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FUNNY BUSINESS If you find yourself chuckling more often than usual this week, don’t be surprised: It’s officially Comedy Week in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh City Council made its proclamation to celebrate the second annual Pittsburgh Comedy Festival, which takes over the Henry Heymann Theater, in Oakland, from Thursday through Saturday. The headliners are Todd Glass and improv troupe Bombardo, which includes Parks and Recreation favorite Aubrey Plaza. And with a wide array of local talent spread over a total of 12 shows, the festival looks poised to establish this showcase for funny men and women as a Pittsburgh institution. The inaugural festival, in 2014, was headlined by 30 Rock cast member Judah Friedlander. This year, the festival has expanded. “We found ways to incorporate more show slots into our short timeline (such as our late night show and #PghIsFunny showcase), we’re doing more marketing, and we’ve changed up passes to give audiences even more bang for their buck,” writes Anna Reilly, marketing director on the fest’s all-volunteer staff, via email. The festival is a nonprofit venture aimed at “elevating comedy and treating it as the art form that it is,” writes Reilly. The venue is a seated theater, rather than a bar or club, and the nationally known headliners are meant to bring new perspectives to the often straight-whitemale dominated genre. Glass came out as gay in 2012 in response to the growing number of suicides amongst gay youths. Bombardo is an improv team comprised entirely of women; both sets are sure to touch on cultural issues beyond standard gripes about married life. While the headliners are likely to attract big crowds, the festival is committed to showcasing local talent. The weekend’s grand finale, #PghIsFunny: A ’Burgh-Based Comedy Spectacular, includes performances by three local favorites: Lee Terbosic, Jeff Konkle and John Dick Winters. Kristy Nolen is a member of local improv teams including Warp Zone, which performs Saturday night. “[Pittsburgh Comedy Festival] is a great opportunity to reach out to unaware Pittsburghers and let them know, ‘Hey! See this!,’” she writes via email. “We’ve got world-class comedy going on right now in town every weekend, and it’s waiting for you to come and be a part of!’” INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

PITTSBURGH COMEDY FESTIVAL Thu., Aug. 27-Sat., Aug. 29. Henry Heymann Theater, 4301 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $15-40.


Improv troupe Bombardo





ARK NEVILLE’S exhibition London/Pittsburgh, now at the Silver Eye Center for Photography, is a tricky one to figure out. Neville is a London-based photographer who documents contemporary society in vivid, candid images and portraits. In 2012, he was commissioned by The Andy Warhol Museum for its Factory Direct project, in which artists were placed in residencies in area factories and subsequently created works generated by that connection. Neville produced Braddock/Sewickley, a slideshow installation of 50 images. The work focused on the two boroughs of the title and how the population of each has been affected by the steel industry, either benefitting financially from its profitability or existing as human fodder for its machines. Works from that

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 08.26/09.02.2015

Dance the night away: “Woodland Hills High School Prom No. 3,” by Mark Neville

project were later paired with works from “Here Is London,” a 20-image photo essay commissioned by New York Times Magazine, shown first in England and now here. It is tempting to examine this show not in and of itself, but in relation to the

LONDON/PITTSBURGH continues through Sept. 12. Silver Eye Center for Photography, 1015 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-431-1810 or

books that provide a more comprehensive study of Neville’s work, particularly London/Pittsburgh. The temptation becomes harder to resist when considering the limited number of pieces on view:

just a dozen, due to the large scale of each print and the gallery’s intimate confines. The books have so much more material to peruse in search of a deeper personal immersion into the worlds into which Neville has plunged. Yet the exhibit is meant to function autonomously, the bound volumes serving (within this context) as an adjunct to the show, rather than the show functioning as a sneak peek preview for the published product. Neville investigates class, status, wealth, poverty and race, often by juxtaposing the haves and the have-nots, regardless of which side of the Atlantic he’s shooting. While the gallery offers a small pamphlet with the most basic of information on each work, there are no wall placards tipping us off to who we’re looking at and where, instead requiring us to

Profile for Pittsburgh City Paper

August 26, 2015  

Pittsburgh City Paper Volume 25 Issue 34

August 26, 2015  

Pittsburgh City Paper Volume 25 Issue 34