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Short List: November 10 - 13

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China's Beijing Dance Company pays a visit to the Byham Theater on Nov. 15 with a program bringing China's cultural past into the present. It's part of a four-city American tour sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China that includes performances at New York's Lincoln Center and Washington's Kennedy Center. Founded in 1987, the professional company, in residence at the historic Beijing Dance Academy, features some of China's top dancers and the works of some of its best-known contemporary choreographers. The latter include Chen Weiya, who produced the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and Zhang Jianmin, who created choreography for the Oscar-nominated film House of Flying Daggers. The 39-member troupe will perform 11 works based on traditional Chinese themes and costuming, but interpreted with contemporary choreography. Included in the two-hour program will be Jianmin's Romeo and Juliet-based pas de deux "The Butterfly Lovers"; the group work "The Yellow River," inspired by the river referred to as the cradle of civilization; and Weiya's "Emperor Qin's Soldiers," a group work set to Chinese folk music and inspired by the discovery of the circa-200-B.C. terra-cotta warriors of the Qin Dynasty. Steve Sucato 7:30 p.m. Tue., Nov. 15. Byham Theater, 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $38-$58. 412-456-6666 or www.pgharts.org

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Thu., Nov. 10 – Music

Evita, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, Sunset Blvd. -- Patti LuPone has done them all (and more) on Broadway, and has a couple of Tonys to show for it. Tonight, the legendary stage performer makes her Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra debut in the first of four PNC Pops concerts at Heinz Hall. The evening is half orchestral renditions of music from West Side Story, Les Misérables and other favorites, and half LuPone and her own repertoire of Broadway hits. Bill O'Driscoll 7:30 p.m. Continues through Sun., Nov. 13. $17-95. 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org

 

Thu., Nov. 10 -- Stage

In 1958, celebrated abstract painter Mark Rothko received a huge commission for New York's swanky Four Seasons restaurant. Rothko's famous conflictedness over the project drives Red, John Logan's Tony-winning 2010 play. It depicts the witty, cantankerous Rothko at work in his studio with a fictional assistant who challenges his thinking. Logan is the screenwriter for films including The Aviator; Red's Pittsburgh-premiere staging, directed by Pamela Berlin for Pittsburgh Public Theater, stars Jeff Still, as Rothko, and Jack Cutmore-Scott. Performances begin tonight. BO 8 p.m. Show continues through Dec. 11. O'Reilly Theater, 650 Penn Ave., Downtown. $15.75-48. 412-316-1600 or www.ppt.org

 

Fri., Nov. 11 -- Art

Reconciliation between veterans and refugees of today's wars is the point of War Is Trauma. The exhibit, a collaboration between Justseeds artist cooperative and Iraq Veterans Against the War, reflects work done in recent meetings between vets and refugees living in the Pittsburgh area. Some 20 artists, including veterans, contributed prints on post-traumatic stress disorder and GI war resistance. A facilitated community dialogue precedes tonight's Armistice Day opening reception. BO Dialogue: 6 p.m.; reception: 8 p.m. 3410 Penn Ave., second floor (enter in back on Spring Way), Strip District. Free. justseeds.org

 

Fri., Nov. 11 -- Art

Is it art, craft or design? And does it even matter anymore? Nationally exhibited artist Fo Wilson tackled such questions as juror for the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh 101st Exhibition. The exhibit, featuring 45 works drawn from among more than 300 submissions, is the AAP's premiere at the Society for Contemporary Craft. It all kicks off tonight with a free opening reception and award ceremony. BO 7-9 p.m. 2100 Smallman St., Strip District. Free. 412-261-7003 or www.contemporarycraft.org

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Sat., Nov. 12 -- Art

2008 Turner Prize nominee Cathy Wilkes presents a rare solo exhibition spanning her career. In the '90s, Belfast-born Wilkes was grouped with the "young British artists," a movement remembered for shock value. But Wilkes offers more contemplative creations -- paintings, sculpture and installations marked by subdued hues and nearly decipherable shapes. The Carnegie Museum of Art features her work in its Forum series starting today. Amy Kuhre 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Exhibit continues through Feb. 26. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $3-15. 412-622-3131 or www.cmoa.org 

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Sat., Nov. 12 -- Crafts

Handmade Arcade began in 2004 with a mission: Cultivate the do-it-yourself ethic. Proving that DIY is more than crocheted plush toys, the group hosts a hodgepodge of more than 130 independent local and visiting crafters for its annual fair Handmade Arcade for the Holidays. Inhabiting the David L. Lawrence Convention Center for the second year running, vendors offer goodies like repurposed-book purses, recycled fleece mittens and handmade soaps. Admission is free, but $15 Early Birdie passes available online offer a one-hour sneak peek. AK 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd., Downtown. www.handmadearcade.com 

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Sat., Nov. 12 -- Fashion

In its first Pittsburgh fashion event, multi-city artists' collective House of the Dead Unicorn presents runway show The Season Is Now, at the Union Project. Designers include Pittsburgh-based LeFawn Barefoot and her line Love, Lucha, and New York-based C.b. Fisher's Primitive Citizen. Barefoot's collections, "Dirty Gold" and "Violent Bride," play with costume aesthetic in daily wear: Think Elizabethan-inspired velvet bodices and deer-hide half-skirts. A unicorn fashioned from a body bag will also grace the catwalk. AK 7:30 p.m. 801 N. Negley Ave., Highland Park. $10-12. 412-657-6731 or www.lovelucha.com

 

Sat., Nov. 12 -- Opera

While Bizet's Carmen is better known, 1863's The Pearl Fishers debuted to a greater reception than would its famous successor. Pittsburgh Opera hosts the San Diego Opera's opulent production -- the first local staging since 1978. The show features two former resident artists, tenor Sean Panikkar and baritone Craig Verm. Zurga and Nadir are friends in Ceylon who are tested when both vow to resist priestess Leila (soprano Leah Partridge). The first of four performances is tonight, at the Benedum Center. AK 8 p.m. Also 7 p.m. Tue., Nov. 15; and Nov. 18 and 20. 719 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $10- 200. 412-456-6666 or www.pittsburghopera.com

 

Sun., Nov. 13 -- Outdoors

If you're not often fortunate enough to observe wild animals themselves, the next best thing might be tracking -- the art and craft of identifying, studying and admiring critters through their paw prints. Today, Jennings Environmental Education Center offers Intro to Tracking, a free class that covers tracks, track patterns, gait, stride and "straddle." Most of all, it'll get you down at dirt level, where most of the earth's creatures live. BO 2 p.m. 2951 Prospect Road, Slippery Rock. Free. 724-794-6011 or jenningssp@pa.gov

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Sun., Nov. 13 -- Words

"Judy Moody" book-series author and Pittsburgh native Megan McDonald began writing to overcome a childhood stutter. The former librarian and park ranger created her popular character 10 years ago, and Judy Moody has since populated eight books and the film Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer. Today, Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures invites McDonald to the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall for a child-friendly talk. Dress as your favorite character and prepare questions about Stink, Judy or Mouse. AK 2 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $10. 412-622-8866 or www.pittsburghlectures.org

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Sun., Nov. 13 -- Drag

It's not like no one's ever done drag Downtown before. But it's notable that after years in the somewhat-anomalous venue of a North Hills hotel, the Miss Tri-State All-Star Pageant is planting its spiked heel in the Golden Triangle. Producer Kierra Darshell is known for curating the drag talent at the Pittsburgh Pride festival. At 19, her Miss Tri-State pageant is, dare we say it, venerable. And tonight, the music, the moves and the mascara are in the Cabaret at Theater Square, also courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Eons boutique. BO 7:30 p.m. 655 Penn Ave., Downtown. $25-30. www.kierradarshell.com

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