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Short List: Week of May 19 - 26 

When radio station WAMO-FM and its two affiliates ceased operations in 2009, they took with them the voice of the urban community, one that dancer/choreographer Kyle Abraham cherished while growing up in Lincoln-Larimer. In his Bessie-award-winning The Radio Show, Abraham uses this loss, and the effects that Alzheimer's and aphasia had on his father and family, to create an abstract narrative investigating the loss of communication. "For whatever reason, the national media doesn't often address the stories, fears and concerns of an urban audience," says Abraham. "Without urban radio, who will?" The newly re-tooled 60-minute work that premiered in Pittsburgh in 2010 highlights the August Wilson Center's third annual First Voice: A Pittsburgh International Black Arts Festival. Other artist residents presenting during the nine-day festival include R&B/electronica/hip-hop duo The Foreign Exchange (May 20); artist Alisha Wormsley (May 23); and musician Christiane D (May 25). Radio Show, to be performed by Abraham's New York-based company Abraham.In.Motion (which just performed it in Jordan), is set to a soundtrack of classic soul, hip hop, contemporary classical music and radio call-in excerpts. It also touches on race, sexuality and social politics. Abraham's unique choreographic style for the work blends sharp modern-dance movement with slick hip hop, and has captured the attention of audiences and critics alike. Steve Sucato 8 p.m. Sat., May 21. August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $20. 412-258-2700 or www.culturaldistrict.org

 

Thu., May 19 -- Words

Thanks to countless TV images of shirtless sports fans, Pittsburgh might be better known for its overbelly than for its underbelly. But our underbelly gets its due in Pittsburgh Noir, the latest in prominent indie publisher Akashic Books' series that's previously so celebrated New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philly. Detective novelist (and Pitt theater professor) Kathleen George, who edited Pittsburgh Noir, assembled an all-star cast of contributors including: local legend K.C. Constantine; National Book Award winner Terrance Hayes; novelist Stewart O'Nan; and mystery writer Nancy Martin. The publication party is tonight at Mystery Lovers Bookshop. Bill O'Driscoll 7 p.m. 514 Allegheny River Blvd., Oakmont. Free. RSVP at 412-828-4877

 

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Thu., May 19 -- Words

A big week for literary readings starts tonight with TNY Presents' season-closer at ModernFormations Gallery, featuring three visiting writers: novelist Steve Himmer (The Bee-Loud Glade); Traci O'Connor, author of short-story collection Recipes for Endangered Species; and Derek Pollard. Tomorrow night, join The New Yinzer's own staff -- Kris Collins, Scott Silsbe, Holly Coleman and others -- for a reading at Fleeting Pages, the pop-up bookstore in the old Borders Eastside. BO TNY Presents: 8 p.m. (4919 Penn Ave., Garfield; $5 or potluck donation; www.newyinzer.com). New Yinzer staffers: 7 p.m. Fri., May 20 (5986 Penn Circle South, East Liberty; free; www.fleetingpages.com

 

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Fri., May 20 -- Outdoors

It's National Bike to Work Day -- also the launch of Bike Pittsburgh's Car Free Fridays season and just the excuse to leave your internal combustion at home. Not that you need pedal alone. Bike Pittsburgh has aranged for free breakfast-and-hydration stations around town, from Whole Foods and Carnegie Mellon to Market Square. The advocacy group will even help you locate a bike pool (a car pool for two-wheelers) and point you toward the Flock of Cycles After-work Party Ride, a jaunt that starts at the Carnegie Museums' Dippy the Dinosaur. BO Breakfast stations: 7:30-10 a.m. (various locations). Flock of Cycles: 5:30 p.m. (Oakland). www.bike-pgh.org

 

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Sat., May 21 -- Dance

Pittsburgh-based Zafira Dance Company performs and teaches internationally, and draws students from as far away as the U.K. and Croatia. But the South Side's Zafira Dance Studios aren't just about the group's signature tribal belly-dance; they also host monthly Tango Milongas and more. Tonight, celebrate the studio's first anniversary with performances by Carolina Loyola-Garcia, Alba Flamenco, Gia Catalano and others -- not forgetting Zafira itself. The fundraiser includes food and live music. BO 7 p.m. 1113 E. Carson St., South Side. $10 suggested donation. 412-453-0053 or www.zafirastudios.com

 

click to enlarge ART BY AUBREY BEARDSLEY
  • Art by Aubrey Beardsley

Sat., May 21 -- Art

Starting today, The Frick Art & Historical Center hosts the travelling exhibit PAN – Fin de Siècle Prints: Art Nouveau on Paper. A collection of 80 prints from the Berlin-based Art Nouveau publication PAN, the exhibit contains wood engravings, lithography and etchings by some of the heroes of the late-19th-century art world. Most of the prints date from between 1895 and 1900, and bear signatures such as Rodin, Seurat, Beardsley, Toulouse-Lautrec and many more. Brendan Sullivan 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Exhibit continues through Sept. 11. 7227 Reynolds St., Point Breeze. Free. 412-371-0600 or www.thefrickpittsburgh.org

 

Sat., May 21 -- Festival

If you're looking for a little peace, organizers of today's event in Schenley Park have you covered. The Schenley Oval meadow (right next to the ice rink) is the site of Peaceful Gathering of Hands, a festival meant to bring together everyone working for a healthier, more sustainable and more peaceful Pittsburgh. The centerpiece is a hand-holding circle every hour on the hour, while in between are food, music, art-making and games. Homemade banners are encouraged at what organizers with Transition Pittsburgh and other groups hope is the city's biggest peace gathering ever. BO Noon-5 p.m. peacefulgatheringofhands.blogspot.com

 

Sat., May 21 -- Crafts

Getting married? Somewhere between pledging fealty to the wedding-industrial complex and going completely DIY lies Hand(made) in Marriage. It's the second annual indie wedding showcase from the folks behind I Made It Market and the Wildcard gift shop. Today's event, at Lawrenceville's Teamsters Temple, features some 50 local vendors, including entertainers, designers and artists and more, from letterpress invitations to vegan catering. BO Noon-5 p.m. 4701 Butler St., Lawrenceville. www.handmadeinmarriage.com

 

Sat., May 21 -- Festival

Each year, the Leadership Development Initiative, a program of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc., hosts PopUp! Pittsburgh, a single-day event promoting a Pittsburgh neighborhood. This year's event, "Lights! Camera! Fineview!," will transform that North Side neighborhood into a Hollywood set, complete with events, food and the filming of the final scene of Spineview, a zombie flick that explores Fineview's past, present and future. Attendees are invited to be extras in the film, provided they refrain from actually eating anyone's brains. BS 1-6 p.m. Catoma Street Overlook and WPXI lot, Fineview. Free. www.popuppittsburgh.com

 

Mon., May 23 -- Film

Local filmmakers June 20 – four weeks from today -- to submit entries for the Carnegie Museum of Art's Second Annual Two-Minute Film Festival. Amateurs and pros ages 18 and over are asked to make videos of two minutes or less on the theme "The Labor Party" -- basically, anything exploring work, industry or labor. Videos made with anything from animation programs and cell phones to high-end video are acceptable, and there's no entry fee; winners of the Viewers' Choice award get a one-year Carnegie membership. More than 300 viewers attended last year's screening. This year's is July 21, in the museum's outdoor Sculpture Court. Details at www.cmoa.org/2minutefilms. BO 

 

click to enlarge Itzhak Perlman
  • Itzhak Perlman

Wed., May 25 -- Music

Fans of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will be ecstatic to hear that violinist Itzhak Perlman returns to Heinz Hall tonight to play with and conduct the orchestra. Perlman ranks among the rare classical players who are household names, and with good reason: His tone and quality are legendary, and he seems to be honored with a new award every time he leaves his house. He will be performing pieces by Bach, Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn, and if history is any indication, more than a few jaws will drop. BS 7:30 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $29-$99. 412-382-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org

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