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Short List: August 6 - 14 

Bike Pittsburgh's 10th annual Bike Fest rolls; the Fort Pitt Blockhouse turns 250; the Amish Monkeys get their day; and Style Week Pittsburgh kicks off.

Photo courtesy of Thick Bikes

Photo courtesy of Thick Bikes

SPOTLIGHT: Fri., Aug. 8 — Festival

Ten years ago, Bike Pittsburgh had maybe 300 members. Today, says spokesperson Ngani Ndimbie, it's got 2,600 — growth that reflects both the city's embrace of cycling and the advocacy group's own success. In July, the group welcomed 4,000 visitors Downtown for the inaugural Open Streets Pittsburgh, a one-day, car-free, bike- and pedestrian-friendly festival. Bike Pittsburgh also pursued a bike-share program that's set to start next spring. Now, over 17 days, the 10th annual Bike Fest celebrates such progress with its big Aug. 8 kick-off party and more than 100 independently organized, bike-themed fun rides, competitions, movie screenings and workshops around the city and region. Some highlights: a Hill District hills challenge (Aug. 13); an outdoor Bike-In Movie — Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, on the roof of Downtown's parking garage at Theater Square (Aug. 13); the Every Pittsburgh Neighborhood Ride (Aug. 16); an Underwear Ride (Aug. 21); and the big annual Pedal PGH (Aug. 24). New events include The Wheel Mill Foot Down Classic (Aug. 14), a skills contest at the indoor track in Homewood. Then there's Aug. 19's Future of Downtown Bike Infrastructure ride, with city officials exploring a planned protected bike lane and other anticipated improvements in the Golden Triangle. Bill O'Driscoll Party: 8 p.m.-midnight Fri., Aug. 8, with 6-8 p.m. VIP reception (Pittsburgh Opera, 2425 Liberty Ave., Strip District; $25-50 and $130 for VIP). Fest continues through Aug. 24. Most Bike Fest events are free. Complete schedule at www.bike-pgh.org

click to enlarge Continuum Dance Theater, empire, Off The Wall Performing Arts Center
  • Photo courtesy of Douglas Duerring of Duerring Photography.

Thu., Aug. 7 — Dance

Continuum Dance Theater asked itself why it's chosen to be an all-female company, and what its struggles and successes mean. Get the answer in the form of EMPIRE, a new full-length work about "the roles of power, instinct, cunning and sexuality" from the perspectives, historical and personal, of women creating their own legacy. Founding artistic director Sarah Parker and her troupe bring their talents to the intimate setting of the Off The Wall Performing Arts Center for four performances, starting tonight. Bill O'Driscoll 8 p.m. Continues through Sun., Aug. 10. 25 W. Main St., Carnegie. $5-20. www.insideoffthewall.com

click to enlarge Winchester Thurston Preparatory School, 14th annual Three Rivers Storytelling Festival

Fri., Aug. 8 — Stage

Winchester Thurston Preparatory School hosts the 14th annual Three Rivers Storytelling Festival starting today. Headliners at the two-day fest include internationally recognized talents like the madcap Andy Offut Irwin and Charlotte Blake Alston (pictured), who specializes in traditional and contemporary stories from African and African-American oral traditions. Other attractions include two dozen local tellers, live music, a liar's contest, and two hours of ghost stories for Pittsburghers who cannot wait for Halloween or who otherwise wish they were at summer camp. Storytelling workshops are also available for $35 each. Dan Willis 9 a.m-11 p.m. Also 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Sat., Aug. 9. 4225 Middle Road, Allison Park. Free. 412-449-9373 or www.3rstf.org

click to enlarge Dutch photographer Charlotte Dumas, anima at Silver Eye Center for Photography
  • Art by Charlotte Dumas

Fri., Aug. 9 — Art

Dutch photographer Charlotte Dumas has been capturing images of service animals since she first exhibited her shots of Rotterdam police horses in 2002. Tonight, Silver Eye Center for Photography holds its opening reception for her 2012 exhibit Anima, which depicts the burial horses of Arlington National Cemetery through both video and photographic portraiture. With the goal of explicating the emotional relationship between humans and animals, Dumas took the pictures using only the natural light in the horses' stalls as they went to sleep each night. DW 6-8 p.m. Exhibit continues through Oct. 4. 1015 E. Carson St., South Side. Free. 412-431-1810 or www.silvereye.org

Fri., Aug. 8 — Screen

The crime thriller Killer's Kiss continues the Hollywood Theater's year-long exploration of the films of Stanley Kubrick. In this 1955 feature, Kubrick's second, a boxer and his new girlfriend try to evade her possessive ex-employer, and this, of course, leads to murder. The black-and-white film barely betrays its miniscule budget, with gorgeous cinematography (much of it shot at night) and extensive use of real and appropriately downscale New York City locations. The film's set piece is an unforgettable shoot-out in a warehouse of department-store mannequins. Al Hoff 7:30 p.m. Also 7 p.m. Sun., Aug. 10. 1449 Potomac Ave., Dormont. $8. 412-563-0368 or www.thehollywooddormont.org

click to enlarge Block House 250 Summer Celebration

Sat., Aug. 9 — Commemoration

Unlike groups with a decennial bug, the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution rations its anniversaries: The chapter commemorates its most famous charge, the Fort Pitt Blockhouse, only once every 50 years. Today's Block House 250 Summer Celebration fetes the city's oldest architectural landmark — all that remains of our namesake British colonial fort at the Point — with a day of historical re-enactments, lectures, live period music and more. There are even demonstrations of how the Brits under Col. Henry Bouquet built this utilitarian structure, which thanks to the DAR somehow survived waves of industrialization and urban renewal. You can even party like it's, um, 1764, with firings of a 19th-century cannon in Point State Park. The day includes special $2.50 admission to the adjacent Fort Pitt Museum. BO 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Downtown. Free. www.fortpittblockhouse.com

click to enlarge Jay Knapp makes his Pittsburgh debut tonight at Boxheart Gallery with 10 Years
  • Art by Jay Knapp

Sat., Aug. 9 — Art

Detroit-based multimedia artist Jay Knapp makes his Pittsburgh debut tonight at Boxheart Gallery with 10 Years, an exhibit devoted to the psychology of America's anxiety over nuclear weapons. Featuring turned-wood sculptures, paintings and digitally processed photographs, Knapp's art blends the classical beauty of decorative arts and geometric perfection with an acute social awareness and a carefully cultivated sense of chaos. The exhibit follows Knapp's recent gallery openings in his hometown, as well as at the Westmoreland Museum of Art. DW Opening reception: 5-9 p.m. Exhibit continues through Oct. 3. 4523 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Free. 412-687-8858 or www.boxheartgallery.com

Sat., Aug. 9 — Sport

Steel City Roller Derby's 2013-2014 season is almost over, but you can catch one more home bout tonight, with Steel Hurtin' and The Steel Beamers (the varsity and JV teams) up against Indianapolis's Naptown Roller Girls. This revived sport still offers plenty of spectacle, but it's worth coming just for the opportunity to hear punny names like Shockrates, Cruisin' B. Anthony, or 'Snot Rocket Science spoken aloud. Kids under 10 get in free, and reserved seating is available for an additional $5. DW 7 p.m. Romp 'n Roll, 1661 E. Sutter Road, Glenshaw. $10. 412-486-4177 or www.steelcityrollerderby.org

Sat., Aug. 9 — Comedy

Mayor Bill Peduto has declared today Amish Monkeys Day, in honor of the long-running improv group's 15th year of performing. To celebrate, these pioneers of the burgeoning contemporary Pittsburgh improv scene put on a special show at Gemini Theater, where they perform on the second Saturday of every month. The show features special guest Brian Buckley on keyboard, alongside such familiar Monkeys as Laura Lind and Frank Schurter. They'll perform both musical and non-musical short-form improv based entirely on audience suggestions. Content is generally PG-13. DW 8 p.m. 7501 Penn Ave., Point Breeze. $9. 412-243-5201 or www.amishmonkeys.com

Sun., Aug. 10 — Dance

River City Artists Management, a Pittsburgh-based promoter of dance troupes nationally, launches a new performance showcase. SundaySeries @ PointBreezeway takes over this new event hall on second Sundays through October for matinees, each featuring two local arts groups. The inaugural session features the Pittsburgh Complaints N'At Choir (a hit at the Three Rivers Arts Festival) and Shanna Simmons Dance. The informal setting includes food trucks. BO 2 p.m. 7113 Reynolds St., Point Breeze. $10. www.rivercityartists.com

click to enlarge Style Week Pittsburgh

Mon., Aug. 11 — Fashion

Designers, boutiques, stylists and models — and others into fashion — will converge for Style Week Pittsburgh. Wadria Taylor, the annual event's founder and director, promises local and international brands on display at doings around town from tonight's Kick-Off Party at the Priory Grand Hall, to an accessory trunk show, a jewelry showcase, Aug. 14's Style Awards, the free Aug. 16 Lawrenceville Boutique Crawl and more. BO Opening night: 6-10 p.m. (614 Pressley St., North Side; $35-75). Festival continues through Aug. 17 at various venues. www.styleweekpittsburgh.com

click to enlarge Federico Garcia-De Castro
  • Photo courtesy of Renee Rosensteel

Thu., Aug. 14 — Music

The works of Pittsburgh-based composer Federico Garcia-De Castro have been performed around town and around the world, from Thailand to Panama. Tonight, he's out to make you rethink what a familiar instrument can do, with an evening of compositions arranged for two pianos. Works include Alexander Borodin's "Au covent," Simon Eastwood's "Interference for two performers at piano" and two of Garcia-De Castro's own works, including the world premiere of "Renderings." The show kicks off the new season of the New Hazlett Theater's CSA Performance Series, but it's open to non-subscribers, too. BO 8 p.m. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $20-25. www.newhazletttheater.org

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