The summer party season is here! This month we see parties at the Mattress Factory and for the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival. Top magician and escape artist, David Blaine, performs at the Byham. And every man comedian Brian Posehn plays the South Side’s Rex Theater. Do you have a great voice or just think you have a great voice? Either way we’ve listed a few clubs offering karaoke. Summer is fleeting, get out and have some fun!
Thursday, June 8
If you like comedy, then you probably know Brian Posehn by appearance if not by name. His early work included acting and writing credits on HBO’s Mr. Show with Bob and David. On “Seinfeld,” he played the guy whom the surgeon left a sponge inside of. (Well, technically, his character was cast to play the guy whom the surgeon left a sponge inside of. He, Kramer, and Mickey Abbott were auditioning as sick people for medical students to diagnose.) Posehn’s other acting credits include film roles (Devil’s Rejects, Uncle Nick) and a starring role on “The Sarah Silverman Program,” which ran on Comedy Central from 2007 to 2010. New ventures include a comedy podcast, Nerd Poker, and co-writing credits on Marvel Comics’ Deadpool. Posehn is an accomplished stand-up too. He’s released four albums and appeared in as many specials. He performs at the Rex Theater. Gab Bonesso and John Dick Winters open. 8:30 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. (CM)
Friday, June 16
There’s a big musical event occurring at Rhythm & Groove. Where is Rhythm and Groove you ask? Well you will find it at the August Wilson Center. The party is the second event of Rhythm & Groove in 2017, a big jazz party at the August Wilson Center featuring the Caribbean music of Elan Trotman’s Tropicality, classic, jazz standards by Allan Harris, Latin grooves of Noel Quintana’s Latin Crew and a special appearance by Sean Jones. General admission and VIP tickets for Rhythm & Groove are available. The event is being held in conjunction with the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival. 9 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Cultural District.
Also the same night at the The Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival, to further enhance festival goers’ experience, the celebration starts with a bash at the 9th Street Stage with Afroheat, a 3-hour party featuring DJ SMI spinning deep and funky afrobeat, afrohouse, afrolatin, afrofuture, and afroBrazilian rhythms that will keep you dancing all night long. The PJLIF will also have a JazzLive pub crawl, jam sessions, artist booths, vinyl record boutique, food trucks and a craft beer garden. The Cultural District Will be hopping!
Another signature Pittsburgh event is happening on the 16th—one of the city’s hottest parties—the Mattress Factory‘s 20th annual signature fundraiser, The Urban Garden Party. Indulge in food and libations from 40 of the city’s top restaurants and bars. Partiers can dance the night away to live music, and much more. All proceeds benefit the Mattress Factory’s artistic programs, exhibitions, and education outreach. The Mattress factory is one of Pittsburgh’s longest-running contemporary art institutions and is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Music by LUXE Creative Resident DJ Samuel Andres and headliner Beauty Slap. There is a regular ticket and a VIP ticket for the event. The VIP ticket features sumptuous culinary creations and specialty cocktails from Pittsburgh master chef Bob Sendall and his staff at All in Good Taste Productions. VIP starts at 6 p.m., regular admission begins at 7:30 p.m. 500 Sampsonia Way. North Side.
Sunday, June 25
Magician, Illusionist, endurance artist David Blaine will perform at the Byham Theater this month. The New York native has stood on top of a platform at Pier 54 in his hometown with a million volts of electricity directed at his body, protected only by wearing a special suit that allowed the current to pass around his body and not through it. His Electrified stunt lasted for 72 hours during which he did not eat, drink, or sleep. He has sat encased in a block of ice for over 63 hours for his Frozen in Time stunt. In Buried Alive, he put himself in a Plexiglas container over which a three-ton water tank was placed. It was reported that the plastic coffin had only six inches of headroom and two inches on each side. Wow, can’t wait to see what he has cooked up for the Byham show! Maybe he will have to escape from a room filled to the ceiling with buttered pierogies and onions. 8 p.m. 107 6th St., Cultural District. (POSTPONED).
Karaoke, like trivia, is a fun bar activity. Here’s a few fun places to try your hand at it:
Do you fancy yourself a rock star? Then the place for you is Rock Star Karaoke at the South Side’s Smiling Moose. In addition to pleasing everyone with your great renditions of famous rock songs you’ll enjoy $3 Captain cocktails and half off all Troegs beer from 9-11 p.m. Karaoke starts at 9:30 p.m. DJ T-$ cues the music for you the rock star. 1306 E. Carson St.
“Cappyoke” combines two fun things, Cappy’s Cafe in Shadyside and karaoke! Have a few drinks (or not) and get up in front of the crowd to belt out your favorite songs with DJ Jordan. Also, 22 oz. Miller Lite Monster drafts for only $3 and great burgers. 9:30 p.m. 5431 Walnut St.
The city’s newest place for karaoke is one that’s set up just for that occurrence. Wanna B’s karaoke bar is set in the back of Tequila Cowboy and its adjoining bar Little Red Corvette. The karaoke bar boasts its own stage, lights, mic system, and DJ. All the necessary elements to become the next big thing or a fun fool. Open nightly at 8 p.m. 380 North Shore Dr., North Shore.
Rick Handler is the executive producer of Entertainment Central.
Writer and editor Christopher Maggio also contributed to the Nightlife Guide.