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Short List: Week of June 4 - 11 

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Macbeth is among Shakespeare's darkest works. All the murder, warfare, gruesome augeries and sorcery make even Hamlet seem cheery. Yet Lisa Wolpe, artistic director of the L.A. Women's Shakespeare Company, made the Scottish play grimmer still. Her acclaimed Macbeth 3, an adaptation for three actors, literally sends the titular warrior to hell. Laura Smiley caught Wolpe's show at Scotland's Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Accordingly -- and given that Smiley's Unseam'd Shakespeare Co. is named for one of the play's more sanguinary lines ("unseam'd him from the nave to the chops") -- Smiley is staging her own version. In Unseam'd's 80-minute take, the words remain all Will's; also retained is Wolpe's cross-gender casting. Jennifer Tober portrays Banquo, McDuff, Duncan and a witch. Rich Venezia is Satan and Lady Macbeth ("Come you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here ..."). The tormented Macbeth is played by Lisa Ann Goldsmith. And the setting in a damned eternity still reboots "tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow." But Wolpe -- who located her Macbeth 3 after our oil wars, complete with Abu Ghraib imagery -- gave Smiley and director Michael Hood free rein. Hood (who directed Unseam'd's fine Othello: Noir, in 2006) broadened the canvas to encompass "war across the centuries ... in a hell that is littered with the detritus of battles from various time periods," he says. "Our Satan crawls out of a sarcophagus in a ruined church." Bill O'Driscoll Thu., June 4-June 20. Unseam'd at Open Stage Theater, 2835 Smallman St., Strip District. $18-22. 412-394-3353 or www.unseamd.org

 

Thu., June 4 -- Music

Back when most music critics and composers were slamming Beethoven for his overzealous, un-mathematical style, Mozart boldly prophesized that the 17-year-old would one day "force the world to talk about him." The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra reunites these two fiery titans this afternoon at Heinz Hall. Manfred Honeck conducts Mozart's Symphony No. 38, and violinist Frank Peter Zimmerman performs Beethoven's audaciously passionate Violin Concerto. Andrea Bullard 1:30 p.m. Also 8 p.m. Fri., June 5, and 8 p.m. Sat., June 6. 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $12.50-79. 412-392-4900

 

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Thu., June 4 -- Art

Best known here for documenting the local peace movement, photographer Philomena O'Dea also professes a fondness for nature. She uncovers a few of its secrets alongside Malgorzata Mosiek in a dual photography exhibition opening tonight at Filmmakers Galleries. O'Dea reveals the shocking intricacy of dandelions in Organic Cosmic Mandalas, while Mosiek contemplates the life-cycle of leaves through a series of digital prints in Leaf in the Water. AB 6-9 p.m. Show continues through Aug. 16. 477 Melwood Ave., North Oakland. Free. 412-681-5449

 

Thu., June 4 -- Stage

In a dead man's Lower East Side apartment, four people try to figure out how to get on with their lives: the late dancer's best friend, a choreographer named Anna; her witty roommate, Larry; her wealthy boyfriend, Burton; and her volatile suitor, Pale. Lauded playwright Lanford Wilson's Burn This premiered in 1987; it's staged anew at the New Hazlett Theater starting tonight. The cast includes Pittsburgh native and Ghost Whisperer star David Conrad as Pale; Patrick Jordan (of barebones productions) as Larry; visiting artist Kate Campbell as Anna; and Peter Kope (of Attack Theatre) as Burton. BO 8 p.m. Continues through June 28. $25 ($30 at the door). 1-888-71TICKETS or www.newhazletttheater.org

 

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Fri., June 5 -- Music

Lazy music fans stick the "world music" tag on everything from Scottish Salsa to Scandinavian War Metal. But quite unlike most acts, Emam and Friends actually need the tremendous space that the label affords. Fusing elements of Indian, Turkish, Macedonian, Spanish and Eastern European folk idioms with jazz, rock and new age, four members of the super-group appear tonight at the Frick Art & Historical Center's First Fridays series. Frontman Emam studied under the masters of North Indian classical drumming, and united this global collective under the motto "world peace through world music." AB 7 p.m. 7227 Reynolds St., Point Breeze. $5 suggested donation. 412-371-0600

 

Fri., June 5 -- Readings

It took Salvatore Scibona 10 years to finish his debut novel, The End -- five to get to know his characters and five more to let them navigate the world he based on Cleveland's Murray Hill neighborhood. "I was in control of certain elemental events, like acts of God and of strangers; but the characters seemed to act and react to the events in ways that were of their own choosing," he says on the book's Web site. Scibona joins poet Hadara Bar-Nadav for tonight's installment of the Gist Street Reading Series. AB 8 p.m. James Simon's Sculpture Studio, 305 Gist St., Uptown. $5. 412-488-1751

 

Sat., June 6 -- Exotica

A few months back, I caught eccentric musician and legendary producer Martin Bisi at Garfield Artworks, where he was supported by vocalist Ajda "the Turkish Queen." She gave me a copy of the Bisi-produced album by her band, Black Fortress of Opium (the name comes from the mysterious Turkish town of Afyonkarahisar). The music is just as eerie and exotic as you'd expect, with Ajda's croon supported by organ, Swans-y guitars and other fine proto-goth and folk elements. Tonight's show -- appropriately, at Your Inner Vagabond -- is organized by CP contributor Manny Theiner. Aaron Jentzen 9 p.m. 4130 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $5. All ages. 412-683-1623 or www.yourinnervagabond.com

 

Sun., June 7 -- Outdoors

One of Pittsburgh's better recent attempts at nature-reclamation is the Nine Mile Run stream valley, in Frick Park. It's also a pretty good late-spring city birding spot. This morning, Chuck Tague and Jack Solomon lead an Urban Eco Steward Bird Walk on behalf of the Wissahickon Nature Club and the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association. Bring binos for possible sightings of orchard orioles, Carolina chickadees, indigo buntings and more. There's also a kids' activity, and brunch at a nearby deli follows. BO 7:30 a.m. Meet in Lower Frick Park parking lot, off Lancaster Avenue, Regent Square. Free. Register at 412-371-8779 or lisa@ninemilerun.org

 

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Sun., June 7 -- Crafts

Roving arts market I Made It! turns up at the American Jewish Museum today. Some 40 crafty folks offer clothes, jewelry, accessories and all manner of lovely thingies. The market is in conjunction with the opening weekend of Nests, artist Anna Divinsky's installation piece, which uses hand-painted silk to explore the relationship between immigrants and the notion of home. Melissa Meinzer 2-6 p.m. Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, 5738 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. Free. 412-521-8011

 

Sun., June 7 -- Music

It's weekend one for the Hartwood Acres Summer Concert Series, and into the rock/pop/country/folk mix leap the Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artists. Vocalists Danielle Pastin, Dean Kokanos, Jonathan Beyer and Liam Morgan perform to live piano accompaniment by Mark Trawka. Stretch out on the big lawn to hear a few of "opera's greatest hits," some Broadway selections, and songs and arias from the upcoming season's palette of Verdi, Bizet and Mozart. BO 7:30 p.m. Hartwood Acres Amphitheater, Hampton Township. Free. 412-767-9200

 

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF DAN MONICK
  • Photo Courtesy of Dan Monick

Sun., June 7 -- Rock

Dillinger Four bridges a lot of gaps. It's a punk band with pop sensibilities, hardcore energy and a DIY ethic, and it's a political band that doesn't take itself too seriously. The Minneapolis wags returned to prominence last year with Civil War, their second release on Fat Wreck Chords. Their most recent album prior was 2002's Situationist Comedy. Tonight D4 hits town with Japanther, Holy Shit! and local punks Kim Phuc in a show put on by frequent CP contributor Manny Theiner. Andy Mulkerin 8 p.m. Belvedere's, 4016 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 18 and over. $10 ($12 at the door). 412-687-2555

 

Mon., June 8 -- Outdoors

If summer vacation means a house full of kiddos, you may be searching for constructive ways to keep the little angels amused. Give them the gift of nature, at CitiParks' Kinder Nature Camp. Kids from age 3 to those entering first grade in the fall will learn about their natural surroundings through a week's worth of games, songs and other fun stuff in Frick Park. Sessions run both mornings and afternoons. Advance registration is required; the summer's first session begins today. MM 9:30-11:30 a.m. or 12:30-3 p.m. Other sessions begin June 15 and 22, and July 6 and 13. Frick Environmental Center, 2005 Beechwood Blvd., Squirrel Hill. $75. 412-422-6538

Wed., June 10 -- Rock

Given the recent spotty side-projects by Perry Farrell and Dave Navarro, I'm a tad skeptical about the reunited Jane's Addiction, playing tonight at the Post-Gazette Pavilion. On the other hand, I heard raves from South By Southwest attendees who caught the band's Playboy party performance, in March. We'll just have to see. What you'll almost certainly see, though, is a stellar performance by Nine Inch Nails, if their last Pavilion stop is any indication; their current tour is a more stripped-down version of their multimedia show. Opening for the two alterna-giants is Street Sweeper Social Club. AJ 7 p.m. 665 Rt. 18, Burgettstown. $19-201.50. All ages. 724-947-7400 or www.livenation.com

 

Wed., June 10 -- Readings

The Rev. Janet Edwards risked her job defending gay rights when the Pittsburgh Presbytery took her to court for performing a lesbian marriage ceremony. Edwards won, but she doesn't want the conversation to end there. Tonight she hosts "Faith and Sexuality," the kickoff of this season's American Shorts Reading Series. Edwards and guests will address the role of faith in the LGBT community with readings in fiction, nonfiction and even the Bible. The Persad Center for AIDS awareness and WYEP host at WYEP's Community Broadcast Center; live music and a short film follow. AB 7 p.m. 67 Bedford Square, South Side. $10. 412-622-8866.

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