Short List: June 3 - 11 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: June 3 - 11

Free movies, concerts begin in the city; Hands Up art show at Local 412; A (micro) history of world economics, danced at City of Asylum; hip-hop concert dance at the New Hazlett


FREE EVENT: Thu., June 4 — Summer

This is the month that free, in-city summer stuff starts in earnest, and we don't just mean the Three Rivers Arts Festival. Pittsburgh Citiparks' annual slate of unticketed amusements, recreations and inspirations gets rolling on June 4, as the weekly lunchtime Mellon Square Concert Series begins with party band Walk of Shame. (The series continues Thursdays through August.) And Citiparks' Stars at Riverview Jazz Series (Saturdays through August, in Riverview Park) starts June 6 with the Poogie Bell Band. Meanwhile, Dollar Bank Cinema in the Park begins June 7 with 1993 baseball movie The Sandlot on Flagstaff Hill, in Schenley Park. The series continues through August, with mostly recent films screening at dusk in Schenley and six other city parks. (Wednesday screenings in Schenley are preceded by live music.) While admission to the city's 18 public pools is not, of course, free, it's pretty affordable; the pools open June 9. However, the city's six spray parks — including a brand-new one, in Hazelwood — are free, and they are already open and ready to cool you down. Finally, on the creative end of things, the Citiparks Roving Art Cart visits dozens of playgrounds, parks and rec centers from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. daily Tuesdays through Fridays beginning June 16; it's a chance to make Amazon rain sticks, Chinese dragons, colorful masks and more. Complete Citiparks schedules and other info is at Bill O'Driscoll

click to enlarge ART BY ATTICUS ADAMS
Art by Atticus Adams

Thu., June 4 — Art

If Atticus Adams' new exhibit is called Mesh Lab, can we say he's "breaking good"? Adams, a nationally exhibited West Virginia native based in Pittsburgh, works primarily in metal mesh; the results are sometimes abstract, and sometimes suggest creatures spirited from the sea floor. Recently, he's begun incorporating elements like interior illumination. His new solo show, formally titled Mesh Lab: The Experiments, opens with a reception tonight at The Mine Factory. BO 6-9 p.m. Exhibit continues through June 27. 201 N. Braddock Ave., Point Breeze.

Art by Christopher Ruane

Fri., June 5 — Art

Bedtime Stories is a new exhibit exploring "the liminal state between wakefulness and sleep," between "conscious thought and dreams." Sonja Sweterlitsch curated this group show including works by Aaron Blum, Ashley Cecil, David Stanger and Christopher Ruane, among others. The opening reception tonight, at Future Tenant, coincides with day one of the arts fest. BO 6-9 p.m. Exhibit continues through June 28. 819 Penn Ave., Downtown. Free.

Fri., June 5 — Art

A new exhibit promises a reflective, even meditative take on police brutality against black people. Hands Up, at Garfield's Local 412, is a group show of national artists exploring the "hands up, don't shoot" rallying cry that grew from the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Curator Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi, working with Christiane D, Dr. HollyHood and Pittsburgh Artists for Social Change, presents work by locally based contributors including Alisha Wormsley, Shikeith, D.S. Kinsel, Vanessa German and Paradise Gray, New York-based Dread Scott, St. Louis-based Damon Davis and others. Tonight's reception is part of the monthly Unblurred gallery crawl. BO 6-10 p.m. Exhibit continues through June 26. 4901 Penn Ave., Garfield. Free.

Fri., June 5 — Stage

French playwright and director Pascal Rambert is in town to create a new version of his 2010 work A (micro) history of world economics, danced. The show, which uses dance and theater to examine the impact of economics on people's lives, is being recreated through a series of City of Asylum/Pittsburgh workshops with some 45 disabled people and their families, friends and caregivers; a chorus from the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh; and three professional actors. Artist and activist John Malpede plays an economic philosopher. The show, originally conceived during the European economic crisis, has been staged in cities including Paris, Tokyo, New York and Cairo, Egypt. There are free performances tonight and tomorrow, at the New Hazlett Theater. BO 7 p.m. Also 7 p.m. Sat., June 6. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. Free.

Photo courtesy of Giorgia Bertazzi

Fri., June 5 — Music

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concludes its celebration of the German master at Heinz Hall this weekend with Beethovenfest: The Immortal. The program includes the Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 61, and Symphony No. 9, containing the famous "Ode to Joy." Soloists include violinist Christian Tetzlaff (pictured) and soprano Simona Šaturová. A talk with conductor Lawrence Loh, occurs an hour before each of this weekend's three performances. JP. 7:30 p.m. Also 7:30 p.m. Sat., June 6, and 2:30 p.m. Sun., June 7. 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $25.75-105.75. 412-392-4900 or

Sat., June 6 — Outdoors

Pinch yourself, because your childhood dream has come true: a 1,000-foot water slide. Slide the City has brought its gargantuan slide to cities around the globe, and now it arrives at Sunny Slopes, in South Park. Sponsored by Fittsburgh, this should be a unique day out in the sun. Bring your super-soakers, floaties and other water toys to kick off the summer fun. Pre-registration is required. Joseph Peiser Noon-5 p.m. Ridge and Brownsville roads, South Park Township. $20-60.

click to enlarge ART BY BEN PATTERSON
Art by Ben Patterson

Sat., June 6 — Art

The Gallery 4 holds the opening reception for Ben Patterson's exhibit Thoughts and Feelings. Patterson is a painter and chalk artist with a contemporary, pop-surrealist style. The works in this latest show star characters devoid of traditional human form in a number of contexts, and often humorously engage with modern issues. An Arizona native, Patterson has lived and worked in Pittsburgh since 2013 and is an active member of its arts community. JP 7-11 p.m. Exhibit continues through June 27. 206 S. Highland Ave., Shadyside. Free. 412-363-5050 or

Photo courtesy of Mike Rubino

Sat., June 6 — Comedy

On the first Saturday of each month, married couple and improv veterans Jethro and Kristy Nolen invite a comedy team out to dine in the Cultural District, and then perform with them onstage at Arcade Comedy Theater. Dinner With the Nolens is among Arcade's most popular improv offerings; tonight it celebrates its second anniversary, meaning it's nearly as old as Arcade itself (which the Nolens co-founded). Tonight's dinner/improv guests are Iguanatron, the duo of Greg Gillotti and Brian Gray, whose comedy is described as "a rare mix of odd and endearing." BO 8 p.m. 811 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $5-10.

Sat., June 6 — Roller Disco

In the months since a fire shut down Belvedere's Ultra-Lounge, Down & Derby has been, well, down. But it's not out: Tonight, the roller-skating party marks its ninth anniversary in a temporary new location, Spirit Lodge & Hall. The Mad Max-themed bash features DJs JX4 and Hank D. War Boys and War Girls attire is suggested. BO 9 p.m.-2 a.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. $6 with RSVP to

Sun., June 7 — Festival

Yet another free attraction this week is the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's 15th Annual Summer Reading Extravaganza. The festival in Oakland, which kicks off the library's summer reading programs, includes live music and dance, games, the annual book sale, a Technology Tent (3-D printing demo, etc.), a music tent, storytelling and much more. BO Noon-5 p.m. (rain or shine). 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free.

Photo courtesy of Joey Kennedy

Thu., June 11 — Dance

While Pittsburgh's underground hip-hop street-dance scene is thriving, hip-hop concert dance here is nearly nonexistent. B-girl and hip-hop dance-theater artist Teena Marie Custer is one of the few bridging those worlds. A member of street-dance crews Get Down Gang and the all-female Venus Fly Trap Crew, Custer presents her new 35-minute concert-dance solo My Good Side at the New Hazlett Theater, on Thu., June 11. The multimedia work set to electronica music, part of the theater's Community Supported Arts series, is a nonlinear commentary on how people portray themselves online. "I find that people tend to curate their lives on social media," says Custer. "They want to project a certain image and they make sure all their posts and photos match that image." Custer describes her solo — featuring breaking, waacking, house and locking — as a journey from fantasy to reality that comes from a personal place. Sharing the program is dancer/choreographer Roberta Guido, performing her new work RETREAD/together/apart, which investigates the notion of "leaving one's mark." A student at The College at Brockport: State University of New York, Guido says the work draws from emotional and intimate personal narratives exploring what it means to be "together" and "alone." Steve Sucato 8 p.m. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $20. 412-320-4610 or

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