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Short List: June 6 - 13

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Yes, we know: The Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh's Big Gay Picnic was on Memorial Day weekend. But if there's a Big Gay Weekend in Pittsburgh, it's got to be the one culminating with the foundation's annual Pride in the Streets and PrideFest celebrations. Not to slight events like June 8's chauffeured, 16-bar Pub Crawl ($27-32), but the big community parties get going on Sat., June 9. Pride in the Streets, held outdoors on Downtown's Liberty Avenue, features a Melissa Etheridge concert, with opening DJ 7up and a post-concert set by DJ Tracy Young (who famously DJ'd Madonna's wedding). On Sunday, continue celebrating Downtown with the Pride Awareness March, with storied activist Billy Hileman as grand marshal, led by Dykes on Bikes and featuring a cavalcade of groups, corporations and elected officials. PrideFest follows, with four blocks of Liberty hosting multitudes of visitors (last year, there were some 60,000) taking in vendors, performers on stages and the street, family-friendly carnival games, food booths, a beer garden and more. The fest, like the parade, is free. Bill O'Driscoll Pride in the Streets: 6 p.m. Sat., June 9 (Etheridge concert at 8:45 p.m.), at Liberty Avenue and Ninth Street ($32-45). Pride Awareness March: noon Sun., June 10. PrideFest: 1-6 p.m. Sun., June 10 (free). www.pittsburghpride.org

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It's one of the more inventive, potentially even educational, book launches we've heard about lately. And we'd say that even if it weren't former CP intern Lucy Leitner who was debuting a new zombie-themed novel, Working Stiffs (Necro Publications). The Pittsburgh-set comic thriller and corporate satire concerns a virus breaking out at a South Side pharmaceutical lab called Pro-Well, where most of the workers are zombie slaves; inside and outside the facility, human survivors fight for their lives with whatever weapons come to hand. While the June 9 party is at the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, it's sponsored by Pro-Well, and features live music by bands including Del Rios, a burlesque act, zombie trivia and a zombie piñata. Naturally, there are also "team-building games with a zombie twist" and a guest speaker who'll demonstrate how to kill zombies using office supplies. And who knows when that might come in handy? Bill O'Driscoll 7 p.m. 4412 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $5 after 9 p.m.; $3 for those in zombie costume. www.facebook.com/WorkingStiffsBook

PHOTO COURTESY OF TOMMYCAT PRODUCTIONS.
  • Photo courtesy of Tommycat Productions.

Thu., June 7 — Comedy

He's still on the TV lately, including a reunion with former In Living Color castmates on April's TV Land Awards. And he's working on Deconstructing Sammy, a planned feature film about Sammy Davis, Jr., in which he'll star. But Tommy Davidson stays out on the standup circuit, as evidenced by this weekend's visit to the Pittsburgh Improv. The first of the versatile funnyman's seven shows over four nights is tonight. Bill O'Driscoll 8 p.m. Continues through Sun., June 10. 166 E. Bridge St., The Waterfront, West Homestead. $20. 412-462-5233 or www.improv.com


Fri., June 8 — Words

Ryan George, also known as Reggie Fox, is a playwright, producer and humor writer whose favorite subject of ridicule is mainstream American society. Tonight, at The Big Idea Bookstore, George (who splits his time between New York City and the Laurel Highlands) reads selections from his newest comedy collection, Wilde Amphigories with Reggie Fox, a mix of narrative poetry, short prose and creative nonfiction. The reading promotes George's upcoming play, Ristretto Stiletto, a comedy about a pedantic bohemian who moves to New York City in pursuit of his British love interest, Nigel. Andrew Tybout 7-9 p.m. 4812 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Free. 412-687-4323 or www.gothamonstage.com

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Fri., June 8 — Stage

By day, Shaunda Miles is vice-president of programming at the August Wilson Center. But she's also a playwright: Her gospel musical, Who Do You Love?, has been staged at off-Broadway's Richmond Shepard Theatre and at Beverly Hills's Wilshire Theatre. Its Pittsburgh debut is this weekend, at the New Hazlett Theater. The story, set in a contemporary black church, concerns a woman forced to choose between serving her community and serving herself. The score includes gospel standards and originals; local talents include musical director Dwayne Fulton and a local cast including Ivory Bennett and national radio host Bev Smith. BO 8 p.m. Also 8 p.m. Sat., June 9, and 3 p.m. Sun., June 10. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $20. 888-718-4253

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Fri., June 8 – Music

Compositions by Brahms and Strauss sit side-by-side this weekend at Heinz Hall. For the first and last portions of the program, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performs three of Strauss's tone poems: "Don Juan," "Death and Transfiguration" and "Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks." Between the second and third poem, world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell performs Brahms's Violin Concerto. Manfred Honeck conducts. AT 8 p.m. Also 8 p.m. Sat., June 9, and 2:30 p.m. Sun., June 10. 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $20-126. 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org

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Sat., June 9 — Outdoors

Most locals are familiar with Pittsburgh's extensive network of bike trails, but few bother to explore them for more than a couple miles. Today, however, beginners and veteran cyclists alike can better acquaint themselves with these routes by joining Venture Outdoors on a 12- to 15-mile Urban Bike Tour along the three rivers. The tour will last approximately three hours, and feature stops at various points of interest. Participants are encouraged to bring a daypack, water and snacks. AT 1-4 p.m. Meet at Millvale Riverfront Park, 70 Riverfront Dr., Millvale. $15. 412-255-0564 or www.ventureoutdoors.org

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Sat., June 9 — History

Historical re-enactments feature (and attract) a disproportionate number of adult males. But today, the Fort Pitt Museum focuses on a more sympathetic demographic: children. In the first installment of the Heinz History Center's Summer Saturdays at the Fort series, the museum stages demonstrations of the activities and games 18th-century kids played. If nothing else, the event underscores just how fortunate children are to live in the 21st century, when entertainment is less primitive and the threat of British invasion is minimal. AT 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Point State Park, Downtown. $3-5 (free for children ages 5 and under). 412-281-9284 or www.heinzhistorycenter.org

Sat., June 9 — Art

Here's the complete info provided by organizers of coldsweat, a one-night art event at Wood Street Galleries: "music and visuals by: aerial view (thad kellstadt): semi-intelligent dance music mixed with 4 eyed flannel goth and central ohio coughsyrup dubstep [and] slinky (chris korch): thx 1138 samples. ceci n'est pas une rave." If you have to ask what it all means, you probably weren't going anyway. BO 10 p.m. 601 Wood St., Downtown. Free. www.woodstreetgalleries.org

Sun., June 10 — Fundraiser

Pittsburgh's neighborhood traditions include Lawrenceville's annual progressive dinner, when more than 150 participants move between local homes for food, wine and conviviality. ("Progressive" means each participant savors the soup course, salad and entrée in a different location.) A fictionalized version of the dinner is the subject of Progression, a feature-length ensemble film comedy that's the latest work-in-progress for Lawrenceville-based actors, writers and filmmakers Gab Cody and Sam Turich (perhaps best known for their satirical short "Mombies"). And their fundraiser for Progression is ... an exclusive progressive dinner, hosted June 16 by local arts types in an array of architecturally interesting local spaces. Tickets are available now. BO $250 (for two) to $1,000 (for four). progressionfilm@gmail.com or www.progressionmovie.com

Sun., June 10 — Fundraiser

Soup N' At continues its unique series of grassroots arts fundraisers. Tonight at the Brew House, a $10 donation is good for a BYOB meal and a ballot. The meal's for you; the ballot you cast for one of the artists who'll present ideas they want to have funded. Winners are announced at evening's end. Previous winners (some of whom will also present tonight) have gotten funding from $500 to $1,000 for everything from paintings to plays. BO 6-9 p.m. 2100 Mary St., South Side. soupnat.wordpress.com

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Thu., June 14 — Words

Evan Wolfson, founder and president of the Freedom to Marry campaign, is one of the nation's most visible proponents of gay marriage. A Pittsburgh native and Harvard Law graduate, Wolfson served as a co-counsel in the Hawaii gay-marriage case and appeared before the Supreme Court during Boy Scouts of America v. James Dale — a feat that helped land him on Time's 2004 list of the "100 most influential people." Tonight, Wolfson delivers a lecture on civil rights, sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Executive Committee, a local networking group. AT 7-9:30 p.m. City Theatre, 1300 Bingham St., South Side. Free. 412-431-2489 or www.glecpitt.org

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