Short List: Week of September 8 - 15 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: Week of September 8 - 15

Thu., Sept. 8 -- Dance

Ever-experimental Attack Theatre thinks you'll want in on its latest, What?, from the beginning. Tonight, with just two days of full-company work under its belt, the troupe invites audiences to the first of three "creation" shows it's calling What is what? -- structured rehearsals for a work in progress. Then, from Sept. 23-Oct. 1, the six-member troupe offers five performances of the finished product, titled This is what. All the shows will be in the raw but intimate former industrial space called Spring Way Center, in the Strip District. Bill O'Driscoll 7 p.m. 2515 Liberty Ave., Strip District. $20 ("Creation Pass": $40-$50). 412-281-3305 or


Thu., Sept. 8 -- Stage

A crime -- the rape of a black woman, allegedly by a white man -- is the jumping-off point for Race. David Mamet's 2009 drama premiered on Broadway, and premieres locally via Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre. PICT's Andrew S. Paul directs Los Angeles-based actor John DeMita as Jack, a white lawyer who debates with his black partner, Henry (Alan Bomar Jones), whether to represent the defendant. Performances begin tonight. BO 8 p.m. Show continues through Oct. 1. Forbes Avenue at Bigelow, Oakland. $20-50. 412-394-3353 or

click to enlarge Art by Matt Wuerker
Art by Matt Wuerker

Fri., Sept. 9 -- Word

On the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, must we be solemn and mournful? Or can we be irreverant and provocative? Too Soon? is Toonseum's retrospective of editorial cartoons about 9/11, featuring work by Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury), syndicated cartoonist Ted Rall, Politico's Matt Wuerker and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Rob Rogers. Tonight, preview the exhibit, then join CP editor Chris Potter as he moderates "Humor, Art and Media in a Post-9/11 World," a sure-to-be-lively panel discussion featuring Rall, Rogers, former Andy Warhol Museum director Tom Sokolowski and WDVE morning host Jim Krenn. BO Exhibit preview: 5-7 p.m. (945 Liberty Ave.). Panel: 7 p.m. (937 Liberty Ave.). Downtown. Free; donations welcome. Reservations encouraged. 412-232-0199 or

Fri., Sept. 9 -- Scottishness

The Ligonier Highland Games have brought the traditions of Scottish culture, music and athletics to Western PA for more than 50 years. Sports include tossing the caber, a 19-foot tree trunk weighing around 175 pounds, and "putting the stone," a shot-put-like event involving a small boulder. Kilts are worn. Festivities begin tonight with a free piping contest at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Greensburg. Saturday, the action's in Idlewild Park, in Ligonier. Brendan Sulllivan 6-9 p.m.100 Sheraton Dr., Greensburg. Games continue through Sat., Sept. 10. (Saturday events are ticketed.)

click to enlarge Art by Susan Slavick
Art by Susan Slavick

Fri., Sept. 9 -- Art 

Tonight is the opening for Sites of Passage, an exhibit at the Mattress Factory.  Curated by Katherine Talcott and Tavia La Follette, it's a collaboration between artists from the United State and Egypt who worked and exchanged ideas via a virtual lab/website. The results included live performance, video and site-specific installations, including live video feeds to Egypt. The project grew from the belief, says La Follette, "that metaphor and the arts can reach humanity on a deeper level than rhetoric." BS 7-9 p.m. 500 Sampsonia Way, North Side. $10.


Fri., Sept. 9 -- Dance

Indian-born, locally based playwright and choreographer Varun Mahajan returns with a new show of Indian dances, from Rajasthani folk dance to Bollywood. Where is the Culture? concerns a young man cast out of his family for marrying a woman of a different race, and what happens when he goes home. The show, starring Mahajan and his wife, Sonia Mahajan, is presented by the Guilding Star Dance Foundation, dedicated to furthering the reach of Indian dance in Western Pennsylvania. BS 7:30 p.m. Also 2 and 7 p.m. Sat., Sept. 10. Charity Randall Theater, 4301 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $10-20. 412-877-7502 or

Sat., Sept. 10 -- Jazz and Poetry

City of Asylum/Pittsburgh's annual free Jazz Poetry Concert is an SRO fall-arts staple. Highlights of the seventh annual concert include an appearance by acclaimed contemporary jazz trio Tarbaby. Orrin Evans (piano), Eric Reavis (bass) and Nasheet Waits (drums) are joined by Jazz Poetry regular Oliver Lake (saxophone). The musicians will also accompany an international lineup of poets, including City of Asylum/Pittsburgh writers-in-residence Israel Centeno (Venezuela) and Khet Mar (Myanmar), plus Tommi Parkko (Finland), Alexandra Petrova (Russia), Hind Shoufani (Jordan) and legendary American poet Sonia Sanchez. Arrive early to get a seat. BO 7:30 p.m. 500 block of Sampsonia Way, North Side. Free.


Sat Sept 10 -- Words

Locally headquartered, nationally known journal Creative Nonfiction hosts an issue-release party with readings by winners of its writing contest, themed "The Night." Former UPMC surgeon Bud Shaw and former University of Pittsburgh student J.C. Hallman will read excerpts of their work at the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination. There will also be an exhibit of original illustrations for the issue by Seth Clark, a Lawrenceville-based artist chosen for this, the first of three issues featuring images by Pittsburgh artists. BS 7:30-10:30 p.m. 5006 Penn Ave., Garfield. Free. 412-688-0304 or


Sun., Sept. 11 -- Art

In a week for photos from Sept. 11, 2001, Silver Eye Center offers images of a long-term aftermath. HomeFrontLine: Reflections on Ten Years of War Since 9/11 brings together an international array of 11 documentary photographers and photojournalists exploring the costs and other effects of war from the front lines to the home front, with subjects ranging from active-duty soldiers to refugees and ex-detainees. The co-curators are locally based independent curator Leo Hsu and Silver Eye director Ellen Fleurov. The opening reception is today. BO 3-6 p.m. Show continues through Dec. 10. 1015 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-431-1810 or


Tue., Sept. 13 -- Book

Big Questions, a new graphic novel by Anders Nilsen, is a big book. The product of ten years of labor, it's 600 pages of critically acclaimed graphic novel about a group of vaguely distinguishable birds living on a surreal plain who eat seeds and chat about the mysteries of life; other narrative threads concern a downed pilot, an old woman and other creatures. The simplicity of the artwork disguises the depths the writing plumbs. Nilsen, whose art was recently shown at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, visits Pittsburgh tonight for a signing and reception at Copacetic Comics. BS 7-9 p.m. 3138 Dobson St., Polish Hill. Free.


Wed., Sept. 14 -- Stage

Nearly 2.5 million Americans are in prison -- a nearly five-fold increase since 1980. Politically engaged Insurgent Theatre is focusing on the 25,000 prisoners in long-term solitary confinement. Tonight, the three-member, Columbus, Ohio-based troupe visits The Shop to perform In The Belly, a stage work drawn from prisoner accounts and partly inspired by Michel Foucault's book Discipline and Punish. One-third of proceeds benefit the group RedBird Prison Abolition. BO 8 p.m. 4314 Main St., Bloomfield. Donation requested.

Thu., Sept. 15 -- Film

In 1980, a young filmmaker named Stephanie Beroes returned to her hometown to capture Pittsburgh's burgeoning underground-music scene by following around a drummer named Bill Bored (a.k.a. William von Hagen). Partly staged, though not scripted, her cult-favorite 40-minute film Debt Begins at 20 went on to screen internationally. Now the film has made The Shakes, Hans Brinker and the Dykes and Bored's own band, The Cardboards, part of the Pittsburgh Biennial at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Tonight, the museum's Culture Club hosts a special screening, including a discussion with Beroes and von Hagen themselves. BO 5:30-9 p.m. (film at 6:30 p.m.). 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $10 (includes museum admission and drink ticket). 412-622-3131 or


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