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Short List: June 6 - 11 

The Arts Fest touches down; Pittsburgh Pride Theater Festival begins; Black Ice visits the Pittsburgh Hip Hop Collective; and artist Ashley Jean Hickey goes With the Grain.

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FREE EVENT: Fri., June 6 — Festival

International art and, well, air are emergent themes at this year's Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. The free, 10-day Pittsburgh Cultural Trust event fills Point State Park and much of Downtown with visual art, live music and performances of all kinds (not forgetting the Artist Market or the vast array of snack booths). The international art taps folks like Cuban-born Alexandre Arrechea — whose playful, large-scale transformations of iconic Manhattan buildings will dot the landscape — and Candy Chang, whose interactive "Before I Die" walls have appeared in 65 countries. As for air, visit 709 Penn Gallery for Detroit-based Susan Goethel Campbell's Portraits of Air, displaying the 100 small, spun-glass air filters that were distributed at last year's fest for placement throughout the region. Then there's Pneumatica, wacky-yet-venerable troupe Squonk Opera's new show "made of air, powered by air, and about air," including live music and inflatable props like 40-foot tall "Lady Pneumatica." Elsewhere, at 6 p.m. each night, at a different location, Pittsburgh's inaugural Complaints 'n At Choir performs an original song compiling complaints gathered from locals. Bricolage Productions has interactive theater work OJO. Don't forget the Juried Visual Art Exhibition, with work by 50 local artists. And the live music offerings are previewed in CP's music section. Bill O'Driscoll Fri., June 6-15. Downtown. Free. Complete program at www.3riversartsfestival.com

Thu., June 5 — Stage

Months ago, when they were creating their 2014 program, Pittsburgh Pride Theater Festival organizers couldn't have known how big marriage equality would be in Pennsylvania this June. But coincidentally, says artistic director Judy Meiksin, the fest's four new LGBT one-acts by local playwrights are all about love. "Shaving the Beard" is Nik Nemec's coming-out comedy; Staci Backauskas' "Mercy" depicts a woman visiting her ex in prison; Keith Foster's "(Un)packing" explores the possibility of love between two friends; and "Nightingale" is Carol Mullen's outer-space farce. Two of the plays are directed by festival co-organizer (and CP theater critic) Ted Hoover. The first of six performances at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co. is tonight. Bill O'Driscoll 8 p.m. Continues through Fri., June 13. 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $15-20. 412-256-8109

click to enlarge Unseam'd Shakespeare Company
  • Photo courtesy of Robert C.T. Steele

Thu., June 5 — Stage

Unseam'd Shakespeare Company continues to reinvent classic works with its latest production, a new adaptation of Virginia Woolf's fantastical 1928 novel Orlando. The story's titular poet spends the first half of his 350-year life as a man and the second as a woman. The script was penned by MacArthur genius-grant recipient Sarah Ruhl (The Clean House, Dead Man's Cell Phone); the Unseam'd cast includes Amy Landis as Orlando (pictured, with Andy Kirtland). Dan Willis 8 p.m. Continues through June 21. Henry Heymann Theater, 4301 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $15-30. 412-612-0244 or www.unseamd.com

Thu., June 5 — Stage

Irish actor and playwright Alan Stanford's introduction to Pittsburgh was by way of playing Pozzo in the Gate Theatre Dublin's acclaimed, long-running touring production of Waiting for Godot. Stanford later moved to Pittsburgh and now runs PICT Classic Theatre. And he's again ready for Pozzo, as PICT stages Beckett's touchstone depiction of existential comedy and despair. Aoife Spillane-Hicks directs a cast that also includes PICT favorites Martin Giles, James FitzGerald and Ken Bolden. The first evening performance is tonight. BO 8 p.m. Charity Randall Theatre, Stephen Foster Memorial, 4301 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $5-48. 412-561-6000 or www.picttheatre.org

click to enlarge Pittsburgh Proud 2014

Fri., June 6 — Pride

Pittsburgh Pride ramps up. In advance of next weekend's big Pride in the Streets bash, the annual LGBT celebration — now with marriage equality — features a series of talks, parties and performances. Highlights include tonight's TransPride Regional Showcase, at Cattivo dance club, and Sat., June 7's Youth Pride Prom, at The Andy Warhol Museum. On Sun., June 8, there's the day-long Race to Equality Spin Cycle fundraiser for the Delta Foundation, on Ellsworth Avenue, followed by that evening's Equality on Ellsworth party. The latter (suggested donation: $10) features nationally known pop singer Charice (pictured). BO Complete Pride schedule at www.pittsburghpride.org

Fri., June 6 — Art

The Penn Avenue Arts District offers this month's Unblurred. Among the gallery crawl's 20 venues are: Image Box, opening Eastern Standard: A Time Exhibition (featuring clocks and other time-based art); The Irma Freeman Center, with Blind Intersections: Another Series of False Leads, a group show curated by underground music vet Tee Glitter; and Pulse, with Abbie Miller's The Euclid Avenue Project, in which she draws every house on that East End street's 11 blocks. BO Times vary by venue. 4100-5400 Penn Ave., Bloomfield/Garfield/Friendship. Most events are free. 412-441-6950 or www.pennavenue.org

click to enlarge Pittsburgh Hip Hop Collective event at the Alloy Studios

Fri., June 6 — Words

"What's a young boy to do when he doesn't want to do wrong but there's a lock on the right door?" asks Black Ice in his "Imagine." "When he has the heart of a soldier, the aggression of a prize-fighter, but no one's taught him what to fight for?" The veteran Philadelphia-based spoken-word artist — the first poet signed to Def Jam Records — headlines Word = Life. This Pittsburgh Hip Hop Collective event at the Alloy Studios, hosted by Jasiri X, also features local spoken-word stars Vanessa German and B-Tree. BO 7 p.m. 5530 Penn Ave., Friendship. $5. PittsburghHipHopCollective@gmail.com

Fri., June 6 — Stage

Tony Kushner's epic, two-part Angels in America ranks among the most important American plays of the past half-century. The latest Pittsburgh troupe to tackle this Pulitzer-winner set in the Reagan era, at the height of the AIDS crisis, is compact but accomplished Throughline Theatre Company. Kushner's "Gay Fantasia on National Themes" depicts characters ranging from a closeted Mormon lawyer to Republican attack dog Roy Cohn, a drag queen named Belize ... and yes, an angel. Part 1, Millennium Approaches, opens tonight, and is performed three times; Part 2, Perestroika, gets three performances starting June 12. BO 8 p.m. Continues through June 14. 3595 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $12-15 (add $10 for opening night, with reception). www.throughlinetheatre.org

Fri., June 6 — Music

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra welcomes former music director Manfred Honeck back for a weekend of monumental Romantic pieces and a Pittsburgh premiere. Friday and Sunday, he conducts Gustav Mahler's profound and haunting Ninth Symphony. And on Saturday, alongside pieces by Brahms and Beethoven, a contemporary piece featuring the talents of concertmaster and violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley premieres: James McMillan's biblically inspired Woman of the Apocalypse. DW 8 p.m. Also 8 p.m. Sat., June 7, and 2:30 p.m. Sun., June 9. Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $25.75-105.75. 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org

Sat., June 7 — Party

This fall, the building housing the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater turns 100. And the KST itself just received a $1 million Heinz Endowments grant. So there's plenty to celebrate at Full Bloom, the theater's annual summer dance party that doubles as a fundraiser for its summer programming. The party includes food, drink, tunes by DJ Vex and J. Malls, and an outdoor VIP performance by dancer and vocalist Vie Boheme. BO VIP reception: 7-9 p.m. ($125, includes dance party). Dance party: 9 p.m.-midnight ($35-45). 412-363-3000 or fullbloom@kelly-strayhorn.org

click to enlarge Ashley Jean Hickey is opening With the Grain, at the Gallery 4
  • Art by Ashley Jean Hickey

Sat., June 7 — Art

Looking for an art exhibition that's a little more down-to-earth? Pennsylvania native Ashley Jean Hickey is opening With the Grain, at the Gallery 4 tonight. The show displays her "moss paintings," in which preserved moss, lichens and wood are the medium. The exhibit features both new and old works, including some that helped her win RAW Pittsburgh's Visual Artist of the Year award. The free opening reception includes complimentary refreshments and hors d'oeuvres. DW 7 p.m. Continues through June 28. 206 S. Highland Ave., Shadyside. Free. 412-363-5050 or www.thegallery4.us

Sun., June 8 — Festival

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh hosts its 14th annual Summer Reading Extravaganza at the main branch, in Oakland. Today, children and adults can browse the book sale, attend readings and workshops, and catch free performances by the Cobalt String Quartet, Pittsburgh Puppet Works, Brazilian drum ensemble Timbeleza, and many more. The library's new 3-D printer will also be demonstrated. The full schedule is on the library's website. DW Noon-5 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free. 412-622-3144 or www.carnegielibrary.org

click to enlarge Charlie Lovett visits Sewickley's Penguin Bookshop
  • Photo courtesy of Superieur Photographics

Wed., June 11 — Words

Rare-book collector and prominent children's playwright Charlie Lovett visits Sewickley's Penguin Bookshop tonight to discuss his debut novel, The Bookman's Tale. The literary thriller winds its centuries-wide web of intrigue and murder around a shy, lowly bookseller who discovers long-lost proof of Shakespeare's true identity. According to USA Today, "Lovett tells his story with ease, charm, and a faith in his characters." The author's talk is followed by a Q&A session and a book signing. DW 7 p.m. 417 Beaver St., Sewickley. Free. 412-741-3838 or www.penguinbookshop.com

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