Short List: July 8 - 11 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: July 8 - 11

Downtown Gallery Crawl and Cosmopolitan Pittsburgh; Sherlock's Last Case on stage; Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble season-opener; Stoop Is a Verb fetes the North Side

FREE EVENT: Fri., July 10 — Art

Alphonso Sloan might be the only Art Institute of Pittsburgh graduate who's a veteran Pittsburgh policeman. The Zone 5 patrolman is also a veteran of curator Robert Raczka's live art-making exhibitions; at the latest, Wall Paintings, a dozen artists will each get nine hours to adorn a 10-foot-square patch of SPACE Gallery wall. Sloan's planned theme is police brutality: Working in acrylics, in his street-art-influenced style, he'll evoke recent deaths of unarmed black men in police custody and the protests they sparked. Gallery-goers can watch the artists from 1 p.m. until the 10 p.m. conclusion of July 10's Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Gallery Crawl. Sloan, for one, enjoys an audience while he paints: "You're actually not just doing artwork, you're performing." Indeed, performance heavily complements the exhibits at tonight's 20-venue crawl, from improv sets at Arcade Comedy Theater to Inti.Mate, Sidney Mullis' solo exhibition of performance-based video projections at Future Tenant, depicting the mating rituals of invented animals. Even Pattern and Noise, at Wood Street Galleries — the first U.S. solo exhibition by London-based multimedia collective D-Fuse — is capped by a D-Fuse performance that's part of Downtown's late-night Crawl After Dark. Revelers can also enjoy the Trust's swanky annual Cosmopolitan Pittsburgh party, at the August Wilson Center, with this year's theme "Circus After Dark." Bill O'Driscoll Crawl: 5:30-10 p.m. (free). Crawl After Dark and Cosmopolitan Pittsburgh are ticketed. Fri., July 10. Downtown. 412-456-6666 or

Thu., July 9 — Talk

If you've yet to visit the fabulous reclaimed strip-mine that is the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, try tonight. Gardening experts Doug Oster and Jessica Walliser — who co-host KDKA radio's "The Organic Gardeners" every Sunday morning — give a talk titled "How to Grow a Low-Maintenance Perennial Garden Organically." A reception precedes the lecture; a book-signing follows. BO 7 p.m. (6 p.m. reception). 799 Pinkerton Run Road, Oakdale. $25. Registration suggested at 412-444-4464, x227

Thu., July 9 — Stage

Fans of Sherlock Holmes know that he sent his nemesis, Moriarty, tumbling over Reichenbach Falls. Charles Marowitz's 1987 play Sherlock's Last Case takes things up six years later, when a death threat delivered by the late villain's daughter sends Holmes and Watson off on another adventure. Tonight, the play gets its Pittsburgh premiere in a Kinetic Theatre production at the Charity Randall Theater. David Whalen, noted for playing Holmes in productions at PICT Classic, takes the title role. Joseph Peiser 8 p.m. Continues through July 26. 4301 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $20-38. 888-718-4253 or

Fri., July 10 — Stage

There are stage mothers, there are monstrous stage mothers, and then there's Mama Rose. Tonight, Kim Zimmer steps into the iconic role at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh CLO's production of Gypsy, the timeless musical by Stephen Sondheim and Jule Styne. Gypsy tells the story of Mama Rose and her fanatical desire to push daughters Louise and June into the fading spotlights of vaudeville, and includes such classics as "Everything's Coming Up Roses," "Together, Wherever We Go" and "You Gotta Get a Gimmick." JP 8 p.m. Continues through July 19. 719 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $20-68. 412-456-6666 or

Fri., July 10 — Music

Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble begins its 40th season as a champion of contemporary avant-garde music. This first weekend's program features a world premiere: Toronto-based composer Kieren MacMillan's The Gray Cat and the Flounder (16 Bits About Bernadette). The commissioned evening-length work, performed by a sextet, employs instrumental music, cartoons, songs, puppetry and more to memorialize the late Bernadette Callery, a longtime librarian, educator and arts patron. A catered BYOB reception follows tonight and tomorrow's performance. PNME's four-week season on City Theatre's main stage continues with a July 15 Wednesday Showcase, then a new program next weekend. BO 8 p.m. Also 8 p.m. Sat., July 11. 1300 Bingham St., South Side. $10-25 (free for first-timers). 704-806-7800 or

Sat., July 11 — Art

The art of Andy Warhol has always possessed a childlike simplicity, so it's no stretch that he created a series of paintings specifically for children. Andy's Toybox, opening today at The Andy Warhol Museum, is an interactive exhibition for children of all ages based on a series of works Warhol created for a Swedish gallery. Along with viewing the art, visitors can dress up and pose for photographs, build castles, race toy cars and play with other toys from the museum's collection. JP 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Exhibit continues through Sept. 27. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. $10-20. 412-237-8300 or

click to enlarge Short List: July 8 - 11
Art by Lena Loshonkohl

Sat., July 11 — Art

There's no easier way to go on an adventure than by reading a book. Other Books Other Worlds, a mixed-media group show opening tonight at UnSmoke Systems Artspace, features local artists David Newbury, Brad and Stephanie Towell, Lena Loshonkohl and Co Bappe. Using methods ranging from interactive software to wheat-pasting, each artist creates his or her own book to tell a story of imaginary worlds and childhood adventure. After tonight, the show is open by appointment. JP 6-9 p.m. Exhibition continues through July 31. 1137 Braddock Ave., Braddock. Free.

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Art by Aaron Regal

Sat., July 11 — Art

Most art exhibits are curated or juried. Tonight's Pittsburgh Society of Artists show lets the artists themselves pick. For the Artist's Choice Exhibition, Panza Gallery welcomes work by 83 artist members, including Karen McKee, Aaron Regal, Kathryn Sickels and Polly Mills Whitehorn. The exhibit continues the celebration of PSA's 50th year; the opening reception is tonight. BO 6-8:30 p.m. Exhibit continues through July 24. 115 Sedgwick St., Millvale. Free.

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Photo courtesy of Renee Rosensteel

Sat., July 11 — Stage

"Well, it starts out with one person sitting on their steps. And then another brings wine and someone — it's stoopin'. / They call it stoop sittin' out here. ‘We're stoopin' tonight!'" From a series of meetings with community groups on the North Side — part of a City of Asylum/Pittsburgh residency — internationally famed jazz musician Oliver Lake gleaned phrases and anecdotes that limned life in that set of distinct but intertwined neighborhoods. It's come together as Stoop Is a Verb, an hour-long mix of music, poetry and dance that premieres tonight in COAP's Alphabet City Tent. Lake, actress Tami Dixon and poets Terrance Hayes and Tameka Cage Conley will perform Lake's seven spoken-word pieces backed by his quintet. There's also dance by Gia T. Cacalano. Lake knew the North Side from his 10 years organizing COAP's big annual Jazz Poetry concert, but creating the COAP-commissioned Stoop still taught the New Jersey-based musician something. "There is such a great sense of community there," he says by phone. "The final summation is that they wouldn't live anywhere else." BO 8 p.m. 318 Sampsonia Way, North Side. Free. Reservations at 412-323-0278 or

Sat., July 11 — Comedy

Do you dream of being an improv comedian? Well, tonight could be your big break if you're at the Matt& show at Arcade Comedy Theater. Matt Holmes is a Philadelphia-based performer and teacher whose daring routine involves pulling an audience member on stage and performing an entire improv show with him or her. He's toured the show nationally, and tonight is his Pittsburgh debut. In addition, Holmes will teach two workshops during the day at Arcade's education space. JP 8 p.m. 811 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $10. 412-339-0608 or

Sat., July 11 — Stage

Usually with a musical, the only people permitted to have no idea what will happen is the audience. At tonight's performance of Premiere Unscripted Musical Comedy, at the Oaks Theater, even the cast will be in the dark until the first note is hit. After gathering suggestions from the audience, the Premiere cast improvises a full two-act musical, complete with instrumentalists and a stage crew. Rodgers and Hammerstein would certainly be impressed. JP 8 p.m. 310 Allegheny River Blvd., Oakmont. $12-15. 412-828-6322 or

click to enlarge Short List: July 8 - 11
Photo courtesy of Joan Beard

Sat., July 11 — Crafts

Divorce Is the Worst (Feminist Press) is the first in author and illustrator Anastasia Higginbotham's planned series of feminist children's books, Ordinary Terrible Things, dealing with common childhood crises. Today, the critically acclaimed native of Washington, Pa., visits the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh to share originals of her artwork, which she makes from materials from the reycling bin. This is a hands-on collaging event for kids and adults, not a reading or signing, but it's sure to provide insight into Higginbotham's creative process. BO Noon-3 p.m. 10 Children's Way, North Side. Free with admission ($13-14; free for kids under 2). 412-322-5058 or