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Weekend art, film, music, soccer and more banish the summer doldrums |
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Weekend art, film, music, soccer and more banish the summer doldrums

The Palace Theatre
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will perform their 1970 hit 'Mr. Bojangles' and other rootsy tunes on July 22 in the Hartwood Acres Park Amphitheater.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Haunted Pittsburgh Ghost Tours start on weekend evenings in front of the City-County Building. Here, tour guide Haydn Thomas of Munhall relays a spooky story for a 2013 tour group under the Bridge of Sighs outside the Allegheny County Courthouse.
Carnegie Museum of Art
The Carnegie Museum of Art will will delve deeply into its collection for rarely seen or never-before-exhibited works for “Crossroads: Carnegie Museum of Art’s Collection, 1945 to Now,' opening July 20
Chris Cowger | Riverhounds
Riverhounds defender Rich Balchan chases down a ball near the sideline during their 1-0 loss to FC Cincinnati on Saturday, April 1, 2017, at Highmark Stadium.

In the depths of the summer doldrums, sometimes you just want to escape.

Even if you can’t get out of town, you can escape to the far corners of the nation, the world and even the realms of the paranormal via these Pittsburgh weekend happenings.

Explore the depths of the subconscious in “Night Poetry” at the Carnegie Museum of Art, or seek out spirits on a Haunted Pittsburgh Ghost Tour.

Travel the highways and byways of America (vicariously) with the Pittsburgh Filmmakers, in a vintage Rolls Royce that once belonged to the King of Rock and Roll.

Visit Carnival in 1920s Vienna with the Pittsburgh Festival Opera, or relive the salad days of the 1970s with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band at Hartwood Acres.

And, last but not least, see why more than 250 million people worldwide play soccer by taking in a Riverhounds game on the South Side.

At the crossroads

If you think you’ve seen everything there is to see in the Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

The postwar and contemporary art galleries have undergone complete reinstallations, to showcase dozens of rarely seen or never-before-shown works by artists at the intersection of history, society, politics and biography.

Opening July 20, “Crossroads: Carnegie Museum of Art’s Collection, 1945 to Now” will delve deeply into the museum’s collection for works illustrating “the critical role of the artist in everyday life,” according to the museum’s website.

The exhibition is grouped into eight categories, including “Night Poetry,” which borrows its title from a 1962 painting Pittsburgh-born artist Raymond Saunders. Works in this gallery illustrate how unconscious creative impulses can summon dreams, hallucinations, visions and even nightmares.

Crossroads Family Day, set for 11 a.m.-2 p.m. July 22, will offer visitors an interactive gallery crawl with activities for all ages. Win prizes, dance to family friendly music and help with a collaborative sculpture. Activities are free with admission; picnic foods will be available to eat outside.


Mel Bochner, ‘Blah, Blah, Blah,’ 2008 (detail), oil on canvas


O America, Where Art Thou?

It’s a fascinating concept: drive Elvis Presley’s 1963 Rolls Royce across the country and see what you find about the current state of America.

That’s what two-time Sundance Grand Jury-winning filmmaker Eugene Jarecki did for his new film, “The King,” opening July 20 at the Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ Regent Square Theater.

“From Memphis to New York, Las Vegas, and beyond, the journey traces the rise and fall of Elvis as a metaphor for the country he left behind,” according to the film’s website.

Sometimes it’s a hard road. Says one observer: “If Elvis is your metaphor for America, we’re about to OD.”


Getting down to the nitty gritty

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band had already been around for a few years when it topped the charts with “Mr. Bojangles” in 1970.

Over more than 50 years, the band has had a revolving lineup of members, including short stints by singer-songwriter Jackson Browne and Bernie Leadon, a founding member of The Eagles. Though they might not have matched the early success of “Mr. Bojangles,” they’ve received numerous Grammy and Country Music Award nominations (and a couple of wins) and are widely recognized as pioneers of Americana roots music.

The current configuration, with founding members Jeff Hanna and Jimmy Fadden, will play at 7:30 p.m. July 22 in the Hartwood Acres Park Amphitheater in Allison Park, as part of the free 2018 Allegheny County Summer Concert Series.

Opening for the Dirt Band will be Zelienople’s own Angela Autumn, singer of “cowgirl folk and sad girl blues.”


Amorous adventures in Austria

Escape to 1920s Vienna with the Pittsburgh Festival Opera’s presentation of Richard Strauss’s “Arabella,” the 10th of the composer’s 15 operas and his last collaboration with famed librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal.

The Pittsburgh premiere of this romantic comedy of mistaken identities, secret love notes and passionate assignations is set for 7:30 p.m. July 20 and 2 p.m. July 22 at the Winchester Thurston School in Shadyside.

The opera is set during the 24 hours of Shrove Tuesday, as one of the two beautiful daughters of the aging, cash-strapped Count Waldner is forced to assume the identity of a son, while struggling with her desires as a woman.

“Arabella” will be sung in English with projected titles also in English.


Chills, not cheap thrills

Halloween is still three months away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your chills on despite the summer heat.

The Haunted Pittsburgh Ghost Tour starts at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through early November, including July 20 and 21, in front of the City-County Building on Grant Street.

“Pittsburgh has a South Side and a North Side — we take you to its dark side,” promises the website.

Don’t expect cheap thrills like poorly made-up ghosts and ghouls. Instead, expect well-researched creepy stories steeped in Western Pennsylvania history.

It’s an outdoor walking tour, with guides explaining otherworldly happenings associated with sites along the mile-or-slightly-longer route, and it goes on rain or shine.


Game on

After a 13-day break, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (9-1-7) take on the Charleston Battery on July 21 at Highmark Stadium on the South Side.

These teams fought to a 0-0 draw in their first meeting this season.

The Riverhounds are going for their fourth straight victory – a feat the team has not reached this season. The last time Pittsburgh logged a four-game winning streak was during its 2013 campaign.

Pittsburgh’s defense has been on a record pace in numerous statistical categories. Six times this season, Riverhounds players have been named to the United Soccer League Team of the Week, including an honor for center back Joe Greenspan when the team last played in Week 17.

Goalkeeper Dan Lynd has logged a 0.50 goals-against average this season. His efforts have helped lead to the team’s current streak of five straight clean sheets, having started in each one of these matches.


Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750, or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

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