7. The Hollywood Theater’s 90th Birthday Party: May 14
Help Pittsburgh’s oldest single screen theater turn 90 years young and see a newly restored, iconic masterpiece. Hosting will be acclaimed actor, Swissvale native and Hollywood Theater advisory board member David Conrad, who has curated a special screening of the 1949 British classic, The Third Man. Don’t miss this chance to see this first major restoration on the big screen—undertaken by Rialto Pictures from a fine grain master struck from the original camera negative. Considered one of the greatest movies of all time, The Third Man stars Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Alida Valli and Trevor Howard. The Oscar-winning film showcases atmospheric cinematography by Robert Krasker, evocative music by Viennese zither player and composer Anton Karas and a compelling screenplay by renowned author Graham Greene. Setting the mood will be live jazz music by Tom Roberts and Friends. The celebration will also feature fare from Eliza’s Oven, and a raffle benefitting the nonprofit theater. Purchase tickets.
8. PGH Photo Fair at Carnegie Museum of Art: May 14 & 15
Thanks to the PGH Photo Fair you don’t have to trek to NYC, Paris or London to explore, peruse and purchase some of the medium’s top works. Pittsburgh’s first and only art fair promoting photography within the contemporary and fine art markets, the two-day celebration boasts 12 internationally known dealers who regularly show work at prestigious art fairs, including Aperture Foundation from NYC, Toronto’s Next Level Projects, Berlin-based Only Photography. Representing the local scene will be Concept Gallery, Silver Eye Center for Photography and Spaces Corners. This is the place to score a statement piece for that empty office wall, or kickstart your personal art collection. Works for sale include museum-quality prints, historical daguerreotypes, rare, vintage and contemporary pieces, photo books, and more. With prices ranging from $20 to $20,000, this market truly has art for every budget. Free and open to the public, the fair will also showcase a special display of 100 Latin American photobooks presented by the NYC-based nonprofit 10×10 Project. To explore the art form in more depth, be sure to check out PGH Photo Fair’s ongoing, educational Speaker Series.
9. Northside Sandwich Week: May 19—29
Get to know the culinary side of Pittsburgh’s historic Northside during 11 delicious days cerebrating all things between two slices of bread. Dubbed “Episode V: The Pastrami Strikes Back,” NSW showcases the sandwich-making skills of 12 popular restaurants, bars and delis—who will serve up signature creations (think: the Obie Wann A Hoagie, Chateau Cubano and #21 Mazeroski Way, for starters), offer specials and vie for awards from local celeb judges. This year’s mouth-watering “sandwich combatants” include veteran establishments and brand new joints—from Scratch and Max’s Allegheny Tavern, to Huszar and Legends of the North Shore. Don’t miss the May 19 Sandwich Sampler at The Priory, featuring a new beer garden, libations from Northside breweries and live music by Johnny Angel’s All Star Jam Band. Attendees will sample creations from all 12 restaurants and vote for the next Sandwich King or Queen (tickets required). On May 21, eat your way through the Northside on bike during the “Le Tour de Sandwich,” a guided, 4.5-mile ride featuring stops at this year’s restaurants and past winners. Look for the NSW banners identifying participating restaurants, and remember to vote for your favorite.
10. The Down & Dirty Dance Party at Spirit: May 20
If you’re like us, you heaved a collective sigh when Attack Theatre announced it was retiring its legendary Dirty Ball. After a wildly popular 10-year run, Attack is reinventing its annual celebration of springtime, dance and decadence with a fresh event series popping up at some of the city’s newest nightlife hotspots. It’s fitting that Attack would situate its latest Bacchanalia at Spirit, the former Lawrenceville Moose lodge that just celebrated its first year as a mecca for live music, unconventional bar games, creatively crafted pizza and themed cocktails. Continuing its commitment to creating art that takes risks, challenges viewers and embodies collaboration—and nurturing new generations of fans—The Down and Dirty Dance Party will feature Attack’s trademark immersive activities, hybrid performances blending new and upcoming productions, four DJs spinning records throughout the night, and surprises galore. Purchase tickets.
11. Venture Outdoors Festival at Point State Park: May 21
Outside Magazine featured Pittsburgh on its Best Towns list, National Geographic ranked us a top adventure city, and Audi and Red Bull recently filmed a thrill-seeking commercial along our very own steepest street on earth. Now it’s your turn to discover why our region is a 21st-century hub for outdoor recreation. Your new urban playground beckons at this free, rain-or-shine showcase of all things outdoors. Step into a harness, secure your carabiner and summit the climbing wall to check out fabulous views from two stories up. Next, cast a line into the Mon to reel in a big catch, pop into the Yoga Tent to balance your chakras, and hop on a bike to explore the North Shore and Golden Triangle. River lovers can traverse the tranquil Allegheny via kayak, or paddle to the drumbeat during Dragon Boating Trips. Learn to play 18th-century cricket at the Fort Pitt Museum, and unwind with live music by the Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle and Jordan Umbach. In the KidZone, the youngest adventurers can join a bike rodeo, create nature art, build survival shelters, compete in scavenger hunts and more. Experienced Venture Outdoors staff will be on hand to help festival-goers try new activities and learn new skills.
Check out more events every week in NEXTpittsburgh, including these very honorable mentions coming up in May:
Fiber Arts International: May 6—August 21
Hello Bully Lovers Not Fighters Gala at The Wintergarden at PPG Place: May 7
Framework Music & Arts Festival in Allentown: May 7
newMoves Contemporary Dance Festival at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater: May 11—14
Associated Artists of Pittsburgh‘s 105th annual exhibition at Carnegie Museum of Art: May 14
Silver Eye Center for Photography Benefit Auction at Society for Contemporary Craft: May 14
TEDxPittsburgh at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall: May 22
Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference: May 27 – 29
Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals Zodiac Heads at Carnegie Museum of Art: May 28
OpenStreetsPGH: May 29