Short List: February 20 - 26 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Spotlight: Thu., Feb. 21 — Stage

After years of busting small-time hoods, he's no millionaire playboy, and rescuing damsels in distress hasn't made this crime-fighter less lonely. It's a job, and it keeps Pittsburgh Batman in beer and hoagies. Pittsburgh might take his gruff, old-school service for granted ... until a criminal mastermind unleashes a crime wave on all yinz. Indie stage play Pittsburgh Batman, premiering with three performances Feb. 21-23, promises a satirical but "ultimately loving send-up of some of the quirks of Pittsburgh," says Jarrod Weeks, the playwright and lead. A confessed comic-book geek, Weeks has written a novel and two screenplays; he's best known as Lord Grunge, of underground hip-hop duo Grand Buffet. Pittsburgh Batman, too, has music-scene ties. Grand Buffet staged a rowdy reunion show as a fundraiser, and its 15 performers are more familiar with musical stages than with theater. Written in 2008 (yes, before Christian Bale came calling), the play grew out of tour-van riffs with bandmates and road buddies. The cast includes Grand Buffet, actor Patrick Jordan and Ultimate Donny of Gil Mantera's Party Dream. Some local celebrities will be impersonated; some, like Weird Paul, play themselves. "The mission is not to offend; it's to entertain at all costs," says Weeks. "It's as much a love letter as a prod." Aaron Jentzen Thu., Feb. 21-Sat., Feb. 23. Bricolage Productions, 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Sold out at press time. 

Thu., Feb. 21 — Art

The Carnegie Museum of Art's Oh Snap! is a photography project that lets visitors share their work with the public in the museum itself. Starting tonight, the Forum Gallery will feature 13 newly added photographs designed to get the creative juices flowing. Visitors are invited to submit their own photos inspired by the exhibition; every day, a new submission will be hung alongside its inspiration in the gallery. The show kicks off with a launch party. Jeff Ihaza 6 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free. 412-622-3212 or

Thu., Feb. 21 — Words

If you want to know what's ailing your favorite team on the field, then perhaps Dave Zirin isn't the sports writer for you. But if you want to know what's wrong with your team and the world of sports in general, Zirin and his Edge of Sports blog might be exactly the ticket. The controversial sports writer and author speaks tonight at a forum sponsored by the International Socialist Organization at Shadyside's Friends Meeting House. Zirin will discuss sports, politics and his new book tackling both: Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down. Charlie Deitch 7:30 p.m. 4836 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. Free.

Fri., Feb. 22 — Art

Expect thoughtful and unpredictable takes on bullying among U.S. schoolgirls from Mean Girls. Curator Jill Larson (late of Fe Gallery) has chosen a diverse array of widely known artists, including Pittsburgh's Vanessa German and Sonja Sweterlitsch and also Brooklyn-based artist and activist Traci Molloy, who explore loss in relation to adolescent violence and bullying. Mean Girls is a touring show (in partnership with the nonprofit Strong Women, Strong Girls) that debuts at SPACE. Tonight's opening reception includes a spoken-word performance by German. Bill O'Driscoll 5:30-9 p.m. Exhibit continues through April 28. 812 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Free. 412-325-7723 or

Fri., Feb.22 — Stage

Seasoned monologist David Cale is a favorite at The Andy Warhol Museum's Off the Wall series. His most recent sold-out appearance was 2009's Palomino. Tonight and tomorrow, Cale returns with his new show, Harry Clarke. Described as a "sexually charged and hilarious ... one-man thriller," it's about a shy Midwesterner who infiltrates a wealthy New York family while posing as a cocky Londoner. Cale, himself a Brit, plays all the roles; Joanna Settle directs. BO 8 p.m. Also 8 p.m. Sat., Feb. 23. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. $20-25. 412-237-8300 or

Photo courtesy of Kevin Sunderman

Fri., Feb. 22 — Dance

For the latest in her series of health-care-themed dance works, Bodiography Contemporary Ballet's Maria Caruso immersed herself in stories of loss from Highmark's Caring Place, a center for grieving children, adolescents and their families. Whispers of Light is a 70-minute ballet performed by 18 dancers and 14 children from the Caring Place, set to an original score performed live by a 13-piece orchestra. The show premieres at the Byham Theater with performances tonight and tomorrow. Steve Sucato 8 p.m. Fri., Feb. 22, and 8 p.m. Sat., Feb. 23. 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $26.95-100. 412-456-6666 or

Sat., Feb. 22 — Comedy

It's a weekend of unique comedy at Upstairs at Mullen's. Tonight and tomorrow, Mark Lundholm returns. The edgy, high-energy touring comic is known for his acclaimed one-man show Addicted: A Comedy of Substance, which played off-Broadway; tonight's performance is followed tomorrow by two alcohol-free shows aimed at the recovery community. Sunday, there's Mitch Hedberg's Birthday Party, in which local comics honor the late, great Hedberg with jokes in his style. The evening (benefiting the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank) features Mitcheoke, highlighting tales of working with Hedberg. BO Lundholm: 8 p.m. Also 8 and 10 p.m. Sat., Feb. 23 ($25). Hedberg Birthday: 8 p.m. Sun., Feb. 24 ($8). 200 Federal St., North Side. 412-231-1112 or

Sat., Feb. 23 — Cars

While no car is actually good for the environment, we can do much better. Today's Green Gatherings: Behind the Wheel showcases cars fueled with something besides gasoline. Mechanics and reps from groups like GTECH and Fossil Free Fuels visit Baum Boulevard Automotive to answer questions. And there's on-site test-driving of everything from a pickup truck converted to run on used cooking oil to a swanky Tesla Model S electric car. The event is cosponsored by environmental radio show The Allegheny Front, 90.5 WESA and 91.3 WYEP. BO 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 4741 Baum Blvd., Bloomfield. Free. Register at

Sat., Feb. 23 — Words

Those super-trendy TED talks have locally organized incarnations. The latest in Pittsburgh is TEDxGrandviewAve. In today's inaugural event, organizer Kacey Wherley's lineup of 10 local speakers with innovative ideas includes: Braddock Mayor John Fetterman; serial social entrepreneur and Couchange founder Jia Ji; and architect and sustainability activist Christine Mondor. The live event, Downtown, is sold out, but there are free webcast parties in Uptown, Oakland and East Liberty. The ticketed after-party, Downtown ($25), doubles as a launch for nightlife pub Urbanist Pittsburgh and boasts a smorgasbord by local restaurants and drinks purveyors. BO 11 a.m.-5 p.m. After-party: 5:30-10 p.m. (812 Liberty Ave., Downtown).

Sat., Feb. 23 — Screen

For a mere $15, it's a full day of cinematic mayhem. Dormont's Hollywood Theater hosts GRRRINDHAHS!!! Pittsburgh's Exploitation Celebration — nine films representing the '60s, '70s and '80s shlock cinema of seven countries. From the homegrown 1968 chopper flick Angels from Hell and Taiwanese revenge pic Wolf-Devil Woman to an amusingly titled women's prison drama (The Big Bust Out) and the Spanish chainsaw-killer film Pieces, there's something for every grindhouse fan. Al Hoff 11:30 a.m. 1449 Potomac Ave., Dormont. $15 (single films for $5).

Sat., Feb. 23 — Art

Believe it or not, it's the Mattress Factory's 35th anniversary. The world-renowned museum of installation art launches its year-long celebration with two events. This afternoon's Community Party invites families for hands-on fun (including a gallery scavenger hunt) and cake; the pay-what-you-wish price includes museum admission. Later, Tom Sarver's Art Olympic Theatre returns. Three teams of artists led by Nina Marie Barbuto, Julia Cahill and Christiane Leach will compete to build sculptural installations from a mystery hoard of materials. Spectators enjoy food, drink, audience games and music. BO Community Party: 1-4 p.m. Art Olympic Theatre: 5-7 p.m. ($20). 500 Sampsonia Way, North Side. 412-231-3169 or

Tue., Feb. 26 — Words

Author Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts has received numerous awards from organizations like the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Lannan Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She is the author of Harlem Is Nowhere: a Journey to the Mecca of Black America. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Harper's, Vogue and Essence. Tonight, at the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series, she reads at The University of Pittsburgh's Frick Fine Arts building. JI 8 p.m. Frick Fine Arts, Schenley Drive. Oakland. Free.

Thu., Feb. 28 — Comedy

Hannibal Buress says he doesn't put a napkin in his lap when he goes out to eat because "I believe in myself." Tonight, the former SNL writer and current co-host of The Eric Andre Show, on Adult Swim, brings his witty one-liners to Mr. Small's Theater in Millvale for a live standup show as part of his national tour. JI 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $20-22. 866-468-3401 or

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