Short List: July 17 - 25 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: July 17 - 25

Kyle Bogue and Philip Anthony Wilson in Defense of Marriage
Kyle Bogue and Philip Anthony Wilson in Defense of Marriage

SPOTLIGHT: Thu., July 18 — Stage

Like many volunteer-driven initiatives, the original Pittsburgh Pride Theater Festival had a good run and then joined history. But Judy Meiksin couldn't escape it: Folks who fondly recalled the LGBT-centric festival's four seasons (2004-07) kept asking Meiksin, a playwright and fest co-founder, when it was coming back. So finally, thanks to Meiksin and seven other volunteers (including longtime City Paper theater critic Ted Hoover), the festival is back. It returns to Downtown's Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co. space with a program of four one-act comedies, each taken from one of those first four festivals, and each by a seasoned playwright. Carol Mullen's "Is That a Gun in Your Pocket ..." concerns a businessman, a loan shark and a sexy hit man. Wali Jamal's "The Session" is about a lesbian couple in relationship counseling. Kathryn Miller Haines contributes "Sibling Rivalry," about a daughter desperate for her mother's attention. And then there's Jeff Cordrell's "Defense of Marriage," about a gay couple confronting the specter of commitment: Following last month's U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidating the federal Defense of Marriage Act, says Meiksin, Cordrell chose to update the play. The DOMA decision, in fact, puts the whole Pride program in a new light. "It's exciting to produce a festival right after that ruling," says Meiksin. "It's a nice celebration." Bill O'Driscoll July 18-27. 937 Liberty Ave. (third floor), Downtown. $15-20.

Thu., July 18 — Words

Pittsburgh is having a storytelling boom, and The True Story Party is something like The Moth, only more intimate and also free. The Party grew out of a California-based podcast, and Pittsburgh's incarnation is in its second month, at East End Book Exchange. Producer Stacy Keene, herself a local Moth regular, launched this noncompetitive outlet for short true stories, told live on stage without notes (but with snacks). Tonight, host Derek Minto welcomes nine tellers, including Krish Mohan, Marya Kiselova, local Moth favorite Nora Matthews and even local Moth host Alan Olifson. The theme is "I Spy"; listen in. Bill O'Driscoll 7-9 p.m. 4812 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Free. 412-224-2847

Fri., July 19 — Words

Ever the man for a hard sell, Cyberpunk Apocalypse founder Daniel McCloskey describes the joint's artist-nurturing initiative: "It's a close-quarters residency in a garbage-y house." Cyberpunk has also: survived a guns-drawn, wee-hours police raid during 2009's G20 summit; housed 36 writers; and seen completion of seven books, countless comics, zines and more — despite spending much of that time unheated. This year, the punk house for literature, now located on the North Side, turns 5. Celebrate at Assemble with readings/performances by McCloskey; poet Yona Harvey; Cyberpunk favorite Todd Faltin (pictured); playwright and novelist Tameka Cage Conley; and poet (and MC) Laura Warman. BO 7 p.m. 5125 Penn Ave., Garfield. Suggested donation: $5-10.

Fri., July 19 — Art

If he weren't an acclaimed artist, Andy Warhol might have been considered a hoarder. From 1974 to 1987, he filled more than 600 cardboard boxes with various items, an endeavor now known as his Time Capsule project. Nut bread from his cousin, a nude pic from Jacqueline Onassis, Polaroids, postcards and a tin Roy Rogers alarm clock are among the items The Andy Warhol Museum has unpacked over the years. With most of the capsules now opened, tonight, for the penultimate time, museum staffers publicly unpack a mystery box and answer audience questions. Olivia Lammel 7 p.m. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. Free with museum admission. 412-237-8300 or

Sat., July 20 — Outdoors

Today begins a new summer tradition. Jennings Environmental Education Center hosts Celebrate the Bloom, a day-long festival honoring its locally unique prairie habitat. The day offers guided walks for learning about local birds, butterflies and endangered Massasauga rattlesnakes. For a fee, visitors to this state-park facility can have breakfast with the birds or join workshops about bees and plant identification. The festival closes this evening with a symbolic bonfire and a performance by The Newlanders, a folk band that weaves Western Pennsylvanian tradition and history into its act.OL 9 a.m.-7 p.m. 2951 Prospect Road, Slippery Rock. Free. 724-794-6011 or

Sat., July 20 — Words

"Working on the cars is enormously therapeutic for me, but perhaps their highest value lies in their acting as a conduit for human interaction," writes Rob Siegel in his new book, Memoirs of a Hack Mechanic. Today and tomorrow, Siegel will bond with fellow car fanatics when he visits Schenley Park for the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix at the BMW Corral for a book-signing. And tonight, he'll make a pit stop at the Waterfront Barnes & Noble to read from and sign his book. OL 12:30-2 p.m.daily today and Sun., July 21 (Schenley Park). Also 6 p.m. Sat., July 20 (100 West Bridge St., Homestead). Free. 412-462-5743 or

Sat., July 20 — Music

Down in St. Thomas, they called it the Calypso King contest. But after Calypso Rose came along, they changed the winner's title to "Calypso Monarch." At age 73, Tobago-born Calypso Rose still tours internationally, and just played Lincoln Center. Tonight, she brings her vintage calypso sounds to the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater. Calypso is nearly as well known for its wry social commentary as for its infectious rhythms, and Rose, whose half-century career includes hits like "Fire in Me Wire," is its grande dame. The evening includes Ujamaa Collective's Caribbean market and a post-concert dance party. BO 7:30 p.m. 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty. $20 (dance party: $10 or free with concert ticket). 412-363-3000 or

Sat., July 20 — Screen

Last weekend, more than 800 Pittsburghers split into teams to compete in the annual 48 Hour Film Project. Each team was assigned a genre before spending 48 sleepless hours, writing, scoring, directing, shooting and editing their short films. Today, at Dormont's Hollywood Theater, about 50 finished films, all 7 minutes or less, will screen for audiences — and for judges who'll select finalists to screen July 28. The winner will compete against winners from 120 cities around the world for a slot at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. OL Films screen in groups of 13 at 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m. 1449 Potomac Ave., Dormont. $6-8.

Sat., July 20 — Comedy

Bid farewell tonight to man-about-town Robert Isenberg. After 15 years in Pittsburgh, the performer, author, journalist, playwright, filmmaker and world-traveler — whose play reviews and more regularly grace CP's pages — is leaving town. Robert Isenberg's See-You-Soon Tour includes short video and storytelling and draws from his Pittsburgh Monologue Project and Hodgepodge Society comedy-lecture series. Two performances tonight at Arcade Comedy Theater feature special guests including Joanne Lowe and Fred Betzner. It should be a lively send-off for this inveterately cheerful fellow. BO 8 and 10 p.m. 811 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $5-10.

Sun., July 20 — Music

Tonight's the second installment in Vie Boheme's Viva: BLACK trilogy, her impressionistic social history of African-American performance. In An Intimate Evening With Vie, the singer and performer (also known as Kendra Dennard) channels talents from Billie Holliday, Big Mama Thornton and Nina Simone to Michael Jackson and Erykah Badu, exploring "the things we went through and the music we made." The show, at the Hill House's Kaufmann Center Auditorium, features a VIP cocktail reception that includes special cabaret-style seating for the show. BO 8 p.m. (6:30 p.m. cocktail hour). 1825 Centre Ave., Hill District. $17-25 ($50 VIP).

Sun., July 21 — Music

Idina Menzel is perhaps best known as the green-faced Elphaba, singing "Defying Gravity" in Broadway musical Wicked. But she's also had a Tony-nominated role as Maureen in Rent, and played Sheila in Hair and Amneris in Aida. Tonight, however, Menzel performs as herself, a vocalist, alongside the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Menzel visits Heinz Hall for one night of modern and classic Broadway hits, led by conductor Lawrence Loh and accompanied by Grammy-nominated musician Rob Mounsey on the piano. OL 7:30 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $35-120. 412-392-4900 or

Tue., July 23 — Commemoration

Alexander Berkman had one chance to assassinate Henry Clay Frick, and he failed. But the Loose Organization of Surreal Ethereal Realists is on its sixth annual go-round marking this date in 1892, when Frick's deadly decisions in prosecuting a lockout at the Homestead Steel plant drove Berkman to attempted homicide. Tonight at the Big Idea Bookstore, the anti-plutocratic shenanigans of the collective's Alexander Berkman Labor and Music Festival include performances by singer/songwriter Rob Gray, "heavy-metal horror writer" Kriscinda Lee Everitt, poet Jason Baldinger and more. BO 8 p.m. 4812 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Donations accepted. 412-687-4323

Comments (0)