Short List: August 19 - 27 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: August 19 - 27

Artist of the Year Dennis Marsico; SPACE ART at Neu Kirche; two new Rick Sebak specials


SPOTLIGHT: Fri., Aug. 21 — Art

Dennis Marsico spent much of his career as a travel photographer, with globe-hopping credits in glossy publications like Travel & Leisure. He’s still photographing journeys — geographic jaunts as well as the journey into old age. Marsico, 67, is the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Artist of the Year. His accompanying exhibit, the latest “act” in his ongoing series Age-Specific, explores how the 1960s generation who heralded a new youth culture, themselves now in their 60s, are doing. It’s “sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll,” he says: “Sex” was exhibited at New York’s prestigious 2013 Armory Show, and this is the “rock & roll” part, with photographs and video from both Italy — the Aspinwall native is a first-generation American — and Santa Cruz, Calif. The exhibit is eccentrically structured. In one darkened gallery, for instance, a video monitor plays, but visitors who want to see the 22 large prints must pay a quarter for 10 minutes of illumination — unless they’re between 60 and 70, and then it’s free. “This is my reverse age discrimination,” Marsico quips. Also opening Aug. 21 are shows by: Emerging Artist of the Year Seth Clark; Pittsburgh Print Group, juried by Kim Beck; and two artists from Philadelphia’s Center for Emerging Visual Artists, Myung Gyun You and Talia Greene. Bill O’Driscoll Reception: 5:30-9 p.m. Fri., Aug. 21. Exhibits continue through Nov. 1. 6300 Fifth Ave., Shadyside. $3-5 (free for children under 12). 412-361-0873 or

click to enlarge ART BY ZACK JOHN LEE
Art by Zack John Lee

Fri., Aug. 21 — Art

“I am intrigued by our ability to move without any conscious effort,” writes artist Zack John Lee on his website. “Our hands grasp and our legs walk but we rarely need to think of how to do these things.” Lee is writing about his approach to drawing, but his observation also echoes the theme of the new show he’s organized at The MINE Factory. being (human) — “an existential look at our place in the universe” — features new work by Lee, Gianna Paniagua, Ben Quint-Glick, and Rose and Sara Savage. The opening reception is tonight. Bill O’Driscoll 7-10 p.m. 201 N. Braddock Ave., Point Breeze. Free.

Fri., Aug. 21 — Stage

Maybe it’s something in the air, or else simply all the wine, but there seems to be no other place to fall in love like Italy. Margaret Johnson and her innocent daughter Clara certainly fall under the country’s spell in Light in the Piazza. Front Porch Theatricals’ new production of the Tony-winning musical by Craig Lucas and Adam Guettel opens tonight at the New Hazlett Theater. The show, directed by Stephen Santa, stars Lindsay Bayer (pictured) as Clara, Becki Toth as Margaret, and Joshua Grosso as the dashing Florentine Fabrizio Naccarelli. Joseph Peiser 8 p.m. Show continues through Aug. 30. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $30-35. 888-718-4253 or

Fri., Aug. 21 — Comedy

In case you haven’t heard, Pittsburgh’s having a comedy boom, and one of its outposts is The Maker Theater. Tonight, the Shadyside venue hosts two shows. Early, it’s the return of Always B Sharp, the former house team specializing in improvised musical comedies. Later comes Underkill, a new sketch comedy troupe supplementing its live performance with video, and striving “to bring laughter and mild discomfort to the masses.” BO Always B Sharp: 8 p.m.; Underkill: 10 p.m. 5950 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. Both shows are $5. 412-404-2695 or

Fri., Aug. 21 — Words

Poetry? Yes. But also “a party with wine, snacks, hundreds of gumballs and free admission.” The Pink & Shiny Party, at ModernFormations Gallery, celebrates local poet and activist Sarah Boyle’s debut chapbook, What’s pink & shiny/what’s dark & hard (Porkbelly Press). Boyle will read; so will poet Margaret Bashaar. Artist Brandt will create a painting live, and singer-songwriter Adam Gibson will perform acoustically. Please RSVP on the event’s Facebook page. BO 8 p.m. 4919 Penn Ave., Garfield. Free. 412-362-0274 or

Photo courtesy of Larry Rippel

Sat., Aug. 22 — Festival

Few places in a city contain more of its history than do cemeteries. Today, Homewood Cemetery, one of the city’s largest, marks its status as a Pittsburgh institution with its annual Founder’s Day celebration, courtesy of the Homewood Cemetery Historical Fund. This year’s “See the World!” theme remembers the cemetery’s many international residents, with musicians and dancers from West Africa; a Chinese Lion Dance; Middle Eastern musicians; and more. A “passport” scavenger hunt will lead children through important areas of the cemetery, educating them on the diversity of the grounds. JP Noon-4 p.m. 1599 S. Dallas Ave., Squirrel Hill. Free. 412-421-1822 or

Sat., Aug. 22 — Festival

For a blend of retro culture and the roar of two-stroke engines, it’s hard to top Steel City Mods vs. Rockers. The day-long festival, an homage to the rival British youth cultures of the mid-1960s, is in its sixth year. Scooter-riding mods and motorcycle-obsessed rockers will turn out for the vintage motorcycle and scooter shows and contests, a pinup contest and more. And the live bands and DJs taking over Millvale’s Grant Avenue lean toward roots rock, Northern soul and ska. BO Noon-5 p.m. Millvale. $5 (with bike) or $10 (without bike).

Sun., Aug. 23 — Art

There’s a lot of talk lately about life on other planets, including the possibility of humans relocating there. Tonight, at Neu Kirche Contemporary Art Center, SPACE ART: An Evening in the Stars furthers the conversation with a program of multimedia art, installations, performance, music, film and spoken word exploring the idea of life in space. The contributors, both locally based and visiting, include: filmmaker Jonathan Minard; physics teacher and science-fiction author Diane Turnshek; media artist and designer Sofy; engineer and electronic musician Dan Wilcox; recording engineer and composer Christopher Balta; and media artist Anika Hirt. BO 7-10 p.m. 1000 Madison Ave., Deutschtown. Free. 412-322-2224 or

Tue., Aug. 25 — Screen

Though he’s known locally for celebrating all things Pittsburgh, Rick Sebak also roams the wider nation’s side roads in search of intriguing tidbits — especially edible ones. But there’s still always some Pittsburgh in Sebak’s TV specials, and the two he’s premiering tonight, on WQED-TV, are no different. A Few Good Pie Places (airing at 8 p.m.) actually features a dozen pie spots around the U.S., including Millvale’s own Grant Bar & Restaurant. (Pictured is Grant Bar’s Frank Ruzomberka making his famed coconut cream pie.) And at 9 p.m., A Few Great Bakeries takes you to 10 businesses coast to coast, including Minerva Bakery, in McKeesport. Bon appetit. BO 8 and 9 p.m.

Wed., Aug. 26 — Words

If you’ve ever spent a weekend afternoon relaxing in your most comfortable chair, glad to have a break from work, thank a labor union. Unions won many victories throughout the 20th century, and author Erik Loomis’ new book, Out of Sight: The Long and Disturbing Story of Corporations Outsourcing Catastrophe (The New Press), explores their role in important social advances and environmental protections, including the Clean Water and Clean Air acts and creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Loomis, a history professor at the University of Rhode Island, reads from and discusses the book today at Big Idea Bookstore. JP 1:30 p.m. 4812 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Free. 412-687-4323 or

Wed., Aug. 26 — Talk

Proponents of the paleo diet argue that the best way to eat is how our hunter-gatherer ancestors did: exclusively meat, vegetables and fruit, leaving out any foods, like dairy or grain, that arose with the advent of agriculture. Juli Bauer, a popular paleo blogger and New York Times bestselling author of The Paleo Kitchen, speaks today at the Penguin Bookshop about Juli Bauer’s Paelo Cookbook: Over 100 Gluten-Free Recipes to Help You Shine From Within. Doughnuts are unlikely to be served. JP 6 p.m. 417 Beaver St., Sewickley. Free. 412-741-3838 or 

Thu., Aug. 27 — Music

The Piano Guys are a great example of the unexpected power of the Internet. What started as some homemade commercials for a piano shop in southern Utah has exploded into an online sensation with over 500 million YouTube views. The Piano Guys blend pop music with classical sensibility and performance chops. They’ve taken their act around the world and are now landing in Pittsburgh for tonight’s performance at the Benedum Center. This show aims to please music fans of all ages. JP 8 p.m. 237 Seventh St., Downtown. $32.25-62.25. 412-456-6666 or

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