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Short List: July 20-26

“Farm Boy to Fabulous” Robert Hensley; a comic Hound of the Baskervilles; Steel City Kitty Burlesque at the Rex; Hemingway’s Summer Poetry Series Grand Finale

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SPOTLIGHT: Sun., July 14 — Talk

In the wake of the June 12 nightclub shootings in Orlando, Arts Out Loud hosts The Lotus, a free night of LGBT storytelling at Shadyside’s Undercroft Gallery. Writer and filmmaker Robert Hensley, known for his young-adult novella Leo’s Love Story, will share his own story of growing up on a 1,500-acre family farm in Fayette County, coming out, and forging a remarkably varied career in Hollywood. In 20 years in the industry, he has written screenplays, designed costumes, produced, directed and become a celebrity makeup artist. He titles his talk “From Farm Boy to Fabulous.” “I hope that people understand that you can come from a very small place or a very rough place and find success and find a willing audience for your work,” Hensley tells CP by phone. “The social climate right now in our country — I think we hear more negative stories than we do positive. There is good news. There are people that are following their dreams and doing what they love.” Hensley hopes to encourage young people to follow their passions and share their own stories to strengthen the bonds of community. Also featured is rising YouTube musician Logan McHenry, a.k.a. Logan Mashups, whose seamless combinations of pop hits have garnered hundreds of thousands of views. McHenry will discuss growing up LGBT in small-town Kansas. Tyler Dague 6-10 p.m. Sun., July 24. 605 Morewood Ave., Shadyside. Free. 412-816-6437 or www.artsoutloud.org

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CARNEGIE SCIENCE CENTER
  • Photo courtesy of the Carnegie Science Center

Thu., July 21 – Exhibit

As the Pirates’ mystifying on-field ups and downs have demonstrated, baseball remains more art than science. But as with everything in the physical world, science can help explain hardball. This summer’s baseball-themed programming at Carnegie Science Center is in full swing. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, see the live demonstration-theater show Grand Slam Science, exploring a bat’s sweet spot and the unhittable pitch. Starting today, Highmark SportsWorks offers daily demos, including a new one to check the speed and power of your swing. And tomorrow (July 22) and Aug. 5, any kid wearing a youth baseball- or softball-league jersey gets free Science Center admission. Bill O’Driscoll 10 a.m.-5 p.m. North Side. $11.95-19.95. 412-237-3400 or www.carnegiesciencecenter.org 

Thu., July 21 – Stage

In 2007, Steven Canny and John Nicholson, of British troupe Peepolykus, had a big hit with their farcical adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, which The Guardian called “unfailing hilarious.” This Holmesian comedy for three multitasking actors has come stateside; Andrew Paul, who recently directed a sold-out extended run at Nevada Conservatory Theater, now offers the Pittsburgh premiere courtesy of his Kinetic Theatre Company. The cast of Pittsburgh favorites includes David Whalen (as Sherlock), James FitzGerald and Connor McCanlus. The first performance, at Pittsburgh Playwrights’ Downtown space, is tonight. BO 8 p.m. Continues through Aug. 7. 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $20-40. 412-225-9145 or www.kinetictheatre.org

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Fri., July 22 – Outdoors

You’ve probably heard that bats are in trouble, dying by the thousands in their caves because of white-nose syndrome. Tonight’s your chance to learn more about these fascinating creatures first-hand, as Venture Outdoors hosts a Bat Walk in Wingfield Pines, an Allegheny Land Trust conservation area in Upper St. Clair. The easy, two-hour trek — which takes place as the bats begin their nightly foray — is led by Land Trust naturalists, who’ll help you to identify local bat species and explain how they use echolocation to navigate and feed. BO 7 p.m. Mayview Road, Upper St. Clair. $6-12. Register at www.ventureoutdoors.org.

Fri., July 22  — Screen

In 1996, at the height of home video, Bruce Lentz opened Incredibly Strange Video in Dormont for aficionados of cult films. Well, video stores are pretty dead — ISV lasted until 2008 — but Lentz remains. And tonight, for the store’s fans, the Hollywood Theater hosts the Incredibly Strange Video 20th Anniversary Reunion. The reception includes the ISV dollar store and a talk by Lentz. Then, of course, come the incredibly strange movies: Invisible Invaders (1959); 1966 superhero parody Rat Phink A Boo Boo; and Herschell Gordon Lewis’ pioneering 1963 splatter film Blood Feast. BO 7 p.m.; films at 8 p.m. 1449 Potomac Ave., Dormont. $8. 412-563-0368 or www.thehollywooddormont.org

Fri., July 22 — Stage

The endurance of the human spirit is truly stretched to its limits in the Pulitzer Prize-winning 2008 play Ruined. Written by acclaimed American playwright Lynn Nottage, Ruined focuses on three Congolese women, forever scarred from ongoing civil war and rejected by loved ones, who work in Mama Nadi’s “small business.” The off-Broadway run at Manhattan Theatre Club was extended nine times and received the Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Awards for outstanding play. A local production staged by The Entertainment Consortium Inc.’s African American Conservatory gets two performances this weekend at the August Wilson Center, including tonight’s. Tyler Dague 8 p.m. Also 4 p.m. Sun., July 24. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $32-42. 412-456-6666 or www.trustarts.org

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Sat., July 23 — Art

Traditionally, photography seeks the defining moment — the single image that says it all. But the new Carnegie Museum of Art exhibit Strength in Numbers: Photography in Groups explores how photographers throughout history have employed multiple images. Some 100 photos from the collections of all four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh range from German photographer August Sander’s series People of the 20th Century and Zanele Muholi’s documentation of South Africa’s LGBT community to portraits of Paris and Pittsburgh, and the intimate work of both Braddock’s own MacArthur genius-grant winner LaToya Ruby Frazier and Iran’s Newsha Tavakolia, who documents her trip to Mecca. BO 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $11.95-19.95 (free for children 2 and under). 412-622-3131 or www.cmoa.org

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Sat., July 23 – Music

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra wraps for the summer with a packed evening, dubbed a Classical Mixer. Live chamber music and a trivia contest precede the main concert filled with highlights from its upcoming season including Brahms, Bernstein and PSO composer of the year Sir James MacMillan. During the concert, musicians will share behind-the-scenes stories from the Heinz Hall stage. The concert concludes with that perennial crowd-pleaser, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. The evening will be capped by jazz in the Heinz Hall Garden. TD 7:30 p.m. (pre-concert activities: 6 p.m.). 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $30. 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org

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Sat., July 23 – Burlesque

Burlesque is a familiar sight around here, but tonight’s Steel City Kitty Burlesque & Variety Show features several nationally and internationally touring acts never before or seldom seen on local stages. At the Rex Theater, producer (and performer) Kat de Lac presents luminaries including: U.K.-based Eliza Delite, chosen Best International Burlesque Performer at the 2014 World Burlesque Games; San Francisco’s Sgt. Die Wies (pictured); New York City-based contortionist and burlesque artist Apathy Angel; and Chicago favorite Red Hot Annie. Local talents include drag queen Bambi Deerest and boylesque dancer Smokin’ McQueen. BO 8 p.m. 1605 E. Carson St., South Side. $20-25 (VIP: $50-100). www.facebook.com (search “Steel City Kitty”)

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Tue., July 26 – Talk

Young-adult novels aren’t just a kid thing anymore. With adaptations dominating the silver screen, YA fiction has emerged as a force in publishing. Three area authors, Siobhan Vivian (pictured; The Last Boy and Girl in the World), Jonathan Auxier (Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard), and Littsburgh founder Nick Courage (The Loudness), will discuss writing for children and young adults tonight courtesy of Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. A Q&A and book-signing will follow. TD 6 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free. 412-622-8866 or www.pittsburghlectures.org

Tue., July 26 – Words

A sure harbinger of summer’s dog days is the Grand Finale of Hemingway’s Summer Poetry Series. This venerable showcase for local talent concludes its season tonight with a strong program curated by Kristoffer Collins and featuring him, Angele Ellis, Celeste Gainey, Richard Gegick, John Grochalski, John Korn, Jason Mendez and Don Wentworth. Just wend your way past the Hemingway’s Café bar into the back room, and you’re there. BO 8 p.m. 3911 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free. Jbauer103w@aol.com

Thu., July 28 — Gathering

In most libraries, activities are aimed at children or teens to expose them to the exciting worlds hidden in books. However, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is not most libraries. Its latest activity series, The Den, is specifically focused on young adults and features board games, book discussions and easy drop-in art projects. The Den is planned for every second and fourth Thursday of the month, including tonight. TD 6-7:30 p.m. Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free. 412-622-3114 or www.carnegielibrary.org


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