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Short List: Week of August 10 - 16

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This week Pittsburgh gets another arts festival -- but it's kind of an accidental one, and edgier than most, as three unaffiliated shows highlight queer women exploring gender issues and more. First comes the Queer Women of Color Artist BlowOUT! This Aug. 13 concert at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater features Philly-based performance-poetry duo Pussies, Pens and Politics (pictured); Pittsburgh duo Sol Sis (with Yah Lioness and Ma'Ze) open the program, presented by reproductive-rights group New Voices Pittsburgh. On Aug. 14, the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination hosts The New Road Home Tour, with visiting performers DavEnd, Nomy Lamm and Erin Daley using song, multimedia, storytelling and costumes to "remix notions of gender, sexuality, dis/ability, community and family." And on Aug. 16, The Femme Show hits Remedy. Artists in this touring blend of burlesque, dance, drag, spoken word and puppeteering include Geppetta (whose work has been called "cryptic vaudevillian surrealism") and Maggie Cee, whose piece "I Wish I Was Him" describes her yearning to be a drag queen. Bill O'Driscoll & Brendan Sullivan Queer Women of Color: 8 p.m. Sat., Aug. 13 (5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty; $10-15, no one turned away; 412-363-6663). New Road Home Tour: 7 p.m. Sun., Aug. 14 (5006 Penn Ave., Friendship; $7-12, no one turned away; 412-802-8575). Femme Show: 8:30 p.m. Tue., Aug. 16 (5121 Butler St., Lawrenceville; $5-$10; www.thefemmeshow.com)

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Fri., Aug. 12 -- Art

For 38 years, Pittsburgh Citiparks has sent the Roving Art Cart out into the city all summer, providing free arts programs for kids in their own neighborhoods. Today marks this summer's last weekday appearance, at Riverview Park. The 2011 Roving Art Cart added "action art," a bike-powered spin-art machine that spits color onto repurposed old 45 rpm records. "It truly brings an active, vibrant participatory element to art," says Cart manager Nancy Burns. The bike is open to artists of all ages. Brendan Sullivan S 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Perry North. Free. 412-665-3665 or www.citiparks.net

 

Fri., Aug. 12 -- Bicycling

If you like bike lanes and other signs of bike-friendliness, thank, in large part, Bike Pittsburgh. And if you like some socializing with your two-wheeling, check out the group's seventh annual Bikefest. It's 10 days of rides and other independently organized doings under BikePGH's umbrella. The roughly 70 events include: bike tours of local pools and cemeteries; costumed theme rides, from zombies to Batman (including the Sun., Aug. 14 ride to Downtown's Dark Knight set); bike-polo matches; and repair classes. Most events are free, though tonight's kickoff fundraising party is ticketed. The party, at Pittsburgh Opera, features Balkan-influenced, horn-driven dance band Lungs Face Feet. Bill O'Driscoll Party: 6-8 p.m. (VIP; $100) and 8 p.m.-midnight ($20-40). 2425 Liberty Ave., Strip District. Bikefest continues through Aug. 21. www.bike-pgh.org

ART BY CLAYTON MERRELL
  • Art by Clayton Merrell

Fri., Aug. 12 -- Art 

The guest curators for the new show at Fe Arts Gallery are artists Julie Leidner and Elizabeth Mooney. Transplants to the city, the two wanted to know whether the region's industrial heritage had informed the language of its abstract painters. Learn what they discovered tonight as Rust Melt: New Abstractions From Pittsburgh opens with a reception. The exhibit includes work by eight area artists including N Sean Glover, Jessica Langley, Dana Lok, Clayton Merrell, Meghan Olson, James Shafer, Karen Seapker and Adam Welch. BO 7-9 p.m. Show continues through Sept. 17. 4102 Butler St., Lawrenceville. www.fegallery.org

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Fri., Aug. 12 -- Dance

The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater's summer of dance residencies continues tonight with Staycee Pearl dance project's Interim ONE: b sides. Pearl and a half-dozen featured dancers present a mixed of re-envisioned previous works as well as some brand-new short pieces. Of note is a partial preview of upcoming evening-length work Octavia, based on the life and work of famed science-fiction author Octavia Butler. Also notable: The evening's soundtrack will be mixed live by Herman Pearl (a.k.a. DJ Soy Sos). BO 8 p.m. 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty. Pay what you can. www.kelly-strayhorn.org

 

Fri., Aug. 12 -- Film

For fans of the cult-classic film Basket Case -- and we know you're out there -- tonight's program at the Hollywood Theater is almost too big to fit in one basket. Naturally, the 1982 horror comedy about the man who keeps his ill-formed twin in a basket will screen. Before the film, take in a Q&A with Joshua Emerick, who's illustrating Fangoria's upcoming "Basket Case: The Comic." After the movie is the world premiere of Beverly Bonner's stage show, Casey -- 30 Years Later, that catches up with Bonner's character from the film. To be followed by another Q&A, and cake! Al Hoff 8 p.m. 1449 Potomac Ave., Dormont. $10. www.hollywooddormont.org

 

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Sat., Aug. 13 -- Festival

The UMOJA African Arts in the Park festival, "Celebrating Africa's Impact on Diverse Cultures," is in a new location this year: Downtown at Point State Park. The day-long event features African and African-diaspora music on the main stage, and a vendor marketplace -- the "Soko," in Swahili -- for arts, crafts and clothing. Other festival huts offer: interactive demonstrations of traditional African art forms like drum-making and head-wrapping; health education; and entertainment for the kids. BS 11 a.m. -8 p.m. Free. 412-224-4086 or www.africanartsinthepark.org 

 

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Sat 13 Aug -- Festival

In the early '60s, the south of England was subjected to a rash of gang violence between motorcycle-riding Rockers and slick Mods on scooters. The rumbles in Bristol and Brighton caused a moral panic about the nation's youth, but a half-century later, in Pittsburgh, at the second annual Steel City Mods vs Rockers Vintage Motorcycle and Scooter Rally, switchblades and brawls have been traded in for contests for pin-up models and best bikes. The party on four blocks of Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield also features live music and an afterparty at Howlers Coyote Cafe. BS Noon-9 p.m. Liberty between Edmond and Pearl. $10. www.steelcitymodsvsrockers.com or 412-215-5532

 

Sat., Aug. 13 -- Festival

When the Hazlett Theater closed, in 2003, it left a gaping hole in the local performing-arts scene. It was a big boost when, in 2006, the venerable North Side venue was reborn as the New Hazlett Theater. Today, fete the New Hazlett with a free all-day Community Celebration. The indoor/outdoor festival includes a live broadcast by radio's Saturday Light Brigade. Children's activities include a Puppet Happening show, hands-on art, and a 6 p.m. screening of the film Diary of a Wimpy Kid. There's also live music (on a solar-powered sound system) by the likes of soul/R&B performer Jerel Webster. BO 10 a.m.-10 p.m. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. Free. 412-320-4610

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Sat., Aug. 13 -- Spectacle

If one phrase captures the appeal of the touring spectacle known as the Life-Size Mousetrap, that phrase is "clown engineers." This 25-ton kinetic sculpture -- inspired by the classic board game -- and its attendant circus-style performers send a bowling ball through a Rube Goldberg contraption for the sole purpose of dropping a two-ton safe from a 30-foot crane. Physics? You bet! That's why the Mousetrap visits the Carnegie Science Center (co-sponsored by The Toonseum). While the Mousetrap's multiple daily performances are family-friendly, tonight's opener is a 21-and-over show featuring local vaudevillians Phat Man Dee, Andrew the Impaled and Guaracha Latin Dance band. BO 7:30-10:30 p.m. ($40-45; includes refreshments). Performances continue through Aug. 21. North Side. 412-237-3400

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