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Hot Picks: Storytelling fest, whimsical art , and ‘Seven Guitars’ |
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Hot Picks: Storytelling fest, whimsical art , and ‘Seven Guitars’

Tony LaRussa
| Wednesday, August 3, 2016 11:51 a.m
Fidalis Buehler
“Lay at Your Feet,” a drawing by Fidalis Buehler
Michel Tsouris
'Separating,' painting on wood by Michel Tsouris



Brush up your best bigfoot or big fish story for the opening of the Three Rivers Storytelling Festival in Schenley Plaza in Oakland.

The two-day event will start at 6 p.m. Aug. 5 with a Liar’s Contest. The winner walks off with the dubious bragging rights of the Biggest Liar trophy.

Afterward, national tellers will take to the main stage to perform a medley of stories.

Beginning at noon Aug. 6, a series of one-hour performances is planned, followed at 7 p.m. with another medley on the main stage. The evening will wrap up with spooky spine-tinglers aimed at teens and adults starting at 9:30 p.m.

Calliope, the Pittsburgh Folk Music Society, also will host a concert on Aug. 5.

For those wishing to hone their skills, a series of workshops will be available for a fee on Aug. 6 in nearby Wesley W. Posvar Hall, with topics including creating stories from your ethnic roots and storytelling for school audiences. A master class for experienced tellers also is planned.

Founded in 2013, the festival is sponsored by Story Swap, an organization started in 1989 by three local storytellers.

A weekend festival pass is $15, or $5 for ages 6-12. Daily admission is $10. Children under 6 enter free.


— Shirley McMarlin



With whimsical artworks by Michel Tsouris of Palm Harbor, Fla., and Fidalis Buehler of Mapleton, Utah, the latest exhibit to open at Gallerie Chiz in Shadyside, “Hiding/Seeking: Roads Traveled,” promises to put a smile on your face.

A native Pittsburgher, Tsouris has a degree in psychology, which may be evident in her narrative works. Before moving to Florida, she taught art extensively throughout her years living in Pennsylvania, winning many accolades nationally and internationally.

Buehler is a visual arts professor at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. His work is a collection of narrative paintings that combine dreams, personal experiences and the influences of his Polynesian heritage in whimsical and highly imaginative ways.

From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 5, join the artists for an opening reception. The event is free and part of the FirstFriday ArtWalk, when all of the galleries on Ellsworth Avenue, and many of the shops, stay open late for art exhibits, shopping, fun, food and more.

The exhibit continues through Oct. 15. Gallerie Chiz is at 5831 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside.Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

Details: 412-441-6005 or

— Kurt Shaw



August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars” returns to its roots with a Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company production in the Hill District.

Founder and artistic director Mark Southers is staging the production on what he calls “sacred ground” — the backyard of Wilson’s childhood home at 1727 Bedford Ave. in the Hill District, where Wilson set the drama.

“Seven Guitars” returns to 1948 and focuses on blues musician Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton, who was recently released from jail and is contemplating a recording contract offer.

Will the record deal bring him success and allow him to make peace with himself or will society and his own troubles block his path?

Southers will direct the production, which features Leslie Ezra Smith, Wali Jamal, Teri Bridgett, Jonathan Berry, Kevin Brown and Ty Barrow.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays through Sundays, starting Aug. 5 through 28. They are outdoors at 1727 Bedford Ave., Hill District.

Admission is $35, except for the $100 opening night that includes a 7 p.m. pre-show reception. At some performances, admission is $25 for age 65 and older, students and Hill District residents.


— Alice T. Carter

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff reporter. You can contact Tony at 724-772-6368, or via Twitter .

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