Short List: December 9 - 15 | This Week's Top Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: December 9 - 15

Anthony Williams’ “dansical” Loving Black; Pittsburgh has A John Waters Christmas; the return of Alaska Thunderfuck; and the Trailer Park Boys hunt down Santa

SPOTLIGHT: Thu., Dec. 10 — Dance

A lot has changed since dancer/choreographer Anthony Williams’ work-in-progress showing of Loving Black last year. Williams has enlisted the talents of actor/playwright Billy Wayne Coakley and singer-songwriter and composer Anqwenique Wingfield to transform the former multimedia dance work into a “dansical” that combines elements of dance and musical theater. The new 70-minute, adult-themed Loving Black is directed and choreographed by Williams, who also stars. It premieres Dec. 10 at the New Hazlett Theater as part of its CSA Performance Series.  What hasn’t changed is the inspiration behind Loving Black, which delves into the 28-year-old Williams’ own story and the popular perceptions of black men in society.  “We took ‘loving black’ to be literal,” says Williams. It’s the story of a character named “black” who is a young queer boy experiencing his sexuality and trying to figure out the layers of his own personality and how family, friends and society have shaped his perceptions of himself.  Performing to variously styled original music by Wingfield and others, the work’s seven cast members now act, dance and sing. Loving Black also responds to the Black Lives Matter movement and Williams’ feelings on its inclusiveness. “This is my version of [Broadway’s] In the Heights,” says Williams. Steve Sucato 8 p.m. Thu., Dec. 10. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $20-25. 412-320-4610 or

Thu., Dec. 10 — Talk

With the Paris climate talks ongoing, let’s hear from Jeremy Rifkin. The internationally known author and consultant’s latest book, The Third Industrial Revolution, explores how we can end the era of dirty, corporatized fossil fuels for an inclusive, equitable economy based on renewable energy. Tonight, Rifkin visits the Green Building Alliance’s Inspire Speakers Series with Bill Generett, CEO of Urban Innovation21, a Pittsburgh-based group that links the innovation economy to inner-city communities. Envisioning a Sustainable, Collaborative and Inclusive Economy, at the Hill House Kaufmann Center, is co-organized by p4 Pittsburgh. Bill O’Driscoll 5:30-7 p.m. 1825 Centre Ave., Hill District. $10-40. Register at

Fri., Dec. 11 — Art

Carnegie Mellon University art and design students wrap up the semester tonight with two big events. In Miller Gallery, Mind the Matter, the School of Design’s senior exhibition, showcases work by some 30 students using design to “improve the way people connect, live, work and play.” And the School of Art’s annual open studio, Danger in the Club, works a nightclub theme with open access to more than 50 artists’ studios in the College of Fine Art Building, plus art on sale, DJs and refreshments. Both events are free. BO Mind the Matter: 6-8 p.m. (exhibit continues through Dec. 13; Danger in the Club: 5-10 p.m. CMU campus, Oakland (

click to enlarge Short List: December 9 - 15
Art by Ricardo Vicente Jose Ruiz

Fri., Dec. 11 — Art

Artists Image Resources’ annual national juried print exhibition opens tonight with a reception. Printwork 2015 spotlights contemporary work by 22 artists from around the U.S., employing “innovative techniques combined with solid conceptual thinking,” according to press materials. The exhibition includes a solo show by Virginia-based, internationally exhibited Ricardo Vicente Jose Ruiz, who won the top prize at Printwork 2014. Printwork 2015 was juried by Dan Byers, a senior curator at ICA/Boston (and formerly of the Carnegie Museum of Art). BO 7-10 p.m. 518 Foreland St., North Side. 412-321-8664 or

Fri., Dec. 11 — Talk

You might have a love/hate relationship with Christmas, but you’ve probably got nothing on John Waters. The legendary cult filmmaker and apostle of bad taste is taken with the inevitability of what he calls Christmas “trauma.” He confronts it at home through strategies including decorating Christmas balls with ugly pictures of relatives and Yuling up his electric chair from Female Trouble. The writer and naughty wit shares his coping mechanisms and more in his one-man show A John Waters Christmas: Holier & Dirtier. The national tour hits the Carnegie Music Hall tonight, courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum. Bill O’Driscoll 8 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $20-25. 412-237-8300 or

Fri., Dec. 11 — Music

As it often does, the Pittsburgh Camerata goes way back for this year’s holiday concert. The professional chamber choir’s A Celtic Christmas Carol features the so-called O Antiphons — church music sung at Vespers during Advent since at least the eighth century. The concert, programmed by artistic director Rebecca Rollett, also includes traditional and contemporary hymns and carols from Scotland, Ireland and Wales. The first of three performances at three different area churches is tonight, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, in Highland Park. BO 8 p.m. Also 3 p.m. Sun., Dec. 13 (Sixth Presbyterian Church, Squirrel Hill) and 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 19 (Mount Lebanon Lutheran Church). $5-25. 412-421-5884 or

Fri., Dec. 11 — talk

A few weeks ago, comedian and pundit John McIntire announced the theme of his next John McIntire Dangerously Live Comedy/Talk Show as “Happy Holidays — The World’s on Fire,” and things haven’t exactly gotten saner since. But if you’re looking for laughs, and maybe some insights, tonight’s panel — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cartoonist Rob Rogers, the ACLU’s Vic Walczak and Doug Saltzman, formerly a staffer for U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter — might be of service at the Oaks Theater. BO 8 p.m. 310 Allegheny River Blvd., Oakmont. $15-18. 412-828-6322 or 

Fri., Dec. 11 — Drag

Since competing on RuPaul’s Drag Race, in 2013, the formerly Pittsburgh-based Alaska Thunderfuck has turned to music, with notable success. Her debut album, 2015’s Anus (Sidecar Records), spawned club hits including “Your Makeup Is Terrible!” and “This Is My Hair!” Alaska’s international tour brings her to Cruze Bar courtesy of the Pittsburgh Bro Club. Not on Xmas! Alaska Thunderfuck 5000’s Honey-Baked Anus! features such guest queens as Cherri Baum, Amy Vodkahaus, Kitty Klottsalot, and Karmageddon, plus DJs Edgar Um and DJ Dad Time. BO 9 p.m.-2 a.m. 1600 Smallman St., Strip District. $12-15 ($25 VIP).

click to enlarge Short List: December 9 - 15
Art by Gwyneth Scally

Fri., Dec. 11 — Art

Hollywood Westerns, survey photographs, miniature paintings and more — it’s all fodder for the artists in The Mountain and the Bumblebee. For the new exhibit at SPACE gallery, curator Chris McGinnis chose work by contemporary artists and poets who tackle our accepted ideas about landscape. The show features contributions from more than a dozen artists, working in media including photography, sculpture, painting, digital media and poetic verse. BO 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Exhibit continues through Jan. 24. 812 Liberty Ave., Downtown. 412-325-7723 or

Sat., Dec. 12 — Food

Go (or stay) vegan for the holidays at tonight’s Pittsburgh Vegan Festival Holiday Ball. This evening of vegan food and desserts from various purveyors includes sales of vegan holiday-grocery items (like cookie dough and cashew cream). Non-food attractions include Indian and Middle Eastern dance performances; holiday shopping; and a fancy-dress dance party with a best-dressed-pair contest. It all takes place at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the North Hills. BO 6-9 p.m. 2359 W. Ingomar Road, Franklin Park. $15 ($20 after Dec. 10); $10 for ages 11-16; free for kids under 10. 412-897-0809 or

Mon., Dec. 14 — Comedy

Trailer Park Boys, a brilliantly funny TV mockumentary series, has seen major cult and mainstream success since its inception in 2001. Set in a Nova Scotia trailer park, the show (now on Netflix) follows the misadventures both in and out of jail of best friends Julian, Ricky and Bubbles. After 10 seasons of living lives of petty crime and two-bit schemes on screen, the boys have hit the stage. The Dear Santa Claus: Go Fuck Yourself Tour, which follows Ricky’s quest to meet the “real” Santa, lands at the Benedum Center tonight. Celine Roberts 8 p.m. 237 Seventh St., Downtown. $32.25-60.25. 412-456-6666 or

Tue., Dec. 15 — Activism

It’s not every day you see an event promoted with a photograph of three dreidls reading, respectively, “Support Refugees,” “Confront Islamophobia” and “Deep Fry.” But that’s Love Thy Neighbor: A Post-Hanukah Action Party. This Jewish Voice for Peace — Pittsburgh event, at BOOM Concepts, is a fundraiser that includes, indeed, a dreidl game, banner-making and a deep-fryer station that is, considerately, both pork- and shellfish-free. BO 7-9 p.m. 5139 Penn Ave., Garfield. Free.

Pride Block Party in Bloomfield
16 images

Pride Block Party in Bloomfield

By Mars Johnson