Short List: August 22 - 28 | Short List | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Short List: August 22 - 28

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Nora Matthews moved to Pittsburgh a year ago — just before New York-based The Moth launched its StorySLAM series here for storytellers who work without notes. The playwright began volunteering at the themed monthly shows, and even performing. In December, Matthews, 26, won over judges with her story about the Camino de Santiago — the 500-mile Catholic pilgrammage across the north of Spain she took after college. Now Matthews has a slot at Aug. 23's The Moth Mainstage, at the New Hazlett Theater, titled What Lies Beneath: Stories of Steely Reserve. This fourth annual Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures showcase (a sure sell-out) is hosted by standup comic and NPR host Ophira Eisenberg. The evening's other local teller is John Fetterman, the nationally known activist mayor of Braddock. Guest tellers include: American-born writer and performer Joan Juliet Buck, a former editor of Paris Vogue; actor-turned-executive-coach Josh Broder, who tells about working on a movie in Pittsburgh; and Kevin R. Free, a New York-based playwright and performer. For her part, Matthews (pictured) will offer a new take on her Camino story: "It's about a kind of coming-of-age process that a lot of people our age go through … when you have to [find] adulthood without a roadmap when you've had things planned out for you your entire life." Bill O'Driscoll 7:30 p.m. Thu., Aug. 23. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $20 standing-room tickets available. 412-622-8866 or www.pittsburghlectures.org

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Thu., Aug. 23 — Comedy

When Pittsburgh last hosted Steve Byrne, the 1992 Hampton High graduate was a nationally touring comic sporting a Comedy Central special. This week, Byrne's back — and he's a sitcom star, too. TBS series Sullivan & Son premiered in July with Byrne playing a successful attorney who returns to Pittsburgh to run his family's South Side neighborhood bar. It was also a big career adjustment for series co-creator Byrne. "I think I got better as an actor as the series went on," he says by phone from Arlington, Texas. With season-one shooting wrapped — and awaiting word on prospects for a season two — Byrne and co-stars Owen Benjamin, Roy Wood Jr. and Ahmed Ahmed have embarked on the 22-city Sullivan & Son Comedy Tour. The six shows at Pittsburgh Improv will test whether sitcom celebrity (and a four-headliner bill) will turn out live crowds in Byrne's hometown. "Maybe now that I have that television show, people will drive across that damn bridge to see me," he quips. Bill O'Driscoll Thu., Aug. 23-Sun., Aug. 26. 166 E. Water St., The Waterfront, West Homestead. $22-25. 412-462-5233 or www.pittsburgh.improv.com

ART BY COLLEEN BROWNING
  • Art by Colleen Browning

Thu., Aug. 23 — Art

The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art is the world's top repository for works by Colleen Browning. The British-born artist (1918-2003) was among the foremost practitioners of the postwar movement known as "magic realism," combining representational forms with elements of illusion and fantasy. As part of its internationally touring exhibition Colleen Browning: A Brush With Magic, SAMA holds simultaneous exhibitions of her work at its four locations. The SAMA-Johnstown show, featuring Browning's commercial and printmaking work, opens tonight. Exhibits highlighting her early work, her drawings and her magic-realist ouevre subsequently open at the Ligonier Valley, Altoona and Loretto venues. BO Opening reception in Johnstown: 6-8 p.m. (free; 814-269-7234). Receptions follow in Ligonier (Fri., Aug. 24, free), Loretto (Aug. 25; $50, includes dinner) and Altoona (Aug. 27; $20, includes live music). www.sama-art.org


Fri., Aug. 24 — Crafts

Online crafters' marketplace Etsy holds its annual Etsy Craft Party today, and hosts include Wildcard. The Lawrenceville boutique for handmade gifts invites you to join like-minded crafters in making stuff under the banner of this year's theme, "Wish You Were Here." Etsy calls the Craft Party "a global celebration of meeting and making," but with an emphasis on local culture. BO 5-8 p.m. 4209 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-224-2651 or www.WildcardPGH.com

 

Fri.., Aug. 24 — Art

We hope they're happy now. After all, Laura Zorch and Laura Odegaard have spent the week of their Trespass artists' residency at Future Tenant gallery "manufacturing moments of happiness for the public through pop-up happenings." Whether you've experienced one of those moments or not, you're invited to two gallery nights for The Happy Factory. Tonight, the public's invited to work with the artists to create gifts to be exchanged at tomorrow night's event. The Saturday event also includes a wall-size coloring-book collaboration, a "happy-idea exchange," dancing and more. BO 7 p.m. Also 7-10 p.m. Sat., Aug. 25. 819 Penn Ave., Downtown. $5 ($7 for both nights). www.futuretenant.org

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Fri., Aug. 24 — Comedy

Maybe you haven't already had your fill of political campaigns — or "Decision '12," as they'll call it come Nov. 6. Or maybe you just need a good laugh that's not at the expense of the next politician who says, "This isn't about politics." In either case, The Second City for President might be your third-party ticket. The Chicago-based troupe famed for its skits and improv returns to Pittsburgh Public Theater with its election-year-themed show for three performances, starting with tonight's. BO 8 p.m. Also 5:30 and 9 p.m. Sat., Aug. 25. O'Reilly Theatre, 621 Penn Ave., Downtown. $28-48. 412-316-1600 or www.ppt.org

Sat., Aug. 25 — Music

Yes, Squonk Opera's been everywhere this summer with its GO Roadshow. But today's is a special edition of the theatrically minded art-rock troupe's carnival-style concert and spectacle on wheels. Squonk performs this afternoon in Schenley Plaza, and again tonight. After the evening show, the internationally touring band with the walloping sound and bottomless trunk of silly props and surreal stagecraft holds its 20th-anniversary party at the neighboring restaurant The Porch. And if you miss Squonk today, wish the group a happy 20th at free shows tomorrow at Wilkinsburg's Second United Presbyterian Church (noon) and at Bellevue's North Hills Community outreach Garden (7 p.m.). BO Concerts: 4 and 8 p.m. Party: 9-11 p.m. ($25-35, includes food, a CD and one drink). www.squonkopera.org 

Sat., Aug. 25 — Party

For the past year, volunteers with Gay for Good's Pittsburgh chapter have been working with nonprofits across the city, from Tree Pittsburgh to Persad, to lend a helping hand once a month. Volunteers have clocked in more than 3,000 hours. Tonight, the local incarnation of this national LGBT service organization celebrates its one-year anniversary at The Toonseum. The event includes cocktails and desserts, and a live performance by singer-songwriter Kristen McGarr. Lauren Daley 7-9:30 p.m. 945 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $10 suggested donation. www.gayforgood.org

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Sun., Aug. 26 — Sports

Odds are you don't want to hear it, but it won't be long before the Schenley Park Skating Rink is skinned with ice once again. (Well, it'll be a couple months yet, but who's counting?) All the more reason to get out to the Schenley Park Miniature Golf Course, an 18-holer set up inside the rink's very boards. The course is open six days a week in summer, but you'd better hurry: The season ends today. BO 1-9 p.m. Schenley Park, Oakland. $3-4. 412-422-6523 or www.citiparks.net

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Wed., Aug. 29 — Words

Though born in Zimbabwe, dancer and choreographer Nora Chipaumire is growing Pittsburgh roots. In 2007, this veteran of the Urban Bushwomen troupe visited to perform Chimurenga, a stunning work evoking her country's second war of liberation. She later set a new work on Pittsburgh's Dance Alloy Theatre and performed here with legendary Zimbabwean musician Thomas Mapfumo. The U.S.-based Chipaumire returns tonight for an artist talk about Miriam, a character-driven work-in-progress she'll return in April to perform courtesy of the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater and The Andy Warhol Museum. BO 7 p.m. 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty. $10. 412-363-3000 or www.kelly-strayhorn.org

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Thu., Aug. 30 — Art

If you attended Aug. 19's preview of Project: Lido, here's your chance for an update on what eight artists or artist teams are doing to reimagine Lawrenceville's decommissioned Leslie Pool and grounds. And if you missed that event, tonight's free garden party and opening reception is your chance to catch up. As offered by the Lawrenceville Collective and curator Amanda Donnan, the outdoor projects include site-specific sculptures by Brian Brown and Felipe Castelblanco; a large-scale, optical-illusion drawing on the pool itself by Nayda Collazo-Llorens; Cara Erskine's basketball court; and Nina Barbuto's sod-roofed tidal-wave shelter. The evening's DJ, meanwhile, is Edgar Um. BO 7-10 p.m. 4700 Butler St., Lawrenceville. Free. www.lvpgh.com

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