News Column

BOOKS Reading by acclaimed short-story writer [Derived headline] [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)]

December 4, 2013



Reading by acclaimed short-story writer

Perhaps 2013 will be known as the year of the short story. Alice Munro, the Canadian master of the form, won the Nobel Prize for fiction in October. Noted short-story collections were published this year by Karen Russell, Laura van den Berg and Aimee Bender.

Then there's George Saunders. Appearing Dec. 9 at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland as a guest of Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, Saunders is often considered the best U.S.-born short-story writer. His latest collection, "Tenth of December," was a National Book Award finalist and a best-seller, and garnered praise from fellow writers Jonathan Franzen, Zadie Smith, Thomas Pynchon, Dave Eggers and Mary Karr.

He also keeps good company. Time magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world with fellow "artists" Steven Spielberg, Jimmy Kimmel, Jennifer Lawrence and Bryan Cranston.

Limited tickets, at $25, are available for the 7:30 p.m. reading.

Details: 412-622-8866 or

-- Rege Behe,CLASSICAL

Wind band's winter concert

The wonderfully pungent sonorities of Piffaro, the renaissance wind band based in Philadelphia, return Dec. 7 to Pittsburgh's Renaissance and Baroque Society, when the group will perform a concert called "Drive the Cold Winter Away."

Piffaro will be joined by soprano Laura Heimes in a wide-ranging program touching on worship and merry-making, dancing and feasting. The musical selections will include hymns and choral settings for Advent by Michael Praetorius, as well as Sephardic tunes for Hannukah, lively dances and English songs and ballads.

The concert starts at 8 p.m. Dec. 7 at Synod Hall, Oakland. Admission is $20 to $35; $10 for full-time students.

Details: 412-361-2048 or

-- Mark Kanny,ART

Exhibit honors artist's career

From 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 7, Panza Gallery in Millvale will host an opening reception for the memorial exhibit "David A. Ludwig: Structures."

A well-known and well-respected local artist, Ludwig left the world with a lot of evidence of his talent.

With nearly 70 pieces on display, the exhibit will examine the trajectory of the artist's career, which began as a model maker for a Philadelphia architecture firm and evolved into a painter. He started creating two-dimensional color field paintings on canvas and moved to three-dimensional wall reliefs or structures constructed of plywood.

The exhibit includes everything from small "study sets" to large- scale wall sculptures.

The reception is free and open to the public. The exhibit continues through Jan. 11. Regular gallery hours are 10 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Panza Gallery is at 115 Sedgwick St., Millvale.

Details: 412-821-0959 or

-- Kurt Shaw,MUSIC

One-man blues show

Bruce Cockburn, a prolific singer-songwriter and brilliant guitarist, blends the country-blues sound with a more-urban approach. He will perform Dec. 7 at the Carnegie Lecture Hall in Oakland.

The solo show will be a taste of his "Slice O Life" album, a collection of live solo performances made in a number of venues. It features songs such as "If I Had a Rocket Launcher," "Lovers in Dangerous Times" and "Wondering Where the Lions Are."

Cockburn, an Ottawa native, plays in a style reminiscent of classic blues performers but deals with current topics, such as those shaped by a visit to Canadian forces in Afghanistan.

He will perform at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $49; for $20 students.

Details: 412-361-1915 or

-- Bob Karlovits,FILM

The reel deal for the holidays

Two local movie theaters are marking the holidays this weekend in different ways.

- Parkway Theater in McKees Rocks is taking the traditional route with a Christmas Film Festivus, starting Dec. 7. This week's films are "The Muppet Christmas Carol" at 6:10 p.m. and "A Christmas Story" at 7:50 p.m. The movies are $4 each or $3 for children. The festival continues with two more holiday films each day on Dec. 15 and 22, five films from noon to 9 p.m. Dec. 21 ($5 for an all-day pass) and four Christmas TV specials starting at noon Dec. 22 ($4 for an all-day pass). The theater is at 644 Broadway Ave.

Details: 412-766-1668

- Horror Realm will host a day of nontraditional Santa films on Dec. 8 at Hollywood Theater in Dormont. The films start at 4:30 p.m. with "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians," followed by "Krampus: The Christmas Devil" and "Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2." Admission is $5 per film or $10 for all three. The theater, which also is showing several traditional holiday films throughout the month, is at 1449 Potomac Ave.

Details: 412-563-0368 or

-- Tribune-Review,HISTORY

'Christmas at the Village'

Old Economy Village in Ambridge, Beaver County, will be hosting its annual "Christmas at the Village" event on Dec. 7 and 8.

Visitors can walk along a candlelit, cobblestone street and check out stores with 19th-century-inspired crafts and demonstrations. Christmas carolers will be strolling along the street, and local vendors will sell handmade items. Children can enjoy their own crafts, and Belsnickel, the Pennsylvania Dutch Santa Claus, will visit with the young ones.

"Christmas at the Village" runs from 2 to 9 p.m. Dec. 7 and 2 to 7 p.m. Dec. 8. Admission is $12; $9 for senior citizens; $5 for ages 3 to 11.

Details: 724-266-4500 or

-- Kellie B. Gormly

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