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Some Three Rivers Arts Festival final-week highlights. 

click to enlarge Stick 'em up: Getting high with Australia's Swaypoles. - Three Rivers Arts Festival - Selected Highlights - 412-281-8723 or www.artsfestival.net
  • Stick 'em up: Getting high with Australia's Swaypoles. Three Rivers Arts Festival Selected Highlights 412-281-8723 or www.artsfestival.net
  

Best of Pittsburgh 2007. The festival ends Sun., June 17, which is also the final day to see this show spotlighting some three dozen area artists working in paint, recorded sound, video, found objects and more. The exhibit, curated by Katherine Talcott, takes advantage of the airy PPG Wintergarden space with a big focus on installation work. But if you've got just 10 lunch-hour minutes to spare, we recommend the following. (1) Four knockout paintings by Brett Davis, most with some flavor of Francis Bacon; one, of a prone figure partially stripped of his orange jumpsuit, seems to reference Guantánamo Bay. (2) Jill Larson's candy-covered bed -- you can't miss it -- gives a Dada twist to sweet dreams. (3) Gordon Nelson's video installation "Bug or Slug?" -- admiring, extreme-close-up footage of tiny, crawly critters on twin monitors themselves turned insectiform -- is a brilliantly simple idea, cleanly executed. And (4) "Tip of the Iceberg: Species in solidarity against climate change" is Chris Lisowski's way of greeting you at the main entrance: A life-sized polar bear and two overgrown penguins, accompanied by an orginal children's book on global warming, might suddenly leap to life. But go 'round back, where a trap door leads you to the controls: Must be some kinda allegory about environmental responsibilities in there somewhere. Bill O'Driscoll Noon-8 p.m. daily through Sun., June 17.

Steelin' Jazz. Phil Solomon is out to demonstrate, one mallet-strike at a time, that steelpan music is more than calypso. This June 15 presentation of TRAF's Fourth River Project ought to help, as Solomon and his panPittsburgh group team with visiting steelpan artist Roy Crosse and legendary local drummer Roger Humphries and his RH Factor for a night of classic jazz, Caribbean jazz and more. Solomon's band Steel Impressions reveals yet another side of steelpan with its (non-TRAF) 7:30 p.m. Thu., June 14, concert titled "Classical Steel" -- think Mozart and Beethoven -- at CAPA, 111 Ninth St., Downtown. You can also catch Solomon and crew at TRAF's Lime: A Mixer Caribbean Style, on Sat., June 16. BO Steelin' Jazz: 8-10 p.m. Fri., June 15. Lime: 8-10 p.m. Sat., June 16. Both concerts at 121 Seventh St., Sixth Floor. Each show is $5.

Swaypoles. You needn't be a mile high to find love and seduction in the air. Balancing atop 12-foot poles, Australian troupe Swaypoles present "Swoon!," a romantic comedy combining dance, theater and circus. This breathless, 20-minute ride through a larger-than-life character's ups and downs features bright costumes and an eclectic mix of music. Since their first performance, in 1994, the Aussie daredevils have traveled the world, dazzling crowds with their athletic maneuvers and playful storytelling. Brendan Purves 12:30 and 5 p.m. daily Thu., June 14, and Fri., June 15 (PPG Place, Downtown). Also 12:30, 2 and 3:30 p.m. daily Sat., June 16, and Sun., June 17 (Stanwix Plaza, Downtown). Free. 412-281-8723 or www.artsfestival.org.

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