Short List: Week of January 20 - 27 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: Week of January 20 - 27

The fledgling August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble earns its wings in The Dynamic Men of Dance ... Celebration of the Black Man. The Jan. 21 and 23 program features world premieres from three noted African-American choreographers. As part of the Center's year-long Celebration of the Black Man, the 2-year-old, eight-member resident company, led by Dance Alloy Theater artistic director Greer Reed-Jones, tackles a collection of works that most established professional companies would envy. Set to a vocal version of Maurice Ravel's "Bolero," Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company member Antonio Brown's dynamic "Pulse" explores the intricacies of human relationships. Pittsburgh native Kyle Abraham, director of New York's Abraham.In.Motion, returns with his dark and abstract "Function." Abraham says he was responding to feelings stirred by media coverage of Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers student who committed suicide over issues involving his sexuality. Abraham, a young gay man, says the incident left him with feelings of anger and aggression, which he incorporated into the 15-minute piece, along with themes of sexuality and ownership. Rounding out the stellar program is Darrell Grand Moultrie's "Regality and Body and Soul," a work the New York-based Moultrie says was created "to challenge AWCDE's dancers technically, artistically and physically." Steve Sucato 8 p.m. Fri., Jan. 21, and 3 p.m. Sun., Jan. 23. August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $20-30; Jan. 23 is "pay-what-you-can." 412-456-6666 or


Thu., Jan. 20 -- Volunteering

Our parks might be splendid, but they're not quite wild; these places of rest and recreation need lots of care. Often, that means volunteers. The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy has teamed with REI to get volunteers out doing ecological-restoration tasks like planting trees, controlling erosion and removing invasive plants. Tonight, at the Settlers Ridge REI, a volunteer clinic spotlights spring volunteer opportunities (whether you want to help for one day or the long haul); another clinic is held Jan. 26. Also look for volunteer crew-leader training, starting Feb. 13, at the South Side REI. Bill O'Driscoll 7-8 p.m. (Settlers Ridge REI, Robinson Township). Also Wed., Jan. 26 (South Side REI). 412-682-7275 or


Thu., Jan. 20 -- Art 

It's a good thing when riding paint-covered bikes over paper somehow helps orphans. The Pittsburgh-based Kullu Valley Bike Project seeks to bring a community bike center to 16 kids in the Kullu Valley orphanage in India. Semi-appropriately, this spawned a fundraiser where volunteers painted with bike tires to see what art would happen. The colorful results will be sold at an opening reception at the Mendelson Gallery. (Price range from $50 to $1,000.) With refreshments and music by the Dave Landes Trio. Lucy Steigerwald 6-9 p.m. Exhibit continues through Sun., Jan. 22. 5874 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. Free. 412-361-8664 or

Thu., Jan. 20 -- Stage

Say "Camelot" today and we Yanks might conjure JFK's White House. But that time and place was named (posthumously) for the hit 1960 Broadway musical about the Arthurian legends, whose cast album was popular there. Lerner & Loewe's Camelot -- with tunes like "If Ever I Would Leave You" and "I Loved You Once in Silence" -- is back on stage tonight at Pittsburgh Public Theater. The Public's Ted Pappas directs a cast starring Hayden Tee, a star of the Australian stage, as Arthur, with Kimberly Burns as Guinevere, and Keith Hines as Lancelot. BO 8 p.m. Shows continue through Feb. 20. O'Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave., Downtown. $15.75-65.75. 412-316-1600 or


Courtesy of Matthew Kleinrock

Fri., Jan. 21 -- Dance

Don't be fooled by the utilitarian title: For Show #58, Attack Theatre is mixing it up. In this program marking its 15th year, the ever-evolving troupe combines one of its earliest works (1996's "Typeset") with three newer pieces. The contemplative "Trapped" (2008) features original music by renowned composer (and Japanese Buddhist monk) Somei Satoh. Last year's "R.A.M." explores technological obstruction. Topping things off (and looking ahead), Attack offers a world premiere titled "Beginnings." The show runs two weekends at the New Hazlett Theater. BO 8 p.m. Show continues through Jan. 29. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $15-25. 412-394-3353 or


click to enlarge smokifantastic at Beat Cabaret - COURTESY OF BOBBI WILLIAMS
Courtesy of Bobbi Williams
smokifantastic at Beat Cabaret

Sat., Jan. 22 -- Stage 

For Pittsburghers who can laugh at the arts while appreciating them, Beat Cabaret, in Bloomfield, returns. The evening offers a mix of poetry, acting, performance art, spoken word and music, often with a satiric edge. Playwright and producer Michael McGovern created Beat Cabaret to "blur the line between poetry and theater." Indeed, the evening highlights an actress playing a tormented poet named "Candy Warhol." Other performers include smokifantastic and Unfinished Symphonies. McGovern seeks donated chairs for this event and future performances at Pittsburgh Dance and Theatre Arts, but those without furniture to spare are welcome. LS 8 p.m. 4740 Liberty Ave. $10. 412-681-7523 


Sun., Jan. 23 -- Screen

Given that he was illustrating for no less than Harvey Pekar while still in his early 20s, Ed Piskor has a hard time topping himself. But the local cartoonist -- also known for his fine indie comic series Wizzywig -- continues branching out. Tonight debuts "Mongo Wrestling Alliance," a new series on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim for which Piskor (an occasional CP contributor) designed the characters. The comedy's 15-minute episodes track a dynastic pro-wrestling family fallen on hard times; the show's creator is "Metalocalypse" co-creator Tommy Blacha. BO 11:59 p.m.


Mon., Jan. 24 -- Words

Perhaps the cityLIVE! 10 People, 3 Minutes event owes its success at least partly to the fact that it doesn't allow presenters to get bogged down in details: The annual event, now in its third year, asks 10 local minds to take three minutes each and present unique ideas on what Pittsburgh is, what Pittsburgh should be -- and how to change it. It's moderated by CP's esteemed editor, Chris Potter, and this year's panelists include documentary filmmaker Chris Ivey, Highmark Senior Vice President Evan Frazier and Chatham University professor Jean-Jacques Séne. Andy Mulkerin 6:30 p.m. New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. Free. 412-320-4610 or


Tue., Jan. 25 -- Words

New York sculptor Tom Sachs once crafted a scale model of the Apollo 11 Lunar Excursion Module and filled it with two female "astronauts" reading Woman's Almanac and drinking vodka. He has also made a guillotine with the Chanel label on it. Like all good artists, he's been annoying and outraging people all along, starting with his Barneys department store window nativity starring Bart Simpson, Madonna and Hello Kitty back in 1994. His work always questions consumer and popular culture -- or at least makes the viewer pause to figure out the meaning behind Sachs' strange mixtures of familiar images. He lectures at Kresge Theater at the Carnegie Mellon School of Art tonight. LS 5 p.m. CMU campus, Oakland. Free. 412-268-2409 or


Wed., Jan. 26 -- Words

Anna Lappé is one of the leading voices in the food-politics movement. In 2002, she and her mother, Frances Moore Lappé, co-authored Hope's Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet, an update to the elder Lappé's 1971 book calling for a vegetarian diet as one solution to global food scarcity. With environmentally and socially friendly diets now the rage, Anna Lappé appears this evening at Chatham University, delivering a lecture called "Firing Up Food Activism, Cooling Down the Planet." AM 5 p.m. Eddy Theatre, Chatham University, Woodland Road, Shadyside. Free. 412-365-2473

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