Short List: April 22 - 30 | Short List | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Short List: April 22 - 30

Cultural District Gallery Crawl; cartoonist Roz Chast; novelist Richard Flanagan; Jacquel Brel at PICT Classic

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FREE: Fri., April 24 — Art

April 24's Gallery Crawl includes a political touch: Students from the Pittsburgh chapter of the group MGR Youth Empowerment stage the #chalkedUNARMED Flash Mob, adorning Cultural District sidewalks with a series of chalk outlines to recall the deaths of unarmed black men and women killed by police. The flash mob complements the closing weekend of UNLOADED, a SPACE gallery exhibit about gun culture. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust-sponsored Crawl also includes art, live music and more at some two dozen other venues. At Sweetlix, there's an experimental-game showcase. The Spring Night Market features food, drinks, and craft and clothing vendors. Bricolage Productions offers a "living board game"; Lori Hepner and Christine Lorenz open their photography show Temporary States at 937 Liberty Ave.; artist Tamara Natalie Madden explores blackness as a racial distinction in the Caribbean in Out of Many, One People, new at 709 Penn Gallery; and Brooklyn's Mavis Swan Poole & Soul Understated rock the Trust Arts Education Center. The crawl goes till 10 p.m., but at the CrawlAfterDark, late-goers can sample events (some ticketed) including: more music, at SPACE ($5); a live sitcom at Arcade Comedy Theater ($10); improv comedy at Future Tenant (free); and a Harris Theater screening of 1981's Roar, the cult fave featuring Tippi Hedren and more than 150 lions, tigers and other wild animals ($5). Bill O'Driscoll 5:30-10 p.m. Fri., April 24. Downtown. Free. www.trustarts.org

PHOTO COURTESY OF BILL FRANZEN
  • Photo courtesy of Bill Franzen

Thu., April 23 — Talk

Fans of The New Yorker have long appreciated the angsty, insightful wit of cartoonist Roz Chast. Now Chast has made perhaps her biggest splash with her new book Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? The best-selling graphic memoir poignantly but hilariously depicts her relationship with her aging parents. Chast makes a rare Pittsburgh appearance tonight, discussing her book at Rodef Shalom Congregation. The event is a benefit for Family Hospice & Palliative Care. Bill O'Driscoll 6:30 p.m. 4905 Fifth Ave., Oakland. $75. 412-572-8812 or www.familyhospicepa.org

Thu., April 23 — Screen

If you haven't yet checked out Pittsburgh Filmmakers' bargain-priced series Martin Scorsese Presents Polish Masterpieces, here's a good place to start. Man of Iron (1981) is a film about the historic Gdansk shipyard strike that itself is credited with advancing Polish democracy. The film, which courageously confronted Poland's repressive government, was directed by Andrzej Wajda, whom one film historian has called "both the aesthetic grand master and moral conscience of Polish film." The first of two screenings at the Harris Theater is tonight. BO 7:30 p.m. Also 5:30 p.m. Sat., April 25. 809 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $5. www.theaters.pittsburgharts.org

Thu., April 23 — Festival

Pittsburgh's Thomas Merton Center continues its celebration of the 100th birthday of its namesake. Merton, a Trappist monk, was an author and activist for peace and social justice. His far-reaching influence is marked with Centennial of Thomas Merton Festival events including tonight's screening and discussion of the film The Many Storeys and Last Days of Thomas Merton, at Munhall's The Pump House. Other events continuing through Sunday include a discussion of Merton's path compared to that of Martin Luther King Jr. (at The Pump House); and "Walking the Path to Peace With Thomas Merton," an April 25 forum at the First Unitarian Church, in Shadyside. Most events are free. BO Many Storeys screening: 7:30 p.m. 880 E. Waterfront Drive, Munhall. Festival continues through Sun., April 26. For other events, see www.thomasmertoncenter.org.

Thu., April 23 — Dance

Point Park University's nationally recognized dance program showcases both its students and the work of its dance faculty this week with Conservatory Dance Company at Point Park University. The annual program, at Downtown's GRW Performance Studio, features pieces choreographed by Doug Bentz, Ruben Graciani, Kiesha Lalama, Garfield Lemonius, Peter Merz and Ron Tassone. The first of six performances is tonight. BO 8 p.m. Continues through Sun., April 26. 201 Wood St., Downtown. $18-20. www.pittsburghplayhouse.com

Fri., April 24 — Words

Author Jennifer Morales doesn't appear to include Pittsburgh on her list of the 10 most segregated U.S. cities she's touring to discuss Meet Me Halfway (University of Wisconsin Press), her critically acclaimed new collection of interconnected short stories. But she might as well include it, and she's coming here anyway. Tonight, the Wisconsin-based Morales visits Big Idea Bookstore to continue the conversation about race, sparked by these stories about an African-American teenager from Milwaukee who's attending a high school in a white suburb. BO 7 p.m. 4812 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Free. www.thebigideapgh.wordpress.com

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Fri., April 24 — Stage

In a Pittsburgh premiere, Off the Wall Theater Co. stages Samuel Hunter's The Whale. An emotional look into family relationships, the play follows Charlie, a 600-pound recluse desperate to reconnect with his long-estranged daughter. Reaching out to her, he finds only a sharp-tongued and wildly unhappy teen. The play, described as "riveting" by the New York Observer, depicts a man's last chance at redemption. The first performance is tonight. Zacchiaus McKee 8 p.m. Continues through May 9. 25 W. Main St., Carnegie. $5-35. 724-873-3576 or www.insideoffthewall.com

Sat., April 25 — Exhibit

The National Aviary's new Masters of the Sky season kicks off with a meet-and-greet this weekend. In this celebration of birds of prey, visitors can take a closer look at various species of eagles, owls, vultures and hawks. Special events include training demonstrations, feeding talks and flight displays. After this weekend, the season continues with events daily. ZM 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Also 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sun., April 26. 700 Arch St., North Side. $12-20. 412-323-7235 or www.aviary.org

PHOTO COURTESY OF JULIA PETRUSKA
  • Photo courtesy of Julia Petruska

Sat. April 25 — Exhibit

An annual family favorite, the Butterfly Forest reopens at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens today. Brightening the Stove Room, the Butterfly Forest features species like the striped zebra longwing and orange-and-black Pennsylvania monarch, some of which are known to land on guests. The program also showcases the life cycle of some of nature's most important pollinators and their favorite aromatic blooms. See the butterflies emerge from their chrysalides in an exhibit that continues through the summer. ZM 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 7. 1 Schenley Drive, Oakland. $11-15. 412-622-6914 or www.phipps.conservatory.org

Mon., April 27 — Screen

Comedian Bill Hicks was a cultural hero, and his status has only risen since his untimely death, in 1994. Tonight's one-night-only theatrical screening gives fans a chance to see Hicks in his prime, at select area Cinemark theaters. Comedy Dynamics Presents: Bill Hicks documents a 1992 Montreal stop on Hicks' Relentless tour, with the socially conscious comic ripping everything from musicians who don't use drugs to Operation Desert Storm. The evening includes such extras as clips from earlier standup shows. BO 8 p.m. Various Cinemark theaters. $10.50-12.50. www.fathomevents.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF ULF ANDERSEN SOLO
  • Photo courtesy of Ulf Andersen Solo

Wed., April 29 — Talk

Completed on the day his father died, Richard Flanagan's novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North was inspired by his father's experiences in Japanese POW camps. The book follows 77-year-old Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans from his POW experiences on the Thailand-Burma Railway during World War II through his life in contemporary Australia. The winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize, Flanagan speaks about his novel and career tonight in the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Lecture Hall. A book-signing follows the Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures event. ZM 7 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $10. 412-622-8866 or www.pittsburghlectures.org

Wed., April 29 — Stage

Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel was considered the master of the modern chanson, a lyric-driven genre of French song. His career lasted decades, and his songs were sung by artists like Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and David Bowie. PICT Classic Theatre stages Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, a cabaret-style musical featuring 25 songs written by Brel. The songs chosen explore a range of human emotion, sung by local talents including Daina Michelle Griffith and Justin Lonesome. With some performances at Downtown's Trust Arts Education Center already sold out, the first performance is today. ZM 8 p.m. Continues through May 9. 805 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $7-54. 412-561-6000 or www.picttheatre.org

PHOTO COURTESY OF ULF ANDERSEN SOLO
  • Photo courtesy of Ulf Andersen Solo

Thu., April 30 — Talk

"There will be no edges, but curves. Clean lines pointing only forward," is how Tracy K. Smith's Pulitzer Prize-winning book of poetry Life on Mars opens. Smith, a creative-writing professor at Princeton, is the keynote speaker at Carnegie Mellon's 2015 Adamson Student Writing Awards. The awards, a CMU staple, honor students for excellence in nonfiction, fiction, poetry, screenwriting and plays. Smith, who has written two other books of poetry, will give advice on the process of getting published. ZM 7 p.m. Baker Hall Auditorium, CMU campus, Oakland. Free. 412-268-2850 or www.cmu.edu/hss/english

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