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Short List: Week of August 3 - 9 

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Thu., Aug. 4 -- Film

By 1981, seven years before his death, Romare Bearden's artwork was increasingly well known. The artist himself, less so -- at least until filmmakers Billie Allen and Nelson E. Breen got the access to make Bearden on Bearden, a 60-minute profile of this influential artist exploring what inspired him. The film, featuring Bearden and commentators from poet Ntozake Shange to scholar Joseph Campbell, screens for free tonight at the August Wilson Center, concurrent with the Bearden exhibit From Process to Print. Bill O'Driscoll 5 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Free. 412-258-2700

 

Thu., Aug. 4 -- Opera

Undercroft Opera, Pittsburgh's opera company featuring exclusively local talent since its founding in 2006, debuts its summer production of The Marriage of Figaro tonight at Bellefield Hall. Mozart's famous opera is a sex comedy of the highest order, featuring one Count Almaviva, who is desperately trying to sleep with his servant Figaro's bride-to-be. Hilarity ensues. The Count will be played on alternating nights by Brian Doherty and Amitabha Chakrabarti. Brendan Sullivan 8 p.m. Also Fri., Aug. 5-Sun., Aug. 7. 315 S. Bellefield Ave., Oakland. $10-35. www.undercroftopera.org

click to enlarge Alan Stanford in The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Alan Stanford in The Importance of Being Earnest

Thu., Aug. 4 -- Stage

With no scant temerity, lauded Irish director Conall Morrison has added an original prologue to The Importance of Being Earnest. The brief scene features Oscar Wilde himself loafing in a Paris café -- and then proceeding to cast his comedic masterwork entirely from among the establishment's comely male clientele, with himself as the indomitable Lady Bracknell. This approach earned Morrison a long-running hit at Dublin's Abbey Theatre; now Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre stages it, with Morrison directing acclaimed Dublin-based actor Alan Stanford as Wilde/Bracknell. PICT favorites Leo Marks and David Whalen play those charming, compulsive liars Algie and Jack, while Will Reynolds and Matthew Cleaver gender-reverse as Gwendolyn and Cecily. BO 8 p.m. Show continues through Aug. 27. Charity Randall Theatre, Stephen Foster Memorial, Forbes Avenue at Bigelow, Oakland. $20-50. 412-394-3353 or www.picttheatre.org

 

Fri., Aug. 5 -- art

Rechargeable, an exhibit by visiting Cuban artist Jorge Luis Santana opening tonight at Brew House Space 101, is notable in two ways. One, it's a rare chance to see the products of an artist living and working in Cuba. But the exhibit, curated by Pittsburgh's Andres Tapia-Urzua, also combines more than 25 pieces of art drawn from 20 years of Santana's working life. Including installations, videos, paintings and photographs, Rechargeable takes the long view of Santana's work, from his evolving interest in the everyday to his solid through-line of sociological concerns. BS 6 p.m. 2100 Mary St., South Side. 412-381-7767

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Fri., Aug. 5 -- Music

Tonight, acclaimed blues-and-roots band Marley's Ghost plays First Fridays at the Frick. Together for 22 years, the members of Marley's Ghost have perfected their strangely attractive combination of folk songs from Ireland and Appalachia, bluegrass tunes, honky-tonk and even reggae jams. Marley's Ghost has just cut an album with "Cowboy" Jack Clement, who produced records for Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis. See Marley's Ghost tonight under the stars. BS 7 p.m. Frick Art & Historical Center, 7227 Reynolds St., Point Breeze. Suggested donation: $5. www.thefrickpittsburgh.org or 412-371-0600

click to enlarge Artwork by Gina Favano
  • Artwork by Gina Favano

Fri., Aug. 5 -- art

The Penn Avenue corridor has been an arts destination long enough to boast anchors like Garfield Artworks, which as part of tonight's Unblurred gallery crawl opens a group show called Evolution in Arts XIV. But newer venues continue to enliven Penn, and among them you'll find fresh art tonight at assemble (scrap-art group show With What They Left); the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination (Gina Favano's Abraq ad Habra); Pittsburgh Beautification Project Studios; and the in-progress relocated Mr. Roboto Project, with new work by Greg Kamerdze. BO Most venues open by 7 p.m. Friendship/Garfield/Bloomfield. Free. www.friendship-pgh.org/paai

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Fri., Aug. 5 -- words

Poet Laureate of Iowa Mary Swander gives an address tonight at Chatham University entitled "The Role of the Writer in a World of Peak Everything." Swander is a professor at Iowa State University, and her long career has yielded a cornucopia of awards; her work also shows up in The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. Swander's latest poetry collection is the Mississippi River flood narrative The Girls on the Roof. BS 7:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. reception). James Laughlin Music Hall, 5700-5798 West Woodland Road, Shadyside. Free. 412-365-1264

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF CITIPARKS
  • Photo courtesy of Citiparks

Sat., Aug. 6 -- sports

You know all those kids you see at your neighborhood city pool? More than 200 of the best swimmers among them will converge today on the Highland Park Pool for the day-long Citiparks Championship Swim Meet. Swimmers ages 6 to 18 from their community teams will compete in events including team relays and individual races. The top eight racers in each event will be honored, and at day's end the top-scoring pool will be acknowledged. BS 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 151 Lake Drive, Highland Park. Free. www.citiparks.net or 412-323-7928

 

Sat., Aug. 6 -- Suckling

Medical experts agree: The best way to nourish a baby is breastfeeding. Breast-fed kids are healthier and at lower risk of adult obesity, cardiovascular disease and other problems. Breast-feeding also saves money (even if you buy a pump). Today, La Leche League and other groups sponsor the inaugural Big Latch On, the U.S., er, leg of a global attempt to break last year's world record of nearly 10,000 simultaneously nursing mothers. Locally, this portion of World Breastfeeding Week is hosted at A Mother's Boutique, a retail store in Wexford. BO 10:30 a.m. 145 Lake Drive Suite, Wexford. 724-934-8795 or www.mothersboutique.com

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Sat., Aug. 6 -- Art

Ever heard of The Lost Pittsburgh School? Us neither, until Braddock's UnSmoke Systems Artspace suddenly announced it was hosting "the first comprehensive study of the earthworks and conceptual outdoor art movement in 1970s Pittsburgh." The Lost Pittsburgh School, complete with handsome book, is credited to a Canadian curator and Pittsburgh-based Bessemer Press. Tonight's opening reception initiates a weekly roster of speakers, starting with novelist Stewart O'Nan and performance artist James Weiss. Meanwhile, the show raises questions like: Isn't it odd that more people don't know pioneering LPS names like Joseph Barkoczi, Gil Dugita and Wilem Smithammer? And that man behind the curtain -- is he just doing performance art? BO 7 p.m. 1137 Braddock Ave., Braddock. Free. info@unsmokeartspace.com

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Sun., Aug. 7 -- Outdoors

We know you recognize the moon, and maybe, if you're good, Saturn. But how about double star Alberio? The Ring Nebula? Tonight, Leslie Park Collective hosts Deep Sky Urban Star Party v2.0. At last year's party, the decommissioned (that is, dry) Leslie Park Pool hosted more than 600 people, who learned that the Lawrenceville pool's bowl dampened the light pollution that hinders urban astronomy. This year, make art with Mattress Factory staff; hear storyteller Alison Babusci; peek through pro-grade telescopes with the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh; and try out Google's Sky Map app with help from actual Google engineers. There's even appropriately sidereal live music by local trio Sleep Experiments. BO 7-11 p.m. 4700 Butler St., Lawrenceville. Free. susan_englert@hotmail.com


Tue., Aug. 9 -- Comedy

"A Comedy Show for People Who Hate Comedy Shows" -- sounds crazy, just might work. WQED pundit and politician-mocker John McIntire hosts tonight's Brillobox Comedy Night, with a gallimaufry of funny folks, including comic Gab Bonesso and guests like Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Samantha Bennett; WDVE movie reviewer Sean Collier; "political activist/nut" Phil McCahill; Chrissy Costa; and Mario Fusca. There's even a musical guest, Feral Child. BO 8 p.m. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $5. 412-621-4900

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