Short List: June 26-July 4 | This Week's Top Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: June 26-July 4

FREE EVENT: Thu., June 27 — Your Rights

News cycles lately have been dominated by stories of the feds encroaching on our privacy. But the ACLU of Pennsylvania' s Greater Pittsburgh Chapter reminds us that we, the people, can demand access, too. On Thu., June 27, at the Homewood branch of the Carnegie Library, the ACLU presents YOUR Right to Know, a workshop on Pennsylvania' s Open Records Law. The law (revised in 2008) allows citizens to file a free right-to-know request to make sure that public but otherwise hidden information is exposed to the light of day, says ACLU community organizer Ngani Ndimbie. In 2010, the law was used to uncover documents from the state' s Office of Homeland Security and the Pennsylvania State Police that demonstrated that a government anti-terrorism contractor was improperly targeting an anti-fracking group as a terrorist organization. It has allowed the ACLU to learn that, despite the city' s large Latino population, Allentown, Pa.' s police force had just two fluent Spanish-speakers. The ACLU has also used the law to uncover reproductive-health policies in jails, and to help scuttle a planned private immigrant-detention center in Northeast Pennsylvania by revealing connections between developers and municipal authorities. The 90-minute June 27 workshop is presented by ACLU staff attorney Sara Rose. Bill O' Driscoll 7 p.m. Thu., June 27. Carnegie Library of Homewood, 7101 Hamilton Ave., Homewood. Free. RSVP at 412-681-7736 x322, or [email protected].

Short List: June 26-July 4
Photo courtesy of Cryss Stephens

Fri., June 28 — Games

This weekend, at North Vandergrift' s Slovak Club, more than 30 pinball machines will light up and ding with the din of competition. The Pittsburgh Pinball Open 4 offers a main competition, a women' s tournament and two classic tourneys featuring machines made before 1990. Those who haven' t played since the ' 90s can try out designated noncompetitive machines. But competitors, leave your quarters at home: Registration costs $5, and the entry fees are $5-10. Watching is free. Olivia Lammel Noon-1 a.m. Also Sat., Jun. 29, and Sun., Jun. 30. 1214 Lincoln St., North Vandergrift. [email protected] or 

Fri., June 28 — Art

For six months, seven Pittsburgh-based visual artists have shared a studio at the Brew House. Alexis Roberto, Cara Livorio, Crystala Armagost, Josh Mitchel, Elizabeth Brophy, Kate Hansen and Terrence M. Boyd are the artists supported by this year' s Distillery 7 Program. Their styles vary, but collaboration, critiques and lectures bolster this Brew House Association program. Their creations are showcased in Seven Degrees of 7, an exhibit whose opening reception is tonight. OL 7 p.m. Exhibit continues through Aug. 28. 2100 Mary St., South Side. Free. 814-279-2261 or 

Short List: June 26-July 4
Amy Shumer

Fri., June 28 — Comedy

Guesting on Letterman, Amy Shumer shared observations from her recent tour: Women in Miami resemble exotic birds; men in Philly are beautiful meatheads. Tonight, perhaps this Comedy Central It Girl will opine on Pittsburghers when she stops by the Byham Theater to headline the Second Annual WDVE Comedy Fest. On Shumer' s new series, Inside Amy Shumer, she tackles the nuances of sexting and tries a testicle-themed restaurant. The fest also features Matt Braunger, Iliza Shlesinger, Chris Porter and local talent Bill Crawford. OL 8 p.m. Byham Theater, 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $50. 412-456-6666 or 

Fri., June 28 — Words

Last year, Ron Tanner visited with From Animal House to Our House, his book about he and his wife turning a wrecked Victorian brownstone in Baltimore — a former frathouse — into a home and DIY showcase. With the paperback just out, and the couple running, Tanner returns to explain "7 Mistakes You Don' t Want to Make in Your Old House." (Old-house owners reply, "Just seven?") Appropriately, the free event is hosted by Preservation Pittsburgh, and takes place at salvaged-supplies headquarters Construction Junction. Bill O' Driscoll 6:30 p.m. 214 N. Lexington, Point Breeze. Free. 

Fri., June 28 — Comedy

In the 1970s, breakout comedian Gilda Radner was among the few women in the field. The first performer cast for the original Saturday Night Live, she' s remembered for creating wacky characters like news commentator Roseanne Roseannadanna ("It' s always something!"). Radner died in 1989, at age 42, from ovarian cancer. But her legacy isn' t just Gilda' s Club, the network of cancer support centers; it' s laughs, too. Tonight — on Radner' s birthday — Arcade Comedy Theater presents Always Gilda, an all-female, two-show comedy event. "All women in comedy owe a debt to Ms. Radner," says Arcade co-founder Abby Fudor. Performers include: improv troupe Frankly Scarlett; Missy Moreno; and two cancer-survivor/comics, Linda Duty and Jennie Bushnell. There' s music by the band Carmelia Road, and the 10 p.m. set is headlined by local favorite Gab Bonesso. All proceeds, naturally, benefit Gilda' s Club of Western Pennsylvania. BO 8 and 10 p.m. 811 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $20. 412-339-0608 or

Short List: June 26-July 4
Art by Carolyn Pierotti.

Sat., June 29 — Art

Just two weeks ago, artist Mia Henry hosted the opening party for the Mine Factory, a gallery and studio in a former Point Breeze industrial building. Today, the Mine Factory welcomes the public to the Pittsburgh Society of Artists' third annual Art Day With PSA. Members will decorate the space with their work, photographs, jewelry, paintings and mixed-media pieces, for perusal and purchase. Art-making demos are planned, and the day will be punctuated with live music performances, including one by folk duo South Wind. OL 10 a.m. 201 N. Braddock Ave., Point Breeze. Free.

Sat., June 29 — Mud

Looking to celebrate International Mud Day? The Children' s Museum is launching We Can! Day. This "mucky, messy fun time for children of all ages" lets you play in a bubbling mud pit, make mud paintings and clay art, and sample mud-themed foods. (Really.) Dance and fitness activities include lessons in the Brazilian martial art/dance capoeira. We Can is cosponsored by UPMC Health Plan to encourage kids to eat better and move around more. BO 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 1 Children' s Way, North Side. 412-322-5058 or

Short List: June 26-July 4
Art by Joshua Hogan

Sat., June 29 — Art 

Delicate shapes — some suggestive of blossoms — and earthily vibrant colors mark the abstract paintings in The Way and the Wayfarers. It' s an exhibition of new work by locally based artist Joshua Hogan, all inspired by "On Crime and Punishment," an essay from spiritual writer Khalil Gibran' s classic The Prophet. The show' s opening reception is today at Boxheart Gallery, the venue Hogan and his wife, Nicole Capozzi, founded 15 years ago. BO 5-8 p.m. Exhibit continues through July 20. 4523 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. 412-687-8858 or

Sat., June 29 — Words

Lori Jakiela' s writing is both nuanced and Hemingway-blunt, her stories universal but her details particular (and often hilarious). Her new memoir, The Bridge to Take When Things Get Serious (Illumis), tells about the difficult stretch after she returned home to Pittsburgh to take care of her terminally ill mother. Today, East End Book Exchange hosts a dual book-release party for Bridge and The Slaughterhouse Poems. The latter is the new collection by Jakiela' s husband, Dave Newman, who' s also both direct and sly. His poem "Bar Dreams" goes: "A man who drank Bud drafts at the Irwin Hotel / said / in all sad seriousness / ‘Kid, I ought to buy me a bar' / then mooched a dollar bill from my pile." BO 7:30 p.m. 4754 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Free.

Sat., June 29 — Music

Reset List bills itself as "an improvised rock ' n' roll extravaganza with songs so new they haven' t been written yet."That's because this two-member troupe starts with song titles suggested by the audience and then improvises a complete rock concert, including lyrics, harmonies and dance breaks. Formed in 2009, the group is big in its hometown of Chicago and have played New York. Tonight, Reset List does two shows at Arcade Comedy Theater. Hint: Don' t yell for "Illiterate Tadpoles" or "Rhinestones on the Back of My Belt"; those titles have already been taken. BO 8 and 10 p.m. 811 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $5-10. 412-339-0608 or

Thu., July 4 — Outdoors

Venture Outdoors offers an active take on a Fourth of July tradition. For those bored with the classic fireworks-viewing rituals (hot dogs, beer, lawn chairs), the group leads a leisurely pre-fireworks paddle upstream to watch the sunset. As the night sky settles in, float down to the Point and claim front-row seats to the sparkly action. The Fourth of July Paddle, which is a fundraiser for VO, requires some paddling experience. Participants under age 12 must partner up in a two-seated kayak. OL 7 p.m. Kayak Pittsburgh, under the Clemente Bridge, North Side. $95. 412-255-0564 or