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Short List: Week of October 6 - 13 

Thu., Oct. 6 -- Free Stuff

You've got 10 more days of RADical Days, the annual festival of free admissions to cultural attractions courtesy of the Allegheny Regional Asset District. Highlights include no-money-down ins at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium (Sat., Oct. 9); tours at Heinz Field (Oct. 11); admissions to the National Aviary and The Andy Warhol Museum (both Oct. 14); and a daytime Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concert (Oct. 15). There's plenty more, including guided tours of the Pittsburgh Biennial at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, today and Oct. 13. Bill O'Driscoll RADical Days continues through Oct. 15. radworkshere.org

click to enlarge PHOTO BY NORMAN W. SCHUMM
  • Photo by Norman W. Schumm

Thu., Oct. 6 -- Art

Pittsburghers like stuff that's there, and all, but one thing we like almost as much is stuff that used to be there; we even give directions based on it. Such landmarks abound in Gone, an exhibition of photographs by Norman W. Schumm opening tonight at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall. The Mount Lebanon photographer has spent years making these 23 black-and-white pictures; expect sports stadiums and steel mills, of course, but also a barge washed up at the Point and the haunting desolation of Collier Township's not-quite-demolished Woodville Hospital (pictured). BO 5:30 p.m. Show continues through Nov. 26. 300 Beechwood Ave., Carnegie. 412-276-3456

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Thu., Oct. 6 -- Music

The Star of Indiana project began in 1984, joining student musicians with accomplished instructors. With emphasis on percussion and brass, the program mushroomed into a 128-member unit, winning accolades in international bugle-and-drum corps competitions. In 2001, BLAST! -- Star of Indiana's stage version -- opened on Broadway with interpretations of songs like Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child" and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," among others. PNC Broadway Across America presents the Tony Award-winning group at Heinz Hall. The first of five performances is tonight. Amy Kuhre 7:30 p.m. Continues through Sun., Oct. 9. 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $20-60. 412-392-4900 or www.pgharts.org

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Thursday, Oct. 6 -- Stage

In the nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence," a king is fed a pie of blackbirds. Metaphorically, that whimsical gesture reminds us to expect the unexpected. In the New stAGE production of Blackbird Pie, a terminally ill mother fumbles endearing efforts to leave a video memento for her toddler's 12th birthday. With bittersweet humor, she tries to convey a lifetime of wisdom while justifying personal choices. Pittsburgh-based writer and performer Mary Lipple and director Kyle Bostian premiere this solo show at Grey Box Theatre starting tonight. AK 8 p.m. Continues through Oct. 22. 3595 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $10-15. 888-718-4253 or new-stage.blogspot.com

Thu., Oct. 6 -- Stage

As it does so often, Quantum Theatre debuts a new show in an old building. Artistic director Karla Boos offers her adaption of The End of the Affair, Graham Greene's 1951 novel about a man's obsession with his married lover in London during World War II. The building Quantum's chosen is the former Emma Kaufman Clinic, an early 20th-century Polish Hill landmark whose battered state might well suggest the Blitz. Martin Giles directs; Tony Bingham plays Maurice Bendrix, with Gayle Pazerski as Sarah Miles and James FitzGerald in several roles. The show opens tonight. BO 8 p.m. Continues through Oct. 30. 3028 Brereton St., Polish Hill. $18-48. www.quantumtheatre.com

click to enlarge Art by Annie Bendle Ladley at the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination.
  • Art by Annie Bendle Ladley at the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination.

Fri., Oct. 7 -- Art

At tonight's Penn Avenue Arts District gallery crawl Unblurred, many of the shows sport reflexive themes. Consider Pittsburgh Glass Center's 10 More Years on Penn, in which visiting artists Gwylene Gallimard and Jean Marie Mauclet explore how art has changed the avenue itself. Or This is NOT Art, at Assemble, in which J.D. Whitewolf critiques design and technology projects passed off as art; The Artistic Process as Exorcism, at ModernFormations Gallery; and Pittsburgh by Pittsburgh Artists, at the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination. There's also new work at Most Wanted Fine Art and Garfield Artworks; guitar-themed art at Studio 5013; and even yoga at DojoYoga. BO 6-11 p.m. Most events 4800-5400 Penn Ave., Friendship/Garfield/Bloomfield. Free. www.friendship-pgh.org

 

Sat., Oct. 8 -- Comics

A successful first year under its belt, PIX is back. The Second Annual Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo again devotes a whole weekend to what cosponsors The Toonseum and Copacetic Comics Company call "creator-owned, self-published, small-press and handmade comics." While there's a focus on local talent, also expect wares from outside the region and around the world. Participating artists at the Strip District's Guardian Storage Building include Jason Little, Ed Piskor, John Porcellino, Rob Rogers, Jim Rugg, Tom Scioli and Wayno. BO 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Also 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun., Oct. 9. 2839 Liberty Ave., Strip District. Free. www.pixcomics.org

 

Sat., Oct. 8 -- Clothing

The Give and Take initiative hosts a revolutionary pop-up event this weekend at Braddock's UnSmoke Art Space. Clothing Social invites locals to donate gently worn clothing, purchase any donated clothing for $1 and then repurpose those threads. Sewing mentors in a mending circle will be available to help in re-fashioning new finds, or stitching up personal pieces. (Sewing machines are supplied.) Free clothes are available to volunteers who sew or sort through the reclaimed goods, and a portion of the proceeds benefits ongoing renovations at UnSmoke. AK 1-6 p.m. Also 1-6 p.m. Sun., Oct. 9. 1137 Braddock Ave., Braddock. Free. www.giveandtaketees.com

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Sat., Oct. 8 -- Music

While it's accurate to call Benjamin Verdery a "classical guitarist and composer," that's pigeonholing. Verdery's 30-year career in international festivals, concert halls and recording studios has included collaborations with everyone from Police-man Andy Summers and Leo Kottke to Jessye Norman and John Williams. No less eclectic is this Yale University guitar-department chair's show tonight with the Carnegie Mellon Guitar Ensemble. The free program includes original compositions and works by Bach, Prince ("For the Tears in Your Eyes") and Hendrix ("Purple Haze"). "Scenes from Ellis Islands," Verdery's work for guitar orchestra, will be performed with 12 ensemble members. BO 8 p.m. Kresge Theatre, CMU campus, Oakland. Free. music.cmu.edu

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Sun., Oct. 9 -- Words

I first met Stephen H. Segal when I joined the staff of the now-long-defunct In Pittsburgh Newsweekly. I quickly realized that aside from being a pretty good writer, the guy was a class-A, level-10 geek. So it's no shock to learn that Segal, now based in Philadelphia, has written a book dedicated to the "religion," as he calls it, of science fiction and geekdom. Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture takes famous quotes and passages from the nerd world and examines their relevance to ours. Segal, a former editor at Pittsburgh Magazine, reads from and signs his book today at Eljay's Books. Charlie Deitch 2-4 p.m. 3233 W. Liberty Ave., Dormont. Free. 412-344-7144. www.eljaysbks.com

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Wed., Oct. 12 -- Cirque

The story of Cirque du Soleil's Quidam is familiar: precocious young girl banished into boredom by disinterested parents and desperate for adventure conjures an imaginary world full of lithe and colorful creatures. Quidam, which was Pittsburgh's introduction to Cirque du Soleil, in 2002, returns starting tonight for five days at the Petersen Events Center. Dizzying aerial contortionists share the stage with unique acts like a troupe that performs a sophisticated version of the Chinese children's game, diabolos, which involves juggling wooden spools, sticks and string. AK 7:30 p.m. Continues through Sun., Oct. 16. 3719 Terrance St., Oakland. $36-90. 800-745-3000 or www.cirquedusoleil.com

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