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Short List: Week of May 27 - June 3

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Thu., May 27 -- Stage

Tammy Ryan ranks among Pittsburgh's top current playwrights, with productions acclaimed here and elsewhere. She follows works like The Music Lesson and Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods with A Confluence of Dreaming. It's about a suburban housewife discovering both the sexy side of the Web and the risks of pursuing your fantasies. Point Park's professional troupe The REP (a familiar home for Ryan's work) stages the world premiere, directed by John Amplas and starring Bridget Connors and Robert Turano. The preview show is tonight, opening night tomorrow. Bill O'Driscoll 8 p.m. Continues through June 13. Pittsburgh Playhouse, 222 Craft Ave., Oakland. $24-27. 412-621-4445 or www.pittsburghplayhouse.org


Thu., May 27 -- Stage

There's a painting -- a white canvas with white diagonal lines that you can see only if you squint just so. How much would you pay for it? In Yasmina Reza's Art, the answer is 200,000 francs. The Tony-winning satirical comedy questions the meaning of art and the value of friendship, as conflicting aesthetic opinions give three friends cause to ruthlessly mock each other's decisions and failures. Ted Pappas directs Harry Bouvy, Rob Breckenridge and Darren Eliker in a new production at Pittsburgh Public Theater. The show's preview performances begin tonight. Jenelle Pifer 8 p.m. Continues through June 27. O'Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave., Downtown. $15-50. 412-316-1600 or www.ppt.org


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Friday May 28 -- Rock

English singer-songwriter Joel Lindsey relocated to Pittsburgh and its stages in 2007; he also plays regularly across the state and, now and then, across the Atlantic. His band with James Kurasch, Boulevard of the Allies, celebrates its first release tonight at Club Café; the band's mix of acoustic-centered rock and jazz fusion is well polished and fun. Lindsey's smooth crooner's voice and the band's impressive chops make Boulevard of the Allies a good fit for Triple-A radio (if not particularly groundbreaking). Tonight's opener is Jimbo Jackson; a second release show is Sunday, at Borders in East Liberty. Andy Mulkerin 7 p.m. (56-58 S. 12th St., South Side; $5; 412-431-4950 or www.clubcafe.com). Also 2 p.m. Sun., May 30 (5986 Penn Circle South, East Liberty; free; 412-441-1080 or www.borders.com).

 

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Fri., May 28 -- Rock

Canadians -- specifically of the large and hockey-stick-wielding variety -- aren't especially popular in Pittsburgh these days. But music fans can make an exception for of Montreal, playing the Ches-A-Rena tonight. The band's jaunty, sing-along choruses will keep the Pens' loss far from Pittsburghers' minds; the fact that they're actually from Athens, Ga. -- not Canada -- won't hurt them, either. The band is touring throughout the summer before releasing its first album since 2008, tentatively titled False Priest. Noot D'Noot opens. Kelsey Shea 8 p.m. 1216 Pittsburgh St., Cheswick. $18 ($20 day of show). All ages. 412-589-4244 or www.chesarenapgh.com

 

Friday May 28 -- Rock

Capitalist Casualties is a band that's interesting for two reasons. First, the California powerviolence outfit has been pounding out machine-gun-paced songs that last two minutes tops -- and often clock in closer to a minute -- for more than 20 years. Second, it means that the band's radical political agenda has persisted since the late Reagan era; for whatever reason, the members still aren't satisfied. The blast beats drop tonight at Belvedere's in a show put on by frequent CP contributor (and recovering hardcore kid?) Manny Theiner. Controversial Bay Area punkers Fang play as well; Verbal Abuse and Oh Shit They're Going to Kill Us open. AM 8 p.m. 4016 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $10-12. 412-687-2555

 

COURTESY OF SARAH HIGGINS
  • Courtesy of Sarah Higgins

Fri., May 28 -- Dance

The Three Rivers Arts Festival is imminent. Get a sneak preview tonight as part of Attack Theatre's season-closing Game Night and Seven-Minute Dance Series. The monthly series' usual diversions -- four-square, backgammon, darts, vintage Atari -- are joined in Attack HQ (in the Pittsburgh Opera building) by a new video-game room, human bowling and more, plus music by DJ Gordy G. Interspersed, see excerpts from R.A.M., a dance work commissioned for the arts fest. It's about a guy trying to reformat himself after his circuits crash, and features original music by the Attack Theatre Band. BO 8 p.m.-midnight. 2425 Liberty Ave., Strip District. $5 suggested donation. 412-281-3305 or www.attacktheatre.com

 

Fri., May 28 -- Rock

Local rockers The Casino Bulldogs' two years together have been fruitful, yielding a CD and EP, and now their second full-length album, Descendants of the Glorious Dead. "Full-length" is relative, though -- nine songs in just over 20 taut minutes. Greg Trimeloni's vocals and fuzzed-out guitar seem a throwback to the alterna-rock of yore, with nods to The Strokes and Nirvana, backed by rock-steady drums and bass. The trio's CD release show is tonight at Club Café, where it's joined by The Hypnogerms and Steamship Jesus. Aaron Jentzen 10 p.m. 56-58 S. 12th St., South Side. $7. 412-431-4950 or www.clubcafelive.com

 

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Sat., May 29 -- Plants

Want help identifying the scraggly weed overtaking your tomatoes? Concerned about your azalea's puckering petals? Maybe you just need to vent your weevil woes. It's time to meet the masters from Phipps Conservatory. Attend Dr. Phipps' GreenLine On-Site Plant Clinics to get advice from a team of master gardeners at Phipps Garden Center, in Mellon Park. A new in-person extension of the online Q&A service, the clinics invite guests to bring potted plants or weed samples for expert diagnosis. JP 9:30 a.m.-noon. Continues Saturdays through October. 1059 Shady Ave., Shadyside. Free. 412-622-6914 or www.phipps.conservatory.org

 

Sat., May 29 -- Birds

The National Aviary introduces you personally to high-flying problem-solvers and hunters, carnivores and copycats, in the season-opener of its FliteZone Free-Flight Bird Show. The morning performance of this outdoor program highlights the hunting behaviors of birds of prey: See the aerial acrobatics of black kites and the lizard-smashing feeding habits of the seriema. Afternoons, witness feats of intelligence by macaws, parrots and hornbills. Shows are twice-daily four days a week, and once on Sundays, and emphasize the challenges and importance of preservation. JP 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Continues through Sept. 6. 700 Arch St., North Side. Included with admission, $9.50-12. 412-323-7235 or www.aviary.org

 

ART COURTESY OF MARK LOEBACH
  • Art courtesy of Mark Loebach

Sat., May 29 -- Art 

Plenty of storefront art galleries don't make it to five years. But right in the middle of Bloomfield, BoxHeart has been a haven for offbeat work from around Pittsburgh and around the world since 2000. The gallery celebrates tonight with the opening party for its 10th-anniversary show, Reeling in the Years, featuring a few of the 500-plus artists it's shown over the years as well as work by new favorites. BO 5-9 p.m. Show continues through June 19. 4523 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Free. 412-687-8858

 

Sat., May 29 -- Music

Old is nothing new to Boston singer-songwriter Miss Tess. Since she was a kid, she's been performing music that sounds closer to jazz from the '30s than anything on the radio today. Her music blends jazz, folk, swing and blues -- and gets her on the road quite a lot, playing more than 200 shows across the country each year. She performs tonight with her band at Brillobox; local artist Phat Man Dee opens. (The show is co-presented by CP contributor Manny Theiner.) KS 9 p.m. 4101 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $10. 412-621-4900 or www.brillobox.net

 

Tue., June 1 -- Words

A diverse cast of poets visits tonight's installment of the Hemingway's Summer Poetry Series. The program includes Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, whose powerful 2008 collection The River Is Rising is informed by her family's flight from their war-ravaged homeland, Liberia. Michael Simms, who heads local poetry imprint Autumn House Press, offers moving, plainspoken verse from publications including his recent chapbook Black Stone. Also reading are Susan Sailer and Morgantown's Lori Wilson. BO 8 p.m. Hemingway's Café, 3911 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free. 412-621-4100

 

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Thu., June 3 -- Talk

This one's for those of you who want to punch something every time you hear someone say that racism is dead now that we've elected an African-American president. Beginning today, the University of Pittsburgh hosts Race in America, billed as "the most solution-focused conference on race ever held." It features a slew of big names, including tonight's keynote speaker, former NAACP head Julian Bond. The point is to discuss specific ways in which racial inequality is manifest, and to determine courses of action that will negate that inequality. Daytime workshops -- geared toward educators and community leaders -- are part of a package deal that costs $200-395, but the keynote speeches are free and open to the public. AM 7 p.m. Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall, Oakland. Continues through Sunday. 412-624-7382 or www.race.pitt.edu

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