Short List: June 23 - 30 

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Thu., June 23 -- Convention

Downtown alert: It's not a mascot convention. It's just those plush devotees of Anthrocon, the annual gathering for people fascinated with humanlike animal characters, or anthropomorphics. You'll see furries all over today through Sunday -- more than 3,000 are expected. But if you want to join these costumed folk in their natural habitat, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center hosts art shows, workshops and more, including talks by guests like Peter S. Beagle, author of the cult classic The Last Unicorn, and Owly graphic novelist Andy Runton. Bill O'Driscoll 1 p.m.-midnight. Continues through Sun., June 26. Downtown. $25-50. www.anthrocon.org

Thu., June 23 -- Words

With May's successful series of readings under a tent completed, City of Asylum/Pittsburgh raises a tent in a new North Side location. Tonight, the temporary Monterey Street venue hosts a free reading by distinguished poets affiliated with Cave Canem, a New York-based home for black poetry. Cave Canem co-founders Cornelius Eady and Pittsburgh's own Toi Derricotte are joined by Pulitzer-winner Natasha Trethewey and special guest Amiri Baraka, long one of the country's best-known -- and most controversial -- poets. BO 7:30 p.m. Monterey Street between Sampsonia and Jacksonia, North Side. Free. 412-321-2190 or www.cityofasylumpittsburgh.org

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Fri., June 24 -- Dance

The Mid-Atlantic Contemporary Ballet Company is a new local troupe blending contemporary ballet and modern dance. PROGRESSION, tonight's program, features new and older short works including co-artistic director Gerard W. Holt's "Move On Up a Little Higher," a piece for four dancers set to the music of Mahalia Jackson. The show's at the Father Ryan Arts Center. BO 7 p.m. 420 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. $5-10. 412-771-3052 or www.macballet.org 

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Fri., June 24 -- Film

Cinephiles will get no bigger treat this year than a run of the newly restored Battleship Potemkin, at the Melwood Screeing Room. Long unavailable except in battered film prints (and the videos they spawned), Sergei Eisenstein's 1925 silent masterpiece about an historic military mutiny returns in a new 35 mm print featuring dozens of long-missing shots and Edmund Meisel's definitive score. Eisenstein's galvanizing editing techniques -- as in the Odessa Steps sequence, among the most famous in film -- revolutionized cinema. And when was the last time you saw a movie with a collective hero? BO 8 p.m. Screens through Tue., June 28. Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Ave., N. Oakland. $7. 412-681-5449 or www.pghfilmmakers.org

Sat., June 25 -- Festival

Superheroes have taken over movie screens this summer, so why not Downtown sidewalks? Kids ages 6-12 and their families are invited to The Downtown Heroes Block Party. Activities sponsored by Bricolage theater company and The ToonSeum include make-your-own workshops for masks, capes and logos; free comic books; and the ToonSeum's Superheroes: Icons & Origins comic-art exhibit. Bricolage also offers a matinee performance of its live-radio-style Midnight Radio Superhero Edition, plus a "Superman sounds-effects workshop." And the August Wilson Center contributes live outdoor music and a John Henry Storytelling & Folklore reading series. BO Noon-8 p.m. 900 block of Liberty Avenue, Downtown. Free (Toonseum admission: $4; Midnight Radio: $15-25). www.ToonSeum.org

Sat., June 25 -- Art

While it can be a pain getting your kids to go to a museum and look at art, it's much less of a hassle getting them to make art. Especially when it's messy. As a companion to its PAN exhibit of German art nouveau prints, The Frick Art Museum today hosts Printer's Paradise, a family workshop which follows a tour of the exhibit with a chance for kids and parents alike to try their hands at printmaking. Brendan Sullivan 12:30 p.m. 7227 Reynolds Ave., Point Breeze. $10 per child (parents free.) 412-371-0600 or www.thefrickpittsburgh.org

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Sat., June 25 -- Exhibit

You can count on one hand the musicians and performers who influenced late 20th-century pop like James Brown did, and fewer still who inspired as much dancing. Brown's gone, of course, but The James Brown Museum on Wheels motors on. This private collector's rolling tribute to the Godfather of Soul hits the Afro American Music Institute today with videos and such memorabilia as vintage photos, posters, LP covers, program books and more. Festivities even include a dance tribute to The Hardest Working Man in Show Business. BO 5-8 p.m. Afro American Music Institute, 7131 Hamilton Ave., Homewood. Free. 412-241-6775

  • Photo courtesy of Brian Friedman.

Sat., June 25 -- Comedy

Joe Rogan's standup is a "battle between his raw libertarian instincts and his refined liberal sensibilities," according to The Guardian's William Cook. Hardly his only contradiction: Rogan is also the former U.S. tae kwon do champion, a color commentator for the Ultimate Fighting Championship and former host of NBC's seminal what-will-you-do-for-money show Fear Factor. But comedy has been his love of 20 years. Tonight, Rogan visits the Carnegie Library Music Hall of Homestead to get angry, flustered and hilarious. BS 8 p.m. 510 E. 10th Ave., Munhall. $32-35. 412-368-5225 or www.librarymusichall.com

Sun., June 26 -- Sports

In about a decade, mixed martial arts have gone from barely known to virtual household word; 10 years ago, in fact, you couldn't even hold MMA fights in Pennsylvania, among other states. Tonight, the sport's biggest name-brand makes its live debut in Pittsburgh as Consol Energy Center hosts the pay-per-view and video-game juggernaut known as the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The main event pits up-and-coming welterweight Rick Story against veteran Nate Marquardt. BO 9 p.m. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com

  • Photo courtesy of Kambiz Doonboli

Mon., June 27 -- Sports

The Wimbledon seedings have just been released, and the top 32 includes only two men and three women representing the U.S. Luckily enough, Citiparks offers week-long Summer Tennis Camps, and we can start training a new crop of stars. A new session begins today, for kids ages 4 to 17. And if you don't only want to just live vicariously through your young ones, Citiparks also offers beginner-to-advanced adult lessons various days of the week. BS 9 a.m.-noon, daily through Fri., July 1. Camps continue through first week of August. Schenley Park Tennis Center, Schenley Oval, Squirrel Hill. $110 ($30 per day) 787-245-9116 or www.citiparks.net


Thu., June 30 -- words

Tattoos have cultural significance around the world, from traditional body art in the South Pacific to World War II seamen and the angry, thrashing punks in certain clubs. Learn more about the history of tattoos at tonight's lecture by independent curator Ingrid LaFleur Whitehead. In The Beginnings of Body Art, Whitehead breaks down the origins of body art and its diffusion around the world, and specifically in the United States. The talk at Sweetwater Center for the Arts is in conjunction with the Sweetwater exhibit Pittsburgh Tattoo Works II. BS 6:30 p.m. 200 Broad St., Sewickley. $10. 412-741-4405 or www.sweetwaterartcenter.org

Thu., June 30 -- film

The most some people have seen of striking union laborers is a few carpenters standing around letting people know who is hiring scabs, or perhaps a transit-worker walkout. But tonight at the Pump House, the Battle of Homestead of Foundation screens One Day Longer: The Story of the Frontier Strike, documenting a 1991 strike at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas, where workers held a picket line for upward of six years, without a single worker crossing the line. Now that's organized labor. BS 7:30 p.m. Pump House, East Waterfront Drive, Munhall. Free. 412-831-3871 or www.battleofhomesteadfoundation.org



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