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Moving mid-terms

It’s a bit early in the year for mid-terms, but about a dozen dance majors at Point Park College already have those exam jitters. Such is the price when you’re one of a dozen or so student choreographers who have been rehearsing your fellow students to perform your piece in the annual student showcase. Now in its 17th year, “Tomorrow’s Choreographers” features original works in ballet, modern and jazz by the Playhouse Dance Company, the student dance company of the Pittsburgh Playhouse Conservatory of Performing Arts. Times are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $12 to $14.

Details: (412) 621-4445.

– William Loeffler

A Killer act

Five or six years ago, Crypt Records was the one-stop shop if you wanted to dip your ladle in one of the last pure, undiluted streams of raw, crazed wildman rock ‘n’ roll. For lots of people who thought rock ‘n’ roll had been blow-dried, art-directed and demographic-researched out of its rightful primal state, Crypt’s stable of bands such as The New Bomb Turks, The Devil Dogs and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion were the antidote. Then Crypt kind of went away for awhile, and nobody knew why.

Finally, the beast has awakened – and NYC’s The Little Killers are the reason. Crypt’s first new band in way too long, The Little Killers are one guy and two girls playing fast, sweaty rock ‘n’ roll that connects the dots between Chuck Berry, the New York Dolls and now – like it’s what they were born to do. The Little Killers hit the Strip District’s 31st Street Pub’s “Skull Room” with like-minded locals The Mud City Manglers and Burning Rubber (all the way from Norway!) at 10 p.m. today.

Details: (412) 391-8334.

– Michael Machosky

New Works weekend III

What’s the dark secret that an Alabama town is guarding• Is the father of the atom bomb passing secrets to the Russians• Are those pointe shoes really what they appear to be• The answers to these and other questions may be revealed this week at the 13th annual Pittsburgh New Works Festival. The festival that presents world premieres of one-act plays concludes this weekend at the Lester Hamburg Studio Theatre at City Theatre, 13th and Bingham streets, on the South Side.

This week’s offerings:

  • “Virgin Rock,” written by Kevin Christopher Snipes of Oakland, produced by Sunday Night Live and directed by Christopher Scott, is set in an Alabama town in 1960 that’s beset by civil unrest and holding a dark secret. Performing are Jeannine Foster-McKelvia, Erick Irvis and Veda Lane.

  • “Negative Velocity,” written by Michael Zimecki of Squirrel Hill, produced by the Baldwin Players and directed by Jackie Nicoll, offers glimpses of the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, father of the atomic bomb, and questions whether someone is passing atomic secrets to the Soviets. The cast features Chad McWreath, Donna McGee, Clyde Adams, Bryant Dillon, John Fantin, Antonio Gatto and Norm Wash.

  • “Bernard” by Rich Pliskin of Princeton, N.J., produced by CCAC South and directed by Laura McCarthy, returns to the present with a play that demonstrates that pointe shoes and guns aren’t always what they seem to be. Cast includes Todd Betker, Matthew Lucia, Aaron Rossini, James Michael Shoberg and Susan Skosko.

    This year’s Graffiti Challenge winners, Science Fiction Idols, provide music for the play from its soon-to-be-released second album.

    Performances are at 8 p.m. today and Friday, 6 and 9 p.m. Saturday, and 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $7. Details: (412) 881-6888 or www.pittsburghnewworks.org .

    – Alice T. Carter

    The healing image

    So you know that the easily identifiable, tuberous tentacles of the aloe plant are good for burns, but what about those more exotic healing plants such as Motherwort, which is used to calm the nervous system• What does something like that look like?

    If you’re not in the know, you might want to stop by the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, where “The Healing Plants of Ida Hrubesky Pemberton” opens today. It’s an exhibition of original watercolors of medicinal plants that Pemberton painted between 1935 and 1942 for her planned book, “Drug Plants.”

    Although Pemberton’s book was never published, the original 64 artworks she created for it reached critical acclaim after her first solo exhibition at the New York Botanical Garden in 1950. Now, 45 of those original watercolors have been chosen for this exhibition, and none of them has been on display publicly for at least 21 years – making this a rare opportunity, indeed.

    The exhibition will be on display – for free, no less – on the fifth floor of the Hunt Library building at Carnegie Mellon University until Feb. 29. Details: (412) 268-2434.

    – Kurt Shaw

    Go ahead, jump

    Jumping from a plane isn’t always the most advisable course of action, but the crew from the Western Pennsylvania Field Institute is trying to make sure it’s fun.

    The Downtown group has put together a parachuting class at Skydive Pennsylvania in Grove City, Mercer County. The daring can go there, get four or five hours ground preparation and then be taken up to about 4,500 feet for a static line jump. In that kind of jump, a line attached to a plane opens the chute. It creates about two or three seconds of free fall as the chute opens.

    Oh, on the relaxing side, there also will be some Frisbee play and barbecues. The class is $169 for members and $180 for nonmembers. Details: (412) 255-0564.

    – Bob Karlovits

    Pickin’ on the Region

  • Country pop star Shania Twain will perform at the Mellon Arena at 7:30 p.m. Monday. Tickets range from $45 to $80. 412-323-1919.

  • “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” will be presented by Stage Right at 8 p.m. today through Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday at The Palace Theatre, Greensburg. Tickets are $20; $18; $15 for children under age 12. 724-836-8000.

  • Hilltop Hose Volunteer Fire Department will sponsor a Gun Bash beginning at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Natrona Heights VFW, Harrison. There will be drawings every half hour from 2:30 to 7 p.m. Benefits the Truck Fund. Tickets are $10, which includes food and refreshments (while supplies last). 724-224-9968.

  • The Allegheny Kiski Valley Historical Society and the Ridge Runners Car Club will present an Auto Show & Parts Swap Sunday at Tour-Ed Mine, Fawn. The parts sale will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the cruise from noon to 4 p.m. There will be a DJ, door prizes, raffles, food and more. Admission is $1 at the gate.

  • The Dorseyville Showboat Dinner Cruise & Show will be at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Trinity United Church of Christ, 3712 Saxonburg Boulevard, Dorseyville, Indiana Township. Enjoy family entertainment and homemade food. Tickets are $12; $7 for children ages 3 through 12; children under age 3 are free. Tickets are available for the show only for $5 at the door. Dinner reservations must be made in advance by calling 412-767-4679 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today or Friday.

  • The Pittsburgh Women’s Show: will be from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Pittsburgh Expo Mart, Monroeville. More than 150 exhibitors with products and services on health and fitness, home and family, food and nutrition, business and career, fashion and image, and a Kid’s Corner. Also demonstrations and seminars. Admission is $7. A $2 discount coupon is available at GNC stores. www.pittsburghwomenshow.com .

  • “Perfect Wedding” will be performed at 8 p.m. today through Saturday at the Apple Hill Playhouse, Delmont. Tickets are $6 through $15. 724-468-5050.

  • Visit these festivals this week: Penn’s Colony Festival, Mt. Pleasant Glass & Ethnic Festival, Autumnfest and Pumpkinfest.


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