Short List: September 10-17 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: September 10-17

Pittsburgh Ballet’s Dancers Trust show; comedian Jim Jefferies; City of Asylum’s Jazz Poetry; Constitution Day Pub Quiz


SPOTLIGHT: Sat., Sept. 12 — Dance

Since 1993, the Dancers’ Trust Fund has helped retired Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre dancers transition to life after the stage. Founded by former PBT dancer Ernest Tolentino and friends of PBT, the Fund offers tuition assistance and other services to a number of former dancers. The annual Dancers Trust production serves as its largest fundraiser. This year’s production, Sept. 12 and 13 at Point Park University’s George Rowland White Performance Studio, features the dancing and choreographic talents of several current PBT company members along with guest artists from Texture Contemporary Ballet and Point Park’s Conservatory Dance Company. The eight works include an excerpt from Texture artistic director Alan Obuzor’s “Life, Love & Jazz”; the ballet classic “Diana and Actaeon Pas de Deux”; and Garfield Lemonius’ tour de force “Flight.” Also on the program are new ballets from PBT dancers Cooper Verona, Yoshiaki Nakano (pictured), Jessica McCann, Julia Erickson and Alejandro Diaz. And PBT dancers Diana Yohe and Corey Bourbonniere’s “If You Don’t Wanna Love Me” is set to music of the same name by English singer-songwriter James Morrison. Says Yohe: “We tell a story about the ups and downs in a relationship and how even through it all, we are drawn to each other.” Steve Sucato 8 p.m. Sat., Sept. 12, and 2 p.m. Sun., Sept. 13. 201 Wood St., Downtown. $15-25. 412-392-8000 or

Thu., Sept. 10 — Words

With baseball’s regular season winding down, and the Pirates in the hunt, it’s a fine time for Philip Beard to discuss Swing (Van Buren Books). The Pittsburgh-based novelist’s latest (now out in paperback) depicts a lifelong friendship between a legless Korean War veteran and a fatherless 10-year-old boy that’s cemented by their mutual love for the 1971 Pirates. Beard appears tonight at the Mount Lebanon Public Library. BO 7:30 p.m. 16 Castle Shannon Blvd., Mount Lebanon. Free. 412-531-1912 or

Thu, Sept. 10 — Comedy

Jim Jefferies is particularly impatient with gun-owners who say guns are all about personal security. “None of you are reading Padlock Monthly!” he says. “None of you have a Facebook picture of you behind a secure door going, ‘Fucking yeah!’” The Australian-born, Los Angeles-based comic tours internationally. His Freedumb Tour brings his cheerfully rude style to the Carneige Music Hall of Oakland tonight. BO 8 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $39.50. 877-435-9849 or

click to enlarge Photo courtesy of Kent Noble
Photo courtesy of Kent Noble

Fri., Sept. 11 — Body Art

M.O.M. Productions and Pinnacle Tattoo present the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Marked – Tattoo, History & Arts Expo at the Monroeville Convention Center this weekend. Enthusiasts can get tattooed on site by one of the nearly 120 tattoo artists from all over the world; view tattoo antiques and collectibles from Mike Skivers’ Tattoo History Museum; and attend a Q&A and storytelling session with veteran artists. Kelechi Urama Noon-10 p.m. Also noon-10 p.m. Sat., Sept. 12, and noon-7 p.m. Sun., Sept. 13. 209 Mall Plaza Blvd., Monroeville. $15 (free for children 14 and under). 412-531-5319 or

click to enlarge Image (circa 1961) courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University Architecture Archives
Image (circa 1961) courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University Architecture Archives

Sat., Sept. 12 — Exhibit

In the mid-20th century, when “modern” Pittsburgh was taking shape, who were the thinkers influencing this “urban revitalization”? Planning giant Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs — an influential critic of large-scale, pro-highway schemes like Moses’ — are the two big names checked in press materials for HACLab Pittsburgh: Imagining the Modern. The new Carnegie Museum of Art show incorporates archival materials, a salon-style discussion space and contributions from architects-in-residence over,under to explore the historical debate about what a city should be. The show opens today. BO 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $11.95-19.95. 412-622-3212 or

Sat., Sept. 12 — Music and Poetry

With a wink, City of Asylum calls its 11th annual Jazz Poetry concert “MacArthurs in the Park”: It’s apparently the first time three recipients of the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius grants” have taken the same stage. Those would be jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer; poet Heather McHugh; and Pittsburgh-based poet Terrance Hayes. After a set with his Vijay Iyer Trio, Iyer (see interview, page ???) will perform in collaboration with the poets (including Pakistan’s Harris Khalique and Belgian graphic novelist Shamisa Delaunay) and famed saxophonist and Jazz Poetry stalwart Oliver Lake. And the park? That’s West Park, where last year COA first hoisted a huge tent to host some 800 guests for this free event. Reservations are suggested. BO 7:45 p.m. West Park (off East North Avenue), North Side. Free. 412-323-0278 or

Photo courtesy of Heather Mull

Sun., Sept. 13 — Flea

In its second May-to-October season, the Neighborhood Flea continues livening up the Strip District on the second Sunday of the month. This flea market specializes in fashion (including vintage stuff), handcrafted goods (from soap to jewelry), housewares and furniture. Also expect local food vendors, live artmaking, pop-up fitness and more. The happening even encompasses neighboring businesses Marty’s Market and Wigle Whiskey — and street parking is free on Sundays. BO 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 2300 Penn Ave., Strip District.

Sun., Sept. 13 — Tour

The Mexican War Streets House & Garden Tour claims to be “the oldest and finest house tour in the city of Pittsburgh,” and it’s hard to argue on either count. In its 46th year, the tour predates most of the city’s contemporary neighborhood-revitalization efforts, and its stock of lovingly restored 19th-century domiciles — and their often fabulous hidden-from-the-street gardens — is perhaps unrivaled in town. The day-long self-guided tour of 11 houses and gardens includes a food-truck midway. BO 11 a.m.-5 p.m. North Side $18 (online) or $20 (Monterey Street ticket booth, at West North).

Sun., Sept. 13 — Screen

Lately, we’ve heard more about the “death of coal” than about the inestimable damage that mining and burning coal cause to people and the land. Part of that destruction is from mountaintop-removal mining, widely practiced in states including West Virginia, and the subject of Black Diamonds, West Virginia-based Catherine Pancake’s 2006 documentary that’s been called “riveting” (The Washington Post) and “searing” (Village Voice). It screens tonight at Chatham University, courtesy of the Environmental Justice Film Series and Sembene — The Film & Arts Festival. BO 6 p.m. Sanger Lecture Hall, Chatham campus, Shadyside. Free.

Tue., Sept. 15 — Talk

She Who Tells a Story, now at the Carnegie Museum of Art, is a lauded touring exhibit of work by women photographers from Iran and the Arab world. Its highlights include A Girl in Her Room, Rania Matar’s series depicting teenage girls at home. Matar, born in Lebanon, came to the U.S. in 1984 but has since taught photography to teenage girls in Lebanese refugee camps. She visits today, courtesy of the museum and the Carnegie Mellon University School of Art Lecture Series, for a free talk on A Girl in Her Room at Carnegie Lecture Hall. BO 6 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free. 412-268-2409 or

Thu., Sept. 17 — Contest

If they’re not careful, it could turn into Pittsburgh’s twist on Drunk History: The ACLU’s Pittsburgh branch hosts Civil Li-BEER-ties: A Constitution Day Pub Quiz, at East End Brewing Co. Compete for prizes based on your knowledge of the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and civil liberties in general. There will be two rounds of 15 to 20 questions each, and prizes. Hint: You probably should bone up on the 18th and 21st amendments. BO 7-9 p.m. 147 Julius St., Larimer. Free. 412-681-7736 or

Photo courtesy of Bernadette Kazmarski

Thu., Sept. 17 — Music

Receptionist-turned-opera-singer Amanda Van Story Lewis makes her Pittsburgh debut tonight at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall. Lewis trained at Howard University (home of renowned dramatic soprano Jessye Norman) before moving to Pittsburgh and taking a variety of odd jobs, including a stint as Mayor Peduto’s receptionist. Now, the soprano is pursuing her dream with a performance of Mozart, Schubert, Debussy, Negro spirituals and more. Guests are invited to a dessert reception with Lewis after the performance. KU 7:30 p.m. 300 Beechwood Ave., Carnegie. $10-12. 800-838-3006 x1 or  

Thu., Sept. 17 — Screen

If seeing unaired episodes of shows like Robot Chicken, Squidbillies, Mike Tyson Mysteries, Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories and Black Jesus outdoors, on a big screen, is your thing, you’re in luck. The 2015 Adult Swim Drive-In begins its 15-city national tour in (of all places) the parking lot of the Pittsburgh Zoo. The 18-and-over show, with its 40-foot inflatable screen, includes food trucks, trivia contests, prizes and more. Expect on-site tie-ins from corporate sponsors including Cricket Wireless and Paramount Pictures. BO 8:30 p.m. Zoo Parking Lot Road, Highland Park. Free. RSVP required at

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