Short List: April 7 - 13 | This Week's Top Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: April 7 - 13

Sean Dorsey Dance at the Kelly-Strayhorn; The Flick at The REP; new art by Jesse Best; Josh Fox screens his new film

SPOTLIGHT: Fri., April 8 — Dance

San Francisco-based Sean Dorsey Dance returns to the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater April 8 and 9 with The Missing Generation (2015), the third in a trilogy of works exploring our contemporary relationships to censored, buried or forgotten parts of LGBT history. For the 65-minute work set to an award-winning sound score, Sean Dorsey, the nation’s first out transgender modern-dance choreographer, collected 75 hours of oral histories of transgender, gay, bisexual, lesbian and queer people across the United States who lived through the 1980s and ’90s AIDS epidemic. Like the trilogy’s second work, The Secret History of Love (which KST presented in 2014), The Missing Generation is by turns a heartbreaking and humorous collection of stories expressed in carefully crafted movement that respects the weight of the subject matter while being thoroughly engaging. “During the early epidemic, we lost part of an entire generation of gay, bi and transgender people,” says Dorsey. “Our culture has forgotten the early epidemic’s survivors … another forgotten generation … I wanted to bring heart and voice and attention to these ‘missing generations,’ and bring some of their remarkable stories forward.” The performances are part of a 20-city North American tour and cap the company’s week-long residency at KST. Steve Sucato 8 p.m. Fri., April 8, and 8 p.m. Sat., April 9. 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty. Admission is pay-what-makes-you-happy. 412-363-3000 or

Thu., April 7 — Convention

A four-day convention brings Japanese anime, gaming, fashion and music to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center for “Tekko 2016 Week,” so deemed by Mayor Bill Peduto. Beside mainstays like the artists’ alley and cosplay contests, this year’s Tekko includes The Escape Room, a gaming experience in a confined environment, and appearances by voice actors like Matt Mercer, all courtesy of The Pittsburgh Japanese Culture Society. Some 7,500 attendees are expected at the region’s premiere Japanese-culture event. Courtney Linder 5-9 p.m. Continues daily through Sun., April 10. 1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd., Downtown. $25-50 (children under 6 free). 866-767-9708 or

click to enlarge Short List: April 7 - 13
Photo courtesy of Jeff Swensen

Thu., April 7 — Stage

If you like plays that won Pulitzers, or plays by Annie Baker (Circle Mirror Transformation), you’re in luck: The REP, Point Park University’s professional theater company, stages the Pittsburgh premiere of The Flick. Baker’s comedy about three employees of a rundown Massachusetts moviehouse won the Pulitzer in 2015. REP favorite Robert A. Miller directs a cast including John Steffenauer, Saladin White II and Sarah Silk. The first performance at the Pittsburgh Playhouse’s Studio Theatre is tonight. Bill  O’Driscoll 8 p.m. Continues through April 24. 222 Craft Ave., Oakland. $10-29. 412-392-8000 or

Thu., April 7 — Comedy

Chris Porter unleashes comic rage on consumer products made for “stupid people”: “Coors Light doesn’t think you can tell how cold your beer is! ‘Is this cold? Jimmy, get over here — I can’t feel feelings.’ If you stop feeling temperature,” Porter concludes, “no more beer.” The nationally touring comic’s six-show stand at Pittsburgh Improv begins tonight. BO 8 p.m. Continues through Sun., April 10. 166 E. Bridge St., The Waterfront, West Homestead. $15-17. 412-462-5233 or

Fri., April 8 — Talk

Imagine wandering around a bar, drink in hand, and being approached by an effervescent history expert, eager to explain your city’s past. Tonight, Pittsburgh’s bicentennial brings four historians together to break down the Steel City’s history into digestible tidbits. Professor Buzzkill, a.k.a. Joseph Coohill, is an expert on modern Britain and Ireland who has hosted his own podcast for the past year. To celebrate, he brings his knowledge to Wigle Whiskey for History Happy Hour, a monthly series of events citywide. CL 5 p.m. 2401 Smallman St., Strip District. Free. 484-894-3221 

Fri., April 8 — Art

Tap-dancing and text-messaging might not seem to have anything in common, but to Jeremy Czarniak, the two coalesce in an organic if experimental way. His new audio-visual brainchild, Soundscapes, allows audience members to send text messages to performers who then transform the texts into an original tap dance. Czarniak, a Pittsburgh-based director, choreographer, instructor and performer, presents Soundscapes as part of Future Tenant’s Trespass: Artist Residencies series. CL 7 p.m. Also 7 p.m. Sat., April 9. 819 Penn Ave., Downtown. Free. [email protected] or

Fri., April 8 — Words

You’ve probably never heard of baseball’s Players League. But in its lone season, 1890, with athletes sharing team ownership, it became the only player-led challenge ever to a major pro-sports league. Now Robert B. Ross, a professor at Point Park University, has written The Great Baseball Revolt (University of Nebraska Press), an account of this landmark labor uprising. Ross launches his book tonight in Pittsburgh — home to the Burghers, one of the eight Players League clubs — and more specifically at the always-sporting East End Book Exchange. BO 7 p.m. 4754 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Free.

click to enlarge Short List: April 7 - 13
Art by Jesse Best

Fri., April 8 — Art

In the eyes of mixed-media artist Jesse Best, wood was created for spray paint, acrylic and resin. Controlled Chaos, a series of 26 pieces, houses some of the local artist’s newest work: For instance, “1979,” nearly 6 feet tall, reflects the universe and its infinite mass through smears of aquamarine, violet and orange in the foreground, set against a twinkling black background. Curated by Pittsburgh-based curator Jeffrey Jarzynka, the exhibit’s opening reception will take place at the Mine Factory, in Point Breeze. CL 7 p.m. Show continues through April 23. 201 N. Braddock Ave., Point Breeze. Free. 412-951-5788

Sat., April 9 — Stage

At the U.S. Open semifinals, Russian tennis phenom Sergei Sergeyev faces off against his famed American opponent, Tim Porter, with their romantic partners on the sidelines. It sounds like a gripping ESPN program, but it’s Anna Ziegler’s visceral play The Last MatchZiegler has been called a “fast-rising dramatist” by The New York Times; Last Match world-premiered in London in January. Discover a world of competition and sacrifice on and off the court at City Theatre’s Lester Hamburg Studio for the first performance of this Pittsburgh-premiere production, tonight. CL 5:30 p.m. Continues through May 15. 1300 Bingham St., South Side. $15-56. 412-431-2489 or

Sat., April 9 — Words

“If I could reach you, / I’d give you a home / your own bedroom, a bus stop. / But we both know it’d be easier / to give you the moon.” “Watching Yulia Dance” is one of the poems in Kelly Scarff’s new chapbook, Mother Russia (Kattywompus Press). The poems were inspired by Scarff’s 2006 missionary trip to a Russian orphanage. Mother Russia gets its book launch tonight, at Biddle’s Escape coffeehouse, where Scarff reads with Stephanie Brea, Lori Jakiela, Meghan Tutolo and Judith Vollmer. BO 7 p.m. 401 Biddle Ave., Wilkinsburg. $5.

Sat., April 9 — Music

Maysa has a distinctively rich, husky voice and the résumé to go with it: a stint in Stevie Wonder’s vocal group Wonderlove; former lead singer for Incognito; 12 solo albums; a Soul Train Music Award. Tonight, the Baltimore-born vocalist brings her jazz-plus-R&B stylings — and selections from her new album, Back 2 Love — to the August Wilson Center as part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Soul Sessions series. BO 8 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $41.25. 412-456-6666 or

Wed., April 13 — Screen

Josh Fox’s 2010 documentary Gasland helped spark (shall we say) the anti-fracking movement. The indie filmmaker and activist’s latest takes on an even bigger topic. How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change explores how human-induced climate change is already harming the planet — and what some humans around said planet are doing to slow it down and adapt. Thanks to groups including Pittsburgh350 and the Sierra Club, Fox brings his 100-city tour to Carnegie Lecture Hall tonight for the film’s Pittsburgh premiere. A Q&A with Fox follows. BO 7 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free; donations appreciated. Tickets required at

Wed., April 13 — Words

Ike, a desperate New York City cab driver whose heavy accent keeps him out of the business world, hatches a plan to steal an ancient statue of a war deity and sell it to an art gallery. So begins Nigerian-born novelist Okey Ndibe’s Foreign Gods, Inc., which The New York Times called “razor sharp.” Ndibe, currently a Black Mountain Institute fellow at the University of Las Vegas, will read from his book tonight, at City of Asylum. The reception includes a Q&A and dessert. CL 7 p.m. 330 Sampsonia Way, North Side. Free with reservation: 412-323-0278 or

Pride Block Party in Bloomfield
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Pride Block Party in Bloomfield

By Mars Johnson