Bear Hands Plays Stage AE; Jergel’s Hosts Dweezil Zappa; ‘Hoard’ Opens at Off the Wall (Fri., 3/6/20)

1) When Brooklyn, New York City’s Bear Hands headlined Cattivo in 2014, guitarist Ted Feldman said, “Pittsburgh’s my favorite ’burgh, especially the ones with an ‘h.’” The show was filled with such good humor, and its high energy got patrons moving from the bar toward the stage. Feldman has since left the band, which is now a trio. Despite his departure, Bear Hands have continued to amass a following. These days, they play larger venues, such as Stage AE, which they headline in support of their latest album, 2019’s Fake Tunes. Their debut album was 2010’s Burning Bush Supper Club. They followed this with 2014’s Distraction, which contains the fun single “Giants.” It charted in the top 10 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart. They have also opened for Twenty One Pilots. IRONTOM opens. Doors open 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (CM)

2) Dweezil Zappa, son of the late Frank Zappa, will perform his father’s second solo album, 1969’s Hot Rats, live at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. Dweezil is an accomplished musician himself with his own discography. He even released his first single, “My Mother Is a Space Cadet,” produced by Eddie Van Halen, at 12. 2015’s Via Zammata’ is Dweezil’s latest album. He and his talented band are sure to do his father’s songs right. 8 p.m. 285 Northgate Dr., Warrendale. (CM)

Boxed in by the detritus of the past, two women seek a way forward in Lissa Brennan's 'Hoard.' Virginia Wall Gruenert, at left, plays the hoarder and Erika Cuenca is her visitor. (photo: Heather Mull)

Boxed in by the detritus of the past, two women seek a way forward in Lissa Brennan’s ‘Hoard.’ Virginia Wall Gruenert, at left, plays the hoarder and Erika Cuenca is her visitor. (photo: Heather Mull)

3) Pittsburgh theater artist Lissa Brennan has written a new play, and to many fans who know her incisive wit, that’s reason enough to go. The play also has unusual subject matter and some impressive artistic backing. Brennan’s Hoard revolves around a late-middle-aged woman who is a hoarder, living in an obscenely cluttered home with barely room to move. When a younger woman is sent to clean up the place, surprising interactions occur, making it clear that both women face deeper concerns than good housekeeping. Hoard is staged by off the WALL productions in collaboration with the cell, an incubator for new theatrical works in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. Directing the play is Kyra Simring, artistic director of the cell, with dramaturgy from her associate Brian Reager. Playing the hoarder and cleaner-upper are Virginia Wall Gruenert and Erika Cuenca, executive and associate artistic directors at off the WALL. All that plus Brennan makes quite a lineup. See Hoard at Carnegie Stage. 8 p.m. Performances continue through March 21. 25 W. Main St., Carnegie. (MV)

Friday March 6 and Saturday March 7

A spotlight "sunflower" effect shines down on the band as they play.

A spotlight “sunflower” effect shines down on The Clarks as they play at Stage AE. (photo: Rick Handler)

4) The Clarks continue to build on their foundation of playing solid working-class rock. The group gained a strong local following in the early ’90s gigging at clubs like Graffiti (remember Graffiti?), and has remained together and active long after nearly every other band on the scene during that era called it quits. After over 30 years, 11 albums, countless gigs and zero line-up changes, The Clarks have gone from being a regional favorite to a local institution. And the band members, who formed The Clarks at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, have never forgotten their home turf. Their most recent album  is 2018’s, Madly in Love at the End of The World, released on the Clarkhouse Entertainment label. Special guest is Southern rock, blues, and soul band East Coast Turnaround. 8 p.m. both nights. These two shows are very close to being sold out at publication time. The Lamp Theatre, 222 Main St., Irwin. (EC, RH)

I AM A HAUNTED HOUSE (dance and multimedia) by Scott Andrew and Jesse Factor. March 6 only, 8 p.m., the artists at Kelly Strayhorn Theater’s Alloy Studios. 

5) “Cutting edge” is a cliche, so let’s just say that performance events at the Kelly Strayhorn’s Alloy Studios are worth seeing. The latest, I Am A Haunted House, comes from a collaboration by two artists active nationwide. Multimedia artist Scott Andrew creates dynamic virtual environments using video projection and other tools. Dancer/performer Jesse Factor, whose works include Mommie Queerest, riffs on topics related to gender and personal identity. Together they’re staging I Am A Haunted House in the Studios at 5530 Penn Ave., East Liberty. (MV) 

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