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Short List: Week of February 17 - 24 

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Thu., Feb. 17  -- Stage

Aficionados of heady theater productions have probably already marked their calendars for Churchill in Short(s)? The cheekily named anthology gathers rarely staged one-acts by venerable British playwright Caryl Churchill, known for works including The Skriker and A Number. "This Is A Chair" explores the vagaries of communication; "Lovesick" concerns a therapist and his patients; and "The After Dinner Joke" examines the politics behind the idealism and charitable impulses of its protagonist. Pitt grad student Tommy Costello directs an ensemble cast for Pitt Rep. The first performance is tonight. Bill O'Driscoll 8 p.m. Show continues through Feb. 27. Henry Heymann Theatre, Stephen Foster Memorial, Forbes Avenue at Bigelow, Oakland. $12-25. 412-624-7529 or www.play.pitt.edu

 

Thu., Feb. 17 -- Words

The New Yinzer's TNY Presents reading series moves to its new night, third Thursdays. The series is a casual, affordable way to hear (mostly local) literary talent like Reconsidering Happiness novelist and flash-fiction author Sherrie Flick. Joining Flick at ModernFormations tonight is Justin Hopper, a journalist, writer and poet (and frequent CP contributor) whose projects have included Public Record, "documentary poetry" based on 19th-century crime reports. Also welcome Jason Baldinger, "a labor activist who catalogs various species of bats" and who's collaborating on a forthcoming book called The Whisky Rebellion. BO 8 p.m. 4919 Penn Ave., Garfield. $5 (or potluck contribution). 412-362-0274 or tnypresents.blogspot.com

 

Fri., Feb. 18 -- Festival

Despite the obvious challenges -- like the fact that it's an outdoor festival during the absolute worst season for being outdoors -- Frostburn has become a tradition. The yearly Burning Man-style festival, held at Cooper's Lake Campground, in Slippery Rock, features live music, art, food and drink, random weirdness, and what organizer Kim Bellora calls "creative warm spaces." (Bonfires are popular, naturally.) It culminates in the burning of a towering man -- in this case, one that looks like a snowman. Andy Mulkerin Noon. Continues through noon Mon., Feb. 21. 205 Currie Road, Slippery Rock. Admission info at www.frostburnpgh.com

 

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Fri., Feb. 18 -- Dance

Bodiography Contemporary Ballet has this listed under "artistic vision" on its website: to celebrate diverse, healthy bodies in its dancers and students. So maybe Bodiography founder and artistic director Maria Caruso's new ballet, 108 Minutes, which honors the body's restorative powers through the work of the local McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, isn't much of a leap. After all, Bodiography's 2010 work Heart (Function vs. Emotion) was an in-depth look at cardiac surgery. 108 Minutes premieres at the Byham Theater this weekend, with live music by Cello Fury. Lucy Steigerwald 8 p.m. Also 8 p.m. Sat., Feb. 19. 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $26.75-50.75. www.pgharts.org or 412-456-6666

 

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Fri., Feb. 18 -- Stage

Future Tenant, Downtown's storefront lab for stage work and visual arts, kicks off its annual performing-artist residency series, called Trespass, this weekend with a new beginning for "in the beginning." Resident troupe In the Basement Theatre Company presents Within Distance, a "home-grown creation story" using puppets and other everyday objects. The series continues Feb. 23-25 with The Archipelago: A Balkan Passage, a one-man stage version of author (and CP contributor) Robert Isenberg's new travel book. Trespass 2011 concludes March 4 and 5 with multimedia troupe Poof's Stuff. BO 8 p.m. Also 5, 8 and 11 p.m. Sat., Feb. 19. 819 Penn Ave., Downtown. $5. www.futuretenant.org


Sat., Feb. 19 -- Music

Pitt's Music on the Edge is a reliable source of live performances that toe the line between contemporary chamber music and straight-up avant-garde work. Tonight at The Andy Warhol Museum, the organization presents two University of Buffalo faculty members, Jean Kopperud and Tom Kolor, offering five musical premieres by contemporary composers, on clarinet and percussion. The program is called Rated X II -- the second installment in a series aimed at pushing boundaries when it comes to the two instruments involved. AM 8 p.m. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. $10-20. 412-624-4125 or www.music.pitt.edu


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Sat., Feb. 19 -- Words

The new Speaking Of ... reading series keeps the conversation going with another strong program. Tonight's featured poet at Amani Coffee Shop is Yona Harvey, who teaches at Carnegie Mellon and whose first book, Hemming the Water, is forthcoming from Four Way Books. Fiction writer Kirk Nesset is a Drue Heinz Literature Prize-winner with two fine short-story collections out; he teaches at Allegheny College. And Virginia-based Joseph LMS Green is a poetry-slam champion and member of the Intangible Collective troupe. BO 8 p.m. 507 Foreland Ave., North Side. $5. www.speakingofpittsburgh.com

 

Sat., Feb. 19 -- Music

Get Bach tonight with Voices of Music. The San Francisco-based early-music ensemble presents the all-Bach program An Evening With Bach, including both instrumental and vocal works, at Oakland's Synod Hall, courtesy of Renaissance and Baroque of Pittsburgh. The eight-musician group plies such instruments as baroque violin, traverso, recorder and archlute. Program highlights include Bach's "Air on the G string" (from his third Orchestral Suite) and the cantata Ich habe genug (soprano version), with its three arias, sung by Laura Heimes. BO 8 p.m. 125 N. Craig St., Oakland. $10-35. 412-361-2048 or www.rbsp.org

 

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Sun., Feb. 20 -- Words

Family book series Black, White and Read All Over lets children see some of their favorite authors live. Today at the August Wilson Center, the Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures series celebrates its 10th season with prolific illustrator and sometime author Kadir Nelson. Nelson has illustrated books about escaped slave Henry "Box" Brown, boxer Joe Louis and many other African-American historical figures. His latest works include We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, a book for 9- to 12-year-olds. LS 2 p.m. August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $10. www.pittsburghlectures.org or 412-622-8866

 

Sun. Feb. 20 -- Festival

The Father Ryan Arts Center offers a one-day festival entitled A Celebration of African-American Arts -- Past ... Present ... Future. The mix of local performing artists playing short sets includes the August Wilson Dance Ensemble, Mid-Atlantic Contemporary Ballet, spoken-word artist Vanessa German and gospel singer Rev. Bobby Fulton. Visual-art displays include photographs by legendary photojournalist Teenie Harris, and work by muralist Kyle Holbrook and story-quilt artist Tina Williams Brewer. Also performing (and representing the future) will be students from the Arts Center. LS 4 p.m. 420 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. $8-10. 412-771-3052 or www.fatherryanartscenter.org 

 

Sun., Feb. 20 -- Music

They can do it, we bet: The Riveting Rosies are local women singer-songwriters in loose affiliation, mixing jazz, bluegrass and pop, rock and folk. An Evening With the Riveting Rosies -- A Songwriter Circle brings them together in the cozy confines of Yoga Matrika, in Point Breeze, for acoustic tunes, camaraderie and refreshments. (Potluck contributions are also encouraged.) Artists include Tracy Drach, Sue Gartland, Eve Goodman, Janet Ingram and Heather Kropf, with special guest Nancy Deckant. BO 5:30-8 p.m. 6520 Wilkins Ave., Point Breeze. $5-10. Reservations at eve@evegoodman.com. 412-251-0069

 

Wed., Feb. 23 -- Outdoors

We know winter makes it hard to get out from under the covers in the morning, much less do any extra moving around. Still, Venture Outdoors offers more events weekly than the excuses you may have to not get your heart beating and your lungs burning (healthily). This evening's four- to six-mile High-Energy Hike is in Schenley Park. The difficulty level is described as moderate. For those even less exhaustible, afterward there's an optional 36-floor trek to the (almost) top of the Cathedral of Learning. LS 6-8 p.m. Schenley Park, Oakland. $5-8. www.ventureoutdoors.org

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