Short List: October 7 - 15 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: October 7 - 15

Pittsburgh first full-scale Maker Faire; Verdi’s Nabucco at Pittsburgh Opera; City Theatre opens with The Night Alive; and Anita Diamant at Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures

SPOTLIGHT: Oct. 10-11 — Festival

Newcomers are often surprised to learn that Larimer’s TechShop offers blacksmithing, says general manager Matt Verlinich; “I thought this was a computer place,” they’ll say. Well, it’s that, too. But TechShop, a locus of the maker movement in Pittsburgh, is designed to help you fabricate everything from 3-D-printed key fobs to a wall hook hand-hammered from steel. TechShop’s range also echoes the scope of exhibitors at Pittsburgh’s first-ever full-fledged Maker Faire. The weekend-long festival (part of the global Maker Faire phenomenon) takes place in and near the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. The museum had previously produced three annual mini-Maker Faires but skipped last year to prepare to leap from 80 exhibitors to 200, and to 5,000 or more attendees, all into creativity and invention. In spaces including Nova Place Plaza (formerly Allegheny Center) and the old Carnegie library, look for everything from craft vendors to a robotic petting zoo, and talks, demos and hands-on activities ranging from screenprinting, traditional Japanese painting and origami to battle bots and electric vehicles. For its part, TechShop will offer demos involving 3-D-scanning software and a dinosaur sculpture; a “face-off” for makeup and mask-sculpting; and, yes, blacksmithing. The latter is “something that’s very much in the maker DNA,” says Verlinich. “People really love to do that.” Bill O’Driscoll 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., Oct. 10, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun., Oct. 11. North Side. $15-40.

Fri., Oct. 9 — Words

Fun fact: Novelist Sherman Alexie deemed Jonathan Evison the “most honest white man alive.” Evison, author of the New York Times bestseller West of Here, employs that honesty to make humorous and relatable observations in his latest novel, This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill), about a 78-year-old widow who learns that life is still full of surprises. Booklist calls This Is Your Life an “uplifting and melancholy” read. Evison appears at Classic Lines Bookstore tonight for a reading and signing. Kelechi Urama 6:30 p.m. 5825 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. Free. 412-422-2220 

Fri., Oct. 9 — Words

In 2012, artists, activists and residents of downtown San Francisco united to resist civic and corporate gentrification. Streetopia was a weeks-long, citywide anti-gentrification art fair, including a free community kitchen. Now comes Streetopia, a book of art and essays that includes contributions from Swoon, the great street artist (who also has Pittsburgh ties). Tonight, Robert Morris University sponsors the local stop of Streetopia co-organizer Erick Lyle’s national tour. With Pittsburgh facing its own wave of gentrification, Streetopia: A Discussion on DIY Art Fairs, Anti-Gentrification Art, and Community Response to Displacement, takes place at the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination. Bill O’Driscoll 7-9 p.m. 5006 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. Free.

click to enlarge Art by Andy Warhol. Image © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum
Art by Andy Warhol. Image © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum

Sat., Oct. 10 — Art 

Everyone knows that Andy Warhol’s work extended well beyond the canvas, to film, TV and more. But for a rundown of his efforts in books, look no further than Warhol by the Book. This new exhibit at The Andy Warhol Museum, curated by Warhol archivist Matt Wrbican, is the first U.S. exhibition to focus on Warhol’s book work. The show, opening today, promises “a nearly complete overview of Warhol’s work on books,” with more than 400 objects associated with more than 80 book titles finished and unfinished, from student work into the 1980s. Warhol even did a cookbook (1959’s Wild Raspberries) and Andy Warhol’s Index (Book), a 1967 publication that included “sound recordings, balloons, fold-outs, holograms, pop-ups and even a do-it-yourself nose job.” BO 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Exhibit continues through Jan. 10. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. $10-20. 412-237-8300 or

Sat., Oct. 10 — Festival

Fineview is minutes from Downtown, but you don’t hear about many arts events there. The folks at Heathside Cottage want to change that. Today, the owner of this National Historic Landmark and private home holds A Victorian Celebration and Remembrance of the Autumn. This open house includes high tea, children’s activities, storytelling, a piano recital, and English country dancing, with music by the Magical Elixir Show. Owner Gregory Manley’s idea is to use Heathside as a cultural events center (and not just for Victoriana). BO 2-8 p.m. 416 Catoma St., Fineview. Free.

Sat., Oct. 10 — Comedy

It’s a full night of local comedy at Club Café. Though best known for music, Club Café also hosts frequent bills like this evening’s. At the early show, catch Davon Magwood with Stoopid and Stoph Edison. And at 10:30 p.m., stop by for WDVE and Club Café’s The Loaded Show, hosted by DVE morning guy Bill Crawford and spotlighting Ray Zawodni, Molly Sharrow, Sean Collier, Ed Bailey and Norlex Belma. BO Early: 7 p.m. ($7-10). Late: 10 p.m. ($10). Both shows 21 and over. 56 S. 12th St., South Side.

Photo courtesy of Jon Silla for Opera Carolina

Sat., Oct. 10 — Opera

For the first time since 1973, local opera-lovers can see Nabucco. Pittsburgh Opera launches its 77th season with Verdi’s epic about the ruthless King of Babylon and the Israelites. Bass-baritone Mark Delavan (previously seen here in Tosca and Rigoletto) stars, and soprano Csilla Boross makes her Pittsburgh debut as Nabucco’s treacherous daughter, Abigaille. Bernard Uzan directs; the first of four Benedum Center performances (in Italian, with English supertitles projected above the stage) is tonight. KU 8 p.m. Also 7 p.m. Tue., Oct. 13; 7:30 p.m. Fri., Oct. 16; and 2 p.m. Sun., Oct. 18. 719 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $12-157. 412-456-6666 or

Sat., Oct. 10 — Stage

City Theatre opens its 41st season with The Night Alive, the latest from leading Irish dramatist Conor McPherson (The Seafarer). The comedy tells the story of Tommy, a Dublin man who works odd jobs to get by before he meets a mysterious woman who might just be his ticket out of poverty. The play is directed by City artistic director Tracy Brigden, and stars newcomer Rod Brogan alongside company favorites Hayley Nielsen and Noble Shropshire. The first two performances are tonight. KU 5:30 and 9 p.m. Continues through Nov. 1. 1300 Bingham St., South Side. $36-56. 412-431-2489 or

Mon., Oct. 12 — Music

Though he was born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1915, Billy Strayhorn grew up largely in Pittsburgh and began his musical career here. Now another Pittsburgher returns home to fete the famed composer of “Lush Life” and “Take the ‘A’ Train.” Internationally touring, New York-based pianist Kenny Peagler plays a tented, outdoor solo show to mark the release of his CD 100 Years of Strayhorn. The CD (a copy is included with tonight’s ticket) features the CAPA High School grad’s arrangements of some of his Strayhorn favorites. BO 7:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. reception). 6300 Fifth Ave., Shadyside. $35.

Photo courtesy of Gretje Fergeson

Mon., Oct. 12 — Words

Journalist-turned-fiction writer Anita Diamant lectures on her new book, The Boston Girl (Scribner), at Carnegie Music Hall courtesy of Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures. Diamant garnered acclaim in 1997 with her New York Times bestseller Red Tent, a novel that explores the perspective of Dinah, a character in the Book of Genesis. The Boston Girl, Diamant’s fifth novel, is a companion to Red Tent that follows a first-generation American woman’s journey into independence. Kirkus Review calls it an “enjoyable ... sweet tale.” KU 7:30 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $15-35. 412- 622-8866 or

Wed., Oct. 14 — Words

Alan W. Moore, who helped found the famed New York cultural center ABC No Rio, was a leader in that city’s 1970s and ’80s punk art scene. Now Moore is an art and cultural historian, with a particular interest in grassroots social movements. His latest book is Occupation Culture: Art & Squatting in the City from Below (Minor Compositions). Drawing on personal experience and years of research, it explores issues of social justice, private property and more from New York to Milan. Moore, who now lives in Madrid, discusses the book tonight at the Big Idea Cooperative Bookstore and Café. BO 7:30-9 p.m. 4812 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Free.

Thu., Oct. 15 — Words

Fans of classic children’s books Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux can meet and greet author Kate DiCamillo at Carnegie Library Lecture Hall. Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures and the Western PA Humane Society host a talk by the acclaimed children’s fiction writer and current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. DiCamillo also won the 2014 Newberry Medal for her most recent book, Flora & Ulysses (Candlewick). A lemonade reception and book-signing follows the lecture. KU 7 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $11. 412-622-8866 or

Comments (0)
Comments are closed.