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Short List: May 3 - 9

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In 2006, rock music was banned in Iran, and members of The Casualty Process were suppressed both for playing it and for having a female singer; at one point, the musicians were jailed and heavily fined for simply holding a concert. Now, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Natch Nadjafi and guitarist/bassist Shayan Amini create their aggressive, industrial-influenced sounds as a U.S-based electronic duo gigging nationally. Next up is Pittsburgh, where City of Asylum/Pittsburgh — better known for blending jazz and poetry — hosts a day of appearances by exiled Iranians. COAP, which provides sanctuary to threatened writers, begins by presenting exiled New York Times correspondent Nazila Fathi and exiled Iranian poet Pegah Ahmadi. Exiled Voices of Iran, held in a tent on the North Side's Sampsonia Way, concludes with the Casualty Process concert. The opening act is Pittsburgh electronic-music duo TM Eye. Bill O'Driscoll Fathi talk: 4 p.m.; Ahmadi reading: 5:15 p.m.; Casualty Process concert: 8 p.m. Sampsonia Way, North Side. Free, but tickets required. 412-321-2190 or cityofasylumpittsburgh.org

Thu., May 3 — Music

Pittsburgh gets a new outdoor amphitheater tonight. Rhythm 'n' Flow celebrates the opening of South Shore Riverfront Park and Amphitheater with live indie pop by Delicious Pastries and rock by White Wives. Citiparks Roving Art Cart will have activities for kids; the amphitheater is located behind Hofbrauhaus, which provides light refreshments. Sponsors include the Urban Redevelopment Authority, WYEP, the City of Pittsburgh and Riverlife. Bill O'Driscoll 6-8 p.m. 27th and Water streets, South Side. Free. www.riverlifepgh.org

Thu., May 3 — Stage

Little Lake Theater launches its season with the Pittsburgh premiere of The Female of the Species, a comedy by Melbourne-based novelist and playwright Joanna Murray Smith. While feminist author Margaret Mason finds herself suffering from a bad case of writer's block, a former student shows up at her country house carrying a gun, and handcuffs Mason to her own desk. The show, directed by Art Deconcillis, opens tonight. Mariluz Orbay 8 p.m. Continues through May 19. 500 Lakeside Drive, Canonsburg. $18-20. 724-745-6300 or www.littlelake.org

Fri., May 4 — Art

There's plenty to see on Penn Avenue at monthly gallery crawl Unblurred. ModernFormations Gallery opens Eyes Right: New Mixed Media Work, featuring the surreal collages of Tate Hudson. Assemble debuts the group show Animals Eating Animals, which is about exactly what it says. Pittsburgh Glass Center has live glassblowing demonstrations and its "Gardens of Glass" spring studio sale. There's much more, including free dance lessons (salsa/merengue, bhangra, belly-dance) at Alloy Studios, and DJ night with Pandemic, at Brillobox. Plus, this new wrinkle: Several Unblurred venues will re-open from 1-4 p.m. on Sat., May 5. BO 6 p.m. Penn Avenue corridor, Friendship, Bloomfield and Garfield. facebook.com/pennavenuearts

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Fri., May 4 — Art

Local artist Joe Rudans works in painting, steel sculpture and mixed media incorporating found and expropriated objects. His show at The Shop, Unsuccessful Searches for Unconditional Love, is also a tribute to his father, the late Tucson-based artist Eriks Rudans. Selected works by the elder Rudans accent the show, which closes tonight with a reception featuring live music by Steamboat Whiskey Thief, Doug Weaver and Captain Brandon Petri and Kid Dynamo. BO 7-11 p.m. 4314 Main St., Bloomfield. Free. 412-951-0622 

Fri., May 4 — Stage

In a world of political violence, Ariel Dorfman's 1990 drama Death and the Maiden remains sadly relevant. The play concerns a Latin American woman, a former political prisoner tortured and raped by her jailers, who becomes convinced a houseguest is her rapist. Off the Wall Productions' new staging is notable for its top-flight cast of local actors, including Ken Bolden, Mark Staley and Adrienne Wehr. Maggie Balsley directs the show, which opens tonight. BO 8 p.m. 147 N. Main St., Washington, Pa. $5-30. 412-394-3353 or www.insideoffthewall.com

Fri., May 4 — Dance

Ask us, "When are we ourselves and when are we playing a part?" and we at City Paper say, definitively, "Right now." But to Continuum Dance Theater, it's a question worth asking. The troupe's latest, THE MOVEMENT, promises to literally let guests behind the stage curtain in a two-act show exploring both life in the corporate world and life as an artist. The dance-theater work is performed tonight and tomorrow at Grey Box Theatre. BO 8 p.m. Also 8 p.m. Sat., May 5. 3595 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $25-35. www.evolveproductions.blogspot.com

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Fri., may 4 — Comedy

First he was that family-friendly dad-guy on Full House and America's Funniest Home Videos. Then he was the potty-mouthed standup comic who used to be that dad-guy. Now, Bob Saget — who actually started out in standup — is a writer, filmmaker (Farce of the Penguins), actor and occasionally potty-mouthed comic. And tonight is the first of his four shows over two nights at The Improv, as he preps to tape his next comedy special. BO 8 and 10 p.m. Also 7 and 9 p.m. Sat., May 5. 166 E. Bridge St., The Waterfront, West Homestead. $30. 412-462-5233 or www.improv.com

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Fri., May 4 — Music

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra continues its three-week Paris Festival with three concerts this weekend. Tonight and tomorrow at Heinz Hall, hear DeBussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and Ravel's Bolero, plus guest French pianist Lise de la Salle (in her PSO debut) playing Ravel's Piano Concerto in G. Special pre- and post-concert events at Heinz Hall, free to ticket-holders, include food- and wine-tastings, lectures and films. BO 8 p.m. Also 8 p.m. Sat., May 5. 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $20-93. 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org

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Sat., May 5 — Flowers

Phipps Conservatory lets you explore the healing and rejuvenating properties of plants in the new Summer Flower Show: Fountains of Youth. The display includes aromatic herbs and spices, fresh fruits and vegetables, and green tea. Fountains of many shapes and sizes will also be displayed, from soft showers to powerful jets. Highlights include grape arbors, fruit trees and berry patches. Phipps' Butterfly Forest will also be open. MO 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Schenley Drive, Oakland. $9-12 (children under 2 free). 412-622-6914 or www.phippsconservatory.org 

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Sat., May 5 — Art

Mark Loebach's latest series of large-scale acrylic paintings depict human bodies wrestling, but this isn't sports art. The naked male forms overlap, double and even seem to merge in their struggles. Loebach, a Pittsburgh native, now lives in Colorado. But he's back in town for the opening reception of Beautiful Beasts, tonight at Bloomfield's BoxHeart gallery. BO 5-8 p.m. 4523 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Free. 412-687-8858 or www.boxheart.org

Sat., May 5 — Comedy

It's another Fresh Cut Comedy showcase of local talent courtesy of San Francisco-based comic Brian King (a former Pittsburgher and psychologist who goes by "Dr. Brian King"). Tonight at Most Wanted Fine Art Gallery, see no fewer than eight comics, including your host Eric S. Donaldson, of comedy band Eric and the Electric MP3 Player. Other featured acts include Glenn Bargonia, Davon Magwood, Dan Jenniches and Chris Kemp. BO 8 p.m. 5015 Penn Ave., Garfield. $5. www.most-wantedfineart.com

Sat., May 5 — Comedy

When someone says there's a War on Women, leave it to The John McIntire Dangerously Live Comedy Talk Show to ask, "Who are the generals?" and "Is there a draft?" This live roundtable-style comedic discussion tackles such weighty issues with comedian McIntire hosting Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cartoonist Rob Rogers, 2PoliticalJunkies blogger Maria Lupinacci, and advice columnists Natalie Bencivenga (TwoDayMagazine.com) and Catherine Spector. As always, this late-night show's at Downtown's Cabaret at Theater Square. BO 10:30 p.m. 655 Penn Ave., Downtown. $5 (free with same-night Cultural District ticket stub). 412-325-6769

Sun., May 6 — Words

The August Wilson Center for African American Culture hosts the closing celebration for this year's Community College of Allegheny County Big Read in Pittsburgh. Supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the initiative brings communities nationwide a month-long series of free events to promote literacy and open dialogue. This year, the series focused on discussions of Zora Neale Hurston's novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. Tonight's event includes a documentary film screening, student awards and The Pittsburgh Gospel Choir. MO 3 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Free. 412-469-6301 or www.ccac.edu

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Wed., May 9 — Art

Making, breaking and remaking. That's what it's all about at Circuits and Contraptions: A Party organized by Assemble artspace. The monthly event provides parents with an informal educational environment where their kids can try their hands at simple machines, electronics, LEDs and other devices. Activities are led by local makers, scientists and technologists, who help make topics from visual art to robotics and biology accessible, understandable, inspiring and fun for children ages 3 to 8. Circuits and Contraptions is supported by the Sprout Fund. MO 4:30-7:30 p.m. 5125 Penn Ave., Garfield. Free. 412-432-9127 or www.assemblepgh.org

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