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Short List: April 20 - 25

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Fresh off its New York debut, Point Park University's Conservatory Dance Company presents the ninth edition of its annual At the Byham program, April 19-21. Perhaps the finest lineup of dance works in the program's history, the program will feature a reprise of CDC's performance of Martha Graham's groundbreaking 1929 modern-dance work "Heretic" last month at New York's Joyce Theater. The reconstructed five-minute piece set to a Breton folk tune depicts an outcast's struggle for tolerance against an unyielding group of Puritans. (Soloist Mikelle Rindflish is pictured.) Meanwhile, Val Caniparoli's "Bow Out" (1995) is a playful ballet that uses jackets the dancers manipulate in clever ways. "It's a fun and fast contemporary ballet," says Point Park University Department of Dance chair Susan Stowe. Deeply Rooted Dance Theater artistic director Kevin Iega Jeff's "Sky" (2006) is a richly patterned and flowing group work set to music by Icelandic band Sigur Rós. And rounding out the program is Ohad Naharin's masterpiece "Minus16" (1999). A fusing of sections of other Naharin works, "Minus16" is set to a musical compilation of cha-cha, mambo and traditional Israeli music, and features some audience participation. Of the group work, repetiteur and Point Park alum Cheryl Mann says "It touches on all emotions." Steve Sucato Thu., April 19, through Sun., April 21. Byham Theater, 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $18-20. 412-392-8000 or pittsburghplayhouse.com

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It's possible queer literary cabaret doesn't come more acclaimed than Sister Spit: Next Generation. The all-gendered, trans-inclusive group of six artists now touring the nation by van include Michelle Tea, the San Francisco-based memoirist and novelist who co-founded the group. Mx Justin Vivian Bond, best known as half of Kiki and Herb, has been hailed in The New Yorker as the greatest cabaret artist of her generation. There's also writer and musician Brontz Purnell; storyteller Cassie J Sneider; slam poet Kit Yan; and Erin Markey, who performs madcap solo musicals, including one titled The Dardy Family Home Movies by Stephen Sondheim by Erin Markey. Tea, meanwhile, invited 21 filmmakers to each make a five-minute film of one chapter of her new book. At The Andy Warhol Museum, for Sister Spit's first Pittsburgh stop since 2010, she might show the clay-mation one. That is, as Tea says from the road in California, "repressed buffalo sex might be on the menu." Bill O'Driscoll 8 p.m. Fri., April 20. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. $12-15. 412-237-8300 or www.radarproductions.org

Thu., April 19 — Stage

Sarah Ruhl is among America's top young playwrights, and 2009's In the Next Room or the vibrator play is among her best-regarded plays. The comedic drama concerns the Victorian-era birth, in a New York town, of a certain electric implement to treat women's "hysteria." The play was Ruhl's first on Broadway and a finalist for a Pulitzer. Alan Stanford directs the Pittsburgh premiere for Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, a production featuring nationally credited actors including Brad Heberle and Megan McDermott. Catch the buzz at the Charity Randall Theatre starting tonight. Bill O'Driscoll 8 p.m. Continues through May 5. Stephen Foster Memorial, Forbes Avenue at Bigelow. $25-48. 412-394-3353 or www.picttheatre.org

COURTESY OF PITTSBURGH LAN
  • Courtesy of Pittsburgh LAN

Fri., April 20 — Games

The Pittsburgh LAN Coalition was established in 2003 to serve the gaming community by hosting Local Area Network parties, where people gather with their laptops for multiplayer video games. Tonight, Castle Shannon hosts Iron Storm XIII. LAN's 16th event is a 42-hour tournament — Pittsburgh's largest PC and console video-game tourney — where players compete, not just in popular games like Call of Duty, but also in gaming classics like Goldeneye 64. Winners will take home more than $4,000 in prizes. Mariluz Orbay 6 p.m. Castle Shannon VFD Memorial Hall, 3600 Library Road, Castle Shannon. $35-45. www.pittco.org

Fri., April 20 — Words

Laos — a landlocked Southeast Asia nation, Communist, predominantly rural, mostly Buddhist, mountainous and thick with jungle. It's been called the most heavily bombed country ever. One Million Elephants is writer and actor Robert Isenberg's new solo performance about his travels there, exploring secret wars, personal redemption and government surveillance. Isenberg (a regular CP contributor) developed the show with No Name Players; the troupe's Don DiGiulio directs. Tonight's the first of two shows. BO 8 p.m. Also 8 p.m. Fri., April 21. Grey Box Theatre, 3595 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $5-15. www.nonameplayers.org

Sat., April 21 — Outdoors

Google "trillium trail" and the first thing that appears is Fox Chapel's park of the same name. But trilliums cannot be properly appreciated in front of a computer screen — so get yourself out to today's Trillium Trail Wildflower ID Walk. The guided, two-hour Venture Outdoors jaunt along a one-mile trail might teach you enough about identifying trilliums and their flowering neighbors to lead your own walk. BO 11 a.m. Fox Chapel. $8. 412-255-00564 or www.ventureoutdoors.org

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Sat., April 21 — Outdoors

Spend Earth Day celebrating outdoors at Frick Park, with CitiPark's family-friendly Earth Day 2012. An opening ceremony is followed by a day full of eco-art activities, nature walks and tree-planting workshops, while surrounded by Frick Woods Nature Reserve's impressive array of habitats, featuring many native Pennsylvania plants. Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and 91.3fm WYEP co-sponsor the event. Free shuttle service is available to and from selected local elementary schools. MO 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. 2005 Beechwood Blvd., Squirrel Hill. Free. 412-422-6538 or www.frickenvironmentalcenter.com

Artwork by Sarah Palmer. Courtesy of Aperture Foundation, New York.
  • Artwork by Sarah Palmer. Courtesy of Aperture Foundation, New York.

Sat., April 21 — Art

PGH Photo Fair bills itself as the first annual art fair here treating photography as a contemporary fine art. The brainchild of locally based collector Evan Mirapaul, the inaugural fair will display museum-quality prints and photo-based art, from vintage work to the present. The eight exhibitors include internationally known dealers, like New York's Gitterman Gallery and Toronto's Stephen Bulger Gallery, and local art-photo-book dealer Spaces Corners. The venue is vintage, too — the ballroom of the former East Liberty YMCA. BO Noon-6 p.m. Also 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun., April 22. 120 Whitfield St., East Liberty. Free. www.pghphotofiar.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF OLIVER ROSSBERG
  • Photo courtesy of Oliver Rossberg

Sat., April 21 — Music

Benny Golson is officially an NEA jazz master — but don't take the NEA's word for it. At 83, the composer, arranger, lyricist, producer and tenor saxophonist boasts a career of band credits with the likes of Art Blakey and Dizzy Gillespie. He's composed and arranged for names like Coltrane, Davis and Fitzgerald. And he's written more standards (eight) than any living jazz artist. Tonight's Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra program at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture features Golson performing  several of them, including "Killer Joe and I Remember Clifford," and even a new piece written especially for tonight. BO 8 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $25-50. 412-456-6666 or www.AugustWilsonCenter.org

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Sun., April 22 — Words

Experience the life of a photographer on assignment for National Geographic as Annie Griffiths takes you through three decades of work as one of that magazine's first female photographers. She has worked on every continent except Antarctica, while raising her two children, whom she brought on many of her travels.  The lecture includes the author's photographic journey, based on her memoir A Camera, Two Kids, and a Camel. Today's Byham Theater event is presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. MO 4 p.m. 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $20-40. 412-456-6666 or www.trustarts.org

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Tue., April 24 — Music and Words

City of Asylum/Pittsburgh continues its Reading the World 2012 series with a visit from two special guests. In the 1960s and 1970s, poet Keorapetse Kgositsile lived in exile from his native South Africa; now one of that country's most revered poets, tonight he'll read alongside composer, musician and longtime City of Asylum collaborator Oliver Lake. (When you think Lake, think "Jazz Poetry Concert.") The two men will perform solo and, in an original work, together, at Metropolitan Baptist Church. The show is free with a reservation only. BO 7:30 p.m. 22 Sampsonia Way, North Side. Reservations at 412-321-2190 or lauramustiocoap@gmail.com

Wed., April 25 — Music

Classical Revolution Pittsburgh brings you live chamber music without the concert hall and the fancy napkins. The San Francisco-based movement takes classical music to more casual venues, such as bars and cafes, to broaden its audience and increase relevance among younger crowds. Bar Marco is hosting a performance tonight, with a program that includes Bach's "Selections from the Art of Fugue," as well as Schubert's "String Quartet No. 15 in G Major." Followed by the Pittsburgh tango ensemble Cuidado. MO 8 p.m. Bar Marco, 2216 Penn Ave., Strip District. Free. 412-471-1900 or www.classicalrevolutionpgh.org

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