Short List: Sept. 7-14 | This Week's Top Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: Sept. 7-14

Mentalist Rick Maue’s A Fine Li(n)e; Shelter at Contemporary Craft; The REP’s The Scottsboro Boys; sculptor Melvin Edwards


Fri., Sept. 8 - Stage

For years, Rick Maue might have been Pittsburgh’s most famous magician you never heard of. His act included sleight-of-hand but was focused on mentalism (mind-reading and the like); he performed nationally and toured constantly, though mostly for corporate clients. It all ended one day in 1996, when the Pittsburgh native and his family were involved in an horrendous car crash. Maue was left with life-changing injuries to his brain and internal organs, and though he’s regained his mental faculties, he still suffers from seizures, severe headaches and blurred vision. 

While Maue, 58, can’t work regularly, he retains the respect of his industry peers, as evidence by the Lifetime Achievement Award he received at the 2016 MINDvention mentalism convention, in Las Vegas. At MINDvention, Maue also performed A Fine Li(n)e, the one-man show he’s been doing for the past year-and-a-half for small, invitation-only audiences in his Wilkins Township home (the same house where, for years, he and his wife staged the Haunted Chamber, a year-round theatrical walk-through séance). Maue’s health, however, continues to decline. On Sept. 8 and 9, at Downtown’s intimate Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, he stages A Fine Li(n)e in what he says might be his final public performance.

Maue, speaking by phone, says his mentalism shows, in the séance-debunking tradition of Houdini, have always been about “lying on stage to tell the truth about the world.” Inspired partly by famed monologist Spalding Gray, the 90-minute A Fine Li(n)e also gets autobiographical. The theme, Maue says, is “what I used to do and why I no longer do it.” The show interpolates a 30-minute recreation of his old mentalist act. 

The former touring pro now views his stage shows as therapeutic. As he puts it, “Bad shit happens to everybody. ... You can’t let it define your life.”

— Bill O’Driscoll

8 p.m. Fri., Sept. 8, and 8 p.m. Sat., Sept. 9. 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $30 (VIP: $50); for a 50 percent discount, use the password “HALFOFF.”

Short List: Sept. 7-14
Art by Ashley Garner

Thu., Sept. 7 – Art

The Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, founded in 1910, is the oldest continuously exhibiting visual-arts organization in the U.S. But of course it still accepts new members. And starting tonight, at FrameHouse & Jask Gallery, you can see work by more than 30 of them in Speak for Yourself. Artists including Christopher Boring, Oreen Cohen, John Eastman and Ashley Garner offer work from painting and drawing to sculpture and photography. The exhibit is curated by local independent curator Sean Beauford. Bill O’Driscoll Reception: 6-9 p.m. (free). Exhibit continues through Oct. 10. 100 43rd St., Lawrenceville.

Fri., Sept. 8 – Convention

Local guy Tim Azinger started tattoo convention Meeting of the Marked in 1993 — not only before widespread use of the internet and email, but really before everybody and her aunt had tattoos. This weekend’s the 25th anniversary, and Azinger’s still running the show he calls “a tattoo family reunion” that just happens to command three days at the Monroeville Convention Center. Check out some 150 tattooists and other vendors, plus contests, performances by the Coffin Box Circus Sideshow and more, all starting today. BO Noon-10 p.m. Also noon-10 p.m. Sat., Sept. 9, and noon-7 p.m. Sun., Sept. 10. 209 Mall Plaza Blvd., Monroeville. $15 (free for kids 14 and under). Three-day VIP: $25.

Fri., Sept. 8 – Festival

More than 100 fine artists and fine crafters from around the region and the country will vend their contemporary works in clay, fiber, wood, jewelry, glass, metal, mixed media and 2-D art at this weekend’s A Fair in the Park. It’s the 48th year for this venerable free open-air event in Mellon Park, presented by the Craftsmen’s Guild of Pittsburgh. If you visit on Sunday, check out the open house at the adjacent Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, with classroom and studio tours and artmaking demos. BO 1-7 p.m. Also 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sat., Sept. 9, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun., Sept. 10. 6300 Fifth Ave., Shadyside. Free.

Fri., Sept. 8 – Festival

The Pittsburgh Irish Festival returns for its 27th season, taking over Sandcastle’s Riverplex for three days of culture and fun. If you’ve never eaten boxty pancakes or colcannon, here’s your excuse. And along with plenty of, um, beverage-sampling opportunities, there are four stages packed with performances, from storytellers and Irish step dancing to live music. Local Irish-flavored bands include Corned Beef & Curry, The Wild Geese, Bastard Bearded Irishmen, and Donnie Irish. Headliners from overseas include Gaelic Storm, The Screaming Orphans (pictured), JigJam, and Makem & Spain. BO 4-11 p.m. Also 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sat., Sept. 9, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun., Sept. 10. 1000 Sandcastle Drive, West Homestead. $10-15 (free for kids 12 and under); weekend pass: $30.

Short List: Sept. 7-14
Art by Clara Grace Hoag. Photo courtesy of Clara Grace Hoag

Fri., Sept. 8 – Art

Some take home for granted, but for millions worldwide, and too many here in Pittsburgh, housing is insecure. Contemporary Craft explores the issue with Shelter: Crafting a Safe Home, featuring 40 artworks by 14 contemporary craft artists. Contributors probing the impact of displacement and housing inequity include Pittsburgh-based collage and sculpture artist Seth Clark, Pittsburgh-based filmmaker Chris Ivey, Australian glass artist Holly Grace, and Georgia-based jeweler Demitra Thomloudis. The exhibit’s run includes programming in partnership with local groups that address housing issues; a free opening reception is tonight. BO Reception: 5:30-8 p.m. Exhibit continues through Feb. 17. 2100 Smallman St., Strip District. 412-261-7003 or

Fri., Sept. 8 – Screen

The series of short online documentaries titled Sustainability Pioneers reflects filmmaker Kirsi Jansa’s belief that people respond best to the challenge of global warming when they have role models. In the series’ 10th and final episode, Jansa examines Frick Environmental Center, perhaps Pittsburgh’s greenest new building. The screening and discussion with Jansa are part of the Falk School of Sustainability & Environment at Chatham University’s Sustainable Sipping series. A ticket includes two drinks, live music and a happy-hour buffet. BO 6:30-9 p.m. 2005 Beechwood Blvd., Squirrel Hill (in Frick Park). $20.

Fri., Sept. 8 – Stage

The REP revisits history with its season opener, The Scottsboro Boys. The 2010 musical ironically employs the format of a minstrel show to recount the trial of nine African-American teenagers accused of raping two white women in Alabama in 1931. The music is by Kander and Ebb (Chicago, Cabaret), with a book by David Thompson. The production, staged at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, is directed by Tomé Cousin. Amanda Reed 8 p.m. Continues through Sept. 24. 222 Craft Ave., Oakland. $10-29. 412-392-8000 or

Sun., Sept. 10 – Festival

Travel back in time with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s inaugural Medieval Games in the Park day. With help from the Barony Marche of Debatable Lands (the Western Pennsylvania chapter of The Society for Creative Anachronism), kids can party like it’s 1599 with bubbles, hoops, paper crowns and masks in Buhl Community Park (right outside the museum). They can also play medieval children’s games, like “the game of the goose” (an ancient chutes-and-ladders) and the bocce-like walnut game. AR Noon-3 p.m. 10 Children’s Way, North Side. Free with museum admission ($14-16; free for kids under 2). 412-322-5058 or

Mon., Sept. 11 – Talk

“Dark matter” isn’t just a SyFy series. If scientific hypotheses are correct, it’s also the stuff that, even though no one’s ever seen it, makes up, like, most of the matter in the universe. But what the hell is dark matter? Get some answers tonight as Carnegie Mellon University astrophysicist Alex Moskowitz speaks at the next Café Scientifique. Moskowitz researches things like dwarf galaxies, and has received honors including the NASA Rhode Island Space Grant. The talk is free, with food and beverages for sale. BO 7 p.m. 1 Allegheny Ave., North Side. Free. 412-237-3400 or

Short List: Sept. 7-14
Photo courtesy of Jessica Pohl

Wed., Sept. 13 – Comedy

One thing about David Liebe Hart songs — they’re full of good advice. About email, space aliens, sandwich spreads, that sort of thing. “You gotta have Vegemite in all you think and do,” goes one number on this left-field musician and performer’s new album, Space Ranger, featuring guest spots by Kool Keith, Tennessee Luke and more. Backed by musician Jonah Mocium and projected video, and accompanied by his trusty puppets, the Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! favorite is on a U.S. tour that stops tonight at Club Café. Local bands The Gothees and Creature People open. BO 8 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $12-14 (21 and over). 412-431-4950 or

Short List: Sept. 7-14
Photo by Brandon Seekins, courtesy of Alexander Gray Associates

Thu., Sept. 14 – Talk

With numerous solo exhibitions in the U.S. and overseas, pioneering African-American sculptor Melvin Edwards is one of the more honored names in the current exhibition 20/20: The Studio Museum in Harlem and Carnegie Museum of Art. Edwards is known for his “Lynch Fragments,” welded-steel works using scrap metal and found items from blades and clamps to locks and chains. The New York-based artist, who’s 80, visits the Carnegie Lecture Hall tonight for a free program titled An Evening with Artist Melvin Edwards. BO 6:30-8 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free. 412-622-3131 or