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Short List: Week of July 29 - August 5

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Thu., July 29 -- Art

Did you know Homewood Cemetery has a natural lily pond? With frogs and everything? Curt DeBor didn't, and he'd lived within two miles of it for years. But DeBor, a photographer, filmmaker and actor, made up for lost time: He spent a year documenting the pond in all seasons. The results constitute part one of a three-part photo exhibit at the cemetery's chapel -- the first such program there ever, courtesy of the Homewood Cemetery Historical Fund. Living in Homewood Cemetery: A Wild Oasis in the City continues through Sun., Aug. 1. The series resumes Aug. 22-29, with Glen Lewis' architecturally themed photos, followed by a Sept. 19-26 juried show. Bill O'Driscoll 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Also 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily through Sun., Aug. 1. 1599 S. Dallas Ave., Homewood. Free. 412-421-1822

 

Thu., July 29 -- Stage

In 1921, 15-year-old Idaho farm boy Philo Farnsworth concocted the idea for the image dissector. Yes, inspired by the plow's back-and-forth dissection of the fields, he envisioned the makings of the modern-day TV. But unbeknownst to Farnsworth, an RCA executive may have beaten him to the punch. The Farnsworth Invention, a play by Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing, is based on this scramble between visionaries -- and the lawsuit that ultimately followed. Jena Oberg directs Little Lake Theatre's production. Jenelle Pifer 8 p.m. Continues through Sat., Aug. 14. 500 Lakeside Drive South, Canonsburg. $15-17. 724-745-6300 or www.littlelake.org

 

Thu., July 29 -- Music

After touring together in 1995 as the Sextacy Ball Tour, long-running sexxxed-up industrial bands Lords of Acid and My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult are teaming up again and hitting the road. The Sextreme Ball 2010, which visits Diesel tonight, also features Blownload and DJ Deathwish. I'm gonna go out on a limb and predict some dirty dancing and premium-grade people-watching. Aaron Jentzen 7 p.m. (doors at 6:30 p.m.). 1601 E. Carson St., South Side. 20-25. All ages. 412-431-8800 or www.dieselpgh.com

 

Fri., July 30 -- Music

You've likely heard of the Blind Boys of Alabama, but the blind boys from the barrio might be a new one. Los Ciegos del Barrio is a New York City-based Latin band made up of blind musicians who play salsa, bachata, reggaeton and other Latin stylings. Tonight the band provides live tunes for the weekly Salsa Fridays event at the Cabaret at Theater Square. An instructor will be on hand to teach salsa moves so you don't embarrass yourself in front of the contingent that can see. Andy Mulkerin 10 p.m. 655 Penn Ave., Downtown. $10. 412-456-6666 or pgharts.org

 

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Sat., July 31 -- Outdoors

The second of three Family Outdoors Festivals kicks off today in McKinley Park. Join Venture Outdoors for guided bike rides, rock climbing and bike bowling (where wheel replaces ball). Learn to use a GPS by geocaching for take-home maps, lights and pedometers, and enjoy all-day music, food and crafts. As part of its Family and Community Programs Initiative, Venture Outdoors wants to help people of all ages and skill levels to get outside, stay healthy and experience our city's outdoor assets. The final festival is Aug. 28 in Allegheny Commons. JP Noon-4 p.m. Bausman Street, Beltzhoover. Free. 412-255-0564 or www.ventureoutdoors.org

 

Sat., July 31 -- Outdoors

Some people grow up fishing; to many, however, it's an enterprise both unfamiliar and intimidating. Those in the latter group can try today's Family Fishing Program in Moraine State Park. The informal lakeside sessions, co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, cover how to rig a fishing rod; knowing your bait; knot-tying; casting; and more. Gear is supplied, and no fishing license required, but participants must pre-register at 724-368-8811. BO 1 p.m. Bear Run Boat Launch (south shore), Moraine State Park, Prospect (Butler County). www.dcnr.state.pa.us

 

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Sat., July 31 -- Stage

A New York City-based traveling burlesque show invites you to insert your own expletive at The Rex Theater tonight. Attend The Best Night Of Your $!@# Life and meet international tassel-twirler Peekaboo Pointe and Lil' Miss Lixx, a classically trained ballet dancer turned burlesque performer, in a show hosted by Mr. Kenny Law, a comedian dubbed "The Only Man for Every Woman." And if you can't quite find the word you need, just second The New York Times when they say "Wow ... just wow." JP 8 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $10 ($12 at the door). 412-381-6811 or rex.greyareaprod.com

 

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Sat., July 31 -- Music

The Rowan Cunningham Band isn't, in fact, fronted by a guy named Rowan Cunningham -- it's actually two Rowan brothers along with fiddler Sue Cunningham. The trio (Chris and Lorin Rowan play guitar and mandolin) is bluegrass, not newgrass, and even while the band's lyrical themes can be folky-cum-dorky, the members have serious chops and play tunes that are far from stock. Add in stirring vocal harmonies and you've got an act worth catching if bluegrass is even a remote interest of yours. The band plays Howlers tonight; Philly's The Great Unknown and Groundhog Quiche open. AM 9 p.m. 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $10. 412-682-0320

 

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Sun., Aug. 1 -- Outdoors

Once, Pennsylvania was largely prairie -- part of the big grasslands now considered Midwestern. While the glaciers' retreat and other climate changes left things mainly forest, a couple patches of prairie remain. And this weekend is prime time to see the only one that's both public and protected. Jennings Environmental Education Center hosts the second of just two annual Jennings Prairie Bloom walks. Dress for a sunny, 90-minute guided stroll exploring this ecosystem's plants, animals and geology, and see spectacular displays of flowers including the blazing star -- the rich-purple flower Jennings was actually created to protect. BO 2 p.m. (meet in prairie parking area). 2951 Prospect Road, Slippery Rock. Free. 724-794-6011

 

Sun., Aug. 1 -- Rock

John Mayer has had his ups and downs. Back in 2001, when he released his debut, Room for Squares, he was the golden boy of acoustic pop radio. But since he acquired star status and a Twitter account, he's hit a few bumps along the road, including a not-so-lovable Playboy interview and the A-1 spot on a few too many tabloids. His music has changed as well, going from poppy acoustics to more sophisticated, bluesy guitars. Fellow early-2000s radio rockers, Train, open for Mayer tonight at First Niagara Pavilion. Kelsey Shea 7 p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. $36-69.50. All ages. 724-947-7400 or www.livenation.com

 

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Sun., Aug. 1 -- Rock

As a part of Allegheny County's summer-concert series, Yo La Tengo will play a free show tonight at Hartwood Acres, and bring a little indie rock to the suburbs. On the huge lawn of the outdoor amphitheater, fans can enjoy Yo La Tengo's artsy and experimental something for no charge, while munching on packed picnics. Making its first stop in Pittsburgh in quite a while, Yo La Tengo is currently touring with songs from its latest album, Popular Songs. KS 7:30 p.m. 200 Hartwood Acres, Hampton. Free. All ages. 412-767-9200 or www.alleghenycounty.us

 

Mon., Aug. 2 -- Call for Artists

Though best known for its spot-on productions of August Wilson plays, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre also fosters emerging talents. A signature project is the Theatre Festival in Black and White, a uniquely ambitious pairing of white playwrights with black directors, and vice versa, for a program of eight one-act plays. The fest was on hiatus last year, but it's back and looking for scripts of 25 pages or less on any subject. Submitters must be Pittsburgh playwrights (a category including former residents). The submission deadline is Aug. 16; the fest itself arrives in October. BO 412-377-7803 or www.pghplaywrights.com

 

Thu., Aug. 5 -- Food

The Toyota Farm to Table Tour is stopping by Market Square at lunch today, showcasing fresh ingredients (and a hybrid car or two). Nine Pittsburgh chefs will be paired with a nearby farm, and will offer bite-sized creations made from that farm's produce. Talk to the folks who grow your food, and get some tips from these pros: Jason Capps (Bella Serra), Keith Fuller (Six Penn), Andrew Morrison (Habitat), Mark Swomley (Carlton), Kevin Sousa (Salt of the Earth), Sonja Finn (Dinette), Kate Romane (E2), Andrew Hebson (Sonoma Grille) and Bill Fuller (Big Burrito). Once inspired, pick up a complimentary potted herb from the mobile garden. Al Hoff 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Downtown. Free. www.farmtotabletour.com

 

Thu., Aug. 5 -- Entertainment

Thursday may be the off night of the weekend, but it's the perfect day to attend offCenter, a weekly event at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. Each Thursday features new live entertainment and free entrance to first-floor exhibits. This Thursday after work, learn the art of the soul line-dance with Roland Ford. Then view Thad Mosley's freestanding wooden sculptures and explore a black-and-white photography exhibit by local legend Charles "Teenie" Harris. Food and drinks available for purchase. JP 5:30-8 p.m. and 9-10:30 p.m. Continues Thursdays through Sept. 2. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Free. 412-258-2700 or www.augustwilsoncenter.org

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