Terry McMillan Lecture. Byham Theater. 7:30 p.m.
Author Terry McMillan will give a talk at the Byham Theater about her new novel Who Asked You? The talk and book signing is presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures. More information and tickets can be found at pittsburghlectures.org.


Colleen Green with White Fang and OUAIS. Mr. Roboto Project (5106 Penn Ave.). 7 p.m.
Los Angeles-based pop singer Colleen Green will perform at the Mr. Roboto Project with White Fang and local indie-punk band OUAIS. Tickets are $5 at the door.


Creative Writing Student Reading. Baker Hall Patio. 6 p.m.
Join the creative writing department for the first student-reading event of the year. The event will feature a few student readers and hold an open mic after the program.


Michael D.C. Drout: “How to Read Tolkien.” Wean Hall 7500. 4:30 p.m.
Carnegie Mellon alumnus Michael D.C. Drout (DC ‘90) will give a talk about the unique writing of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work, including The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Drout is currently a professor of English at Wheaton College where he teaches Old and Middle English, science fiction, and the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The lecture is part of the Carol Brown Lecture Series.


Chairlift. Rangos Hall. 8 p.m.
Indie pop group Chairlift will perform in Rangos Hall at a concert presented by AB Coffeehouse. Local indie rock group the Artless will open. The concert is free and open to the public.


VIA Music & New Media Festival. Various locations. Through Oct. 6.
The fourth annual VIA Music & New Media Festival will take place Oct. 1–6 and will feature performances by primarily electronic musicians and visual and performance artists who are defying what’s next in music, art, and culture. Festival headliners include Actress, KiNK, ADULT., Jacques Greene, and Jimmy Edgar, among many more artists, with the major music showcases taking place on the weekend. The festival also features film screenings, interactive art and technology shows, and a series of exclusive mixes by international DJs and producers available on the VIA website. For the full lineup and ticketing information, visit via-pgh.org.

Summer Flower Show. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Through Oct. 6.
The Summer Flower Show at Phipps incorporates glass artwork into the gardens, creating a colorful and whimsical fusion of the artificial and the natural. For more information, visit phippsconservatory.org.

Express Burlesque. Cabaret at Theater Square. 8 p.m. Through Oct. 12.
This exciting, burlesque-style dance revue combines an old burlesque feel with a provocative-yet-classy twist of today.

Defending the Caveman. Cabaret at Theater Square. 8 p.m. Through Oct. 20.
This one-man comedy show features humorous insights regarding gender and relationships.

Our Town. O’Reilly Theater. Through Oct. 26.
The Thornton Wilder classic about life in a small town – and just how extraordinary such a life can be – will be brought to the stage in an upcoming production at the O’Reilly Theater on Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh, directed by Ted Pappas and starring Pittsburgh’s own Tom Atkins. For performance dates and tickets, visit trustarts.culturaldistrict.org.

Roads of Arabia. Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Through Nov. 3.
This exhibit transports visitors to the sands of Saudi Arabia, where recent archaeological finds redefine our understanding of the region. For more information, visit carnegiemnh.org.

14th International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration. Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation (Hunt Library, Fifth Floor). Through Dec. 19.
The exhibition will include 41 pieces of artwork by 41 artists from 10 countries. The Institute established the International series in 1964 with the hope of supporting and encouraging contemporary botanical artists. Every three years the International series features the works of talented botanical artists from around the world.