Fresh Beats Band at the Benedum, Improv Hosts Lynne Koplitz (CPs Thu., 11/21/13)

1) From The Monkees to The Partridge Family to Josie and the Pussycats, lots of faux rock bands have gigged on children’s TV. Even if these acts put some strain on parental sanity with their barrage of sugary pop tunes, they do turn kids on to the social, creative, and character-building experience that comes from being in a band. The latest in this tradition is Nick Jr.’s Fresh Beats Band, a bouncy, ever-smiling foursome whose creative endeavor presents a constant stream of lessons about teamwork, perseverance, and trying new things. Today, they will be at the Benedum Center to play those happy, catchy tunes that — admit it, parents — have wormed their way into your consciousness so much that you sometimes let them play on the stereo even after you’ve dropped the kids off at daycare. 6 p.m. 803 Liberty Ave., Cultural District.

2) Lynne Koplitz is a versatile comedian whose forthright, deadpan style has made her a spicy sidekick for everything from the syndicated daytime talk show “Life and Style” to the Food Network’s foodie-beginner program “How to Boil Water” to the astronomy radio hour “StarTalk,” which she co-hosts with Neil deGrasse Tyson. Koplitz, who starts a stint at the Improv today, maintains a stage career making pointed comedy gold out of all the bad dates, hot flashes, and dashed expectations that come from being a woman hurdling towards middle age. Through Nov. 24. 8 p.m. 166 E. Bridge St., Homestead.

3) The groovy college neighborhood of Oakland must seem ridiculous to many, even when it is being philanthropic. And that may be why it came to be that a benefit for the Cancer Caring Center and Peter Brady, a Pitt student who was paralyzed last year in a diving accident, has taken the form of a Mustache Charity Bash at Pizza Sola. The kids growing out their facial hair in November (the month in which 20-somethings do that now) can enter their fuzzy mugs into a judged competition. There is also a “mustache and beard” contest for the ladies. We’re not sure how that works, but the organizers say, “Creativity is encouraged.” Games, a raffle, and a Yards Brewery beer tasting round out the evening, which hopes to raise $2,000 (a lot from a bunch of college kids). 10 p.m. 114 Atwood St., Oakland.

4) The cool thing about the Thunderbird Café’s 3Band Evening is that the only sure thing is there will be three bands. The bands could be from anywhere and of any genre. They might do original songs or covers, and they might perform every weekend or every other leap year. Tonight’s grab bag of a bill includes Slim Forsythe, Lawrenceville’s favorite rockabilly cowboy; Shannon and the Merger, a female-fronted cover band whose expansive repertoire ranges from Fleetwood Mac to Weezer; and Pete’s Radio, who are either too new or too mysterious to find much info on. 9 p.m. 4023 Butler St. Lawrenceville.

5) If it’s any time after 4, drop whatever you are doing and go to the Carnegie Museum of Art, especially if you have not yet seen the 2013 Carnegie International. Today is the last Thursday evening on which the museum has free admission to the hotly awaited show. 4 to 8 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

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Nick Keppler

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