Wiz Khalifa Rolls Into First Niagara; ‘Fixing King John’ Wraps Up a Hot Run (CPs Fri., 8/1/14)
1) Wiz Khalifa was born in North Dakota and, as the son of two active-duty military members, lived in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan before settling in Pittsburgh in time to start at Taylor Allderdice High School. He was only 16 in 2004 when Rostrum Records picked him up out of a mixtape of local artists. He spent the next several years developing his sound and releasing his first two albums and eight mixtapes. He broke onto the national scene with his third full-length, 2011’s Rolling Papers, which featured the No. 1 hit single “Black and Yellow.” Rolling Papers peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 as did his 2012’s O.N.I.F.C. Wiz has been in the studio lately, and his newest, Blacc Hollywood, is due out next month. He will be at First Niagara as the headliner of the Under the Influence of Music Tour with Young Jeezy, Tyga, and more. 6 p.m. 665 Route 18, Burgettstown.
2) This summer’s under-the-radar smash hit on the theater circuit is Fixing King John. It’s an outrageous, hilarious, and gripping remake of King John, a play oft considered one of Shakespeare’s worst. Fixing premiered in Austin, Tex., last fall, where it blew away that city’s theater critics and audiences. Now Pittsburgh’s No Name Players has brought it to Western Pennsylvania. You’ve got the bloodthirsty king portrayed as a foul-mouthed construction boss wearing a hard hat. His nemesis is King Philip of France, who speaks softly and carries a big sledgehammer. The script (by Kirk Lynn of Austin) translates the original’s intricate language into crisp, crackling contemporary speech. Shakespeare purists may cringe at Fixing King John, but fans say it’s just the kind of thing the Bard would write if he were alive and kickin’ today. 8 p.m. Through tomorrow only, Off the Wall Theater, 25 W. Main St., Carnegie.
3) Panic! at the Disco formed in 2004 when childhood friends Ryan Ross, Spencer Smith, Brent Wilson, and Brendon Urie recorded a few demos while in high school together. Soon after they graduated, they signed with a label, and their debut album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, hit in 2005 and peaked at 13 on the U.S. charts. It was certified platinum in the U.S., U.K., and Australia, bolstered by a series of charting singles, most notably “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” which peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard 200. Founding members Ross and Wilson have departed, but the band is still going strong with newcomer Dallon Weekes filling in on bass guitar and helping the band release three consecutive albums that have charted in the Top 10. Panic! will be at Stage AE for a 6:30 p.m. show with Walk the Moon and Magic Man. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore.
4) In 1889, Johnstown, Pa., was devastated by a massive flood when the South Fork Dam burst after several days of extremely heavy rainfall. One hundred years later, the Johnstown Area Heritage Association commemorated the centennial anniversary of the tragedy with a concert. In 1993, the annual event adopted its current name, The Flood City Music Festival. Originally envisioned as a folk music event, it now embraces many styles. The headliner for the 2014 edition of the event is classic blues rocker Boz Scaggs, who will be joined by more than 30 other acts on four different stages at People’s Natural Gas Park. Friday’s schedule includes 12 acts starting with Black Cat Moan at 2:30 p.m. and wrapping up with Big Mean Sound Machine, who takes the stage at 11:30 p.m. The festival continues with full lineups on Saturday and Sunday. 90 Johns St., Johnstown.
5) Unblurred: First Fridays on Penn features a variety of visual and performing arts at galleries, clubs, and restaurants along Penn Avenue (4800-5500) in the Garfield, Bloomfield, and Friendship neighborhoods. 6 p.m. – 2 a.m. Most events are free.
6) Good Fridays at the Warhol is a weekly party at the museum, featuring art exhibits, music, and cocktails in the high temple to Andy Warhol’s numerous talents. Half-price museum admission. 5 – 10 p.m. 117 Sandusky St., North Shore.
7) On the first Friday of the summer months, the Frick Art & Historical Center has its First Fridays concerts. Tonight’s featured musician is Western PA native and one of the best Croatian string music performers around the Jerry Grcevich Tamburitza Orchestra. While there check out the antique cars in the car and carriage museum. The Frick Art Museum is also open during the event. Music, art and antique cars, all for a suggested donation of only $5 per adult; no admission charge for children. You can also purchase food and beverages from the cafe which is housed in a quaint cottage on the grounds, or bring your own picnic food. Music starts at 7 p.m. 7227 Reynolds St., Point Breeze.