1) Ballet has a cutting edge, and the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève lives on it. The Swiss company solicits work from the most interesting young choreographers around the world, and its nimble dancers execute it with art and permission. The Ballet Genève is currently on tour and comes to the Byham Theater tonight. Tonight’s show features Glory, Greek choreographer Andonis Foniadakis’s minimalistic interpretation of a work by Handel, which includes much body-on-body movement, and Sed Lux Permanet, a piece that was choreographed by the Ballet Genève’s countryman Ken Ossola and includes plenty of shadow play, set to Fauré’s Requiem. 8 p.m. 101 6th St., Cultural District.
2) Tribes is about the destructive power of words, even to someone who can’t hear them. The play, written by Nina Raine, is about the deaf son of a dysfunctional family who seeks support (and a romance) within the deaf culture. Projections on stage provide subtitles for a few characters’ sign language. Tribes was produced to acclaim on stages in London and off-Broadway, and recently the Philadelphia Theatre Company put on a production starring hearing-impaired actor Tad Cooley. That whole Philly ensemble is being transplanted to City Theatre for a month-long stint that starts today. 5:30 p.m. 1300 Bingham St., South Side.
3) Talk about beating yourself up! An Iliad features all the bloody conflict in Homer’s epic poem/inevitable college reading assignment, acted out by just one dude. This entire saga of the Trojan War is recounted by a single actor, who plays Achilles, Hector, Agamemnon, Helen of Troy, and everyone else. The Pittsburgh Public Theater is taking on this challenge at the O’Reilly Theater in a month’s worth of shows, starting this week. Teagle F. Bougere, an actor of stage and screen whose credits include “Third Watch” and “Law and Order,” will star as a one-man army. 8 p.m. 621 Penn Ave., Cultural District.
4) Carrot-topped Brett Dennen is like John Mayer without the tabloid attention or Dave Matthews without the stadium-filling crowds. The California native is an earnest, organic-sounding singer/songwriter with a plentiful collection of laid-back tunes (right now, WYEP can’t get enough of his latest single, “Wild Child”) and, tonight at Mr. Smalls, you can still catch him before he’s wildly famous. Given the escalating attention Dennen has received with each of his five albums, that won’t be the case for long. Irish singer/songwriter Foy Vance opens. 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale.
5) Local roots rock band The Deceptions will take the stage at Club Café tonight. Inspired by The Band, the Jayhawks, and the Grateful Dead, the group plays an introspective kind of Americana and has so far spread its sound across two albums of all-original work. Opening is a similar-sounding act from West Virginia, DuoGrove. 8 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side.