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Short List: Week of September 24 - October 1

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So the G-20 has caused postponement of a couple days of shows Downtown, and even temporarily shut venues including the National Aviary. Don't sweat it -- use the open days on your A&E calendar to pencil in all the free stuff coming up during '09 RADical Days. The Allegheny Regional Asset District's annual cornucopia of no-cost fun continues on Sun., Sept. 27 (that's post-G-20), with free admission to both the Carnegie Science Center and the neighboring RiverQuest. The latter's "green educational vessel" will dock on the banks of the Ohio from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. to teach kids and adults about stuff like plankton, and to host events including a scavenger hunt. On Wed., Sept. 30, visit Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, or tour Heinz Field (10 a.m.-3 p.m.). RADical Days really gets rolling next weekend, with everything from free movies at Pittsburgh Filmmakers (Oct. 2 and 3) to kayaking with Venture Outdoors (Oct. 3). On Oct. 4, there's live music at the August Wilson Center, plus free admission to the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, and to North Side attractions the National Aviary, the Andy Warhol Museum, the Children's Museum and the Mattress Factory. Other freebies continue all over town through Oct. 11. The full schedule is at www.radworkshere.org. Bill O'Driscoll

 

Thu., Sept. 24 -- Art

Leave it to audacious little Fe Gallery to go mano a mano with opening night of the G-20 festivities with its own G-20-themed art show. Owner Jill Larson has assembled a group show by a raft of local artists addressing the summit, cheekily titled G-Spot. The show runs just three days, including tonight's reception. Bill O'Driscoll 7-9 p.m. 4102 Butler St., Lawrenceville. Free. 412-860-6028

 

Thursday, Sep. 24 -- Rock

Whether you're celebrating having the day off, blowing off steam because you didn't, or bandaging wounds sustained at the wrong end of a billy club, tonight you're probably ready to grab a brew and catch a few decent local bands. That's what Brendan Renne, of Summer Lungs, is banking on. He's billing his rock showcases tonight and tomorrow at Howlers as the G-20 Music Fest. Along with Summer Lungs, the lineup features Lover29, Bowhunter, Drugdealer and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Tomorrow, it's Lorens Chuno, Hail and Farewell, Mustache Required, Lucid Music, Satan's Sidekick and Erreur Fatale. Andy Mulkerin 8 p.m. nightly. 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $5 for either or both nights. 412-682-0320

 

Fri., Sept. 25 -- Festival

The Mavuno Festival is in full swing once again -- Sweetwater Art Center's 13th annual celebration of African-American expression in art and performance. Nigerian-born Pittsburgher Joy Ike's soul-influenced piano pop provides the soundtrack at the venue tonight during Sewickley's Fall Gallery Walk, which includes receptions at six other galleries. The featured exhibit Souls of my Sisters is a collection of works expressing the social experience of African-American women. In the spirit of the G-20, the show is dedicated to Michelle Obama. Lucy Leitner 7 p.m. (Mavuno events continue into October.) 200 Broad St., Sewickley. Free. 412-741-4405 or www.sweetwaterartcenter.org

 

Sat., Sept. 26 -- Stage

It's your last chance, methinks, to see free outdoor Shakespeare this year. Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks wraps four weekends of Love's Labour Lost with matinees today and tomorrow in Frick Park's "blue slide playground." The comedy is set amidst young nobles a-wooing. "Think Mount Lebanon girls invade Upper St. Clair boys to get the Galleria back," says director Melissa Hill Grande. The players play rain or shine, so pack an umbrella with your blanket and Thermos. BO 2 p.m. Also 2 p.m. Sun., Sept. 27. Beechwood Street playground (near Nicholson), Frick Park, Squirrel Hill. Free. www.pittsburghshakespeare.com

 

Saturday, Sep. 26 -- Film

The lawn is an essential suburban status symbol -- but it also exemplifies how something literally green isn't necessarily green ecologically. We've all heard tales of homeowners eating municipal fines during a drought just to keep the lawn watered, and seen the little white flags when a patch of grass is getting pesticide treatment. Gimme Green, an award-winning documentary about America's lawn obsession, screens today as part of Carnegie Library Main Branch's Sustainable September series. Afterward, representatives from Phipps Conservatory will suggest ways to turn your lawn into a garden with sustainable plantings. AM 3 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free. 412-622-3151 

 

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Sat., Sept. 26 -- Opera

A Russian tragedy might sound bleak, but Pittsburgh Opera assures that its season-opener is an elegant affair, with lavish sets and international singing talent. On four evenings, the company performs Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, the tale of unrequited love between naïve country girl Tatiana and the eponymous nobleman. German soprano Anna Samuil reprises the role that won her acclaim in Austria, while Metropolitan Opera regular Dwayne Croft lends his baritone to Onegin. Also, check out the Opera's new ticket prices, as low as $10. LL 6 p.m. Continues through Oct. 4. Benedum Center, 719 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $10-140. 412-456-6666 or www.pgharts.org

 

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Sat., Sept. 26 -- Dance

Capoeira is a martial art developed by Africans enslaved in Brazil that they disguised as dance. Luckily, Pittsburgh has its own Afro-Brazilian music and dance ensemble to perform a living history of the slaves in an art form that has survived for more than 500 years. Named for Salvador-born director Jose Sena, a.k.a. Nego Gato, the troupe performs the dance of self-defense tonight with help from the students of the Pittsburgh Capoeira Academy at the stained glass-adorned Union Project. LL 7 p.m. 801 N. Negley Ave., Highland Park. $5-12. 412-201-4546 or www.negogato.org

 

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Sat., Sept. 26 -- Music

On the opening track for Custom Made for You, by Christabel and the Jons, singer Christa croons, "there's nothing more, nothing less -- this is the new age, I guess." But anything after, say, 1950 probably seems new to this old-time swing band. The Tennessee-based group, with a penchant for matching three-piece suits, mandolin, upright bass and the like, swings through Howlers Coyote Café tonight, for what's sure to be a sweetly anachronistic evening. Aaron Jentzen 8 p.m. 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. 412-682-0320

 

Saturday, Sep. 26 -- DJs

Vipers Soul Club has been providing a monthly fix of Northern Soul for nigh on two years. Tonight's event marks the 21st time DJs Juddy and Gordy have spun tunes under that name. It's also the last, as Juddy plans some time off from the DJ grind, and Gordy prepares a new monthly event with man-on-the-scene J. Malls. While Vipers may return now and again as a one-off, its time as a given is up. So come out and shake to '60s Motown and soul rarities one more time at Shadow Lounge. AM 9 p.m. 5972 Baum Blvd., East Liberty. $5 (18 and over). 412-363-8277

 

Sat., Sept. 26 -- Rock

If it's been awhile since you checked in with Chux Beta, that's understandable -- the local four-piece has been kicking around town for over a decade, and hasn't really gone out of its way to curry favor. So it's a nice surprise -- even a shock? -- to pop in Now We Rise and Are Everywhere, the band's latest album. On the record, the band packs way more punch than you probably remember, with classic-sounding indie-fuzz guitars that recall Built to Spill or Chavez, and tight vocal harmonies. The band plays 31st Street Pub tonight with Weird Paul. AJ 10 p.m. 3101 Penn Ave., Strip District. $5. 412-391-8334 or www.31stpub.com

 

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Tue., Sept. 29 -- Talk

Nicknamed the "Walt Disney of Sexual Anxiety," Jim Trainor creates animated films and comic strips that deal with headhunters, serial killers and dolphin-rapists. A professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Trainor cites a black Magic Marker as his favorite tool to pen cartoons that lampoon nature documentaries and grotesque cultural customs. Tonight at Carnegie Mellon University, he delivers an undoubtedly weird talk, possibly covering such topics as anthropomorphism, genital mutilation and his current project, "The Ugliest Woman in the World." LL 5 p.m. McConomy Auditorium, CMU campus, Oakland. Free. 412-268-2409 or www.art.cfa.cmu.edu

 

Wed., Sept. 30 -- Talk

In 2008, the United Nations approved a resolution designating access to food a human right. The resolution notes that the world produces enough food for twice its current population, yet 6 million children die of starvation annually. The only country to vote against it? The United States. As part of the University of Pittsburgh's International Week, Molly Anderson lectures on food rights and food-systems reform. Anderson is president of think tank Food Systems Integrity and former U.S. director of Oxfam. After her lecture, the movie Food, Inc. screens, and Anderson takes questions. Melissa Meinzer 7 p.m. Assembly Room, William Pitt Union, Oakland. Free. 412-624-2918 

 

Thu., Oct. 1 -- Free Speech

Pittsburgh native Judith Krug was a librarian who for decades helped lead the battle to keep books in libraries even when people wanted them banned -- everything from Mein Kampf to Catcher in the Rye. She also successfully fought for free speech on the Internet. Krug, who died in April, is honored tonight at Carnegie Library Lecture Hall's annual Banned Books Week reading, sponsored by the ACLU and the American Library Association. The event features performers from puppeteers to belly-dancers reading from banned works, plus a slide show of challenged and banned comic strips. BO 7 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free. 412-681-7736 or bannedbooks@aclupgh.org

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