Perhaps you've heard there's a new Batman movie due out. Maybe even that it was shot largely in Pittsburgh. (Oh, so that's what those guys were doing!) Neither is the July 20 premiere of The Dark Knight Rises lost on local comics aficionados. For instance, on Thu., July 19, all five locations of New Dimension Comics celebrate "Dark Knight Rises Day," with giveaways including a free special-edition Batman comic — and, at the Ellwood City store, a rare copy of Detective Comics #27, otherwise known as the debut appearance of "The Bat-Man." Meanwhile, The ToonSeum hosts "Gotham Nights," a fundraiser emceed by local-fave comic Jimmy Krenn. Gotham Nights features original Batman art by a host of regional artists, props from Dark Knight Rises — including the original bat-cowl worn in the film — and more. A Bruce Wayne-worthy VIP reception includes a Pittsburgh as Gotham exhibit preview and a set by Krenn. Bill O'Driscoll Dark Knight Rises Day: Thu., July 19 (New Dimension, various locations, www.ndcomics.com). Gotham Nights: 6:30-11:30 p.m. Sat., July 21 (805-807 Liberty Ave., Downtown; $50-125; 412-232-0199 or www.toonseum.org).
- Photo courtesy of Bakerloo Theatre Project
- Henry V at Bakerloo Theatre Project.
Thu., July 19 — Stage
Given that the long-running, New York-based Bakerloo Theatre Project has chosen a "How We Fight" motif for its first full season in Pittsburgh, adapting Shakespeare's Henry V for a contemporary audience seems only appropriate. More surprising is George Bernard Shaw's Candida, a comedy of manners that examines gender relations and socialist politics. But for artistic directors Lily Junker and William Addis, domestic conflicts can be just as compelling as national ones. Henry opens tonight, Candida tomorrow at Future Tenant. Andy Tybout Henry V: 8 p.m. tonight; also July 21-29. Candida: Fri., July 20-July 28. 819 Penn Ave., Downtown. $10-15. 518-892-2241 or www.bakerloo.org
Thu., July 19 — Stage
Gardner McKay's stage thriller Toyer has received notable productions from London to New York. The 1992 play's a two-character cat-and-mouse game between a serial disabler of women and the female psychologist investigating the crimes. It has deeply divided critics, who have called it everything from "riveting, breathtaking" to "morally repellent." Toyer was staged here last December by three Point Park grads, in the novel setting of an Oakland apartment. Now it's back with the imprimatur of local theater legend Richard Rauh, who produced. The show, directed by Charlie Wein and again staged in a real apartment, with the audience seated in the living room, opens tonight. Bill O'Driscoll 8 p.m. Show continues though Aug. 5. 3212 Joe Hammer Square, Oakland. Reservations required at 412-334-2633.
- Photo courtesy of Tim Barnwell
- Art by Russell Biles.
Fri., July 20 — Art
Finding out who gets the joke will be half the fun in Humor in Craft. The new Society for Contemporary Craft group show, curated by artist and author Brigitte Martin, features work by 33 artists from the U.S. and abroad. Samples: Joseph Cavalieri's "La Morte Al Campo Giochi (The Death in the Playground)," a stained-glass work putting a comic-macabre spin on Marge Simpson and her sisters, and Alice Simpson's grotesquely amusing stoneware work "Portrait of the Artist as Marie Antoinette." The opening reception is tonight. BO 5:30-8 p.m. Exhibit continues through Oct. 27. 2100 Smallman St., Strip District. Free. 412-261-7003 or www.contemporarycraft.org
Fri., July 20 — Art
Perhaps the first local art show with a hashtag in its title, and definitely one of the more conceptual exhibitions you'll see, #You'reTearingMeApart opens tonight. The collaborative, site-specific work explores ... the documentation of works of art like itself. Nina Marie Barbuto, Kyle Vannoy and Gena Salorino briefly occupied Frank Curto Park, whose famous "french-fry" sculpture they incorporated into a series of small assemblies that were simultaneously built and dismantled. The Filmmakers Galleries exhibit comprises each artist's personal documentation of the project, ranging from photos and video to social media, along with physical artifacts of the project. It's art imitating life imitating art — something like that. BO 6-9 p.m. 477 Melwood Ave., North Oakland. Free. 412-681-5449 or www.pittsburgharts.org
Sat., July 21 —Outdoors
It's 209 years to the week since Capt. Meriweather Lewis began his summer in Pittsburgh, supervising construction of the keelboat that would lead the Lewis and Clark expedition. Today, living-historian and re-enactor John McNulty leads an educational, moderately challenging five- to seven-mile hike surveying Pittsburgh's role in the three-year journey. The Venture Outdoors-sponsored Lewis & Clark History Hike starts in West End Village and heads up Mount Washington near the Duquesne Heights Greenway. The program includes music, readings from Lewis' journal and a fire-starting demonstration. Included: a high-elevation overview of Brunot's Island, the expedition's very first (and nearly disastrous) stop. BO 10 a.m.-3 p.m. West End. $10-15. www.ventureoutdoors.org
Sun., July 22 — Screen
Gillo Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers (1965) was re-released in 2004, and in the wake of the U.S. invasion of Iraq this docudrama felt disquietingly relevant. The taut, clinically detailed masterpiece portrays both sides in the struggle between Algerian Muslim guerillas and the French colonial government that had occupied their country since 1830. The film's authenticity is palpable; working in the neorealist tradition, Pontecorvo used a mostly nonprofessional cast including at least one former rebel leader. Tonight's screening at the Regent Square Theater falls near the 50th anniversary of Algerian independence. BO 8 p.m. 1035 S. Braddock Ave., Edgewood. $9. 412-682-4111 or www.pittsburgharts.org
- Photo courtesy of Marea Evans
Mon., July 23 — Words
John F. Kennedy ranks among our nation's most charismatic politicians, but his role in Francine Mathews' new thriller, Jack 1939 (Riverhead Books), is mostly behind-the-scenes. Mathews, a former CIA analyst, uses a real event — Kennedy's 1939 trip to Europe to research his senior thesis — as the basis for a globe-trotting, politically charged adventure, in which FDR recruits the future president to gather information about the Nazis. Tonight, Mathews speaks at the Mystery Lovers Bookshop, in Oakmont. AT 7 p.m. 514 Allegheny River Blvd., Oakmont. Free; advance RSVPs preferred. 412-828-4877or www.mysterylovers.com
Mon., July 23 — Stage
The Alexander Berkman Labor and Music Festival — that annual nose-thumbing at Pittsburgh's historical 1-percenters — has a new, and less ironic, home. No longer at the Frick Fine Art Building, this celebration of the would-be 1892 assassin of Henry Clay Frick is now at The Big Idea Bookstore, no stranger to radical ideas. The fifth annual Bermanfest is an evening of spoken word, poetry and live music, including a haiku contest, a Berman zombie-costume contest and more. BO 8 p.m. 4812 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Donations accepted. 412-687-4323
Tue., July 24 — Words
Chatham University's Words Without Walls Black Writers Reading Series concludes tonight with a reading by poet Patricia Jabbeh Wesley. The series offers writers who present their work for Allegheny County Jail inmates studying creative writing in Chatham's Words Without Walls program. Wesley is a survivor of Liberia's civil war who teaches at Penn State's Altoona campus. Her poetry collections include the lyrical and incisive Where the Road Turns and The River Is Rising. Tonight's on-campus reading is in Chatham's Mellon Board Room. BO 8 p.m. Shadyside. Free. www.chatham.edu/mfa
- Photo courtesy of Andrew Weiner
Thu., July 26 — Words
The title of Nora Zelevansky's debut novel, Semi-Charmed Life, might conjure images of wealthy Manhattanites living posh and directionless lives — and in fact, those are its main subjects. But Zelevansky, an Elle and SELF magazine journalist who lectures tonight at the Carnegie Museum of Art Theatre, characterizes her book as more of a satire with a "magic realist" touch than a straight-out drama (as evidenced by its opening sentence, in which the protagonist fails to realize her "bothersome cold" is actually "New York's ‘must-have' ailment of the season"). AT 6 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free. 412-622-8866 or www.pittsburghlectures.org
Thu., July 26 — Words
Coming-of-age stories often feature an excess of adult subject matter, and Brixton Key's debut novel, Charlie Six (Poppy Noir) is no exception. Set in London during the 1950s and '60s, the book centers on Charlie, the son of a gangster father and alcoholic mother, who discovers girls, drugs and The Rolling Stones while attempting to escape the dredges of lower-class life. Although narrated in a cockney dialect, the novel should appeal to American readers interested in rock 'n' roll and the countercultural movement. Tonight, the British-born Keys reads at the Downtown branch of Awesome Books. AT 7 p.m. 929 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Free. 412-471-1899 or www.awesomebookspittsburgh.com