Short List: May 9 - 16 | Short List | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
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Short List: May 9 - 16 

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Children's fest -May 16

The Pittsburgh International Children's Festival returns for its 26th year. Complete with an outdoor stage and hands-on educational activities, the five-day visual and performing-arts festival is one of only four international theater festivals for children in the country. This year, the festival showcases local and international shows including the comedy "Dudes," by Dutch theater company Beumer and Drost. "Dudes" takes place in a small locker room and pokes fun at sports behind-the-scenes with a mix of music, dance and puppetry. In "Mirazozo," an installation piece designed by Alan Parkinson and constructed by U.K.'s Architects of Air, architecture styles from around the world come together in a giant inflatable labyrinth of light and color equivalent to the size of a football field. The Oakland festival features performances by artists from the U.S., Scotland, Australia, the Netherlands, Japan and other countries. There are free outdoor events as well as ticketed performances at Schenley Plaza, the Cathedral of Learning lawn and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Mariluz Orbay 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m Wed., May 16-Fri., May 18, and 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat., May 19 and Sun, May 20. 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland. $5-8 (ticketed events); free for children under 2. 412-456-6666 or www.pghkids.org

click to enlarge "Cluster Study" by Brett Freund
  • "Cluster Study" by Brett Freund

In 2004, actor Marcus Stevens made a spectacular writing debut when his musical Red, written with composer Brian Lowdermilk, premiered at Point Park University ... the school he'd just graduated from. Red would earn the prestigious Richard Rodgers Award, and Stevens, between acting gigs with the likes of the Pittsburgh CLO, kept writing. His latest is Yo, Vikings!, a musical about a modern girl who wants to be a Viking. Written with composer Sam Willmott, Vikings is based on the children's book by Skippyjon Jones author Judy Schachner. The 2010 play launches Point Park's Playhouse Jr. summer kids'-theater season. It was commissioned by a theater in Upper Darby, Pa. — where Stevens grew up knowing the Schachners, including Emma, the girl whose story Yo, Vikings! tells. Emma "wants to be a leader in her community, but they're not buying it," summarizes Stevens, who's now based in New York City. "She learns how to use her imagination in a way that includes people rather than excludes people." Bill O'Driscoll Sat., May 12-May 27. 222 Craft Ave., Oakland. $7. 412-392-8000 or www.pittsburghplayhouse.com

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Thu., May 10 — Art

New Works, New Problems sounds like a challenge, or maybe a warning. But it's also the title of the new show at Filmmakers Galleries. Eight artists working variously in painting, photography, video and sculpture contribute one work each: Hope Armstrong, Rafael Abreu-Canedo, Brian Brown, Cara Erskin, Cory Escoto, Brett Freund, Hanna Fuhrmann and Riley Harmon. Curator Adam Welch says they're artists "whose visual languages are variously tempered or liberated by the mash-up of culture in which we live." A reception is tonight. Bill O'Driscoll 6-8 p.m. Exhibit continues through July 1. 477 Melwood Ave., North Oakland. Free. 412-681-5449 or www.pghfilmmakers.org

Fri., May 11 — Art

With social unrest bubbling, some suggest we "tone it down." But the Pittsburgh Society of Artists asked artists to TONE IT UP! by creating work about something they are passionate about: politics, culture, the environment, you name it. Tonight, at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, that show opens alongside shows by three other artists' guilds: Pittsburgh Print Group's 2012: End of Time; Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh's Lenses and Filters: A View Through the Needle's Eye; and Pittsburgh Society of Sculptors' Recreation/Renewal/Rebirth. Mariluz Orbay Reception: 5:30-9 p.m. Exhibits continue through July 22. 6300 Fifth Ave., Shadyside. $5 suggested donation. 412-361-0873 or www.pca.pittsburgharts.org

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF SANH BRIAN TRAN
  • Photo courtesy of Sanh Brian Tran

Fri., May 11 — Art

When an exhibit's title has been lifted from the stage directions of Samuel Beckett's Endgame, you're in for something heady. And indeed, with their two-person show (Voice of rational being), Aaron Meyers and Justin Sorensen mean to ask "existential questions" with sculptures, drawings, videos, photographs and live performances. And where better than UnSmoke Artspace, a former Catholic school building? Both young artists are area natives; tonight's opening reception includes a continuation of Meyers' performance piece It Must Be Nearly Finished. BO 6-9 p.m. Exhibit continues through June 3. 1137 Braddock Ave., Braddock. Free. unsmoke@gmail.com or unsmokeartspace.com

Fri., May 11 — Stage

Few modern young-adult novels are more enduring than A Wrinkle in Time. Madeleine L'Engle's science-fantasy work broke ground with its young female protagonist and its blending of spiritual themes and quantum physics; it's been continuously in print since 1962. Prime Stage Theatre marks its 50th anniversary with a stage adaptation. Starting tonight, Meg Murray traverses the time-space continuum with Charles Wallace and Calvin O'Keefe to save Meg's scientist father. Rebecca Love, Ethan Dix and Zach Weirich star; Meagan Reagle directs. BO 8 p.m. Show continues through May 20. New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $10-20. 412-394-3353 or www.primestage.com

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Sat., May 12 — Outdoors

Powdermill Nature Reserve welcomes spring by encouraging you to Get Hooked on Your Local Nature Reserve today. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History's environmental research center is a living laboratory as well as an indoor/outdoor classroom. Get Hooked makes the 2,200-acre reserve's scientists and naturalists available to you with behind-the-scenes tours of the bird-banding station, nature hikes, live insects, kids' activities, lessons in nature drawing and fly-tying, and more. Admission is free. Powdermill is located about 75 minutes east of Pittsburgh. BO 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Route 381, Rector, Pa. Free. 724-593-6105 or www.carnegiemnh.org/powdermill

Sat., May 12 — Art

"Impressionism is only direct sensation," said Claude Monet of the 19th-century art movement that used light and unusual angles to capture a moment's experience. The Carnegie Museum of Art's Impressionism in a New Light: From Monet to Stieglitz, opening today, includes paintings, drawings, prints and pastels, in an exploration of the movement historically considered radical and avant-garde. Included are Monet's vibrant paintings of natural landscapes and work by pictorialist photographers of the late-19th and early-20th centuries, such as Alfred Stieglitz, who thought photography was an act of creating rather than simply recording. MO 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Exhibit continues through Aug. 26. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $11.95-17.95. 412-622-3131 or www.cmoa.org

Sat., May 12 — Gardening

If it's found in a garden, you can probably find it at Gardenfest. It's the second annual incarnation of this day-long expo from Fox Chapel Garden Club and Boyd Community Center. Some 30 vendors and educators, from Uncommon Recyclables (making birdhouses) to the Penn State Master Gardeners, will be on hand. Buy perennial, annual and organic vegetables, or learn about native plants, pest and stormwater management, and composting. There's even a live-hive showcase from Burgh Bees, plus kids' activities and more. BO 9 a.m.-2 p.m. 1220 Powers Run Road, O'Hara Township. Free. 412-828-8566, x19

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Sat., May 12 — Dance

It's usually something different at The Pillow Project's monthly Jazz Happenings, and tonight is no exception. The troupe pays homage to the work of Quentin Tarantino and David Fincher with vignettes from its repertoire done in the cinematic style of those filmmakers (separately, one assumes, rather than as, say, Se7en Inglorious Basterds). Expect a light show, live visual art by Jordan Bush, and eclectic folk stylings by musical guest Ricardo Iamuuri. The atmosphere at The Space Upstairs is "lounge," so come early and stay late or anything in between. BO 8 p.m.-1 a.m. 214 N. Lexington Ave., Point Breeze. $10 suggested donation. www.pillowproject.org

Tue., May 15 — Film

There's not much good to say about stinkbugs. Or is there? Perhaps we'll see in this year's Film Kitchen Contest, which is stink-bug-themed. Entries can be narrative, documentary, experimental or animated, but they must be 4 minutes or less, and they must somehow concern stink bugs. Finalists will screen June 5, at Downtown's Harris Theater, competing for cash prizes. But better get moving: The deadline for entries (to be submitted as Quicktime files) is May 25, just 10 days away. For more information, contact Film Kitchen curator Matthew R. Day at mrday@pghfilmmakers.org. BO

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