Short List: October 13 - 20 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: October 13 - 20

Thu., Oct. 13 -- Composting

The U.S. Postal Service is struggling, but compostal services are as effective as ever -- still the best way to make decay work for you. At a Backyard Composting Workshop, learn how to turn leaves, grass clippings, food scraps and more into rich soil while keeping them out of landfills. The Pennsylvania Resources Council and Conservation Consultants, Inc., host two separate classes this week. One's tonight, at the Green Tree Borough building, and the other is Oct. 18, at Whole Foods. Additional workshops follow at other locations through early November. Bill O'Driscoll 6:30-8 p.m. (10 W. Manila Ave., Green Tree). Also 6:30-8 p.m. Tue., Oct. 18 (Whole Foods, 5880  Centre Ave., East Liberty). $50 ($55 per couple). 412-488-7490


Thu., Oct. 13 -- Activism

Building Change -- A Convergence for Social Justice means that some 1,700 students, teachers, grassroots organizers, human-service workers and more are meeting to figure out how to tackle social, economic and environmental issues in their communities. The three-day series of talks and workshops at the Sen. John Heinz Regional History Center is organized by the Three Rivers Community Foundation. The keynote speaker, talking tonight, is Winona LaDuke, the famed Native American author, activist and former Ralph Nader running mate. BO 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m. (Duke speaks at 6 p.m.) Also Fri., Oct. 14, and Sat., Oct. 15. 1212 Smallman St., Strip District. Daily events: $5-25; all-access: $80. 412-243-9250 or

Fri., Oct. 14 -- Stage

The Word: A House Party for Jesus might not be what you think. Brian Osborne's solo stage performance offers us "a silver-tongued, jive-talking magic man" who supplies, among other things, "a profane reflection on cosmic themes" and "a stream-of-consciousness rant set to rave-up dance music." Osborne is a stage, film and TV actor and artistic director of Philadelphia-based Elastic Theater. The Word has been performed in Philly, New York and Los Angeles; see the hour-long show's Pittsburgh premiere, at the Dance Alloy Theater space, before it hits Austin and Chicago. BO 9 p.m. Also 9 p.m. Sat., Oct. 15. 5530 Penn Ave., Friendship. $10-15. 412-363-3000

Fri., Oct. 14 -- Stage

Soiree Debauche, purveyors of the fine arts of vaudeville, burlesque and live music, bring their mid-Atlantic tour to the Rex Theater tonight. Le Soiree assembles something of an all-star cast led by Armitage Shanks, "The Carny Preacher," a singer and emcee with international credits including the London and Amsterdam burlesque festivals. The show also includes: saucy performers from Baltimore's Gilded Lily Burlesque; Mab Just Mab, of D.C.'s Cheeky Monkey Sideshow, who walks upon broken glass and is known to hammer spikes into her face; and music played on ukulele, steel drum, guitar, bass and accordion by The Slomski Family Band. BO 9 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $15.


Sat., Oct. 15 -- Stage

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning play Dinner With Friends, playwright Donald Margulies explores nuances of relationships and how couples can grow emotionally apart rather than together. City Theatre opens its season with the similarly themed Time Stands Still. Sarah and James are journalists who seek potentially life-threatening assignments; when Sarah is injured and James takes charge of her convalescence, the two must reconcile growing differences to determine the fate of their relationship. Directed by Tracy Brigden, the play has its first performance tonight. Amy Kuhre 5:30 p.m. Continues through Nov. 6. 1300 Bingham St., South Side. $15-60. 412-431-2489 or


Sat., Oct. 15 -- Opera

After her impressive Pittsburgh Opera debut as Tatiana in the 2009 production of Eugene Onegin, soprano Anna Samuil returns to the stage as Violetta in La Traviata. The Opera's 73rd season opens with Verdi's melodrama of a courtesan seeking true love over a life of superficial pleasures, but who finds she can't shake her reputation. In his local debut, tenor Giuseppe Varano plays Alfredo. Music director and conductor Antony Walker sets the tone for the first of four performances, tonight at the Benedum Center. AK 8 p.m. Also 7 p.m. Tue., Oct. 18, and Oct. 21 and 23. 719 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $10.75-200. 412-456-6666 or

Sat., Oct. 15 -- Exhibit

Offering you a chance to play museum employee for a day, Carnegie Museum of Natural History opens its new interactive exhibit, M Is For Museum. Geared toward visitors ages 5-13, the alphabetically arranged experience encourages participants to handle specimens and use microscopes to examine bones, wings, plants and shells. In C Is For Collect, learn how various specimens, including the museum's renowned fossil collection, come together for display. In P Is For Powdermill Nature Reserve, children can weigh, measure and band bird replicas. AK Noon-5 p.m. Exhibit continues through Aug. 30, 2012. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $11-15 (free for children under 3).

Tue., Oct. 18 -- Words

Artist Carolee Schneemann has pushed some boundaries. As a performance-art pioneer exploring gender, sexuality and the body, and confronting taboos, her works include 1964's "Meat Joy," a group piece involving raw fish, chickens, sausages, wet paint, plastic, rope and shredded paper. In 1975's "Interior Scroll," she stood naked to read a text she unraveled from her vagina. The multimedia artist's work, also including photography, film and installation, has been exhibited around the world, from New York to Venice. Schneemann speaks today as part of the Carnegie Mellon School of Art Fall Lecture Series. BO 5 p.m. Kresge Theater, CMU campus, Oakland. Free.


Tue., oct. 18 -- Rights

In 2006, the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the ACLU sued the Port Authority when it refused to run bus ads informing former convicts of their right to vote. This month, after years of court battles, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the ACLU. That's just one of the cases the Pittsburgh chapter marks tonight at Voices of Freedom: ACLU Clients Speak Out. Other speakers include a Latina motorist wrongfully jailed on suspicion of being undocumented and a qualified African-American man rejected as a police recruit. The community event assembles at Frick Fine Arts Building. AK 7 p.m. Schenley Drive, Oakland. Free. RSVP at 412-681-7736 or [email protected]

Thu., Oct. 20 -- Party

Pittsburgh Community Television has been a bastion of free speech, airing everything from programs sponsored by white supremacists to a drag queen who calls city council a bunch of assholes. Celebrate both the First Amendment and PCTV tonight as the public-access cable station turns 25. Its anniversary party will be held at the New Hazlett Theater. Highlights include local filmmaker Carl Cimini presenting his new documentary about PCTV, as well as performances from jazz singer Jessica Lee and gospel singer Stephanie Smith. Lauren Daley 7 p.m. 6 Allegheny Square, North Side. $25. 1-888-718-4253

Thu., Oct. 20 -- Art

What's a microcraft? According to Wild Card boutique, the term connotes "teeny tiny crafts" -- like, say, wee small teddy bears. The new Quirk Books how-to publication Microcrafts is co-edited by Pittsburgh crochet master Alicia Kachmar, with contributions by Kachmar and fellow locals Nadia Marks Wojcik and Tamara Barker. Tonight's Microcraft Fall Hallo-Witch Craft Book Release party includes DIY demos by crafters including Kachmar (who also wrote homemade-Halloween manual Witch Craft). And that event is piggybacked by the boutique's own second-anniversary bash, featuring a DJ and adult beverages. BO 5-7 p.m. (crafting); 7-9 p.m. (party). 4209 Butler St., Lawrenceville. Free. 412-224-2651 or