By Sharon Eberson
Autumn is officially here on Sept. 23, so there’s still time to enjoy outdoor summer theater in Pittsburgh. Some events are free as part of RADical Days 2022: More than 65 regional “assets” offering free events and experiences from Sept. 9 through Oct. 16. For soccer moms and dads who always have a folding chair in the car, here are other uses for them where BYOC — bring your own chairs — are welcome.
PITTSBURGH SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKs,
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
Already underway and spreading magic and whimsy throughout the land is Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks, with A Midsummer Night’s Dream. After opening in Highland Park, performances continue through Sept. 25; at Westinghouse Park, 2 p.m. Sept. 17-19; Schenley Plaza, Oakland, 6 p.m. Sept. 23; and Frick Park, 2 p.m. Sept. 24-25.
A cast of thirteen, led by Jalina McClarin, Tracey D. Turner, and Cornel Gabara, appear in multiple roles, including royalty of both the human and fairy realms and lovers, fairies, and working folk who populate the play.
More info: www.pittsburghshakespeare.com
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SOUTH PARK THEATRE,
A FUNNY THINK HAPPENED on the WAY to the FORUM
South Park Theater lost a weekend of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum but is continuing as scheduled Sept. 8-17. Tickets will be honored at all other performances; for those unable to attend, contact the box office at 412-831-8552 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a refund. Billed as the company’s first-ever outdoor musical – just across the parking lot from the indoor theater. Lawn chairs and picnics are welcome.
More info: southparktheatre.com/south-park-theatre
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PITTSBURGH MUSICAL THEATER, BROADWAY at the OVERLOOK
Pittsburgh Musical Theater’s Broadway the Overlook is an annual songfest with a scenic view that previews the season.
The Pittsburgh CitiParks free event features selections from Jersey Boys, Once, Evil Dead the Musical, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr., and A Lyrical Christmas Carol, by local performers including David Toole, Quinn Patrick Shannon, Caroline Nicolian, Richard McBride, Callee Miles and Brecken Newton Farrell, and young artists from The PMT Superstar Squad.
The performance at the West End Elliott Overlook runs 90 minutes with a short intermission. Small refreshments are available for purchase; picnickers welcome an hour and half before the show. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Sept. 8-11.
More info: pittsburghmusicals.com/shows/overlook.
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PITTSBURGH CLO, YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN
It’s the rad in RADical: A free outdoor family musical from Pittsburgh CLO, in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust as part of its September Backyard Performances for RADical Days. You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown brings the Peanuts gang from comic strip to stage, in a revue of songs and vignettes, based on the Charles Schulz characters. With Patrick Steven Bovo, Jason Shavers, Greta Kleckner, Katherine Harkins, Benjamin Kent Pimental and Joseph Robert Fedore. Billy Mason directs choreographs, with an assist from Alex Manalo; Robert Neumeyer is musical director.
Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. and Sept. 10 at 1 p.m. at The Backyard at 8th and Penn, Downtown. No reservations necessary.
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CITY THEATRE, THE BASH
City Theatre’s annual block party / fundraiser known as The Bash includes food trucks, specialty cocktails, an artisan market, street entertainment, sidewalk games and and a dance party hosted by 1Hood Media.
Street entertainment includes Brazilian drummers Timbeleza and burlesque dancer Moon Beam. A VIP ticket gains entry to a Main Stage performance stage and screen actress/singer Tamara Tunie, a Pittsburgh native and City Theatre board member. Tunie will be joined by Jeff Grubbs (bass), Roger Humphries (percussion) and Max Leake (keys and band director). The VIP Experience ($250) starts at 5 p.m., and the BASH Party ($50) at 7.
More info: citytheatrecompany.org/play/thebash/
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SQUONK OPERA, HAND to HAND
The 30-year-old musical performance-art company that is like no other – described by The New York TImes as “a multimedia troupe of infinite jest with an imagination to match” – reprises the jumbo-sized Hand to Hand multimedia musical experience, part of the Hands-on Showdown presented by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Science Center.
The free RADical Days event by Squonk Opera, also part of the 2022 Association of Science and Technology Centers Conference, will be at the Rachel Carson Bridge, 9th Street Bridge and the 10th Street Bypass, 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 14; demonstrations and workshops are at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Squonk also brings Hand to Hand, propelled by puppet hands the size of a house and high-energy original music, to Westinghouse Arts Academy on Oct. 28.