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What to do in Pittsburgh this weekend: June 7-9

A painting with a woman, flowers and insects.
Courtesy of the artist
Ashley Cecil's "Mourn and Mend" (detail) is part of her show "Common Wealth," her show opening June 8 at Zynka Gallery.

Visit a Mister Rogers' Neighborhood-inspired exhibit at the Children's Museum, check out a magic show Downtown or enjoy a jazz celebration in Carnegie — here's what to do in Pittsburgh this weekend.

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh has reprised its popular exhibit “How People Make Things.” Inspired by the iconic factory-tour segments from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” the interactive exhibit lets kids use real factory implements and machines like a die-cutter and sculpting tools to create objects. Videos and displays teach about the making of everything from crayons and shoes to bicycles and cooking pans. The exhibit continues through Sept. 8.

Critically acclaimed, nationally touring Rob Zabrecky brings his one-person comedy magic and variety show to Liberty Magic starting this week. The Zabrecky Hour blends music, audience interaction, parapsychology and more into a darkly funny 70-minute program. The show runs through July 14.

Pittsburgh-based musician and scholar Colter Harper’s new book “Jazz in the Hill: Nightlife and Narratives of a Pittsburgh Neighborhood” explores the role nightclubs played in supporting the Hill District in the mid 20th century. On Thu., June 6, Harper will discuss the book – and also, appropriately enough, strap on his guitar as part of a combo playing the music of Abbey Lincoln, Horace Silver, Billy Strayhorn and Ornette Coleman. “Colter Harper: Jazz in the Hill” takes place at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, in Carnegie.

It’s likely no stage actor has played the same role in Pittsburgh as often as Kimberly Richards, who’s done more than 800 turns as playwright Maripat Donovan’s comically irascible Catholic nun “Sister.” In a series of semi-improvised productions at City Theatre dating to 2005, Sister treats the audience like her hapless students. The Pittsburgh native (who tours nationally as Sister) is back in “Sister’s Summer School Catechism.” The show runs Thu., June 6, through June 30 in City’s intimate Lillie Theatre.

Visual Art
What if, instead of patriotic, we were “matriotic”? Rather than using flags to set us apart with artificial borders, and to assert ownership of nature, we could craft an aesthetic promoting the shared wealth of things like water, air, food, community and health. In her exhibit “Common Wealth,” Pittsburgh artist Ashley Cecil offers a new pledge of allegiance that forefronts women and nature. The show of paintings opens at Sharpsburg’s ZYNKA Gallery with a reception Sat., June 8. It continues through July 20.

The venerable Hemingway’s Summer Poetry Series is back in full swing, with eight Tuesday-night readings by top Pittsburgh poets at Hop Farm Brewing, its new home in Lawrenceville. The June 11 edition features Valerie Bacharach; Allegheny County poet laureate Doralee Brooks; editor and short-short-story specialist Sherrie Flick; Don Wentworth, who gravitates toward the haiku and other short forms; and Stephanie Wielkopolan.

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: