That Golden Girls Show
Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

January is hardly a barren tundra when it comes to things to do in the Burgh. So bundle up (and mask up) to make your way through the city — and into the New Year — via our latest monthly event guide. See you later, 2021. 

Hellbender. Photo courtesy of the Harris Theater.

1. Januscary Film Festival at the Harris Theater, Jan. 1- 6

Sad Halloween is only one day? Camp out at the Harris for this new fright-fest showcasing underappreciated cult flicks and overlooked new cinema. Kick 2021 to the curb with a free New Year’s Day screening highlighting horror master John Carpenter’s “The Thing.” And after being unavailable on home video for decades, horror junkies will shriek at the chance to see the newly restored 1980s gem, “Eyes of Fire.” Also on the big “scream” will be contemporary thriller “Night Drive,” vampire flick “Let the Wrong One In” and coming-of-age drama, “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair.” See showtimes and buy tickets.

Soul Sessions
Photo courtesy of the the August Wilson African American Cultural Center.

2. Soul Sessions at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center: Jan. 1

If you feel drained from 2021, start the New Year filled with heart and plenty of soul. Kicking off 2022 — and its new Soul Session Series — the AWC will remind us that live music has the power to uplift and heal. Headlining the New Year’s Day concert at 8 p.m. are two powerhouse figures in the contemporary soul-jazz, hip-hop and funk music scene. Trombone virtuoso and NAACP Image Award nominee Jeff Bradshaw will take the stage with two-time Grammy nominee Eric Roberson, who continues to break boundaries as an independent artist. Buy tickets.

Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh RV Show.

3. Pittsburgh RV Show at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center: Jan. 8-16

RV sales have soared during the pandemic, as adventurers hit the road to combat cabin fever and explore the country via “mobile bubbles.” If you’re considering the recreational vehicle lifestyle, get a glimpse of the subculture when this premier show rolls into the Burgh. Take to the open road like Cousin Eddie with 9 acres of RVs from 100 exhibitors and 13 dealers. Explore options like folding camping trailers and high-end motor homes with driving compartments, see the latest models and check out RV swag to enhance your cruising. You’ll even find campgrounds and resorts to satisfy your wanderlust. Need help revving your engine? Get expert advice from the industry’s top reps who will be on hand to help you make your roads trip dreams come true. See show hours and buy tickets.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week
Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Facebook page.

4. Pittsburgh Restaurant Week: Jan. 10-16

After all the turkey basting, cookie baking and cocktail shaking during the holidays, it’s time to let Pittsburgh’s rock star chefs cook for you. They’re working incredibly hard to power through the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic and need our support more than ever. With fixed-price multi-course meals and special offers, the weeklong event explores the theme of New Dishes for the New Year. From Fujiya Ramen, The Commoner and Carmella’s Plates and Pints to McCormick & Schmick’s, Paris 66 and Station (the list keeps growing) — there’s a flavor for every palate and craving.

That Golden Girls Show!
That Golden Girls Show! Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

5. That Golden Girls Show! at the Byham Theater: Jan. 12 & 13

On New Year’s Eve, the world lost a beloved icon, a mere two weeks before her initiation into the centenarian club. This puppet parody is just the antidote we all need to collectively mourn and celebrate the trailblazing star Betty White and soldier on during the pandemic. The show must go on and it will: We’re all invited to the epic party commemorating White’s remarkable life and career via the new star-studded movie special premiering Jan. 17 marking her 100th birthday as planned. But before all that, don’t miss this brand-new puppet show satirizing all your fave “Golden Girls” moments. Settle in for an evening of cheesecake, jazz exercise, shoulder pads, sex, and gut-busting hilarity. It’s all there in puppet brilliance — “Sophia’s get-rich-quick schemes, Rose’s tales from St Olaf, Blanche’s insatiable hunt for men and the Fountain of Youth, and Dorothy’s struggle to make sense of her life.” Buy tickets.

Image courtesy of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater.

6. Give Me Liberty: East Liberty Celebrates MLK Day at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater: Jan. 17

Please note: This event has been cancelled due to weather.

There are so many impactful ways to celebrate MLK Day throughout Pittsburgh, from public events and family celebrations to personal experiences and virtual activities. One must-do event for Pittsburghers is this vibrant community celebration from 1 to 4 pm. Co-presented with BOOM Concepts, the day is designed to highlight the life, legacy and activism of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year’s theme empowers citizens to use their own voices and stories to transform the world and achieve justice. Inspired by the multitude of ways that Dr. King and many other civil rights activists worked for equality then and now, the engaging event includes family-friendly activities and performances led by Women of Visions, Anita Levels, Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, The Alloy School and PearlArts. Admission is “pay what makes you happy.”

7. Treasures in the Archives with the Heinz History Center: Jan. 20

If the archives at the Heinz History Center could talk, what stories would they tell? This is your exclusive chance to find out. Log on at 7 p.m. to see highlights from one of the largest collections of historic materials in Western PA during this signature virtual event presented by the Detre Library & Archives. Archivists who work with these valuable treasures every day will share rarely heard stories behind their favorite collections and provide the public with exclusive access to historic one-of-a-kind photographs and documents. You just might hear tales of local boxers, butchers, old-time saloons, famous families, untold community memories, and even the lost history of a notorious home for ex-offenders. Register for free.

Jennifer BaronArts & Entertainment / Jobs Editor

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 of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.