Short List: November 4 - 11 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: November 4 - 11

Ailey II dance at the Wilson Center; ModernFormations’ Last Exhibition at Unblurred; Sunset Baby at City Theatre; Bo Burnham at Carnegie Music Hall

SPOTLIGHT: Tue., Nov. 10 — Dance

Founded in 1974 by dance icon Alvin Ailey as a vehicle for promising students of The Ailey School, Ailey II has, over four decades, developed its own identity as a world-class company. “It’s continuously growing,” says Ailey II artistic director Troy Powell by phone from Midland, Mich., where the company was performing as part of its current 25-city U.S. tour. “It has gained a popularity over the years that is unmatched by any other second company in the world.” The 12-member troupe, which by design keeps its dancers for only two years (in order to give others in the school an opportunity), has a unique repertoire of works, along with some shared with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Ailey II’s Nov. 10 tour stop in Pittsburgh, at the August Wilson Center, highlights that repertory mix. The company, which last appeared here in 2011, this time performs choreographer Dwight Rhoden’s “Hissy Fits” (pictured), a 2006 work set to music by J.S. Bach that examines the sometimes tumultuous nature of human relationships; choreographer Ray Mercer’s new ensemble piece for the company, “Something Tangible” (2015); and the Ailey masterwork “Revelations” (1960). Steve Sucato 7:30 p.m. Tue., Nov. 10. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $20-35. 412-456-6666 or

click to enlarge ART BY ANDY KEHOE
Art by Andy Kehoe

Fri., Nov. 6 – Art

The Penn Avenue gallery crawl Unblurred celebrates art, but you’ll lament the title of the new show at ModernFormations Gallery: The Last Exhibition. After 15 years, co-founder and owner Jennifer Quinio is closing shop. ModForm was among the first artspaces to occupy Penn, long before it was an “arts corridor”; now it’s the oldest surviving gallery on the avenue. That designation lasts through November, when the venue that gave so many emerging local artists space on its purple walls shuts down. A cross-section of those artists are featured in this month’s retrospective, with work by Andy Kehoe (pictured), David Bernabo, Jesse Best, Seth Clark, Susan Constanse and two dozen more. And when you’ve bid farewell to ModForm, hit up the second- and third-wave Penn Avenue artspaces also participating in Unblurred. Bill O’Driscoll 7-10 p.m. 4919 Penn Ave., Garfield. Free.

Thu., Nov. 5 — Stage

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s India in Focus festival and EQT Theatre Series present a truly mad production of Alice in Wonderland at the Trust Arts Education Center. Mumbai-based theater group Tram Arts Trust has reimagined Lewis Carroll’s classic novel as a story about four bored individuals who enter a world of make-believe through the use of objects, puppets and shadows. The first of four family-friendly performances is today. Kelechi Urama 2 p.m. Also 7 p.m. Fri., Nov. 6, and 2 and 7 p.m. Sat., Nov. 7. 805-807 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $10.50-12. 412-456-6666 or 

Fri., Nov. 6 — Art

Forty of Pittsburgh’s best artists gather tonight at Neu Kirche for RawDraw! The live-drawing event includes equally live music by Brewer’s Row, and drinks too. Participating artists include Kim Beck, Mike Budai, Deanna Mance, Clayton Merrell, Connie Merriman, John Peña and Alisha Wormsley. Proceeds from the silent auction for the drawings benefit Neu Kirche, a fledgling nonprofit arts center. Bill O’Driscoll 6 p.m. 1000 Madison Ave., Deutschtown. $10.

Art by Robert Villamagna

Fri., Nov. 6 — Art

“For me,” writes Robert Villamagna, “walking through a flea market is like walking through a well-stocked art materials store. The flea market is my palette.” Hence the title of the local artist’s new exhibit at the Gallery on 43rd Street: Addicted to Trash. Villamagna’s works combine painting, collage and assembly, and blend irony, humor and political commentary. The opening reception is tonight. BO 7 p.m. 187 43rd St., Lawrenceville. Free.

Sat., Nov. 7 — Screen

Home Movie Day is your chance to discover what’s on those old reels of 8 mm, Super 8 or 16 mm film, whether from the attic or the flea market. Today, at the Carnegie Library Main Branch, in Oakland, projectionists will screen these treasures. Bring yours, or stop by to see fascinating bits of random past lives, in Pittsburgh’s incarnation of this long-running international initiative. Last year’s selections included: Christmas hi-jinks; a trip to the 1,000 Islands; life in the Hill District in the 1950s; and an Old West vacation, including a stop at a Utah mine. Al Hoff 1-4:30 p.m. (check-in begins at noon). Free.

Sat., Nov. 7 — Stage

City Theatre stages the Pittsburgh premiere of off-Broadway play Sunset Baby, about a hustler who reconnects with her estranged father — only to have him try and run a hustle on her. Joniece Abbott-Pratt (pictured) stars in her Pittsburgh debut. Playwright Dominique Morisseau is a two-time winner of the NAACP Image award. Jade King Carroll directs. The first two performances are tonight. KU 5:30 and 9 p.m. Continues through Dec. 13. 1300 Bingham St., South Side. $36-56. 412-431-2489 or 

Sat., Nov. 7 — Stage

Pittsburgh’s longest-running tribute to short-attention-span theater has managed to hold our gaze for a dozen years: Future Ten, Future Tenant artspace’s annual festival of new 10-minute plays, turns 12. Director Brett Sullivan Santry guides a cast of seven through a fast-paced program of six one-acts. Future Ten 12 has a seven-show run tonight through next weekend, and tickets include free drinks. BO 7 and 9 p.m. Continues through Nov. 15. 819 Penn Ave., Downtown. $12.

Sat., Nov. 7 — Opera

Young lovers are the protagonists — and the figures of fun — in Mozart’s classic Cosí fan tutte. Pittsburgh Opera’s new production of the comic opera is perhaps most notable, however, for starring Sir Thomas Allen, who’s billed as “Britain’s favorite baritone” and who was the real-life inspiration for Billy Elliot. Allen plays the cynical Don Alfonso and also directs the production, which is set on the Italian seaside. The show is sung in Italian, with English texts projected above the Benedum Center stage. BO 8 p.m. Also 7 p.m. Tue., Nov. 10, and Nov. 13 and 15. 719 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $12.75-157.75. 412-281-0912 or

Sat., Nov. 7 — Comedy

The Nerdologues is a Chicago collective that channels its nerdy comedic sensibilities into witty, non sequitur-laden sketch videos, podcasts and the supremely nerdy card game Fisticuffs! The group includes Pittsburgh native Katie Johnston-Smith, who also founded the Chicago Nerd Comedy Festival. Nerdologues has performed everywhere from San Francisco SketchFest and New York Comic Con to the PAX gaming festival, and it’s coming to Arcade Comedy Theater for a one-night-only “greatest hits” sketch show. Comedian Rob Speer and Arcade house team 8-Bit Classic! open. KU 10 p.m. 811 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $10. 412-339-0608 or 

Sat., Nov. 7 — Comedy

Troupes that improvise entire stage musicals are by now a familiar sight. But babyGRAND is a novel practitioner: This outfit that turns an audience suggestion into an improvised long-form Broadway-style musical, complete with choreography, is but a duo, consisting of Connor McCanlus and Missy Moreno, along with pianist James Rushin. McCanlus (Boeing, Boeing; American Falls) is well known on local stages, while Moreno studied at Chicago’s famed Second City. babyGRAND has performed at the Chicago Improv Festival, the inaugural Chicago Musical Improv Festival and Philadelphia’s DuoFest. See babyGRAND: Instant Musical Comedy at the Cabaret at Theater Square tonight. BO 10 p.m. 655 Penn Ave., Downtown. $10 (free for ticketholders of earlier Cultural District shows).

Sun., Nov. 8 — Talk

Retired attorney Eric W. Springer is a former chair of the Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission who in the late 1960s served as director of compliance for the federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. These days, amidst alarming trends like states passing restrictive voter-ID laws, Springer sees new threats to equality. In today’s talk, Retreat From Justice? Civil Rights Legislation in the U.S., Springer tackles the dangers facing once-sacrosanct legislation like the Voting Rights Act. The talk, at Synod Hall, is sponsored by St. Paul Cathedral’s Race & Reconciliation Dialogue Group. BO 2 p.m. 125 N. Craig St., Oakland. Free. 412-681-8528

Wed., Nov. 11 — Comedy

It’s hard to believe that Boston-based comedian Bo Burnham started his career on YouTube. His talent for comedic songs made him the youngest talent to record a Comedy Central special, and he later scored with the 2013 special Bo Burnham: what., MTV series Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous, and Egghead, a book of poetry that became a New York Times bestseller. Burnham visits the Carnegie Music Hall tonight as part of his Make Happy tour. KU 8 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $39.50. 1-800-745-3000 or

Comments (0)
Comments are closed.