Crystal Lucas-Perry, Edward W. Hardy, and More To Perform at Bryant Park Picnic Performances This Friday!

This free concert will take place on Friday, September 1 at 7 PM.

By: Aug. 26, 2023
Crystal Lucas-Perry, Edward W. Hardy, and More To Perform at Bryant Park Picnic Performances This Friday!
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The Bryant Park Picnic Performances season of free, live performances, presented by Bank of America, will continue on Friday, September 1 with Young, Gifted and Black, a special program from The Classical Theatre of Harlem. The performance features acclaimed composer-violinist Edward W. Hardy, pianists Emery Mason and Melissa Mosley, cellist Kaden Kennedy, violinist Roen Jones, and Tony-nominated actress Crystal Lucas-Perry.

Perry says, "It's an immense honor and genuine thrill to headline this year's Young, Gifted and Black concert at Bryant Park, an event championed by The Classical Theatre of Harlem. As an artist dedicated to uplifting our community through creative expression, I find immense inspiration in the youthful talent, artistic passion, and collective dedication that our emerging artists embody. I eagerly look forward to contributing to a night devoted to celebrating our community's creative excellence while also offering my wholehearted support to the remarkable work carried out by The Classical Theatre of Harlem."

Ty Jones, the Classical Theatre of Harlem's Producing Artistic Director, adds, "If you look up 'our ancestors' wildest dream,' there should be a picture of Crystal Lucas-Perry. Her power to challenge perspectives while captivating and inspiring audiences is a testament not only to her artistic prowess but who she is as a human being. Artists like her play a vital role in shaping public discourse. Nina and Lorraine are smiling down at her right now."

Attendees to Bryant Park Picnic Performances may bring their own food or purchase from on-site food and beverage vendors near the Lawn. At all performances, attendees can discover new dishes and celebrate classics from the five boroughs with a rotating line-up of local artisanal vendors curated by Hester Street Fair. Stout NYC offers giant pretzels, gourmet popcorn and other light bites as well as a selection of beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages for purchase.

Additional performance information follows below. For the most current information please visit

Performance Details

Friday, September 1 at 7 PM

The Classical Theatre of Harlem: Young, Gifted and Black

Featuring Crystal Lucas-Perry, Edward W. Hardy, Emery Mason, Melissa Mosley, Kaden Kennedy, and Roen Jones.

Inspired by playwright Lorraine Hansberry and songwriter Nina Simone, "To be young, gifted and Black" is a positive and uplifting message to celebrate resilience, pride and the endless promise of our youth. It refers to recognizing the unique talents, abilities, and potential they possess, and acknowledging the value and contributions they bring to society despite policies, various challenges and systemic barriers in their lives. This presentation is an expression of young excellence in New York City - a place that appreciates the worth and potential of those who are about to inherit this world.

Tony Award Nominee and Lucille Lortel Award-Winning Actress Crystal Lucas-Perry made her Broadway debut last fall starring as John Adams in the revolutionary musical revival production, 1776. Within the same Broadway season, she originated the role of Passenger 5 in the critically acclaimed production Aint No Mo', garnering her first Tony Award Nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play. Adding to her accolades, her portrayal earned her the prestigious Dorian Award for Outstanding Featured Actress.

Among her significant Off-Broadway contributions are Ain't No Mo' (Lucille LortelAward), A Bright Room Called Day (Antonyo Award nomination), Bull in a China Shop (LCT), Little Children Dream of God (Roundabout), and more. She continues to engage audiences on regional stages, embodying roles such as John Adams in 1776 (A.R.T.), Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew (Chicago Shakespeare), and Tanya in A Sign of the Times (DTC, Goodspeed), amongst others. Her on-screen appearances include L&O: SVU, The Last O.G., And Just Like That..., as well as cinematic performances in Goodnight Mommy (Amazon), Mimesis Nosferatu, Frank and Azalee Austin (Craft Acting Award) and Never Can Say Goodbye.

An artist of multifaceted talents, Ms. Lucas-Perry boasts a spectrum of abilities including acting, writing, composing, directing, and producing. Holding an MFA from New York University's Tisch Graduate Acting Program and a BFA from Western Michigan University's Department of Theatre, she stands as a testament to the transformative power of the performing arts.

The Classical Theatre of Harlem creates theatre that entertains diverse audiences who desire to be highly engaged emotionally and highly satisfied intellectually by productions anchored in the context of the African Diaspora. Their mission is to maintain a professional theatre company dedicated to returning the classics to the stages of Harlem; to create employment and educational outreach opportunities in the theatre arts; to create and nurture a new, young, and culturally diverse audience for the classics; and to heighten the awareness of theatre and of great art in Harlem.

Bryant Park Picnic Performances Remaining Schedule


August 26 - Roulette Intermedium: Immanuel Wilkins, 75 Dollar Bill, Ka Baird


September 01 - The Classical Theatre of Harlem: Young, Gifted and Black, featuring Crystal Lucas-Perry, Edward W. Hardy, and more!

September 07 - American Symphony Orchestra: American Expressions

September 08 - New York City Opera: Romeo and Juliet

September 09 - Drom: Gaye Su Akyol (U.S. Debut)

September 14 - Harlem Stage: 40th Anniversary Celebration