Short List: Week of September 15 - 22 

click to enlarge Art by Transformazium
  • Art by Transformazium

September means Giant Art Weeks, but this weekend you can almost get your fill at two venues alone, as The Andy Warhol Museum and the Miller Gallery open their sections of the Pittsburgh Biennial. On Sept. 16, the Miller offers five new collaborative installations that "imagine alternative realities and possible futures." The exhibit, curated by gallery director Astria Suparak, includes: a work in which Transformazium collective artists and gallery visitors do "green demolition" by cleaning bricks from a condemned building near the artists' North Braddock home; the Justseeds printmakers' cooperative reinventing billboard culture; and the subRosa collective speculating on how feminism could affect science. On Sept. 17, the Warhol honors Pittsburgh women artists from Gertrude Stein to Martha Graham with Pittsburgh Biennial -- Gertrude's/LOT. The exhibit, curated by Warhol director Eric Shiner, features work by 22 contemporary locals including Kim Beck, Patricia Bellan-Gillen, T. Foley, Vanessa German, Ayanah Moor and Diane Samuels. And because there's not quite enough happening, the Sept. 17 opening reception (featuring live performances) also heralds the Warhol's other new exhibit, The Word of God: Max Gimblett The Sound of One Hand. Bill O'Driscoll Miller Gallery: 5 p.m. (exhibition tour) and 6-8 p.m. (reception), Fri., Sept. 16 (Carnegie Mellon University campus, Oakland; free; www.cmu.edu/millergallery). Warhol: 3 p.m. Sat., Sept. 17 reception (117 Sandusky St., North Side; free with museum admission; 412-237-8300).


Thu., Sept. 15 -- Opera

The Microscopic Opera Company opens its third season by paying homage to a culinary great and a classic children's book. The troupe specializing in short, contemporary operas offers Lee Hoiby's "Bon Apetit," featuring WQED's Anna Singer as Julia Child, baking you a chocolate cake. Then comes "Fantastic Mr. Fox." Tobias Picker's 70-minute work employs 16 singers to summon Roald Dahl's anthropomorphic meadow-dwellers, including the rapscallion hero. Artistic director Andres Cladera says the challenging score is full of extreme high and low notes. The evening features a seven-piece orchestra. Bill O'Driscoll 7:30 p.m. Continues through Sun., Sept. 18. Hillman Center for Performing Arts, 423 Fox Chapel Road, Fox Chapel. $15-25. www.microscopicopera.org


Thu., Sept. 15 -- Stage

In 2009, a young immigrant to Pittsburgh named Milton Mejia was deported to Honduras. But his story (and that of the woman he married just before he was sent away) inspired local theater artists he knew to create Camino, an unusual stage work and the first by the Hiawatha Project. Playwright and director Anya Martin juxtaposes two couples -- one middle-class, middle-aged and white, the other young, immigrant and Latino -- and explores the burgeoning world of for-profit immigration-detention centers like those Mejia encountered. The first performance is tonight. BO 8 p.m. Show continues through Sept. 24. Dance Alloy Theater, 5530 Penn Ave., Friendship. $12-20. 412-715-6968 or www.hiawathaproject.org


Thu., Sept. 15 -- Stage

On July 29, 1932, in the Hill District, three of the eight Volpe brothers were gunned down in Pittsburgh's biggest gangland slaying ever. Their racket was bootlegging, and you can relive the moment -- and what led up to it -- with "Murder, Inc.," an original radio-style drama by Matthew Adams and Bricolage artistic director Jeffrey Carpenter. Bootleggin' and Bathtub Gin, the latest installment of the troupe's Midnight Radio series, features actors Tami Dixon, Jack Erdie and Lisa Ann Goldsmith. BO 9 p.m. Show continues through Sept. 24. 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $15-25. www.webbricolage.org


Thu., Sept. 15 -- Stage

The venerable Pittsburgh New Works Festival is back. The fest offers four weeks of three different new one-act plays weekly, as produced by local companies at the Father Ryan Arts Center. Premiering tonight is the week-two program, including works by a trio of accomplished locals -- Andrew Ade, F.J. Hartland and frequent CP contributor Robert Isenberg -- as produced by the Summer Company, McKeesport Little Theater and CCAC. The festival continues for two more weekends, with new plays each week. BO 8 p.m. Week-two plays continue through Sun., Sept. 18; festival continues through Oct. 2. 420 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. $10 (season subsription: $25). 412-394-3353 or www.FatherRyanArtsCenter.org

click to enlarge Tattoo Witness
  • Tattoo Witness

Fri., Sept. 16 -- Art

Local photographer Mark Perrott is noted for documenting Pittsburgh's steel mills and Philadelphia's old Eastern Penitentiary. But another long-term Perrott project explores Rust Belt tattoo culture. The Westmoreland Museum of American Art exhibit Tattoo Witness includes 75 of his photos -- 25 large-scale black-and-white prints from 1995-2003, plus 50 to be viewed in digital projection. The show includes a story-telling kiosk for visitors to tell tales of their own tats. A free preview event is tonight. BO 7-9 p.m. Exhibit continues through Oct. 16. 221 N. Main St., Greensburg. 724-837-1500


Fri., Sept. 16 -- Dance

Dancer, choreographer and improvisation specialist Gia T. Cacalano offers another in her Gia T. Presents series. Tonight's show, Collectables, is a multimedia performance featuring Cacalano and three other dancers moving to the sounds of Jeff Berman (vibes), Dave Bernabo (electronica) and Hill Jordan (horns and iPod). Come to Space Gallery early for the wine-and-cheese mixer; stay after the show to discuss. BO 8 p.m. (7:30 p.m. reception). 812 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $15-20. 412-325-7723

click to enlarge Our Father, Who Art Blakey
  • Our Father, Who Art Blakey

Sat., Sept. 17 -- Music

The Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra opens its season with a tribute to seminal jazz drummer and Pittsburgh native Art Blakey. The wittily titled Our Father, Who Art Blakey celebrates Blakey's legacy as a bop pioneer; drummer for Billy Eckstine, Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk and more; and a mentor, through his long-running Jazz Messengers. Tonight's show features master drummers Roger Humphries, James Johnson, Cecil Brooks III and Tom Wendt. BO 8 p.m. August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. 412-258-2700

click to enlarge sl_brewhouse_37.jpg

Sat., Sept. 17 -- Art

For two decades, the Brew House was a local art hub, both as artist live/work space and as an exhibition and performance venue. After an 18-month shutdown for building-code violations, this past March the Brew House resumed hosting shows. This weekend, the gritty former South Side brewery celebrates its storied history with an Artist Alumni Exhibition. The 30-plus former residents and otherwise affiliated contributors include Rick Bach, Gabe Felice, Tim Kaulen, Aimee Manion, Keny Marshall, Bill Miller and Carin Mincemoyer. The show opens with a reception and silent auction tonight. BO 7-9 p.m. Exhibit continues through Oct. 2. 2100 Mary St., South Side. Free. 412-381-7767

click to enlarge Adam and Anthony
  • Adam and Anthony

Thu., Sept. 22 -- Stage

Broadway neo-classic Rent depicts struggling young artists amid urban indifference -- a resonant theme for devotees and casual fans. Tonight, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents original cast members Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal in Adam & Anthony -- a concert of duets from Rent, plus individual work. Rapp draws on Without You, his one-man theatrical response to the Rent phenomenon. Pascal offers a variety from his solo recording career and Broadway performances. The pair takes the stage at the Byham Theater, backed by separate bands that join for a finale. Amy Kuhre 7:30 p.m. 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $20-40. 412-456-6666 or www.pgharts.org

click to enlarge Alexandra Fuller
  • Alexandra Fuller

Thu., Sept. 22 -- Book

In her acclaimed memoir, Don't Let's Go To The Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller conveyed memories of a sharply abbreviated childhood reliant on adaptation during the Rhodesian Bush War in the 1970s. Fuller's latest memoir, Cocktail Hour Under The Tree of Forgetfulness, revisits her familial ties to southern Africa, through the lens of her parents' lives. Fiercely loyal and defiant, Fuller's mum, Nicola, is a portrait of passion over prudence, who maintains a motto of "death before surrender." Fuller signs books at Barnes & Noble at the Waterfront. AK 7 p.m. 100 West Bridge St., Homestead. Event free with book purchase. 412-462-5743


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