Short List: May 1 - 8 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Spotlight: Mon., May 6 — Talk

Anthony Bourdain's award-winning book Kitchen Confidential illuminated the unknown world behind restaurant-kitchen doors. The 2002 book, which also shed light on the chef's personal trials, helped bring the behind-the-scenes food world into the mainstream and inspired a new generation of foodies. Bourdain, chef-at-large at New York's famed Brasserie Les Halles, also hosts Travel Channel's Emmy Award-winning No Reservations and The Layover, and is known for his quirky and seemingly unfiltered humor. His recent television endeavors include The Taste, a cooking competition, and a food-based docu-series for CNN. For the speaking tour Good vs. Evil, Bourdain is joined by his long-time friend Eric Ripert, the chef and co-owner of New York's famed Le Bernardin. The guest judge and "fan favorite" on Bravo's Top Chef has also written four cookbooks and other volumes including Avec EricOn the LineA Return to Cooking and the Le Bernardin Cookbook. On May 6, at the Benedum Center, the pair will share stories and discuss the place of food in our collective lives. Copies of their books will be available. Bourdain's own latest, a culinary-themed graphic novel titled Get Jiro!, reached No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Jeff Ihaza 7:30 p.m. Mon., May 6. 719 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $45-145. 412-456-6666 or

Fri., May 3 — Fundraiser

Access to reproductive health care. Resources for re-entering society after incarceration. Equal pay. Gender equality. These are just some of the things that The Women's Law Project fights for. Join the group tonight for its Rights to Realities benefit, featuring a silent auction plus entertainment from the Alec Chapman Trio and pianist Amy Lindsey, and an original spoken-word performance by Vanessa German. Meanwhile, the group's Rights to Realities challenge matches donations of $100 or more, dollar for dollar. Lauren Daley 6 p.m. The Fairmont, 510 Market St., Downtown. $60. Register at 412-281-2892 or

click to enlarge Artwork by Barbara Weissberger
Artwork by Barbara Weissberger

Fri., May 3 — Art

One of the more select group shows for local artists this season graces a less familiar venue. The Fox Chapel campus of Shady Side Academy hosts Art Beat, featuring the work of 19 local artists. The roster of contributors begins with sculptor and locally-based eminence Thaddeus Mosley, but also includes such established names as Atticus Adams, Stephanie Armbruster, Kim Beck and Barbara Weissberger, and emerging talents like Seth Clark, Lori Hepner and Ryan Woodring. The show, in the school's Hillman Center and Benedum Visual Arts Center, opens with tonight's reception. Bill O'Driscoll 7-9 p.m. Exhibit continues through May 24. 423 Fox Chapel Road, Fox Chapel.

Fri., May 3 — Art

It's even busier than usual at this month's Unblurred gallery crawl. Along Penn Avenue, check out new shows at venues including Image Box, Artisan, ModernFormations, Garfield Artworks and Most Wanted Fine Art; the latter two feature live music. Roboto hosts printmaker, photographer and writer Max Wheeler and a sound installation by the group Western Pennsylvania. Assemble showcases robot technologies, and Toro's Tavern has standup comedy. And bid farewell to local fixture ARTica Gallery and Antiques, which is closing at month's end and liquidating in the meantime. BO Most events 7-10 p.m. 4100-5400 Penn Ave., Bloomfield/Garfield/Friendship. Free.

click to enlarge Artwork by Alessandra Sulpy
Artwork by Alessandra Sulpy

Sat., May 4 — Art 

Alessandra Sulpy's oil paintings are somewhere between amusing and creepy, depicting an alternate universe where dolls and mannequins roam and the language of gesture translates from awkward yearbook poses and vintage cheesecake. Souvenirs and "cheap doo-dads" also figure in, according to the locally based artist, 27. Her show of recent works, titled Toys in the Attic, opens at The Gallery 4 with tonight's reception. BO 7-11 p.m. Exhibit continues through May 25. 206 S. Highland Ave., Shadyside. Free. 412-363-5050 or

Sat., May 4 — Stage

Abigail Williams was the bad girl of The Crucible — the one who cried "Witch!" Now playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa — also known for writing for TV's Glee and Big Love — imagines Williams 10 years later in colonial America, living under a new name and getting a visit ... from the Devil. City Theatre's season-ending production of Aguirre-Sacasa's new play Abigail/1702 stars Diane Davis and Zachary Spicer, and is directed by City's Tracy Brigden. Preview performances begin tonight; the official opening night is May 10. BO 5:30 p.m. Continues through May 26. 1300 Bingham St., South Side. $15-55. 412-431-2489 or

Sat., May 4 — Cabaret

Morose & Macabre's Atrocity Exhibition is an annual festival for the costumed and the creepy, the frightful and the fanciful. Think goth, steampunk, vaudeville and beyond. The fifth-anniversary show, Commedia Dell'Morte: Carnivale, features sideshow, cabaret and outlandish burlesque from a national array of performers, plus exhibiting artists on theme. At the Rex Theater, MC Cherri Baum will introduce everyone from local faves Phat Man Dee and Andrew The Impaled to visitors like Penny De La Poison and New Orleans' Vinsantos. Not forgetting "the world's longest striptease," by Lita D'Vargas. BO 10 p.m. (doors at 9 p.m.). 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $10-13.

Sun., May 5 — Sport

It's Pittsburgh Marathon day. Look for closed-off streets, some 30,000 competitors running either 13.1 or 26.2 miles — and more street-level safety anxiety than usual, matched with more security. (Spectators this year shouldn't bring backpacks, for instance.) The first wheelchair racers start at 6:50 a.m. You can just watch, or you can help out: Volunteers are still needed all along the course, throughout the day. BO  

Sun., May 5 — Music

The internationally acclaimed Philippine Madrigal Singers perform a Cinco de Mayo concert at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater. The group, composed of students, faculty and alumni from the University of the Philippines, was the first choir in the world to be named the "World's Best Choral Ensemble" by the Asia Pacific Brands Foundation, among other awards. Tonight's performance of Philippine, Asian and international songs, sponsored by the Philippine-American Performing Arts of Greater Pittsburgh, is directed by Mark Anthony Carpio. The program includes traditional Filipino dances by 30 youth performers from the PAPAGP. Jeff Ihaza 4:30 p.m. 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty. $10-100. 724-591-8525 or

Mon., May 6 — Words

One of Western Pennsylvania's oldest book festivals returns for its 18th year. The one-night Festival of Mystery, presented by the award-winning Mystery Lovers Bookshop, offers the opportunity to meet and talk with 49 local and national mystery authors, all in one place. Guests at Oakmont's Greek Orthodox Church tonight include British author Frances Brody, best known for her Kate Shackleton mysteries. JI 5 p.m. 12 Washington St., Oakmont. $8-9. 1-888-800-6078 or

Mon. May 6 — Words

A bit of international people's history with a Pittsburgh flavor visits Heinz History Center tonight. Just after World War II, at age 43, Leonilde Frieri Ruberto and her family left her small Italian village for the U.S. — and Bloomfield. In 1980, Ruberto wrote her life story, and Such Is Life / Ma la viata e fatta cosi is apparently the only autobiography published in the U.S. written in Italian by a first-generation Italian-American woman. Tonight, the Center hosts a presentation by Ruberto's granddaughter, scholar Laura E. Ruberto, who translated the work for its bilingual edition. BO 6 p.m. 1212 Smallman St., Strip District. Museum admission ($6-15) plus $5. 412-454-6000 or

Mon., May 6 — Words

Author, zine hero and bicycling enthusiast Pete Jordan — once known by his nom de zine "Dishwasher Pete" — formerly lived in Pittsburgh. He left in 2001 because there weren't enough fellow bicyclists. That was before this town's biking boom, but Jordan found somewhere inarguably better: Amsterdam. His new book, In the City of Bikes, explores the strange and wonderful history (and ubiquity) of human-powered two-wheelers there, including public-use bikes and the bicycle's role in fighting Nazis. On the U.S. leg of his book tour, Jordan reads tonight, at the Brew House. BO 7:30 p.m. 2100 Mary St., South Side. Free. 412-381-7767

Tue., May 7 — Music

Choro is a classic popular urban music of Brazil, dating from the 19th century; its fast tempo and tradition of virtuosity make it that country's equivalent of New Orleans-style jazz. Pittsburgh's lone practitioners are Choro No Vinho, whose six members (on guitar, violin, brass and hand drum) perform tonight at Bar Marco. The show's presented by Classical Revolution Pittsburgh, whose mission is making live chamber music more accessible. But choro's samba and bossa nova rhythms might just expand your idea of "chamber music." BO 8 p.m. 2216 Penn Ave., Strip District. $10 (includes refreshments).

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