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Short List: April 24 - May 2 

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SPOTLIGHT — Sat., April 27 — Comedy

"I don't have penis envy," quips trans-man comedian Ian Harvie. "I have three of them in my top drawer at home." Harvie was born a girl, in small-town Maine. He was past 30 — and two years into his standup-comedy career — when he had chest surgery and went on testosterone while touring with Margaret Cho. "I literally transformed on stage," he says, from "a very butch dyke" to "very adolescent-boy-looking." Harvie's résumé includes comedy clubs, colleges and theaters nationwide; he was again opening for Cho when she played Pittsburgh a few years back. Now, with his documentary film Ian Harvie Superhero making the festival rounds, Harvie returns to play Cruze Bar on April 27. (On May 3, he and comic Felon O'Reilly bring their We Are Not Saints Comedy Show to Downtown's Arcade Comedy Theater.) Harvie, 44, considers himself America's first trans-guy comic, but he says most audiences still don't know his story. "I make them like me and if they hate me after that, then they're an asshole," he jokes, adding: "It doesn't matter who they are. … It's just sharing my story in a way people can wrap their heads around." He does prep newbies: "If you don't know who the fuck I am, you're gonna want to lean in on this shit." Bill O'Driscoll 8 p.m. Sat., April 27. Cruze Bar, 1600 Smallman St., Strip District. $15. 412-471-1400 or www.facebook.com/cruzebar

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Thu., April 25 — Words

You weren't one of those people who, during the 2008 presidential campaign, thought Obama's pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was an enemy of all that was right and proper because of his incendiary sermons? Good. Because tonight you can hear him for yourself at the August Wilson Center, courtesy of the Bayard Rustin Lecture Series. The Chicago-based pastor is still speaking out on faith, civil rights and more. His talk tonight is supported by the Heinz Endowments and Highmark. Bill O'Driscoll 7 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $15-45 (free for students). 412-983-8895 or www.brownpapertickets.com

click to enlarge ART BY GREGORY BARSAMIAN
  • Art by Gregory Barsamian

Fri., April 26 — Art

With three dozen Downtown venues showcasing visual art, live performance, film and more — even guided meditation — there's plenty of stuff at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's spring Gallery Crawl. Some highlights: Memento Mori, Wood Street Galleries' new show of strobe-lit kinetic sculpture based on artist Gregory Barsamian's dreams; the New Hazlett Theater's preview of its Community Supported Art series (937 Liberty Ave.); the outdoor food-'n'-art Night Market; August Wilson monologues at Pittsburgh Playwrights; and the post-Crawl Salsa Friday, at Cabaret at Theater Square. It's all free. BO 5:30-9 p.m. Downtown. 412-456-6666 or www.trustarts.org

Fri., April 26 — Cabaret

It's a cabaret-a-day kind of weekend. Tonight, watch a dozen Carnegie Mellon students billed as POP Cabaret conclude their performance-art class with Sprung: A Variety Show in Two Acts, at The Andy Warhol Museum. On Saturday, Beat Cabaret returns to ModernFormations Gallery with Shakespeare After Dark, an evening of Shakespeare-themed "moments" by local poets and actors. And on Sunday, it's the premiere of Pittsburgh New Works Cabaret, the venerable Pittsburgh New Works Festival's showcase of 30 new monologues, songs, dances and more by local artists at Carnegie's Carnegie Music Hall. BO Sprung: 7 p.m. (117 Sandusky St., North Side; free; 412-237-8300). Beat Cabaret: (4919 Penn Ave., Garfield; $10; 412-362-0274). New Works Cabaret: 3 p.m. Sun., April 28 (300 Beechwood Ave., Carnegie: $12; www.pittsburghnewworks.org). 

Fri., April 26 — Stage

Arranged marriages don't have a terribly good reputation in the West, but Varun Mahajan thinks they're worth singing and dancing about. The Indian-born, Pittsbugh-based playwright's new musical Arranged Marriage premieres this week in a production by his Guiding Star Dance Foundation. The show, with English dialogue and Indian music and dance, emphasizes the influence women wield even in traditional Indian culture. Arranged Marriage, featuring both Indian and American performers and costumes sourced in India, gets three performances at the Charity Randall Theatre. BO 7:30 p.m. Also 7 p.m. Sat., April 27, and 3 p.m. Sun., April 28. Stephen Foster Memorial, Forbes Avenue at Bigelow. $5-20. 800-838-3006 or www.gsdfonline.org

Fri., April 26 — Dance

Point Park University, which has an acclaimed dance program, wraps up its season today with Point Park Connections. This annual Downtown showcase offers dance students performing work by the school's adjunct dance faculty, choreographed in a wide range of styles. There are four shows through Sunday, starting tonight. BO 8 p.m. Also 2 and 8 p.m. Sat., April 27, and 2 p.m. Sun., April 28. GRW Performance Studio, Point Park campus, Downtown. $7-20. 412-392-8000 or www.pittsburghplayhouse.com

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Fri., April 26 — Music

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's inaugural Music for the Spirit Festival concludes with this weekend's program. Premiering is "The Gift," commissioned by the PSO in honor of long-time board chair Richard P. Simmons. In addition, the wildly recognizable Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 is featured. The symphony's final movement takes its text from Friedrich Schiller's poem "Ode to Joy," capping off the tribute to humankind's better angels by celebrating harmony and brotherhood. Manfred Honeck (pictured) conducts, and guests include the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. Jeff Ihaza 8 p.m. Also 8 p.m. Sat., April 27, and 2:30 p.m. Sun., April 28. Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $20-98. 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org

Sat., April 27 — Play

A new kids' play space debuts today at a place kids won't necessarily associate with gymnastic romps. Play Day at the Museums includes the debut of the Lozziwurm, a permanent, colorful, large-scale serpentine tubular play structure in front of the Carnegie Museum of Art. Also, today only, look for Imagination Playground, a mobile system of blocks. Inside the museums, admission's free for kids, with activities encouraging engagement with artworks; story time; puppet shows; and art-making. The day's organized by the Carnegie Museums, the Carnegie Library and the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children. BO 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free for kids 12 and under. 412-622-3131 or www.carnegiemuseums.org

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Sat., April 27 — Play

Today, a redesigned Waterplay exhibit opens at The Children's Museum. Waterplay features nearly 20 new hands-on elements that present water in all the ways it might be pumped, circulated, channeled, sprayed and frozen. The new version of the exhibit remains on the third floor of the museum's Lantern building. The exhibit also includes an original artwork, Rain Meander, by artist Stacy Levy, whose work focuses on environmental phenomena. JI 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Children's Museum, 1 Children's Way, North Side. $12-13. 412-322-5058 or www.pittsburghkids.org

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Sat., April 27 — Art

Working artists, frustrated artists, beginners and everyone in between — all are welcome at the 16th annual Art All Night: Lawrenceville. The city's most democratic art show runs 22 hours at the same venue as last year: Willow Street Development, a former light-industrial space. Submit your artwork — one per artist, any medium — and let some 12,000 visitors parade past work by you and 1,200 other contributors. (Submission guidelines are online.) The free, uncensored show, organized by the Lawrenceville Corp., includes live entertainment (like Cartooning All Night) and kids' activities like an "interactive paint splash project." BO 4 p.m. through 2 p.m. Sun., April 28.  40th and Willow streets, Lawrenceville. Free. 412-235-1950 or www.artallnight.org

Sat., April 27 — Words

The second Saturday Night Stories Reading at Biddle's Escape features novelist, screenwriter, editor and award-winning short-story writer Elise D'Haene. Tonight's reading also features J.H. Benigni, a local writer and photographer whose work has appeared online and in print publications such as Smith Magazine and The Bremerton Sun. Also at the coffee house is Amanda Young, a graduate creative-writing student at Carlow University who'll read excerpts from her fiction. JI 7 p.m. 401 Biddle Ave., Regent Square. Free. 412-999-9009 or www.biddlesescape.com

Sat., April 27 – Opera

Starting tonight, Pittsburgh Opera closes its season with Gioachino Rossini's 1817 work La cenerentola (his follow-up to The Barber of Seville). The opera, based on the classic Cinderella story, features local favorites Vivica Genaux and Paolo Pecchioli. Mezzo-soprano Genaux sings the role of Angelina, who attracts the love of a wealthy prince, but her stepsisters and stepfather plot against the lovers. Former resident artist Arthur Espiritu portrays the Prince, and Antony Walker conducts. JI 8 p.m. Also Tue., April 30, and May 3 and 5. Benedum Center, 719 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $10.75-155.75. 412-456-6666 or www.pittsburghopera.org

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