Dearest readers, February’s a short, busy month here in the ‘Burgh, and many worthy performances will happen that I’ll either not be able to catch, because of other commitments, or not get to write about. And some I will write about, but perhaps not right away. Here’s what’s on my radar screen:

This week, Hiawatha Project opens the new play JH: Mechanics of a Legend at the August Wilson center. The play, which situates the legend of John Henry within a cyclical repetition of the institutional mechanics of slavery, is written and directed by Anya Martin, and developed by its talented, local cast (which includes Monteze Freeland as John Henry and Delana Flowers as Polly Ann).  JH is an inventive weaving-together of history, myth, movement, and song. Opening night is February 9; you can find tickets and more information here.

This weekend is also the only weekend this month you can catch The Pink Unicorn at Off the Wall productions in Carnegie – a new play by Elise Forier Edie about a Christian conservative widow coming to terms with the news that her teenager is genderqueer. Directed by Ingrid Sonnichsen, this one-woman show features the formidable Amy Landis as the mother. Opens Thursday, plays through Sunday.

I won’t be catching that because my weekend will be taken up with the Bach Choir’s performance of Randall Thompson’s Requiem, a piece you’ve probably never heard of but will be ever-so-grateful to come to know. The Requiem is a one-hour, dual-choir, complex and gorgeous a cappella piece; playing at the downtown First Presbyterian Church on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

Also opening this month is Alumni Theatre Company’s original production “A World Without Us,” a show that highlights the rich contribution young urban artists can and do make to their community. The show runs February 17-18 at Peirce Studio, and more information on that is at the Alumni Theatre Company website.

A few shows are up and running: in addition to The Royale, which I posted about yesterday and which you really shouldn’t miss, there’s Woody’s Order at the Pittsburgh REP (a one woman show, by Ann Talman, about her relationship with her disabled brother Woody) and Twelfth Night at the Public.

Lastly – but certainly not leastly! – you should be making plans now to come on over to my stomping grounds here at CMU to catch the run of Ragtime, directed by Tome Cousins, and featuring the musical theater students of the School of Drama – opens February 23, running for two weekends. We also have an adaptation of Marlowe’s Edward II opening on February 22 and running for one weekend. (I don’t review our shows, but I don’t mind using this blog to let you all know what’s happening here!)