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Best of Culture: September

This month’s finest exhibits, dance, theater, lectures and more.



Action-Packed: The award-winning Streb Extreme Action Co., a Brooklyn-based troupe of nine dancing daredevils directed by Pop Action choreographer Elizabeth Streb, presents Streb: FORCES. The 90-minute showcase of don’t-try-this-at-home stunt work and athletic feats incorporates dance, boxing, rodeo and circus.

(Byham Theater, 101 Sixth St., downtown; Sept. 28-29; 412/456-6666, trustarts.org, streb.org)  —Karen Dacko


By Robert Isenberg

South Park Theatre
Aug. 30-Sept. 15
Suppose a reasonable college professor started insisting that he was actually a 14,000-year-old caveman. What would compel such an otherwise reasonable teacher to dub himself Paleolithic? And how would his colleagues respond to such an outrageous claim? Screenwriter Jerome Bixby completed the screenplay for The Man from Earth on his deathbed in 1998. This stage adaptation by Richard Schenkman is a beautiful show about faith, evolution and friendship. South Park Theatre presents this eccentric story by one of the Twilight Zone’s most acclaimed writers.

(Brownsville Road and Corrigan Drive, South Park; 412/831-8552, southparktheatre.com)

PNC Broadway Across America
Sept. 4-23

They say you only live once — but if you’re one of the Four Seasons singers, you live on and on. Of all the jukebox musicals, few are more beloved than Jersey Boys, Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe’s homage to the 1960s super-group. Unlike cheesier shows in the genre, Jersey Boys shows the rise and fall of Frankie Valli and his cohorts. See how this beloved quartet became world-famous, got entangled with the mob and broke apart. PNC Broadway Across America presents this definitive touring production.

(Benedum Center, 719 Liberty Ave., downtown; 412/456-6666, trustarts.org)

Little Lake Theatre
Sept. 6-22

Becky despises her life, but what can she do? She somehow stumbles into a millionaire, obtains a new set of wheels and vroom — she’s cruising cross-country in search of a new life. After 28 years of marriage, Becky deserves some time in the fast lane. Little Lake Theatre presents Becky’s New Car, a sweet on-the-road comedy by Steven Dietz, one of the most-produced playwrights in America.

(500 Lakeside Drive, Canonsburg; 724/745-6300, littlelake.org)

Playhouse REP
Sept. 7-23

What do you get when you cross an alcoholic poet, a paranoid woman with mouth cancer, a Native-American caregiver, a missing boat, a hunky sheriff and tons of illicit substances? How about August: Osage County, the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by Tracy Letts. But don’t let the heavy subject matter fool you: This epic play is remarkably funny. Coming at the heels of Terra Nova’s intrepid production, the Playhouse REP takes on Letts’ ultimate family tragedy. This jaw-dropping play makes subjects like incest and suicide about as darkly hilarious as they get.

(222 Craft Ave., Oakland; 412/392-8000, pittsburghplayhouse.com)


By Mike May

“Imperfect Health: The Medicalization of Architecture”
Sept. 15- Feb. 24

Health care has been in the national spotlight like never before, and here in Pittsburgh, our medical resources provide not only a source of international attention and local pride, but also a propellant for the regional economy. Offering additional insight into this permanent and dynamic aspect of contemporary culture is “Imperfect Health,” the U.S. premiere of an unusual exhibition at Carnegie Mellon University.

This show is driven by our age of medical anxiety — riddled with concerns ranging from diseases and pollution, to aging and epidemics. It proposes solutions and offers hope. “Architecture, urban design and landscape design are addressing these fears, incorporating medical issues and related concerns in their projects,” write curators Giovanna Borasi and Mirko Zardini. Ideas by architects, artists, designers and more have been assembled to present possible “cures,” including allergy-free gardens, better stewardship of natural resources, green building and more. Here’s to our health!

(Miller Gallery, Purnell Center for the Arts, CMU, Forbes Avenue, Oakland; opening reception: Sept. 14; 412/268-3618, millergallery.cfa.cmu.edu)

“Whistler & Rebellion in the Art World”
Through Dec. 2

What would his mother say? The defiance of artistic convention by James Abbot McNeill Whistler is the focus of this show assembled from Carnegie Museum of Art’s print collection.

(4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland; cmoa.org)


By Karen Dacko

Ovre Arts Sinfonia
Sept. 8

This contemporary chamber ensemble forays into dance with the premieres of The Alkonost, Luke Mayernik’s two-act opus inspired by an ancient Russian legend, and Blake Ragghianti’s Infinity, a full-orchestra ballet featuring an orator and choir. The event will feature performances by Pearlann Porter’s post-modern jazz-dance troupe PillowProject and by Texture Contemporary Ballet, a classically trained ensemble directed by Alan Obuzor.

(CAPA auditorium, Ninth Street and Fort Duquesne Boulevard, downtown; ovrearts.org, pillowproject.org)

Corningworks
Sept. 12-16

The 2012 Glue Factory Project premieres The Life & Death of Little Finn, a collaborative dance-theater work developed by Beth Corning, director of Corningworks, and Marina Harris, co-director of Canada’s Company X Puppet Theater. Performed by three seasoned dance artists and six puppets, the hour-long production (appropriate for mature audiences) explores the human desire to be loved.

(Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, 10 Children’s Way, North Side; 412/441-3273, corningworks.org)

Kelly-Strayhorn Theater
Sept. 14-15

Via sketch comedy, spoken-word, video projections, animation, live music and dance, troupe Camille A. Brown and Dancers examines mainstream media’s stereotyping of African-American entertainers from minstrel show clichés to satirical game shows to a summating solo for Brown via Mr. Tol E. Rance.

(5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty; 412/363-3000, kelly-strayhorn.org)


By Kristofer Collins

The 3 Poems by ... Poetry Discussion Group
Sept. 13

Led by poet and librarian Don Wentworth, the group will discuss the work of a single poet at each monthly meeting. This time around, National Medal of Honor winner Gwendolyn Brooks is the poet of choice. Wentworth will lead guests in readings of the poems “We Real Cool”, “The Bean Eaters” and “The Chicago Defender Send a Man to Little Rock.”

(Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland; 7:30 p.m.; Free; 412/622-3114)

Black, White & Read All Over
Sept. 13 & 30

This lecture series is fun for the whole family, with a focus on bringing the top talents in children’s and young-adult literature to town. September offers a double-shot of programs:

»Wes Moore is a decorated combat veteran, Rhodes scholar and author of the memoir The Other Wes Moore, which The Baltimore Sun described as “startling and revelatory.” A revised book, titled Discovering Wes Moore, will be republished this month for a teen audience.

»Andrew Clements is the author of many young-adult novels, including Lunch Money, No Talking and, most famously, Frindle, the amusing story of a boy who creates a new word and the trouble it causes. Clements’ latest novel, About Average, is the tale of a young girl’s quest to discover a hidden talent that will make her special.

(Sept. 13: Hill House Kaufmann Center, 1835 Centre Ave., Hill District; 7pm $5-$10; pittsburghlectures.org)

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Man Donates a Million to College Founded by His Aunt

Entrepreneur Robert M. “Bob” Brownlee’s contribution will allow Seton Hill University to build a brand new mathematics center and establish a new scholarship.

Annihilation Is Challenging, Otherworldly Science Fiction

Reviews of "Annihilation" and "Mute," plus local movie news and notes.

Penn Cove Eatery and The Warren Open Downtown

The collaboration between Penn Avenue Fish Company and Subversive Cocktails contains a wine shop, grab-and-go sushi, a bar with a late-night menu and more.

Trade Now, Sign Later Approach Could Work Again for Penguins

With the NHL trade deadline looming, the Penguins are increasingly employing more forward-thinking approaches to the acquisition of future stars.

Add Some Culture to Your Life with Swan Lake

If you play your cards right, the beautiful production from Pittsburgh Ballet Theater will dazzle even novices.

The 5 Best Places to People Watch in Pittsburgh

A coffee shop, an iconic landmark, an airport and beyond — these are the best places to practice the art of people watching.

Our Dream Penthouse Used to be a Carpet Warehouse

The building that now houses a $1.05 million dollar penthouse was first used for a much less exciting purpose.

HGTV Renews ‘Restored by the Fords’ Starring Pittsburgh Siblings

The finale showcasing Leanne and Steve Ford airs Tuesday, and the duo already are looking for more local houses to restore for the show’s second season.

Five Fun Facts about Pittsburgh Bridges

With more than 440 bridges in the city to choose from, VisitPITTSBURGH shows off the most interesting bridges within the city in its new Official Visitors Guide.

WQED Event to Celebrate Mister Rogers Forever Stamp

USPS will dedicate a new forever stamp to Fred Rogers and celebrate with a party in March.

Mothers Know Best for This Pittsburgh Couple

For Cady Walter and Jared Henigin, happily ever after may never have happened if their mothers hadn’t acted as matchmakers.

Peters Township Native Wins Silver Medal in Speed Skating

After swine flu kept him from competing in Sochi in 2014, short track speed skater John-Henry Krueger finally won a spot on the podium at the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.

Perspectives: A Better Life

A former Pittsburgh television reporter recounts the lessons taught to him by his grandfather who spent more than four decades as a Pullman Porter.

Pittsburgh MultiStories: Phipps Legacy – The Fulton Building

With its distinctive seven-story archway, the Fulton Building (now the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel) remains a beloved Pittsburgh landmark.

Kick Back and Relax with a Baby Sloth

For $150 you can book an up-close hang out session with Vivien the two-toed sloth.
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Man Donates a Million to College Founded by His Aunt

Man Donates a Million to College Founded by His Aunt

Entrepreneur Robert M. “Bob” Brownlee’s contribution will allow Seton Hill University to build a brand new mathematics center and establish a new scholarship.

Comments

Five Fun Facts about Pittsburgh Bridges

Five Fun Facts about Pittsburgh Bridges

With more than 440 bridges in the city to choose from, VisitPITTSBURGH shows off the most interesting bridges within the city in its new Official Visitors Guide.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Penn Cove Eatery and The Warren Open Downtown

Penn Cove Eatery and The Warren Open Downtown

The collaboration between Penn Avenue Fish Company and Subversive Cocktails contains a wine shop, grab-and-go sushi, a bar with a late-night menu and more.

Comments

First Look: Poulet Bleu in Lawrenceville

First Look: Poulet Bleu in Lawrenceville

PM dining critic Hal B. Klein takes a look at the new Richard DeShantz restaurant ... and he has the scoop on what's next from the energetic restaurateur.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The 5 Best Places to People Watch in Pittsburgh

The 5 Best Places to People Watch in Pittsburgh

A coffee shop, an iconic landmark, an airport and beyond — these are the best places to practice the art of people watching.

Comments

Sweet Ideas: Our Favorites for Valentine's Day

Sweet Ideas: Our Favorites for Valentine's Day

Where to eat, where to go, what to buy –– some of our favorites to make your Valentine's celebration memorable.

Comments


Add Some Culture to Your Life with Swan Lake

Add Some Culture to Your Life with Swan Lake

If you play your cards right, the beautiful production from Pittsburgh Ballet Theater will dazzle even novices.

Comments

After Dark Hall of Fame: Stage AE

After Dark Hall of Fame: Stage AE

The North Shore concert hotspot is the latest inductee in the After Dark Hall of Fame.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Trade Now, Sign Later Approach Could Work Again for Penguins

Trade Now, Sign Later Approach Could Work Again for Penguins

With the NHL trade deadline looming, the Penguins are increasingly employing more forward-thinking approaches to the acquisition of future stars.

Comments

The Quest is No Less Recognizable Even if Team USA Is Not

The Quest is No Less Recognizable Even if Team USA Is Not

They’re still playing hockey at the Winter Olympics, but without NHL players. Which means the guys doing the playing are relative nobodies. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Annihilation Is Challenging, Otherworldly Science Fiction

Annihilation Is Challenging, Otherworldly Science Fiction

Reviews of "Annihilation" and "Mute," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments

Black Panther is Marvel's Best Film

Black Panther is Marvel's Best Film

Reviews of "Black Panther" and "Early Man," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Mothers Know Best for This Pittsburgh Couple

Mothers Know Best for This Pittsburgh Couple

For Cady Walter and Jared Henigin, happily ever after may never have happened if their mothers hadn’t acted as matchmakers.

Comments

Cookie Table Contest: And the Winner Is ...

Cookie Table Contest: And the Winner Is ...

We introduce the winner and the runners up for our biannual cookie table contest.

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Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Our Dream Penthouse Used to be a Carpet Warehouse

Our Dream Penthouse Used to be a Carpet Warehouse

The building that now houses a $1.05 million dollar penthouse was first used for a much less exciting purpose.

Comments

HGTV Renews ‘Restored by the Fords’ Starring Pittsburgh Siblings

HGTV Renews ‘Restored by the Fords’ Starring Pittsburgh Siblings

The finale showcasing Leanne and Steve Ford airs Tuesday, and the duo already are looking for more local houses to restore for the show’s second season.

Comments