The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Pops gets people ready for the Academy Awards with “Ultimate Oscars,” a program at Heinz Hall led by former resident conductor Lawrence Loh.
The PSO will celebrate the past 50 years of Oscar-winning scores, with music from such films as “Star Wars,” “The Godfather,” “Titanic,” “Schindler’s List” and “Avatar.” It will also feature the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Student Chorale. (Film clips will not be included in this performance.)
Performances are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $24-$84; 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org.
Saturday also brings “Dance!”, another installment of the PSO’s family-friendly Fiddlesticks concerts. Dancers from Attack Theatre and vocalist Katy Shackleton Williams join the orchestra and feline mascot Fiddlesticks for music by Piazzolla, Prokofiev, Gershwin, Bernstein, Rodgers and more. Led by PSO assistant conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Heinz Hall concert starts at 11:15 a.m., with Discovery Time Adventures to begin at 10 a.m. $12-$22.25, see ticket information above.
Mardi Gras on North Side
Fat Tuesday turns into a weeklong celebration with the first Northside Mardi Gras Week with live music, New Orleans- and other pre-Lenten- inspired food and drink specials offered at 26 restaurants, pubs and businesses.
Among those participating are Allegheny City Brewing, Allegheny Elks Lodge, James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy, Legends of the North Shore, Max’s Allegheny Tavern, The Park House, The Monk’s Bar at the Priory, Penn Brewery, War Streets Brewery and Wigle Whiskey.
A few highlights:
Tonight: Tom Roberts at War Streets Brewery, Jazz Conspiracy Big Band at Allegheny Elks Club (8 p.m.), Roger Humphries Jam Session at James Street (8 p.m.).
Friday: Tasting party at Allegheny Brewery (5-8 p.m.), Jessica Lee and Mark Strickland at James Street (8 p.m.).
Saturday: Billy Price Band at James Street (8 p.m.), Dixieland Jazz Spirit at Huzzar (8 p.m.).
It culminates in a traditional Fat Tuesday Party on Tuesday at the Allegheny Elks with music by Dixie Doc and the Pittsburgh Dixieland Allstars.
A full schedule of events and all the details are at www.pittsburghnorthside.com/Mardigras.
New Horizon play
New Horizon Theater presents “The Ballad of Emmett Till” written by award-winning playwright Ifa Bayeza and directed by Lundeana M. Thomas. The production, in partnership with the Falk School, has its opening reception Friday, at the Falk School Auditorium, University of Pittsburgh, 4060 Allequippa St., Oakland.
The real-life story of the 14-year-old Chicagoan who was murdered for allegedly whistling at a white woman while visiting in Mississippi is a pivotal event in the civil rights movement. The play is “a jazz integration of past and present, the living and dead, factual accounts and creative interpolation.”
It previews tonight and runs through Feb. 14. Times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday and 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Tickets: $15-$20; www.newhorizontheater.org or 412-431-0773.
‘Let My People Go’
Pittsburgh CAPA’s “Let My People Go” is a collage of poetry, music and dance exploring the “journey to rediscover lost African-American pearls of history, wisdom and spirit.”
Performances are at 7 tonight and Friday at Pittsburgh CAPA, 111 Ninth St., Downtown. Tickets: $5 at www.eventbrite.com.
Cudi at AE
Kid Cudi, who debuted in 2009 with “Man on the Moon: The End of Day,” has been testing his hip-hop following of late with excursions into alternative rock. It began with the Brooklyn-based Cleveland-born rapper’s WZRD project with producer Dot da Genius and appeared again in December with “Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven,” a not-so-critically acclaimed album that was more Cobain than Cudi.
His Especial Tour, playing Stage AE on Friday, will likely be a combination of the rapper/singer’s talents.
Doors are at 7 p.m. Tickets: $39.50-$42; www.ticketmaster.com.
The lobby of the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty, will become a Jamaican dance hall for A Bob Marley Birthday Party at 8 p.m. Friday.
There will be new and old-school reggae tunes, special live performances, treats and more. Doors open at 7 p.m. It’s a Pay-What-Makes-You-Happy event. Tickets and information: www.kelly-strayhorn.org and 412-363-3000.
In the clubs
• Reggae Fusion Fest at Altar Bar on Saturday celebrates reggae and the 71st birthday of Bob Marley with music by ORieL & The Revoluters, Ras Maisha, Zappology, Truths & Rites, Jah Ques, African Drum Ensemble and more.
It begins at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20-$22; ticketfly.com.
• Vancouver pop-rock band Marianas Trench, touring on the new album “Astoria,” plays Mr. Smalls at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $20-$22; ticketweb.com.
Arnold at Improv
A week after Tracy Morgan, the Pittsburgh Improv at the Waterfront gets another major TV star/stand-up comedian with the appearance of Tom Arnold.
Best known for his work as an actor, a writer and a producer on “Roseanne” and “The Best Damn Sports Show Ever,” he also has appeared in numerous films, including “Nine Months,” “True Lies,” “Hero” and “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.”
Times are 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $25; www.improv.com or 412-462-5233.
The annual monthlong citywide Fun-A-Day project culminates in an exhibition of participants’ projects Saturday and Sunday at TechShop in Bakery Square, East Liberty.
Fun-A-Day is a concept to “beat the winter blues” with creative challenges. This year, more than 60 people signed up for the project, creating plush dolls, 3-D printed objects, paintings, poetry, videos, songs, zines, tattoos, photography and more.
Among them are Mike Cuccaro’s “Pirates Wild Card,” a deck of cards illustrated with the Pirates roster from their 2013 winning season, and Angela Stabryla’s “2015: Better Than Physical Therapy,” a hand quilting project that helped strengthen Ms. Stabryla’s hands and increase range of motion following surgery.
It’s free and open to the public at 192 East Liberty Blvd., East Liberty. Opening reception is from 6-9 p.m. Saturday.