Short List: Aug 10-17 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: Aug 10-17

Seven new art exhibits at Center for the Arts; the 13th annual BikeFest; Good Joke Bad Joke Bingo; Steel City Kitty Burlesque & Variety Show


FREE EVENT: Fri., Aug. 11 – Art

Cleveland native Stephanie Armbruster came to Pittsburgh to study painting at Carnegie Mellon University; she graduated in 2006, and within a few years became a presence on the local scene with her striking abstract encaustic paintings. Numerous solo and group shows followed. But for most of 2016, Armbruster took a sabbatical from painting, partly because of her travel schedule as a digital marketing consultant for higher education (with clients including Penn State). Travel, however, has since repaid her art. What Hath Night to Do With Sleep, Armbruster’s new solo show at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, was inspired by those trips — which included, more recreationally, her first visit to Europe. The large-scale title work, for instance, was sparked by taking in the Louvre — “Nothing prepared me for the scale of it all,” she says — where several works referenced John Milton. (The show’s title quotes the famed British poet.) Armbruster traces “Speak Your Name by the Secret Door” to a site in Berlin, and “The Moon as Viewed From the Bottom of a Well” was inspired by a Haruki Murakami novel she read while flying to San Francisco. While Armbruster’s three new works in molten wax and pigment reflect a palette that still forefronts deep, dusty blues, she’s also including examples of a new technique, with five mixed-media works on paper, incorporating oil paints and coal blacks: “I’ve completely fallen in love with it.”

What Hath Night is one of seven new shows opening Aug. 11 at PCA. Also featured is work by the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh, and Allegheny Metals Club, and by solo artists Christine Lorenz, Laura Jean McLaughlin, Desiree Palermo and Amy Schissel.

— By Bill O’Driscoll

PITTSBURGH CENTER FOR THE ARTS Opening reception: 5:30-9 p.m. Fri., Aug. 11 (free). Exhibits continue through Oct. 29. 6300 Fifth Ave., Shadyside. 412-361-0873 or

Photo courtesy of Gary Margeson

Thu., Aug. 10 – Cycling

Bicycling has gotten so big here that it was an issue in the mayoral campaign. Mark the growth with Bike Pittsburgh’s 13th annual BikeFest. The 18-day fest includes some 40 events, mostly independently organized rides — long and short, urban and rural, easy and hard — but also safety seminars and other fun stuff for every interest and experience level. Start with tonight’s BikePGH beer release, at Grist House, or Saturday’s kickoff party, at the Wheel Mill, and ride on from there. BikeFest concludes Aug. 27 with UPMC Health Plan PedalPGH, the region’s biggest ride. BO Aug. 10-27. Various venues. Most events are free. Complete schedule at

Photo courtesy of Rockhan Photography

Thu., Aug. 10 – Music

Contemporary Broadway tunes sung by local professional talents, for free, alongside one of the most spectacular views of Downtown: Broadway at the Overlook has all that, this weekend and next. On the West End’s Elliott Overlook, hear Pittsburgh Musical Theater artists, backed by a live band, offer selections from shows in PMT’s upcoming season, including Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Evil Dead: The Musical and High School Musical. Picnickers are welcome starting an hour prior to the 90-minute program. BO 7:30 p.m. Also 7:30 p.m. nightly Fri., Aug. 11; Sat., Aug. 12; and Aug. 18 and 19. Free. West End.

Fri., Aug. 11 – Pop Culture

The Steel City Con returns to the Monroeville Convention Center today, bringing comics and toys to buy, and celebrities to see, including headliner Burt Reynolds. Hundreds of vendors are promised, plus contests for costumes and trivia. Panel participants include cast members of The Brady Bunch; the Karate Kid himself, Ralph Macchio; and Beverly D’Angelo and Dana Barron, who played Ellen and Audrey Griswold in the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies. Matt Petras 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Also 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sat., Aug. 12, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun., Aug. 13. 209 Mall Blvd., Monroeville. $23-50. 724-502-4350 or

Fri., Aug. 11 – Words

It’s her debut novel, but Zinzi Clemmons is already receiving a great deal of praise for What We Lose. Clemmons primarily tackles loss, following a protagonist grieving over the death of her mother. “The story not only thematically and structurally changes the usual story of loss, but also highlights a hardened subject matter with new and original attention,” writes Elena Bruess for The A.V. Club. Clemmons, raised in Philadelphia and currently living in Los Angeles, visits White Whale Bookstore tonight.  MP 7 p.m. 4754 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Free. 412-224-2847 or

Fri., Aug. 11 - Festival

Sewickley is custom-motorcycle central this weekend courtesy of the 10th annual Café Racer Magazine Readers Ride-In Bike Show. You needn’t subscribe to the internationally distributed, Sewickley-based periodical to enjoy its biggest show ever, dedicated to hand-built street bikes. Festivities begin with tonight’s cocktail party at The Slippery Mermaid and a screening of Quadrophenia (rockers vs. mods!) at the Tull Family Theater. All day tomorrow, in War Memorial Park, join pro and amateur builders from across the U.S. and Canada for demo rides, a used-bike marketplace, a parts-and-accessories swap, cash-and-prizes bike contests, food trucks and more. There’s even a day-long film fest of classic British biker flicks. BO 7 p.m. (various venues). Also 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat., Aug. 12 (625 Blackburn Road). Sewickley. $5 (bike registration: $10; Quadrophenia screening ticketed separately).

Photo courtesy of Kate Hagerty

Fri., Aug. 11 – Stage

British playwright Caryl Churchill (Top Girls, A Number) is known for her fierce wit and daring experiments with dramatic structure. In the 1979 comedy Cloud 9, act one follows the escapades, sexual and otherwise, of a British family in  colonial Africa circa 1880; act two is set a century later with several of the same characters, though they’ve aged only 25 years. Cross-gender and cross-racial casting are also involved. Starting tonight, Throughline Theatre Co. tackles Cloud 9 at the Henry Heymann Theatre. Edwin Lee Gibson directs a cast including Malic Williams, Liam Ezra Dicksinson and Tracey D. Turner. BO 8 p.m. Continues through Aug. 19. 4301 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $15-20 (add $10 for opening-night party; Aug. 12 performance is pay-what-you-can).

Photo courtesy of Jaqueline Fouasnon

Fri., Aug. 11 – Comedy

Shawn Wickens brings his touring comedy show Good Joke/Bad Joke Bingo to Steel City Improv tonight. Wickens thought it was crazy that his fellow New York comedians didn’t want to leave the state following Donald Trump’s election, fearing poor crowd reaction, so he went ahead and did it. The show finds Wickens performing standup based on jokes randomly pulled via bingo numbers. Audience members can also win prizes described as “cheap, insignificant [and] hilarious.” MP 8 p.m. 5950 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. $10. 412-404-2695 or

*Fri., Aug. 11 – Comedy

*This event has been moved to October*

Comedian Artie Lange, a former regular on Howard Stern’s radio program, continues to have a successful career despite his history of drug addiction and a 2010 suicide attempt. Lange, who plays the Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall tonight, is known for his openness about his foibles. In one standup routine, on Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, he cracked up explaining how he once hurriedly bought some drugs from a dealer while still in a pig outfit for a Mad TV skit. MP 8 p.m. 510 E. 10th Ave., Munhall. $39-49. 877-987-6487 or

Sat., Aug. 12 – Festival

You don’t need permission to make chalk art on public pavements. But today’s inaugural Northside Chalk Walk encourages everyone to grab a stick of compressed limestone and get to work on the sidewalks. Seven neighborhood locations, including James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy, Artists Image Resource and Scratch Food & Beverage, will have sidewalk chalk on hand at this day-long, family-friendly event, which also incorporates art vendors, live painters, music, food trucks and more. The evening’s Adult Chalk Walk includes ticketed sets by local bands at James Street. BO 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Adult Chalk Walk: 7 p.m.-midnight (free). North Side. (“NSChalkwalk”)

click to enlarge ART BY LAUREN SCAVO
Art by Lauren Scavo

Sat., Aug. 12 – Art

Sweetwater Center for the Arts opens the exhibit Familiar Spaces, featuring the work of Lauren Scavo. The landscape drawings by this Pittsburgh native are “extremely intimate,” according to press materials; Scavo was inspired by actual Western Pennsylvania landscapes. Several works feature a thick grey border that frames the drawing in a distinctive way. Scavo herself visits for an Aug. 17 artist talk. Matt Petras 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Exhibit continues through Sept. 9. 200 Broad St., Sewickley. 412-741-4405 or

Photo courtesy of Witty Pixel

Sat., Aug. 12 - Burlesque

Like burlesque itself, the Steel City Kitty Burlesque & Variety Show’s summer party is a tradition. The sixth annual iteration of producer Kat de Lac’s extravaganza features Kitty regulars like Just Jingles and boylesque star Smokin’ McQueen alongside an all-star cast of visiting talents working in burlesque, comedy, contortion, puppetry, sideshow and drag. Guests at the Rex Theater include New England’s Kristen Minsky & The TropiGals; New York’s Clea Cutthroat; Seattle’s Luminous Pariah (described as “hyper-intelligent satire mixed with avant-garde costume pageantry”); Toronto-based drag king and comedian Maximum Capacity; and more. BO 8 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $20-30 (VIP: $50-100).

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