Short List: April 30 - May 3 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: April 30 - May 3

Dance troupe Amanda Tarr & Company debuts; indie-horror fave Die Gstettensaga: The Rise of Echsenfriedl screens; GA/GI art-and-tech fest returns to Penn Avenue; Chris Tucker plays Heinz Hall


The ever-expanding Pittsburgh dance scene gets a little bigger on Sun., May 3, with the debut of Amanda Tarr & Company at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater. The fledgling professional modern-dance troupe, made up of recent graduates of Slippery Rock University's Department of Dance, will premiere the Tarr-choreographed Retail, set to R&B and rap tracks from Drake, Usher, Kanye West and others (contains adult language). Tarr, a 24-year-old Lower Burrell native, says she was inspired to create the 50-minute non-narrative work by an event in her life that got her thinking about a journey of two souls and their time together. Eight female dancers will explore a range of emotions in abstract movement phrases that will allow the dancers to bring themselves to the work while leaving open a myriad of audience interpretations. That purposeful ambiguity extends to the work's title. Retail, in this case, means "to recount or relate details (of a story or event) to others." "This show is really unique from a dancer's perspective," says ATCO company member Rebecca Burcher. "[The choreography] is really like a puzzle. It's very mathematical and complicated." Steve Sucato 5:30 p.m. Sun., May 3. 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty. $15-20.

Thu., April 30 — Screen

A hidden pop-culture lineage gets its close-up with The Hairy Who and The Chicago Imagists. The new feature-length documentary, directed by Leslie Buchbinder, looks at the weirdo cousin of pop art that arose in the Windy City in the mid-'60s, with artists like Jim Nutt and Christina Ramberg portraying amputees, bondage and other dark, irreverent or outré material in various gritty styles. Their influence lives on in contemporary artists from Jeff Koons to Chris Ware. The film, featuring interviews with artists, critics, curator and more, screens tonight at the Hollywood Theater in conjunction with Copacetic Comics. Bil O'Driscoll 7:30 p.m. 1449 Potomac Ave., Dormont. $6-8. 412-563-0368 or

Thu., April 30 — Screen

Underground accolades accompany Die Gstettensaga: The Rise of Echsenfriedl, a 2014 indie horror flick from Austria getting its local premiere. The darkly comic film is set in the aftermath of apocalyptic warfare between superpowers China and ... Google, as a journalist and a technician traverse the hinterlands to find a legendary character. The festival favorite won Best Narrative Feature at Colorado's Maker Film Festival, and critic Cory Doctorow calls writer-director Johannes Grenzfurthner "a brilliant lunatic of surpassing and delightful weirdness." Meet Grenzfurthner at the Q&A after tonight's free, VIA-sponsored screening at Melwood Screening Room. BO 7:30 p.m. 477 Melwood Ave., Oakland. Free (18 and over). (search "VIA Presents: Die Gstettensaga")

Thu., April 30 — Music

String trio Chatham Baroque stages about 50 performances locally every year. This week, the group performs Monteverdi's Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda. The 1624 mini-opera tells a dramatic love story set during the First Crusade. The trio will also play other madrigals to complement the main program, accompanied by dancers from Attack Theatre. The first of four performances at the Hill House is tonight. Zacchiaus McKee 7:30 p.m. Continues through Sun., May 3. Kaufmann Center, 1835 Centre Ave., Hill District. $10-27. 412-687-1788 or

Fri., May 1 — Art

Housed in an old rowhouse, Photo Antiquities is a walk-up museum focused on preserving the history of photography as a medium. Starting today, the museum is displaying a series of vintage orotones, or gold photos. Made by enhancing glass-plate images with gold-laced lacquers, orotones are some of the rarest and most fragile forms of photography. The gilded works depict people and places from a century ago. ZM 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Exhibit continues through June 30. 531 E. Ohio St., North Side. $8-10. 412-231-7881 or

click to enlarge ART BY DENNIS BERGEV
Art by Dennis Bergev

Fri., May 1 — Art

Few independent art galleries last 20 years, but Gallerie Chiz is there. The Shadyside gallery launched by Ellen Chisdes Neuberg, which opened in May 1995, is known for embracing outsider art as well as more mainstream work. A new show harks to the gallery's roots with work by two of the earliest artists it exhibited: Dennis Bergevin, with his distinctive figurative mixed-media-and-ceramic sculptures, and Leonard Leibowitz, whose etchings are nationally exhibited. The opening reception for Looking Forward Looking Back is tonight. BO 5:30 p.m. 5831 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. Free. 42-441-6005 or

Fri., May 1 — Festival

More people these days are jumping on the "green" bandwagon. But the Geek Art/Green Innovators Festival, launched in 2010 by artist and entrepreneur Christine Bethea, was among the first big public events here to promote the convergence of high tech, art and saving the planet. GA/GI's love of experimentation continues with its sixth annual iteration, REBOOT, tonight on Penn Avenue in conjunction with monthly gallery crawl Unblurred. The exhibits and activities revolving around technology, eco-friendly art projects and more include a green-art installation from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Climate and Urban Systems Partnership, and talks by gardeners from Garfield's Healcrest Farm. GA/GI integrates with Unblurred up and down Penn, especially at Pittsburgh Glass Center, where the current exhibit of re-arrangeable LED letters is complemented by a fashion show; Story Arts Explosion (combining music, art, storytelling and rap); and sounds by Tracksploitation. BO 6-11 p.m. 4800-5500 Penn Ave., Bloomfield/Garfield/Friendship. Free.

Fri., May 1 — Words

"What seems odd now, at a remove, is that I fell in love at pretty much the same time I forgot how to love books," is how J.C. Hallman's B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal opens. The anthology, which is a wink to Nicholson Baker's U and I, tells the story of how Baker restored Hallman's love of books. Visiting author Hallman reads tonight at The Big Idea Bookstore, which dedicates itself to the active promotion of radical culture through the distribution of literature. ZM 7 p.m. 4812 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Free. 412-687-4323 or

Fri., May 1 — Comedy

Chris Tucker is best known for playing the role of Detective James Carter in the Rush Hour film series, which solidified him as a comic icon and propelled him into an international star. He's also worked in Hollywood films with the likes of Robert De Niro and Jennifer Lawrence. Tucker got his start, however, in standup comedy. Tonight, Tucker brings the high-energy comedic style of his Chris Tucker Live 2015 world tour to Heinz Hall. ZM 8 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $40.75-70.75. 412-456-6666 or

Sat., May 2 — Gardening

Another thing all the cool kids are doing is growing their own damn mushrooms. You might have seen the logs in their backyards, inoculated with 'shroom spores and sprouting those irrepressible fungi. Today, the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture offers Essentials of Shiitake Mushroom Cultivation, a step-by-step workshop led by Jesse Allen at his Wild Roses Farm and Mushroom Company. The class on this Asian-derived favorite includes hands-on inoculation, and you'll depart with your very own shiitake log for home cultivation. The online registration deadline is Fri., May 1. BO 10 a.m.-noon. 185 Turk Road, Slippery Rock. $30. Register at

Sat., May 2 — Outdoors

Temperatures should be up — and the rivers back down — for today's Kayak Pittsburgh's season-opener. Weather and water conditions permitting, the group's location under the Clemente Bridge will be open weekends in May, and daily starting Memorial Day weekend. (The North Park location also opens that weekend.) Hours today and tomorrow are shortened by Pittsburgh Marathon-related activities, but that still leaves half the day to get a feel for the three rivers and tour the city from a new angle. BO 1-8 p.m. (last boat at 7 p.m.). North Side. $16 (single) or $21.50 (tandem) per hour; $8-10.75 per additional half-hour.

Sat., May 2 — Opera

Pittsburgh Opera concludes its 76th season with Donizetti's comedy Daughter of the Regiment. The opera, set during the French revolution, describes a love story between Marie and Tonio, who are torn apart by war and family struggles and must find a way to reunite. Star tenor Lawrence Brownlee, as Tonio, famously hits nine high Cs in the aria "Ah, mes amis." Soprano Lisette Oropesa sings Marie, and Joyce Castle makes her Pittsburgh debut as the Marquise of Berkenfeld. The first of four performances at the Benedum Center is tonight. ZM 8 p.m. Continues through May 10. 803 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $12.75-155.75. 412-456-6666 or

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