Umphrey’s McGee to Make Jam at AE; Hessam Abishami Exhibition at Maser Galleries (CPs Fri., 10/24/14)

1) Progressive rock jam band Umphrey’s McGee, from the Fighting Irish town of South Bend, Ind., is in concert at Stage AE tonight. Influenced by the likes of the Grateful Dead, Yes, King Crimson, and Pink Floyd, their unique sound can be heard in the songs “Wizard Burial Ground” and “Mulche’s Odyssey.” Umphrey’s McGee is touring in support of their eighth studio album, Similar Skin, which dropped in June. Opening act is Dopapod. Doors open 6:30 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore.

2) Shadyside’s Maser Galleries is hosting a special exhibition by internationally renowned artist Hessam Abrishami. It has been said that his art is a creative exploration of the essence of love and romance. Original paintings, limited edition canvases, and sculptures will be the focus of the show. Abrishami will speak about the creation of certain works and even create a piece during the show’s two opening events to highlight his artistic technique. “We are so honored and excited to welcome Hessam back to Pittsburgh and our gallery,” said Maser Galleries’ owner Brenda Maser. “His last show here in 2008 was a great success, and we are thrilled to be able to give Pittsburgh’s art lovers the chance to meet Hessam and learn more about his work and techniques firsthand.”

"Edge of Bliss" by Hessam Abrishami

“Edge of Bliss” by Hessam Abrishami

Born one of eight children in Iran, Arbishami had an early love for painting that was nurtured by an outstanding high school teacher, and he took top honors in several national student art shows. He went on to study in Perugia, Italy, where he completed his Master of Fine Arts degree at the Accademi De Belle Arti “Pietro Vanucci.” He then moved to Los Angeles, where he still resides. The French press has called Arbishami’s artwork a “statement in the fluidity of human figures…with tension between each figure, a kinship that provokes the viewer to seek reasons for such a relationship.” The two opening receptions will be held tonight, from 6 to 9 p.m., and tomorrow, from noon to 3 p.m. The Maser Galleries is one of Pittsburgh’s top art galleries and is owned and curated by Brenda and Ron “Lefty” Maser. Exhibition runs through Nov. 8. 5427 Walnut St.

3) “Make no little plans” was the slogan of the famous architect Daniel Burnham, and if you want to catch a (relatively) new and small theater troupe that’s out to do big things in Pittsburgh, try Throughline Theatre Company. It’s latest production is The Last Days of Judas IscariotNow in its fifth year, Throughline has staged ambitious plays ranging from Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County to Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. The company’s current piece is a surreal tragicomedy courtroom epic. You get to watch Judas on trial in Purgatory with his fate hotly debated by “expert witnesses,” including Sigmund Freud, Mother Teresa, and Satan himself. Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis (author of The Motherf**ker with the Hat and other hits), The Last Days is reputed to be a knockout. 8 p.m. Through Nov. 1. The Grey Box Theatre, 3595 Butler St., Lawrenceville.  

4) In the mood for some dark occult rock? Then head to Mr. Smalls Fun House for a night of eerie music led by Brimstone Coven rising out of Wheeling, W. Va. The band fuses the dark motifs of Black Sabbath and Pentagram with the classic riffs of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd to create a unique style. Also on the bill is Cruces, The Black Six, Starve, and Patton. 8 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale.

5) Good Fridays at The Warhol is a weekly party at the museum, featuring art, exhibits, music, and cocktails in the high temple to Andy Warhol’s numerous talents. Half-price museum admission. 5 – 10 p.m. 117 Sandusky St., North Shore.

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Rick Handler

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