There are drive-in movies, so why not drive-in live entertainment? Pittsburghers get to try the concept at the city’s first and perhaps only Drive-In Arts Festival. Staged at Hazelwood Green—the sprawling new multi-use development site in where else but Hazelwood—the festival is produced by City Theatre. And though it doesn’t include live theater, just about every other performing art is on the two-week schedule: comedy, dance, magic, and music in forms from classical to hip-hop. Each night is devoted to a single featured act or set of related acts and the artists are Pittsburgh-rooted. Check the link above for the night(s) you want, buy tix in advance, and arrive with up to four in your vehicle.
The Drive-in Arts Festival opens Thursday, September 10 with two music groups that play contrasting or maybe complementary strains of rock. Soul rockers The Buckle Downs are fronted by the torrid vocalist Kiki Brown, while folk-rock duo Edward J. Angelo and Nick Guckert are city-type folks who perform as The Living Street. The lineup from there:
9/11—comedy night, with the podcast team Drinking Partners
9/12—socially conscious hip-hop collective 1Hood Media
9/13—dance night. Dancers/troupes are Texture Contemporary Ballet, Pittsburgh CAPA alumnus James Gilmer of the Alvin Ailey company, jazz/postjazz movement artist Pearlann Porter, and movement/music duo slowdanger. Also performing is a classical music ensemble presented by Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
9/16—the Pittsburgh Symphony’s classical music ensemble has the stage for a full show.
9/18—hip hop artist Mars Jackson
9/20—magician Lee (“Anything Is Possible”) Terbosic, who tours nationally and has starred at Liberty Magic in the Cultural District.
9/24—indie pop trio Meeting of Important People
9/26—jazz and poetry, featuring alto sax artist Yoko Suzuki and her trio and the Thomas Wendt Quintet.
9/27—Social Justice Disco, the ever-evolving, genre-defying collective led by Liz Berlin and Phat Man Dee.
Audio feed for each show comes through your vehicle’s FM radio. Restrooms are available and refreshments are BYO (no alcohol, please). Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. each night
Institutions collaborating with City Theatre for the Drive-In Arts Festival include the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, City of Asylum, MCG Jazz, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and WYEP-FM. Main entry to Hazelwood Green is at 4734 Second Ave., Hazelwood.
Mike Vargo, a Pittsburgh-based freelance writer, covers visual and performing arts for Entertainment Central.