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Short List: Week of September 1 - 8 

Thu., Sept. 1 -- Film

Davis Guggenheim's controversial documentary Waiting for Superman proposed charter schools as a key fix for the nation's troubled education system, blame for which the film laid largely with teachers' unions. A new film begs to differ: The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman blasts Guggenheim's film as the cinematic face of a corporate-led assualt on public schools and teachers, and suggests its own solutions. Tonight's screening includes a forum with New York City public-schools teacher and Huffington Post columnist Brian Jones and Pittsburgh Public Schools teacher Kipp Dawson. Resisting Attacks on Public Education, Teachers and Students launches the International Socialist Organization's First Thursday Forum. Bill O'Driscoll 7:30 p.m. Friends Meeting House, 4836 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. Suggested donation: $2. isopittsburgh.blogspot.com

 

Thu., Sept. 1 -- Stage

Put some gospel music in your Labor Day weekend with Mahalia Jackson: Standing on Holy Ground. The play, by Vernell Lillie of Pittsburgh's Kuntu Repertory Theatre, is a gospel revue covering the life of the legendary singer, from her New Orleans childhood to Carnegie Music Hall and 1963's March on Washington. This staging, at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, is produced by the Deryck Tines Group, with Tines as musical director. The show features traditional tunes like "Precious Lord" and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." The first of seven performances is tonight. BO 8 p.m. Continues through Sun., Sept. 4. 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty. $27. 412-973-0995

 

Fri., Sept. 2 -- Festival

Pittsburgh Public Market throws itself a 1st Birthday Celebration Weekend. The Strip District's collection of more than 30 local merchants under the Produce Terminal Building roof offers everything from fresh produce and prepared foods to microbrews, handcrafts and a Carnegie Library branch (really!), courtesy of Neighbors in the Strip. A weekend's worth of samplings, live music, sales, giveaways and birthday cake begins with offerings including today's after-work Quickie Cocktail Class. BO 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Also 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., Sept. 3, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun., Sept. 4. 17th and Smallman streets, Strip District. www.pittsburghpublicmarket.org

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Fri., Sept. 2 -- Music

For the season's final First Friday at the Frick concert, the St. Petersburg String Quartet comes to the Great Lawn at the Frick Art & Historical Center -- a taste of Russian culture to prep everyone for the museum's upcoming Fabergé exhibit. Founded as the Leningrad String Quartet in 1985, the group now ranks among the world's preeminent quartets, and recently released recordings of, somehow, Tchaikovsky's complete works for chamber ensemble. So pack a picnic basket, brush up on your Dostoevsky, and go get your Russian on in the beautiful twilight. BS 7 p.m. 7227 Reynolds St. $5 (suggested donation). 412-371-0600

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Fri., Sept. 2 -- Stage

A homeless woman, a composer, his boyfriend and his mother walk into a hospital room. Such is the stuff of jokes, but also the makings of a new, often-comic musical by James Lapine and William Finn, authors of the Tony-award winning Falsettos. The Pittsburgh premiere of Lapine and Finn's A New Brain, presented by the The Bald Theatre Company, begins a six-performance run tonight; the Sun., Sept. 4, matinee is followed by a talk-back with the directors, cast and special guests. The musical contains "mature themes"; viewer discretion is advised. BS 8 p.m. Continues through Sept. 10. Grey Box Theater, 3595 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $20. baldtheatre.org

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Sat., Sept. 3 -- Nature

In the past decade, vulture populations in India have dropped by 95 percent, largely because of a veterinary painkiller the vultures scavenge in animal carcasses. The drug has been banned, but vultures keep disappearing -- leaving more carrion for rats and feral dogs, whose rising numbers pose risks to humans including rabies. In fact, vulture populations worldwide are plummeting. And highlighting this alarm-bell for ecosystems is one goal of International Vulture Awareness Day, marked locally at the National Aviary. The full day of activities includes trainer-led outdoor Andean condor feeding, a scavenger fact-hunt and more. BO 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 700 Arch St., North Side. $11-13 (kids under 2 free). 412-323-7235 or www.aviary.org

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Sat., Sept. 3 -- Art

Today the Carnegie Museum of Art opens its newest exhibit, Palladio and His Legacy: a Transatlantic Journey. The Italian Renaissance master is considered one of the single most influential architects of the past five centuries. Though he was active in the 1500s, his works have been singularly important in American style, providing a basis for buildings such as the Capitol and the Supreme Court building. The exhibit consists of 31 rare original drawings from the 16th century and correlating models and rare books. It is a unique opportunity for Americans to find seeds of American culture sown before the United States was ever dreamed of. BS 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $11-15. 412-622-3131 or www.cmoa.org 

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Sat., Sept. 3 -- Art

For a decade, artist Brian Holderman's clean-and-mischievous style has made him one of Pittsburgh's most recognizable talents on posters, flyers, CD covers and more, including not a few illustrations for City Paper. He also created that huge, playful retro-futuristic mural on Downtown's Smithfield Liberty Garage. Holderman's latest exhibition is at The Gallery 4, in Shadyside. FunHouse of Terror, evoking the cheap thrills of an amusement park, opens with a reception tonight. BO 7-11 p.m. Show continues through Sept. 24. 206 S. Highland Ave., Shadyside. 412-363-5050 

 

Sun., Sept. 4 -- Outdoors

Somehow, in the countless years before the invention of agriculture, humankind survived by relying on the natural bounty of the earth. The Outdoor Classroom, an education center at Boyce Mayview Park, in Upper St. Clair, would like to teach you a little about how they did it. Today, the Classroom offers the Talk-and-Walk program Fall Edibles, which shows participants the cornucopia of treats to be found in our own backyards. After a presentation with samples of the edibles, attendees will take a walk in the woods to identify snacks in their natural environment. BS 2-4 p.m. 1531 Mayview Rd., Upper St. Clair. $8 (registration is requested). www.theoutdoorclassroomPA.org

 

Wed., Sept. 7 -- Call for Artists

The Irma Freeman Center for Imagination has titled its next show Pittsburgh by Pittsburgh Artists. The juried group show permits each artist to enter up to three pieces of "art or artifacts" that are either found/collected or created. All forms of media, from audio to prints to found objects, are acceptable, but be aware that the curator seeks "a unique perspective of Pittsburgh" -- i.e., not Downtown skylines. (Instead, think neighborhoods and local history.) Each artwork carries a $15 entry fee, and the deadline for submission is 5 p.m. on Sept. 17 -- 10 days from today. For complete guidelines, see www.irmafreeman.com. BO 5006 Penn Ave., Friendship. 

 

Thu., Sept. 8 -- Bikes

Does your bike make funny sounds when you ride it? Can you fix a flat? BikeFest is over, but Pittsburgh's thriving bike culture still provides plenty of opportunities to learn. Take tonight's Basic Bike Maintenance Workshop. The informal class is taught by Caroline Savery, a bicycle-mechanics instructor for Free Ride, the DIY recycled-bike collective. Learn chain cleaning and maintenance, how to reuse good parts and make old parts last, and more. The event, in Bloomfield, is BYO Bike, but other materials will be provided. BO 7-10 p.m. 412 S. Winebiddle St., Bloomfield. Free, donations welcome. www.facebook.com/SustEnable

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