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Short List: March 2 - 6

28 Days at the Hill House; Trevor Noah at the Carnegie; The Queer Queens of Qomedy at Cruze

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SPOTLIGHT: Thu., March 4 — Art

Edwin L. Gibson doesn’t much care for Black History Month; the actor, who is African American, says it’s insulting to limit celebration of black Americans’ contributions to four weeks a year. As director of the Hill House Kaufmann Center, Gibson is looking for new ways to celebrate art, culture and the Hill District — the neighborhood where the award-winning, formerly New York-based actor relocated a couple of years back because of his admiration for playwright and native son August Wilson. Gibson’s new initiative at Hill House, called 28 Days, is in full swing through mid-March. The series continues with: exhibits by local artists George Gist (though March 6) and Amir Rashidd (March 14-19); the Pittsburgh premiere of Can You Dig This?, a new documentary about urban farmers in Los Angeles (2 p.m. Sat., March 5; $10 donation suggested, or pay what you can); and a series of events March 17 and 18 built around celebrity chef Elise Wims, a Pittsburgh native. Other highlights include the Thu., March 10, installment of the Green Building Alliance’s Inspire Speakers Series, featuring Florida-based fiber artist Valerie S. Goodwin (pictured, one of whose landscape quilts will be on display March 7-12). The Inspire event, “A Story of Place” (5:30 p.m., $10-20), also features permaculture educator and author Joel Glanzberg and Pittsburgh-based social entrepreneur Majestic Lane. Bill O’Driscoll Ongoing. 1825 Centre Ave., Hill District. www.hillhouse.org

Fri., March 4 — Craft

It’s a weekend event that fiber-art fans don’t want to miss: The Pittsburgh Creative Arts and Knit and Crochet Festival, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. There will be guest speakers; more than 110 classes (everything from yarn work and embroidery to paper crafts and beading); open studio space where attendees can try out new machinery, like sergers, felting machines and cutting tools; a make-and-take area; and even a pajama party. Al Hoff Noon-7 p.m. Also 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sat., March 5, and 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sun., March 6. Downtown. $10-25 (includes passes). www.pghknitandcrochet.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF LUKE BRUEHLMAN
  • Photo courtesy of Luke Bruehlman

Fri., March 4 — Stage

Some of Pittsburgh’s best playwrights, directors and actors are gearing up for B.U.S. 11, the 11th annual Bricolage Urban Scrawl. This Bricolage Productions fundraiser sends six playwrights on a Port Authority bus ride, then gives them and each of their teams 24 hours to write, rehearse and stage a 10-minute play inspired by that journey. Tonight, playwrights including Gab Cody and Mark Clayton Southers pay their fares; later, B.U.S. VIPs will watch them “draft” the actors they’ll write for from among 24 performers at an actor exhibition at Bricolage. The finished plays will be performed Saturday night at the August Wilson Center. Bill O’Driscoll VIP: 7-9 p.m. (937 Liberty Ave.) and gala at 6:30 p.m. Sat., March 5. Performance: 8 p.m. Sat., March 5 (980 Liberty Ave.). Downtown. $40-150. 412-471-0999 or www.bricolagepgh.org

PHOTO BY JASON HAMACHER
  • Photo by Jason Hamacher

Fri., March 4 — Art

One of the oldest consistently populated cities in the world, Aleppo, has been reduced to a fraction of its former self by Syria’s civil war. Jason Hamacher takes us back to the apex of Syrian modernization, between 2005 and 2010, when the Washington, D.C.-based photographer was granted access to the then-teeming city. The opening reception for Witness Aleppo: Photographs, Stories and Sound from Pre-war Syria takes place tonight at the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination, part of monthly gallery crawl Unblurred. Courtney Linder 7 p.m. Exhibit continues through May 6. 5006 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. Free. 412-924-0634 or www.irmafreeman.org

PHOTO COURTESY OF LAURA SLOVESKO
  • Photo courtesy of Laura Slovesko

Fri., March 4 — Stage

In an era where we need reminders that black lives matter, Ernest J. Gaines’ novel about 1940s Louisiana, A Lesson Before Dying, remains relevant. Prime Stage Theatre offers the Pittsburgh premiere of a stage adaptation of Gaines’s 1993 story of prejudice, race and the justice system. The cast, directed by Rich Keitel, includes LaMar Darnell Fields, Wali Jamal and Tracey Turner. Tonight is the first performance at the New Hazlett Theater. CL 8 p.m. Show continues through March 13. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $10-25. 724-773-0700 or www.primestage.com

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Fri., March 4 — Comedy

Daily Show host Trevor Noah brings his Lost in Translation standup tour to the Carnegie Music Hall of Oakland. Noah grew up as the child of a white European father and black South African mother during apartheid in South Africa. He was the first South African comedian to appear on American late-night TV, eventually becoming a Daily Show contributor and last year succeeding Jon Stewart as the show’s feisty host. Noah performs worldwide, often hitting on cross-cultural topics. Ashley Murray 8 p.m. Fri., March 4. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $25-40. www.ticketmaster.com

Sat., March 5 — Art

Spring Lurks Like Snakes Under the Flowers is the timely title of a new exhibit of artworks by Gavin Benjamin. Curator Jeff Jarzynka presents this show, at Artists Image Resources, by the Guyana-born, Pittsburgh-based and nationally exhibited artist, designer and illustrator, who digitally combines his own photography with found images and then hand-embellishes the prints. Spring Lurks features about 30 works inspired by vintage clothing and the anticipation of spring. BO 6-9 p.m. Exhibit continues through March 19. 518 Foreland St., North Side. Free. 412-321-8664 or www.artistsimageresource.org

ART BY TOMPKINS HARRISON MATTESON. IMAGE COURTESY OF NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY
  • Art by Tompkins Harrison Matteson. Image courtesy of New-York Historical Society

Sat., March 5 — Art

From the beginning of humanity, we’ve used pictures to tell stories. Explore this kind of narrative art at the opening reception for Telling Tales: Stories and Legends in 19th-Century American Art, at The Westmoreland Museum of American Art. This exhibition includes 53 pieces by well-known artists such as Benjamin West and lesser-known names like Daniel Huntington. Courtesy of The New York Historical Society, these works portray themes of American ambition, national pride and the spiritual elements of American life. The opening reception is tonight. CL 6:30 p.m. (free). Exhibit continues through June 19. 221 N. Main St., Greensburg. 724-837-1500 or www.thewestmoreland.org 

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Sat., March 5 — Comedy

If you’re looking to hear a female comedian spill jokes on lesbian sex or cocaine, join The Queer Queens of Qomedy, including national headliner Poppy Champlin, at Cruze Bar tonight. Champlin — who has appeared on LOGO, Showtime and HBO — brings fellow queens Karen Williams and Mimi Gonzalez for this installment of the long-running tour. Champlin (pictured) is using the event as a fundraiser for The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh. CL 7 p.m. 1600 Smallman St., Strip District. $25-40. 412-667-9029 or www.facebook.com/icandy.pgh 

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Sat., March 5 — Art 

Graffiti gods Soviet and Curve know how to leave their mark — though now it will appear indoors at The Gallery 4 rather than on the streets. Graphic artist Soviet, a Pittsburgh native, creates dream-like grayscale paintings with an aura of mystery. Philadelphia-based Curve conveys the relationship between humanity and nature in his murals, using nostalgic palettes to evoke a sense of loneliness. See what happens when graffiti artists trade brick walls for canvases at the opening reception of BUSY SIGNAL. CL 7 p.m. Exhibit continues through April 2. 206 S. Highland Ave., Shadyside. Free. 412-363-5050 or www.thegallery4.us

Sat., March 5 — Music

Decades ago, ’50s nostalgia meant youth-culture throwbacks like poodle skirts and rockabilly. Nowadays, it usually connotes things like the Retro Lounge Party. The 1950s-themed event with live music, in James Steet Gastropub’s ballroom, features jazz musician and songwriter Ian Kane’s outfit The Blue-Hots (with vocalist Fidor Brayd) playing original, jazzy lounge sounds with period “exotica” touches. Classic lounge vinyl, period décor and a cash bar for legacy cocktails complete a vibe that’s decidedly adult. So leave that hula hoop home. BO 7-11 p.m. 422 Foreland St., North Side. $10. 412-904-3335 or www.jamesstreetgastropub.com

Sat., March 5 —Music

You don’t have to attend a Jewish wedding to hear the traditional dance music of klezmer musicians. You can experience their often jazzy, always expressive melodies at FleytMuzik’s Tartan, Baroque & Klezmer show. Pittsburgh’s Renaissance & Baroque brings Adrianne Greenbaum — FleytMuzik’s founder and a nationally acclaimed klezmer player and flutist — to Synod Hall alongside her touring ensemble, complete with violins, cimbalom, bass and gamba. CL 8 p.m. 125 N. Craig St., Oakland. $20-35. 412-361-2048 or www.rbsp.org

Sun., March 6 — Outdoors

Can you feel winter melting away? Not yet? Time to get outside anyway. Today’s Venture Outdoors hike is a 2.4-mile loop in Ohiopyle State Park along the perimeter of Ferncliff Peninsula, at a horseshoe curve in the Youghiogheny River. The Ferncliff Peninsula Hike includes a great view of the falls, river and gorge, plus old-growth forest and even rocks embedded with fossils. Hiking boots are a must. BO 1-3 p.m. Ohiopyle. $10. Register at www.ventureoutdoors.org.


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