Short List: October 29 - November 5 | This Week's Top Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: October 29 - November 5

The Carnegie's giant Duane Michals retrospective; Geeksdanz goes All Souls Day; Microscopic Opera does Frida Kahlo; and Flood Tide film premieres

MAIN EVENT: Sat., Nov. 1 — Art

In the 1960s, when Duane Michals was emerging as a photographer, the medium was essentially reality-based, from Ansel Adams' epic landscapes to the street shooting of Garry Winogrand. What Michals started doing — telling made-up stories like "Death Comes to the Old Lady" in serial images, often with double- and triple exposures, and hand-inscribed with titles or poems — simply wasn't done, says Linda Benedict-Jones: "Everything he did went against the grain." Benedict-Jones, the Carnegie Museum of Art's curator of photography, has organized the McKeesport-born, New York-based pioneer's largest show ever. The retrospective Storyteller: The Photographs of Duane Michals is the world-renowned artist's first major North American museum exhibition since 1998. The exhibit, drawn from the Carnegie's own vast collection of Michals' work and from museums internationally, goes beyond his groundbreaking 1970s works (like the accompanying 1972 self-portrait). It also includes his commercial images, ranging from ad spreads and celebrity portraiture to the album cover for The Police's Synchonicity (or rather, covers: There were 36 variations, and the museum is asking patrons whether they own any of the seven the museum lacks.) Storyteller even includes previously unexhibited painting-on-photography works. A companion exhibit, Duane Michals: Collector, samples the artist's eclectic private art collection. During Storyteller's run, Michals, 83, will visit for events including Nov. 1's opening-day book-signing. Bill O'Driscoll Noon-5 p.m. (Book-signing: 1-3 p.m.). Exhibit continues through Feb. 16. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $11.95-17.95. 412-622-3131 or

Short List: October 29 - November 5
Art and photo courtesy of Terra Foundation for American Art
Art by Charles Courtney Curran

Thu. Oct. 30 — Art

Henry Clay Frick would be pleased to see touring exhibition Charles Courtney Curran: Seeking the Ideal come to the Frick Art & Historical Center: Frick owned one of the American impressionist painter's early works, "Going for a Drive." The exhibit, which opens today, spans five decades of Curran's career, with 60 paintings displaying his broken brushstrokes and sunny palette. It includes "Going for a Drive," as well as Curran's famous works "Lotus Lilies" (pictured) and "On the Heights." Danielle Fox 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Exhibit continues through Feb. 1. 7227 Reynolds St., Point Breeze. Free. 412-371-0600 or

Thu., Oct. 30 — Opera

Leave the opera glasses home for contemporary chamber-opera group Microscopic Opera's intimate performance of Frida, at Chatham University's Eddy Theater. Gregory Lehane directs a staging of this 1991 account of the life of Frida Kahlo. The Washington Post called composer Robert Xavier Rodriguez's score "romantically dramatic." Argentinean mezzo-soprano Raquel Winnica Young plays the iconic Mexican painter for Microscopic, with bass-baritone Sean Donaldson as her husband, Diego Rivera. The live orchestra is guided by music director Robert Frankenberry. DF 8 p.m. Show continues through Sun., Nov. 2. Chatham University, Woodland Road, Shadyside. $15-25.

Fri., Oct. 31 — Party

Carnegie Science Center teams with craft distillery Wigle Whiskey for a 21+ Spirits and Spirits night that beats pilfering your kid's candy bag. Learn how to make Frankenstein-green slime or the perfect rum cocktail with a mixology lesson from Maggie's Farm Rum and Independent Brewing Company. Iron City Aerial will soar without brooms during an aerial silk performance, and you're encouraged to come in costume to tour the cash bar and exhibits like SpacePlace, RoboWorld and Zap! Surgery. DF 7 p.m. 1 Allegheny Ave., North Side. $10-15. 412-237-3400 or

Sat., Nov. 1 — Festival

Frolicking skeletons and gaily colored skulls help Mexico Lindo Mercado y Galeria mark its 10th Dia de los Muertos with Blood + Bones. The exhibition, including work by Mexican folk-art masters, remembers soldiers and civilians killed in U.S. wars in the Middle East and Mexican drug wars. Ofrendas, or altars, honor other notable deaths — from Nelson Mandela and Gabriel Garcia Márquez to Maya Angelou and Lou Reed — and let visitors write notes to their own lost loved ones. Candle-lit open houses tonight and tomorrow include Mexican hot chocolate, coffee and sugar-skull cookies. Bill O'Driscoll 5-8 p.m. Also 5-8 p.m. Sun., Nov. 2. Exhibit continues through Nov. 29. 2027 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. Free.

Sat., Nov. 1 — Screen

Street-art master Swoon's art project Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea sent seven giant floating sculptures down the Hudson, with the crews stopping to perform along the way. Footage from that trip informs Flood Tide, Todd Chandler's feature-length fiction narrative about a group of struggling artists and musicians taking a similar journey after their friend Maya dies. Chandler premieres the film locally tonight, at the Mattress Factory. Beforehand, a program of Chandler's shorts will be scored live by Chandler and Marshall LaCount, both of the band Dark Dark Dark. BO 7 p.m. 500 Sampsonia Way, North Side. $8-12 (sliding scale).

The Maker Theater Geeksdanz's sequel to last season's Manifestations
Art by Alex Mitchell

Sat., Nov. 1 — Stage

Who doesn't enjoy a good ghost story this time of year? Combine those stories with creepy dance and you get Manifestations II: Ambitions Running Cold. The 90-minute production at the 99-seat The Maker TheaterGeeksdanz's sequel to last season's Manifestations — features storyteller Stas Ziolkowski. He will spin original and classic spine-tinglers including W.W. Jacobs' "The Monkey's Paw," about a mysterious, wish-granting totem; a tale of a ghostly biker gang; and a version of Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart." Four dancers including Geeksdanz artistic director Ellen Deutsch will enhance the experience with choreography developed by tapping into the dancers' own fears. Deutsch believes this approach will result in more authentic movement to accompany the chilling stories. The PG-13 Manifestations II is set to a blood-curdling cinematic soundscape by various composers, taken from the Oddio Overplay album Calling All Fiends, and features atmospheric lighting and other surprises. Steve Sucato 7and 9:30 p.m. Sat., Nov. 1. 5950 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. $15.

Sat., Nov. 1 — Art

Some artists reject information overload; Jason Woolslare embraces it, at least the visual kind. In his colorful, pop-art-derived paintings of cowboys, robots, songbirds and demolition derbies, Woolslare says he strives to depict "layers of past, present and future experiences." The artist and educator has built a strong reputation locally; his latest show of new work, Wild Abandon, opens with tonight's reception at The Gallery 4. BO 7-11 p.m. Exhibit continues through Nov. 29. 206 S. Highland Ave., Shadyside. Free. 412-363-5050 or

Sat., Nov. 1 — Party

It's no mere Halloween party: Bacchanalia is advertised as a "masquerade ball," which sounds like you'd better step up your game. The Pittsburgh Downtown Community Development Corp.'s party — in the Heinz 57 building! — includes live music by the Pittsburgh Samba Group and street-samba batucada Timbeleza, plus belly-dancer Janim and tunes by DJ Pandemic. The food and spirits are from local purveyors. BO 9 p.m.-midnight (7:30 p.m. VIP). 623 Smithfield St., Downtown. $50 ($25 discount for ages 21-29); $125 VIP.

Steel City Slam's housewarming party
Photo courtesy of Lux Camena

Tue., Nov. 4 — Words

Consider this your informal invitation to Steel City Slam's housewarming party in its new venue, East Liberty's Capri Pizza and bar. Pittsburgh's only registered poetry slam previously met at AVA Bar & Lounge, where a 21-plus rule excluded minors. Now, the slams are all-ages, and occur weekly rather than monthly. At tonight's first slam in the new digs, wandering poets are encouraged to stop in. Sign-ups are capped at eight competing poets, eight open-mic poets and one "sacrificial poet." DF 8 p.m. 6001 Penn Ave., East Liberty. $5. 814-229-3393 or

Tues., Nov. 4 — Screen

Kelly-Strayhorn Theater's My People film series opens its sixth year tonight with a social in Alloy Studios. My People uses film, performance and discussion to explore the lives of LGBT people of color and raise awareness of LGBT resources in the city. Inspired by the life of jazz legend Billy Strayhorn, the social will preview this year's four films: Out in the Night, No Shade, Barrio Boy and Hector: Lost Souls with Switchblades. DF 7 p.m. 5530 Penn Ave., Friendship. Admission is pay-what-you-can. 412-363-3000 or

Wed., Nov. 5 — Circus

Exotic animals beyond penguins will occupy the CONSOL Energy Center this week, as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus makes its annual visit. Ringmaster and cowboy Andre McClain (pictured) leads Built to Amaze! from atop his faithful steed, Comanche. The circus showcases performers from 17 countries, including new acts like acclaimed comedic animal-presenters Alex and Irina Emelin, of Russia. Joining them are 95 show animals and the new Tower Tumblers, a troupe of Ukrainian aerial athletes trained to navigate a translucent three-story tower. DF 7 p.m. Performances continue through Nov. 9. 1001 Fifth Ave., Uptown. $10-115. 412-804-7904 or