Short List: January 16 - 22 | This Week's Top Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: January 16 - 22

Martin Luther King Jr. photographed by Marion S. Trikosko, 1964
Martin Luther King Jr. photographed by Marion S. Trikosko, 1964

Main Event: Celebration

At free events marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day, live King's legacy by doing everything from questioning war to building community and celebrating the arts. During Sat., Jan. 19's Martin Luther King Jr. Public Forum, discuss "The Cost of the War and the African-American Community" with a distinguished panel led by talk-show host Chris Moore; the Black Voices for Peace program takes place at 3 p.m. at Carnegie Library's East Liberty Branch ([email protected]). Also on Jan. 19, hear the first of two Let Freedom Sing! concerts featuring The Pittsburgh Gospel Choir, city and suburban high school and church choirs, spoken-word artist Vanessa German and more (412-512-0589). The programs begin at 7 p.m. Sat., Jan. 19 (Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, East Liberty) and 7 p.m. Mon., Jan. 21 (Franklin Regional High School, Murrysville). On King Day itself (Jan. 21), spend the afternoon at East Liberty Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater; the noon-4 p.m. program features live music and dance by the August Wilson Dance Ensemble and other groups, plus hands-on arts stuff and more (412-363-3000). Afterward, right around the corner, the Union Project holds its annual King Day festivities at East Liberty's Eastminster Presbyterian Church. From 4-7 p.m., enjoy a community meal and an evening of fellowship, including storytelling for families ( Bill O'Driscoll

Thu., Jan. 17 — Exhibit

Certain nights, Carnegie Science Center offers to watch the kids while the parents have a night out. Tonight, though, it's all about the parents — or any other adult. The Center's 21+Sports is a no-kids night for visitors to enjoy such Highmark SportsWorks attractions as the 25-foot rock wall, the bungee-harnessed trampoline and the rollercoaster simulator. You can also roam the Center's four floors and exhibits like SeaScape. Plus there's live music and a cash bar. Very adult. Bill O'Driscoll 6-10 p.m. One Allegheny Ave., North Side. $10-15. 412-237-3400 or

Fri., Jan. 18 — Exhibit

Busy weekend at the Children's Museum. Today through Monday, visit the Makeshop to create your own DIY clock (with an $8 kit and help from a Makeshop instructor). Starting Saturday, and every weekend through January, build a "glow tree" — a sculpture of twigs and copper wire that sparkles purple and green thanks to a vacuum chamber. This Saturday and Sunday only, at 1 p.m. daily, watch scenes from visiting Enchantment Theatre Company's production of The Velveteen Rabbit. (The full show's on stage at The Hillman Center for Performing Arts on Saturday night.). And Monday, look for Martin Luther King Jr. Day programming, including storytelling by actor Greg Kenney. BO Museum hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 1 Children's Way, North Side. $12-13 (children under 2 free). 412-322-5058 or

Fri., Jan. 18 — Words

Novelist Sarah Dessen has published 10 young adult novels, two of which were adapted into the 2003 teen drama How to Deal. Her latest novel, What Happened to Goodbye, hits stores in paperback later this year. As part of the 12th season of Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures and Carnegie Library's series Black, White & Read All Over, Dessen speaks tonight at the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall. The event also features an audience Q&A, live music, book-signing and snacks. Jeff Ihaza 7 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave, Oakland. $15 (or two for $25 online). 412-622-8866 or

Sat., Jan. 19 — Art

"Creativity is sort of insanity," opines Tim Fabian in a press release. "My work then is my insane need to play coupled with a socially appropriate outlet." Now photographer Fabian has invited some playmates to join in his first curatorial venture, Play. It's a group show at Millvale's Panza Gallery highlighting artists and photographers whose work exhibits evidence of play. The exhibit spotlights such local names as Sue Abramson, David Grim, George Kollar, Mark Panza and William Wade. The opening reception is tonight. BO 6 p.m. Show continues through Feb. 16. 115 Sedgwick St., Millvale. Free. 412-821-0959 or

Sat., Jan. 19  - Stage

Paying for abuse? That might seem the dynamic in Seminar. The 2011 Broadway comedy concerns four aspiring young writers who've purchased spots in an Upper West Side writing seminar with a famous author named Leonard, only to hear him label their work "a soul-sucking waste of words," among other blandishments. But there's more to this critically favored play by Theresa Rebeck, best known for creating the NBC drama Smash. (Her plays include Bad Dates and Mauritius.) In City Theatre's production, Leonard is played by Daniel Gerroll, an acclaimed British actor who had a big role in the film Chariots of Fire. The production, directed by Tracy Brigden, also features longtime City favorite Rebecca Harris. Tonight begins a week of preview performances; opening night is Jan. 25. BO 5:30 p.m. Continues through Feb. 10. 1300 Bingham St., South Side. $15-55. 412-431-2489 or

Sat., Jan. 19 — Words

"Having no interest in mainstream masculine activities such as sports, sports-watching, finance or alcoholism, I've had to distinguish myself through other means," writes David Matthews. "I have a postcard collection, a menagerie of anthropomorphic coconuts, and a compulsion to channel my sarcastic tendencies in a socially-acceptable way by writing." As in the introduction to his debut story collection, Meltdown in the Cereal Aisle — and with story titles like "Putting the Bi into Bicentennial" — Matthews' wields a droll, left-of-center sensibility. A fixture on the local arts scene, he's known for his publicly posted personal-ad flyers seeking romance. Tonight's launch for his self-published book will be filmed by Julie Sokolow for her documentary Aspie Seeks Love, about Matthews' late-in-life Asperger's syndrome diagnosis. Also: readings by Matthews and award-winning Chicago-based writer Erika Mikkalo. BO 7 p.m. Awesome Books,  929 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Free.

Sun., Jan. 20 — Stage

Harmontown, the fictional universe led by Dan Harmon, is a magical place. Harmon writes for NBC's Community; he and fellow comedian and co-host Jeff Davis blend the mundane and the hilarious in this often-confessional weekly podcast. The show's growing number of devoted fans — Harmonites — has led the pair to share their universe with the masses via the touring Harmontown Live Podcast Show that makes its way to the New Hazlett Theater tonight. JI 7 p.m. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $20. 412-320-4610 or

Sun., Jan. 20 — Music

Renowned Croatian vocal group Klapa Cambi visits with a rare offering. The group's klapa music is a form of a cappella singing dating to the 1800s, derived from liturgical styles but still part of the country's contemporary culture. (Some klapa tunes celebrate, for instance, wine.) The nine-man group's Sound of Dalmatia tour hits just five U.S. cities — all in the company of Pittsburgh's own Jerry Grcevich Tamburitza Orchestra. The show's at the Byham Theater tonight. BO 7:30 p.m. 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $31.25-45.25. 412-456-6666 or

Tue., Jan. 22 — Comedy

For those who don't find the upstairs at Brillobox quite intimate enough, may we recommend The Great American Blanket Fort/Blanket Drive Comedy Show? Comedian Gab Bonesso combines her desire to help homeless folks with her love of blanket forts. Donate a blanket for this structure, which will shelter the audience as it watches performers like Bonesso, Josh Verbanets, Chrissy Costa and John McIntire. No word on whether hot chocolate will be served. BO 7 p.m. fort construction; 8:23 p.m. show. 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. Cost: one or more blankets. 412-621-4900

Thu., Jan. 24 — Screen

The makers of bicycling-adventure documentary Ride the Divide return with Reveal the Path. The new one spans the globe, as top mountain-bikers including Ride the Divide star Matthew Lee take 36 days to navigate terrain from Alaskan coastal beaches to Nepal's mountains and the Moroccan high desert, connecting with local residents along the way. The film's director, Mike Dion, co-stars. The one-night Pittsburgh-premiere screening, at SouthSide Works Cinemas, benefits advocacy group BikePGH. BO 7 p.m. South Side. $10-15.