of U.S. Olympian and athlete Louis “Louie” Zamperini, portrayed by Jack O'Connell. Zamperini survived in a raft for 47 days after his bomber was downed in World War II, then was sent to a series of prisoner-of-war camps.

Admission and popcorn are free.

Details: 412-828-9532 or


Having a blast

ABand Blast will be featured from noon to 8 p.m. Sept. 20 in Memorial Park, New Kensington.

Bands scheduled to perform include: Miss Freddye's Blues Band, The WannaBeatles, Heidi & The Hellcats, Barfly, We're Almost Home, The Shiners, Flux Capacitor, Big House Pete, The Epics, Soul Raydio, OZZ PA and The Grifters.

There will be food vendors, community groups, children's activities and raffles.

Admission is $5, with proceeds benefiting renovations and repairs to Memorial Park.


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