Short List: May 18 - 24 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: May 18 - 24

Uncumber Theatrics’ Serpentine hits the streets; Allison Knowles at the Carnegie; Venture Outdoors Festival at the Point; Dave Chappelle’s six shows in Munhall


Thu., May 19 — Stage

Uncumber Theatrics — known for smart interactive and immersive shows like Her Things and Professor Eldritch’s Asylum for Uncanny and Extraordinary Women — takes its latest production into the real world, after a fashion. Serpentine is an alternate-reality game styled after film noir and inspired by an actual Pittsburgh cold case from 1921. But the setting is contemporary: At their appointed hours, ticketholders enter a private eye’s office (whose location you learn upon buying your ticket) and get 45 minutes to snoop, gathering clues. Then, with information gleaned from a city map, gamers head to designated locations — mostly in the East End and Downtown — to find more clues or to track down other characters who’ll further develop this choose-your-own-adventure work. The show’s femmes fatale and underworld informants, lurking in bars or public spaces, might even ask participants to pass messages to other characters. But in any case, after their initial appointments, gamers proceed at their leisure, over the course of up to four weeks. “Once you enter the game, you are as much in it as you want ’till the end,” says Uncumber’s Ayne Terceira, who devised Serpentine with Aaron Tarnow. “The game keeps on evolving ’till you reach a conclusion, which is in June.” Serpentine offers about 75 initial time slots, a few of which are already sold out. Bill O’Driscoll Thu., May 19-June 11. $35 (21 and over).

Photo courtesy of Renee Rosensteel

Thu., May 19 — Exhibit

Artist Eric Lennartson has made some Office Depot manager very happy. Stretching more than 10 miles of packing tape over steel frames, Lennartson has yet again designed a maze of translucent, kid-sized tunnels, dubbed TapeScape 2.0, for visitors to explore at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. After a successful run at the Children’s Museum in 2013, this second iteration of the two-story, surprisingly un-sticky structure (Lennartson double-sides the tape) returned this past winter and closes this weekend. Be sure to bring socks. Tyler Dague 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Exhibit continues through Sun., May 22. 10 Children’s Way, North Side. $13-14 (children under 2 are free). 412-322-5058 or

Thu., May 19 — Talk

One of the world’s most influential proponents of environmental sustainability visits the Green Building Alliance’s Inspire Speakers Series. Paul Hawken, internationally known author of books including Natural Capitalism, is known for pursuing social justice in tandem with environmental activism. Tonight, at the Kaufmann Center, he’ll discuss Project Drawdown, his new approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The program Planet & People: Connecting Climate Change, Social Innovation and Inspiration, also features local climate activist and educator Joylette Portlock. A book-signing with Hawken follows. Bill O’Driscoll 5:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. reception). 1825 Centre Ave., Hill District. $15-40. 

Thu., May 19 — Art

Alison Knowles is seeing red — er, rather, she wants to see the color red. Tonight, the pioneering conceptual artist presents Celebration Red, a reprise of her 1962 work that asks visitors to contribute a red item to a large grid taking up the Carnegie Museum of Art’s entire Hall of Sculpture. Visitors can meet Knowles and discuss the work as it grows and changes. Celebration Red launches a new exhibit spanning Knowles’ several decades’ of work transforming perspectives on ordinary items such as wind-up toys, beans and clothing. TD 6 p.m. (free). Exhibit continues through Oct. 24. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. 412-622-3131 or

Fri., May 20 — Music

It’s not often that dance, poetry, voice and live chamber music come together. But that’s just an average day for Resonance Works | Pittsburgh, a company driven by artistic collaboration and audience interaction. Its season-closing concert, The Song of the Earth presents works by Mahler and Schoenberg with performances by local troupe Texture Contemporary Ballet. Mezzo-soprano Brooke Larimer and tenor Robert Frankenberry will accompany the orchestra, singing seven works of poetry from Hans Bethge’s “The Chinese Flute.” TD 8 p.m. Also 3 p.m. Sun., May 22. Charity Randall Theater, 4301 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $15-35. 412-501-3330 or

Photo courtesy of Jimmy Katz

Fri., May 20 — Music

Whether you know it or not, you listen to gospel music: Arguably there’s no sound more foundational to popular music than what came out of the black church. Trumpeter, composer and bandleader Sean Jones grew up singing in the church choir in his hometown of Warren, Ohio. A career of international renown awaited, including a stint in Pittsburgh. Now head of the brass department at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Jones returns for tonight’s Jazz Meets Gospel. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust program at the August Wilson Center features Jones’ original compositions combining his gospel roots with modern jazz. BO 8 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $38.35-48.25. 412-456-6666 or

Fri., May 20 — Art

This year’s round of the Mattress Factory’s Factory Installed series kicks off with four new room-sized installations by artists with international résumés in the museum’s annex. Duluth, Minn.-based David Bowen “creates mechanisms that produce drawings, sounds and responses to inputs from the natural environment.” Pittsburgh’s Kevin Clancy makes work that involves viewers and changes perceptions about social space. Wendy Judge, from Dublin, Ireland, creates installations that explore armchair travel. And Lauren Kalman, of Detroit, uses video and other media “to investigate beauty, adornment, body image and consumer culture.” An opening reception is tonight. BO 6-8 p.m. 1414 Monterey St., North Side. $15 (free for 15212 residents). 412-231-3169 or

Photo courtesy of Venture Outdoors

Sat., May 21 — Outdoors

Kayaking, fishing, rock climbing and even dragon-boating Downtown? It must be the Venture Outdoors Festival, celebrating its 15th anniversary at Point State Park. With activities ranging from guided bike rides and yoga to performances by members of the Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle and local a capella ensemble Pitch Please, and games from the 1800s, the festival continues to offer a variety of opportunities to try something new. Equipment is provided for all activities, but you are welcome to bring your own. TD 11 a.m. (for members) and noon- 6 p.m. 101 Commonwealth Place, Downtown. Free. 412-255-0564 or

Sat., May 21 — Comedy

Pittsburgh now officially has three comedy festivals, but if you miss them there’s always stuff like tonight’s The Loaded Show. WDVE and Club Café present this smorgasbord of top local standup talent, which features Aaron Kleiber, Andy Picaro, Day Bracey, Holly Price, Alex Stypula and Shannon Norman. The host is Sean Collier, and the show will be recorded for future airing on DVE. BO 10:30 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $10. 412-431-4950 or

Sun., May 22 — Talk

Activate: Ideas in Motion is the theme of this year’s TEDxPittsburgh. The all-day event, at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall, features 13 local speakers who came up with an idea to overcome a challenge. On the roster: Mike Capsambelis of Google and Awesome Pittsburgh; artist and arts programmer Casey Droege; Gisele Fetterman, of Braddocks’s Free Store; Steve Hackman, of Pittsburgh Symphony’s Fuse Series; self-driving-car engineer Raj Rajkumar; author David Petrovic; and singer Jasmine Tate. Your ticket includes lunch and the post-event reception. BO 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 4101 Fifth Ave., Oakland. $30.

Sun., May 22 — Music

The Long Song runs two hours. But it also is pretty long — one mile’s worth. Today, artist Jennifer Nagle Myers stations each of 21 performers or small groups on a corner of Penn Avenue between Main Street and Highland Avenue, and has each interpret a verse of her lyric tackling racial injustice, economic injustice and environmental degradation. Cellists, vocalists, rappers, dancers, percussionists and more chime in. Start your visit at either end, or in the middle. “It’s gonna be evolving,” promises Myers. Her collaboration with BOOM Concepts, part of the Pittsburgh Festival of New Music, is supported by Awesome Pittsburgh, The Heinz Endowments and the Pittsburgh Foundation. BO 4-6 p.m. Penn Avenue between Main Street (Bloomfield) and Highland Avenue (East Liberty). Free.

Tue., May 24 — Comedy

Dave Chappelle likes to surprise us. In November 2014, he did a show here with like one day’s notice. Now the celebrated comedian offers a little more slack — two weeks’ notice — for a three-night, six-show standup stint at the Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall. Tickets ain’t cheap for that many performances in a hall that size, but Chappelle’s fans will tell you that the man’s talent for dissecting society in general and race in particular merit the coin. BO 7 and 10 p.m. Also 7 and 10 p.m. Thu., May 26 and Fri., May 27. 510 E. 10th Ave., Munhall. $62. 877-435-9849 or

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