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Short List: Week of April 15 - 22

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Bob Golub's Dodo: The Docu-Comedy tells a story both made in Western Pennsylvania and seemingly made for it. The nationally known stand-up comic spent years exploring his story of growing up poor in Sharon, Pa., one of eight siblings ruled by their father, a volatile, hard-drinking roofer and Steelers fanatic. Dissatisfied with both his one-man stage show and a fiction film about Dodo -- in which Golub himself played the old man -- Golub combined bits of those projects with home videos and new footage, including interviews with siblings. The gritty, fast-paced 67-minute film screened at the Three Rivers Film Festival way back in 2006; Golub's spent the years since fighting for a distribution deal. "I didn't know the odds ... It's like one percent of one percent of people ever get anything released," he says, from his home in West Hollywood. "I was ready to put it on YouTube!" But Golub, 52, doesn't give up easily: He describes his 18 months at Western Penitentiary as a young man on a drug conviction, for instance, as "the best thing that ever happened to me." ("I'm a late bloomer," he adds.) Finally, Dodo got a bite, from Los Angeles-based Celebrity Video Distribution; the DVD hits the streets on April 20. Golub has 30 years of standup under his belt -- fans include Dave Chappelle -- plus film roles including a bit part in Goodfellas. He's also written a TV pilot and a fiction-film script based on Dodo. They're projects whose odds he likes better now: "When you have something released ... people look at you a little different," he says. Golub's celebrating the DVD with a combination standup-plus-screening tour that hits the Rex Theater on Sat., April 17. Though he meets former Western Pennsylvanians wherever he goes, Golub eagerly anticipates home turf. And yes, sports fan Golub -- known for politically incorrect blue-collar takes on race and religion -- plans to comment on the Steelers' recent player controversies. "How could I not?" Bill O'Driscoll 8 p.m. Sat., April 17. Rex Theater, 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $10-12. 412-381-6811 or www.rextheater.com

 

Thu., April 15 -- Art

Tonight, the Carnegie Museum of Art hosts its monthly Culture Club, an evening exploring the finer points of art. Structure, Music, Space begins with a lecture by museum architecture curator Raymund Ryan, and concludes with University of Pittsburgh musicians performing inside the room-sized structural exhibit "Forum 64: Cecil Balmond." There's also plenty of time to explore the galleries, have a drink or two, and mingle with other art-lovers. Anna Reilly 5:30 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $10 (21 and up; includes two drink tickets). 412-622-3131 or www.cmoa.org

 

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Fri., April 16 -- Art

They're billing it as 84 artists from 14 countries. Fiberart International, a contemporary juried show, is the only such triennial for textile artists, who ply fabric with everything from ancient crafts to digital techniques. The show's so big it requires two venues: Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and the Society for Contemporary Craft, both of which host opening receptions tonight. Simultaneously, the PCA (always one to grow the party) also opens its 2010 Solo/Collaborative Exhibits, featuring new work by five artists or artist teams. Bill O'Driscoll All receptions: 5:30-8 p.m. PCA: 6300 Fifth Ave., Shadyside; SCC: 2100 Smallman St., Strip District. $5 donation requested. www.pittsburgharts.org or www.contemporarycraft.org

 

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Fri., April 16 -- Book

Brian Butko is already a published authority on roadside attractions, diners, Western Pennsylvania and the Lincoln Highway. Now the local historian revisits the Grand View Ship Hotel (a.k.a. Noah's Ark), the tourist spot shaped like a boat perched on the side of the Alleghenies along Route 30, west of Bedford. Sadly, the structure burnt down in 2001. But tonight, at a signing for his new book, The Ship Hotel: A Grand View Along the Lincoln Highway, Butko will show slides and relate some of the attraction's colorful history. For instance, the mountaintop hotel's nautical theme even included life preservers. Al Hoff 7 p.m. Barnes & Noble, The Waterfront, W. Homestead. Free. 412-462-5743

 

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Fri., April 16 -- Hip Hop

"I started rhymin' just to be somebody / to make people notice me at the party / And I be just the new kid that's albino / make 'em say 'Yeah I know, but have you heard him rhyme though?'" That's how Brother Ali kicks off the gospel-infused, up-with-people track "Us," from his recent album of the same name. Elsewhere on the album, released on the influential Rhymesayers label, the Midwestern emcee celebrates "the life I live" in the funky "Fresh Air." Brother Ali visits Diesel tonight with Fashawn, BK One and Padded Cell People. Aaron Jentzen 7 p.m. 1601 E. Carson St., South Side. $14 ($16 day of show). All ages. 412-431-8800 or www.dieselpgh.com

 

Fri., April 16 --Stage

Back in the day, Elena and Reed were a couple of free-lovin' baby boomers. But their post-college split lead them on different paths: Elena's an aging hippie, Reed's a corporate yuppie. A quarter-century after their break-up, they meet by chance, stranded in the airport. Shooting Star finds these former lovers remembering who they used to be, and coming to terms with who they've become. City Theatre's production of the play by Steven Dietz (Fiction) opens tonight. AR 8 p.m. Continues through May 16. City Theatre, 1300 Bingham St., South Side. $23-48. 412-431-4400 or www.citytheatrecompany.org

 

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Fri., April 16 -- Dance

Prince Siegfried fell hard for the beautiful, graceful Swan Princess Odette. (Apparently, the fact that she's half-bird, and haunted by an evil sorcerer, doesn't really bother him.) Unfortunately, the malicious magician Von Rothbart isn't too keen on their relationship. Tchaikovsky's classic Swan Lake, which closes the season for Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, opens tonight. PBT's Robert Moore and Julia Erickson star. AR 8 p.m. Also 8 p.m. Sat., April 17 and 2 p.m. Sun., April 18. Benedum Center, 803 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $20.50-94.50. 412-456-6666 or www.pbt.org 

 

Fri., April 16 -- Music

Acclaimed musicians have traveled from far and wide to join in Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's The Beethoven Project. As the season-long salute nears its close, internationally-renowned pianist Yefim Bronfman visits for a performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 under the direction of guest conductor Juraj Valcuha. The evening will also feature Zemlinsky's The Mermaid, a poetic score based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. AR 8 p.m. Also 8 p.m. Sat., April 17. Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $12.50-79. 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org

 

Fri., April 16 -- Music

"The Renaissance City": Pittsburgh sported the name briefly, back in the '80s. One of the few places it stuck is with The Renaissance City Choirs. Tonight and tomorrow, the men's and women's singing groups (motto: "gays and lesbians creating change through the power of music") mark their silver anniversary with The Best of RCC: 25 Years. The concert features favorites like "When We Sing" and Leonard Bernstein's "Make Our Garden Grow," along with a new commissioned work by composer Jeffrey Nytch. Guest conductors include former artistic directors Larry Marietta, Susan Haugh and Darlene Durrwachter-Rushing. BO 8 p.m. Also 8 p.m. Sat., April 17. Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty. $7-19.95. 412-363-3000 or www.rccpittsburgh.org

 

Sun., April 18 -- Music

A cappella fans, it's your lucky day. This afternoon, the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater hosts not only Pittsburgh's own DoubleShot!, but also Germany's lauded all-vocal act Vocaldente. The five members of Vocaldente have performed worldwide, singing music from the '20s through the present, Broadway through rock. The six men of Doubleshot!, no slouches, have reached the national finals in competition. BO 3 p.m. 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty. $10-20. 1-800-838-3006

 

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Mon., April 19 -- Rock

Last year's In the Valley of Sickness marked Alabama garage rockers Thomas Function's first release on Fat Possum, the venerable blues/rock label out of Mississippi. The record mixes lo-fi sound quality, sneering snottiness and naïve exuberance -- a combination of saccharine pop hooks and tongue-in-cheek punk attitude that sums up nicely what it means to be a teen-ager (or at least to act like one). The rockers bring their show to Gooski's tonight along with locals The Ceiling Stares and The Gotobeds. Andy Mulkerin 10 p.m. 3117 Brereton St., Polish Hill. $5. 412-681-1658

 

Tue., April 20 -- Marijuana

Today's the day all stoner clichés come true, as people all over the country celebrate the sticky icky icky. Faded Entertainment's 4:20 Fest, held at Altar Bar, includes games, joint-rolling contests, reggae and dancehall from DJ Dan Dabber and live music by Common Wealth Family, Suggestion Box and Backyard Birds. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Pittsburgh chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). It all gets started at 8 p.m., so you'll have plenty of time for drum circles, late-afternoon rituals, cartoons, what-have-you. AJ 1601 Penn Ave., Strip District. $10. 412-263-2877 or www.altarbarpittsburgh.com

 

Wed., April 21 -- Words

Happy birthday to the TNY Presents reading/performance series, which marks its second anniversary. The monthly series, run by the folks behind The New Yinzer literary Webzine, brings together a few fiction writers and poets and a band or musician. Tonight we find a mix of locals and out-of-towners: Philadelphia-based Michelle Reale, a short-story writer, represents Cleveland small press Burning River, along with publisher Chris Bowen, who reads as well. The lineup is rounded out by M. Callen, Don Wentworth and Martin Dodd; locals House of Assassins bring up the musical end. AM 8 p.m. ModernFormations Gallery, 4919 Penn Ave., Garfield. $5 or contribution to potluck dinner. All ages. 412-362-0274 or tnypresents.blogspot.com

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