Short List: January 13 - 19 | Short List | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Short List: January 13 - 19

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Daniel Beaty was 3 years old when his father was arrested for heroin possession. "A large part of my journey has been based on having my father there for me in the beginning, only to see him in and out of jail, due to his addiction," says Beaty by phone from his home in New York City. Despite, or perhaps because of, such obstacles, the Yale graduate, who studied English and opera, established his trademark lyricism through a handful of writing and acting credits. Since 2006, he's gained accolades and supporters, including Bill Cosby, with his stage work. This weekend, City Theatre begins a three-week run of Beaty's latest solo show, Through the Night. It's a look at the modern black male through six characters, ages 10 to 60. Eric, 10, wants to be a scientist, and is trying to create an herbal-tea panacea for the pain of those in his neighborhood. Eric's unconventional father, Mr. Rogers, owns a Harlem health-food store, sandwiched between more popular and affordable fast-food joints. "The challenge was being truthful, but not stereotypical. I wanted to convey a range in regard to background and social status," says Beaty. The show's title speaks to overwhelming setbacks the New York-based artist has seen in communities since 2008's economic downturn and subsequent housing crisis. "It's intensified the need for black men to know their worth," Beaty says. The Ohio native also draws from his own trials. In the spoken-word piece "Knock, Knock," from his debut one-man-show Emergence-See! (2006), Beaty laments the absence of his incarcerated father: Papa come home 'cause there's things I don't know and I thought you could teach me: How to shave, how to dribble a ball, how to talk to a lady, how to walk like a man. Through the Night follows Beaty's one-night-only performance of Emergence-See! in November, at the August Wilson Center. Amy Kuhre Sat., Jan. 14-Feb. 5. 1300 Bingham St., South Side. $30-60. 412-431-2489 or www.citytheatrecompany.org

 

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Fri., Jan. 13 — Art

The late Steve Emmett's artistic legacy was his neo-expressionistic paintings, typically imbued with both a dry humor and an unexpected poignancy. His work was exhibited locally and nationally. Steve Emmett: Internal Reflections, a show at 707 Penn Gallery, takes as its theme the Edinboro University professor's depiction of solitary male figures. But Emmett wasn't alone in life; in fact, the curator of this new show is his son, Ryan Emmett. The opening reception is tonight. Bill O'Driscoll 7-9 p.m. 707 Penn Ave., Downtown. Free. woodstreetgalleries@pgharts.org


Fri., Jan. 13 — Music

Acclaimed Scottish solo percussionist Evelyn Glennie returns for Spirit Voices, a dramatic arrangement written for her by PSO Composer of the Year Steven Stucky. Glennie, who is hearing-impaired, plays barefoot to help her feel vibrations during performances, and to move seamlessly between instruments. The program also includes the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, led by Slovakian conductor Juraj Valcuha, performing Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances. The first of three performances is tonight, at Heinz Hall. Amy Kuhre 8 p.m. Also, 8 p.m. Sat., Jan. 14, and 2:30 p.m. Sun., Jan. 15. 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $20-93. 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org 


Fri., January 13 — Activism

Although Occupy Pittsburgh members are striving to do so, the Occupy movement can't inhabit outdoor public spaces forever. So what now, asks tonight's event at Space Gallery, called Occupy Your Mind: What's Next. Occupy Your Mind is a planned monthly, second-Fridays gathering at different locations throughout the city. The inaugural outing features Occupy Wall Street Think Tank members Tim Weldon and Lily DeFriend, artist and curator Susanne Slavick and poet Terrence Hayes. Participants are encouraged to bring refreshments and engage in open discussion, art, poetry and insights about what's next. Charlie Deitch 7:30 p.m. 812 Liberty Ave., Downtown. www.facebook.com/OccupyYourMindPGH


Fri., Jan. 13 — Comedy

Don't tell Dr. Brian King, "It hurts when I do this." True, he might say, "Don't do that," but not because he's an MD (he's not) or a psychologist (even though he is) ... but because he's a comedian. The touring performer presents tonight's Fresh Cut Comedy Show, at Most-Wanted Fine Art Gallery. King, a former Pittsburgher, calls his style "half professor, half idiot and all smart-ass." The producer of San Francisco's annual Walk the Plank comedy competition tops a bill featuring eight local comedians, including Sean Collier, Derek Minto, Ron Placone and Matt Wohlfarth, and Washington, D.C.-based blind comedian Brian Hurley. BO 8 p.m. 5015 Penn Ave., Garfield. $5. 412-328-4737 or www.most-wantedfineart.org

 

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Sat., Jan. 14 — Art

Today, Sweetwater Center for the Arts and nonprofit Just Harvest provide opportunities for potters, from novices to pros, to create functional art even as they raise awareness about hunger and poverty in Allegheny County. Sweetwater offers two open-studio sessions for wheel-throwing and hand-building clay bowls, to be used during Just Harvest's annual fundraiser dinner, Empty Bowls; tools and clay are provided. Just Harvest, founded in 1986, helps people access hunger services and advocates reforming policies affecting the poor. AK 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2-4 p.m. 200 Broad St., Sewickley. $3-5. 412-741-4405 or www.justharvest.org   

 

 

PHOTO BY CASSIE KAY RUSNAK
  • Photo by Cassie Kay Rusnak

Sat., Jan. 14 — Dance

The Pillow Project calls its Second Saturdays shows "jazz happenings," but that's more about the vibe, and the roots of the company's dance style, than a strict definition of the music involved. Tonight, it's "an all-soul evening" featuring local singer Vie Boheme with DJ Brother Free, backed by a live band; special musical guests include Phat Man Dee and Gene Stovall. The dance includes both new works choreographed by Kaylin Horgan and movement improvised to the music. There's even "live art" by Jordan Bush, and it's all in the troupe's lounge-like Space Upstairs. BO 8 p.m. 214 N. Lexington St., Point Breeze. Suggested donation: $10. 412-225-9269 or www.pillowproject.org


Mon., Jan. 16 — Holiday

Today, there's no shortage of activities honoring Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy.  Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh needs volunteers for its Day of Service, with some 15 projects all day city-wide, including painting and clearing debris at Oakland's Shepherd's Heart Church (call Jeremy at 412-351-0512 to register). Venture Outdoors hosts its 10th annual Day in the Park, at Schenley Park Ice Rink. The free, family-oriented event (1-4 p.m.) includes snowshoeing, sledding and socializing around the fire pit. Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, in East Liberty, offers Many Hands, with free performances from Alumni Theatre Company and Visionary Dance Company, among others (noon-4 p.m.; 412-363-3000 or www.kelly-strayhorn.org). And on the North Side, the Children's Museum offers: free admission; drum ensemble Afrika Yetu; actor Greg Kenny's one-man show "I Have a Dream"; and The Saturday Light Brigade's five-hour marathon of participatory readings of King's speeches (11 a.m.-4 p.m.; 412-322-5058 or www.pittsburghkids.org). AK 


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Thu., Jan. 19 — Film

Maxo Vanka's murals on the walls of Millvale's St. Nicholas Church vividly excoriate war and capitalist greed and celebrate working people; some, like the gas-masked, rubber-gloved and sword-wielding figure of Injustice, or the Virgin Mary interceding on the battlefield, glow with the holy fire of outrage. Though internationally known, these pre-World War II murals remain a hidden treasure in Pittsburgh. A new hour-long documentary tells their story. Maxo Vanka's Masterpiece: The Murals at St. Nicholas Church is the latest from locally based filmmaker Kenneth Love, whose previous works have explored Teenie Harris, Fallingwater and more. Love introduces the world-premiere screening of Masterpiece, today at Duquesne University. BO 4:30 p.m. Power Center, Duquesne campus, Uptown. Free. 412-396-5131

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