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Short List: October 17 - 23 

Photo courtesy of Gasper Tringale.

Photo courtesy of Gasper Tringale.

Mon, Oct. 22 — Words

Jeffrey Eugenides' books are as widely spaced by publication date as by subject matter. His first novel, 1993's The Virgin Suicides, was the dreamy, atmospheric fodder for the hit Sofia Coppola film. Middlesex, the life chronicle of a Greek-American hermaphrodite, won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize. Most recently, college romance The Marriage Plot secured his status as one of the best and most flexible American writers of recent years, in the same bracket as Jonathan Franzen and David Foster Wallace. Eugenides' skewering of the 1980s literary scene sent rumor mills fluttering that the novel's manic-depressive hero was inspired by one of his peers. "Sexual equality, good for women, had been bad for the novel," argues one of his academic characters, before the story's old-fashioned will-she-or-won't-she romance proves just the opposite. Despite his literati status, Eugenides maintains a "perverse love" for his hometown, Detroit. He speaks at Carnegie Music Hall tonight as part of Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures series. Catherine Sylvain 7:30 p.m. Mon., Oct. 22. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $15-35. 412-622-8866 or www.pittsburghlectures.org

click to enlarge Art by strawberryluna
  • Art by strawberryluna

Thu., Oct. 18 — Art

Screen-printing may be one of the most marketable art forms — with hand-stamped greeting cards, band posters, tote bags or any item you can Portlandia-shly "Put a Bird on It" in high demand. With Moving Between Dimensions, Pittsburgh duo Allison Glancey and Craig Seder, a.k.a. strawberryluna, prove why their quirky skills have been retained by musicians such as Feist and Belle & Sebastian. This exhibit at Wildcard features their handmade plywood prints available for purchase, as well as complimentary drinks, snacks and music. Catherine Sylvain 6-9 p.m. 4209 Butler St., Lawrenceville. Free. 412-224-2651 or www.WildcardPGH.com

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Thu., Oct. 18 — Cirque

Saltimbanco is Cirque du Soleil's longest-running show, but its farewell tour includes its Pittsburgh premiere. Originally from Quebec, the multinational, multi-award-winning, multitalented Cirque blends theater, live music, dance, circus and acrobatics into a general spectacle. Lavish original costumes and staging make the sort of physical feats no human should be capable of even stranger in the troupe's signature production, which celebrates the urban experience. Saltimbanco's seven showings at the Petersen Events Center may seem a passing hallucination. CS 7:30 p.m. Continues through Sun., Oct. 21. 3719 Terrace St., Oakland. $32-80. 412-648-3054 or www.cirquedusoleil.com 

Thu., Oct. 18 — Stage

New Horizon Theater is back with a blues musical. Joseph Plummer's Nothing But the Blues is set at a landmark South Side Chicago blues club — based on the real-life Theresa's Lounge — whose proprietor is being pushed out by a greedy landlord. Songs include "The Thrill Is Gone," "Back Door Man" and "You Can Have My Husband." Eileen J. Morris directs; the show opens tonight at a new venue for the troupe, the Kingsley Association community center. Bill O'Driscoll 7:30 p.m. Show continues through Oct. 28. 6435 Frankstown Ave., Larimer. $20. 412-431-0773

Thu., Oct. 18 — Drawing

Are you one of those people who gets more talented when you drink? Us, too! And you're the audience for Toons and Brews. The latest installment in Toonseum's Geeks Rule! series combines a basic-cartooning class with a beer sampling. Just remember that the pencil goes point side down and you'll be fine. BO 7:30 p.m. 945 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $10. 412-232-0199 or www.toonseum.org

Thu., Oct. 18 — Dance

When The Pillow Project's multimedia dance-theater work TWENTY EIGHTY-FOUR debuted, in 2008, CP critic Steve Sucato called it "one of the most captivating and unexpectedly brilliant productions" of the season. Now artistic director Pearlann Porter revives the show, inspired by Orwell's 1984 and the writings of astronomer Carl Sagan, and exploring the effects of media oversaturation and our "disconnected existence in isolation." The show, conceived and directed by Porter, features projections by Mike Cooper and is performed to a Radiohead soundtrack. The first of nine performances at The Space Upstairs is tonight. BO 8 p.m. Show continues through Oct. 28. 214 N. Lexington St., Point Breeze. $10-15. www.pillowproject.org

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Thu., Oct. 18 — Stage

Rage of the Stage Players is known for recasting stories from fairy tales to The Wizard of Oz along dark, bloody and modern lines. So here's Hooked, which troupe founder James Michael Shoberg calls his "grim, violent twist on J.M. Barrie's novel Peter and Wendy." It's set in a decayed, crime-ridden future London where a punk named Pan, a girl named Wendy Darling and her two brothers cross paths with the drug lord Hook. (Disney won't be buying the rights.) The show opens at South Park Theatre tonight. BO 8 p.m. Show continues through Nov. 3. Corner of Brownsville Road and Corrigan Drive, South Park. $15. 724-292-8427 or rageofthestage@yahoo.com

click to enlarge Art by Dana Ingham
  • Art by Dana Ingham

Fri., Oct. 19 — Art

When bookshelves are eventually phased out by e-books, what will famous intellectuals sit in front of during video interviews? Following the freak destruction of her father's library, curator Sonja Sweterlitsch puts the book on the gallery podium in defiance of its increasingly popular digital rivals. In the new exhibit BOOK, at 709 Gallery, Pittsburgh artists Seth Clark, Dana Ingham, Randie Snow and Brett Yasko offer book-themed works suggesting these objects are now a source of ephemeral beauty as well as knowledge. CS Opening reception: 6-8 p.m. Exhibition continues through Nov. 18. 709 Penn Ave., Downtown. Free. 412-904-2422 or www.trustarts.org

Fri., Oct. 19 — Stage

Quantum Theatre offers a passionate chamber opera about martyred poet Federico Garcia Lorca's relationship with his muse, Catalan tragedian Margarita Xirgu. Ainadamar ("fountain of tears"), by Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov, is a Grammy-winning 2003 work with flamenco motifs and a libretto by David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly). Soprano Katy Williams plays Xirgu, while mezzo Raquel Winnica Young sings Lorca. Ainadamar, staged with a live orchestra inside the landmark East Liberty Presbyterian Church, is sung in Spanish, with English subtitles; the show reunites much of the production team from Quantum's Maria de Buenos Aires. BO 8 p.m. Show continues through Nov. 3. 116 S. Highland Ave., East Liberty. $18-48. www.quantumtheatre.com

Sat., Oct. 20 — Outdoors

Does Dead Man's Hollow tell tales? It does today, on Venture Outdoors' Dead Man's Hollow Hike. A century ago, this patch of land near Boston, Pa., was a busy industrial area. Now it's a wildlife preserve along the Great Allegheny Passage, conserved by the Allegheny Land Trust. A local historian and naturalists from the Trust lead this moderately paced afternoon hike with spooky undertones. BO 1-4 p.m. Boston, Pa. $12. www.ventureoutdoors.org

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Sat., Oct. 20 — Screen

Middle-aged rock 'n' rollers: once an oxymoron, now a demographic. "& Dust," a new documentary by local artist Frank Ferraro, takes an offstage look at these working musicians, and "the strain their musical obsessions put on their personal lives." Ferraro, known for his artful sculpture and audiovisual installations, delves into the lives of music-makers including such local luminaries as Norm Nardini to learn that it's not all fun and games (for either them or their loved ones) after the amps cool down. The 51-minute film premieres tonight on Filmmakers' Corner, the WQED program showcasing local work. BO 10 p.m. WQED-TV

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Tue., Oct. 23 — Words

We know: You're just dying to hear more about politics. But tonight, for the true junkie, Terence Samuel of The Washington Post visits to discuss "The Disappearing Undecided Voter." (Where did they go? Should we bother looking for them?) Samuel is the Post's deputy national political editor, overseeing White House and political coverage, and wrote the 2010 book The Upper House: A Journey Behind the Closed Doors of the U.S. Senate. He speaks at Chatham University in a free event sponsored by the school's Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics. BO 6 p.m. James Laughlin Music Hall, Chatham campus, Shadyside. Free. 412-365-1878 or www.chatham.edu/pcwp

Thu., Oct. 25 — Words

It's the centennial of one of Pittsburgh's favorite sons. A Peabody and Pitt grad before he made it on Broadway and in Hollywood, Gene Kelly changed how the world saw dance on film. His innovations were epitomized in classics like An American in Paris and Singin' in the Rain. Tonight, his widow, Patricia Ward Kelly discusses the role Kelly's hometown and alma mater played in his life and career. The Gene Kelly Centennial Celebration adapts a talk, illustrated with film clips, that film historian Ward Kelly has given in New York and Los Angeles. BO 8 p.m. Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Free; reservations required at GK100@pitt.edu or 412-624-4147. 

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