Short List: March 24 - 31 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: March 24 - 31

Wham City Comedy Tour returns; Pulitzer-winning poet Gregory Pardlo at the Carnegie; Center for Creative Reuse opens a gallery; a Track Meet cypher

SPOTLIGHT: Thu., March 31 — Comedy

A few months after its 2014 comedy tour visited Pittsburgh, Baltimore’s Wham City debuted, on Adult Swim, “Unedited Footage of a Bear.” The nightmarish 10-minute film about a suburban mom and her “duplicate” — which starts out as a cheesy drug commercial — was dubbed “this year’s scariest video” by London’s The Observer, and catapulted the troupe to new notoriety. Alan Resnick, who directed “Unedited Footage” as part of Adult Swim’s “Infomercials” series, says it was “surprisingly popular for something that had no jokes in it and was on a comedy station.” Resnick spoke with CP last week, hours after the 4 a.m. Adult Swim premiere of Wham City’s “This House Has People in It,” another excursion into the suburban macabre (this one seemingly assembled, unnervingly, out of surveillance footage). But while the long-running Wham City Comedy Tour is not your typical comedy show, it’s also not, well, a horror show. “The live shows are definitely funnier,” says Resnick, who tours with troupe members Ben O’Brien and Robby Rackleff (all of whom have backgrounds in video art). “There might be some traditional standup, but there’s also character stuff, and sketch performances, and lectures and things.” Also expect some new video. Frequent collaborator Cricket Arrison opens for the troupe at Arcade Comedy Theater. Bill O’Driscoll 8 p.m. Thu., March 31. 811 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $10.

Thu., March 24 — Words

Gregory Pardlo “was an index of first lines when I was born,” he says in “Written by Himself,” a poem from his Pulitzer Prize-winning 2014 collection, Digest. Pardlo and Pittsburgh-based Yona Harvey — who received the Kate Tufts Discovery Award for her collection Hemming the Water — read from their work tonight at the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall. The free reading, part of Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures’ Poets on Tour series, includes a reception and book-signing. Courtney Linder 6 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free with reservation: 412-622-8866 or

click to enlarge ART BY JULIET PUSATERI
Art by Juliet Pusateri

Thu., March 24 — Art

Old magazines, beat-up 78s, coat buttons, just about any loose arts-and-crafts supply you could imagine: You can find them all at the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, a home for stuff someone didn’t want but someone else might. What you couldn’t find there was an art gallery — until tonight. That’s when the Center’s own gallery holds its first opening reception, for artifacts, featuring work by its first artist in residence, Juliet Pusateri. And all the work in artifacts is, needless to say, made entirely from reclaimed materials. BO 6-9 p.m. 214 N. Lexington St., Point Breeze. 412-473-0100 or

Fri., March 25 — Screen

Orson Welles fans inspired by February’s first-ever screenings here of his Chimes at Midnight can sample another masterpiece this week, 1958’s Touch of Evil. Welles directed and co-stars — with Charlton Heston and Marlene Dietrich! – in this crime drama set on the U.S.-Mexico border. A box-office flop in the States, it was Welles’ final Hollywood production. But the film is now hailed for its cinematic brilliance, especially in a version restoring Welles’ original cut. Touch of Evil screens as part of Rowhouse Cinema’s week-long film noir series. BO 5:10 p.m. Continues daily through March 31. 4115 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $5.50-9. 412-904-3225 or

click to enlarge ART BY NATE BERTON
Art by Nate Berton

Fri., March 25 — Art

Introverted. Hyperactive. Guarded. Used. Unloved. Peel back layers of inhibition this evening at Nate Berton’s new exhibition We Wore the Masks. Berton, a Carnegie Mellon scenic-design major, asked participants to scrawl five words that describe their innermost selves, then incorporated the terms into haunting photographic portraits. The series includes a “living gallery” that documents guests on the spot. This exercise in vulnerability opens tonight as part of the Trespass: Artist Residencies series at Future Tenant gallery. CL 8 p.m. 819 Penn Ave., Downtown. Free.

Sat., March 26 — Stage

Dystopia wasn’t far-fetched between 1933 and 1973, when the North Carolina Eugenics Program forcibly sterilized more than 8,000 people (out of 60,000 sterilized nationally). Playwright Marilynn Barner Anselmi brings this grim reality to life in her new play You Wouldn’t Expect, an intense drama that follows two women involved with the sterilization program. The play, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the demaskus Theater Collective, gets two performances today, at the August Wilson Center. CL 2 and 8 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $20-30. 412-456-6666 or

click to enlarge ART BY KAL MANSUR
Art by Kal Mansur

Sat., March 26 — Art

Discover how visual-art virtuosos manipulate unconventional media at the opening reception for Kal Mansur’s New Valkyries and Michael Walsh’s Intersection-Dissection-Connection, at BoxHeart Gallery. New Valkyries re-envisions the visible spectrum through Mansur’s attention to color and light in turning acrylic glass into translucent sculptures. His ability to explore light and shadow earned him title of BoxHeart’s 2016 Artist of the Year. Walsh’s internationally recognized work is an intersection of industrial and digital technologies — an exercise in combining metal casting, molding, painting and 3-D printing. CL 5 p.m. 4523 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Free. 412-687-8858 or

Sat., March 26 — Words

Nestled in a cabin within the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Assaf Gavron began writing his Bernstein Prize-winning novel The Hilltop — an internationally acclaimed work of fiction that illuminates the region’s extreme conditions through the narrative of a farmer who settles on a hilltop to grow tomatoes but eventually sparks an international crisis. Tonight, at City of Asylum, Gavron reads from The Hilltop and engages in a Q&A, courtesy of J Street Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh’s Jewish Studies program. A dessert reception follows. CL 7 p.m. 330 Sampsonia Way, North Side. Free. Register at 412-323-0278 or

Sat., March 26 — Words

Scott Pyle’s “In the fire maze …” reads, “darkness / keep the left hand on the wall / my breath thunder.” The locally based poet, who specializes in haiku, describes himself as an “EMT – Librarian – Hiker – Writer.” The release of his first book, Moving Leeward, is the occasion for a reading party tonight at Percolate Art Space & Gallery. The evening also includes poetry by Vincent Zepp, Michael Albright, Angele Ellis and Pyle’s fellow haiku artist Don Wentworth. BO 7 p.m. 317 S. Trenton Ave., Wilkinsburg. Free. (search “Moving Leeward”)

Sat., March 26 — Hip Hop

The four elements of hip hop — MCing, DJing, b-boying and graffiti — are alive and well tonight at the headquarters of Get Down Gang. This old-school hip-hop house on the North Side hosts Breaking Ground: An Elemental Explosion, a freestyle cypher presented by local outfit Track Meet. This open-mic night includes free drinks from Full Pint Brewing Company, food from Brassero Grill, canvases to create your own street art and performances by local beatsmiths, DJs and bands. CL 7 p.m. 915 Spring Garden Ave., North Side. $7-20. or

Sat., March 26 — Music

Internationally touring Brazilian jazz guitarist Diego Figueiredo is hailed by his peers; George Benson has called him “one of the greatest guitarists I’ve seen in my whole life.” At 35, Figueiredo has already released 23 CDs, and he has concert credits in 60 countries. Just for tonight, a spring tour of the eastern U.S. brings him to the James Simon Sculpture Studio, an intimate performance space in Uptown. Brazilian-born acoustic-electric guitarist Moises Borges, who specializes in samba and bossa nova, opens. BO 8 p.m. 305 Gist St., Uptown. $20. 412-434-5629 or (search “Diego Fiqueiredo”)

Wed., March 30 — Stage

“What did King Lear know about binary numbers? Do we get closer to the truth by studying poetry or mathematics?” In the new stage comedy The Mathematics of Being Human, an incompatible math professor and English professor co-teach a class on how their disciplines overlap. The fully-staged one-act was written by English prof Michele Osherow and math prof Manil Suri, based on their own team-teaching experience at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The first of five free performances this week is tonight, at the University of Pittsburgh’s Henry Heymann Theatre. BO 8 p.m. Continues through Sat., April 2. 4301 Forbes Ave., Oakland. RSVP at

Thu., March 31 — Words

Every parent’s worst nightmare materializes in Rebecca Drake’s fourth and latest thriller, Only Ever You (Thomas Dunne Books). It tells the story of a woman and her daughter, who is abducted at the playground and returns about an hour later with a strange puncture wound in her arm. Join Drake, a professor at Seton Hill University, for the release of her novel at Mystery Lovers Bookshop tonight. CL 7 p.m. 514 Allegheny River Blvd., Oakmont. Free. 412-828-4877 or

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