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What to do in Pittsburgh this weekend: May 26-28

A man holds a microphone up to a person sitting in a crowd at a show.
Richard Brusky
Vegas Theatre Company
Marcus Weiss (with microphone) stars in "Every Brilliant Thing," from Kinetic Theatre.

Take a ride on a 305-foot water slide or skateboard to the South Side — here's what to do this weekend in Pittsburgh

"Every Brilliant Thing"

Kinetic Theatre returns with the Pittsburgh premiere of the interactive stage work The Guardian newspaper called “the funniest play you’ll ever see about depression.” Duncan Macmillan’s “Every Brilliant Thing” follows a 6-year-old boy (played by adult actor Marcus Weiss) who navigates his mother’s depression … with help from the audience. It opens Thu., May, 25, at the Richard E. Rauh Studio Theatre (in the Cathedral of Learning) and runs through June 11.

Delightfully odd paintings

A woman wearing lingerie — and a purple cat mask. A small boy in dire need of a belt reaching for a kitchen countertop alongside two large dogs. Joan Brown’s paintings are as vibrantly accessible as they are delightfully odd. A touring survey of work by the late, San Francisco-based artist opens at the Carnegie Museum of Art Sat., May 27, and runs through Sept. 24.

Water slide time

Sandcastle Waterpark opens for the season Sat., May 27. The Mon-side attraction has undergone a two-year renovation, with new attractions including Bomb’s Away, a 305-foot water slide; a new, 2,000-square-foot play area called the Sandbox; and a new menu at the Sandcastle Bridge Bar and Grill, complete with seafood and frozen margaritas.

Chalk Fest returns

After drawing 5,000 visitors to its debut last year, Pittsburgh Riverwalk & Chalk Fest is back. Two dozen chalk artists from around the country will occupy the North Side’s Isabella Street, near Allegheny Landing, for Riverlife’s free, all-ages event, complete with live music, “chalk-tail bar” and more. The fest runs 1-6 p.m. Sat., May 27, with a special viewing day 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday.

Skateboard to the South Side

Open Streets is back for another season of three Sundays turning swaths of the city into car-free avenues for cyclists, pedestrians and more, complete with a festival atmosphere. The kickoff event is 10 a..m.-2 p.m. Sun., May 28. It runs from Acrisure Stadium through Market Square and the Armstrong Tunnel to 20th and East Carson, with live music, kids’ activities and yoga classes.

Billy Porter's back

Expect some pop, some “Pose,” a touch of “Kinky Boots,” and certainly some fabulous costumes when Pittsburgh’s own Billy Porter brings his band and his Black Mona Lisa Tour: Volume 1 to Heinz Hall. Early this week, tickets still remained for this Sun., May 28, stop on the Emmy-, Grammy- and Tony-winning performer’s career-spanning national tour.

Bill is a long-time Pittsburgh-based journalist specializing in the arts and the environment. Previous to working at WESA, he spent 21 years at the weekly Pittsburgh City Paper, the last 14 as Arts & Entertainment editor. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and in 30-plus years as a journalist has freelanced for publications including In Pittsburgh, The Nation, E: The Environmental Magazine, American Theatre, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Bill has earned numerous Golden Quill awards from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania. He lives in the neighborhood of Manchester, and he once milked a goat. Email: