Short List: March 11 - 17 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: March 11 - 17

Aaron Kleiber headlines at the Improv; "Uncanny and Extraordinary Women" haunt Swissvale; a van Gogh visits the Carnegie; IonSound travels Bridges and Byways

Aaron Kleiber
Aaron Kleiber

SPOTLIGHT: Thu., March 12 — Comedy

Aaron Kleiber is in Philadelphia, prepping to portray an historical figure (he can't divulge which one) in his latest Pennsylvania Lottery commercial. Kleiber also has a burgeoning career as a touring standup comic: After just six years in the game, the Munhall resident is working as far afield as Los Angeles. He's even headlining in smaller cities (Youngstown, Harrisburg), and last year placed fifth against national competition at Montana's Big Sky Comedy Festival. But Kleiber's next career milestone is a home game: On March 12-15, he'll become that rare Pittsburgh-based comedian to headline a full weekend, with six shows at the Pittsburgh Improv. "A lot of people don't realize the path you have to take to be a headliner at a club two miles from your house," he quips. The Steel Valley High grad, age 33, works hard in Pittsburgh's burgeoning comedy scene, too, hosting two open mics and often guesting at Downtown's Arcade Comedy Theater. And being a father (his third kid was born Feb. 12) is merely grist for the mill. "That's all my comedy," he says of family life. "I can only talk about what I know." He adds, "It's kind of unbelievable to be the guy on the marquee. ... I'm sitting here telling diaper jokes and people give me a check. It's crazy." Bill O'Driscoll March 12-15. 166 E. Bridge St., The Waterfront, West Homestead. $15-17412-462-5333 or

Thu., March 12 — Stage

For the first show of its inaugural season, demaskus Theater Collective stages Wine in the Wilderness, a 1969 play by iconic African-American playwright Alice Childress. The play, set during the Harlem race riots, explores how black men and women view each other. Demaskus strives to use theater to "make known the messages of the marginalized." Wine in the Wilderness, directed by demaskus founder and CEO Shaunda Miles, gets four performances this weekend at the Peirce Studio, in Downtown's Trust Arts Education Center. Bill O'Driscoll 7 p.m. Continues through Sun., March 15. 805-807 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $20-30.

Fri., March 13 — Music

The Renaissance City Choir celebrates the LGBT community through song. In Cabaret: Let's Duet Together, 17 choir members will sing from the Great American Songbook, highlighting artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Michael Bublé. In three shows this weekend, expect fully choreographed performances of "Tuxedo Junction," "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "The Joint Is Jumpin'," among others. A ukulele band will also play classics like "Tip Toe Through the Tulips" and "Blue Moon." Zacchiaus McKee 7:30 p.m. Also 7:30 p.m. Sat., March 14, and 3 p.m. Sun., March 15. East Liberty Presbyterian Church, 116 S. Highland Ave., East Liberty. $10-40. 412-345-1722 or

Professor Eldritch's Asylum for Uncanny and Extraordinary Women
Photo courtesy of Uncumber Theatrics

Fri., March 13 — Stage

Professor Eldritch's Asylum for Uncanny and Extraordinary Women is a new immersive-theater work that, at close quarters, introduces participants to what co-director Ayne Terceira calls "the cons and murderesses of history." Seven characters ranging from obscure to better-known, dating from ancient times to contemporary, roam a private home in Swissvale where they are mysteriously trapped, enacting "strange scenes and private moments." Only six participants at a time can experience the asylum, which is the brainchild of Uncumber Theatrics' Terceira (known for the interactive "estate sale" Her Things) and Abby Lis-Perlis, of newly minted Devious Maid Productions. The first of about 25 performances is tonight. BO 8 p.m. Show continues through April 4. Swissvale (address revealed with ticket purchase). $25 (18 and over).

Fri., March 13 — Stage

American vocalist and "Queen of the Jukeboxes" Dinah Washington was known for her unique blues voice. In his new play Dinah, local playwright Ernest McCarty focuses on the life of the legendary singer that was tragically cut short after her seventh husband found her nearly lifeless body. Premiering at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater Co., Dinah features more than 25 songs from the Great American Songbook. Pittsburgh-based vocalist Delana Flowers plays the title role in a production opening tonight. ZM 8 p.m. Show continues through April 5. 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $22.50-35. 412-377-7803 or

Fri., March 13 — Comedy

Start your engines, and may the best comic win! Tonight, Arcade Comedy Theater presents the second round of its Comedy Royale: Improv Madness Tournament. The short-form improv contest pits four players against each other in a gauntlet of comedy. The audience is the judge in this show featuring improv games and scenes. The two comics with the highest scores will join last week's winners in a final-four championship on March 20. Comedian Matt Hartman will serve as referee of this comedic version of March Madness. ZM 8 p.m. 811 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $10. 412-339-0608 or

Photo courtesy of Paul g. Wiegman

Sat., March 14 — Exhbit

Phipps Conservatory takes "April showers bring May flowers" to new heights during its annual Spring Flower Show. The exhibit, which opens today, celebrates rain and the cycle of nature. Each room intertwines a unique water display with a variety of flora; one room contains dozens of multicolored umbrellas while in another, storm clouds rain drops into the ponds below. Seasonal favorites like tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and lilies, as well as rarer breeds of orchids and poppies, will be on display. ZM 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Exhibit continues through April 12. 1 Schenley Drive, Oakland. $11-15. 412-622-6914 or

Short List: March 11 - 17
Art by Vincent van Gogh.

Sat., March 14 — Art

Following a trip to Paris in 1886, Vincent van Gogh produced some of his most dynamically colorful works. One of these, "Still Life, Basket of Apples" is the focus of the new Carnegie Museum of Art exhibit, Visiting van Gogh. On loan from the St. Louis Art Museum, the still life can be seen as an experiment with color palette. Joining it are two other paintings by van Gogh, and one by Paul Signac. Together these works showcase the evolution of van Gogh's use of pigments and the neo-impressionist color that fascinated him. ZM 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Exhibit continues until July 6. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $11.95-17.95. 412-622-3131 or

Short List: March 11 - 17
Photo courtesy of Heather Mull

Sat., March 14 — Stage

SWAN Day — the international day to Support Women Artists Now — was marked last spring by events in some 150 U.S. cities and in towns as far-flung as St. Petersburg, Russia, and Nairobi, Kenya. This week, SWAN Day Pittsburgh marks its seventh anniversary by packing Oakland's landmark Twentieth Century Club with local women artists exploring the theme "Everyone has an untold story hidden behind closed doors." Among the dozens of musicians, dance and theater artists, live painters and more performing tonight, hosted by No Name Players, are Brooke Annibale, Gayle Pazerski, Texture Contemporary Ballet (pictured) and Bria Walker. BO 8 p.m. 4201 Bigelow Blvd., Oakland. $25-30.

Sun., March 15 — Music

Tonight's IonSound Project concert, Bridges and Byways, includes both classic new-music works and premieres by three Pittsburgh composers. The six-piece IonSound — flutist, clarinetist, violinist, cellist and two pianists — performs compositions including Steve Reich's "New York Counterpoint" (1985), Max Bruch's "Eight Pieces for Clarinet, Cello and Piano" (1925) and works by Lee Hyla and Erwin Schulhoff. Also on the program at Bellefield Hall Auditorium are specially commissioned works by locally based composers Jonghee Kang, Lenny Young and Roger Zahab. BO 7 p.m. 315 S. Bellefield Ave., Oakland. $10-15.

Short List: March 11 - 17
Art by Annette Poitau

Sun., March 15 — Art

French-born, French-trained artist Annette Poitau has exhibited her paintings in solo shows both in that country and throughout the U.S. Now based in Ohio, she continues to show regionally and nationally. Today's art talk is a good chance to check out Alchimie des Couleurs, her current show at Christine Frechard Gallery. The talk is followed by a reception. BO 5 p.m. Exhibit continues through March 27. 5871 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. Free; RSVP at

Tue., March 17 — Talk

Art criticism is often considered a lower-risk activity than creating art itself. But criticism remains intrinsic to the art world. New York Times critic Roberta Smith is viewed as among the most forthright in the field. Focusing on contemporary art, Smith has written for a variety of publications since the 1980s. She has also contributed essays to museum catalogs on artists including Donald Judd and Cy Twombly. Tonight, Smith visits the Carnegie Mellon University School of Art's lecture series. ZM 5 p.m. Kresge Theater, CMU campus, Oakland. Free. 412-268-2409 or

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