Short List: April 21 - 24 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: April 21 - 24

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at barebones; Wood Street Galleries’ insect-inspired art; Swoon’s Braddock Tiles; Art All Night returns

SPOTLIGHT: Thu., April 21 — Stage

Ken Kesey’s 1962 countercultural-bellwether novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is best known through its 1975 film adaptation. But before that, in 1963, it became a Dale Wasserman stage play that more closely followed the book than did Milos Forman’s famous Jack Nicholson vehicle (which Kesey himself disdained). Pittsburgh gets its first production of this comedic drama in years — and first professional staging in more than two decades — courtesy of barebones productions. Barebones artistic director Patrick Jordan plays Randle R. McMurphy, the spirited ne’er-do-well whose power struggle with autocratic Nurse Ratched (Kimberly Parker Green, pictured, with Jordan) changes the dynamic in a mental hospital. But unlike the film, which forefronts McMurphy, the play, like the novel, is narrated by the Native American inmate Chief Bromden (Leandro Cano). In all its incarnations, Cuckoo’s Nest has been criticized as misogynistic, and Jordan acknowledges that the play is “a boy’s club” and not exactly woman-positive. But at the New Hazlett Theater, with Melissa Martin directing the 16-person cast, Jordan promises “a different dynamic,” including a Ratched who’s not a caricatured villain but a real person. Moreover, on revisiting this work about a free spirit’s struggles in a closed system, Jordan says, “I was really surprised by how relevant … and how timely the play is.” Bill O’Driscoll April 21-May 7. New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $30-35.

Thu., April 21 — Screen

The Carnegie Museum of Art’s Double Exposure series offers contemporary perspectives on avant-garde film pioneers. In the 1960s, longtime Pittsburgh resident Victor Grauer, a composer and musicologist, made innovative, camera-less abstract films like the vibrantly colored “Voices” (1967) and the flicker film “Archangel” (1966). Tonight, those works screen in their original 16 mm format along with “‘Book of the Year’ 3000” (1974/2013), a video version of Grauer’s concrete poem and sound piece. (Warning: Expect strobe effects.) A free screening is followed by a discussion with Grauer and local writer and filmmaker Brett Kashmere. Bill O’Driscoll 6:30-8 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free.

Photo courtesy of Paul g. Wiegman

Fri., April 22 — Exhibit

With its pastel-lime-green wings, and a lifespan of just one week, the rare and elusive luna moth awaits at Phipps Conservatory’s Butterfly Forest. The annual exhibition, where visitors can interact with butterflies fresh out of their chrysalises, opens today. Housed inside Phipps’ Stove Room — full of tropical plants — 21 different species of butterflies, from the common monarch to the white peacock, will fly overhead and possibly land on you. The fluttery fun is best observed on hot days, when the butterflies are most active. Courtney Linder 9:30 a.m-10 p.m. Exhibit continues through Sept. 5. One Schenley Drive, Oakland. $11-15. 412-622-6914 or

Thu., April 21 — Stage

By the early 1970s, Truman Capote was acclaimed for books including Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood. He unintentionally blew up his status as a society darling in 1975, when Esquire excerpted his forthcoming novel Answered Prayers, which dished dirt about jet-setting buds like Babe Paley and Gloria Vanderbilt. Jay Presson Allen’s 1989 play Tru captures Capote just after, in a witty one-man show crafted from his own writings. Pittsburgh Public Theater’s Ted Pappas directs Broadway actor Eddie Korbich in his Public debut; the first performance is tonight. BO 8 p.m. Continues through May 22. $15.75-60. 412-316-1600 or

Fri., April 22 — Art

Tonight, it’s really a Gallery Crawl: Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s quarterly multi-venue showcase includes All Around Us: Installations and Experiences Inspired by Bugs, at Wood Street Galleries. Tonight’s opening reception for this group show includes performances built around three of the installations: one documenting the experimental interaction of fireflies and computer-controlled LEDs; Garnet Hertz’s cockroach-controlled mobile robot; and live courtship in Habronattus jumping spiders. The crawl also includes the opening reception for SPACE Gallery’s Degrees of Separation, a meditation on distance, with work by five national and four local artists, plus live music, comedy and more. BO 5:30-10 p.m. Downtown. Free. 412-325-7723 or

Fri., April 22 — Crafts

Creating eco-friendly laser-cut jewelry and downing free brews seems like a productive way to spend an evening — just ask Assemble, which hosts tonight’s Spring Bling. The 21-and-over crafting party includes artist-led demonstrations and two or three “making stations” for creating eco-friendly wearables, with support from Green Mountain Energy. Featured maker Nisha Blackwell founded Knotzland, a local start-up in ethical fashion. Drinks are on the house at Assemble’s maker space — and there’ll even be an organic vegan food truck. CL 6 p.m. 5125 Penn Ave., Garfield. $5-20. 412-254-4230 or

Fri., April 22 – Art

Recent street-art highlights in Pittsburgh have included the gorgeous woodcut-style wheatpastes of Swoon. The internationally exhibited artist (a.k.a. Caledonia Curry) actually lives part time in Braddock. In 2009, she founded Braddock Tiles, a visionary project to hire and train local young adults to handmake 20,000 colored ceramic tiles — each an original artwork, and together meant to re-tile the roof of an old North Braddock church she plans as a community art center. Tonight is the opening reception of Pittsburgh’s first public exhibit of these tiles, and prints of them, at The Rum Room gallery at Maggie’s Farm Rum Distillery. Sales of the prints, and prints by 70-some other artists including Swoon herself and Shepard Fairey, benefit Swoon’s Heliotrope Foundation. BO 6 p.m. (7 p.m. artist talk). Show continues through May 28. 3212A Smallman St., Strip District. Free.

Fri., April 22 — Screen

If the thought of eating popcorn with chopsticks gives you a pang of nostalgia, head to the Hollywood Theater to indulge in this classic movie snack along with the martial-arts cult favorite The Last Dragon. The 1985 film’s star, Taimak, makes a special appearance to sign copies of his new book, Taimak: The Last Dragon. A Q&A follows the screening. “The Glow” VIP tickets include a meet-and-greet photo opportunity with Taimak — chopsticks included. CL Screenings at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. 1449 Potomac Ave., Dormont. $12. 412-563-0368 or

Fri., April 22 — Stage

Long before Disney’s Cinderella, and even before the gruesome Brothers Grimm rendition of the tale, came Charles Perrault’s “Cendrillon,” in 1698. An adaptation of that classic story of pumpkin carriages, glass slippers and a strict midnight curfew hits the stage at Kelly-Strayhorn Theater tonight and tomorrow with Resonance Works’ staging of Jules Massenet’s 1899 opera Cinderella, complete with French libretto, and English supertitles projected over the stage. The production of this rarely performed work features soprano Rachele Schmiege as Cinderella and mezzo-soprano Barbara LeMay as Prince Charming. CL 8 p.m. Also 3 p.m. Sun., April 24. 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty. $15-50. 412-363-3000 or

Sat., April 23 — Art 

Art. All night. That about covers it — but it doesn’t suggest the scope of Art All Night, the free-to-exhibit, free-to-attend festival that annually draws thousands of visitors to Lawrenceville to view unjuried, uncensored work by hundreds of local artists. The 19th annual incarnation of this all-volunteer wonder occupies the Arsenal Terminal Building. Artists: To submit work, see the website. Guests: Come anytime for the art, the live music, the live painting, the kids’ activities and much more. BO Opens at 4 p.m.; continues through 2 p.m. Sun., April 24. 39th and Butler streets, Lawrenceville. Free.

click to enlarge ART BY RICK BACH
Art by Rick Bach

Sat., April 23 — Art 

The 1990s in Pittsburgh were partly defined by the artwork of Rick Bach, whose distinctively warped, often bug-eyed businessmen, preachers, musicians, monsters and horses populated many a concert poster, and even the walls of Mad Mex restaurants. Bach’s since moved to Washington, D.C.; tonight, Percolate Art Space hosts his first exhibition here in nine years. You Only Live Twice features new steel sculptures, and paintings on paper and steel. The reception doubles as a release party for Bach’s All You Need: Black & White Works (Lascaux Editions). BO 6 p.m. (free). Exhibit continues through May 21. 317 Trenton Ave., Wilkinsburg. 412-606-1220

Sun., April 24 — Outdoors

In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources recognized Duff Park as a Wild Plant Sanctuary, meaning the area contains habitat-supporting plants of special concern. This morning, Venture Outdoors leads a two- to three-mile guided Wildflower Hike through the heavily wooded park. The moderately challenging trek throughout the 148-acre sanctuary will also include information about the park’s history. Expect to see beautiful blooms like trillium and trout lilies along the way. CL 10 a.m. 4500 School Road South, Murrysville. $10. 412-255-0564 or

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