Hip Hop Nutcracker
"The Hip Hop Nutcracker." Photo by Cheryl Mann courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

What’s going on this week in Pittsburgh, Nov. 28-Dec. 4? Find out here. Visit each organization’s website and social media for Covid protocols. Know of a cool event? Email us.

Tuesday, Nov. 29: Give Big Pittsburgh Virtual Event
12 a.m.-11:59 p.m.

The holiday season is a time for giving back and lending a hand. This online fundraising campaign is a terrific and simple way to give nonprofits the boost they need to continue serving communities and residents in need. During Giving Tuesday, you have 24 hours to log on and donate to the charitable causes that are closest to your heart. Donate here.

Photo courtesy of Phipps.

Tuesday, Nov. 29: Staple Soups and Stews Virtual Class with Phipps
6-7:30 p.m.

Soup season is here to warm our weary souls. So it’s a good thing that you can get some help crafting soups and stews from from Boston Clam Chowder and Ski Lodge French Onion to Pennsylvania Mushroom Barley and Louisiana Creole Gumbo. Buy tickets.

Tuesday, Nov. 29: UpPrize Social Innovation Challenge Final Showcase at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center
6-8 p.m.

Be there when this year’s three UpPrize finalists are announced. (If you miss it, check out NEXTpittsburgh for the winners). Hear innovative pitches from the nominees who will be awarded $300,000 to transform their ideas into reality. Administered by Innovation Works, UpPrize returns for a fifth year to “bridge the gap between the region’s nonprofit and entrepreneurial communities.” Register for free.

Wednesday, Nov. 30: “A Christmas Story” at the O’Reilly Theater
8 p.m.

We could all use some comic relief from 9-year-old Ralphie Parker. Laugh your way through winter with this timeless holiday comedy directed by Michael Berresse. The show is filled with holiday hijinks for the ages. Inspired by Jean Shepherd’s account of his 1940s upbringing in the Midwest, the script is written by Philip Grecian. Buy tickets.

Wednesday, Nov. 30: “The Hip Hop Nutcracker” at the Benedum Center
7 p.m.

This fresh twist on the beloved classic is performed by a supercharged cast of dancers, a DJ, a violinist and even hip-hop legend MC Kurtis Blow — who opens the show with a short set. Innovative digital graffiti and visuals transform E.T.A. Hoffmann’s beloved story from 19th-century Germany to contemporary NYC.  Buy tickets.

Hill District mural by James “Yaya” Hough. Photo courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art.

Thursday, Dec. 1: Refractions Conversation Series at Carnegie Museum of Art
6:30-7:30 p.m.

If you loved the 58th Carnegie International, don’t miss this chance to go beyond the galleries for conversations, readings, artist talks and performances. Tonight’s discussion features Pittsburgh artist James “Yaya” Hough and members of the Let’s Get Free: The Women and Trans Prisoner Defense Committee. Register for free.

Thursday, Dec. 1: Holiday Listening Nights at the Joinery Hotel
7-9 p.m.

Kick off the holiday season at Downtown’s newest boutique hotel. To spread the cheer, Joinery Hotel invites guests and locals alike to enjoy merrymaking in the hotel’s chic lobby. Enjoy live music by Scott Riggle, get merry with friends and sip signature holiday cocktails.

Thursday, Dec. 1: Holiday mART Preview Party at Sweetwater Center for the Arts
7:30-9:30 p.m.

Get a first look at this esteemed art market in Sewickley filled with handmade ceramics, culinary creations, holiday floral designs and lots more. You’re sure to find finely crafted, local gifts for everyone on your list, pus something cool to take home for yourself. While shopping, sip holiday cocktails crafted by Big Spring Spirits and enjoy live art demonstrations. Buy tickets.

Thursday, Dec. 1: “Sketchville” at Arcade Comedy Theater
8 p.m.

The Downtown-based comedy company created a show from scratch in just five weeks and now you get to experience the hilarious results. Directed by Parag S. Gohel, this classic sketch comedy revue combines 12 scripts and eight talented actors — along with musical numbers and lots of kazoos. Buy tickets.

Friday, Dec. 2: Unblurred Art Crawl on Penn Avenue
5:30-10 p.m.

Get festive along the Penn Avenue arts corridor and score one-of-a-kind holiday gifts when this roving open house-style event returns. Stroll through bustling Bloomfield and Garfield from 4800 to 5500 Penn Ave. to experience cultural and commercial destinations — gifts and crafts at Workshop PGH, exhibitions at Silver Eye, BOOM Concepts and Pittsburgh Glass Center and dance classes at Level Up Studios.

Friday, Dec. 2: HalfDream: Another Room at the Mattress Factory
6-8 p.m.

See how one artist has incorporated dreams submitted by Pittsburghers into her new art installation on the North Side. Don’t miss the opening reception with Doreen Chan, who’s based in Hong Kong and the U.S. Tour the site-specific project, talk with the artist and find your own “dreammates.” The opening event includes activities, “dream drink” cocktails and bites from Salem’s Grill. Register for free.

Friday, Dec. 2: “The Wanderers” at City Theatre
8 p.m.

Don’t miss this Pittsburgh premiere penned by Anne Ziegler — one of only a handful of productions the script has received so far. Audiences will meet Orthodox Jews Esther and Schmuli — who recently entered into an arranged marriage — and author Abe who’s struck up a flirtatious correspondence with a movie star. Spanning the 1970s to the present day, it’s called a “mysterious new drama that puts a magnifying glass on the complications of love across generations and what it means to be happy.” Directed by Colette Robert, the production includes a collaboration with Bend the Arc and Pitt’s Jewish Studies Program. Buy tickets.

Photo courtesy of the National Aviary.

Saturday, Dec. 3: Season’s Greetings Saturdays at the National Aviary
11 a.m.-3 p.m.

The holidays are literally for the birds on the North Side. Sing along to some very bird-y holiday carols, join a cozy story time featuring special feathered friends and meet jolly Kris Kringle. Make festive crafts, warm up in the tropical habitats and don’t forget to drop your letter in the North Pole-approved mailbox. Buy tickets.

Zeal Eva, “Roses,” 2021.

Saturday, Dec. 3: Brunch Reception at Silver Eye Center for Photography
11 a.m.

In a new twist on the art opening, the Garfield-based center is hosting a brunch reception for Still Standing by Hannah Price and Gentle Landing by Zeal Eva. Meet the artists as they guide attendees through a walk-through of their work. See Price’s photographs documenting the restoration of historic buildings in the Hill District and Homewood along with Eva’s work reflecting a “journey towards self-actualization.” Register for free.

Saturday, Dec. 3: Handmade Arcade at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center
11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Looking for gifts that are more unique than what you’d find on Amazon? Choose from clothing and accessories, art, home decor and body products from 250 vendors at Pittsburgh’s largest craft market. Returning this year are hands-on activities and Pittsburgh Glass Center’s annual sale. The festivities begin Friday evening with a ticketed Happy Hour ($35). You’ve got another chance to beat the crowd on Saturday if you buy Early Bird Shopping tickets ($25). Admission to Saturday’s main event is free, but attendees must reserve a timed admission pass. (Cristina Holtzer).

Photo courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art.

Saturday, Dec. 3: Sounds for the Season at Carnegie Museum of Art
2-3 p.m.

Surrounded by the magnificent Hall of Architecture, museum-goers will be moved by the spirit of the season via string quartet music. Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra violinists Dylan Naroff and Laura Motchalov, violist Marylène Gingras-Roy and cellist Michael Lipman will share a festive collection of favorites, including Baroque gems and beloved holiday tunes. The performance is free with museum admission; no registration is required.

Hip Hop Summit Graffiti Gallery Tour by Max Gonzales and Shane Pilster. Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Saturday, Dec. 3: Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Hip Hop Summit
2:30-10:30 p.m.

This full day of programming celebrates the four elements of hip hop culture — emcee, DJ, graffiti and breaking. In addition to free workshops, there will be a graffiti gallery, a film screening, an all-styles dance battle and an emcee and DJ showcase. Buy tickets.

Saturday, Dec. 3: Gary Bartz NTU Troop at the New Hazlett Theater
7:30 p.m.

Wrapping up its Fall Signature Series, Kente Arts Alliance presents legendary jazz saxophonist Gary Bartz NTU Troop. A key member of Miles Davis’ 1970-1971 sextet, the Grammy-winning sax player has shared the stage with jazz giants like Art Blakey, Eric Dolphy and Max Roach. For this Kente debut, Bartz will revisit his 1996 classic, “The Blues Chronicles.” Buy tickets.

Photo courtesy of Shana Simmons.

Saturday, Dec. 3: IN/BEtween at Attack Theatre
8 p.m.

Shana Simmons and Naina Roy team up to present the Pittsburgh premiere of their inaugural collaboration. Blending elements of traditional Kathak dance with the physical elements of modern movement and conceptual themes, the production feature performers from each choreographer’s company. The duo hopes to highlight Indian dance traditions that are being lost to technology, create new art forms and inspire new generations. Buy tickets.

Photo courtesy of Texture Contemporary Ballet.

Sunday, Dec. 4: “The Nutcracker” at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center
2 p.m.

Adding to this year’s reinterpretations of a cherished holiday classic is this production from Texture Contemporary Ballet. Be immersed in a winter wonderland of dancing snowflakes, vibrant characters and waltzing flowers spotlighting 100 dancers and choreography by Artistic Director Alan Obuzor and Associate Artistic Director, Kelsey Bartman. Buy tickets.

Sunday, Dec. 4: Drag Story Hour at the Andy Warhol Museum
2-3 p.m.

Add some flair to your storytime with an afternoon of readings and songs hosted by the glamorous Ms. Akasha L. Van-Cartier. Introducing children to the art of drag and positive queer role models, the event celebrates imaginative thinking, authenticity and gender fluidity. Open to children of all ages, the event will include an ASL interpreter. Register for free.

For more things to do, read Top 10 Pittsburgh events in November. For live music, check out The 17 best concerts in Pittsburgh this November.

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.