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Short List: Week of July 15 - 22 

Thu, July 15 -- Film

Remember the Carnegie Museum of Art's call for entries for its Two-Minute Film Festival? The museum got 80 submissions (from 19 states) and has winnowed the field to the 37 it's showing tonight in a special after-hours edition of its monthly Culture Club. The videos, all on the theme "A Brief History of ...," screen in the outdoor Sculpture Court. Audience voting will produce a Viewer's Choice award; the admission price includes refreshments. Bill O'Driscoll 7:30 p.m. (screening at 9:30 p.m.). 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $10. 412-633-3131 or www.cmoa.org

 

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Fri., July 16 -- Comedy

Jay Mohr has been telling jokes for 23 years. First braving the stage at 16, he's now a vet of standup, film and TV. Initially famous as Cruise's rival sports agent in Jerry Maguire, Mohr has since landed roles on Scrubs, Monk and Gary Unmarried. On the heels of his second book, No Wonder My Parents Drank, Mohr does five shows at the Improv, starting tonight. Jenelle Pifer 8 and 10 p.m.  Also 7 and 9 p.m. Sat., July 17, and 7 p.m. Sun., July 18. 166 East Bridge St., The Waterfront, Homestead. $30. 412-462-5233 or www.improv.com

 

Fri., July 16 -- Music

They call it the "Black Virtuoso Tradition" -- a repertoire defined by solo piano works inspired by African-American song and dance. Among its leading exponents is Steven Mayer, who has performed with symphonies the world over. His free concert tonight, at Pitt's Bellefield Hall, opens with a work by legendary 19th-century New Orleans composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk, and ranges through Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, Fats Waller -- and even Antonin Dvořák, whose American Suite was inspired by African-American culture. BO 8 p.m. 315 S. Bellefield Ave., Oakland. 412-392-8991

 

click to enlarge Eric Roberson at the Gallery Crawl
  • Eric Roberson at the Gallery Crawl

Fri., July 16 -- Crawl

Among its seasonal Gallery Crawls, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's summer installment is the warmest, the most day-lit ... and the only one with a rooftop party. Some 20 venues join the act Downtown, with new exhibits at spots including Wood Street Galleries and Future Tenant, and the 4 Real 4 Real storytelling series taking over the ground floor of 937 Liberty Ave. And there's music everywhere: gospel and salsa; steel-pan and Chatham Baroque; a DJ'd block party (with break-dancers) at Ninth and Penn; and indie-soul star Eric Roberson, outdoors at Seventh and Fort Duquesne. It's all free -- though the swanky, post-crawl, 21-and-over Cosmopolitan Pittsburgh party (high atop Seventh and Penn's Theatre Square Garage) runs $35-100. BO 5:30-9 p.m. Downtown. 412-456-6666 or www.pgharts.org

 

Sat., July 17 -- Words

Frustrated with form-letter rejections, first-time author Stephen Markley wrote a book about the monstrous feat of ... getting published. That's right -- Publish This Book (Sourcebooks) is a memoir about writing, selling and publishing the book itself. Markley's "premature memoir" candidly explores his writing, temp jobs and relationships with both women and drugs. Now, the Chicago-based Markley's touring the country; he appears for a reading and signing today, at Borders, in East Liberty. Sourcebooks, meanwhile, is providing personalized critiques of manuscripts sent by writers with proof of purchase of the book. JP 2 p.m. 5986 Penn Circle South, East Liberty. Free. 412-441-1080 or www.borders.com

 

Saturday July 17 -- Benefit

Know those red barrels you see outside houses in Regent Square and Squirrel Hill -- the ones attached to the downspouts? Thank the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association, a group dedicated to lessening the environmental impact of development in the area where water drains into Nine Mile Run. Tonight is the group's annual fundraiser in the park; usually called A Midsummer Night's Stream, it's been renamed A Midsummer Night's Storm after several years of rainouts. Also new: After 9 p.m., the cost drops from $60 to $20. Entertainment includes the Mon River Ramblers, DJ's J. Malls and Hi-Top Wrangler, and an appearance by Rick Sebak. Andy Mulkerin 7 p.m. Fern Hollow, Frick Park (Lancaster Avenue entrance). $20-60. 412-371-8779 x119 or ninemilerun.org

 

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Sun., July 18 -- Outdoors

Serious cyclists can escape city traffic and explore the rural countryside north of Pittsburgh on the Rural Road Ride with Venture Outdoors. This ride is for advanced bikers who are able to maintain at least 12 mph throughout the four-hour trip. Today's 30-40 mile trek starts at the ice rink in North Park and pedals to Zelienople and back -- a hilly journey that promises fresh air and burning thighs. Bring your own road or hybrid bike, a helmet, plenty of water and snacks. JP 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Allison Park. $10. 412-255-0564 or www.ventureoutdoors.org

 

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Sun., July 18 -- Rock

Last fall, Ola Podrida -- Texas musician David Wingo's solo project -- issued its second full-length, Belly of the Lion, four years after its debut. Subdued and quietly beautiful, the 2009 album is a series of impressionistic pop songs, mixes of alt-country and shoegaze that wash in and out with a tidal rhythm (and pace). Wingo brings the band to Garfield Artworks tonight in a show presented by frequent CP contributor Manny Theiner. Dean Cercone and Coyote Cook open. AM 8 p.m. 4931 Penn Ave., Garfield. $6. All ages. 412-361-2262 or garfieldartworks.com

 

Sun., July 18 -- Rock

Pittsburgh-based death-metal band Peregrine was founded by writer Kevin Tucker, and espouses an anarcho-primitivist ethos -- critiquing civilization in favor of a return to wilderness and anarchy. Peregrine is hitting the road for a short tour with two California death-metal bands: The Funeral Pyre (Prosthetic Records) and Early Graves (Metal Blade). All three play tonight at Belvedere's, in Lawrenceville (as good a spot as any for hating civilization), with another local act Kamikabe. Aaron Jentzen 9 p.m. 4016 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 21 and over. 412-687-2555 or www.myspace.com/belvederesbar

 

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Tue., July 20 -- Country

In the right hands, there's more to banjo than just pickin' and grinnin'. North Carolina band Chatham County Line eschews both hokey backward-glancing bluegrass and alt-country bluster in favor of a lyrical, all-acoustic style that still offers the openness of The Band. Speaking of which, the quartet, who've just released the gorgeous Wildwood (Yep Roc Records), specialize in rich vocal harmonies that recall The Band, CSN and The Byrds. Equally for fans of Basement Tapes Dylan, Fleet Foxes and The Low Anthem. Also performing tonight at Club Café is Ursa Major. AJ 7 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.). 56-58 S. 12th St., South Side. $10. 412-431-4950 or www.clubcafelive.com

 

Tue., July 20 -- Stage

The Tony Award-winning musical with the big hair and the poppy beats rolls into the Benedum Center. It's the Pittsburgh CLO's premiere staging of Hairspray, the hit adapted from the John Waters film. It's set in Baltimore in 1962, where energetic, impressively coiffed teen Tracy Turnblad attempts to make it as a dancer on the Bandstand-style Corny Collins Show. The production stars Drew Lachey (formerly of 98 Degrees) as the cocky Corny Collins, and Hairspray vet Katrina Rose Dideriksen as Tracy, with direction and choreography by Barry Ivan. JP 8 p.m. Show continues through Aug. 1. 719 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $26.50-70.50. 412-325-1582 or www.pittsburghclo.org

 

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Wed., July 21 -- Stage

Christopher Marlowe's Faustus agrees: He'll sell his soul for 24 years of earthly high-life, with such servants as demons who'll "ransack the ocean" and bring him its riches. Perhaps some of those spoils come from, say, the Gulf of Mexico; in any case, theater troupe 404 Strand reprises FaustUS, its 2009 reworking of the classic. Director Dan Jemmett (back in town between European gigs) leads a cast of five. They stage their occasionally bizarre adaptation as a series of encounters between Faust and Mephistopheles inside a wooden cage, performers fluidly cycling through the two roles. And the cage is located at the Cultural Trust's Arts Education Center, Downtown. Two weeks of shows begin tonight. BO 8 p.m. Also 8 p.m. nightly Thu., July 22-Sun., July 25, and July 28-Aug. 1. 807 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $25.50. 412-456-6666 or www.pgharts.org

 

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Thu., July 22 -- Rock

D. Charles Speer & the Helix is the good-time Southern rock band featuring members of the No Neck Blues Band and Sunburned Hand of the Man; in 2008, they got together with Jack Rose and recorded a rough, energetic set of songs on which the well-known guitarist let loose on an electric with a slide. Rose passed away in 2009, but the recording was recently released as the EP Ragged and Right. The band appears tonight at The Shop to promote the EP and pay tribute to its late collaborator. The Harlan Twins and Joy Toujours & the Toys du Jour open. AM 7:30 p.m. 4314 Main St., Bloomfield. $5. All ages. 412-951-0622.

 

click to enlarge Khet Mar at The Immigration Stakes - COURTESY OF RENEE ROSENSTEEL

Thu., July 22 -- Words

Sometimes, the immigration debate's about huddled masses; tonight's American Shorts program, titled The Immigration Stakes, instead asks, "How do we keep the world's best brains in Pittsburgh?" The evening includes readings by Silvia Duarte, a former magazine editor in Guatemala who's managing editor of City of Asylum/Pittsburgh's online magazine Sampsonia Way; David Laskin, Seattle-based author of The Long Way Home: An American Journey from Ellis Island to the Great War (part of which concerns Polish immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania mining towns); and Khet Mar, a Burmese journalist, poet and rights activist who's an exiled writer-in-residence City of Asylum. The event's co-presented by WYEP at its Community Broadcast Center. BO 7 p.m. 67 Bedford Sq., South Side. $10. 412-622-8866 or www.pittsburghlectures.org

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