The fourth month of the year has served as muse to poet T.S. Eliot, singer-songwriters Simon & Garfunkel and even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. A time of rebirth—and plenty of rain—April kicks in with a day of foolishness, but follows with a month full of fantastic events—on a boat, inside empty warehouses, throughout Market Square and elsewhere. Grab that umbrella and head out to our top 9 Pittsburgh events not to miss in April. For more details, check out our events section each week.


Rosanne Cash, photo by Clay Patrick McBride.

1. Rosanne Cash with John Leventhal at The Byham Theater: April 8

Fresh off the heels of winning not one but three Grammys for her new album, The River & The Thread, singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash rolls into town with her iconic rootsy-country sound for just one night. Released in 2014 via legendary Blue Note Records, Cash’s 13th studio album embodies a powerful collaboration with her husband of 20 years, the Grammy-winning musician and producer John Leventhal, who co-wrote and produced the material.

Drawing heavily from Americana and Roots music, the new collection of 11 songs reconnects Cash to the richness of her birthplace and ancestors. Born in Memphis in 1955, Cash—who has charted 21 Top 40 country singles—is also the famous eldest daughter of modern music icon Johnny Cash and his first wife Vivian. In addition to her outstanding musical output—which spans everything from country and folk, to pop and blues—Cash is also an author, educator, supporter of numerous charities and board member of the Content Creators Coalition.

Purchase tickets.


The Dirty Ball, photo by Mark Simpson.

2. The Dirty Ball at 415 Bingham Street: April 11

Ready to dance this mess around in an empty warehouse? Forget good clean fun and indulge in a night of devilish debauchery at the inimitable Dirty Ball. Let spring fever take hold, rev up the Vespa and turn the clock back (or forward) for a homegrown bacchanalia on the South Side. Celebrating one decadent decade—the latest rendition of The Dirty Ball will feature Attack Theatre performances, throwback beats by TITLE TOWN Soul & Funk Party, space-age art installations, 21st-century fashion showdowns and old-school libations. What’s even better is that all of this dirty dancing supports Attack’s edgy site-specific performances, day-to-day operations and educational programs.

Kick off your night of time-warping revelry at the Ball’s signature Dirty Donor VIP pre-party featuring local food and drink from James Street Gastropub, Tender, Verde and more—situated within the sultry Velvet Lounge designed by Richard Parsakian. After that, it’s Spring’s most-anticipated dance party with 1,000 of your most eccentric friends. Fuel up with grub from the PGH Taco and Steer and Wheel food trucks. We suggest you start crafting those dirty duds now.

Purchase tickets.


Dough, John Goldschmidt, 2014.

3. JFilm Festival: April 16 – 26

With more screenings than ever, the 22nd annual JFilm Festival is your hot ticket for independent and foreign cinema. Featuring 28 screenings from 8 countries over 11 days, JFilm showcases award-winning documentaries, dramas and comedies, special premieres, visiting artists and a short film competition. Setting up shop at five venues—The Manor Theatre, Carmike 10 (South Hills Village), Rodef Shalom, Waterworks Cinemas and Seton Hill University—the diverse festival explores and celebrates Jewish culture, independent filmmaking and cultural tolerance.

Don’t miss opening night on April 16th featuring the Pittsburgh premiere of Pierre Henry Salfati’s highly acclaimed film, The Last Mentsch. Equal parts road trip and buddy caper, the whimsical film stars German Academy Award winner Mario Adorf as Menachem Teitelbaum, a 70-year-old Auschwitz survivor who unexpectedly searches for his roots and comes to terms with his past. A post-show reception will be held at the JCC-Katz Theatre.

Additional highlights include premieres of Philippe de Chauveron’s provocative satirical comedy Serial (Bad) Weddings and John Goldschmidt’s British dramedy, Dough. Don’t miss a special appearance by visiting filmmaker Nancy Spielberg (a certain Steven’s sister), who will discuss her engaging film, Above and Beyond, which documents a group of Jewish American pilots who trained covertly and flew for Israel during its 1948 War of Independence.

View a complete JFilm schedule and see all ticket options.

 4. Commonwealth Press Beer Barge: April 18

BeerBarge_2015_Poster_750Plentiful local beer, dramatic sunset and skyline views, a floating dance party and the Gateway Clipper Fleet’s longest serving vessel. What’s not to love about Commonwealth Press‘ (CWP) Beer Barge? Well, maybe the fact that you snoozed on snagging tickets to one of spring’s best parties. Some 400 tickets sold in under 20 minutes, but don’t fret because CWP plans to make some more available, so pay close attention to your Instagram and Twitter feeds.