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Short List: Week of May 26 - June 2

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"I would say that above all, my plays are about people who are well raised but who lose control of themselves," Yasmina Reza recently told the Los Angeles Times. That certainly describes her best-known work, Art, and perhaps even moreso God of Carnage, her 2009 Tony-winner for best play, premiering locally at Pittsburgh Public Theater. Translated from Reza's native French by Christopher Hampton, and translated to Brooklyn for U.S. audiences, the wicked, fast-paced hit Broadway comedy depicts, in real time, two married couples confronting each other over a simple incident: Alan and Annette's 11-year-old son has bashed Michael and Veronica's boy in the mouth with a stick. But while God of Carnage touches on everything from justice to child-rearing philosophies, it's roughly as concerned with intellectual discourse as Art is with art. It's more about Reza unpacking the insecurities underlying her characters' self-justifications and liberal pieties -- and charting, with a detached hilarity, how marital alliances shift across lines of gender and temperament. The Public's Ted Pappas directs Deirdre Madigan as the victim's mother, Veronica; Ted Koch as Michael; Susan Angelo as Annette; and local favorite David Whalen as Alan, a high-powered attorney whose cell phone keeps interrupting the tête-a-tête with calls about a client's unfolding disaster, in prickly counterpoint to the escalating domestic squabble. Bill O'Driscoll  Thu., May 26-June 26. O'Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave., Downtown. $15.75-60.75. 412-316-1600 or www.ppt.org 

 

ART BY MARCELINO GONALVES
  • Art by Marcelino Gonalves

Thu., May 26 -- Art

Tonight's your chance to wear that Polamalu jersey to the Warhol and not feel out of place ... again. With typical iconoclastic aplomb, the museum hosts a Tailgate and Tarot Card Party to open two new, and otherwise definitively unrelated, traveling art shows. Mixed Signals: Artists Consider Masculinity in Sports unites big names (Matthew Barney, Catherine Opie) and emerging talent to challenge cultural assumptions about gender and explore masculinity as performance. Meanwhile, Contemporary Magic: A Tarot Deck for Art Project features 78 tarot cards as imagined by artists and fashion designers from Nan Goldin and Karl Lagerfeld to Andres Serrano. Tonight's party -- "your butchest jock attire" requested -- features both tarot-card readings and "scantily clad sports models, outdoor grilling and beer," not forgetting DJs Huck Finn and Pete Spynda. Bill O'Driscoll 7-11 p.m. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. $15-18. Mixed Signals continues through Aug. 7. Contemporary Magic continues through Aug. 15. 412-237-8300 or www.warhol.org

 

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Thu., May 26 -- Words

It's the home stretch for Fleeting Pages, the temporary pop-up bookstore in the former Borders Eastside; Brigadoon-like, this showcase for indie publications closes Wed., June 1. But it's going out with a full slate of readings and more. Tonight, at 8 p.m., there's "Planes, Trains, & Automobiles: Three Hometown Writers on the Road," with Dave Newman, Bob Pajich and Lori Jakiela reading poems and stories about leave-takings and homecomings. On Sat., May 28, there's storytelling and live cartooning (for kids) by Joe Wos, and Jess Harold's "Bind Your Own Hardcover Journals" workshop (for everyone). And on Tue., May 31, poet Kelly Stevens Kane hosts the Fleeting Pages Poetry Slam: First 20 on the list compete for judges chosen from the audience, with a cash prize for the champ. BO 5986 Penn Circle South, East Liberty. Most events are $5 or less. www.fleetingpages.com 

 

Thu., May 26 -- Art

"We want to hear what artists want to express about the trees, parks, rivers and all nature within the city," says Athena KitchenFlint. So the Carlow University alumna -- currently a graduate student at St. Mary of the Woods College -- founded Steel City Presents: The Tree Ring Circus! This "Festival in Honor of Pittsbugh and Her Nature" seeks paintings, photos and other artwork; poems, short stories or nonfiction; songs and music; and the scripts of monologues and one-act plays on the theme. The deadline is Tue., May 31. The festival, including performance of some of the theater pieces, is scheduled for early July. More info at aakitchenflint@gmail.com. BO

 

Fri., May 27 -- Stage

Tonight is the Pittsburgh premiere of Wendy Kesselman's new adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank. The somehow uplifting story of the Frank family hiding in Nazi-occupied Holland has become a world-wide symbol of defiant hope. This production by Playhouse Jr. is a perfect opportunity to introduce your young ones to the larger ideas the play represents; the Pittsburgh Playhouse provides a study-guide for teachers who bring students, and there will be two post-show discussions with Holocaust survivors, after shows on June 5 and 12. Brendan Sullivan 7 p.m. Show continues through Sun., June 12. 222 Craft Ave., Oakland. $7. 412-392-8000 or www.pittsburghplayhouse.com

 

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Sat., May 28 -- Birds

After their spring boot camp, the National Aviary's Lanner falcons are ready to put on a show. Beginning today, there will be daily displays of falconry on the roof of the FliteZone Theatre, at the new Sky Deck. The falcons will chase lures tossed by trainers, and a flock of black kites will snap food out of the air for your viewing pleasure. The raptors are new to the Aviary, and were trained on-site by Aviary experts. BS 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Program continues through Labor Day. 700 Arch St., North Side. $16-18 (includes Aviary admission). 412-323-7235 or www.aviary.org

 

Sat., May 28 -- Outdoors

May is a wonderful month both for hiking through the park and drinking a well-crafted beer. Today, Venture Outdoors leads a 3- to 4 mile hike through Schenley Park, to enjoy the scenery and learn a little about its natural and social history. After you work up a thirst, the tour takes a quick rick to Hough's Bar and Restaurant, in Greenfield, where hikers can sample a variety of seasonal microbrews. Light snacks will be provided. Limited room; pre-registration required. If you miss this week's hike, look out for Venture Outdoor's June 4 East End Microbrewery Hike, in Frick Park. BS 2 p.m. Schenley Park, Oakland. $33. www.ventureoutdoors.org

 

Tue., May 31 -- Books

For the second year, Market Square hosts the Downtown Carnegie Library's "mobile library" kiosk. Every Tuesday through Oct.11, two librarians will man the station, selling books for a dollar or less, letting people know about library programs and directing interested parties to Smithfield Street, and the branch itself. There, folks can find nearly 200 periodicals and Internet access, as well as books, DVDs and unabridged audio books for those long summer car trips. BS 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Continues through Oct. 11. Downtown. 412-281-7141

 

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Tue., May 31 -- Art

Japanese calligrapher Master Ritsuko Takaoka has taken her art into a new realm, adding music, dance-like movements and even audience participation to the works she creates with brush, ink and paper. Now Takaoka brings her art to Pittsburgh. Today the calligrapher offers three workshop-and-lecture combinations at the Carnegie Library Main Branch, in Oakland. Takaoka teaches calligraphy in Japan, where she regularly invites children to participate. Kids here can help create large-scale calligraphy works at a special performance at 5 p.m. Fri., June 3, in the Lower Lounge of Pitt's William Pitt Union. BS Workshops: 1, 3 and 5:30 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave. Free. Registration required at friends@carnegiejapanese.org

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