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Short List: April 25 - May 1 

New dance at Point Park Connections; Downtown's Spring Gallery Crawl; the 17th annual Art All Night; Philip Glass' opera Orphée; Risk!-y storytelling; and a birthday party for August Wilson

SPOTLIGHT: Fri., April 25 — Dance

Following last weekend's Conservatory Dance Company's marquee showcase at the Byham Theater, the student company of Point Park University closes out its season with Point Park Connections, the annual program of dance works by dance-department adjunct faculty, April 25-27 at the university's George Rowland White Performance Studio. Of these six works encompassing a range of styles, five come from former Point Park students, including 2008 graduate Laura Warnock's "Starts at Goodbye."  The seven-and-a-half-minute work for 10 dancers is set to music by Olafur Arnalds, and looks back on several interpersonal relationships by beginning where they ended. Also on the program is an expanded version of a contemporary-dance work that choreographer Kellie Hodges originally created for Thodos Dance Chicago. Danced to music by Helios and Nicolas Jaar, the 12-minute "Afterall, Even Now, Even If" explores "the daily struggle each of us go through to maintain individuality in our relationships," says Hodges. Joining those works are Heather Goelz-Carpenter's jazzy "Swing & Sing," Daniel Karasik's "Vantage Point" (with dancer Shonnita Johnson, pictured), Mariah McLeod's "(mis)Connect" and Ernest Tolentino's "Meron." Steve Sucato 8 p.m. Fri., April 25; 2 and 8 p.m. Sat., April 26, and 2 p.m. Sun., April 27. 201 Wood St., Downtown. $18-20. 412-392-8000 or www.pittsburghplayhouse.com

click to enlarge ART BY THADDEUS ERDAHL
  • Art by Thaddeus Erdahl

Fri., April 25 — Art

Tonight, the Society for Contemporary Craft opens Transformation 9: Contemporary Works in Ceramics. Showcasing work by 31 artists, the exhibit asks artists to "push the boundaries of time-honored craft materials." A sculpture of a woman's worn face and an overweight male body topped with a skull are just a few of the pieces in the show. During the opening reception, the SCC will also announce the winner of its Raphael Prize, which comes with $5,000. Angela Suico 5:30 p.m. 2100 Smallman St., Strip District. Free. 412-261-7003 or www.contemporarycraft.org

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Fri., April 25 — Art

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Spring Gallery Crawl features 30 venues full of visual art, live music, comedy and more. New shows include Edwin van der Heide and Alexandre Burton's Electrified, celebrating cult-hero inventor Nikola Tesla at Wood Street Galleries (pictured), and The Occasional Market, Tom Sarver's installation/shopping experience at 707 Penn Gallery. The Harris Theater has locally made short films, and Bricolage has live immersive theater. Outdoors, at Eighth and Penn, do karaoke and contribute a complaint for the Three Rivers Arts Festival's Complaints Choir; browse the Night Market; and hear live music by Formula 412. The later-night Crawl After Dark inhabits nine venues, with activities including a whiskey-tasting, a dance party, and a reading and book-signing by local novelist Jacob Bacharach (The Bend of the World). Bill O'Driscoll 5:30-9 p.m. (free). CrawlAfterDark: 9:30-midnight (some events ticketed). Downtown. 412-456-6666 or www.trustarts.org

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Fri., April 25 — Screen

Spring is no respite from getting spooked: The second annual April Ghouls Drive-In Monster-Rama, at the Riverside Drive-in, presents eight classic horror films over two nights. Tonight, catch The Town That Dreaded Sundown, Carrie, Suspiria and The Hills Have Eyes. Saturday, shiver to the original Halloween, The Beast Within, Phantasm and Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things. Films screen in 35 mm; the horror begins at dusk. Al Hoff Gates at 7 p.m. Also, 7 p.m. Sat., April 26. $10 per person each night (kids under 12 free with adult). Overnight camping available for additional charge. Route 66, North Vandergrift. 724-568-1250 or www.riversidedrivein.com

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVE DIETZ.
  • Photo courtesy of Dave Dietz.

Fri., April 25 — Words

The true-storytelling revival continues. The latest incarnation hitting town is Risk!, the touring spinoff of the popular live show and podcast from Kevin Allison (pictured), of MTV comedy troupe The State. Advertised as like The Moth, but rawer, Risk! features seasoned performers and regular folks alike telling stories "they never thought they'd dare share in public." Garfield Artworks hosts the critically acclaimed show's Pittsburgh stop, featuring Allison and local 'tellers Matt Bower, Stacy Keene, Jordan Sargent and Dalia Shevin. BO 7:30 p.m. 4931 Penn Ave., Garfield. $20. www.risk-show.com/tour

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Fri., April 25 — Music

The BNY Mellon Grand Classics Mozart Festival begins this weekend, as pianist Robert Levin and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra present a program including Piano Concerto No. 20, "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" and Symphony No. 1, "Jupiter." On Tue., April 29, the PSO and Chamber Music Pittsburgh perform Mozart's chamber music at Carnegie Music Hall. Next weekend, the orchestra again visits Heinz Hall, this time with the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and selections from Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute. AS 8 p.m. (600 Penn Ave., Downtown.) Festival continues through Sun., May 4. $25.75-109.75. 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org

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Sat., April 26 — Art

Ready to Art All Night? In its 17th year, the Lawrenceville tradition remains the only place in town that anybody, of any skill level, can display an artwork he or she has made, in any medium ... and know that some 15,000 people will attend. Add activities for kids and adults — think chalk art, group improv — plus an art auction and live music, for one of the year's biggest free art parties. Artists have until 2 p.m. today to drop off ready-to-display single works at the warehouse called Willow Street Development. The volunteer-run show is uncensored (except for the kid-friendly-art area) — and it really does run all night, and into tomorrow. BO 4 p.m.-2 p.m. Sun., April 27. 4001 Willow St., Lawrenceville. Free. 412-235-1950 or www.artallnight.org

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Sat., April 26 — Dance

Two different takes on African culture occupy the August Wilson Center during Dance Africa: Pittsburgh 2014. Oyu Oro, an Afro-Cuban experimental dance ensemble from New York City, has performed sold-out shows in its hometown and played festivals around the U.S. Illstyle and Peace, a hip-hop group from Philadelphia, combines traditional African movement with tap, ballet and beatboxing. Dance Africa presenter Legacy Arts Project requests semi-formal attire. AS 8 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $10-20. 412-452-3847 or www.legacyartsprojects.org

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID BELOFF
  • Photo courtesy of David Beloff

Sat., April 26 — Opera

Jean Cocteau's 1949 film Orphée, which retells the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, is set in modern-day Paris, with motorcycle-riding angels of death dressed in leather. In 1993, Phillip Glass adapted the film into an opera: Orpheus, a French poet, falls in love with Death, ignoring his wife Eurydice and listening obsessively to strange messages on the radio. Sam Helfrich directs, Antony Walker conducts, and Matthew Worth and Caroline Worra star in Pittsburgh Opera's season-closer. It's sung in French, with English texts projected above the stage. The first of four performances at the Benedum Center is tonight. AS 8 p.m. 803 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $12.75-160.75. 412-456-6666 or www.pittsburghopera.org

Sun., April 27 — Party

Though the status of the cultural center bearing his name is in question (for now), the late playwright August Wilson's legacy is secure. The Hill District native's great Pittsburgh Cycle of plays like Fences and The Piano Lesson live on stages, and Broadway's August Wilson Theater host events like the national August Wilson Monologue Contest. Today, at the Hill's Kaufmann Center, The Dramatists Guild and Pittsburgh's Dr. Goddess Arts celebrate Wilson's 69th birthday with cake, music, performances from Wilson's writings and more. Reservations are required; search Eventbrite.com for "Happy Birthday August Wilson Party." BO 3 p.m. 1835 Centre Ave., Hill District. 412-392-4400 or www.hillhouse.org

Wed., April 30 — Gardening

If you're feeling left out of gardening season because you don't have much room, don't despair: With the right knowledge, a patio, sidewalk or even windowsill can yield a surprising harvest of fruit, vegetables and more. In tonight's free Small Space Gardening class, at East End Food Co-op, Bob Madden, of Garden Dreams Urban Farm & Nursery, reveals how using vertical space, containers and other techniques can help, indoors and out. BO 7 p.m. 7516 Meade St., Point Breeze. Registration required at 412-242-3598. www.eastendfood.coop

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID LE
  • Photo courtesy of David Le

Thu., May 1 — Words

New York Times best-selling author Andre Dubus III gives a keynote at Carnegie Mellon's 2014 Adamson Student Awards. An author of both fiction and non-fiction, Dubus's oeuvre includes his novel The House of Sand and Fog, which was made into an Oscar-nominated film in 2003. His latest work is Dirty Love, a collection of novellas featuring the fractured relationships of Massachusetts' working class. Kirkus Reviews called the book "first-rate fiction by a dazzling talent." Dubus's talk at this ceremony honoring excellence in student fiction, non-fiction, poetry and screenwriting is free.  AS 8 p.m. Adamson Auditorium, Baker Hall, CMU campus, Oakland. Free. 412-268-285 or www.cmu.edu/hss/english

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