OPEN AIR: A SERIES IN CELEBRATION OF THE PERFORMING ARTS produced by Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and collaborating arts organizations. June 9 – 12.
1) Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is producing its annual Open Air slate of outdoor programs with its performers and artistic pieces. Additionally other arts organizations participating include Attack Theatre, Texture Ballet, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Confluence Ballet, Shana Simmons Dance, and more. For more information and performance times see the PBT Open Air web page. The PBT mobile stage will be set up in Sharpsburg at the Allegheny Riverfront and 19th Street. (R.H.)
THE ILLUSTRIOUS INVALID by Simon Bradbury. Kinetic Theatre. June 9 – 26.
2) You can be forgiven for not knowing Molière’s first name. It didn’t exist. The theater artist originally known as Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (1622-1673) gave himself a one-name game name, like Lorde or Banksy. It seems that Molière, famous for writing bizarre comedies, was quite a character in his own right. He even left this world spectacularly. Molière’s last play was The Imaginary Invalid, about a hypochondriac. Playing the title role, he collapsed on stage from a real illness, got up to finish the show, then died shortly after. And now, in our equally bizarre 21st century, you can see a play about Molière himself. British playwright Simon Bradbury’s The Illustrious Invalid—that’s “illustrious,” not “imaginary”—is receiving its world premiere at Kinetic Theatre here in Pittsburgh. The script has won a prestigious best-new-play award in England. Writer Bradbury, being also an accomplished actor, is in town to play the title role. We would say he’s in good health and expects to make it through the run, but that would jinx him. So break a leg, Simon! Kinetic presents The Illustrious Invalid in City Theatre’s Lester Hamburg Studio Theater, 1300 Bingham St., South Side. (M.V.)
3) The 10-day Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival is Pittsburgh’s largest and grandest summer celebration. The ever-popular Artist Market features handmade arts, crafts, and wearables on sale in over 150 booths. Performing arts are headlined by six Mainstage Concerts in the Cultural District, at Penn Avenue and 9th street. with acts including Nick Lowe’s Quality Rock & Roll Revue
starring Los Straitjackets, the Devon Allman Project, Goodie Mob, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Bette Smith, Cory Henry, and Madeline Edwards. A varied lineup of Pittsburgh-based talent will perform at two other stages in the Cultural District. Last but not least, a juried visual arts exhibition will be displayed at Space Gallery in the Cultural District. Tonight’s main stage headliner is Devon Allman Project. Allman is the son of the late southern rock legend, Duane. Allman also performs as part of the Allman Betts Band. 8 p.m. Festival is open from noon to 8 p.m. daily. (M.V., R.H.)