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Short List: March 16 - 22

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From attacks on contraception funding to verbal assaults on female college students by talk-radio blowhards, winter's been tough on women. And whether in business, government or media, women seldom get to frame discussions about them. Not so on SWAN Day, the international holiday created to Support Women Artists Now. Pittsburgh's fourth annual version, organized by stage troupe No Name Players, presents nearly 60 women artists — musicians, dancers and choreographers, actors and directors, visual artists — for two nights of new works at the New Hazlett Theater. (A theatrical scene from last year's show is pictured.) The works were inspired by interviews about their lives with women of all ages that No Name conducted throughout Pennsylvania. Featured artists include the Staycee Pearl Dance Project, musical duo Camelia Road, acclaimed poet Toi Derricotte ... and even Steel Town Fire wielding flames (outdoors, during intermission). Guests include SWAN Day co-founder Martha Richards, who recently named SWAN Day Pittsburgh one of a handful of official international partners. Proceeds benefit the Pittsburgh SWAN Day fund, to produce future shows. "Women's voices are not always heard," says No Name producing artistic director Tressa Glover. But for SWAN Day artists, "the message they're putting out there is, they're making the world a better place." Bill O'Driscoll 8 p.m. Thu., March 15, and 8 p.m. Fri., March 16. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $20-25. www.nonameplayers.org

A Celebration of Kiddisms - ART BY JIM KIDD
  • Art by Jim Kidd
  • A Celebration of Kiddisms

Fri., march 16 — Art

A month of free, all-ages events marking the Braddock Carnegie Library's 123rd anniversary continues today with A Celebration of Kiddisms. It's the launch of a limited-edition book of artwork by life-long Braddock resident Jim Kidd, 72. The book was hand-printed in the library's own screen shop. The event also welcomes the library's next resident artist, LaToya Ruby Frazier. Looking ahead, on March 24, it's the grand opening festival for the facility's enlarged and relocated Children's Library. Bill O'Driscoll 4:30-7 p.m. 419 Library St., Braddock. 412-351-5356

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Fri., March 16 — Screen

For six days, starting tonight, two classics from a high point of postwar cinema screen in new 35 mm prints at the Melwood Screening Room. Weekend (1967) is Jean-Luc Godard's withering, satiric portrait of a Western Civilization whose complacent veneer no longer conceals its essential barbarism; the film opens, innocently enough, with cinema's most famous traffic jam. And Red Desert (1964) is Michelangelo Antonioni's despairing portrait of his time, starring Monica Vitti as a neurotic woman adrift in an industry-scarred Italy, and notable for its expressionistic use of color. BO Red Desert: 7 p.m.; Weekend: 9:30 p.m. Both films screen through Wed., March 21. 477 Melwood Ave., N. Oakland. $8. 412-681-5449 or www.pghfilmmakers.org

Fri., March 16 — Stage

It's a coup for City Theatre as it presents the American premiere of The Monster in the Hall, by top Scottish playwright David Greig. Greig also wrote Outlying Islands, a 2004 show at City; Monster is a critically acclaimed comedy about a 16-year-old girl named Duck, who cares for her widowed, nearly blind father, even though he cares mostly about his vintage motorcycles. The show's got original music and a top-notch cast including local favorites Sheila McKenna and David Whalen. Tracy Brigden directs; opening night is tonight. BO 8 p.m. Continues through April 1. 1300 Bingham St., South Side. $15-60. 412-431-2489 or www.citytheatrecompany.org

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Sat., March 17 — Screen

Community organizer and activist Brittany McBryde wants to debunk the myths surrounding black female identity. Her first film, The Image of Black Women, allows the story to be retold — this time from the subjects' own perspective. The documentary features everyday black women talking about the effects of the caricatures of black people found in everything from politics to TV. The film's premiere is tonight, at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. The free screening is followed by a cocktail reception with live music and a talk about diversity, follow-up projects and other initiatives. Mariluz Orbay 6 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Free. theimageofblackwomen@gmail.com or theimageofblackwomen.com

Sun., March 18 — Tribute

If you were pleased by that 2005 federal-court decision blasting the teaching of "intelligent design" in public schools, thank, in part, Vic Walczak. If you like it that the Secret Service can no longer confine protesters at Presidential appearances to "protest zones," there's Walczak again. For two decades, no one in town's been more associated with defending civil liberties than Walczak. The longtime legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh-based Walczak is feted today at the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter's annual meeting. The free meeting, at Downtown's Fairmount Hotel, is followed by the "Glory Days Dinner Roast" honoring Walczak. BO 4 p.m. (ticketed dinner at 6 p.m.). 510 Market St., Downtown. www.aclupa.org/vic20

PHOTO COURTESY OF DAN OZMINKOWSKI
  • Photo courtesy of Dan Ozminkowski

Sun., March 18 — Music

Since January, a group of 22 dancers and musicians from Uganda, ages 8 to 18, has been touring the U.S., sharing East African music and dance along with lecture-performances, dance and drumming workshops, and panel discussions. Tonight, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust hosts Spirit of Uganda's one-day stop at the Byham Theater. Under the artistic direction of Uganda's own Peter Kasule, Spirit of Uganda is produced by Dallas-based nonprofit Empower African Children, which works to transform the lives of African orphans through education. MO 4 p.m. 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $25-35. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org

Wed., March 21 — Words

If you're a poet, writer or spoken-word performer, The Silk Road Reading Series is a new place to be heard. Every third Wednesday of the month, at the Carnegie Library in Homewood, this project of the Friends of the Homewood Library features an open-mic segment for youths and adults, followed by featured readers. And there'll be sandwiches and cookies. Tonight's guests are actor and performance poet Leslie Ezra Smith and poet and prose-writer Yona Harvey. The series is coordinated by poet Leslie Anne Mcilroy. BO 6-8 pm. 7101 Hamilton Ave., Homewood. Donations welcome. ProgramsFOHL@gmail.com

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Thu., March 22 — Music

Most Westerners never heard of Ladysmith Black Mambazo until the vocal group's beguiling rhythms and ethereally tight harmonies helped define Paul Simon's classic 1986 album Graceland. But in fact these South African a capella masters were veterans even then. This year, still led by founder Joseph Shabalala, the group marks its 50th anniversary by touring on the heels of Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Friends, a new anthology of their collabos with Simon, Hugh Masekala, Emmylou Harris and more. But tonight, at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall, the group will perform songs from its Grammy-nominated 2011 album Songs From a Zulu Farm. BO 7:30 p.m. 4141 Fifth Ave., Oakland. $20-50. www.soldiersandsailorshall.org

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Thu., March 22 — Words

Notes from No Man's Land is author Eula Biss' collection of 13 essays examining race in the U.S. through subjects ranging from the history of telephone poles to the media's view of Hurricane Katrina victims. History and experience intermingle in the collection, which won Biss the 2009 National Book Critics Award. Tonight, as part of the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series, she visits to read from her work. Biss, currently teaching at Northwestern University, is writing a new book about myth and metaphor in medicine. MO 8:30 p.m. Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, University of Pittsburgh campus, Schenley Drive, Oakland. Free. erynatpitt@gmail.com or  pghwriterseries.wordpress.com

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