Short List: June 19-25 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

SPOTLIGHT: Sat., June 22 — Exhibit

For the next few months, the roads of Arabia lead to Pittsburgh. Starting June 22, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History will become one of five North American venues to host Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. More than 200 ancient artifacts will be on display, objects that hadn't traveled outside of Saudi Arabia until 2010. These relics — 7,000 years of recently excavated puzzle pieces — help tell the story of the earliest Arabian people. Viewers can study these unearthed clues, including the roughly 2,300-year-old sandstone statue head pictured at left, to follow the development of language, religion, culture and commerce in the Arabian Peninsula. Starting in 1200 BCE, camel caravans moved incense, spices and luxury goods along the web of roads stretching between the Horn of Africa, the southern shores of the Peninsula and the Mediterranean Empires. The trade in incense, a modern fixture in churches and head shops, once played a vital role in building ancient cities along this network ... cities that eventually disappeared into the desert. The exhibition also explores the impact of Islam through pilgrimage routes to Mecca, and highlights the 1932 birth of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Olivia Lammel Exhibit continues through Nov. 3. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $11.95-17.95 (free for children under 3). 412-622-3131 or

Thu., June 20 — Words & Music

"My friends who aren't from the Rust Belt think it's weird that I grew up playing in industrial waste, but my friends from home understand," writes Sarah Grey in "Under This Cloud: Life and Death in the Shadow of a Coal-Fired Power Plant." Grey's essay about her hometown, Springdale, is part of Rust Belt Rising Almanac, a new anthology of fiction, nonfiction, poems and more from Philadelphia-based The Head & The Hand Press. Styled after classic almanacs (complete with astrology charts), the book includes stories from Cleveland, Buffalo, Detroit and Philly — all former manufacturing hubs largely abandoned by industry. Press founder Nic Esposito is touring with a 45-minute set of storytelling and readings, plus original songs performed by Todd Henkin (of The Great Unknown). They stop twice in Pittsburgh, including tonight at the Big Idea Cooperative Bookstore & Café. Bill O'Driscoll 7 p.m. (4812 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield; 412-687-4323). Also June 28 (Irma Freeman Center, Bloomfield; Free. 

Thu., June 20 — Opera

Carmen has all the makings of a classic rom-dram: seduction, violence, jealousy, even prison. When Bizet's opera debuted, in 1875, the lead character's sensuous aria "Habanera" raised some eyebrows. Generations of opera-goers have watched the wild, gorgeous Gypsy woman hypnotize Don Jose. Singing in English and accompanied by a full orchestra, Melissa Bailey will alternate with Rachel Milligan in the title role in a new production by Undercroft Opera. Tonight is the first of four performances at Undercroft's new venue, Carlow University's Antonian Theatre. Olivia Lammel 7 p.m. Continues through Sun., June 23. 3333 Fifth Ave., Oakland. $15-38. 412-422-7919 or

Fri., June 21 -- Party

The Mattress Factory is closed for the weekend — and as busy as it gets. Tonight is the museum's big annual Urban Garden Party. The fundraiser's theme is Soul Factory: Motown at the Museum, so dress appropriately. VIPs get an early reception (featuring a drag show and "Soul Train" dance-off), but everyone can dance to the sounds of DJ Zimmie and Vancouver-based DJ The Gaff, and sample cuisine and drinks from more than 40 local restaurants and caterers. (The after-party's at Penn Brewery.) Sunday, bring the family to the free Community Garden Party, featuring hands-on art activities and more music (including a dance party). BO Garden Party: 6-11 p.m. ($100-250). Community Garden Party: 1-5 p.m. Sun., June 23 (free). 500 Sampsonia Way, North Side. 412-231-3169 or

Fri., June 21 — Words

"All I ever needed to know, I learned in the mental hospital," said Glennon Doyle Melton at a recent TEDx event. A recovering bulimic and alcoholic, this Florida-based author has made a career out of sharing her recovery revelations. She also anchors the blog Momastery, a platform for honest, and at times sacrilegious, perspectives on child-rearing. Doyle Melton reveals some of life's "brutiful" truths in her bestselling book Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed. Tonight, she reads and signs at Sewickley's Penguin Bookshop. OL 7 p.m. 420 Beaver St., Sewickley. Free. 412-741-3838 or 

Fri., June 21 — Stage

Local theatrical eminence Frank Gagliano (The Voodoo Trilogy, Carnegie Mellon's Showcase of New Plays) teams with musician and composer James Rushin for 4 By 2, an evening of works they wrote or co-wrote. Included are Rushin's "Wired," and songs from From the Bodoni County Songbook Anthology, whose text and lyrics Gagliano wrote. Then Gagliano and Rushin premiere The Magical Moscow McDonald's Miracle of Love, their "fable in prose, rhyme, dance and song, for five performers." The evening, at Steel City Improv, is directed by Melissa Martin. BO 6 p.m. 5950 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. $10. 412-404-2695 or

Fri., June 21 — Party

PGH Party for a Purpose is back, and this time the food, music and cocktails help out the Pittsburgh Hostel Project, a group working to establish budget travel accommodations in town. Since 2006, PGH Party has raised $40,000 for local nonprofits; tonight's shindig, at Bar Marco, includes food trucks, live music by Lungs Face Feet and The Winter Brave, and even a specialty cocktail. BO 9 p.m.-2 a.m. 2216 Penn Ave., Strip District. $10. 412-302-4284 or

Sat., June 22 — Exhibit

Come July, the nation marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. This bloodiest battle of the Civil War is the focus of the Heinz History Center exhibition Pennsylvania's Civil War. Opening today, it features lifelike Civil War figures, replica military encampments, rare archival images and artifacts from muskets and letters to board games. (Pictured is the 149th Pennsylvania regiment, the "Bucktails.") The exhibition includes items borrowed from the Smithsonian Institution, the State Museum of Pennsylvania and the National Civil War Museum. OL 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Exhibit continues through Jan. 5. 1212 Smallman St., Strip District. $6-15 (free for children under 6). 412-454-6000 or

Sat., June 22 — Party 

Hard to believe the Children's Museum began in the basement of the old Allegheny Post Office. Having since expanded into a recreational and educational colossus, the museum's celebrating its 30th anniversary with free admission and a day-long festival. As always, the fun's hands-on: Make your own birthday hats and musical instruments, or join the hula-hooping program. Or enjoy live music by the likes of Elliot Sussman, Timbeleza and Soundwaves Steel Drum Band. Or catch Ben Sota of Zany Umbrella Circus. There's also a puppet parade ... and cupcakes. BO 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 1 Children's Way, North Side. Free. 412-322-5058 or

Sat., June 22 — Screen

The Hollywood Theater hosts a rare screening of George Romero's 1978 cult favorite Martin. The satiric, Pittsburgh-shot horror film is about a young man who might be a vampire. (Or not — razor blades are involved.) Its star, John Amplas, now a top local stage actor and director, is among the special guests at tonight's Horror Realm screening benefiting cancer charity Scares That Care. BO 8 p.m. (doors and paid autographs at 6 p.m.). 1449 Potomac Ave., Dormont. $10 ($25 advance ticket includes signed limited-edition poster).

Sat., June 22 — Devival

We seldom tout people's birthdays in this space. But most birthdays don't feature the Rev. Ivan Stang. For decades, the ranting underground hero has been chief exponent of The Church of the Subgenius, whose grinning, pipe-smoking prophet J.R. "Bob" Dobbs heralds a liberating philosophy of slack. Tonight, at Howlers Coyote Café, Tommy Amoeba's Rock 'n' Roll Birthday Party doubles as Pittsburgh's first Subgenius devival this millennium. It includes a Stang sermon and performances by local luminaries Phat Man Dee and the Cultural District; tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE; musical roboticist Eric Singer; and sideshow performer Andrew the Impaled. BO 9 p.m. 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $10. 412-682-0230

Tue., June 25 — Words

Hemingway's Summer Poetry Series hosts a special guest: award-winning poet and Pittsburgh native James Deahl. Deahl, who's lived in Canada since 1970, is known for his evocations of nature. His collections include 2011's Opening the Stone Heart, and he was the subject of the 1993 documentary Under the Watchful Eye. Deahl reads at Hemingway's Café tonight with fellow Canadian visitor Norma West Linder, revered local poet and educator Michael Wurster, and Sheila Kelly. BO 8 p.m. 3911 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free. 412-498-7876

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