Short List: April 8 - 14 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: April 8 - 14

Gia T. Presents' improvised dance; memoirist Alexandra Fuller at Monday Night Lectures; Audra McDonald sings at the Byham; The Living Room Chronicles launches with hip-hop veteran Paradise Gray

SPOTLIGHT: Fri., April 10 — Dance

This season's second and largest program in Gia T. Presents' Candescense series features artistic director Gia Cacalano's international ensemble in an improvisational group work also called "Candescense." The work will be performed twice this weekend at PearlArts Studios to a live improvised electronic soundscape by Jong Kagi Park (South Korea/Netherlands). It features dancers Cacalano; her brother Vincent Cacialano (England); Miri Lee (South Korea); Joanna Reed (Pittsburgh); and Wendell Cooper (New York City). Like Cacalano's solo of the same name, performed last month at Wood Street Galleries, the work will use the performance space as an trigger for the improvised movement Cacalano calls "instant composition." Also inspiring the dancers will be two projected-video environments, one created by British visual artist Alan McDermott and the other by Cooper. Cooper's video environment features a moving lattice of white lines on a black background that swells and contracts in density. "With all the elements we are connecting with duration and time," says Cacalano. "The dancing follows a pattern of flow, pause and exit." Cacalano says the work will evolve conceptually up until it is performed, but ideas of personal identity and absence of self will factor into the piece. Steve Sucato 8 p.m. Fri., April 10, and 8 p.m. Sat., April 11. 201 Braddock Ave. (sixth floor), Point Breeze. $15-20. Reservations at

Fri., April 10 — Stage

Flat Stanley isn't just a fun school project anymore. In a Pittsburgh International Children's Theater event, Flat Stanley visits the Byham Theater for six performances starting this morning of the Dallas Children's Theater production. When Stanley Lambchop wakes up flat one morning after getting squished by his bulletin board, he decides to explore the globe and break out of his normal routine. As in the bestselling book by Jeff Brown, Stanley learns that heroes come in all shapes and sizes in this musical travelogue. Zacchiaus McKee 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Continues through Sun., April 12. 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $9.50-11. 412-456-6666 or

Fri., April 10 — Stage

The Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall specializes in exhibits commemorating the Civil War. On the sesquicentennial of the war's end, it depicts that conflict on stage. The venue is producing a three-performance run of The Civil War, the Tony-nominated 1999 Broadway musical. The show blends fiction and history with original country, rock and gospel music to portray characters including Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass; the 50-person cast is directed by Stephen Santa, whose résumé includes Off-Broadway credits. Saturday's show follows the library's Civil War Living History Weekend, a full day of talks and historical recreations. Bill O'Driscoll 7:30 p.m. Also 7:30 p.m. Sat., April 11, and 2 p.m. Sun., April 12. 300 Beechwood Ave., Carnegie. $5-30. 412-276-3456 or

Sat., April 11 — Exhibit

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Super Science Series allows visitors to explore a topic with hands-on activities, experiments, demonstrations and discussions. Today, honor the earth and all its riches with the museum's Earth Day and Spring Soil Spectacular. Uncover the secrets of soil from microscopic life to mysterious metals. Meet soil scientists, hunt for nematodes (a kind of worm) and get some gardening advice. This event is meant to help children see how they can help save the planet, and how to celebrate Earth Day later this month. ZM Noon-4 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free with museum admission ($11.95-19.95). 412-622-3131 or

Image courtesy of Ross Nugent

Sat., April 11 — Screen

The touring version of the venerable Black Maria Film Festival makes its annual visit. The New Jersey-based fest's international juried competition selects short, cutting-edge works of fiction, documentary and animation. This year, the Jury's Choice — that's first prize — went to "Steel Mill Rolling," Pittsburgh-based Ross Nugent's doc about the former Sharon steel mill, which the Mercer County native shot while working there one summer. Black Maria executive director Jane Steuerwald presents tonight's program (including "Steel Mill Rolling") at Pittsburgh Filmmakers' Melwood Screening Room tonight. BO 7:30 p.m. 477 Melwood Ave., Oakland. $8. 412-682-4111 or

Sat., April 11 — Comedy

Find an object that's: (1) an interesting (but PG-13) shape; (2) bigger than an apple; and (3) not valuable or easily damaged. Take it tonight to the Amish Monkeys' Bring-a-Prop Night, at Gemini Theater. At this annual audience-favorite event, the long-running improv troupe will use selected props as the basis for games, scenes and songs. And may you never look at that random object the same way again. BO 8 p.m. 7501 Penn Ave., Point Breeze. $9.

Photo courtesy of Ian Murphy, FACE Collection

Mon., April 13 — Talk

The end of a marriage can be heartbreaking. The end of an international marriage raises questions of culture, politics and identity. In her memoir Leaving Before the Rain Comes, British-born, Zimbabwe-raised Alexandra Fuller confronts tough questions about her past, about the American man she married, and about the family she left behind in Africa. The book has been described as "astonishingly powerful; funny, heartbreaking and wise." Fuller, who currently lives in Wyoming, speaks at Carnegie Music Hall tonight as part of Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures' Monday Night Lectures series. ZM 7:30 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $15-40. 412-622-8866 or

Photo courtesy of Michael Mancini

Tue., April 14 — Stage

How would it feel, on the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, to see the play Lincoln himself was watching when John Wilkes Booth pulled the trigger? Reverent, haunting or merely morbid? You decide as Carlow University Theatre stages Our American Cousin, the Tom Tyler comedy that Ford's Theater so fatefully produced in 1865. Carlow's Steve Fatla directs a large cast featuring such local stage veterans as Jay Keenan. The performances at the Rosemary Heyl Theatre will be rendered in a period-appropriate melodramatic style, with four kibbitzing "audience members" onstage to lend further 19th-century atmosphere. The first of seven performances is tonight. BO 8 p.m. Continues through Sun., April 19. Carlow campus, Oakland. $20-40. 412-578-8748 or

Wed., April 15 Postponed till May 11th — Music

Audra McDonald is known for her soaring soprano and varied theater, film and television credits. In a fundraiser for the Hill House, McDonald appears in concert at the Byham Theater tonight. A six-time Tony Award winner, McDonald has appeared as Dr. Naomi Bennett on television's Private Practice, as Mother Abbess in NBC's production of The Sound of Music Live! and, most recently, onstage as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill. Local singer Nikki Porter serves as mistress of ceremonies. ZM 8 p.m.101 Sixth St., Downtown. $62.75-133.75. 412-456-6666 or

Wed., April 15 — Dance

Tonight, the Pillow Project begins an ambitious enterprise. Each night through April 30, the multimedia dance troupe will offer a new iteration of its durational installation (a) Long Here, which uses video projection, live performance, chalk drawings and more to explore the nature of time and memory, and the value we place upon the long-lasting as opposed to the fleeting. Every night at the Space Upstairs, expect something new (built on something old). Each ticket is a series pass for this "series of accumulating nows." BO 8-10 p.m. (9 p.m. performance). 242 Lexington Ave., Point Breeze. $10-15.

Thu., April 16 — Talk

Starting tonight, the Hill House Kaufmann Center houses The Living Room Chronicles: A Storytelling Series. Created and hosted by actor and spoken-word artist Leslie "Ezra" Smith, the series spotlights notable contributors to local culture. First on the set's couch is Paradise Gray, who in the South Bronx during hip hop's early days was a DJ, rapper, break-dancer and member of seminal black-consciousness hip-hop group X-Clan; he also chronicled the scene as a writer and photographer. He's a founding member of Pittsbugh-based 1Hood Media Academy. Tonight, while Gray tells his stories, an offstage artist will paint pictures inspired by his words. Living Room Chronicles continues the third Wednesday of each month May through September. BO 7 p.m. 1825 Centre Ave., Hill District. $5. 21 and over.

Thu., April 16 — Words

"There was no railroad in Fuling. To go anywhere you took the boat, but mostly you didn't go anywhere. For the next two years the city was my home," writes Peter Hessler in River Town, which chronicles his time spent teaching in China. Hessler, a MacArthur fellow, has written several books about everyday life in China, and is currently living in Cairo, reporting on Egypt for The New Yorker. Hessler's talk tonight, at the University of Pittsburgh's Public Health Auditorium, wraps the season for the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series. ZM 8:30 p.m. 130  De Soto St., Oakland. Free. 412-624-6508 or

Comments (0)

Add a comment

Add a Comment