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FIRSTSHOT BY JARED MURPHY

650 Smithfield Street, Suite 2200 Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412.685.9009 E-MAIL info@pghcitypaper.com

pghcitypaper.com PGHCITYPAPER PITTSBURGHCITYPAPER

MAY 29-JUNE 5, 2019 VOLUME 28 + ISSUE 22 Editor-In-Chief LISA CUNNINGHAM Associate Publisher JUSTIN MATASE Director of Operations KEVIN SHEPHERD Managing Editor ALEX GORDON Senior Writers RYAN DETO, AMANDA WALTZ Staff Writers HANNAH LYNN, JORDAN SNOWDEN Photographer/Videographer JARED WICKERHAM Digital Media Manager JOSH OSWALD Editorial Designer ABBIE ADAMS Graphic Designers JOSIE NORTON, JEFF SCHRECKENGOST Events and Sponsorship Manager BLAKE LEWIS Sales Representatives KAITLIN OLIVER, NICK PAGANO Office Coordinator MAGGIE WEAVER Events and Marketing Coordinator BRYER BLUMENSCHEIN Advertising Sales Assistant TAYLOR PASQUARELLI Circulation Manager JEFF ENGBARTH Featured Contributors REGE BEHE, GAB BONESSO, LISSA BRENNAN, LYNN CULLEN, TERENEH IDIA, CHARLES ROSENBLUM, JESSIE SAGE, STEVE SUCATO Interns SARAH CONNOR, JARED MURPHY, EMILY WOLFE Office Administrator RODNEY REGAN National Advertising Representative VMG ADVERTISING 1.888.278.9866 OR 1.212.475.2529 Publisher EAGLE MEDIA CORP.

A peek inside the National Aviary’s new Living Dinosaurs exhibit

GENERAL POLICIES: Contents copyrighted 2019 by Eagle Media Corp. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed in Pittsburgh City Paper are those of the author and not necessarily of Eagle Media Corp. LETTER POLICY: Letters, faxes or e-mails must be signed and include town and daytime phone number for confirmation. We may edit for length and clarity. DISTRIBUTION: Pittsburgh City Paper is published weekly by Eagle Media Corp. and is available free of charge at select distribution locations. One copy per reader; copies of past issues may be purchased for $3.00 each, payable in advance to Pittsburgh City Paper. FIRST CLASS MAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS: Available for $175 per year, $95 per half year. No refunds.

COVER PHOTO: JARED MURPHY READ THE STORY ON PAGE 6

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MAY 29-JUNE 5, 2019

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CP PHOTO: JARED MURPHY

Dennis Scott, owner of Wiener World, in front of his new sign

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CP PHOTO: JOSH OSWALD

Wiener World’s new sign being installed

THE BIG STORY

DOG GONE

What happened to Wiener World’s iconic neon sign? BY RYAN DETO // RYANDETO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

T

HE RED NEON GLOW of the

Wiener World sign could be seen everywhere. For decades, it was a landmark on Smithfield Street in Downtown Pittsburgh, casting pink hues on the “Two Andys” mural that rested just above its perch on Strawberry Way. The sign could be spotted during car chase scenes in Hollywood blockbusters like The Dark Knight Rises and Jack Reacher. That instantly recognizable neon sign, familiar to so many Pittsburghers over the years, apparently transferred ownership in 2015 when the building was sold. In 2017, Wiener World’s new owners Dennis and Melody Scott changed a few things, like adding a made-to-order deli, but for the most part they have kept the place — and the sign — the same. For the first year, things were

good. Old customers kept coming, new ones became fans, and online reviews were solid. But in 2018, Dennis received a surprising letter from the former owner’s lawyer. Seemingly out of nowhere, they were requesting hundreds of dollars a month to use the Wiener World name and sign. Scott felt like he was being squeezed. “There are Wiener Worlds all over the United States,” says Scott, noting the improbability of obtaining a copyright. “He didn’t really have a leg to stand on. He was just being spiteful, trying to get blood from stone.” RAY AUSLANDER owned and operated

the Wiener World on Smithfield Street for about 50 years. Throughout his career, he opened multiple Wiener World restaurants in the Pittsburgh region, and even had three locations Downtown. He

developed a garlic seasoning recipe for his locally produced hot dogs and built a big local fan base. But by the 2010s, only one Wiener World remained and Auslander was pushing 70. So, in 2015, Auslander sold the building and business to Yuriy Bekman, who owns a jewelry store on the same block. Auslander retired and moved to Florida, hopeful Wiener World would be preserved as Pittsburghers knew it. “I wanted it to be run the same way and keep it going,” said Auslander in a 2015 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article. “I mean, it’s a little sentimental when you run a business for 50 years.” Bekman still owns the building, but he sold the business to the Scotts in 2017. The Scotts have run other restaurants Downtown for years, including Market Street Deli in the PPG Place food court, and decided to bring that deli

experience to Wiener World. The hot dog joint now serves brisket and roasted chicken, in addition to the classic menu of hot dogs, fries, and in the summer, soft-serve ice cream. Everything seemed to be going swimmingly. Bekman says he was happy with how the Scotts ran the business. In 2017, Auslander apparently still had admiration for his old restaurant, sharing a screenshot on Facebook of the scene in Jack Reacher where the Wiener World sign makes an appearance. But things took a wrong turn in September of 2018, and the ruckus centered on the iconic sign. Scott says this is when he received a letter from Auslander’s lawyer, requesting $500 a month to use the Wiener World name and the sign. After Scott consulted his lawyer, who communicated with Auslander, Scott says they discovered Auslander CONTINUES ON PG. 8

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MAY 29-JUNE 5, 2019

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DOG GONE, CONTINUED FROM PG. 7

CP PHOTO: KEVIN SHEPHERD

The original neon sign

didn’t own a copyright to the Wiener World name. Even so, Scott made a counter offer to Auslander out of good faith. He offered to pay $2,000 a year to use the sign, which he liked and wanted to keep. Scott says that offer was rejected. He then discovered that no agreement about the neon sign had been made when Auslander sold the building in 2015. The talks between the two parties ceased. ON SUN., FEB. 24, things got worse.

Ryan Clark, a friend of Scott’s and an employee with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, saw someone on a bucket ladder removing the sign. He contacted Scott, but by the time he arrived, the sign had already been sliced up and removed. “I think it was a shame that it was taken down. It was such a cool, outof-the-ordinary thing,” says Clark. “It added a middle ground between the modern, utilitarian architecture of the business building and the older churches and buildings in the area. It was eye-catching.”

Pittsburgh Police spokesperson Chris Togneri says a report was filed about the sign being removed. According to the report, at 1 p.m. on Feb. 24, a contractor told police that he was paid $1,200 by Auslander to remove the sign. When the contractor was informed Auslander no longer owned the building, he ceased the work, but since the sign was already partially removed, it was agreed that the sign should be completely removed for public safety reasons. Scott says he suspects the sign was removed because he didn’t agree to pay Auslander. Auslander didn’t return several requests for comment for this story. Scott was caught completely off-guard when the sign was removed without warning. He thought he and Auslander both understood the struggles and needs of owning small, independent restaurants. “It was something that I never thought I had to deal with. It was iconic, it was in the Batman movie,” says Scott. “There was no solidarity. It just seemed

DO YOU HAVE A PHOTO OF YOURSELF WITH THE ORIGINAL NEON WIENER WORLD SIGN? SHARE IT WITH US ON TWITTER BY TAGGING @PGHCITYPAPER. really petty.” And Auslander might not know it, but it appears Scott feels much the same way about Wiener World as Auslander did. In 2015, Auslander told the P-G that he was supportive of Downtown’s redevelopment but wanted to see changes come to Smithfield Street, too. “There are other areas that need work,” he said of the corridor. Scott echoes this sentiment. “I don’t think enough of the city’s microscope is on this part of Downtown,” says Scott of the Smithfield Street corridor. “[The stores here] kind of get overlooked.” Scott says restaurants like Wiener World need to be maintained in a Downtown that is increasingly courting finedining or chain restaurants. He says he added the deli to broaden options for Downtown diners, but recognizes the importance of Wiener World’s loyal,

Follow senior writer Ryan Deto on Twitter @RyanDeto

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longtime customer base, too. He will always sell hot dogs. SCOTT RECENTLY REPLACED the sign and filed a state business name license under Wiener World Pittsburgh. The new sign still says Wiener World in red letters, but it includes a seal inspired by the punk band The Ramones. (Scott says he’s an “old school punk.”) Scott says he would love to buy another neon sign, but he can’t afford the $12,000 price tag to bring in a new one, let alone the permits he would need to install it. Bekman, who still owns the building that houses Wiener World, has no hard feelings over the loss of the sign, but was hoping that it would have stayed up. “It’s a shame it went a different direction than everyone wanted it to,” says Bekman.


PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MAY 29-JUNE 5, 2019

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CP PHOTO: LISA CUNNINGHAM

Lake Elizabeth

.VOICES.

NORTH SIDE VS. EVERYBODY BY TERENEH IDIA // CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

W

HY IS THIS event all the

way over here?” “All the way over here” was central North Side, a threeminute drive from Downtown, a 15-20 minute walk. I explained how close North Side is to Downtown, only to be told by my East End friend that, “No one goes Downtown anymore. They should have had this event on the East End.” A couple years ago, a new-to-Pittsburgh Allegheny General Hospital doctor told me that the North Side stopped north of AGH. According to her imaginary map, the North Side began at the “North Shore” — the use of that term is a clear indicator that she doesn’t live on the North Side — “and ends right behind the hospital.” Actually, it extends miles beyond the hospital, I told her. But she explained that if you’re taking I-279 in from Cranberry, the “first exit” into the city is North Avenue, where the hospital is, meaning the beginning or end of the North Side. She is wrong, of course. I am a bridge and river crosser from way back. So when I returned to Pittsburgh in 2014 and saw “North Side vs. Everybody” t-shirts, I would roll my eyes. But these days I don’t, because in an East-centric Pittsburgh, the North Side is often ignored and misunderstood. Most non-residents actually don’t go much farther north than North Avenue. Where a news broadcast indicates a specific neighborhood: Shadyside, East Liberty, Larimer, Squirrel Hill. But if something happens in one of our nearly 20 neighborhoods, it’s rounded up to “on the North Side.” Growing up in Pittsburgh and experi-

encing the entire city was how I thought everyone lived. I didn’t know any of the “never cross river” types only made me love the things that made the North Side unique, while also connecting to the heart of soul of the City of Pittsburgh. The North Side, to me, is the Lake Elizabeth view of Downtown that makes me think of a little Central Park. I miss the crosswalk over the train tracks, but I still get to the park, tennis courts, and Gus and Yiayia’s for popcorn and lemon ice. North Side is a pot of tea at Arnold’s Tea, a pint at Allegheny City Brewery, and a cocktail at Wigle Whiskey. It is the walk up a hill to burn the calories you are about to inhale at Breadworks. It is the librarians at the Carnegie Library who don’t need to see my card anymore because they know my name. It is the slightly harrowing bike ride down to the freedom of a trail, riding west through Manchester past the house boats and down to the old prison. It is the view from Riverview park, the telescope at the Allegheny Observatory and Observatory Hill. It is the African market on East Ohio Street where I can get a box of instant fufu. Used or new books at City Books. It is the Red, White & Blue on Ohio River Boulevard. It is the Mattress Factory and the City of Asylum. It is the Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church that opened their doors to this atheist women in need of a warm, friendly landing after years of living overseas. It is walking to the Andy Warhol Museum when I need a color boost and a view away from my sewing machine. It is Thai, BBQ, Jamaican, soul food, and more and more and more. North Side is Pittsburgh.

Follow featured contributor Tereneh Idia on Twitter @Tereneh152XX

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.GABBY NORMAL.

PICKLES FOR ONE, PLEASE! BY GAB BONESSO CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

C

OULD THIS BE the summer I break out of my shell? In the weeks before I stopped seeing my therapist, I told her I was worried that I was isolating myself from humanity. She wasn’t too concerned because she felt that it was a response to the amount of high energy and intensity I project through both my work and my personality. I’m usually satisfied being alone in my house because the ghosts and voices in my head keep me company. My therapist explained that the way I live life is a high-intensity sport, so it would only make sense that I would need more rest and silence than others. That’s all fine and dandy, but as the calendar pages keep flipping, my concern is that I am missing out on life. That’s why I would like to try and attend Picklesburgh this summer.

CP PHOTO: GAB BONESSO

Yes, Picklesburgh. I have wanted to go to Picklesburgh since its first year. I love pickles. I review them on my YouTube channel. I bought pickle soda to try in a video. Last year, I even made my friend a pickle slushie. So yeah, I’m pretty obsessed with pickles. However, I also have a super loud brain that makes super loud events awful to attend. I either shut down, or I get super manic and make stupid decisions

that I’ll eventually regret. Therefore in past years rather than attending, I watched from afar on social media. Every acquaintance in Pittsburgh posts fun pictures of the event. I admit that sometimes social media helps recluses like me live vicariously, but sadly, more often it reinforces how limited our lonely existences can be. With summer on the horizon, I

Follow featured contributor Gab Bonesso on Twitter @gabbonesso

noticed everyone starting to post about this year’s Picklesburgh. I was getting annoyed because, yet again, I would be missing out on this event because of my brain. It dawned on me that perhaps with people becoming more aware of folks with sensory issues there might be sensory-safe areas at the event. That would mean that I could try and attend. I reached out to Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership to see if there would be sensory-friendly areas at Picklesburgh, but unfortunately, there won’t be. However, there are family events all summer for kids with sensory issues, which is a step in the right direction. I just think it’s important to remember that kids with sensory issues grow up to be adults with sensory issues. We need to continue creating safe spaces for families, but it’s also time to start making an effort for adult events as well. As for me, I’ll be hosting my own Picklesburgh in my blanket fort full of ghosts and imaginary friends. I mean, we won’t have Rusted Root or The Clarks, but we will have ocean sounds and eucalyptus oils. Please don’t be concerned – my shrink wasn’t.

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MAY 29-JUNE 5, 2019

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JOIN US AT THE LANDMARKS PRESERVATION RESOURCE CENTER FOR ONGOING WORKSHOPS AS WE CONTINUE PROGRAMMING ON ARCHITECTURE, HISTORY, DESIGN, URBAN PLANNING, AND OTHER TOPICS RELATED TO HOW CITIES FUNCTION AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION AS A TOOL OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT.

THURSDAY, JUNE 6 • 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM LECTURE: LISTING YOUR HOUSE IN THE NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES PRESENTER: JESSE BELFAST ARCHITECTURAL HISTORIAN MICHAEL BAKER INTERNATIONAL Have you ever wondered about what it means—or what it would take—to get your house or a building listed in the National Register of Historic Places? Do you know the potential benefits of National Register listing? Are you interested in pursuing National Register designation for your house, but unsure of the procedural requirements? Join us for this lecture and learn about the history of the National Register Program; the criteria for listing a property, and learn the basic components of a National Register Form. This lecture will also touch on tips for conducting research on your property, the procedural requirements for completing a nomination, and the benefits of listing a property in the National Register.

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THIS LECTURE IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. RSVPS ARE APPRECIATED: MARYLU@PHLF.ORGOR 412-471-5808 EXT. 527. 744 REBECCA AVENUE

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WILKINSBURG, PA 15221

412-471-5808

PHOTO: DAVID BLACK

Kim Gordon

BOLD, CRUDE, AND DANGEROUS CP contributing writer Lissa Brennan reviews Kim Gordon’s Lo-Fi Glamour exhibit at The Andy Warhol Museum

JENSORENSEN


PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MAY 29-JUNE 5, 2019

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.RESTAURANT REVIEW.

MR. BULGOGI BY MAGGIE WEAVER MWEAVER@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

A

SHORT MENU is usually a good sign when it comes to food trucks — it allows the chefs to deliver consistent flavors and focus on what they do best. Mr. Bulgogi is no exception. The Pittsburgh food truck keeps the menu brief and frequently rotates dishes in and out. The only constant is its eponymous dish, bulgogi. Bulgogi (pronounced buhl-go-ghi) translates to “fire meat.” The dish’s origin dates back to 37 B.C., evolving with the country’s invasion and independence until the 20th century when it was popularized neobiani, “thinly spread meat.” Mr. Bulgogi’s history doesn’t go back that far. The food truck hit Pittsburgh streets in 2017 and quickly drew a strong fan base (and the 2018 TacoMania Championship).

MR. BULGOGI Find Mr. Bulgogi at facebook.com/mrbulgogifoodtruck or on Twitter @MBulgogi

I tracked the truck down on a Saturday afternoon parked outside of Biddle’s Escape in Regent Square. On the day I visited, the menu consisted of three rice bowls, dumplings, and kimchi. I started with the bulgogi rice bowl. The beef was piled on top of rice with cilantro, lettuce, and streaked by two sauces. The first, and perhaps most important, part of bulgogi is the meat, sliced razor-thin — so slim that the slices are almost translucent. It’s marinated in a concoction of soy sauce, apple (or Asian pear), onion, garlic, scallion, and brown sugar, the ratios varying based on the chef. No two marinades are the same. Because it’s sliced paper-thin, the

CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM

Jae Park, owner of the Mr. Bulgogi food truck, poses for a portrait with an array of dishes.

meat absorbs flavor quickly, so after a short time the meat is char-grilled on a barbecue or in flames. The result is a tender, earthy meat, served with rice, kimchi, or wrapped in lettuce. My spiced pork bowl was marinated

in a Korean pepper paste, gochujang. It was every bit as tender as the beef, decorated by the same zig-zags of sauce, lettuce, and cilantro as the bulgogi, but finished by a sprinkle of green onions. Dark char marks on the meat balance

FAVORITE FEATURES: Track ’em down

Changing menu

Tofu

The best part about any food truck, in my opinion, is the surprise of finding one in your neighborhood. If you prefer to plan out your meals, keep an eye on the truck’s Facebook page. Every week, it updates its schedule.

Mr. Bulgogi’s menu is constantly changing. Make sure to order one of everything — you never know when it’ll be back.

Typically, fried tofu is soggy or over-oiled. Not at Mr. Bulgogi. The tofu was sliced thin and actually held flavor.

the thick, sweet marinade. Heat was not lost in sweetness; the gochujang spice came through loud and clear. The truck’s final offering was fried dumplings. These miniature, crimped pockets of chicken and vegetables were crispy, bubbly, and so delicious I don’t think I took a single breath before they were gone. There were no duds on Mr. Bulgogi’s menu on the day I visited and I’m confident I’d love pretty much anything the chef felt like putting on the menu. The day-to-day items might change, but the dynamic flavors — and the bulgogi — aren’t going anywhere.

Follow staff writer Maggie Weaver on Twitter @magweav

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Thai & Burmese Specialties!

DINING OUT

Pad Thai

CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM

SPONSORED LISTINGS FROM CITY PAPER ’S FINE ADVERTISERS

Noodle

THIS WEEK’S FEATURED RESTAURANT

4770 Liberty Ave 412.904.1640

THE CAFÉ CARNEGIE

padthainoodlepittsburgh.com

4400 FORBES AVE., OAKLAND 412-622-3225 THECAFECARNEGIE.COM An excellent dining experience from James Beard Semi-Finalist, Sonja Finn featuring a locally-focused menu, full service dining, and espresso and wine bar.

BAJA BAR & GRILL

EIGHTY ACRES

1366 OLD FREEPORT ROAD, FOX CHAPEL 412-963-0640, WWW.BAJABARGRILL.COM The Baja Bar & Grill is the perfect destination any time of the year for dancing to live bands and taking in great entertainment every weekend. In addition, there’s good food along with amazing views of the Allegheny River and the Fox Chapel Marina.

1910 NEW TEXAS ROAD, MONROEVILLE/PLUM 724-519-7304 / EIGHTYACRESKITCHEN.COM Eighty Acres Kitchen & Bar offers a refined, modern approach to contemporary American cuisine with a strong emphasis on local, farm-totable products.

BEA’S TACO TOWN

331 TECHNOLOGY DRIVE, PITTSBURGH 412-621-1551, ELIZAHOTELINDIGO.COM Set on the site of former iconic iron works, Eliza Furnace, Eliza is an American Bistro exploring classic Pittsburgh flavors, beloved by those that worked the furnaces, combined with the fresh perspective and seasonal sourcing that define what we eat in our region today. Relax with great food, cocktails, and enjoy live entertainment on the rooftop bar.

633 SMITHFIELD STREET, DOWNTOWN 412-471-8361, WWW.BEATAQUERIA.COM Authentic Mexican cuisine in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh! Bea Taco Town offers tacos, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, and much more all with traditional recipes. Slow cooked meats and fresh vegetables prepared daily will have you coming back to try it all.

CARMELLA’S PLATES & PINTS 1908 EAST CARSON STREET, SOUTHSIDE 412-918-1215, CARMELLASPLATESANDPINTS.COM Featuring an upscale ambiance, Carmella’s is located in the heart of South Side, serving a variety of refined comfort cuisine for dinner and brunch. The décor features a lodge-like feel with a wood beamed cathedral ceiling, stained glass and open fireplace. A local purveyor delivers fresh ingredients daily, which are crafted into unique and inventive meals, served alongside a curated cocktail list and comprehensive wine selection.

COLONY CAFE 1125 PENN AVE., STRIP DISTRICT 412-586-4850 / COLONYCAFEPGH.COM Whether stopping in for a weekday lunch, an afternoon latte or after-work drinks with friends, Colony Cafe offers delicious house-made bistro fare in a stylish Downtown space.

ELIZA HOT METAL BISTRO

LEON’S CARIBBEAN 823 E WARRINGTON AVE., ALLENTOWN 412-431-5366 / LEONSCARIBBEAN.COM Family owned and operated since December 2014. Here at Leon’s, we take pride in our recipes and quality of dishes. Simple menu with all the traditional dishes! Leon Sr. has been a chef for 30+ years, mastering the taste everyone has grown to love and can only get at Leon’s.

MERCURIO’S ARTISAN GELATO AND NEAPOLITAN PIZZA 5523 WALNUT ST., SHADYSIDE 412-621-6220 / MERCURIOSGELATOPIZZA.COM Authentic Neapolitan pizza, artisan gelato, and an inviting atmosphere are just a small part of what helps create your experience

at Mercurio’s Gelato and Pizza in Pittsburgh. It’s not your standard pizza shop; in fact, this isn’t a “pizza shop” at all.

PAD THAI NOODLE 4770 LIBERTY AVE, BLOOMFIELD 412-904-1640 PADTHAINOODLEPITTSBURGH.COM This new café in Bloomfield features Thai and Burmese specialties. Standards like Pad Thai and Coconut Curry Noodle are sure to please. But don’t miss out on the Ono Kyowsway featuring egg noodle sautéed with coconut chicken, cilantro and curry sauce.

SUPERIOR MOTORS 1211 BRADDOCK AVE., BRADDOCK 412-271-1022 / SUPERIORMOTORS15104.COM Thoughtfully prepared food, drawing inspiration from Braddock, its people, its history, and its perseverance. The cuisine best represents the eclectic style which has become a trademark of Chef Kevin Sousa. Fine dining in an old Chevy dealership with an eclectic, farm-to-table menu and a community focus.

TOTOPO MEXICAN KITCHEN AND BAR 660 WASHINGTON ROAD, MT. LEBANON 412-668-0773 / TOTOPOMEX.COM Totopo is a vibrant celebration of the culture and cuisine of Mexico, with a focus on the diverse foods served in the country. From Oaxacan tamales enveloped in banana leaves to the savory fish tacos of Baja California, you will experience the authentic flavor and freshness in every bite. They also feature a cocktail menu of tequila-based drinks to pair the perfect margarita with your meal.

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MAY 29-JUNE 5, 2019

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412 Brewery welcomes you to our newest taproom on Pgh’s historic Northside.

Dog-Friendly taproom with outdoor seating, firepits, games and more!

847 WESTERN AVENUE

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ANGELIA’S CRAFT PIZZA & BEER

CP PHOTO: HANNAH LYNN

.ON THE ROCKS.

18 beer rotating tap list Daily food and drink specials New Thursday craft draft happy hours

POWER SHOWER

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BY HANNAH LYNN // HLYNN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

N

OTHING EPITOMIZES relaxation

like the image of drinking wine in a bubble bath. Or better yet, a hot tub. If, like me, you’ve never had an apartment with a usable bathtub, then a shower beer is the next best thing. You heard me! I said drink your beer in the shower. Shower beers get a bad rap as something frat boys do to maximize pre-game time, but they have the potential for universal appeal. At the end of a long, exhausting day, the thought of a cold beer is nice. The feeling of a hot shower is also nice. Together, they make something beautiful.

beer is best when mild in flavor, because the main focus is that it’s cold (more on that later). My shower beer of choice is IC Light because it’s cheap and tastes mostly like nothing. Cold beer. The best part of a shower beer is the contrast between the hot water on your head and the cold drink in your hand. Drinking a temperate beer won’t do. Save it for when you really need it. Of course you don’t need to drink a beer in the shower, but it’s much more satisfying to save the beer for when you’ve had a long hard day and could use a pick-me-up. If you drink a beer

SHOWER BEERS GET A BAD RAP AS SOMETHING FRAT BOYS DO TO MAXIMIZE PRE-GAME TIME, BUT THEY HAVE THE POTENTIAL FOR UNIVERSAL APPEAL. But not just any beer can be consumed in the shower, so here are some tips to finding the perfect one: Cans are ideal. Showers are infamously wet and therefore slippery, so a can is safer and less painful should you drop it, and it breaks/lands on your toe. (I know the photo accompanying this has a glass bottle, but that’s because they didn’t have cans.) Bad beer. If you bought an expensive six-pack with a variety of IPAs and stouts, save it for another time (like after you get out of the shower). A shower

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every time you take a shower, it’ll lose its shine. When you become an adult, you realize you can eat or drink whatever you want. This is bad, like when you accidentally eat a family-size bag of chips for dinner, but good when you understand how much little things, like drinking a beer in the shower, can make you happy. It doesn’t even have to be a beer. It can be a cold soda, an iced coffee, or whatever beverage you find most refreshing. You’re an adult, and you can do whatever you want.


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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MAY 29-JUNE 5, 2019

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PHOTO: MEG ROBERTS ARSENOVIC

Meg Roberts Arsenovic’s “Tell Tales” at Brew House Association

.ART . .

COMMON THREADS BY AMANDA WALTZ // AWALTZ@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

D

EFINING FIBER ART can be difficult. It’s a blanket term that can encompass processes like weaving and knitting, and materials like glass, fabric, and paper. At its core, the field is about texture and physical space, but its meaning is consistently being challenged and reimagined. And it’s sure to be expanded again when the 23rd Fiberart International exhibition

returns to Pittsburgh on Fri., May 31, with pieces from 55 national and international artists. Among the 56 pieces on display is “Wave” by Serbian artist Zlatko Cvetkovic, a jagged installation woven from recycled audio and video magnetic cassette tape that, as one description puts it, comments on “the phenomena of ephemerality and oblivion.” Then there’s Virginia-based artist

Meg Roberts Arsenovic whose “Tell Tales” uses orange PVC utility flags. The show, which happens every three years and is now in its 23rd iteration, expands beyond its usual spot at Contemporary Craft by also setting up at the Brew House Association on the South Side. “The Fiberart International has always been CONTINUES ON PG. 20

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MAY 29-JUNE 5, 2019

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COMMON THREADS, CONTINUED FROM PG. 18

SERVICES Services are offered to everyone, regardless of identity, income, or insurance status. • Full medical practice • Mental health services • Community health Navigator program • Transportation program

PHOTO: POLLY MILLS WHITEHEAD

Fiberart International at Contemporary Craft

• Food box program • Discounted pharmacy program

CONTACT 1789 S. Braddock Ave, #410 Pittsburgh, PA 15218 M Th F 8 AM - 4:30 PM Tu W 8 AM - 7:30 PM To make an appointment: (412) 247-2310 Proudly serving LGBT patients since 1999.

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one of our favorite exhibitions because it is so accessible and appeals to visitors on many different levels,” says Contemporary Craft executive director Janet McCall. “Textile art is an art form that has been practiced for centuries. It emerged from the necessity to fill basic human needs and has evolved into an expressive medium that is powerful in its universal appeal and contemporary relevance.” The chosen artists, adds McCall, also use their work to “explore the relationships between fiber and social influences, and make a statement on social topics such as gender issues, politics, mental health, feminism, and the environment.” Canadian artist Susan Avishai comments on the wastefulness of the garment manufacturing industry with “No Place to Hide a Dark Heart,” a fiber sculpture made of deconstructed, discarded clothing from thrift shops. Patricia KennedyZafred of Murrysville, Pa. draws attention to the decline of the independent family farm with “American Portrait: Loss in the Heartland,” a piece using fabric, dyes, silkscreens, and ink. Contemporary Craft will also bring Fiberart International Downtown to its BNY Mellon Satellite Gallery with “Elemental Fiber,” a series of quilts by Kathy Nida. The California-based mixed

media artist uses her colorful quilts — six of which will be on view at the gallery through Aug. 18 — to address issues such as women’s rights, politics, climate change, and gun control.

FIBERART INTERNATIONAL May 31-Aug. 24. Contemporary Craft, 2100 Smallman St., Strip District; Brew House Association, 711 South 21st St., South Side. fiberartinternational.org

“We believe it is important to show these because art can open up discussion on difficult social issues and prompt conversation among viewers with different perspectives,” says McCall. “The artists’ lived experiences as conveyed through their work can also encourage others to share their stories to form a more inclusive community.” Complementing the exhibition are various events and programming with exhibiting artists, including a day-long forum on Sat., June 1 that features a keynote speech by Fiberart International juror and renowned basket sculptor Jane Sauer. Also available is an intro to sculptural beading with artist Beth Blankenship and a glass-knitting workshop with Carol Milne (the process involves knitting with wax and casting in glass).

Generated and operated by the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh, Fiberart International continues the mission of a fiber arts movement dating back to the mid-20th century, when a group of craftspeople became frustrated with how textiles were ostracized from the fine art world. “There were a lot of artists working at that time who really thought that this was wrong,” says Fiberart International director Risë Nagin, adding that textiles could be used to make objects that were “expressive in a way that a beautiful sculpture or a beautiful painting would be.” Nagin feels that fiber arts have not only secured a place in the fine art world but have become a “general art practice,” even among those who “don’t necessarily think of themselves strictly as fiber artists.” The observation is backed up by local artists like Fiber Arts Guild member Tina Williams Brewer, whose story quilts have earned her a variety of distinctions, including the 2018 Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Artist of the Year. “Textiles are moving more and more into mainstream art,” says Nagin, “and I feel like this show is an articulation of that visually.”

Follow senior writer Amanda Waltz on Twitter @AWaltzCP


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CP PHOTOS: JARED WICKERHAM

Hell’s Oasis

.MUSIC.

THE BY JORDAN SNOWDEN // JSNOWDEN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

G

ENRES COLLIDE and combine in intriguing ways on the

self-titled debut from Hell’s Oasis. The two-piece — married couple Ginger and Alexis Polozoff — borrow openly from funk, folk, and grunge, and more subtly from trip-hop and Celtic rock. “Don’t Blame the Rain” opens the record with Ginger’s airy, haunting vocals and a slow-burning, minor-chord progression resonant of The Cranberries. The fourth track, “Lilacs,” veers into pop and reggae, colored by syncopated rhythms and phased-out guitar. “Creature of the Night” is straight out of ‘90s alternative rock. “Fast ‘n’ Funky,” on the other hand, delivers exactly what the title suggests. “We think there are a lot of people like us who like music across a lot of different genres,” says Ginger. “I love Johnny Cash, I love Willie Nelson, and maybe you can hear a little bit of that in some things, but most of our stuff doesn’t sound anything like that. A lot of people that like that old-style country music or classic rock, or even SIA or Katy Perry — we’re not that far off from those guys either.” Alexis grew up in Pittsburgh and was classically trained,

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playing cello and piano throughout high school. Wanting a more portable instrument, he began playing guitar and jammed with several bands in New York City, then Austin, before moving back to Pittsburgh in the early 2000s. “Austin is a big funk and blues town,” says Alexis. “I picked up a lot of funk stuff while I was there.” At seven years old, Ginger began singing in church in a small Texas town. She took voice lessons in the U.K., Dallas, and with the famed Marcy Lynne in Austin. Austin is where Ginger met Alexis in the ’90s, after responding to an ad in the Austin Chronicle searching for a singer for a now-defunct band. “[When creating music, Alexis] will sing me a little bit about what he’s envisioning,” says Ginger, “and I’ll be like ‘Oh, that’s not striking me that way at all.’ But I think that’s the beauty of us coming at things with different backgrounds, different influences, different styles, and different skill sets.”

HELL’S OASIS Thu., May 30. 6 p.m. SouthSide Works, 424 S. 27th St., South Side. hellsoasis.net


The 412 is CP ’s new music section where you can get local band/ musician updates and fun, random tidbits of information all in one. QUESTIONS ABOUT MUSIC FAVORITE TRIP-HOP SONG? ALEXIS: “Trigger Hippie” by Morcheeba IF YOU COULD ONLY LISTEN TO ONE GENRE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? ALEXIS: Indie rock, because it encompasses a lot of things. GINGER: Classical. It’s not my favorite, but I don’t get tired of it. WHAT’S THE BEST MUSIC VIDEO YOU’VE EVER SEEN? GINGER: “Say Amen (Saturday Night)” by Panic! At The Disco ALEXIS: “Self Control” by Laura Branigan. It’s an Eyes Wide Shut sort of thing, really trippy. WHAT’S A SONG YOU’VE FELT EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED TO? ALEXIS: “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” by The Beatles. GINGER: “I Want You” is one of our favorite songs, period. I would pick, “Let It Be” also by The Beatles. I can barely say the name of the song without crying.

QUESTION ABOUT BEVERAGES DO YOU DRINK COFFEE? AND IF SO, HOW DO YOU TAKE IT? ALEXIS: I don’t really drink a lot of coffee. I drink mine in the early morning, just a splash of coffee. I drink it black. Not because I like it, because it helps me wake up. GINGER: I drink a couple of cups every day, and with cream.

QUESTIONS ABOUT RELAXING WHAT’S SOMETHING YOU DO IN YOUR DOWN TIME? GINGER: What downtime? [Laughs] We work, so downtime for us is when we get to work on our music. I can have a really terrible day and going through our set, it’s healing. IF YOU HAD ONE DAY TO DEVOTE TO A STAYCATION, WHAT WOULD YOU DO? ALEXIS: I’d like to wake up in the morning, take the dog for a nice long walk, spend 3-4 hours in the studio doing music, in the afternoon maybe take a nap, and then maybe spend some time out in the sun, sun gazing and relaxing. GINGER: That sounds amazing, so ditto! • Follow staff writer Jordan Snowden on Twitter @snowden_jordan PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MAY 29-JUNE 5, 2019

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SEVEN DAYS OF CONCERTS RUN THE MEAT, WALKMAN, BIG BLITZ FRIDAY, MAY 31 After opening its doors last fall and presenting Pittsburgh with a bowling alley and craft brewery in one, Enix Brewing is expanding further with an outdoor performance and events space. Pittsburgh based bands/musicians Run the Meat, Walkman, and Big Blitz will inaugurate the new space on Friday. Run the Meat identifies as the “dirtiest hard-funk band ever bred,” while Walkman mixes old and new styles of hip hop, and Big Blitz combines dance, rock, and jazz. 7–10 p.m. 337 E. Eighth Ave., Homestead. $10. enix.beer PHOTO: JARED TUK

Run the Meat

FULL LIST ONLINE pghcitypaper.com

THURSDAY MAY 30 COVERS RIDGEMONT HIGH 80S. Cioppino Restaurant & Cigar Bar. 7 p.m. Strip District.

ROCK/METAL INDIGENOUS. Moondog’s. 7:30 p.m. Blawnox. OOZING WOUND, MICROWAVES. Howlers. 7 p.m. Bloomfield. THE WHO. PPG Paints Arena. 7:30 p.m. Downtown. MONTE’S PYTHONS. Riley’s Pour House. 8 p.m. Carnegie. BLACK SABBATH LIVES. Jergel’s. 8 p.m. Warrendale. AETHERE. Smiling Moose. 6:30 p.m. South Side. YEAR OF OCTOBER, JAKETHEHAWK. Full Pint Wild Side Pub. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville.

ELECTRONIC SODOWN. Thunderbird Café & Music Hall. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville.

COUNTRY CLARE DUNN. Tequila Cowboy. 7 p.m. North Side. FRANK VIEIRA, JACKSON GARDNER. Club Cafe. 8 p.m. South Side.

ACOUSTIC GARY PRISBY. Mansions on Fifth. 5:30 p.m. Shady Side. JUSTIN WADE. Southern Tier Brewing Co. 5 p.m. North Side.

RICK MATT. Il Pizzaiolo Cucina Napoletana. 7 p.m. Warrendale. MARK PETERS AND THE JAZZ CONSPIRACY. Allegheny Elks Lodge #339. 7:15 p.m. North Side.

PGHCITYPAPER.COM

ROCK/PUNK 33 1/3. 1311. 7 p.m. South Side. HELLIN BACK BAND. Kendrew’s. 8 p.m. Moon. SAINT PÉ, THE SPECTRES. Mr. Smalls Theatre. 8 p.m. Millvale. GOOD SHIP GIBRALTAR. SouthSide Works. 6 p.m. South Side. 13 SAINTS, THE PUMP FAKES. Good Time Bar. 9 p.m. Millvale. ROYCE. Cattivo. 7 p.m. Lawrenceville.

END OF MAE. Wolfie’s Pub. 8 p.m. Downtown.

THE BIG BEND, BEAUMONT. The Park House. 9:30 p.m. North Side.

REGGAE

FACS, TRVSS, PLUME. Black Forge Coffee House. 7 p.m. McKees Rocks.

KEYSTONE VIBE. Spoonwood Brewing Co. 7 p.m. Bethel Park.

FOLK SADIE. Bierport. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville.

FRIDAY MAY 31 COUNTRY

JAZZ

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THOTH TRIO. Kingfly Spirits. 7 p.m. Strip District.

TRAVIS TRITT, CHARLIE DANIELS BAND. Stage AE. 6:30 p.m. North Side.

ACOUSTIC JIM SCOTT. Arsenal Cider House-Wexford. 5 p.m. Wexford.

CRACK THE SKY. Jergel’s. 8 p.m. Warrendale. SOMEWHERE TO CALL HOME. Mr. Roboto Project. 7 p.m. Bloomfield. COMBO CHIMBITA. Club Cafe. 8 p.m. South Side.

DJS

ELECTRONIC

DJ GROVER. Baja Bar and Grill. 7 p.m. Fox Chapel.

ZACH BURGETT (RUN THE TRAP). Cabaret Banquet Hall & Event Center. 9:30 p.m. Homewood.

DJ DIGITAL DAVE. Rivers Casino. 8 p.m. North Side. DJ SAMUEL ANDRES. The Goldmark. 7 p.m. Lawrenceville.

CLASSICAL JACKIE EVANCHO. Byham Theater. 8 p.m. Downtown.

ACOUSTIC GOOD GUYS ROCK. Wolfie’s Pub. 5 p.m. Downtown. GIRLIE SHOW: LIZ BERLIN, LISS VICTORY. Hambone’s. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville. MONALLO. Full Pint Wild Side Pub. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville.

FOLK HACKENSAW BOYS. Thunderbird Café & Music Hall. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville.

ELECTRONIC GLO PHASE. Bierport. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville.

SATURDAY JUNE 1 ROCK/METAL LOCAL NATIVES. Stage AE. 7 p.m. North Side. CHASE AND THE BARONS. Bakery Square. 11 a.m. East Liberty. PRIME 8 (CD RELEASE). Howlers. 9 p.m. Bloomfield.

JAZZ/FUNK

DURIAN, FIVE STAR HOTEL. The Rock Room. 8 p.m. Polish Hill.

THE RAINBOW ENDS. Wolfie’s Pub. 8 p.m. Downtown.

JAZZ

BANE, UHTCEARU, APPALLING. SUB Alpine Society. 9 p.m. Turtle Creek.

RANDOM PLAY. NOLA On The Square. 8 p.m. Downtown.

LUCARELLI TRIO. Cioppino Restaurant & Cigar Bar. 7 p.m. Strip District.

HELICOPTER HANDS, SINGLE JO, YOUNG FOOL. Black Forge Coffee House. 7 p.m. Allentown.

BLUES

RICH ZABINSKI QUARTET. NOLA On The Square. 8 p.m. Downtown.

UNCHAINED! A ‘SAVED BY THE SCENE’ BENEFIT SHOWCASE. Howlers. 8 p.m. Bloomfield.

THE CONTENDERS. Cioppino Restaurant & Cigar Bar. 7 p.m. Strip District.

THE TINA DANIELS BAND. Moondog’s. 8:30 p.m. Blawnox.

BENNY BENACK. Enix Brewing. 8 p.m. Homestead. AVI DIAMOND. Il Pizzaiolo Cucina Napoletana. 8 p.m. Warrendale.

ETTA COX, AL DOWE QUARTET. Portogallo Peppers N’AT. 8 p.m. Braddock. THE IMPURITY, PSALMS OF SILENCE. Black Forge Coffee House. 6 p.m. Allentown.

ACOUSTIC JORDAN AUTH. Wolfie’s Pub. 8 p.m. Downtown. THE HITCHHIKERS. Mike’s Beer Bar. 7 p.m. North Side.

COVERS TRAINWRECK. Downey’s House. 8:30 p.m. Robinson. PITTSBURGH DOO WOP BIG BAND. Oaks Theater. 7:30 p.m. Oakmont. THECAUSE. Thunderbird Café & Music Hall. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville.

HIP HOP/RAP XAVIER WULF. Rex Theater. 6 p.m. South Side.

FOLK YARO AND THE STATIC (ALBUM RELEASE). Mr. Smalls Theatre. 7 p.m. Millvale.

SUNDAY JUNE 2 HIP HOP/RAP MACHINE GUN KELLY. Stage AE. 7 p.m. North Side.


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ISAIAH SMALL

Isaiah Small

SUNDAY, JUNE 2 Isaiah Small has spent the last five years pursuing a music career in Pittsburgh, and now he’s moving on (to Canada, then Minnesota). To say goodbye, Small puts on a final show at Spirit on Sunday, accompanied by Sierra Sellers, NVSV, Back Alley Sound, The Summer Camp, My Favorite Color, and more local favorites. “This one is for the city,” says Small. “I made it free because I want to put on a great local show. I’ve never seen a mosh pit at a rap concert in a while, so for this one, we shall achieve the mosh pit!” 9 p.m.–12 a.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. Free. spiritpgh.com

SUNDAYZ VIBEZ WITH BILL HENRY BAND, DJ SELECTA. Metropolitan Club. 5 p.m. Downtown.

JAZZ/BLUES RML JAZZ. Vinoski Winery. 12 p.m. Belle Vernon.

THE STRUMBELLAS. Mr. Smalls Theatre. 8 p.m. Millvale.

BLUES JIMMY ADLER. Wolfie’s Pub. 7 p.m. Downtown.

DAN BUBIEN. Houlihan’s Mt. Lebanon. 7 p.m. South Hills.

MATT ANDERSEN. Club Cafe. 8 p.m. South Side.

ROCK/METAL

EXPERIMENTAL

WILSON. Smiling Moose. 6:30 p.m. South Side. DAVID CROSBY AND FRIENDS. Carnegie Library Music Hall. 7:30 p.m. Homestead. SICK OF IT ALL. Cattivo. 7 p.m. Lawrenceville. FOR THE FALLEN DREAMS. Crafthouse Stage & Grill. 7 p.m. Whitehall. AGES AND AGES. Club Cafe. 8 p.m. South Side.

FOLK STEFAN EDWARD. Allegheny City Brewing. 12 p.m. North Side.

MONDAY JUNE 3 ROCK JON SPENCER, THE HITMAKERS. Thunderbird Café & Music Hall. 7 p.m. Lawrenceville.

VIREO, SUNDAES, SAM COPE. Glitter Box Theater. 7 p.m. Oakland.

TUESDAY JUNE 4 REGGAE TOOTS & THE MAYTALS. Roxian Theatre. 7 p.m. McKees Rocks.

BLUES THE SHINERS. Wolfie’s Pub. 5 p.m. Downtown.

ROCK/METAL

WEDNESDAY JUNE 5 JAZZ/BLUES YOKO SUZUKI TRIO. City of Asylum. 7 p.m. North Side.

are welcome

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ERIN BURKETT, VIRGIL WALTERS. The Blind Pig Saloon. 7:30 p.m. New Kensington. DAVINA AND THE VAGABONDS. Club Cafe. 8 p.m. South Side.

ROCK/METAL DRUIDS. Howlers. 9 p.m. Bloomfield. SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE. Highmark Stadium. 7 p.m. Station Square. FRANK IERO, THE FUTURE VIOLENTS. Rex Theater. 7 p.m. South Side.

L7, LE BUTCHERETTES. Rex Theater. 7 p.m. South Side.

TRAITORS. Smiling Moose. 6:30 p.m. South Side.

TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION. Crafthouse Stage & Grill. 6 p.m. Whitehall.

PAUL GILBERT. Crafthouse Stage & Grill. 7 p.m. Whitehall.

FOLK

DYKES AND YOUNG. The Irma Freeman Center for Imagination. 7:30 p.m. Bloomfield.

AMY RAY BAND. Club Cafe. 8 p.m. South Side.

your body & soul

ACOUSTIC

These listings are curated by Pittsburgh City Paper’s music writer Jordan Snowden and include events from our free online listings. Submit yours today at www.pghcitypaper.com/submitevent

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inkadinkadoo.net PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MAY 29-JUNE 5, 2019

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THE WITCH IS BACK BY AMANDA WALTZ AWALTZ@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

PHOTO: ARTISAN ENTERTAINMENT

The Blair Witch Project

Any hardcore horror geek remembers their first encounter with The Blair Witch Project. For me, it was a full-page ad in Entertainment Weekly heralding the “totally true story” of three student filmmakers disappearing in the woods of Maryland — to make matters spookier, I read it while staying at my friend’s cabin in middle-ofnowhere Pennsylvania. On June 1, Carnegie Science Center will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the movie that sent us running and screaming into the dark unknown of the 21st century for a special Science on Screen event. Taking place at the center’s Rangos Giant Cinema, the evening features a talk by noted sociologist and author Dr. Margee Kerr, whose research looks into the science of fear. She believes The Blair Witch Project’s success was due to its immersive found-footage style and the uncertainty of the then-burgeoning internet age. “We’re there with [the characters], lost in the woods, in the dark, alone, and we feel the intense vulnerability SCIENCE ON SCREEN: THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT coupled 20TH ANNIVERSARY with lack of control,” SCREENING. Sat., June 1. 7 p.m. 1 Allegheny Ave., says Kerr. North Side. $9.95. “It’s not carnegiesciencecenter.org just a great recipe for fear — it mirrors how many of us felt in the late ’90s as we began to adapt to living in the unknown online world, where the boundaries between entertainment and reality were disappearing.” While horror movies like Cannibal Holocaust used documentary elements before, The Blair Witch Project used it to greater effect, coupled with the power of hype (check out the fake TV documentary and still-functioning website, blairwitch. com/project/main, that fooled audiences into buying the film’s legitimacy). In a time when the horror genre was taking a cynical, postScream meta route, fans were looking for something new, something terrifying, something — for lack of a better term — real. The Blair Witch Project delivered just that, and then some. •

PHOTO: MUSIC BOX FILMS

.FILM.

TRANSIT BY ALEX GORDON // ALEXGORDON@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

E

VEN WHEN the world is falling apart, people still go shopping. That’s an idea voiced early on in the 2018 German film Transit, when a character mentions George Romero’s 1978 movie Dawn of the Dead, noting how even as everything has descended into chaos and zombies roam the streets eating people’s faces, everyone still ends up at a mall. In Transit, too, as France is occupied by Germany, the residents still get coffee, still go out for pizza and wine, still go shopping. This isn’t a 1940s Nazi occupation, but a surreal pseudo-modern version — the cars are contemporary, but nobody has cell phones or laptops. The police state here does things analog; paperwork, red tape, and old fashioned bureaucracy are in charge of those seeking asylum, as they might have during the Third Reich, but details about the occupancy and end game are blurry (despite mentions of juden, ghettos, and trains taking exiles ... elsewhere). Things open at a bar in Paris where Georg (Franz Rogowski) is offered good money to deliver two letters to a famous writer named Weidel. Georg is a German-born TV and radio engineer and does his best to treat the dystopian circumstances with a steely, scientific regard, but anxiety and dread still leak from his face, shuddering as wailing police sirens fly down the tiny streets. He takes the gig, but when he finally

gets to Weidel’s hotel room, he finds the writer in a bloody bathtub with his wrists cut. Georg takes his travel documents and assumes Weidel’s identity. Transit initially seems like a dystopian The Talented Mr. Ripley — a handsome, smart protagonist insinuating himself into strangers’ lives — but it soon veers into the territory of Children of Men and Schindler’s List, in which the need for identity theft for survival is not so much cunning as it is necessary. Georg isn’t in Weidel’s shoes for money or fame; he might as well have impersonated a wellliked butcher.

TRANSIT Directed by Christian Petzold. Opens Fri., May 31 at Harris Theater.

With Weidel’s ID, Georg makes it to the yet-unoccupied Marseilles, where he encounters a cast of characters trying to plan for the horror that is surely arriving within the next few weeks. There’s a North African kid named Driss (Lilien Batman) with whom Georg plays soccer, and his deaf-mute mother Melissa (Maryam Zaree); a fellow German who’s watching two dogs she doesn’t like for two Americans she doesn’t know in order to get a sponsorship to immigrate to Washington, D.C.; and Weidel’s widow Marie (Paula Beer). Marie is beautiful, mysterious, and sad — another 1940s

throwback — and seems to know Georg’s secret without ever coming out and saying it. With what’s coming, what would it really matter? At a certain point we’re told that leaving France was easier two weeks ago and would be harder once again two weeks from now. We’re on the edge of something terrible and it provokes a weird balance of wondering if the characters know the historical precedent of what’s coming or not. Maybe relevant: a character tells a joke about someone being sentenced to Hell in the afterlife and waiting at a nondescript door for information for weeks. When he finally finds someone in charge and asks where he can find Hell, he’s told that he’s already there. If that’s the case, Hell is everywhere in Transit. The majority of scenes happen in quiet conversations in visibly hot rooms, in which people try to figure out where they are and where they’re going. There’s something haunting about human suffering being decided at the whims of paper forms, initials and signatures, offices and desks and people in ties. The absurdity and ease of evildoing run through every vein of Transit, and the effect is predictably complicated, unpleasant, dreary, but unexpectedly hopeful and humane. As several characters on the run say throughout the film, that might be the best anyone can hope for.

Follow managing editor Alex Gordon on Twitter @shmalexgordon

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PGHCITYPAPER.COM


PHOTO: ERIC ROSÉ

Bodiography Spring Concert

.DANCE.

SPRING FORWARD BY AMANDA WALTZ // AWALTZ@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

T

HE BODIOGRAPHY CENTER for

Movement presents its annual Spring Concert as a way to provide its students — some as young as 6 years old — an opportunity to dance on a professional stage. Bodiography founding director Maria Caruso believes it also demonstrates how much dancers’ skills evolve, showing the progression from beginners to older, more experienced college preparatory students. But, as Caruso points out, Bodiography students advance based on merit and talent, not age. “You might see eighth graders who look like they could be dancing with professional ballet companies,” says Caruso. “We never hold back a child’s potential.” Overall, though, the Bodiography Spring Concert — taking place on Sat. June 1 at the Byham Theater — will show off the conservatory’s up-andcoming star dancers performing a variety of classical and contemporary works. Choreographed by Bodiography faculty, the night’s program includes acts from famous ballets, routines for jazz or modern dance, and contemporary ballet. The show also includes several performances by returning Bodiography alum who have gone on to careers in dance or the arts. Done in collaboration with La Roche College’s dance program, Caruso touts Bodiography as “truly an institute for dance education” that takes more of an academic approach. Part of that includes teaching dance as a language, both literally and figuratively. Starting from age six,

students are taught French ballet terms and translations, along with learning the actual movements. As they grow older, students can advance to the La Roche dance program, going on to earn a fouryear degree in the field.

BODIOGRAPHY PRESENTS THE SPRING CONCERT 7 p.m. Sat., June 1. 101 Sixth St. Downtown. $31.25. trustarts.org

Bodiography also invites a rotating list of guest artists and companies to interact with students. This year, the center collaborated with the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York City, one of the world’s longest running and most celebrated modern dance companies. As a result, the center’s college prep students received free classes with Martha Graham School artists, learning ideas passed down from the woman widely regarded as the mother of modern dance. Graham also has local roots as a native of Allegheny City, what is now known as Pittsburgh’s North Side. The collaboration also produced some recent performances, including Bodiography Contemporary Ballet’s production of “Steps in the Street” — an excerpt from Graham’s larger 1936 work, Chronicle — at the Byham Theater last March. “I think that this year was really an incredible year to have so many international guest artists, but also to be working with one of the world’s best companies,” says Caruso.

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MAY 29-JUNE 5, 2019

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IMAGES: GENSLER

Architectural drawings from the May 15, 2019 Centre District Plan Update

.ARCHITECTURE.

UPHILL BATTLE BY CHARLES ROSENBLUM // CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

I

N THE STORIED 28 acres of the Lower Hill, no new

building has been constructed since the Civic Arena was completed in 1964 (and even that building was razed). The once thriving neighborhood — bounded by Centre and Bedford, Crawford and Washington Place — became mostly parking lots and, eventually, nothing but. Anything on this site would be an improvement, especially since a series of recent development plans and proposals — including an office building for U.S. Steel and an audacious, expressionistic master plan from Danish architects, BIG — failed to proceed. Now the current owners, the Pittsburgh Penguins,

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have unveiled for the so-called Centre District a new master redevelopment plan: a mixture of office, retail, and residential, with food market and entertainment components. The first scheduled components are a 274-unit apartment building and a 250,000 square foot office and retail complex. (see www.pghcentredistrict.com) The October 2016 reopening of a few streets on the site, which have been closed since the 1950s, makes new construction seem more likely than ever. But the tighter, dense grid of the historic neighborhood will never return (Just look at the historic Hopkins Co. map of, say, 1906, on the

Historic Pittsburgh website for a comparison). Language about reconnecting the Hill is political speech. Penguins president and CEO, David Morehouse, is widely quoted as saying, “Let’s make something great,” when really, something pretty good would do just fine. As masterplanning, it’s mostly impossible. Right now, plans as presented still need reconsideration and refinement. The Department of City Planning wisely demands a master plan for a property this large to preclude large-scale surprises later on. However, six decades of experience suggest this site might never be completely built in a still-shrinking Pittsburgh. And the


published phasing plan leaves a majority of components without a schedule. Will they ever happen? The desire to turn Wylie Avenue into a major thoroughfare and Logan Street into a festival market makes sense to connect to the Penguins arena, but not so much to the Hill. It’s easy to imagine such a street filling up with Penguins fans (maybe at the expense of existing local places). The grand axis to Wylie seems like a big gesture, but not a gravitational draw. And it doesn’t really connect to Downtown.

SIX DECADES OF EXPERIENCE SUGGEST THIS SITE MIGHT NEVER BE COMPLETELY BUILT IN A STILL-SHRINKING PITTSBURGH. Maybe the Interstate Cap park will be nice, but there is no plan to redesign the intersections of Washington Place at either Bigelow or Center, so these will always be hazardous, daunting, and unpleasant barriers between this spot and Downtown. Not a real reconnection at all. I’d settle for some well-designed buildings. Yet, the very reputable architecture juggernaut Gensler is thus far giving us anonymous and shallow work. The rendering published in the Post-Gazette in March was especially disappointing — poorly composed and

badly proportioned. The version from the May 15 public presentation is more clear and less sloppy, but still dull and very far from the expressed aspirations. The hypothetical building would need a complete redesign that would improve the architecture while better connecting to the Hill. Whether Centre Avenue becomes a commercial street or not, it needs to have an open view corridor that showcases the beautiful Church of St. Benedict the Moor instead of obstructing it. That is a possible and necessary reconnection. Doing that could also provide suitable additional public space next to Freedom Corner, while giving I.M. Pei’s Washington Plaza, now City View Apartments, just a bit of breathing room. This would be the place for a couple of shops – coffee, sandwiches, a small market – that could extend and improve the existing neighborhood fabric of Crawford Roberts, which looks so neighborhood-y, but suffers so much from an absence of public space. Is it too late to bring in David Adjaye to work with Gensler? Or Rachel Gang? Speaking of architects who do award-winning housing design, what about Koning Eizenberg, who is fresh off another award-winning project for the Children’s Museum, and has done plenty of housing in L.A. that is just so much better than this? The desire to connect the Hill back to Downtown and the desire for greatness are fine as political speech. If this project is really going forward, though, then it is really time to apply these desires to the complexities of architecture and urban design. That can be a rewarding process, but it is notably unfinished at this moment.

Follow contributing writer Charles Rosenblum on Twitter @CharlzR PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MAY 29-JUNE 5, 2019

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PHOTO: ASHLEY FAYE PHOTOGRAPHY

Kelly Frey, 2018 Women Who Rock Award recipient

.MUSIC.

POWERED BY WOMEN W BY JORDAN SNOWDEN // JSNOWDEN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

TAE MORNING news anchor Kelly Frey received the 2018 Women Who Rock (WWR) Award last year for documenting and sharing her battle with triplenegative breast cancer. This included her live streaming a tour of the MageeWomens Research Institute and then crossing the street to UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital to receive her mammogram results. “This whole experience tied into Women Who Rock, and sharing her story tied into her and her open public battle,” says WWR CEO and founder Melinda Colaizzi. “We kept hearing, ‘Wow Kelly, thank you so much for doing this. I was always so afraid to get a mammogram, and now I feel more comfortable.’ That’s exactly what we’re trying to do through this.” Now in its third year, the annual WWR benefit concert raises money to support women’s health.

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This year, WWR celebrated Women’s Health Awareness Week on May 12-18 by letting prominent women in Pittsburgh take over its official Instagram account, allowing those affected by health issues or working in the health field to share their stories via social media, much like Frey did. “It’s all about empowerment and women in music,” says Colaizzi, “and having them come together and unite to raise funds for women’s health research, which is very much understudied.” Magee-Womens is the largest research institute in the U.S. focused solely on the health of women and infants. More than 100 nationally recognized physician-scientists are engaged in groundbreaking research on women’s health. In 2018, WWR donated over $26,000 directly to the Oakland-based organization. For 2019, they hope to quadruple that amount. “We had a lot of conversations with our event committee about, ‘Did we want to place those funds to one specific research field? Would it just go to ovarian cancer? Would it just go to breast cancer?’” says Colaizzi. “But what we learned about the research institute is that there are so many different issues and different

PHOTO: ASHLEY FAYE PHOTOGRAPHY

2018 Rising Star winner Allissa Logsdon

WOMEN WHO ROCK 6:30 p.m. Thu., May 30. Stage AE, 400 N. Shore Drive, North Side. $55 general admission. womenwhorockpgh.com

avenues of women’s health that don’t get the same media coverage. We just felt that all these different issues were equally important, and we wanted to

give them that money and have them allocate it however they wanted.” This year’s WWR award recipient is Dr. Sharon Hillier, professor and vice-

chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Magee-Womens Research Institute. Her team recently discovered a ring, the first of its kind, able to stop the spread of HIV in women. During Women’s Health Awareness Week, Dr. Hillier was one of the featured Instagram takeover guests, giving the world an intimate look into her lab. Frey will return to WWR on Thu., May 30 to present the award to Hillier. This year’s event at Stage AE will feature an all-female fronted lineup with headliner, Shelia E. The famous percussionist has performed and/or recorded with Prince, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan, Patti LaBelle, and Stevie Nicks, among others. Joining Shelia E. is Lyndsey Smith, DJ Jess, award-winning women’s a cappella group Sounds of Pittsburgh Chorus, and this year’s Rising Star Contest winner, Melina Bowser, a current student at North Allegheny High School. In addition to the music, there is a beauty bar, photo booth, silent auction, and more. “It’s really all about a night of empowering women and making a difference,” says Colaizzi.

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MAY 29-JUNE 5, 2019

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PHOTO: BILL PERESTA

Island Moving Company

.DANCE.

SHARING THE STAGE BY STEVE SUCATO // CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

I

T’S BEEN A big year for Staycee and Herman “Soy Sos” Pearl. The husband and wife duo behind the STAYCEE PEARL dance project and PearlArts Studios recently won awards, mounted several successful productions, and have been commissioned by Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre to create a work for next season. Now the Pearls are embarking on one of their biggest projects to date, the weeklong pearlPRESENTS Dance Festival, June 3-9 at the New Hazlett Theater. Instrumental in the creation of the newMoves Contemporary Dance Festival at Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Staycee is not new to mounting a dance event on this scale. She says the timing was right to highlight some of the collaborations the organization has developed with other dance companies and to create another performance platform for local dance artists to present work. Included in the inaugural event are daily masterclasses, an artist brunch at Federal Galley, and Saturday night’s

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post-performance pearlGALA catered by Black Radish with entertainment by DJ Orlando “Buscrates” Marshall. Here is a brief look at the festival’s performances:

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5. 7 P.M.

3600 seconds of solos Twelve Pittsburgh-based artists chosen by lottery perform stylistically varied 5-minute solo works.

THURSDAY, JUNE 6. 7 P.M.

Groove Indian dance fusion styles and hip hop come together in chitra.MOVES’ female trio, TRIBE. Rhode Island’s Island Moving Company (IMC) makes its Pittsburgh debut in a trio of works including the 2018 duet “Kindred/Two Hearts 1952-1985” and choreographer Danielle Genest’s “Transport” (2018). STAYCEE PEARL dance project & Soy Sos (SPdp & SS) will present a new work-in-progress on Blackness, “Circles,” and join forces with

IMC in “sol FRESH,” inspired by soul music of the late-1950s up through the mid-1970s.

FRIDAY, JUNE 7. 12 P.M. DOLLAR BANK MAIN STAGE, THREE RIVERS ARTS FESTIVAL

noontime/GROOVE The free concert features dance works by SPdp & SS, chitra.MOVES, and IMC.

FRIDAY, JUNE 7. 7 P.M.

On Point SPdp & SS reprise “sol FRESH” and “Circles” and IMC performs Jose Limon’s “Mazurkas” (1958) to music by Frederic Chopin. Also includes works by Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Cooper Verona and former PBT dancer, Julia Erickson.

SATURDAY, JUNE 8. 7 P.M.

DUO + pearlGALA The shared program will feature Sidra Bell Dance New York in a 40-minute preview of PRELUDE | IDENTITY in advance of its June premiere in Brooklyn. The intimate work “deals with our growing

lack of privacy,” says Bell. SPdp & SS will reprise their atmospheric work sym, inspired by sci-fi writer Octavia Butler’s novel Fledgling.

SUNDAY, JUNE 9. 3:00 P.M.

PDMR Alumni Concert PearlDiving Movement Residency alumni reunite for this program. Includes works by Maree ReMalia, Jasmine Hearn, and SPdp company member, Joy-Marie Thompson, who says her new solo “LIBERATION” is about “the alienation that Black people receive in this world.” Also featured is slowdanger in the Pittsburgh premiere of “Empathy Machine.”

PEARLPRESENTS DANCE FESTIVAL New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square, North Side. $15-20/show, $50/Festival Performance Pass, $160/pearlGALA + Festival Pass & $125 pearlGALA + Saturday show only. Full festival schedule and tickets at pearlartsstudios.com/pearlpresents


.FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 30

FREE WILL ASTROLOGY BY ROB BREZSNY // INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

CANCER (June 21-July 22): I’ve got a message for you from Cancerian poet Tyler Knott Gregson. Please read it every day for the next 15 days, including when you first wake up and right before sleep. Here it is: “Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.”

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In 2003, a group of thieves in Antwerp, Belgium pulled off the biggest jewelry heist in history. To steal the diamonds, gold, and other gems, together worth more than $100 million, they had to outsmart security guards, a seismic sensor, a protective magnetic field, Doppler radar, infrared detectors, and a lock. I mention this, Leo, because I suspect that in the coming weeks you will have a comparable ability to insinuate yourself into the presence of previously inaccessible treasures and secrets and codes. You’ll be able to penetrate barriers that have kept you shut off from valuable things. (P.S. I hope that unlike the Antwerp thieves, you’ll use your superpowers in an ethical manner.)

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In the northeast corner of Spain, bordering France, is an area known as Catalonia. With its own culture and language, it has a long history of seeking complete autonomy. On four occasions it has declared itself to be independent from Spain. The most recent time was in 2017, when 92 percent of the Catalans who voted expressed the desire to be free of Spain’s rule. Alas, none of the rebellions have succeeded. In the latest instance, no other nation on Earth recognized Catalonia’s claim to be an independent republic. In contrast to its frustrated attempts, your own personal quest to seek greater independence could make real progress in the coming months. For best results, formulate a clear intention and define the precise nature of the sovereignty you seek. Write it down!

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): A Libran blogger named OceanAlgorithms wrote, “I’m simultaneously wishing I were a naturalist whose specialty is finding undiscovered species in well-explored places; and a skateboarding mathematician meditating on an almost-impossible-

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I prefer live theater over movies. The glossy flawlessness of films, accomplished by machines that assemble and polish, is less emotionally rich than the direct impact of live performers’ unmediated voices and bodies and emotions. Their evocative imperfections move me in ways that glossy flawlessness can’t. Even if you’re not like me, Gemini, I invite you to experiment with my approach for a while — not just in the entertainment you choose, but in all areas of your life. As much as possible, get your experience raw and unfiltered. to-solve equation as I practice my skateboard tricks; and a fierce forest witch who casts spells on nature-despoilers; and a gothic heroine with twelve suitors; and the sexiest cat that ever lived.” I love how freewheeling and wide-ranging OceanAlgorithms is with her imaginative fantasies. In light of current astrological omens, I encourage you to do the same. Give yourself permission to dream and scheme extravagantly.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Geologists aren’t exactly sure why, but almost six million years ago, the Strait of Gibraltar closed up. As a result, the Mediterranean Sea was cut off from the Atlantic Ocean, and within a thousand years, it had mostly disappeared. Fast forward 600,000 years. Again, geologists don’t understand how it happened, but a flood broke through the barrier, allowing the ocean to flow back into the Mediterranean basin and restore it to its previous status as a sea. I propose that we invoke that replenishment as a holy symbol for the process you’re engaged in: a replenishment of your dried-out waters.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I invite you to meditate on this proposal from freelance writer Radha Marcum: “The spiritual definition of love is that when you look at the person you love, it makes you love yourself more.” I hope there’s a lot of that kind of action going on for you in the next four weeks. According to my assessment of life’s secret

currents, all of creation will be conspiring to intensify and deepen your love for yourself by intensifying and deepening your love for other people. Cooperate with that conspiracy, please!

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Is there a creature on earth that’s more annoying than the mosquito? I’ve never heard anyone gaze upon one of the pesky monsters sucking blood out of their arm and say, “Aw, what a cute little bug.” And yet every year there is a town in Russia that holds a jokey three-day celebration in honor of the mosquito. The people who live in Berezniki even stage a “most delicious” competition, in which people allow themselves to be pricked by mosquitoes for twenty minutes, with an award going to whomever accumulates the most bites. I highly approve of the spirit of this approach for your own use in the coming weeks, Capricorn. If you have fun with the things that bother you, I bet they won’t bother you as much.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): It’s the Forever Season, Aquarius. You have a poetic license to act as if your body will live for a hundred years and your soul will live for all eternity. You are authorized to believe that in the coming decades you will grow steadily wiser, kinder, happier, and wilder. During the Forever Season, you may have dreams like flying over a waterfall at sunset, or finding the lost magic you were promised before you were born, or

discovering the key to a healing you feared would always elude you. As you careen through this unpredictable grace period, your understanding of reality may expand dramatically. I bet you’ll get practical epiphanies about how to express yourself with greater effectiveness.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): A musical historian from Cambridge University decided it would be amusing to perform forgotten songs that were written in the Rhineland a thousand years ago. His research wasn’t easy, because musical notation was different back then. But he ultimately reconstructed the tunes in ways that he felt were 80 percent faithful to the originals. He and other musicians subsequently performed and recorded them. I propose a somewhat comparable assignment for you in the coming weeks, Pisces. You will benefit, I believe, from trying to recover the truth about events that occurred a long time ago and/or by trying to revivify old beauty that has new relevance.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In the coming weeks it will make good sense for you to travel down winding paths replete with interesting twists and provocative turns. The zigzags you’ll be inspired to pursue won’t be inconvenient or inefficient, but rather will be instrumental in obtaining the healing you need. To honor and celebrate this oddly lucky phase, I’ll quote parts of “Flying Crooked,” a poem by Robert Graves. “The butterfly will never master the art of flying straight, yet has a just sense of how not to fly: He lurches here and here by guess and God and hope and hopelessness. Even the acrobatic swift has not his flying-crooked gift.”

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Has a part of you become too timid, docile, or prosaic? Is there an aspect of your beautiful soul that is partially muzzled, submissive, or housebroken? If so, now is a favorable time to seek an antidote. But listen closely: the cure isn’t to become chaotic, turbulent, and out of control. It would be counterproductive to resort to berserk mayhem. Here’s a better way: be primal, lush, and exciting. Be wildly playful and unpredictably humorous and alluringly intriguing. Try experiments that rouse your rowdy sweetness, your unkempt elegance, your brazen joy, and your sensual intelligence.

GO TO REALASTROLOGY.COM TO CHECK OUT ROB BREZSNY’S EXPANDED WEEKLY AUDIO HOROSCOPES AND DAILY TEXT-MESSAGE HOROSCOPES. THE AUDIO HOROSCOPES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE BY PHONE AT 1-877-873-4888 OR 1-900-950-7700

Pittsburgh’s lone liberal talkshow host for 30+ years Listen live every weekday at 10 a.m. at lynncullen.pghcitypaper.com PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MAY 29-JUNE 5, 2019

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PHOTO: NICOLETTE KALAFATIS

Feralcat

.MUSIC.

IN THE WILD BY JORDAN SNOWDEN // JSNOWDEN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

R

OGER RAFAEL ROMERO, a saxo-

phonist who recently started recording music under the name Feralcat, doesn’t want the baggage that often comes with his instrument. “There’s a certain expectation that I’ve been trying to subvert for years on the saxophone,” says Romero. “You go up on stage, you thrust your hips, and you play whatever pop-gunk they want to hear. I’m not looking to work this angle as a jazz musician.” On Sat., June 1, during a doublerelease party with Starship Mantis, Romero will release his first project, a self-titled EP, which he dubs as

progressive and art rock. “It’s the biggest release I’ve ever felt in my life,” says Romero. “Better than any drug. People keep asking me [if I’m nervous.] And I’m like, ‘No, not really.’ This is more like a coming out. I’ve been holding this part of me in for so long.” Two years ago, Romero’s first serious musical endeavor, Eastend Mile, called it quits. Having assumed that the band would “become a thing,” he had no backup plan ready when it ended. So, he began working as a freelance musician at weddings and the like. Then, Romero met the lead singer of Sorority Noise, who invited the saxo-

FERALCAT AND STARSHIP MANTIS DOUBLE ALBUM RELEASE PARTY 8 p.m. Sat., June 1. Mr. Smalls Theatre, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $15. rogerrafaelromero.com

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phonist to play onstage with the emo/ punk rock band during a sold-out show at Spirit. “That kind of triggered something in me,” says Romero. “I was, like, I want to play music like this on stage. I just want to thrash around. But I’m not a singer. So I have to write music where I could be the front man, even though I’m a saxophone player.” Starting in March 2018 and finishing in October, Romero composed the six tracks on Feralcat. With Brandon Lehman and Drew Bayura playing guitar, Caleb Lombardi on the keys/synth, Chris “Trip” Trepagnier on bass, and Allen Bell on drums, Romero created a riveting and piercing rock EP, starring a saxophonist. “Squirtle Squad,” for example, begins with raw guitar licks, before the saxophone sneaks in, replacing the lines that might typically go to a vocalist.

“I think about that kid in high school jazz band,” says Romero, “that’s just like me, that had all these friends playing cool rock shows, and I just couldn’t do it, or if I did it was joining a ska band or something. The avenue for it didn’t exist then. And I’m trying to create that avenue.” Saturday’s release show at Mr. Smalls will be the first time Romero plays the music with a full band live. He tested a few tracks from Feralcat at the first iteration of City Paper Live in Market Square on Wed., May 15, with only backing tracks and his lead guitarist. “This music hits hard,” says Romero. “It’s high impact, high-energy music. If anyone’s expecting to just sit down, chill, and listen to some saxophone music, you have another thing coming. You’re either going to head bang or hate it and leave. Either way, there’s no apathy with this music.”


FREE ENTERTAINMENT ALL SUMMER LONG

PHOTO: MATT POLK

.THEATER.

SPAMILTON

LIVE

BY MAGGIE WEAVER //MWEAVER@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

L

IN-MANUEL MIRANDA wants a

revolution, but not the kind that builds democracy in America. The bright-eyed, idealistic Miranda of Spamilton is fighting on the battlefield of Broadway. Spamilton: An American Parody lampoons Miranda’s smash hit Hamilton with winking reverence. Author Gerard Alessandrini’s imagination is on full display in the satire, producing wild musical mashups (the “Lion King and I” a personal favorite), crazy plot points, and surprisingly frequent use of hand puppets.

SPAMILTON: AN AMERICAN PARODY Continues through Aug. 25. Greer Cabaret Theater, 655 Penn Ave., Downtown. $31.25-59.75. pittsburghclo.org

The musical opens on Michelle and Barack Obama’s bedroom in 2016. Preparing for bed, Barack dusts off the Hamilton soundtrack. They cuddle up to Alexander Hamilton’s trademark beats, and Aaron Burr (Tru Verret-Fleming), pops out to deliver the opening verses. At first, I thought the spoof was going to mirror the Hamilton score note-fornote, but it quickly goes off the rails. After the opening number — which introduces Miranda (T.J. Newton) and his goal not to let “Broadway rot” — the show becomes an outrageous hodgepodge of musical satire. The plot is loose, to say the least. The musical takes its inspiration’s lyrics and loses itself in silly, whimsical tangents

(instead of “throwing away his shot,” Miranda is not “throwing away this pot”). These tangents give way to some of the best moments: Erin Ramirez, who plays all the leading ladies, appearing as Liza Minnelli to sing a jazzy tune titled “Down with Rap;” the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme reimagined as a tribute to Daveed Diggs (who played Lafayette in Hamilton’s original cast); or a pianist serenading the audience with the sad news that “straight is back, it’s a cinch, Hedwig put away his angry inch.” Luckily the absurdity of the production doesn’t cloud the talents of this great cast. Justin Lonesome (Ben Franklin, George Washington, others), dressed as Annie, struck sky-high notes in a clear falsetto, and Ramirez executed flawless, comedic impressions of all the Broadway divas. (Note: if you love Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, or Disney, this is not the show for you. Spamilton spends most of the script ragging on the greats, resulting in a water-gun assassination of Miranda from the coalition of big Broadway characters.) Nevertheless, things end up amicable in full corny musical fashion, with the cast imploring the audience to “raise a glass to Broadway.” Alessandrini’s writing taunts Hamilton, but there’s still obvious respect for the musical. It’s a ridiculous send-up created from a place of admiration, and I don’t think I stopped laughing during the entire hour. It was pure, absurd fun — worth the ticket price. Even if you’ve never seen Hamilton, the jokes still land.

WEDNESDAYS IN

MARKET SQUARE Every Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

May 15 - August 7

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MAY 29-JUNE 5, 2019

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PHOTO: JARED MURPHY

Lindsey Kaine

.DANCE.

BACKSTAGE BY LISSA BRENNAN // CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

NAME: Lindsey Kaine, East Liberty

with how they think or how it works.

WORK: Production and artistic coordinator, Attack Theater

IS A DANCE BACKGROUND NECESSARY FOR WHAT YOU DO? I don’t think it’s necessary, but it’s so helpful. There are times when I see someone going through a step and getting stuck and can look up and go, “Oh! Turn left there!” And they’re like, “Yes!” I’ll stage-manage shows, and it’s easy to go through lighting cues because one, I’m in the rehearsal process; and two, I have a dance background, and I think those things go together to gel and make it happen.

WHAT DO YOU DO AT WORK? I work with the company dancers and artistic directors Michele de la Reza and Peter Kope, especially when we have productions, commissions, or collaborations. ARE YOU IN REHEARSALS? I normally sit in with a laptop: taking notes, noting music, working on contracts, scheduling, sending emails, whatever I can. Peter and Michele will have these great ideas, and I can pull things out of them to then communicate with designers to make things happen without having to pull them away from the process. I was a dancer through college and a little bit intuitive sometimes about what they’re doing or what they need just because I’m familiar

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SO YOU’RE REALLY GOING BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN CREATIVE AND CLERICAL. They say I’m the bridge between the artistic side and the administrative side. I can see the process happening, but I can also step out if needed to share what’s going on.

DO YOU HAVE A PREFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO? I love that I’m not at my desk or at a computer 100 percent of the time; that I can get up and do things and be active without walking away from work. But there are times where it’s just, “OK, let me focus, and let me get this task done.” And that’s when I really enjoy the structure of the admin side of things. They involve slightly different brain sides, so I love that I can have both of them really going strong. ARE YOU EVER ABLE TO JUST BE AN AUDIENCE MEMBER AND WATCH? It’s so hard. I think the times that I can really just let it go is possibly when outside companies come because I don’t feel the connection to anything personally. I feel like I know so many people in the Pittsburgh dance community. I normally turn off the technical side of my brain, but it’s hard to turn off the personal connection.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART? Getting to stage-manage. They’re onstage, and I’m definitely behind the scenes and happy that way, but I’m still part of it, and we all did this together. It always feels like it’s not going to happen — the final dress rehearsal right before the show, you’re like, “How are we going to pull this off?” It always comes together, and it’s gonna work and it’s kind of like magic sometimes when it does. I love that there are nerves and there’s excitement before it happens and then it’s such a good payoff. I work closely with all of our dancers and I love being a person that they can come to. Peter or Michele might be doing the hundred other things that they’re doing, and they know that they can call me. I think part of it is, they respect me, I respect them. They know that I get it, and I really appreciate being able to be that person for them.


.LITERATURE.

STEPHEN MARKLEY’S OHIO BY REGE BEHE CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

S

TEPHEN MARKLEY was in a high school social studies class in Mount Vernon, Ohio as the attacks of 9/11 unfolded. Someone came into the classroom and insisted the television be put on; the social studies teacher initially resisted. “The TV goes on just in time to see the second plane crashing into the second tower,” says Markley, author of the novel Ohio (Simon & Schuster). “It was an absolutely breathtaking thing to watch in any regards. I know people who were in New York City on that day, and I can’t even imagine trying to process that.” Ohio explores the aftershocks of one of the darkest days in American history through four characters who, like Markley, were still in high school on that date. Set in the fictional Ohio town of New Canaan in the middle of the state, Markley has crafted a tale that is the literary descendant of novels such as Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Claire Messud’s The Emperor’s Children, and Netherland by

Stephen Markley

STEPHEN MARKLEY 7 p.m. Mon., June 3. Penguin Bookshop, 417 Beaver St., Sewickley. Free. penguinbookshop.com.

Joseph O’Neill. While those books capture elements of 9/11’s impact, Markley’s story has the added benefit of distance and time.

“It’s hard to process these social-political upheavals in the moment they are going on,” he says. “We’re going through some of that right now. In terms of 9/11,

BETWEEN THE LINES As summer reaches its peak, a night of baseball at PNC Park becomes more appealing even as the Pirates’ fortunes crest and wane. For true diehards, Ballpark: Baseball in the American City (Knopf) by Paul Goldberger is the perfect prescription for that inevitable losing streak. Goldberger, an architect and winner of the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, writes of the majestic cathedrals, past and present, that are homes to the national pastime. He’s a fan of Forbes Field and, especially, PNC Park and its “modesty of scale that ties it, more closely than any other 21st-century ballpark, to the baseball parks of an earlier era.” Three Rivers Stadium, on the other hand, was merely “a heavy-handed concrete monolith.”

my book is not about that event specifically; it’s about the ramifications of it. I think after that, not only was it this awful, horrifying tragedy, an act of violence, but powerful people took that to further their agendas in various ways. So the novel is not just exploring that as an event, but all the ripple effects across the years.” Mount Vernon is about 45 miles northeast of Columbus, Ohio, and its fictional counterpart is a typical Rust Belt town. There’s a certain timelessness that Markley evokes in his descriptions of Central Ohio. After driving through the state recently, Markley says he was struck by “how beautiful the place is … Something that’s quiet and rolls a little bit, and it sort of settles in with you. “When I got my driver’s license, me and my friends would drive everywhere, just exploring. We told our parents we were going to play basketball and we ended up three hours away in some unknown pocket buying ice cream in some random place in the middle of nowhere. Those experiences helped me create this fictional town, this fictional setting.” But the realities of the four characters — an anti-war athlete, a graduate student visiting her hometown, a soldier, and a once popular young woman who becomes dangerously desperate — echo the fortunes of many who saw their futures upended after 9/11, when vocal patriotism for many became a de facto response to any kind of discourse. “We always have to be asking ourselves, no matter who is president, no matter which political party is in charge, is what’s going on right and justified?” Markley says. “Are we being led into something we won’t be able to control?”

Follow featured contributor Rege Behe on Twitter @RegeBehe_exPTR

Learn even more about Pittsburgh’s food, arts, and culture scenes Taste magazine and Newcomers Guide to Pittsburgh are available now READ THE DIGITAL ISSUES FOR FREE PGHCITYPAPER.COM PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MAY 29-JUNE 5, 2019

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CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM

Darkest Dark at 707 Gallery

.ART . .

DARKEST DARK BY SARAH CONNOR // INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

C

URRENTLY ON VIEW at 707 Gallery

is Darkest Dark, an ongoing series of large-scale charcoal drawings inspired by heavy metal music. Artist Oreen Cohen created the thirteen works on display while listening to metal and striking the surface of the paper in time to the music. These charcoal drawings contrast broad strokes and thick lines against smaller, more intricate patterns. The very first drawing sits next to the front windows of the gallery. Unlike the other featured pieces in Darkest Dark, the white background of this drawing stands out. The charcoal marks are scattered

across the paper. Some are straight lines, some are circular. Some slowly fade from black to gray and finally into nothing, which is a stark contrast to the other drawings of the exhibit. The other pieces included in Darkest Dark are, unsurprisingly, dark. Most of the large-scale papers are almost entirely covered in jet-black. The white base of the paper peeks through small gaps between the black wisps, loops, lines, and zigzags. The ultimate takeaway of the artwork is the contrast between light and dark and the beauty of working with opposite colors. Within each piece, there are details

DARKEST DARK Continues through July 14. 707 Gallery, 707 Penn Ave., Downtown. Free. trustarts.org

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that cannot be overlooked. At certain points in the exhibit, the eyes focus on intricate lines placed in small white gaps between thicker black stokes of the piece. The ridges of these smaller strokes offer a distraction from the louder parts of the pieces, similar to the bridge in a song. Cohen has been working with local artists Jonathan Hodges (of the band Echo Lightwave Unspeakable) and Gia T. Cacalano since February. The team developed an improvisational work titled “Somatic Automatic,” which they based off of interactions with an audience. The final performance of this work took place at 707 during a gallery crawl on July 12. Cohen, Cacalano, and Hodges will

continue their project by conducting a live drawing to lo-fi punk by local band, Speed Plans. Darkest Dark is a simple exhibition, and Cohen’s drawings are visually pleasing for a quick visit to the 707. However, for those that may not be big fans of minimalist art, Darkest Dark could come across as a bit lackluster. All thirteen of the drawings look similar, and someone could walk in, take a quick look around, and be out in less than five minutes. On the other hand, the simplicity of the art and Cohen’s talent as an artist will not disappoint fans of charcoal art. Ultimately, the exhibit is definitely worth a trip to the 707.


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SEVEN DAYS OF ARTS+ENTERTAINMENT

^ Thu., May 30: Anqwenique at Sirens & Queens

THURSDAY MAY 30 MUSIC Local musician and arts advocate Anqwenique graces Wallace’s Whiskey Room & Kitchen in Hotel Indigo for Sirens & Queens. The locally renowned soprano will perform and highlight contemporary works by Black women composers and shed light on the Black experience in classical music. Presented in association with Chamber Music Pittsburgh and BOOM Concepts, the event will also showcase Anqwenique’s talent as a

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versatile Black vocal artist who has performed in several operas, including the world premiere of Mercy Train at New Hazlett Theater. 7 p.m. 123 N. Highland Ave., East Liberty. $15 or pay what you can. chambermusicpittsburgh.org

TALK Local writer, artist, and filmmaker Corrine Jasmin self-published a book of poetry titled Tread in 2018. The book focuses on Jasmin’s mental health, childhood trauma, and the struggles of being Black, female, and queer in today’s society. The Point Park University alum will read excerpts from Tread at Alphabet City during Stories That Heal, an ongoing

MAY 31

Flavor festival in reference to the idea of “food sovereignty.” The Oglala Lakota chef works to revitalize and raise awareness of “indigenous food systems in a modern culinary context.” Sherman will speak on the work he does with his company, The Sioux Chef, at August Wilson African American Cultural Center for a talk called “The (R)evolution of Indigenous Food Systems of North America.” 7:30 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $38.75. sioux-chef.com

TALK

COMEDY

“If you can control the food, you can control who you are,” says Sean Sherman in a presentation at the 2018 World of

The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah brings his Loud & Clear tour to Pittsburgh. The show, described as Noah “talking into a

series of reading events that focuses on local authors dealing with mental illness. Each event features a reading and a Q&A session, all with the goal of killing the stigma of mental illness. 7-8 p.m. 40 W. North Ave., North Side. Free. alphabetcity.org

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Sustainability Leadership Academy August 4-10, 2019

A residential camp focused on careers in sustainability for high school students. Learn leadership skills needed to be a community change agent and leave with a fully fleshed-out project plan to implement in your community. Focus topics include: equity, food, water, energy, conservation, green buildings, urban planning, transportation, community organizing, business, and more. Full and partial scholarships available. For more information, visit chatham.edu/leadership-academy.

PHOTO: HEIDI EHALT PHOTOGRAPHY

^ Fri., May 31: Sean Sherman

microphone and then sometimes people laugh,” comes to the Petersen Events Center. Laugh until it hurts at the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning comedian’s politically charged stand-up and impeccable crowd work. 8 p.m. 3719 Terrace St., Oakland. $37-81. trevornoah.com

SATURDAY JUNE 1 EVENT Blight and bikes. Might not seem like a fun combo, but the Geared Up and Grounded bike tour and afterparty wants to share all the work they’ve accomplished in rehabbing blighted properties and getting around on two wheels. In its eighth year, this time around focuses on

East Liberty, Larimer, Homewood, and Wilkinsburg. The guided bike tour is put on by Pittsburgh Major Taylor Cycling Club, and for those that don’t have bikes, Healthy Ride bike shares will be available on site. After the tour, participants can join a block party outside of the Grounded offices with live music, food vendors, and yard games. 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m., 6587 Hamilton Ave., Larimer. $25-35. groundedpgh.org

STAGE Buddy comedy The Garbologists follows New York City sanitation workers, Marlowe and Danny, through the trials and tribulations of working with garbage. Written by Lindsay Joelle, the two-person play details the pair bickering on a garbage truck as they search for “mongo” — treasures found in trash.

Pittsburgh City Paper is featuring your photos all week on Instagram Tag your photos of Pittsburgh with #CPReaderArt for your chance to be featured next!

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CALENDAR, CONTINUED FROM PG. 41

PHOTO: MARS NEW YEAR

^ Sun., June 2: Mars Exploration Celebration

The Garbologists gets a staged reading at City Theatre’s Lester Hamburg Studio, as part of Momentum Festival: New Plays at Different Stages. 6:30 p.m. 1300 Bingham St., South Side. Free. citytheatrecompany.org

FILM Know that upbeat, old-timey music you hear blasting from the pipes on Kennywood’s carousel? Now picture it being performed live, paired with the slapstick antics of comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. *Cue dramatic gasp!* Travel back in time and experience the silent film stars the way they were meant to be seen as composer Clark Wilson performs the pipe organ live to two of the famous pair’s comedic film shorts. 7:30 p.m. Keystone Oaks High School, 1000 Kelton Ave., Dormont. $20. pittsburghtheatreorgan.com

ROAST Are you flustered by the lack of cohesion and linear logic in the final season of Game of Thrones? Are you tweeting and writing think-pieces about Bran the Broken, Robin Arryn’s “glow up,” and Daenerys’ Starbucks habits? Leave the fan petitions at home and

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get your GoT frustrations out at the Roast of Jon Snow at Hambone’s. Burning Bridges Comedy presents a night of GoT characters taking shots at the mopiest Stark this side of The Known World. Then maybe move on with your life? 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Also 9 p.m. Sun., June 2. Hambone’s, 4207 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $15. burningbridges comedyclub.com

COMEDY Corruption, crumbling infrastructures, and climate change are objectively > Thu., May 30: Corrine Jasmin

un-hilarious, but the folks at Steel City Improv are doing their best to locate some silver linings in the daily news or at least a reason or two to laugh. Real News + Improv Comedy News N’at is an improvised comedy show in which the audience chooses news headlines for the performers to riff on. Read up on the big stories of the day, find some you’d like to see cast in a comedic light, and head down to Steel City Improv Theater. 9:30 p.m. 5950 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. $10. steelcityimprov.com

SUNDAY JUNE 2

NEW YEAR OK, technically New Years on Mars (the planet) was March 21, 2019, but that doesn’t mean Mars (the town) can’t throw a belated bash for everybody’s favorite Red Planet. Who throws a party in March, anyway? Mars Exploration Celebration welcomes representatives from NASA for weekend of food, music, and astronomy. On Sunday, your child (2nd-8th grade) can participate in the Meet the Mars Challenge and identify and solve potential problems faced by “Earthling pioneers of the Next Great Frontier.” Prizes TBD, but maybe it’s a trip to Mars. Probably not. 11 a.m. Starts Fri., May 31. Downtown Mars. marsnewyear.com

COMEDY When Brooklyn comedian Carmen Lagala made her TV debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last year, she got most of her laughs complaining about riding the train. What do you think she’ll


WEDNESDAY

say if she rides the 71C to Glitter Box Theater? Find out as she headlines All That Glitters, a night of comedy featuring six comics and hosted by Pittsburgh’s own Andreas O’Rourke. 8 p.m. 460 Melwood Ave., Oakland. Free. BYOB. theglitterboxtheater.com

JUNE 5

FUNDRAISER See author Paul Gentile for a reading of his latest book Salvatore and Maria: Finding Paradise at Mystery Lovers Bookshop. The work follows an Italian couple as they struggle to raise a family and retain their cultural identity as immigrant in the U.S. Set in the early 1900s, the work traces their lives from Colorado to the steel mills of Aliquippa, Pa. Inspired by Gentile’s own Italian-born father, the book is described as a “family saga and an American story of immigration and assimilation where individuality and character are not lost.” 7-8 p.m. 514 Allegheny River Blvd., Oakmont. Free. Registration required. mysterylovers.com

MONDAY JUNE 3 SCIENCE This year, scientists captured the first image of a black hole. Now it’s your chance to learn about the light-sucking space mystery — one that might be the key to a brighter future. Join science YouTuber and futurist Isaac Arthur at the Carnegie Science Center’s Cafe Scientifique and find out what black holes bring to the universe. 6 p.m. 1 Allegheny Ave., North Shore. $5. carnegiesciencecenter.org

TUESDAY JUNE 4 FILM The most pivotal battle in World War II history is an event that should never be forgotten. When Allied troops stormed the French beaches of Normandy in June 1944,

GAMES PHOTO: JAMES DECAMP

^ Sat., June 1: Clark Wilson

the war changed, and the Allies gathered momentum and turned that into a victory just over a year later. The Carnegie Science Center screens a film highlighting the importance of this day on its giant Rangos theater screen. The film, D-Day Normandy 1944, breaks

down the battle through five chapters and depicts how American technology helped the Allies to victory. The film is in 3-D and suitable for viewers of all ages. 4 p.m., 1 Allegheny Ave., North Side. $7.95-9.95. carnegiesciencecenter.org

Forget the stereotypical image of a bunch of nerdy straight men huddled over a table with nothing better to do. Role-playing games are actually really rad and they’re not just for men or straight folks. Find your inner gay-friendly warlock at LGBTQ Dungeons & Dragons, hosted by TransPride Pittsburgh. All game materials are provided — just bring yourself, some snacks, and prepare for some epic adventures. 7 p.m. Persad Center, 5301 Butler St., Lawrenceville. facebook.com/pg/transpridepgh •

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MAY 29-JUNE 5, 2019

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NAME CHANGE

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IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-19-593. In re petition of Amy Sue Krinock for change of name to Selina Violet Krinock. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the filing of said petition and fixed the 26th day of June, 2019, at 9:45 a.m., as the time and the Motions Room, City-County Building, Pittsburgh, PA, as the place for a hearing, when and where all persons may show cause, if any they have, why said name should not be changed as prayed for

IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-19-6686, In re petition of Ashley Nichol Schreiber & Matthew Scott Mendoza parent and legal guardian of Greyson Lee Mendoza, for change of name to Greyson Lee Mendoza-Schreiber. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the filing of said petition and fixed the 18th day of June, 2019, at 9:45 a.m., as the time and the Motions Room, City-County Building, Pittsburgh, PA, as the place for a hearing, when and where all persons may show cause, if any they have, why said name should not be changed as prayed for

NAME CHANGE

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IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-19-2215, In re petition of Desirea Patterson Watson parent and legal guardian of Aniyah Patterson, for change of name to Aniyah Patterson Watson. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the filing of said petition and fixed the 6th day of June, 2019, at 9:45 a.m., as the time and the Motions Room, City-County Building, Pittsburgh, PA, as the place for a hearing, when and where all persons may show cause, if any they have, why said name should not be changed as prayed for

IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-19-5950. In re petition of Matthew Terry Lee Dorshimer for change of name to Natalie Mia Dorshimer. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the filing of said petition and fixed the 5th day of June, 2019, at 9:45 a.m., as the time and the Motions Room, City-County Building, Pittsburgh, PA, as the place for a hearing, when and where all persons may show cause, if any they have, why said name should not be changed as prayed for

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PEEPSHOW A sex and social justice column BY JESSIE SAGE // PEEPSHOWCAST@GMAIL.COM

T

HIS WEEK marks

the close of International Masturbation Month. Dedicating time to celebrate masturbation may seem trivial, but the month has political roots that are particularly significant given the current attempts to repress sexual freedom and bodily autonomy. In 1994, after a speech at the United Nation World AIDS Day, then-Surgeon General, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, was asked about masturbation’s potential for discouraging risky sexual behavior. She answered, “I think that is something that is a part of human sexuality and it’s a part of something that perhaps should be taught. But we’ve not even taught our children the very basics.” This statement led to an intense moral panic, with conservative commentators mischaracterizing her statement, even suggesting that, if she had her way, dildos would be introduced into elementary school classrooms. The masturbation comments led to her forced resignation. You read that right: In 1994, talking about masturbation in a positive light was still radical enough to provoke a major political backlash. The next year, founders of San Francisco sex toy shop Good Vibrations organized a national masturbation month. Dr. Lynn Comella, author of Vibrator Nation: How Feminist Sex-Toy Stores Change the Business of Pleasure, reflects on the continuing impact

of this event, saying, “Masturbation May has been a highly effective way to get people talking about the positive benefits of masturbation, both in terms of overall sexual health and sexual esteem.” Indeed, if it seems shocking that the U.S. Surgeon General would be forced to resign because she suggested that masturbation has benefits, it is because this campaign has changed the way we talk about masturbation over the past 24 years. Additionally, the explosion of the sex toy market, which has made a business of selling masturbatory aids, has done a lot to normalize masturbation. It is no small thing that sex toy parties — like Tupper Ware parties but focused

on masturbation practices and information — have become more mainstream. Given this massive cultural shift, it is worth asking what significance May Masturbation month still has, and in what ways we as a culture are still conflicted about masturbation. I believe that while we are really good at talking about masturbation as a source of pleasure, self-discovery, and stress relief outside of the context of relationships, we still have a significant number of hang-ups when it comes to the masturbatory habits of our sexual partners. Indeed, I have heard people who were angry when they “caught” their partner masturbating, or hurt when they found that their partner still

masturbated. Some have characterized it as cheating, and others have lamented their own perceived inadequacy. However, both solo and mutual masturbation within the context of romantic/sexual relationships can be really beneficial to the relationship: Solo masturbation as an important space of self-pleasure and discovery that doesn’t require the negotiation and compromise of partnered sex; and mutual masturbation as a space where you can teach your partner how you like to be touched. Being open to toys or other forms of stimulation such as pornography goes a long way in opening sexual communication and creativity within your partnership, expanding the range of sex that is possible, and making it more pleasurable for both partners. Don’t we want our partners to experience as much pleasure as possible? We have come a long way since the inception of May Masturbation Month in 1995. The fact that, 24 years later, it is still something we are exploring points to how important self-love is for our well-being. In Comella’s words, “The fact that Masturbation May has had such staying power as a month worth celebration, and enjoying, is nothing short of remarkable.” Fortunately, we can carry this spirit throughout the rest of the year, both on our own, and with our partners.

JESSIE SAGE IS CO-HOST OF THE PEEPSHOW PODCAST AT PEEPSHOWPODCAST.COM. HER COLUMN PEEPSHOW IS EXCLUSIVE TO PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER. FOLLOW HER ON TWITTER @PEEP_CAST. HAVE A SEX QUESTION YOU’RE TOO AFRAID TO ASK? ASK JESSIE! EMAIL INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM. QUESTIONS MAY BE CONSIDERED FOR AN UPCOMING COLUMN.

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CALL NOW TO SCHEDULE

412-380-0100 www.myjadewellness.com

Gain the confidence and coping skills you need to address life on life’s terms.

127 Anderson Street - Suite 101 Timber Court Building, PIttsburgh, PA 15212 Phone: (412) 322-4151

WASHINGTON, PA LOCATION 95 Leonard Avenue - Suite 203 Washington PA 15301 Phone: (724) 249-2517

Addiction and mental health difficulties don’t have to define you forever. If you’re ready to embark on a journey free from active addiction and mental health struggles, our certified therapists are ready to help you. • Opioid Dependency Counseling • Alcohol Counseling • Depression • Anxiety • Anger Management • OCD

1. Group / Individual Counseling

RENEW YOUR IDENTITY AT POSITIVE PATHWAYS

2. Suboxone Treatment 3. Psychiatrists on Staff Your pathway to a fresh start and new way of thinking begins with a phone call.

We Accept:

CALL NOW: 412-224-2812 PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MAY 29-JUNE 5, 2019

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Profile for Pittsburgh City Paper

May 29, 2019 - Pittsburgh City Paper  

Pittsburgh's leading arts and entertainment newsweekly, featuring a cover story on what happened to the iconic Weiner World sign.

May 29, 2019 - Pittsburgh City Paper  

Pittsburgh's leading arts and entertainment newsweekly, featuring a cover story on what happened to the iconic Weiner World sign.