1) Over the decades, the Pittsburgh Dance Council has stayed relentlessly “modern” by bringing to town the world’s most acclaimed modern-dance companies. Some of these do highly experimental work that doesn’t even look like dancing as most people know it, or that mixes physical movement with other media. But the Council also brings in companies taking new approaches to classic dance forms, such as ballet. And that is the case with this year’s season opener. Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, now in its second decade, is made up of classically trained dancers performing new works by today’s leading ballet choreographers. The company describes its “house style” as “American athleticism on a base of European refinement.” Aspen Santa Fe’s spirit draws from the creative flavors of its two home cities, Aspen and Santa Fe. The company, one of the West’s best ballets, is here for one show only, tonight at 8 p.m. Byham Theater, 101 6th St., Cultural District.
2) Area native Donnie Iris, aka King Cool, is performing at Jergel’s tonight with his band, The Cruisers. Sure to be on the set list are top favorites including “Ah Leah” and “Love Is Like a Rock.” Iris was once a member of the Pittsburgh group The Jaggerz in the early ’70s and had a monster hit with the “The Rapper,” which reached no. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. 9 p.m. 285 Northgate Dr., Warrendale.
3) Just as assuredly as Pittsburghers can expect tailgating at the Stillers game, fries on their sammiches, and backups at every tunnel, they can expect The Clarks to keep 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 25 years, nine 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 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, have never forgotten their home turf. Tonight they are playing a benefit for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region at The Palace. 7 p.m. 21 W Otterman St., Greensburg.
4) Fort Ligonier Days commemorate the Battle of Fort Ligonier, fought October 12, 1758. At the Fort, frontier and military life will be re-created by re-enactors playing roles that include Redcoats, Highlanders, Native Americans, French troops, and frontier men and women; highlights are reenactments of the battle itself (at 2 and 4 p.m.) and artillery demonstrations (1:30 and 3:30 p.m.). One of Pittsburgh’s first supergroups—Jimmy Beaumont & the Skyliners—performs from 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. on the East Main Street stage. Food and craft booths, sidewalk sales, church fundraising meals, and other forms of period and contemporary entertainment start at 10 a.m., running until the fireworks display begins at 8:30 p.m. History Note: The Battle of Fort Ligonier pitted the French from Fort Duquesne and their Indian allies against the British. It was a turning point in the British campaign to control this region and eventually gave birth to the city of Pittsburgh. George Washington was stationed at Ft. Ligonier starting in October 1758 and was even involved in a friendly fire incident in the woods nearby. 200 S. Market St., Ligonier.
5) Also in the Laurel Highlands today is Seven Springs Resort’s “Autumnfest” with fine arts & crafts bazaar, chairlift rides, family pumpkin patch portraits, alpine slide rides, EuroBungy, the enchanted wagon, the Hay Bale Maze, several bands and performers, plus sumptuous buffets and many other events and activities. This is Pumpkin Weekend with many opportunities for pumpkin fun, including sampling Penn Brewery’s Pumpkin Roll Ale today and Shocktop Pumpkin tomorrow. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Seven Springs Mountain Resort, 777 Waterwheel Dr., Seven Springs.
6) Homestead’s Blue Dust, a beer bar and gastropub, is holding its Pumpkin Fest 3 today from 2-10 p.m. This outside event will be held rain or shine, partly because it will occur beneath the section of the Homestead Grays Bridge closest to the bar. Live music, local food, and over 20 pumpkin beers on tap. Underneath the bridge between 6th and 7th avenue. Free admission to the festival. Homestead.
7) For a look at what today’s Allegheny County RADical Days’ free events are, visit the RADical Days Website.