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What to do in Pittsburgh this weekend: Dec. 1-3

A crowd of people walk through different displays at a festival.
Kitoko Chargois
Handmade Arcade
Visitors throng the David L. Lawrence Convention Center during the 2022 Handmade Arcade.

Go on a shopping spree at Handmade Arcade, celebrate the season with "Amahl and the Night Visitors" or check out a grown-up Cindi Lou at the Pittsburgh CLO — here's what to do this weekend.


Choreographer, dancer and educator Andraya Rand-Mathis draws on interviews with members of Black community for her new show “Diving Within.” The work for four performers, part of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater’s Freshworks series, uses dance, music, drag and performative storytelling to explore grief, heartbreak and childhood trauma, with a focus on trans women. There are two performances, Fri., Dec. 1, and Sat., Dec. 2, at the Alloy Studios, in Friendship.


At 19 years and counting, Handmade Arcade is among Pittsburgh’s biggest and longest-running single-weekend holiday attractions. And in an era of malls and online consumption, the event draws more than 10,000 to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to support more than 275 independent makers from Pittsburgh and around the country who craft their own art, jewelry, bath-and-body products and more. The Sat., Dec. 2, main event is preceded by a Fri., Dec. 1, happy hour and early-bird options.


Something old and something new — it works for the holidays, too. The Pittsburgh Savoyards stage the classic one-act opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors” alongside the world-premiere musical “The Gift of the Magi,” an adaptation of O. Henry’s classic short story by Pittsburgh-based Robert Frankenberry, with music by Paul Yeater. The program gets eight performances Fri., Dec. 1, through Dec. 16, at the Margaret Partee Performing Arts Center, in Bellevue.


Is it time yet for some R-rated holiday entertainment? The Pittsburgh CLO offers “Who’s Holiday!” In the troupe’s production of Matthew Lombardo’s one-person comedy, Lara Hayhurst plays a grown-up Cindi Lou, an aficionado of cocktails and swearing. (Maybe the Grinch got her into them.) Tickets are going fast for the show, which runs at the Greer Cabaret Theatre Fri., Dec. 1, through Dec. 31.


The nationally known, Philadelphia-based duo Black Quantum Futurism uses sound, text, imagery and performance to reimagine the past and envision the future of the Black diaspora through the lens of quantum physics. On Sun., Dec. 3, in conjunction with their Miller ICA installation “Impossible Music,” Camae Ayewa and Rasheedah Phillips perform “Altar 2: Quantum Monolith” at Carnegie Mellon’s Alumni Concert Hall. Admission is free.

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: