Short List: September 23 - October 1 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: September 23 - October 1

Texture Contemporary Ballet does time; Tracksploitation meets Chamber Music Pittsburgh; a supermoon blood moon; and The Moth touring show

“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend,” said the ancient Greek philosopher Theophrastus. With Texture Contemporary Ballet’s latest work, Timescape, the company invites local audiences to spend some time contemplating time via a trio of ballets. Choreographers Kelsey Bartman and Alexandra Tiso’s ballet “The Weight of Living” is a premiere set to music by English pop group Bastille. The duo, along with eight other dancers, explore life’s struggles as expressed in such Bastille songs as “Oblivion,” “Things We Lost in the Fire” and “The Weight of Living” (parts 1 and 2). With the premiere of artistic director Alan Obuzor’s latest ballet, “Concerto in D,” set to and inspired by Bach’s composition of the same name, the choreographer says he is returning to both his and ballet’s classical roots. The 21-minute ballet for eight dancers (including Obuzor) will be in stark stylistic contrast to the program’s closing work, “Infinity” (2012). Last performed in 2013, the Bartman/Obuzor-choreographed contemporary ballet for eight dancers, set to music by OvreArts founder Blake Ragghianti, explores the concept of passing time. Steve Sucato 8 p.m., Fri., Sept. 25; 8 p.m. Sat., Sept. 26; and 2 p.m., Sun., Sept. 27. (Free abbreviated children’s performance: 3 p.m., Sat., Sept. 26.) New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $20. 412-320-4610 or

Thu., Sept. 24 — Music

What do you get when you mix two time-traveling DJs and a classical string quartet? Find out at tonight’s opening of Chamber Music Pittsburgh’s new concert series, Pittsburgh Performs, which aims to highlight Pittsburgh’s multi-faceted musical talents. Tonight’s show features the futuristic hip-hop DJ duo Tracksploitation in collaboration with a string quartet at BOOM Concepts artspace. Guests can pay what they wish for entry. Seating for this event is limited. Kelechi Urama 6:30 p.m. 5154 Penn Ave., Garfield. 412-624-4129 or 

Thu., Sept. 24 — Stage

In 2007, future House of Cards creator Beau Willimon premiered Lower Ninth, his play about two men and a corpse whom Hurricane Katrina has trapped on a rooftop in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. Katrina’s tenth anniversary is the occasion for the play’s Pittsburgh premiere, which stars Jomo Ray, Maurice Redwood and Sam Lothard, directed by Obie-winner Edwin Lee Gibson. This Caravan Theatre production’s first performance in the Hill House Association auditorium, is tonight. Bill O’Driscoll 8 p.m. Continues through Oct. 4. 1825 Centre Ave., Hill District. $15-20. 412-392-4400 or

Photo courtesy of Jeff Swensen

Thu., Sept. 24 — Stage

It’s Pittsburgh’s latest production of a work by one of the nation’s most celebrated young playwrights. Choir Boy, by MacArthur “genius grant” recipient Tarell Alvin McCraney (Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet), follows a boy whose ambitions and emerging sexuality stir up his boys’ prep school, where he also leads the choir. Hence this 2013 play’s contemporary a capella arrangements of gospel music. A new staging by the REP, Point Park University’s professional theater company, is directed by Tomé Cousin, the veteran Broadway and Off-Broadway performer and acclaimed director and choreographer. The first performance is tonight. BO 8 p.m. ($15). Continues through Oct. 11 ($25-30). 222 Craft Ave., Oakland. 412-392-8000 or

Thu., Sept. 24 — Stage

Pittsburgh Public Theater’s season begins with The Diary of Anne Frank. This Tony and Pulitzer-prize winning 1955 play, written by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, is based on Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, the true story of a Jewish girl who, with her family and four others, hid from the Nazis in a house in Amsterdam. Remy Zaken, of Broadway’s original production of Spring Awakening, plays Anne. Pamela Berlin directs the production at the O’Reilly Theater. KU 8 p.m. Continues through Oct. 25. 621 Penn Ave., Downtown. $15.75-60. 412-316-1600 or

Thu., Sept. 24 — Words

The Pittsburgh Writer Series’ season kicks off with a lecture by Michael Paterniti, a GQ correspondent and the latest recipient of the William Block Sr. Award. Paterniti is best known for his New York Times bestseller The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese (The Dial Press). The series is presented by the University of Pittsburgh Writing Program and the University Store on Fifth. Tonight’s event, at the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, is free. KU 8:30 p.m. Schenley Drive, Oakland. Free. 412-624-6508 or 

click to enlarge Art by Tina Williams Brewer
Art by Tina Williams Brewer

Fri., Sept. 25 — Art

Sweetwater Center for the Arts opens its annual Mavuno Festival with a reception and the new exhibit, Coding: We Are Always There, featuring fiber art by Mavuno artist in residence Tina Williams Brewer. Williams Brewer creates quilts that enlighten viewers about the meanings and aesthetics of ancestral African culture. Her quilts will be combined with photographs from oral historian John Brewer and world traveler Bill Double. KU 6-9 p.m. Exhibit continues through Nov. 6. 200 Broad St., Sewickley. Free. 412-741-4405 or

Sat., Sept. 26 — Art 

It’s year two for one of Pittsburgh’s more intriguing blends of its steelmaking heritage and the arts. For Alloy PGH, Sean Derry and Chris McGinnis ask 15 area artists to create temporary, site-specific works at the now-iconic Carrie Furnace National Historic Landmark, a preserved former mill site. This year’s artists include Rose Clancy, Oreen Cohen, Sarika Goulatia, Nick Liadis and Scott Turri. Today’s the opening reception for this Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area event, but look for tours and other events during the exhibit’s five-week run. BO 1-5 p.m. ($20; free for 18 and under). Exhibit continues through Oct. 31. North Braddocksfield Avenue, Rankin.

click to enlarge Art by Matthew Conboy
Art by Matthew Conboy

Sat., Sept 26 — Art

Landscapes are usually pretty concrete, often literally so. But the artists in The Landscape Problem tackle the concept with abstraction. Akiko Kotani, Lenore Thomas, Kara Skylling, Matthew Conboy and Blaine Siegel are among the 10 artists in this Associated Artists of Pittsburgh group show at the Mine Factory, curated by Adam Welch. The opening reception is tonight. BO 6-9 p.m. 201 N. Braddock Ave., Point Breeze. Free.

Sun., Sept. 27 — Words

Homosexuality is a crime in Morocco, but that didn’t stop author and filmmaker Abdellah Taia from living publicly as a gay man. Taia, exiled from his home country and now living in Paris, talks about his book and film of the same name, Salvation Army, a memoir of his childhood in the poor city of Salé and his adulthood in Geneva. Today’s event at East End Book Exchange is sponsored by the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program at University of Pittsburgh. KU 3-5 p.m. 4754 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Free. 412-224-2847 or

Sun., Sept. 27 — Phenomena

Millions of us weren’t yet born when the last supermoon blood moon hit, in 1982, and who knows how many of us will see the next one, in 2033? So tonight, starting around 9 p.m., look up to catch a moon that will seem especially huge and bright (because it’s so close to earth), and also red (because physics), and also getting gradually eaten by the earth’s shadow. You can take in the highly visible spectacle from your backyard or the sidewalk. But if you desire company, watch parties are at local venues including the Wagman Observatory, in Deer Lakes Regional Park (with the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh; 724-224-2510) and the Carnegie Science Center (, on the North Side. BO 

Wed., Sept. 30 — Words 

As usual, tickets are going fast for The Moth touring show. The seventh annual evening of storytelling, presented by Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, is hosted at the Byham Theater by author and New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik. Tackling the “Tangled Up” theme are: Kate Braestrup, an author who serves as chaplain to Maine’s game-warden service; best-selling novelist (and frequent Moth Radio Hour contributor) Matthew Dicks, of Connecticut; repeat Pittsburgh Moth StorySLAM champ David Montgomery; New York-based actress and playwright Danusia Trevino; and Detroit-based educator and performer Dameon Wilburn. BO 7:30 p.m. 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $20-45. 412-622-8866 or

Thu., Oct. 1 — Words

Why are humans attracted to fear? Learn more at the spooky launch party for Margee Kerr’s SCREAM: Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear (PublicAffairs Books). It takes place at Etna’s The Scarehouse, where Kerr helps decide what’s scary. In SCREAM, Kerr, a sociologist who teaches at local universities, visits scary attractions like Japan’s “suicide forest” to explore why we seek out fear. Entertainment Weekly calls SCREAM a “riveting” must-read. Tonight’s free event is co-hosted by East End Book Exchange, and features a reading, book-signing and social hour with refreshments. KU 6-9 p.m. 118 Locust Ave., Etna. Free. 412-781-5885 or 

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