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Short List: Week of June 2 - 9 

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The Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival is June 3-12, it's free, and you know where to find it: Downtown, mostly within a few blocks of Point State Park. The park houses the main music stage, with acts from the Blind Boys of Alabama (June 3) to the Tom Tom Club (June 4) -- and even, after a 34-year absence, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (June 5). June 3-5, there's also the affiliated JazzLive International festival, at a couple dozen Downtown venues and outdoor stages. Alongside the arts fest's crafts and food vendors, new wrinkles include cash prizes for honorees among the more than 50 artists in the Juried Visual Art Exhibition (at 805-07 Liberty Ave.); an "Art on Film" series at the Harris Theater; and chances to watch artists at work (including the "sudden art performance" 180mins) and even to make art yourself. Other highlights courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust include celebrated Connecticut-based artist James Grashow's "Corrugated Fountain" (detail above), an homage to Rome's famed Trevi Fountain -- complete with Neptune -- that's made entirely from cardboard (709 Penn Gallery). Moreover, says festival coordinator Marguerite Jarrett Marks, festival greening initiatives continue, now including free bike-valet parking and expanded commitment both to avoiding waste (with water stations for your refillable drink container) and to recycling or composting the rest. Bill O'Driscoll Festival opens at noon daily, June 3-12. Downtown. www.3riversartsfest.org

 

Thu., June 2 -- Photography

For the fourth year, the f295 Symposium comes to Carnegie Mellon University and Pittsburgh Filmmakers. Speakers at the four-day event explore 21st-century photography and address such wide-ranging topics as the use of 19th-century techniques in modern practices. There are also hands-on workshops and two photography walk-abouts. Tonight's opening program includes an artists' talk between internationally acclaimed portrait and landscape photographer Sally Mann and art photographer Dan Estabrook. Brendan Sullivan 5 p.m. Symposium continues through June 5. University Center, CMU campus, Oakland. $75-170. www.f295.org

 

Thu., June 2 -- Stage

After a two-year hiatus, City Theatre revives its Momentum Festival for new plays. Four days of readings begin tonight with Steven Ditez's comedy Rancho Mirage, and also include Victoria Stewart's drama Rich Girl. Meanwhile, local actor Tami Dixon performs South Side Stories, which she crafted from stories people told her in her neighborhood. And Broadway star Anthony Rapp visits to play none other than Andy Warhol in POP!, a "rock musical murder mystery" by Maggie-Kate Coleman and Anna K. Jacobs that fancifully explores Warhol's near-fatal 1968 shooting. POP! gets read twice, on June 3 and 5. Bill O'Driscoll Tonight through Sun., June 5. 1300 Bingham St., South Side. $5 (festival pass: $20). 412-431-2489 or www.citytheatrecompany.com 

 

click to enlarge Tyla Abercrumbie in King Hedley II.
  • Tyla Abercrumbie in King Hedley II.

Thu., June 2 -- Stage

Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre's new show is just the second local production of August Wilson's King Hedley II. (The other was its 1999 world premiere at Pittsburgh Public Theater.) It's also Playwrights' first staging in the August Wilson Center for African American Culture (where company founder Mark Clayton Southers heads theater initiatives). This eighth installment in the center's namesake's famed 10-play cycle concerns an ex-con seeking redemption in the 1980s Hill District. Eileen J. Morris directs a top-notch cast including Benjamin Cain, Chrystal Bates, Kevin Brown, Leslie "Ezra" Smith, Jonas Cheney and Tyla Abercrumbie. BO 8 p.m. Show continues through June 12. $20-30. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. 412-394-3353 or www.pghplaywrights.com 

 

Fri., June 3 -- Festival

Pittsburgh Pride, the Delta Foundation's annual festival of LGBT events, kicks off with an advocacy rally at 6 p.m. today on the steps of the City-County Building, Downtown. Other highlights in the 10-day fest include Sunday's interfaith worship service at Community House Church, on the North Side; multiple performances by Renaissance City Choir; workshops like "Legal and Financial Planning for Gay Couples," on Tue., June 7, at WQED Studios, in Oakland; and a June 9 TransPride celebration at Cattivo, in Lawrenceville. It all leads up to June 11's Pride in the Streets festival, headlined by Patti LaBelle, and the June 12 Pride Awareness March and Pridefest. Lauren Daley Full schedule at www.pittsburghpride.org

 

click to enlarge ART BY JAMIE ADAMS
  • Art by Jamie Adams

Fri., June 3 -- Art

In June 2001, Jennifer Quinio decided Pittsburgh needed gallery space for adventurous local artists; she took matters into her own hands, founding ModernFormations Gallery. A decade later, the busy storefront venue celebrates with the exhibit ret·ro·spec·tive, opening tonight as part of monthly Penn Avenue gallery crawl Unblurred. The show features work by more than 50 artists who've graced the gallery's walls -- including now-more-familiar names like Mike Budai, Benedict Oddi and Jairan Sadeghi -- as well as materials documenting the gallery's history of art, literary readings, plays and concerts. BS 7 p.m. Show continues through July 22. 4919 Penn Ave., Garfield. Free. www.modernformations.com

 

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Fri., June 3 -- Comedy

It's hard times for school funding in California, says Paula Poundstone: "In order to have a science teacher in our elementary school this year, each student has been asked to bring in a body part. And they're gonna assemble it, and he, she or it will be the science teacher." Poundstone, the sartorially eccentric comedy vet whose ability to improvise makes her a favorite on radio's Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me, brings her popular standup act to Carnegie Music Hall in Munhall, tonight. BO 7:30 p.m. 510 E. 10th Ave., Munhall. $29.50-39. 412-368-5225 or www.LibraryMusicHall.com

 

Fri., June 3-- Music

The bassoon is often a forgotten member of an orchestra, but tonight it will be front and center. In this season's penultimate performance program, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra principal bassoon Nancy Goeres premieres a work commissioned for her by the PSO and written by the former head of Carnegie Mellon University's School of Music, Alan Fletcher. There's also work by Wagner, Bartók and Ravel. Next week, conductor Manfred Honeck leads the orchestra through its finale of Braunfels, Brahms and Beethoven with unparalleled guest pianist Emanuel Ax. BS 8 p.m. Also 8 p.m. Sat., June 4. Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $20-93. 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org

 

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Sun., June 5 -- Stage

Tom Rocco has come full circle. After premiering his cabaret show My Big Fat Proposition 8 Wedding at the Cabaret at Theater Square last year, the area native (now based in New York) returns home to perform the show again today and celebrate its release on CD. Called "blissfully brilliant" by NiteLifeExchange.com, Rocco and his band lead his audience through song and story along his unique path to the grail of marital happiness, reaffirming the fact that no matter the partner you choose, marriage is still marriage, and marriage can be hilarious. BS 5:30 p.m. 655 Penn Ave., Downtown. $18 ($10 students). www.pgharts.org

 

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Tue., June 7 -- Words

"People wonder where I get my eccentric characters," says author Craig Johnson, "but if they lived in Wyoming they wouldn't ask me that question." Johnson created a detective-novel series starring Sheriff Walt Longmire, and visits Mystery Lovers Bookshop tonight to promote book No. 7, Hell Is Empty, in which Longmire tracks a sociopath through the icy landscape of the Bighorn Mountains, relying only on Indian mysticism and hard-boiled resolve. Catch Johnson in time for the TV series Longmire, currently in the works for A&E. BS 7 p.m. 514 Allegheny River Boulevard, Oakmont.Free  www.mysterylovers.com

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