Short List: March 19 - 27 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: March 19 - 27

A new baseball-themed Teenie Harris photo exhibit; Pittsburgh Batman on stage; the Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo; a Twin Peaks marathon; and more.

Image courtesy Charles "Teenie" Harris Archive, Carnegie Museum of Art
Image courtesy Charles "Teenie" Harris Archive, Carnegie Museum of Art

Spotlight: Sat., March 22 — Exhibit

Charles "Teenie" Harris was a peerless documenter of black urban life; he was also amazingly prolific. So when Sean Gibson was asked to guest-curate Teenie Harris Photographs: Baseball in Pittsburgh, for the Carnegie Museum of Art, he had 700 images to choose from. Gibson's great-grandfather, Pittsburgh-based Negro League great Josh Gibson, famously occupied some of these photos; so, it turned out, did Sean's grandfather, Josh Gibson Jr., seen in the early '40s as a teenage Homestead Grays batboy. The exhibit, which opens March 22 (a week before the Pirates do), includes previously unseen 16 mm film footage that Harris — who helped found the Pittsburgh Crawfords, another powerhouse club —  shot of Negro League games at Forbes Field. But the focus is on the 25 still images Sean Gibson chose — and not just those immortalizing major-league legends like Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Curtis Roberts (the Pirates' first black player). Other photos capture the scene in sandlots from Ammon Field, in the Hill District, to racially integrated Little League contests of the 1950s and women's softball in St. Clair Village. Sean Gibson, who heads the Pittsburgh-based Josh Gibson Foundation, was deeply impressed by the breadth of Harris' efforts. "He just took photos," says Gibson. "That's the great thing about his collection. He just captured everything." Bill O'Driscoll Exhibit runs Sat., March 22-Sept. 22. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $11.95-17.95 (kids under 3 free). 412-622-3131 or

Birbiglia's new tour
Photo courtesy of Kyle Ericksen

Thu., March 20 — Comedy

"More painfully awkward stories in a show about jokes, and how they can get you into trouble" is how they're describing Mike Birbiglia's new tour. Birbiglia is a story-teller and late-night talk-show favorite known for his comedy albums, critically acclaimed solo show Sleepwalk With Me and segments on This American Life. Thank God for Jokes hits the Byham Theater tonight. Bill O'Driscoll 7:30 p.m. 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $33.25-38.25. 412-456-6666 or

Thu., March 20 — Screen

Twin Peaks, which ran just two seasons on ABC in 1990 and '91, managed to be both a cult favorite and (for a while, at least) extraordinarily popular. David Lynch's surreal-noir murder mystery remains singular. The Hollywood Theater's four-day Twin Peaks Marathon begins with tonight's screening of the pilot, continues tomorrow with season one's remaining seven episodes, and splits season two between Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's daytime screening is followed by a Twin Peaks Party and Concert ($12-15), with renowned, Lynch-themed band Silencio, plus a costume contest, homemade cherry pie and more. BO7:30 p.m. (with $1 damn good coffee and doughnuts). Continues through Sun., March 23. 1449 Potomac Ave., Dormont. $7 daily; discount Black Lodge Passes available. 412-563-0368 or

By the Way, Meet Vera Stark.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Swenson

Thu., March 20 — Stage

Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel was staged at City Theatre in 2007; she later won the Pulitzer Prize, for Ruined. Now, The Rep presents Nottage's 2011 satire By the Way, Meet Vera Stark. Set in the 1930s, the play follows a black film actress whose roles are limited to housemaids. In real life, Vera is a maid for actress Gloria Mitchell; the two clash when cast in the same Southern epic. Maria Bey-Coates and Kelly Trumbell star. Point Park University graduate and Broadway veteran Tomé Cousin directs. The first performance is tonight. Angela Suico 8 p.m. Continues through April 6. 222 Craft Ave., Oakland. $15-27. 412-392-8000 or

Thu., March 20 — Stage

Not content that The Dark Knight Rising was partly shot here, Grand Buffet rapper Lord Grunge created a satirical Steeltown version of the superhero. Last year's production of Pittsbugh Batman was so popular it's back. The reprise is bigger, with a cast including local luminaries Patrick Jordan, Ultimate Donny, Weird Paul Petroskey, Dave Mansueto, Davon Magwood and more ... plus local hip-hop legend Sage Francis as "New England Bane." Tonight's the first of three performances at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater. BO 9 p.m. Also 9 p.m. Fri., March 21, and 9 p.m. Sat., March 22. 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty. $25-30.

Fri., March 21 — Talk

The "new economy" doesn't have to mean just a society gone digital. For Pittsburgh's New Economy Working Group (a project of the Thomas Merton Center), it's an economic system designed to benefit people and communities, not globo-corps, and where nature is healed rather than simply exploited. The NEWG's Celebration of Pittsburgh's New Economy begins today, with afternoon and evening sessions featuring nationally known new-economy scholar, author and activist Gar Alperovitz. Tomorrow, on the Carnegie Mellon campus, there's a day-long New Economy Market and workshops, and Alperovitz discusses "New Economy Solutions." BO 2 p.m. (Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, Oakland) and 5 p.m. (Baker Hall, CMU campus, Oakland). Also 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., March 22 (Baker Hall). Free.

Fri., March 21 — Words

Leslie "Ezra" Smith is a longtime force on the local arts scene, from spoken-word performances and slam poetry to stage acting. As co-host of the Eargasm Open Mic Series, he also spotlights other talented folks. But at tonight's Eargasm, Smith himself is the featured guest. Of course, the program, at Homewood's Lounge 7101, still includes open-mic slots for poets, singers, musicians and comedians. BO 9 p.m.-midnight. 7101 Frankstown Ave., Homewood. $10.

Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo
Art by Theo Ellsworth

Sat., March 22 — Comics

The Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo — PIX to you — returns. Copacetic Comics and Toonseum present this annual showcase for creator-owned, self-published, small-press and handmade comics and artist's books. Nearly 60 local artists will expo, including names like Artnoose, John Peña, Lizzee Solomon and Wayne Wise. Special guests include at least one comics god — Fantagraphics founder and publisher Gary Groth — and comics goddess Trina Robbins, a pioneer in women's underground comics (Wimmen's Comix) turned comics historian. Local guests include Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg. Then there's PIX guest Theo Ellsworth, a Montana-based artist whose visionary work (Capacity, Sleeper Car) also earned him a solo show at the Toonseum. The opening reception for Theo Ellsworth: Memory and Identity is Fri., March 21. BO PIX: 10 a.m-5 p.m. and 7-11 p.m. 10 S. 19th St., South Side. Free.

Sat., March 22 — Exhibit

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens features both sight and sound at its Spring Flower Show, which shines the spotlight on flowers like daffodils, tulips and hyacinths while celebrating a musical theme. Sculptures made from refurbished instruments complement the flowers; recordings of well-loved tunes score your stroll through certain rooms; and plant arrangements even "mimic the rise and fall of musical notes." The show was designed by Hays Landscape Architecture Studio. AS 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through April 20. One Schenley Park, Oakland. $11-15. 412-622-6914 or

Irina Koukhanova's Panoptic Landscape
Art by Irina Koukhanova

Sat., March 22 — Art

With visual art, perspective is key. Where one person sees an old urinal, another sees a fountain. Box Heart Gallery's 2014 Artist of the Year Irina Koukhanova's Panoptic Landscape is a collection of painting and sculpture that "captures an all-encompassing system viewed from the perspective of a human or an animal, an adult or a child, and alludes to authority, power play and the dynamics of entrapment." A reception for the artist, who leads the sculpture program at Cleveland University, takes place today. AS 5 p.m. Exhibit continues through May 16. 4523 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Free. 412-687-8858 or

Sun., March 23 — Outdoors

Like other trees, maples filter the air, lower temperatures, add beauty to our surroundings and more. But more importantly, they make syrup. Today, the Jennings Environmental Education Center in Slippery Rock celebrates the tree and its famous byproduct with a seasonal maple-sugaring event. After a presentation exploring the many benefits of trees, attendees can see a working evaporator and sample maple syrup during a guided walk through the park. The event is free but popular, so arrive early for a seat. AS 2 p.m. 2951 Prospect Road, Slippery Rock. Free. 724-794-6011 or

Wed., March 26 — Stage

Newly formed Uncumber Theatrics debuts with Her Things: An Interactive Estate Sale, at ModernFormations Gallery. Audience members must learn what happened to the late Willa Ballard, a "turn-of-the-century recluse" who died under mysterious circumstances. Just as in a mystery video game, attendees can examine objects and question characters, but beware: These folks might not be sharing everything they know. The story was created by Uncumber artistic director Ayne Terceira, who worked on Bricolage's immersive project STRATA, and the cast features local improv vets. AS 8 p.m. Continues through Sat., March 29. 4919 Penn Ave, Garfield. $18-22. 412-362-0274 or

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