Short List: May 25 - June 1 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: May 25 - June 1 

Ai Weiwei at the Carnegie; new art at Silver Eye; touring Broadway musical Matilda at the Benedum; RuPaul’s Drag Race on stage


SPOTLIGHT: Thu., June 2 — Art

Pittsburgh is getting not only its first two exhibitions by one of the world’s best-known living contemporary artists, but also the man himself. Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei visits June 2 for a sure-to-sell-out discussion with Eric Shiner, executive director of The Andy Warhol Museum, at the Carnegie Music Hall. The occasion is the June 3 opening of Andy Warhol/Ai Weiwei: The expansive exhibit is a collaboration between the Warhol and Australia’s National Gallery of Victoria, which premiered it in December. The 350-some works (paintings, sculptures, wallpaper and more) span the Warhol’s seven floors to compare the work, inspiration and influence of the two men. (Warhol was a big influence on Ai, but the two never met.) But first: On Sat., May 28, the Carnegie Museum of Art opens Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, a 2011 work consisting of 12 massive bronze representations of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac (dog, dragon, pig, rat, etc.), displayed amongst the historic casts in the Hall of Architecture. In part a commentary on cultural heritage lost to colonialism (one that debuted, ironically, while he was under detention by China’s Communist regime), Circle of Animals is another expression of Ai’s political sensibility, much like his recent work responding to the Greek refugee crisis. Bill O’Driscoll Talk: 8 p.m. Thu., June 2 ($10). 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. 412-622-3131 or

click to enlarge ART BY NORA GILCHRIST
  • Art by Nora Gilchrist

Thu., May 26 — Art

If you haven’t visited the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, tonight’s a good excuse. This nonprofit is like a thrift store where you can purchase (or donate) odds and ends that might be reborn as art supplies — everything from photo magazines to fabric, craft paper to housewares. Tonight, Creative Reuse’s own staff show what they can do with reusable materials in an art show in the Center’s new gallery. At the opening reception, peruse works by Daniel Shapiro, Laura Ramie, Nora Gilchrist, Ashley Andrews and more. Purchases support the gallery. BO 6-9 p.m. 214 N. Lexington St., Point Breeze. Free. 412-473-0100 or

click to enlarge ART BY DANIEL COBURN
  • Art by Daniel Coburn

Fri., May 27 — Art

The fragile nature of time has always been a major subject for artists. Tonight, Silver Eye Center for Photography presents the opening reception for two moving exhibitions, Daniel Coburn’s The Hereditary Estate and Megan Ledbetter’s Homo Bulla. Both grapple with humanity’s temporal nature and the fleeting impression of memory. Hereditary Estate specifically deals with Coburn’s new sense of his family album once he learned about his relatives’ painful past, while Ledbetter uses different surfaces and light to frame contradicting narratives about life and death. Tyler Dague 6-9 p.m. Exhibit continues July 30. 1015 E. Carson St., South Side. Free. 412-431-1810 or

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Fri., May 27 — Screen

Launched in 2012, the locally produced Dog Bytes became an acclaimed web series, garnering awards at film festivals around the U.S. Most recently, the dark comedy starring Adrienne Wehr and Tammy Tsai, and directed by Melissa Martin, screened in Cannes as part of MIPTV’s Best of the Web international showcase. You could catch up online — or you could enjoy The Sights and Sounds of Dog Bytes, a public screening of the series’ first five episodes. The fundraiser, tonight at the Oaks Theater, includes appearances by cast and crew and musical performances by Scotty Grill and Lonesome Bob. BO 7:30 p.m. 310 Allegheny River Blvd., Oakmont. $12-15.

Sat., May 28 — Fireworks

Yes, many cities and towns have their Memorial Day fireworks. But PyroFest isn’t your granddad’s display. This weekend-long event celebrating its fifth year at Cooper’s Lake features four internationally acclaimed pyrotechnic headliners, a first for the festival. The finale, “Prism,” showcases traditional fireworks, pyrotechnic effects, dozens of strobes and towering laser lights set to classical and electronic-dance instrumentation. Effects from Prism were used at concerts featuring Justin Timberlake and Zedd as well as the music festival Coachella. TD 3-11 p.m. Also 3-11 p.m. Sun., May 29. 205 Currie Road, Slippery Rock. $25-125 ($15 students/military). 888-718-4253 or

  • Photo courtesy of Ken Kerr

Sat., May 28 — Comedy

Krish Mohan says that some people have trouble placing him ethnically: “Maybe he’s Italian. Maybe he’s Muslim. Maybe he’s a Die Hard villain — we don’t know!” Born in India, raised in Pittsburgh, the nationally touring, Washington, D.C.-based comic known for tackling race, religion and other cultural issues returns to record his new album, An Indian Comedian: How Not to Fit In. The concert is tonight, at Hambone’s, with fellow comics Garrett Titlebaum and Derek Minto. BO 9 p.m. 4207 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $10.

  • Photo courtesy of Matthew DeSantis

Sun., May 29 — Outdoors

Despite some grumbling about impeded traffic, what last year’s expanded Open Streets Pittsburgh mostly did was get thousands of folks outdoors on a Penn Avenue temporarily made free of cars, from Market Square to 47th Street, in Lawrenceville. (Last July, nearly 18,000 participated.) Today marks 2016’s first Open Streets, with activity hubs in Market Square and at Sixth, 28th and 47th streets offering sessions in everything from zumba and yoga to soul line-dancing (and lion dancing) and imaginative street games for kids and adults. The all-ages fun repeats with Open Streets events June 26 and July 31, and drivers, note: The course includes nine traffic crossings of Penn. BO 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Free.

Mon., May 30 — Outdoors

It’s Memorial Day, but if you’re not too tied to the barbecue, consider this a public-service announcement: Allegheny County’s public parks are open, and there’s more to do there than hike and watch squirrels. The North Park and South Park golf courses are open, as are the free tennis courts in North, South, Boyce and Settlers Cabin parks. North Park’s boat-launch and boathouse are active today, too, for bike and boat rentals and even one-day courses in kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and stand-up paddleboarding yoga. You can always grill out later. BO Times and fees vary.

Mon., May 30 — Stage

To be or not to be, l’il dogies? Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks continues its Shakespeare Slam season with Cowboy Shakespeare. In this informal competition, MC Alan Irvine assigns competitors or teams of performers (pros and non-actors alike) random accents or character types to use in an assigned soliloquy or scene. Could be cowboy Romeo; could be Lady Macbeth as a Southern belle, or Hamlet via Pittsburghese. Winners are chosen by the audience. BO 7:30 p.m. 2000 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. Suggested donation: $10. Interested readers should call 412-521-6406 or contact

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Tue., May 31 — Stage

Whether as Roald Dahl’s classic children’s novel or Mara Wilson’s adorable turn in the 1996 film adaptation, Matilda has been charming families for decades. The 2013 musical adaptation, with a book by Dennis Kelly and songs by Tim Minchin, has its Steel City premiere tonight. The story of a bright English girl with telekinesis who overcomes revolting parents and a violent school principal to help her teacher rediscover life, Matilda was a Broadway smash, breaking box-office records and garnering four Tony Awards. This touring production, by the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Dodgers, is getting a two-week Pittsburgh CLO run at the Benedum Center. TD 7:30 p.m. Continues through June 12. 237 Seventh St., Downtown. $26-69. 412-456-6666 or

click to enlarge sl_glass_21.jpg

Wed., June 1 — Words

More than a dozen internationally acclaimed glass artists will visit Pittsburgh Glass Center this summer to teach master classes in glassblowing, shaping methods and more. But for those who are simply curious about this fascinating meld of ancient tools, modern techniques and endless possibilities, the Glass Center also hosts a weekly Summer Lecture Series featuring each artist, videos and informal discussions about contemporary studio glass art. Tonight, the speakers are Boyd Sugiki, Lisa Zerkowitz, Tim Drier and Weston Lambert. TD 6 p.m. Continues through Aug. 10. 5472 Penn Ave., Friendship. Free. 412-365-2145 or

Wed., June 1 — Drag

A bona fide cultural phenomenon and ratings powerhouse for Logo TV, RuPaul’s Drag Race has brought the art of drag to audiences across the country and overseas. The Battle of the Seasons 2016 Extravaganza Tour, a live spinoff, hits the Carnegie Library of Homestead Music Hall tonight for an evening of music and madness, hosted by series judge Michelle Visage and featuring an all-star cast of former contestants, including winners Jinks Monsoon and Violet Chachki. Season-four winner and reigning Pittsburgh City Paper Reader’s Poll Best Drag Performer Sharon Needles will also appear. TD 9 p.m. 510 E. 10th Ave., Munhall. $38.50-302. 877-435-9849 or



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