March is here to end your hibernation, awaken your senses and rock your world.
1. Aaron Kleiber’s live comedy special at Carnegie Library of Homestead: March 3, 7 & 10 p.m.
Pittsburgh’s booming comedy scene gains a new notch in its belt when acclaimed comedian and Steel Valley native Aaron Kleiber films his new comedy special, “No Vacations,” on home turf. Be there to experience the creation of a live comedy album. Directed by Michael Killen, creator of “Downward Dog,” the show will be distributed internationally and is being produced with Animal Media Group. Kleiber remains based in Pittsburgh with his family, where he produces the city’s longest-running independent comedy show and serves as standup director at Arcade Comedy Theater. Known for his trademark “dad humor,” he has performed regularly at the Pittsburgh Improv, and appeared in dozens of commercials — most notably as President Grover Cleveland for the Pennsylvania Lottery. Catch him on Nickelodeon, in the nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom Show” and at L.A.’s Hollywood Improv. Buy tickets.
2. Lights! Glamour! Action! at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center: March 4, 6 p.m.
Support Hollywood East as an A-lister when the Pittsburgh Film Office unrolls all 500 feet of the city’s longest red carpet. Cheer on Daniel, Denzel and Octavia — and see who the Oscar goes to — as you watch a live telecast of the ceremony on a huge screen. Enjoy the “RATED PGH Red Carpet Design Competition” and spirits from Pennsylvania Libations. Inspired by the made-in-Pittsburgh Netflix crime series, “Mindhunter,” the glam gala will also feature interactive sessions with handwriting analyst Michelle Dresbold. Presented by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, the night will feature gourmet food stations and a champagne reception. Proceeds support the Pittsburgh Film Office, which has assisted with 200 productions and generated $1.2 billion in economic impact. Buy tickets.
3. Wild & Scenic Film Festival: March 8 at Chatham University’s Eddy Theater, 6:30 p.m.
Catch 11 award-winning films making their Pittsburgh premiere: Discover how industrial mining is threatening Alaska’s Tlingit people and meet the grandfather who starts each day at dawn rowing a canoe. Hear a cautionary tale about how light pollution impacts the night sky and join paddlers Adam and Susan Elliott as they explore Washington’s majestic Olympic Peninsula. Screenings will feature the Franktuary Food Truck, popcorn from Parkhurst and beer from Straub – one of the last U.S. breweries to use returnable, refillable bottles. Eco-minded cinephiles can also sign up to volunteer for local environmental groups, and vie for cool raffle prizes. Buy tickets.
4. HUMP! Film Festival at Spirit: March 9 & 10
The Blair Witch Project meets an anarchist electronic music festival. A fantasy in a coffee shop. A Depeche Mode video on quaaludes. If these provocative scenarios pique your interest, just wait until HUMP rides back into town. When he’s not tending his faithful flock via his popular relationship and sex advice column, Dan Savage can be found curating this sex-positive festival of DIY flicks. Founder of the It Gets Better Project, the acclaimed author and LGBT activist hatched the concept by asking people to send him “homemade dirty movies.” A global phenomenon was born, and Pittsburgh is one of 35 cities to get all 21 new films. An unabashed celebration of sexual expression and diversity, the curated program showcases all body shapes, ages, colors, sexualities, genders, kinks and fetishes. Get out of your comfort zone and buy tickets.
5. National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center: March 14 – 17
Among the largest arts and education events dedicated to a singular medium, NCECA’s annual conference is bringing cutting-edge ceramics to the Burgh. NCECA will include 100-plus satellite exhibits, events and shuttle tours throughout the city — and many are free. From Highland Park to Braddock, the public can discover connections between food, beer and ceramics, experience the auditory qualities of sculpture and see contemporary art from Romania. Pittsburgh’s world-class venues, including Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, Union Project and The Frick Pittsburgh, will host happenings. NCECA’s conference HQ will feature a gallery expo and keynote by Erica Halverson. In the Project Space, work with artist Laura Jean McLaughlin to help create a “Unity Shards” mosaic mural for the Northside’s Alphabet City Garden. Download the free conference app and flipbook program.