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Short List: Week of July 28 - Aug 2

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Thu., July 28 -- Festival

In 1794, David Bradford led farmers, disgruntled by an excise tax on liquor, in the Whiskey Rebellion, one of the largest insurrections in the early United States and one whose suppression required the federalization of state militias. In honor of this historic event, Washington, Pa., hosts a three-day Whiskey Rebellion Festival. It starts today with a Main Street Farmers Market. Weekend highlights include Friday's Whiskey Rebellion Dinner, sponsored by Maker's Mark Distillery; Saturday's full day of events include a barbecue cook-off and a music festival headlined by mandolin player Mike Compton, founding member of the acclaimed Nashville Bluegrass Band. Brendan Sullivan 3-6 p.m. Also 6 p.m. Fri., July 29, and 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Sat., July 30. www.bradfordhouse.org

 

Fri., July 29 -- Convention

Steel City Con is particularly geeked to note that the guests at this weekend's event include Don Stark, who played goofy permed neighbor Bob Pinciotti in long-running sitcom That '70s Show. But wait, there's more! The toy, comic-book and pop-culture expo continues working that '70s theme with visits from former Bionic Woman Lindsay Wagner, and Jeremy Bulloch, whom Star Wars fans call "Boba Fett." The three-day festival of memorabilia, merchandising and celebrity sightings begins today at the Monroeville Convention Center. Bill O'Driscoll 2-8 p.m. Also 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat., July 30, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun., July 31. Monroeville. $12 (three-day pass: $20). www.steelcitycon.com

FILM STILL COURTESY OF THE GOETHE-INSTITUTE BOSTON
  • Film still courtesy of the Goethe-Institute Boston

Fri., July 29 -- Film

In the wake of the Women's World Cup, those hungry for more soccer can feast on a rare dish: German filmmaker Hellmuth Costard's ground-breaking 1970 documentary Soccer as Never Before (Fussball wie noch nie). Costard deployed eight 16 mm cameras to follow legendary Manchester United star George Best, then at his peak, through all 90 minutes of a match against Coventry. The flamboyant, hard-partying Best was as big a sports celeb as the U.K. had -- an airport in his native Belfast was named for him after his death -- and this film's approach unduplicated until the 2006 soccer film Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait. Soccer as Never Before screens tonight at The Andy Warhol Museum. BO 8 p.m. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. Free with museum admission. 412-237-8300 or www.warhol.org

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Fri., July 29 -- Comedy

In the early 1960s, Dick Gregory was among the first African-American comedians to attain national-TV fame. But Gregory was always more than just a funnyman: an out-front civil-rights activist and 1968 write-in presidential candidate, he once caught heat for circulating dollar bills with his picture on them. He's also surely America's best-known serial hunger-striker for social justice, as well as a raw-food evangelist. But at age 78, Gregory still takes his socially conscious comedy on the road … to events like the State of the Black Union, where he once brought down the house by upbraiding his black audience ("What kind of fool is you?") for accepting Bill Clinton as "the first black president" while regarding Barack Obama as "not black enough." Tonight, Gregory brings his Celebrating Truth Tour to the Union Project; the show is a benefit for the fledgling Pittsburgh chapter of the National Congress of Black Women. Also speaking is the Congress's national chair, E. Faye Williams. BO 8 p.m. 801 N. Negley Ave., Highland Park. $20-25. 412-423-8859 or www.NationalCongressbw.org


Sat., July 30 -- Words

The South Side lost one of its better cultural amenities when Eljays' Used Books departed for Dormont earlier this year. But the store is keeping on the radar by co-hosting events like Horror Realm's Summer Horror Author Series. The series showcases local authors who are self-published or work with indie presses; today, it's journalist and independent filmmaker Mike Watt, reading from and signing his macabre 2009 short-story collection Phobophobia. The series concludes Aug. 6 with a visit from comics artist Jon Towers. BO 3 p.m. 3233 W. Liberty Ave., Dormont. Free. www.eljaysusedbooks.com

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Sat 30 July -- Words

Professor Charles Eisenstein, of Penn State and Goddard College, brings his new book, Sacred Economics, to the William Pitt Union for an evening of discussion. Sacred Economics explores the monetary system from its origins to the modern day, and its essential role in deifying scarcity, promoting competition and setting humanity on a path of individuation and alienation. Eisenstein's book argues that change in our monetary system is inevitable and indeed has already begun. The author synthesizes theory, policy and practice into a radical philosophy; his talk is sponsored by Evolver Pittsburgh, Transition Pittsburgh and Sust Enable: The Metamentary. BS 5 p.m. 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Requested donation: $10. www.evolver.net/group/evolver_pittsburgh

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Sat., July 30 -- Comedy

For all the collaborations among Pittsburgh's creative class, it's possible that no one has yet thought to combine comedy and visual art. But here goes local comic Brad Ryan. The Art of Laughter, at Mount Oliver venue Casne's World, begins with a low-keyed reception for an exhibit by local artists. Then come the funnymen, including Ryan himself; nationally touring WDVE favorite John Evans; and the headliner, longtime Funnybone regular Chuck Krieger. The evening concludes -- naturally enough -- with a performance by "Pittsburgh's Blonde Elvis" (a.k.a. Dan Casne). BO 7:30 p.m. (comedy at 9 p.m.) 325 Hayes Ave., Mount Oliver. $15 (includes refreshments). 412-680-1117

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Mon., Aug. 1 -- Art 

Future Tenant Art Space opens Fossils: Evidence of Queer Life in Pittsburgh. The week-long project by Dani Lamorte is his attempt as a 25-year-old gay man to use performance and art to unearth and explore Pittsburgh's GLBTQ past, especially the 1980s peak of the HIV/AIDS crisis. Today through Wed., Aug. 3, the gallery is open afternoons with work by local artists, plus recorded interviews with queer Pittsburghers about the "plague years." Visitors to this Sprout Fund-backed show are also invited to leave "fossils" of their own -- plaster hand-casts and photographs along with their own interviews about queer Pittsburgh 20 years later. The later half of the week is dedicated to interactive performances and events, including an Aug. 4 event titled "In the Time of Judy." BS Noon-4 p.m. Continues through Sat., Aug. 6. 819 Penn Ave., Downtown. Free. www.futuretenant.org

Image of sculpture by Ian Green - COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

Tue., Aug. 2 -- Art

Painter Ian Green becomes the latest artist to make art in public as part of the Art Out of the Box Mobile Studio Project. For these six-day residencies, the artists roll the project's cart-like portable studio to a prominent spot and engage with the community while they work. Green, of Spring Hill, should be especially accessible: His work ranges from visionary, often satiric paintings to street murals of community life in Homestead (his former neighborhood) and the new cosmic ceiling mural in the Carnegie Library of Homestead's Teen Room. Today through Sunday, look for him in Allegheny Commons Park, on the North Side. BO 10 a.m.-6 p.m. North Side. www.artboxpittsburgh.com

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