Cafe Witness

Friday, October 05, 2007

Pittsburghers: Three Cool Art Events!

For everyone who laments that Pittsburgh is a city with no artistic culture, I offer you three (3!) reasons that your statement is a filthy lie. Ready?

(By the way: I make no commission off these recommendations; I just like to see the arts in Pittsburgh succeed.)


Did you know that Lawrenceville comes alive every First Friday with new art shows in every gallery, live music, free food and drink, and an all-night party?

Don't worry - few people do.

Tonight is the first Friday in October, which means UnBlurred kicks off after work. Go check it out -- unless you'd rather see one of the following shows (which are both incredible).

Key to the Field (Final Weekend)

I wrote previously about what an amazingly cool play Key to the Field is. This reality-skewing tale about family, suburbia and a dicey episode involving a garbage disposal is its last weekend, and if you have 90 minutes and $15, I strongly, strongly suggest you go see it. The play has received great reviews, but that still hasn't helped it draw the kind of audience we'd like to see for energetic, envelope-pushing new work in Pittsburgh.

Or, put another way: wouldn't you like to be able to say you saw the world premiere of a potentially major new work, in Pittsburgh, before it goes on to become a national classic that you pay $50 to see when it returns to town in 30 years?

For information and tickets, click here.

In Service

Bear with me for a second, because the initial explanation doesn't do this experience justice:

Pittsburgh Filmmakers and the Bricolage Theatre group co-present this vital multimedia piece that gives voice to the veterans of the Iraq war.

Why does this matter? Why is this different than your daily news coverage of the war(or, if you're cynical, the lack thereof)? Because In Service presents documentary AND live testimonials from local veterans who've returned from Iraq. Instead of hearing the story the corporate-controlled mainstream media sell us, you have a rare opportunity to see life from the soldiers' point of view.

I saw the show's opening last night, and it was compelling. The servicemen and women featured are diverse, representing no specific political ideology. Some are obviously anti-war, and some wouldn't hesitate to return to Iraq if called. Some have experienced horrific effects of life in the theater of war, and some will never be the same.

But, as the show makes very clear, all of them deserve our support, as Americans, because -- regardless of their own ideals -- they went to Iraq to serve our country. The least we can do is hear their side of the story.

For more information and tickets, click here.

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