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Short List: November 3 - 9

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Thu., Nov. 3 -- Words

Chatham University's annual Bridges to Other Worlds literary festival begins. The free, three-day fest bears the theme "Wild Thing, You Make My Heart Sing: The Essay in the 21st Century," but there's poetry too (though not necessarily any '60s garage rock). In fact, the festival starts tonight with poet and translator John Balaban discussing Vietnamese literary culture. Other highlights include Friday's reading and book-signing with acclaimed essayist and memoirist Philip Lopate (Against Joie de Vivre). Other readers and panelists include visiting former Pitt professor Faith Adiele; poet and essayist Barbara Hurd; and writer Dinty Moore. Bill O'Driscoll 8 p.m. Continues through Sat., Nov. 5. Chatham campus, Shadyside. Free. www.chatham.edu/bridges/

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Thu., Nov. 3 -- Stage

As witty as it is gruesome, and musically richer still, Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street reappears on the local stage. Everyone's favorite 1979 musical about a serial killer with a corner on the meat-pie market returns courtesy of the first-ever collaboration between Pitt Repertory Theatre and University of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. It's a huge production, with 50 cast and crew and 60 musicians. Richard Teaster and Theo Allyn star as Sweeney and his accomplice, Mrs. Lovett; Lisa Jackson-Schebetta directs. BO 8 p.m. Show continues through Nov. 13. Charity Randall Theater, Forbes Avenue at Bigelow, Oakland. $12-25. 412-624-7529 or www.play.pitt.edu

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Fri., Nov. 4 -- Art

While we still use its name generically, true linoleum -- made from stuff like linseed oil and cork dust -- peaked in popularity around 1950, quickly superceded by synthetics. But the flooring material's crazily various colors and patterns, once ubiquitous in American homes, still resonate for artist Bill Miller, who turns salvaged vintage linoleum into breathtakingly evocative assemblages. Miller, a former Pittsburgher, returns for a new show opening tonight at Gallerie Chiz. Miller's takes on icons like the moon landing and the Statue of Liberty accompany concrete sculptures by John Mayer. BO Reception: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Show continues through Dec. 3. 5831 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. Free. 412-441-6005

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Fri., Nov. 4 -- Art

Unblurred this month is "Reblurred," as the Penn Avenue gallery crawl branches out to include more venues in East Liberty and Lawrenceville, with happenings at sites including Waffle Shop and Arsenal Cider House (the latter with live music and tastings). On Penn in Bloomfield, Friendship and Garfield, catch new shows at ModernFormations (with work by Christian Breitkreutz and Steph Neary); Garfield Artworks; Assemble (art by Lizzy De Vita); Most Wanted Fine Art; Studio 5013; and the Eastside Neighborhood Employment Center. BO 6-10 p.m. Free. www.friendship-pgh.org

 

Fri., Nov. 4 -- Words

In her 2009 book, Growing Old: A Journey of Self Discovery, Swiss-born psychoanalyst Danielle Quinodoz offers insight into how individuals cope with aging. "Some people shy away from old age and spend it reflecting on times when they were … more independent. For others, old age is embraced as a new adventure." Quinodoz has been noted for her "warmth and compassion" in handling the subject. Tonight, Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center welcomes the Sacerdoti Prize-winner to the WPIC Auditorium for a discussion. Amy Kuhre 6:30 p.m. 3811 O'Hara St., Oakland. $5-35. 412-661-4224 or www.pghpsa.org

 

Fri., Nov. 4 -- Stage

With Hester Prynne, Nathaniel Hawthorne created a heroine ahead of her time. In their 2002 stage adaptation of The Scarlet Letter, influential feminist author and scholar Carol Gilligan and her son, Jonathan Gilligan, see Hester through a lens even more modern. Gilligan, best known for her pioneering 1982 gender-studies work In a Different Voice, has praised Hawthorne's proto-feminist insight. Tonight, the play begins its Pittsburgh-premiere run at the New Hazlett Theater, courtesy of Prime Stage Theatre. Special attraction tonight and tomorrow: The playwrights themselves will attend and meet with audiences after the show. BO 8 p.m. Show continues through Nov. 13. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $10-20. 412-394-3353 or www.primestage.com

 

Fri., Nov. 4 -- Stage

Future Tenant gallery's resident theater festival, Future Ten, must be making a name for itself: This year, playwrights from across the country submitted more than 550 scripts of 10 minutes or less, triple 2010's total. Future Ten 8: Submission Overload presents the eight winners starting tonight. Through next weekend, expect both comedy (we'd bet "Bury My Heart on Diabolical Kung-Fu Island" fits that description) and drama, played by local actors and directed by local theater pros. BO 8 p.m. Also Sat. Nov. 5, and Nov. 11 and 12. 819 Penn Ave., Downtown. $10-12. futuretenant.org

 

Sat., Nov. 5 -- Art

One of Canada's most noted graffiti artists opens a gallery show in Pittsburgh. Toronto-based Ryan "CASE" MacKeen has exhibited work everywhere from the streets to the Royal Ontario Museum. And it's not just about spray-paint-style: MacKeen is also an animator and award-winning filmmaker known for music videos with artists from Eminem to The Arcade Fire and The Offspring. Exile on Dufferin Street opens with a reception tonight at The Gallery 4. BO 7-11 p.m. 206 S. Highland Ave., Shadyside. 412-363-5050

 

Sun., Nov. 6 -- Stage 

In the farce Ireland's Shakespeare: A comedy of forgery, folly and fancy, local playwright Michael McGovern resurrects the infamous tale of 18th-century poet and forger William Henry Ireland. The play, now receiving a staged reading from Poets Corner, follows the scandal from Ireland's forgeries of letters, poems and plays to authentication attempts by local experts. McGovern attests to adding some of the forged Shakespearean material in the script to keep the audience guessing. The first performance is today at Calvary United Methodist Church. AK 1:30 p.m.  Also 7:30 p.m. Mon., Nov. 7. 971 Beech Ave., Allegheny West. $5. 412-512-0589 or www.showclix.com

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Sun., Nov. 6 -- Words

To launch its National Geographic Live! lecture series, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust hosts photographer and filmmaker Mattias Klum. Acclaimed for his nature photography, Klum is also committed to environmental awareness. Two of his 10 published collections focus on Borneo's threatened biodiversity, its rainforests systematically destroyed for oil-palm cultivation. Klum is the first Swedish photographer to have a cover photo on the magazine synonymous with nature photojournalism. His lecture explores wonders like Botswana's Okavango Delta and Iceland's glaciers, and concludes with a book-signing. AK 4 p.m. 101 6th St., Downtown. $20-40. 412-456-6666 or www.pgharts.org

 

Wed., Nov. 9 -- Art

In her performance piece Fifteen Days, Irish artist Jeanette Doyle explores dematerialized and immaterial art. It's what you'd call highly conceptual: Starting today and continuing through Nov. 27, Doyle begins with "dematerialized": Daily, she'll manually change the light bulbs illuminating Warhol's self-portrait in the entrance gallery of The Andy Warhol Museum. Afterward, she commutes to a local traffic-management company to create "immaterial" art by observing the labor of others. Daily posts of her progress on the museum website will be the project's only artifacts. AK 412-237-8300 or www.warhol.org

 

Wed., Nov. 9 -- Words

Are formal fiction and poetry readings too, er, formal for you? Try Literary Death Match, an international phenomenon making its Pittsburgh debut. The poetry-slam-style event stands local wordsters before celebrity judges. Claiming their seven minutes each at Brillobox tonight are poet and memoirist Lori Jakiela; poet, retired cop and CP contributor Jimmy Cvetic; The New Yinzer's Adam Matcho; and playwright and performer Lissa Brennan. The judges: Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre dancer Julia Erickson; top local chef Kevin Sousa; and comic Gab Bonesso. Your hosts are Nate Bell and Todd Zuniga; the latter is the Paris-based founder of Literary Death Match, which launched in New York in 2006 and spread to cities including Dallas, London and Beijing. BO 8:15 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $7-10. LiteraryDeathMatch.com

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