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Short List: Week of December 3 - 10 

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For the first time in 114 years, the Carnegie Library system plans to close branches ... and Pittsburghers are not happy. On Sun., Dec. 6, some of the Steel City's most creative citizens continue working to raise awareness about the endangered system. At the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall, avant-garde cabaret troupe The Typewriter Girls hosts an eclectic show including: Moquette Voulante's belly-dancing; NAKA Entertainment's hip-hop dance; chanteuse Phat Man Dee; and poets Sandra Beasley and Nancy Krygowski. The show features interactive improv games and an "exquisite corpse" on library themes that will be read at the end. There's also a silent auction of donations from local artists, writers and businesses to benefit the floundering library system. "It's something we were both really nervous about and we were planning on taking some kind of action, and this just sort of opened itself up," says Typewriter Girl Crystal Hoffman. Meanwhile, at Highland Park's Union Project, puppeteer Flora Shepherd hosts the finale of her Puppets for Pages Campaign with four family-friendly puppet acts and craft workshops for the children. Shepherd and Katrina Struloeff spent November performing at all six libraries scheduled to close. The Dec. 6 finale arrives just before the library board's next meeting. "I've always loved libraries and when I heard they were closing, I wanted to do something to raise awareness," Shepherd says. "It's also a celebration of the libraries. We've been tying to keep the pressure on because they've barely been given enough funding to keep them open through 2010." Lucy Leitner Puppets for Pages: Noon, Sun., Dec. 6 (801 Negley Ave., Highland Park; PuppetsForPages.org). Typewriter Girls Save the Libraries: 6 p.m. Sun., Dec. 6 (4400 Forbes Ave. Oakland; $7; TypewriterGirls.com


Thu., Dec. 3 -- Stage

In a new stage adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, you get three Victorian heroines for the price of one: the young, orphaned Jane (Jenna Lanz); young adult Jane (Allison McLemore); and an older Jane (Shelley Delaney), who narrates. The Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre production of Alan Stanford's script also stars PICT favorite David Whalen, as that mysterious Mr. Rochester. Scott Wise directs, with original music by Douglas Levine. The first performance (one of two preview shows before the Dec. 5 formal opening) is tonight. Bill O'Driscoll 8 p.m. Show runs through Dec. 20. Charity Randall Theatre, Stephen Foster Memorial, Forbes Avenue at Bigelow, Oakland. $17-48. 412-394-3353 or www.picttheatre.org

 

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Thu., Dec. 3 -- Music

The holiday album seems a gesture usually reserved for a musician's golden years, but there's always the exception. We last heard from Jason Kendall in his singer-songwriter mode -- his 2008 album Cooper Doesn't Live Here Anymore -- but he has something a bit different lined up for his second release: a sax-heavy instrumental holiday CD entitled Traditions. He's celebrating the 10-song album with a show at Club Café that features jazz standards and holiday tunes performed by Kendall's band and special guests Brad Yoder, Joel Lindsey, Peace Ike and Maddie Georgi. Aaron Jentzen 8 p.m. 56-58 S. 12th St., South Side. $8. 412-431-4950 or www.clubcafelive.com

 

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Thu., Dec. 3 -- Rock

With a name like Holy Ghost Tent Revival, you might expect that the band playing tonight at Howlers will be spitting fire and brimstone in your direction. On the contrary, the Greensboro, N.C., band is an agreeable group of boys who mostly want to sing about having fun. The real revival the band engenders is one of old-timey music; one could call its style newgrass with horns, but perhaps a label like "neo-ragtime" would be even more fitting. The Southern vibe of Holy Ghost is deeper than the band's provenance indicates; it's the kind of music one expects from New Orleans. The Armadillos open the show, which is presented by frequent CP contributor Manny Theiner. Andy Mulkerin 9 p.m. 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $8. 421-682-0320 

 

Fri., Dec. 4 -- Art

The year's final Unblurred comes into focus tonight. The East End venues open late for this monthly gallery crawl include ModernFormations, which hosts Satan Is Real, a show of paintings by Jesse Best -- who won the gallery's annual juried Spring Salon -- and Jeremy Beightol. Among the roughly 15 other venues: Most Wanted Fine Art hosts Tibi Chelcea's relief prints made with computer parts; Pittsburgh Glass Center holds a holiday glass sale; and the Kelly Strayhorn Theater introduces its Go East showcase for arts, crafts, music and film. BO Most Unblurred venues: 6-10 p.m. 4800-5900 Penn Ave., Friendship/Bloomfield/Garfield. Most events free. 412-441-6147

 

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Fri., Dec. 4 -- Music

The three performances of the Pittsburgh Symphony's A Funeral Mass for Mozart feature music director Manfred Honeck as conductor, acclaimed Israeli soprano Chen Reiss (the voice of the soundtrack to Perfume: The Story of a Murderer) and John Lithgow. Yes, the Harry and the Hendersons star narrates texts assembled by Honeck for his unique interpretation of Mozart's Requiem. In a novel approach to the symphony, Lithgow adds a theatrical element to help evoke Mozart's last days. Lucy Leitner 8 p.m. Also 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 5, and 2:30 p.m. Sun., Dec. 6. Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $12.50-79. 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org

 

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Sat., Dec. 5 -- Crafts

Peruvian Day of the Dead figurines from Beechview? Bulgarian food from Homestead? Hmong embroidery from Wabash? An eclectic array of ethnic arts and food is for sale in Munhall at the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area's Holiday Artist Market. In addition to the vast selection of locally made crafts that range from African fiber arts to Native American beadwork, the market will focus on the industrial history of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The event is held in the historic Pump House, and three free tours are offered of the former steel-mill site. LL 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 880 E. Waterfront Drive, Munhall. Free. 412-464-4020 or www.riversofsteel.com

 

Sat., Dec. 5 -- Cabaret

Family holiday entertainment takes an unconventional turn in A Christmas Tree Grows in Bloomfield. Modeled on Christmas television specials of the past, the showcase features performances by accordion virtuoso Pat Septak; the Pittsburgh Jr. Theater's rendition of songs from Babes in Toyland; storyteller Alan Irvine; and even Yamoussa Camara's African drum and dance. Laura Hodge and Rage of the Stage Players' Michael McGovern present the event as part of the new monthly cabaret series at Hodge's Pittsburgh Dance and Theater Arts venue. LL 7:30 p.m. 4765 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $5. 412-681-7523 or www.pgh-dance.com

 

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Sun., Dec. 6 -- Pets

If you've ever wondered what happened to survivors of the Tiger Ranch Cat Sanctuary, many are alive and well -- and holding a holiday meet-and-greet. Today, at the Clarion County SPCA, The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals holds an Adopt-a-thon for the nearly 200 cats that survived conditions at the former Tiger Ranch. Adoptions are $60. All cats are spayed/neutered and micro-chipped, and come with complete medical histories. Activist Carolyn Deforest says that the cats will shortly be scattered to other facilities statewide, so this could be one of your last shots to ensure that one of these famous felines gets a good local home. Charlie Deitch Noon-6 p.m. 9562 Rt. 322, Shippensville, Pa. 814-226-9192

 

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Sun., Dec. 6 -- Rock

One might think that careers in grindcore -- the extreme metal/hardcore genre characterized by brutal blast-beats, screaming vocals and indecipherable band logos -- would be brief. But that's not always the case, and Phobia is proof. The California anarchogrind band, which was an early signee to then-nascent Relapse Records in the early '90s, has seen some lineup changes in its time. But the group remains loud and energetic, growling angrily over some of the fastest riffage you'll hear, and stays focused on radical politics in a time when it's become somewhat passé. The band rages tonight at Belvedere's in an 18-and-over show; local grind heroes Circle of Dead Children open along with Sepsis and Liquefied Guts. AM 7 p.m. 4016 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $8. 412-687-2555 

 

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Mon., Dec. 7 -- Words

The culinary star of Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen, Lidia's Family Table and Lidia's Italy, Lidia Bastianich is also the proud owner of the Strip District's own -- you guessed it -- Lidia's. The author of five cookbooks, Bastianich speaks tonight to promote her latest, Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy, as part of the Drue Heinz Lecture Series. Just in time for the holidays, the book is a collection of seasonal recipes from such lesser-known parts of Italy as Umbria, Abruzzo and Basilicata. LL 7:30 p.m. Carnegie Music Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $10-25. 412-622-8866 or www.pittsburghlectures.org

 

Wed., Dec. 9 -- Talk

"Give us 30 minutes and we'll change the way you see the city," claims the CityLive! discussion series of its 10 People, 3 Minutes (Each) program. So tonight, at the New Hazlett Theater, hear rapid-fire, outside-the-box ideas on how to improve Pittsburgh from the likes of the RAND Corp.'s Susan Everingham; behavioral pediatrician Scott Faber; nationally known jazz musician Sean Jones; Carnegie Mellon-based artist and "Waffle House" originator Jon Rubin; and Kelly Strayhorn Theater chief Janera Solomon. CP editor Chris Potter moderates; audience discussion is de rigueur. BO 6:30 Allegheny Square East, North Side. Free. 412-320-4610

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