Short List: March 16 - 22 | Short List | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Short List: March 16 - 22

Bicentennial Gallery Crawl; new public art in Market Square; Superman 2050; Ethiopian science fiction at Afronaut(a)

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FREE EVENT: Fri., March 18 — Art

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s spring Gallery Crawl falls several weeks early to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Pittsburgh’s incorporation as a city. Seems a rather bureaucratic excuse for a holiday — were notaries involved? — but the Bicentennial Gallery Crawl should still be fun. The crawl expands beyond the usual confines of the Cultural District to include a centennial celebration at the landmark Omni William Penn hotel and, at the City-County Building, the opening of the Incorporation Day Celebration exhibit, with historical displays and live music. Elsewhere, you’ll find an indoor Night Market (623 Smithfield St.), live music by Lyndsey Smith and Soul Distribution, live improv comedy, hands-on art activities and, at Katz Plaza, fire performance troupe Steel Town Fire. Art shows in their final weeks are at venues including Wood Street Galleries (Pastoral Noir), SPACE (Causal Loop) and the August Wilson Center (The Other Side of Pop). It’s also a good chance to explore less-frequented spaces like the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council’s Big Room, dedicated to local artists. The current show is More Than Media: Mute the STEREO(type), an exhibit of work by photographer Curtis Reaves that “showcases and celebrates same-gender-loving men of African descent in Pittsburgh.” The exhibit’s title was provided by advocacy organization Project Silk’s Youth Advisory Group. Bill O’Driscoll 5:30-10 p.m. Fri., March 18. Downtown. Free. 412-456-6666 or www.trustarts.org

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Thu., March 17 — Food

It’s a busy couple days in her hometown for Bravo network celebrity chef Elise Wims, who’s helping the Hill House Association with its annual fundraiser. After today’s healthy-eating-for-kids event at a Hill District school, she heads down the street to judge a dessert competition at the Hill House Senior Services Center (open to the public 1-2:30 p.m., at 2038 Bedford Ave.). And tomorrow night, the Après Ski and Hell’s Kitchen star creates a three-course meal and discusses her formative influences, and life on reality TV. “Dish and Dish With a Diva Chef” is at the Kaufman Center (6-8 p.m., 1825 Centre Ave.), and tickets are $100. Bill O’Driscoll Hill District. 412-281-1026 or www.hillhouse.org

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Thu., March 17 — Stage

It was 1998 when we first met agoraphobic narrator The Man in Chair, in The Drowsy Chaperone. The crowd-pleasing musical comedy features him listening to a fictional 1928 musical of the same name when the characters appear in his living room and transform it into a Broadway set. Point Park’s Conservatory Theatre Company presents a new production of the two-time Tony-winner at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, directed by Jack Allison. Tonight’s preview performance is “pay what you want” at the door, but be sure to arrive early. Courtney Linder 8 p.m. Show continues through March 27. 222 Craft Ave., Oakland. $10-24. 412-392-8000 or www.pittsburghplayhouse.com

Thu., March 17 — Words

Since the closure of ModernFormations Gallery, the monthly TNY Presents reading series is rotating among venues run by the Belleville Arts Collective. Tonight’s installment, in Wilkinsburg, features critic and fiction author Taylor Grieshober and poets Kelly Scarff (reading from her forthcoming chapbook Mother Russia) and Meghan Tutolo. On Sat., March 19, another of Wilkinsburg’s Belleville Arts houses welcomes the Public Empathy Tour, with visiting wordsmiths Bella Bravo (fiction) and James Payne (poetry), and music by Morgan Erina and Amanda Collins. BO TNY: 8 p.m. (403 Hay St.; $5 or potluck contribution). Public Empathy: 8 p.m. Sat., March 19 (761 Franklin Ave.; donations welcome). www.facebook.com (search “Belleville Arts”)

PHOTO BY FREDERICK THOMAS GRETTON
  • Photo by Frederick Thomas Gretton

Fri., March 18 — Art

Today’s the opening of the Market Square Public Art project’s third installation. Mix-N-Matching is internationally known Dutch artist Allard van Hoorn’s commissioned, site-specific work, which incorporates LED lights and sound. Seven local groups, including voguers from Project Silk, Point Park University tap-dancers and employees of Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s Clean Team, collaborated to provide unique sounds, which will be played by day, and audible 24/7 via headphone hookup. The Sat., March 19, grand opening includes an artist talk by Allard and a performance. Market Square Public Art is a joint project of the PDP, the Office of Public Art and the City of Pittsburgh. BO All day. Grand opening: Sat., March 19. Exhibit continues through April 30. Free. www.marketsquarepublicart.com

Fri., March 18 — Exhibit

Today marks 200 years since the birth of the Steel City — 23 years before photography’s invention. To celebrate Pittsburgh’s bicentennial, Photo Antiquities Museum of Photographic History opens an exhibit of 35 little-seen early photos of its hometown. These mesmerizing black-and-white prints, from the museum’s collection of Frederick Thomas Gretton’s original glass negatives, offer novel depictions of the city — like George Washington Gale Ferris Jr.’s ferris wheel, near the Point, in 1885. CL 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 531 E. Ohio St., North Side. $10-20. 412-231-7881 or

www.photoantiquities.org 
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Fri., March 18 — Stage

Redefine what it means to be super at the Pittsburgh premiere of Chicago-based Theater Unspeakable’s Superman 2050, a whimsical play that depicts a futuristic battle between Superman and Lex Luthor to decide the future of the Midwest’s rail network. Tall tales come in tiny packages, though, as the actors confine themselves to a 3-by-7-foot platform, morphing their bodies into props. The first of two performances at the August Wilson Center, part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Bridge Theater Series, is tonight. CL 7 p.m. Also Sat., March 19. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $10.50-12. 412-456-6666 or www.trustarts.org

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Fri., March 18 — Stage

Some victims of trauma have found a path to recovery through art. The theme is explored in Kimono, by Mark C. Thompson, premiering tonight at Off the Wall. The Pittsburgh-based Thompson, who has a background in dance and mime, and international performance credits, developed and stars in this parable-like movement-theater work about predation and victimization. It follows a traumatized artist who makes kimonos, and the woman who helps him confront his past. The production, presented by Off the Wall and fireWALL Dance Theater, also features Moriah Ella Mason, Alexandra Bodnarchuk and Ryan Bergman. BO 8 p.m. Show continues through March 26. 26 E. Main St., Carnegie. $5-30. 724-873-3576 or www.insideoffthewall.com

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Sat., March 19 — Music 

Rebecca Rollett — Pittsburgh Camerata’s artistic director since 1998 — leads the professional chamber choir in a goodbye concert this weekend, with a selection of some of her own favorite choral works collectively titled The Sun Also Rises. Rollett has produced more than 50 choral programs for the Camerata, and recorded two CDs. The two shows this weekend, featuring guest instrumentalists Patricia Halverson and Scott Pauley, of Chatham Baroque, include Benjamin Britten’s “Rejoice in the Lamb” and Heinrich Schütz’s “Musikalische Exequien.” CL 8 p.m. (St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 5801 Hampton St., Highland Park). Also 3 p.m. Sun., March 20 (Heinz Memorial Chapel, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland). $5-25. 412-421-5884 or www.pittsburghcamerata.org 

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Sun., March 20 — Screen

It’s been called “Ethiopia’s first post-apocalyptic sci-fi film,” and we guess that’s probably true. Crumbs, by Spanish-born writer and director Miguel Llansó, follows a scrap-collector named Gagano through a post-civilization Ethiopia, where he’s wracked by fears and tormented, variously, by a witch, Santa Claus and neo-Nazis; meanwhile, the spaceship that’s been hovering in the sky for years suddenly shows signs of life. The film’s Pittsburgh premiere this afternoon, at the Alloy Studios, comes courtesy of screening series Afronaut(a). BO 2 p.m. 5530 Penn Ave., Friendship. Admission is pay-what-makes-you-happy. www.kelly-strayhorn.org

Sun., March 20 — Comedy

Have some laughs for a good cause tonight at Comedy Relief Pittsburgh XII — the 12th annual show organized by local comic Matt Wohlfarth to benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. There are two showcases at Altar Bar, courtesy of Drusky Entertainment and Wolfie’s Comedy. Each show featuring a dozen standup comics. The early set includes Sean Collier, Sharon Daly, Aaron Kleiber, T-Robe Robeson and Mike Wysocki, for starters. Late-show talents include Derek Minto, Ed Bailey, Molly Sharrow, Day Bracey and Alex Stypula. There’s also live music from rock band Dovewires. BO 7 and 9:30 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. $20. www.thealtarbar.com

Tue., March 22 — Words

Writing in a range of genres, James Fenton is renowned as both a foreign correspondent and a poet. Experience the British writer’s skills at The Frick Fine Arts Building as a part of the University of Pittsburgh’s Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series. Fenton’s poetic style is both clever and effortlessly sleek, as in “God, A Poem”: “You’re a nasty surprise in a sandwich / You’re a drawing-pin caught in my sock.” The 2015 PEN Pinter Prize recipient visits tonight to read from and discuss his work. CL 8:30 p.m. 650 Schenley Drive, Oakland. Free. 412-624-6508 or www.pittsburghwriterseries.com


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