Short List: Week of February 11 - 18 | This Week's Top Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: Week of February 11 - 18

Short List: Week of February 11 - 18
Photo by Martha Rial

Ever wonder how a dance work is made, or what it would be like to join the creative process? In Attack Theatre's two-week Assemble This series, audiences at eight art galleries can release their inner choreographers to help create a work set to original music ... then attend its world premiere. An expanded version of the troupe's popular museum show Some Assembly Required, Assemble This "presents the viewer with a very simple dance and music composition that needs a lot of help," says Attack's Grammy-nominated music director, Dave Eggar. "Then, using artwork within a given museum to inspire creativity, the audience twists, turns and changes that simple composition into a new and exciting dance work." Eggar says that in venues like Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, the August Wilson Center and the Mattress Factory, artworks will help audiences choreograph the dancers, and also inspire the musicians. Eggar recalls one Some Assembly Required in which an artwork inspired the audience to suggest that Eggar turn his cello into a boat in which Attack co-artistic director Peter Kope rowed across stage. "For a lot of people, it is very mysterious how composition happens or how dance is made," says Eggar. "I think it is fun for people not only to see the creative process in action, but also to be able to add their own two cents into it." Steve Sucato First show: 9:30-11 p.m. Fri., Feb. 12 (Space gallery, 812 Liberty Ave., Downtown). Shows continue at various venues, Feb. 16-24 (complete schedule at $15-20 (series pass: $60). 412-394-3353 


Thu., Feb. 11 -- Rock

What better way to beat the mid-February blues than with a triple-shot of Triple-A Californians: Ernie Halter, Miggs and Joe Firstman, all currently on the Rock Ridge Music label. Firstman, who just released his new album, El Porto, is probably no stranger to your living room: He recently wrapped up a gig as bandleader on Last Call With Carson Daly. Local boy Chris Hannigan opens. Aaron Jentzen 7 p.m. Club Café, 56-58 S. 12th St., South Side. $10. 412-431-4950 or


Thu., Feb. 11 -- Stage

Mountaintop-removal coal-mining is bad for the mountains it blows up -- and for the valleys the debris fills. A new play explores the human cost. Welcome to the Saudi Arabia of Coal is a multimedia show based on Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland, a new book by West Virginia author Jeff Biggers. The show depicts a young couple whose ancestral homestead is threatened by mining. Biggers performs with colleagues in the Coal Free Future Project including actor Ben Evans. Also watch a sneak preview of YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip, an "eco docu-comedy" by Evans and friends. Bill O'Driscoll 8 p.m. Union Project, 801 N. Negley Ave., Highland Park. $15 ($10 students). 800-838-3006


Short List: Week of February 11 - 18
Photo by Radiohole

Fri., Feb. 12 -- Stage

Having "Radio" in your name apparently makes you pretty cool. See: Radiohead. See also: Radiohole, the avant-garde Brooklyn theater group known for topsy-turvy performance art. Its new show, Whatever, Heaven Allows, fuses 1950s melodrama, Paradise Lost and apple-pie Americana in a bold, bawdy exploration of good and evil. With equal parts silliness and sophistication, Radiohole continues The Andy Warhol Museum's Off the Wall series with shows tonight and tomorrow at the New Hazlett Theater. Anna Reilly 8 p.m. Also 8 p.m. Sat., Feb. 13. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $20 ($10 students). 412-237-8300 or


Fri., Feb. 12 -- Opera 

Old-school romantics, prepare to be wooed by The Love Spell, at Pittsburgh Opera Theater. When enchantment wounds a nobleman's wife and casts the forest into winter, only love can lift the curse. It's set to Italo Montemezzi's late-Romantic music, and sung in a romance language; my heart is aflutter already. The Love Spell is cast all this weekend, in the Carnegie Museum of Art's Hall of Sculpture. AR 8 p.m. Also 8 p.m. Sat., Feb. 13, and 8 p.m. Sun., Feb. 14. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $60 (includes wine and dessert reception). 412-622-3131 or


Fri., Feb. 12 -- Comedy

Have no fear: Tom Green emphasizes that his upcoming Improv appearance isn't "a comedy show with people tinkling their martinis in the back while I tell jokes I've had since the 1970s." No sir -- The World Stand-up Comedy Tour is "interesting, silly, hilarious and different," says Green, by phone from the road, in Houston. Five shows starting tonight mark the TV and Web star's first Pittsburgh visit. While he notes his local super-fans ("There are these three brothers -- they call themselves the 'Three Amigos from Pittsburgh'"), he's gushing, too. "I'm from Canada, I'm a hockey fan, right? I think about seeing the Penguins and Mario Lemieux -- that's exciting." AR 8 and 10 p.m. Continues through Sun., Feb. 14. 166 E. Bridge St., The Waterfront, West Homestead. $22-35. 412-462-5233 or


Sat., Feb. 13 – Crafts

Winter is for wool, and there's no better place to get warm and fuzzy this weekend than the sixth annual Pittsburgh Knitting and Crochet Festival. Classes, meet-ups, vendors, charity knitting and various tutorials are geared to everyone, beginner through expert. "Hyberbolic knitting" is currently hot. Thus, the festival is hosting a "Confluence of Artistry and Math" exhibit, highlighting knitted 3-D mathematical shapes and forms, free-form crochet and wild whimsical figures, such as those by guest instructor Daniel Yuhas. Al Hoff 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Also 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun., Feb. 14. Four Points Sheraton, 910 Sheraton Drive, Mars. $10 ($15 at door). 412-963-7030 or


Sat., Feb. 13 -- R&B

So, you're celebrating Valentine's Day with that special someone, but maybe you're not so good with the words and so forth. No sweat -- there are professionals trained for this kind of heavy lifting. Head on over to the Valentine's Day Love & Romance Concert at Soldiers & Sailors tonight, and let R&B stars Dave Hollister of BLACKstreet and SWV set the mood. After that, it's up to you ... but you've stacked the deck well. AJ 8 p.m. 4141 Fifth Ave., Oakland. $25 ($40 VIP). 412-861-7300

Sat., Feb. 13 -- Music

If the last time you checked in with piano-pop man Ben Folds was during the "Five" era, much has changed. To catch you up: In recent years, he's expanded his live palette beyond rockin' the suburbs like Quiet Riot did, to include touring with a Ben-themed supergroup (with Ben Kweller and Ben Lee), and performing with live orchestras. It's in the latter arrangement that Folds plays Heinz Hall tonight, with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. AJ 8 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $35-90. 412-392-4900 or


Sun., Feb. 14 -- Comics

Though few copies survive, the 1958 comic book "Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story" helped fuel the civil-rights movement. The book recounts the pivotal Montgomery bus boycott. It was distributed by churches, unions and civic groups, and later inspired peace and justice movements in South Africa and elsewhere. The comic highlights Civil Rights Superheroes, the new exhibit curated by Sylvia Rohr for Downtown's Toonseum. BO 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Exhibit continues through March 14. 945 Liberty Ave., Downtown. 412-232-0199


Sun., Feb. 14 -- Rock

It might've been hard in the early 2000s, when Dave Hause was in Paint It Black, to imagine that he'd someday cover Patty Griffin, but that day has come. The charismatic singer/songwriter and current frontman of Fat Wreck Chords pop-punkers The Loved Ones explores his softer side -- while maintaining the disaffected voice and class consciousness of a punk rocker -- in the solo material he shares tonight at the Smiling Moose. With Anchors End, Code Orange Kids. Andy Mulkerin 6 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. All ages. $8-10. 412-431-4668 or

Sunday, Feb. 14 -- Rock

What lottery did we win to get Jarboe on Valentine's Day? Not sure, but we'll take it. The onetime Swans member and prolific solo artist headlines a rather Goth take on the day of romance at Altar Bar; the bill is called Vicious Valentines and also features a burlesque troupe and sideshow performers. Industrial outfit Wreck Creation and chanteuse Nicki Jaine open for Jarboe, and the Bridge City Bombshells and The Hook Is Family round out the lineup with their own brands of entertainment. AM 8 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District. $12-15. 412-263-2877 or


Mon., Feb. 15 -- Music

A coterie of musicians from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra offers a special night of musical narrative (all incorporating the spoken word) at The Andy Warhol Museum. Jeffrey Turner plays "Failing," Tom Johnson's "very difficult piece for solo string bass." Bassoonist David Sogg performs the world premiere of composer and playwright Susan Kander's "The Lunch Counter," a "musical play." And a septet and four actors stage the area premiere of a version of Stravinsky's "A Soldier's Story," featuring text by the late Kurt Vonnegut. BO 8 p.m. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. $15. 412-361-5704 or [email protected]


Thu., Feb. 18 -- The Law

Copyright disputes in recorded music are nothing new -- Negativland famously forced the issue in the '80s, for example -- but it's a much bigger deal lately, as technology makes both sampling and file-sharing commonplace. So Girl Talk fans owe it to themselves to check out tonight's installment of the ACLU series at Carnegie Mellon: In Music, Copyrights and Free Speech, ACLU attorney Sara Rose leads a talk on legal issues related to digital rights. Good students might peruse the recommended reading at AM 7 p.m. 125C Porter Hall, CMU campus, Oakland. Free. 412-681-7736