1) Lawrenceville’s fifth annual Rock All Night Tour, aka RANT, is this month, and it now stretches over three days. Butler Street and the boulevards running off it are home to some of the ‘burgh’s hottest spots: bars, restaurants, and, of course, Arsenal Lanes, a popular bowling alley. Many of these venues, including the bowling alley, will serve as performance spaces for the festival, which begins 5 p.m. Friday in Arsenal Park. There will be a DJ, live music, and a showing of 2015’s Cinderella. The party continues at Hambone’s with more live music. Saturday is the big event, though, with most of the 200 bands scheduled for the festival performing that day.
There’s too many acts and venues to list, but here’s a quick sampling: Want country-swing and a succulent fried fish sandwich? Frequent Nied’s Hotel. Slim Forsythe and his Payday Loaners, including noted drummer Brad Smith, will host the other nine acts scheduled at this historic establishment. Another notable act includes punk rockers Murder for Girls, hot off the release of their debut LP, All the Wishes, and their appearance at Ladyfest Pittsburgh. They will play Cattivo. The newly reopened Belvederes has seven acts on the bill, including Chet Vincent & The Big Bend. Rising rockers Native Alloys will be performing at Javos Studios on Saturday. Javos Studios will also play host to The Park Plan Saturday night. Singer-songwriter, folk, metal, rap, and other genres will all be represented throughout the day. Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., the festival ends with a full roster of bands at Arsenal Park. For a complete list of performers, performance times, and venues, be sure to visit the festival’s website. Free. Lawrenceville. (CM)
2) Anyone who hasn’t heard about the new production of August Wilson’s Seven Guitars is probably holed up in a bunker awaiting the end of the world, but should you have another excuse, here is the news. Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company is performing the play at the location where Wilson imagined it happening: in the back yard of the playwright’s boyhood home in the Hill District. That certainly makes this production special, but Seven Guitars itself is distinctive for two reasons. It is the most musical of Wilson’s plays and the only one that’s a murder mystery. The hero, a fictional 1940s blues musician named Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton, has been killed just as he was on the verge of making it big. The action unfolds at a post-funeral gathering where those close to him, including his musical sidekicks, are singing and swapping banter and stories both sad and humorous. As they do, episodes from Barton’s life are re-enacted in flashback and questions are raised about the very nature of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They lead back inevitably to the question: Who killed Schoolboy? 8 p.m. Performances through August 28. At 1727 Bedford Ave., Hill District. (MV)
3) For the third and perhaps last time this year, off the WALL productions is presenting a short run of a one-woman play that generated considerable word-of-mouth buzz in its previous performances. Mother Lode, a drama with comedy, depicts how mother-daughter relationships may be tested—and deepened—at a crucial time: when the elderly mother is near life’s end. Linda Haston plays both roles, the daughter dealing with a veritable “mother lode” of feelings and the mother slipping into dementia. Written by Virginia Wall Gruenert, Mother Lode is drawn from Haston’s real-life experiences. 8 p.m. Ends Sunday. At Carnegie Stage, 25 W. Main St., Carnegie. (MV)