Shakespeare in the Park
May 13, 2019
For all you lovers of The Bard (and great works of the stage in general) at the apartments for rent in Manhattan, a surefire treat is coming up for you this summer: a few new installments of Shakespeare in the Park, courtesy of the Public Theater. Of, for, and by the people, these upcoming shows will be free to attend, and, more importantly, good fun if you’re looking to get out on the town for a great show and a rip-roaring time. Here’s what you’ll need to know before you head out there to Central Park to catch a show.
What’s on the “Menu” for Shakespeare in the Park
This year’s season kicks off with one of Shakespeare’s classics — Much Ado About Nothing — running from May 21st to June 23rd. This comedy, set in Messina on the island of Sicily, tackles the tale of protagonists Benedick and Beatrice, among others, as they are fooled into confessing their mutual love, and explores topics such as infidelity, deception, dishonesty, and good old fashioned gossip and drama.
The Shakespeare in the Park rendition of this timeless tale will be directed by Tony Award Winner Kenny Leon (famed for his work on American Son and A Raisin in the Sun) and will offer a “bold new take” on this beloved work, wherein “find the community of Messina celebrating a break from an ongoing war,” and follow along as the plot takes some unexpected directions that will prove to be fresh and exciting.
Next up on the list is a production of Coriolanus, the tragedy based upon the life and times of famed Roman leader Caius Marcius Coriolanus. It follows the rise, and eventual fall, of the great general following his entry into the political arena, and, by some at least, is seen as a work equal to that of Hamlet in its exploration of various themes.
Taking place July 16th to August 11th, this will be the first time Shakespeare in the Park has presented Coriolanus since 1970. This modernistic telling will be directed by Daniel Sullivan (known for other works like Proof, Trolius, and Cressida), with an emphasis on the ideas of both “democracy and demagoguery.”
Rounding out the theatrical offerings of this year’s installment of Shakespeare in the park will be a bit of an oddball — an adaptation of Disney’s Hercules, reimagined in ambitious form for the stage, and with new musical numbers courtesy of the film’s original composer, Alan Menken and lyricist David Zippel. Though the choice may come as a bit of a surprise, Deadline notes that this is a more than natural selection in the eyes of Public Works founder and Resident Director Lear deBessonet:
“Many generations of our Public Works families have embraced Disney musicals as a shared American canon. Hercules’ roots in Greek mythology, infused with soulful gospel music, make it a natural extension of Public Works’ radical exploration of humanity through Shakespeare and the classics.”
It’s something of a new direction, for certain, but this unlikely addition to the lineup is one that seems to have everything it needs to be a success, and will certainly be a crowd pleaser for young and old alike.
In addition to these three powerful productions, the Public Theater will also be hosting the “Women of the Public” Gala on June 3rd, wherein various songs and scenes “of, by, and from the Women of the Public” will follow a few hours of drinks, dinner, and riveting conversation. There will even be an After Party to follow, so prepare for a raucous evening if you do plan on attending. You’ll be making a rather charitable donation through one of your ticket purchases for this particular event, but even if you can’t make it out, you’ll still be able to support the theater by making a donation in honor of the Gala, a move that will grant you the opportunity to have your name listed in the program among other contributors.
A Bit of Shakespeare in the Park History
Since its inception at the hands of founder Joseph Papp, the Public Theater has been all about “developing an American theater that is accessible and relevant to all people.” As part of their efforts to touch as diverse an assemblage of individuals as possible, they engage with audiences through some of the most accessible stories of our history — those of Shakespeare — which touch on themes and ideas that just about all of us relate with.
Now, more than a half century after it began, Shakespeare in the Park is still going strong, still free to attend, and still beloved by its attendees. By their estimate, “more than five million people have visited the Delacorte Theater for free performances [to date],” and they’ll likely attract many more as they continue to explore important modern day issues through the lens of these classic tales.
Getting to Delacorte Theater and Other Common Questions
Delacorte Theater in Central Park is the location for these fine events, and you’ll find it near the Great Lawn, just north of Belvedere Castle. While you’re there, you should be sure to follow the rules and be a good guest, and if you’re wondering about how you snag your tickets or reserve a spot in advance (a distinct possibility if you are donating supporter or partner), here. Remember to mark those dates on your calendar, and show up when you can this Summer to experience a great time.
Another Great Thing About Living in the Apartments for Rent in Manhattan
It seems like the wonders never cease when you call Manhattan home, and it only gets better when you’re a resident a fine apartment communities like 15 Cliff. Here, among the gorgeous downtown renaissance, you’ll experience modern luxury like you’ll find nowhere else, complete with thoughtfully designed living spaces and top-tier resident amenities like the amazing fitness center and lovely rooftop sundeck to catch some of those sweeping Manhattan skyline views. Come check out the city from a new point of view, see what 15 Cliff has to offer, then drop us a line to make this your new NYC home.