Short List: February 12 - 18 | Short List | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
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Short List: February 12 - 18 

Art show takes aim at gun culture; Arcade Comedy Theater turns 2; nine solo shows open at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts; Tiempo Libre plays the Byham

FREE EVENT: Fri., Feb. 13 — Art

What's left to say about guns? Perennial Second Amendment debates are so easily caricatured as "for" and "against." But if you want fresh takes, and swatches of gray area, consider new SPACE gallery exhibit Unloaded. Organized by Carnegie Mellon University art professor Susanne Slavick, the group show opening Fri., Feb. 13, explores the historical and social issues surrounding the availability, use and impact of guns in our culture. The 19 artists comprise a national roster including such Pittsburgh artists as Slavick and Vanessa German, and contributors based in China and Germany. Mel Chin's "Cross for the Unforgiven" is a Maltese cross fashioned from eight AK-47s. Nina Berman's photography series "Homeland" captures military-weapons displays, SWAT-team training and more from around the country. Renee Stout's "Baby's First Gun" is a deceptively sweet keepsake. And Casey Li Brander's self-portrait "Destiny Fulfilled" (pictured) combines pop iconography — singing group Destiny's Child; shotguns — in a way that defies stereotypes. Noting that nothing in Unloaded is truly pro-gun, Slavick acknowledges the risk of preaching to the converted. But she says these piquant artworks might re-sensitize viewers, or perhaps inspire activism. She hopes one point comes through with a bang: "The data point to guns as a major public-health crisis," she says. "That is something that people can't in a knee-jerk way oppose." Bill O'Driscoll 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Exhibit continues through April 26. 812 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Free. 412-325-7723 or www.spacepittsburgh.org

Thu., Feb. 12 — Crafts

In a 21-and-over event, the Children's Museum hosts holiday-themed MAKEnight program My Snarky Valentine. MAKEnights are after-hours affairs putting your cutting, crafting, lasering and stitching skills to the test. Laser-cut a wooden heart with your favorite pillow-talk phrase; create molded chocolates in the shape of your body parts; sew a voodoo doll; make a Cupid's bow and arrow; and more. Light food and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be served at this scandalous crafting event. Zacchiaus McKee 6:30-9:30 p.m. 10 Children's Way, North Side. $12-17. 412-322-5058 or www.pittsburghkids.org

Thu., Feb. 12 — Stage

Jeff Stetson's play The Meeting imagines a 1965 meeting, in Harlem, between Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. The critically acclaimed 1987 one-act, depicting the two men debating their philosophies, has been staged internationally. "You feel as if you've watched a kind of human-scale wrestling with angels," wrote the San Francisco Examiner about one production. Houston-based director Eileen J. Morris returns to Pittsburgh to guide a new staging for New Horizon Theater, starring Michael Green, as King, and Art Terry, as Malcolm. The first performance, at Pitt's Falk School Auditorium, is tonight. Bill O'Driscoll 7:30 p.m. Show continues through Feb. 22. 4060 Allequippa St., Oakland. $15-20. 412-431-0773 or www.newhorizontheater.org

Thu., Feb. 12 — Stage

With a secret love affair, drug abuse, peer pressure and a religious backdrop, drama reigns in Robert Morris University's production of Hartmere and Intrabartolo's Bare. The rock musical focuses on two gay teenagers and their struggles at a Catholic boarding school. Despite recent advances in marriage equality, the musical is as relevant now as when it premiered, in 2004. The cult hit's Pittsburgh-premiere production has four more performances after tonight's. ZM 7:30 p.m. Continues through Sun., Feb. 15. Massey Hall, 6001 University Blvd., Moon. $10. 412-397-5454 or www.rmu.edu/theatre

click to enlarge Dog in the Manger at University of Pittsburgh Stages

Thu., Feb. 12 — Stage

A classic of Spain's golden age of theater, Lope de Vega's 1618 romantic comedy Dog in the Manger gets a sexy new translation by University of Pittsburgh Stages. The play follows haughty countess Diana, who rejects her many suitors and falls for her handsome young secretary, Teodoro, himself actually in love with Diana's maid. The play is directed by Dennis Schebetta, whose film My Date With Adam debuted at the 2013 Three Rivers Film Festival. The play opens tonight. ZM 8 p.m. Continues through Feb. 22. Charity Randall Theatre, 4301 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $12-25. 412-624-7529 or www.play.pitt.edu

click to enlarge Pittsburgh Center for the Arts
  • Art by Joy Christiansen Erb

Feb. 13 — Art

Nine locally based artists pushing the boundaries of contemporary art all have new solo shows at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. One of them, Scott Andrew's multimedia installation "Phase Shift," takes the "cloaking technology" from Star Trek Next Generation as a metaphor. Katie Ford offers mixed-media sculptural works that play with sounds within the gallery itself. And Oreen Cohen augments her installation "Nearly Captured" with a one-night-only performance. Other artists include Vlad Basarub, Terry Boyd with Kara Skylling, Joy Christiansen Erb, Joseph Lupo, Katie Murken and Hisham Youssef. The exhibits, all curated by the PCA's Adam Welch, open with a reception tonight. BO 5:30-9 p.m. Exhibits continue through May 3. 6300 Fifth Ave., Shadyside. $5. 412-361-0873 or www.pittsburgharts.org

Fri., Feb. 13 — Comedy

"The city's only nonprofit theater dedicated wholly to comedy," Arcade Comedy Theater, is doing pretty well. The Downtown venue marks its second anniversary with six shows over three days, from improv and standup to an appearance by Rick Sebak. It starts tonight with an early set by short-form improv troupe Player One, sketch group Spinster Comedy, and musicians Brad & Zoob. Magician/comedian Lee Terbosic headlines the late show. On Saturday, Sebak is featured at the early improv-and-storytelling show, and standup competition Comic Wars holds the late slot. BO 8 and 10 p.m. Shows continues through Sun., Feb. 15. 811 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $5-15. www.arcadecomedytheater.com

Sat., Feb. 14 — Art

Starting Feb. 11, you might have noticed the Gulf Tower changing colors unusually. That's a tie-in to new Carnegie Museum of Art exhibition Antoine Catala: Distant Feel. The French-born, New York-based artist is using the Downtown landmark's peak as a six-story mood ring, one that turns green when Pittsburgh's Instagram images are trending happy, red for sad. At Carnegie proper, Catala's first solo U.S. museum exhibition includes new sculpture, photography and video exploring how images in the digital age provoke emotion. The Forum Gallery exhibit opens today. BO 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $11.95-17.95 (free for kids under 3). 412-622-3212 or www.cmoa.org

Sat., Feb. 14 — Outdoors

It's cold feet and warm hearts today at some public ice rinks. The county's North Park and South Park and the city's Schenley Park all offer two-for-one ice-skating for Valentine's. The county special runs all day, though free Valentine leis are while-supplies-last, and the photo booth is open 1-9 p.m. In the evening only, Schenley's venerable Valentines on Ice event includes free roses and chocolates for the first 300 couples, a keepsake photo, free salsa lessons indoors, and more. BO North and South parks: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. ($3-5; 724-935-1280 and 412-833-1499 or www.alleghenycounty.us/parks). Schenley: 7-10 p.m. ($4; 412-422-6523 or www.pittsburghpa.gov/citiparks). Skate rental not included.

Sat., Feb. 14 — stage

Bunker Projects is an experimental gallery with a live-in artist residency program. With site-specific installations, the Bloomfield gallery hosts open-studio hours and aims to actively engage with the community. Tonight, for Valentine's Day, Bunker hosts Night of Erotica 2, a series of performance-art pieces, literary readings and more by nine local artists. It also features Arielle Seligson and Sarah LaPonte's Hug Deli, a concession stand of sorts offering romantic gestures, from different types of hugs and kisses to handshakes. ZM 8 p.m. 5106 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $5-10 suggested donation. 412-440-8422or www.bunkerprojects.org

Sat., Feb. 14 — Stage

Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co.'s annual Festival in Black and White teams white playwrights with black directors, and vice versa, for entertaining and sometimes provocative evenings of new one-act plays. This year, the fest ups the ante with "Multicultural Edition," including local artists from even more varied cultural backgrounds. Program A premieres this afternoon, with Alexis Payne's crime drama "The Code," John Reoli's "Sublet: A Futuristic Real Estate Comedy," Michael A. Jones' "Family Matters" and Matt Henderson's crowdfunding comedy "The Roar of the Crowd." Program B, with four different plays, debuts tonight. BO 3 p.m. (Program A) and 8 p.m. (Program B). Programs continue in repertory through Feb. 28. 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $15-20. www.pghplaywrights.com

click to enlarge Tiempo Libre brings its Latin fusion to the Byham Theater

Wed., Feb. 18 — Music

Three-time Grammy-nominated Cuban timba group Tiempo Libre brings its Latin fusion to the Byham Theater tonight. A high-energy combination of jazz and Cuban music, Miami-based Tiempo Libre is known for its joyous concerts. It's unsurprising to find people dancing in the aisles and singing along at their concerts, which are often described as "music parties." Featuring music from their past two albums, My Secret Radio and Bach in Havana, the concert will reflect their lives studying classical music in Cuba and starting from scratch in a foreign culture. ZM 7:30 p.m. 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $30-45. 412-456-6666 or www.trustarts.org

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