Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Performs at Hartwood; Last Day for Little Italy Days (Sun., 8/22/21)

Ballet is seldom seen outdoors; the PBT free show at Hartwood Acres creates a distinctive experience.

Ballet is seldom seen outdoors; the PBT free show at Hartwood Acres creates a distinctive experience.

1) Ballet can be one of the pricier tickets in town, except on Sunday, August 22, when it’s free. Dancers and musicians of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre visit the outdoor stage at Hartwood Acres to perform pieces from the company’s repertoire in a show called Ballet Under the Stars. As the title indicates, this is an evening performance, but fans are invited to come early for a couple of pre-show events. One is a “Family Fun” festival with free children’s activities and on-site food vendors, starting at 5 p.m. Also at 5 p.m., the VIP tent opens for dinner, drinks, and a chance to meet other ballet enthusiasts; this event requires buying tickets (see the web link above). The free performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Dancers will be performing excerpts from the full-length ballet Paquita. Since it starts before sunset, not many stars will be visible at first—but they’ll come out soon, and everyone is invited to dance along with the show. Hartwood Acres Park Amphitheater, 4000 Middle Rd., Allison Park. (M.V.)

BLOOMFIELD LITTLE ITALY DAYS 

Bring your main squeeze or just have a good time solo at Little Italy Days in Bloomfield.

Bring your main squeeze or just have a good time solo at Little Italy Days in Bloomfield.

2) Ah, Bloomfield. Only in Bloomfield does a summer festival begin with a free concert and a celebrity bocce tournament. This East End neighborhood is known for many things. Long ago, it was home to native people affiliated with the Lenni Lenape. Johnny Unitas played quarterback for the semipro Bloomfield Rams before his storied career in the NFL. In springtime, runners laboring through mile 22 of the Pittsburgh Marathon get an astounding energy blast when they find Bloomfield’s main street lined with screaming spectators and blazing rock bands. And in mid-August the blast is called Bloomfield Little Italy Days. Immigrants from Italy’s Abruzzo region began to arrive around 1900. Their descendants have given Bloomfield great Italian food markets, an active Catholic parish … and a locale that’s now blooming with modern art galleries, eateries of multiple ethnicities, and more. Musical acts at Little Italy Days range from oldies to opera to hip-hop. Featured entertainment this year includes Billy Mancini, John Lupone, Elias Khouri and the EK Band, Earth, Wind & Fire tribute band Let’s Groove Tonight, and accordionist Hank Edwardo; celebratory urban street life transpires; bocce balls are bowled. And did we mention the food? Noon to 6 p.m. Aug. 22. Along Liberty Ave. and elsewhere in Bloomfield. (MV)