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Short List: December 1 - 8 

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Fri., Dec. 2 -- Crafts

This weekend, pop-up craft bazaar I Made It! Market celebrates the shopping season with I Made It! For The Holidays. Co-founders Carrie Nardini and Nina Marie Barbuto established the crafters' collective that connects and supports local artisans. Stationed in Bakery Square this year, the market offers gift-card alternatives such as brain-shaped goat's-milk soap and laser-cut wooden lamps. The market stops at Pitt's Union Assembly Room on Wed., Dec. 7, for additional shopping opportunities. Amy Kuhre 5-10 p.m. tonight, and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat., Dec. 3. 6725 Penn Ave., Larimer. Also, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed., Dec. 7. 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Free. 412-254-4464 or info@imadeitmarket.com

click to enlarge ART BY JENNIFER KARADY
  • Art by Jennifer Karady

Fri., Dec. 2 -- Art

When she says "10 Years + Counting," Susanne Slavick means the U.S. war in Afghanistan -- and the national online project she co-founded that lets artists and activists mark this longest war in American history. Slavick, a longtime Carnegie Mellon University art professor, also edited and co-wrote Out of Rubble, a book-length anthology of work by contemporary international artists and architects addressing the aftermath of current and past wars. Now Slavick has curated a selection of that work for exhibition. The show, at SPACE, is slated to tour nationally. It opens with a reception tonight. Bill O'Driscoll 6-8 p.m. Exhibit continues through Jan. 29. 812 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Free. 412-325-7723 or www.spacepittsburgh.org

click to enlarge ART BY MIKE CUCCARO
  • Art by Mike Cuccaro

Fri., Dec. 2 -- Puppets

Lascaux to Garfield is the elliptical name for a combination art show and puppet cabaret. The two-day exhibit of small works by 50 local artists, at the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination, features receptions tonight and tomorrow; a portion of the proceeds benefit Puppet Happening, a new festival launching next year. Late tonight, Puppet Happening mastermind Tom Sarver presents Friday Night Puppet Live, a set of short acts by local puppeteers including Mike Cuccaro and Flora Shepard, covering everything from awkward first dates to fractured fairy tales. BO 6-10 p.m.; puppet cabaret at 11 p.m. Also noon-5 p.m. Sat., Dec. 3. 5006 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. Puppet show suggested donation: $5-10. www.puppethappening.com

 

Fri., Dec. 2 -- FILM

Maybe you've seen that TV commercial featuring several kids who declare themselves oft-mocked "nerds" and "geeks" before coming in for the kill: "One day, you'll work for me." Life was no easier for young nerds back in 1984, but the reedy, bespectacled, pocket-protector set triumph in Jeff Kanew's campus comedy, The Revenge of the Nerds. Brains beats brawn, as the jock frat boys get a comeuppance. Tonight, at the Warhol, actor Curtis Armstrong ("Booger") will present the film and lead a Q&A after the screening. Bring smart questions! Al Hoff 7 p.m. The Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St., North Side. $15. 412-237-8300 or www.warhol.org

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Fri., Dec. 2 -- Words

Teen-fiction author Gayle Forman's writing career has taken her from Seventeen magazine articles to full-length novels. Her two recent bestsellers, If I Stay and Where She Went, follow 17-year-old Mia and boyfriend Adam through the melodrama of Mia's car accident and resultant coma. After a period of estrangement, a chance encounter in New York City reunites the young couple. Forman reveals her complicated characters during Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures' Black, White & Read All Over family author series, at the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall. AK 7 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $15-$25. 412-622-8866 or www.pittsburghlectures.org 

 

Fri., Dec. 2 -- Stage

Just in time for the holidays, Off the Wall Productions presents the regional premiere of playwright Wendy MacLeod's 1990 dark comedy The House of Yes. It's about bringing your fiancé home for Thanksgiving … when your mother's an alcoholic still lamenting her husband's desertion; your younger brother is attracted to said fiancé; and your sister, who has a psychotic Jackie O fixation, wants to resume her incestuous relationship with, well, you. Robyne Parrish directs a cast including Erika Cuenca, Lauren Michaels and Virginia Wall Gruenert. The first performance is tonight. BO 8 p.m. Show continues through Dec. 17. 147 N. Main St., Washington, Pa. $5-30. 412-394-3353 or www.insideoffthewall.com


Fri., Dec. 2 -- Music

Few classical compositions are as recognized or modified as Handel's Messiah. The Baroque composer and many successors altered the famous oratorio to suit changing audiences. The original 1742 version represents Handel's accommodation of English audiences with familiar religious allegory. Keeping with the interpretive tradition, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra presents a fully staged production with sets, lighting and costumes. Theater director Sam Helfrich interweaves stories of the American Dream's metamorphosis through turn-of-the-century Ellis Island and 1950s suburbia to the present day. The first of three performances is tonight at Heinz Hall. AK 8 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $20-93. 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org 

 

Fri., Dec. 2 -- Words

Chatham University's Words Without Walls joins creative writing graduate students and Allegheny County inmates in writing workshops that emphasize adult literacy and encourage unheard voices. Its Black Writers Reading Series welcomes poet, memoirist and former inmate R. Dwayne Betts in a reading from A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival and Coming of Age in Prison. The 2010 Soros Fellowship recipient uses his work to advocate the re-evaluation of America's judicial system and its treatment of minors. He reads tonight at James Laughlin Music Hall. AK 8 p.m. 5700 West Woodland Road, Shadyside. Free. 412-365-1125 or www.chatham.edu 

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Sat., Dec. 3 -- Comedy

Bill Burr swears he could never work in a cubicle. "Cubicles should be illegal. You know what a cubicle basically says? ‘We don't think you're smart enough for an office, but we don't want you to look at anybody.'" The congenially irascible standup comedian, known for his Monday Morning Podcast, tours internationally. Tonight he's at the Byham Theater for one night only. BO 8 p.m. 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $30.25. 412-456-6666 or www.pgharts.org

 

Sat., Dec. 3 -- Words

On their podcast Generational Wars, comedians John McIntire and Gab Bonesso debate the relative merits and demerits of the Baby Boom (McIntire's squad), Gen X and Gen Y (Bonesso's affiliation). All-purpose question: What's the matter with these old/young people? A mix of generations likewise graces The John McIntire Dangerously Live Comedy/Talk Show, whose panelists tonight, at Downtown's Cabaret Theater, include: McIntire; Bonesso; forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht; political activist Khari Mosley; and radio personality Scott Paulsen. BO 10:30 p.m. 655 Penn Ave., Downtown. $5. 412-551-3077

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Sun., Dec. 4 -- Outdoors

Today, Venture Outdoors invites participants of all ages to its Half-Day Hike along South Park trails. Established in the 1930s and site of the old Allegheny County fairgrounds, the park is noted for its mix of man-made and natural attractions including a wave pool and ice rink. But on this dog-friendly excursion, take the opportunity to appreciate some of the park's "locals," such as wild turkeys, peacocks and bison. Bring a snack and RSVP online or by phone for meeting point. AK 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Buffalo Drive, South Park. $5-8. 412-255-0564 or www.ventureoutdoors.com 

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Sun., Dec. 4 -- Music

20th-century Austrian composer Gustav Mahler is often remembered for his dramatic and tumultuous compositions, many of which scale the range of human emotion, from intense melancholy to sublime elation within a single movement. Composed in 1901, Mahler's Symphony No. 5. demonstrates such technique: It opens with a bold trumpet solo that segues demurely into a chorus of strings. Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, an exclusive ensemble of student musicians, performs Symphony No. 5 under the direction of Ronald Zollman, at Carnegie Music Hall. AK 8 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $4-7. 412-268-2383 or www.music.cmu.edu

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