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Short List: April 16 - 23 

The queer femme performers of Heels on Wheels roll into town; Venture Outdoors takes you on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail; the Children's Museum continues its Love Letters Project; and the Christian McBride Trio visits JazzLive.

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SPOTLIGHT: Thu., April 17 — Stage

Heels on Wheels, the New York-based group of queer femme artists touring the Northeast, rolls into town with its multilayered Glitter Roadshow. The show, co-founded by performers Damien Luxe and Heather Ács in 2010, mixes multimedia, readings and performance art to examine "femme/inine-positive queer embodiment." As Ács says in a video about the show, "There are certain assumptions that get made about feminine people. We wanted to create a space where it was safe to be feminine in all kinds of ways for all kinds of genders." In her "Welcome to the Waldorf Hysteria," Ács combines sound effects and hysterics to explore the anatomy of losing control. Luxe's "Femme Footprints" presents both video footage and queer femmes in mermaid costumes to insist on solidarity within the working class. Shomi Noise reads from her zine series "Building Up Emotional Muscles," detailing her life as a Bolivian immigrant who found her niche in  alternative music. Alvis Parsley shares a "heartfelt confession draw[ing] on ... experiences as a genderqueer Asian." Angel Nafis reads poetry, detailing "her black girl brilliance in its vastness and depth." And both karaoke and Sex in the City figure into Sabina Ibarrola's tale of breaking up and moving on. Hear it at The Irma Freeman Center for Imagination. Angela Suico 8 p.m. Thu., April 17. 5006 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $7-15 (sliding scale). 412-924-0634 or www.heelsonwheelsroadshow.com

Thu., April 17 — Screen

The Shaler North Hills Library is one of 22 libraries in Pennsylvania hosting Film Forward, an international touring program backed by the Sundance Institute that promotes cultural understanding. Tonight's offering is Hilla Medalia's documentary Dancing in Jaffa, which follows famed ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine to his Israeli hometown, where he teaches 150 Israeli and Palestinian children to dance together. A post-screening discussion about facing political and cultural differences is facilitated by artist and educator William Rock. Film Forward continues with five more films through April 30. Bill O'Driscoll 7 p.m. 1822 Mount Royal Blvd., Glenshaw. Free. Register at 412-486-0211

click to enlarge Candida show

Thu., April 17 — Stage

Love triangles can make good drama, but George Bernard Shaw's Candida shows they can make a good comedy, too. In this take on love and marriage in the late 19th century, Candida is caught between Rev. Morrell, her socialist husband, and Eugene Marchbanks, a young poet. Starring Gretchen Egolf (pictured) as Candida, David Whalen as Morrell and Jared McGuire as Eugene, the show is directed by Ted Pappas. The first performance of this Pittsburgh Public Theater production is tonight. Angela Suico 8 p.m. 621 Penn Ave., Downtown. $23-55 ($15.75 for students). 412-316-1600 or www.ppt.org

Thu., April 17 — Words

Tonight's TNY Presents features three poets and a writer known for her comedy. Local poets Stephanie Brea, Jason Baldinger (who has a collection and chapbook forthcoming) and Bob Walicki — who just published his debut chapbook, A Room Full of Trees — are joined by Andrea Laurion. Laurion, who calls herself "a big fan of libraries, gin & tonics, staying up late, and my cat, Harold," is an improv performer with credits including the Upright Citizens Brigade, and publication credits including McSweeney's. BO 8 p.m. ModernFormations Gallery, 4919 Penn Ave., Garfield. $5 or free with potluck contribution. www.tnypresents.blogspot.com

click to enlarge African Music and Dance

Fri., April 18 — Dance

The Pitt African Music and Dance Ensemble celebrates African culture with drumming and dancing tonight at Bellefield Hall Auditorium. The ensemble, which is both a course and a student organization, explores the continent's artistic traditions through vocal performance, music and visual art. The group is led by Yamoussa Camara, a native of Guinea who toured with American ensembles and taught at Yale for 10 years before sharing his skills at Pitt and Carnegie Mellon. Directing the ensemble is Gavin Steingo, a professor who specializes in South African music. AS 8 p.m. 315 S. Bellefield Ave., Oakland. $5-12. 412-624-7529 or www.music.pitt.edu

Sat., April 19 — Expo

Snap a photo with R2-D2, you must: The robot is one of the attractions at the Pittsburgh Comic & Collectibles Show, sponsored by New Dimension Comics and held at its store in Pittsburgh Mills Mall. Chris Burnham, who illustrated Batman Incorporated — and who frequented the comic chain's Cranberry Township store as a kid — is the show's guest of honor. Also appearing are Night of the Living Dead co-writer John Russo and actor George Kosana, who played Sheriff McClelland. The show will hold door prize drawings every half hour, as well as offering free giveaways. AS 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 590 Pittsburgh Mills Circle, Tarentum. Free. 412-965-1487 or www.ndcomics.com

Sat., April 19 – Outdoors

If you're up for an upland challenge, Venture Outdoors is ready for you. Today's the first leg of the group's Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail quest, a seven-Saturday series that'll take you the length of the 70-mile trail. Hike leader Bruce Cridlebaugh guides today's 11.2-mile jaunt; while the pace is moderate, the climbs are long and steep, so participants must be in good physical shape. You can do any of the hikes, or take on all seven for a discounted fee of $125. Fees include the mandatory bus shuttle from Monroeville to the trailhead and back. BO 8 a.m.-6 p.m. $33. Series continues through June 14. Register at www.ventureoutdoors.org

Sat., April 19 — Festival

Every spring, Hindus in India welcome the season, honor Lord Krishna and temporarily suspend the rigid caste system with the Holi Festival. Besides dancing and eating desserts, celebrants throw colored powders into the air, covering each other with different hues. Pittsburgh's own Holi Festival of Colors, which is non-denominational, takes place at Flagstaff Hill today. Colors will be thrown hourly from noon until 6 p.m. In between, this family-friendly event offers live music, yoga sessions, dancing and vegetarian food. The Holi Festival is sponsored by The Palace of Gold, the Hare Krishna temple in West Virginia. AS 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Frew Street and Schenley Drive, Schenley Park, Oakland. $20-35. www.festivalofcolors.us.

click to enlarge xoxo: the love letters project
  • Photo courtesy of Children's Museum

Mon., April 21 — Exhibit

For a minute, set aside those love emails, those love tweets, those Facebook posts of love. As part of XOXO, its exhibit about love and forgiveness, The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh hosts the month-long XOXO: The Love Letters Project. From 11 a.m.-2 p.m. every weekday (and noon-3 p.m. on weekends), join artist-in-residence Dalia Shevin to produce a hand-written letter or postcard to someone (or something) you love. Letters by past participants are on exhibit. Holding such a profession in your hand, Shevin says, really does make all the difference. BO 11 a.m-2 p.m. 10 Children's Way, North Side. Free with admission ($12-13; children under 2 admitted free). 412-322-5058 or www.pittsburghkids.org

Tue., April 22 — Greening

If you've traversed East Liberty lately, you've likely noticed the dug-up front yard of East Liberty Presbyterian Church. That was sewer work — but not in the conventional sense. This project is about keeping rainwater out of the city's overburdened sewer lines. This morning's Stormwater Reclamation Project Earth Day Dedication culminates a four-year initiative to disconnect the rain spouts on the front of the church and redirect water for absorption by new trees, bushes and other plants — a plus for both ALCOSAN and our rivers. The church calls the reclamation system, with its rain garden, the largest of its kind in the region. BO 10 a.m. 116 Highland Ave., East Liberty. Free. 412-441-3800 or www.CathedralofHope.org

Tue., April 22 — Music

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's JazzLive marks National Jazz Appreciation Month with a special series of concerts. Tonight's features the Christian McBride Trio, named for the Grammy-winning bassist and composer. Though still in his early 40s, McBride has collaborated with everyone from Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner and Pat Metheny to James Brown, The Roots and Queen Latifah. McBride's new trio, with pianist Christian Sands and drummer Ulysses Owens Jr., takes the stage at the Cabaret at Theater Square. The series concludes on April 29, with pianist Robert Glasper. BO 8 p.m. 655 Penn Ave., Downtown. $30.75. 412-456-6666 or www.trustarts.org

click to enlarge FASHION BY MUREAUX
  • Fashion by Mureaux

Thu., April 24 — Showcase

RAW: Pittsburgh holds its latest showcase for local artists in everything from visual art, fashion and film to music, hair and make-up, and dance. RAW: Pittsburgh (the local incarnation of a nationwide, Los Angeles-based RAW network) calls this event Spectrum. Organizer Leigh Yock promises to fill Club Zoo with work by 26 visual artists; fashion shows by Mureaux (pictured), Unique Impression, Hyena and Biome; and more. Alexandra Bodnarchuk, Infra Dance Company, and Janim (of Pittsburgh Bellydance Academy) perform; the live music is by Solarburn, Shelf Life String Band, Velvet Heat, and The Wave. BO 7 p.m.-midnight. 1630 Smallman St., Strip District. $15-20. 21 and over. www.rawartists.org/pittsburgh

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