Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts’ Acts; On the Rocks, and Some Blues (CPs Wed. 10/9/13)

1) A puppet show might sound juvenile, but toss in OCD, a flock of pigeons, and the exploration of human nature. Suddenly you’re not on Sesame Street anymore, but Liberty Avenue, where The Pigeoning is being staged. It’s a puppet show with a twist, including music and video and some dark laughs to get inside the mind of the obsessive-compulsive main character, Frank. Highly original, the show digs into human’s obsession for control with some powerful insights and a few cackles. 7 p.m. 937 Liberty Ave., Cultural District.

2) For a deeper look into the human condition, you’ll want to catch It’s Dark Outside at the Trust Arts Education Center. The performance touches on writer Tim Watts’ research and experience with Alzheimer’s and Sundowner’s Syndrome. Not sugar coating anything, Watts creates an enjoyable emotional roller-coaster for the audience with his use of puppets, masks, live action, and animation all rolled into one. With the help of Rachel Dease’s original score, we get an adventurous story of “redemption and dementia.” 9 p.m. 805-807 Liberty Ave., Cultural District.

3) Wind turbines are a progressive idea, and so is Turbine, the progressive rock band making an appearance at the Thunderbird Café. Inspired by a combination of music from the 60’s (Pink Floyd), late 70’s (Grateful Dead), and 80’s (INXS), Turbine creates a combination of sounds that’s new and vintage at the same time. The mix of harmonica, hip rhythms, and a guitar that rocks gives us a glimpse into rock’s future, and it’s looking good, based on evidence from their performance at the Stir Fry Music Festival. 9 p.m. 4023 Butler St., Lawrenceville.

4) Feed your soul and your appetite while local music staple Shari Richards sings the blues away at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. No stranger to belting out tunes, Richards was once cast as the Acid Queen in the rock opera Tommy, and she has also collaborated with the likes of local favorites Norm Nardini and Billy Price. Tonight she goes solo with her vocals and guitar for a show all her own.  While you’re enjoying Shari’s smooth voice, enjoy one of the chef’s signature dishes like the pineapple burger or the fireside mac and cheese. 8 p.m. 103 Slade Lane, Warrendale.