©2015 Craig Thompson Photography
©2015 Craig Thompson Photography

6. Attack Theatre’s One Night Stand at the Ace Hotel Pittsburgh: February 13

Here at NEXT, we shed a collective tear when The Dirty Ball was retired last summer. All good things must come to an end—this legendary local bash went out with a bang after a wildly popular 10-year run—and we knew that the gutsy Attack Theatre team had a fresh scheme up their sleeves. Pittsburgh’s newest boutique hotel will provide the perfect stylish backdrop for the company’s latest creation—One Night Stand. Grab your sweetie, go stag or gather a group of adventurous friends and make a date with Attack Theatre this Valentine’s Day weekend. Enjoy a One Night Stand for the ages along with fellow dance fans, and party for a purpose in one of Pittsburgh’s most talked about new developments. Attendees will watch intimate performances by dancers Kaitlin Dann, Nile Ruff, Dane Toney, Anthony Williams and Ashley Williams and be roped into plenty of Attack’s cheeky interactive games. One Night Stand will also feature a full bar and sumptuous dinner from The Whitfield. The event marks a special homecoming for Attack, who performed in the former YMCA back in 2011. What to wear? The invite reads: “first-date chic” (we’ll leave the interpretation to you).

Comedian David Cross

7. David Cross at Carnegie Library of Homestead: February 18 (all ages)

Tired of hearing politicians slinging suspect slogans like “Make America Great Again” on the stump? Never fear, here to put his provocative and refreshing take on the clichéd phrase is acclaimed stand-up comedian, actor, writer and voice artist David Cross. Whether you love him best as Tobias Funke, on Mister Show or ranting at the mic, you won’t want to miss him when he rolls into cozy Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead. After five years off the road, Cross has just embarked on a 51-date nationwide tour bringing his latest stand-up sensation, “Making America Great Again!” to eager ears. If there’s such a thing as a rock star comedian, then David Cross would qualify. Celebrated for his standup work, the Emmy Award-winning performer has graced countless stages and screens, big and small. Named one of the “top 100 stand-up comedians of all time” by Comedy Central, Cross is known for incorporating wild skits, elaborate musical numbers, eccentric characters and pop-culture rants into his imaginative shows. In a word, hilarious.

Courtesy Pittsburgh Beerfest

8. Pittsburgh Winter Beerfest at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center: February 26 & 27

It may seem illogical, but sometimes there’s nothing quite like a cold beer on a frigid winter night. How about 300 beers? Brew buffs will converge on the convention center for 225,000 square feet of craft beer goodness over two tasty nights. One the top 10 largest craft beer festivals in the country, the event will showcase the lovingly crafted libations of 100-plus local, regional and national breweries—all under one downtown roof. Beer aficionados and new tasters alike will enjoy unlimited samplings of fresh craft beers representing all styles from coast to coast. Featured brewers include everyone from San Francisco’s 21st Amendment and Salt Lake City’s Uinta to Pittsburgh’s own Full Pint, Spoonwood and East End. All good beer deserves good food and the 3rd annual Pittsburgh Beerfest has you covered with an array of food trucks and booths from local restaurants and purveyors. Imbibe for a cause, because all proceeds from Beerfest will benefit Animal Rescue Partners and Biggie’s Bullies.

Q Ball. Photo by Shanning Wan.

9. The Q Ball at Fireman Creative’s Engine House: February 27

If you’ve been lucky enough to experience a Quantum Theatre production, then you’ve had all five of your senses piqued—and maybe even an other-worldly sensation or two. For a quarter century, the local company has been redefining the live theater experience. Now prepare to have your sixth sense activated at the ever-quirky Q-Ball, setting up shop at the newly renovated Engine House in Point Breeze. Each year, Quantum’s founder and artistic director Karla Boos—winner of the 2015 Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award—designs the signature benefit bash around a distinct theme and collaborates with local artists to make it all happen. Riffing on the suggestive theme of extrasensory perception, The Q-Ball will feature all-night grooves by DJ Nate da Phat Barber, live and silent auctions (trip to Madrid, here we come!), decadent sweets and drinks and plenty of dramatic nooks for taking those selfies. Grab VIP tickets to enjoy an exclusive lounge featuring catering by E2, performances by Geña and Alba Flamenco, tunes by DJ Selecta and creative libations.

Sally Wiggin, Russ Streiner, Rich Fitzgerald and Michelle Wright.

10. Lights! Glamour! Action! at the David Lawrence Convention Center: February 28

Forget Silicon Alley, call us Hollywood East. Thanks to the Pittsburgh Film Office, you don’t need to trek to L.A. to rock the red carpet for the Academy Awards.  Here’s your uber-glam chance to celebrate Pittsburgh’s booming role in the film industry with entertainment insiders, local celebs and more. Gala-goers will strike a pose for the Izzazu Glam Cam along Pittsburgh’s longest red carpet—362 feet to be exact—leading to all of the silver screen action. The 16th annual festivities will feature a live telecast of the 2016 Oscars on very big screens, champagne receptions, gourmet food stations, Brown Bag Raffles and live music by Steven Vance Strolling Violins and Renaissance City Choir. Don your own take on Dior or de la Renta as you vie for the chance to win a diamond pendant ($5,500 value) designed by Brilliant Nuevo Diamonds. All proceeds from Highmark Presents Lights! Glamour! Action! will benefit the film office, which has assisted with 135 productions and generated $1 billion in regional economic impact since 1990.

Because all good lists must come to an end, we give you our 8 not-to-miss honorable mentions for February: 

Jacques Henri Lartigue, Zissou, Rouzat, 1911 © Ministère de la Culture France/Ministère de la Culture France/AAJHL.

Bob Marley Birthday Party at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater: February 5

The Birds and the Bees . . . After Dark at Carnegie Museum of Natural History: February 5

Fiesta Flamenca at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater: February 6

Fast Cars and Femmes Fatales: The Photographs of Jacques Henri Lartigue opening at The Frick Pittsburgh: February 6

Solo & Collaborative Exhibits Opening Reception at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts: February 12

Cupid’s Undie Run on the Northside: February 13

Filter Theatre & Royal Shakespeare Company’s Twelfth Night at the Byham Theater: February 23 & 24

Trauma Live’s Harder Styles Dance Tour at the Rex Theater: February 26

Looking for live music? Check out our 10 can’t-miss Pittsburgh concerts in February feature.

Looking for family activities? Read our Top Family Adventures this February in Pittsburgh feature.

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...