Bryant Park Announces 2017 Summer Lineup, Featuring NYC Opera, Contemporary Dance, Emerging Music, Shakespeare and More
Bryant Park Corporation announces the schedule for performing arts series Bryant Park Presents. Now celebrating its second year, the series aims to be the most accessible venue in New York City to experience a wide range of extraordinary artists in a beautiful outdoor setting.
The season begins April 21 with actors performing some of Shakespeare's greatest villains and ends September 15 with New York City Opera singers performing music by Giuseppe Verdi. In between, Bryant Park Presents stages dozens of unusual and diverse cultural events including a thousand-person polka party (5/17); contemporary dance superstars Martha Graham Dance Company (6/23) and Limon Dance Company (6/30); a series with more than 100 accordionists; a boundary-breaking classical and jazz music festival (8/4 and 8/5); and three full-length productions of Shakespeare plays.
Brand new this year, Bryant Park lends out over 100 free picnic blankets every Friday (May 12 - September 15), 5-10pm. The goal is to make having a picnic on a summer evening and enjoying a cultural event as easy and as comfortable as possible. At each of the seventeen Friday Picnics, Hester Street Fair curates exciting local food vendors, wine and beer is available for purchase, and Bryant ParkPresents provides music, theater, or dance entertainment.
All shows are free to the public with no dress code, no barriers to entry, no tickets and most importantly: no lines. With a lush green grass lawn that comfortably accommodates thousands, visitors can spread out and enjoy the summer without stress and with the promise that there's a seat for everyone.
Discussing the season, Ethan Lercher, Executive Producer of Bryant Park Presents, says, "It's never been easier to experience the amazing quality and exciting variety of music, theater, and dance in NYC. Bryant Park Presents brings world-class artists to a beautiful park at no cost to the public. And if you haven't been to a ballet before: see it in Bryant Park. If you've never seen Shakespeare: experience it in Bryant Park. It's an inviting space and there's something incredible happening for everyone."
The full schedule follows; please visit BryantPark.org for up to the minute updates. For more information about any of the shows that make up the Bryant Park Presents lineup, for artist and curator interviews, for photos of performers or the space, and to discuss potential media partnerships, please contact John Seroff at GreenHouse Publicity.
Bryant Park Presents 2017 Performance Details:
Bryant Park Presents Shakespeare
Presented by TNT's Will
Three beloved Shakespeare plays and a Shakespeare birthday bash, produced by the irreverent, surprising and critically acclaimed The Drilling Company
Friday, April 21, 6:30pm, Fountain Terrace
Celebrate Shakespeare's 453rd birthday with the beasts and scoundrels that the world loves to hate or emulate. From Iago and Lady Macbeth to Shylock and Richard III, actors portray some of the greatest monsters, busybodies, political outcasts, and social misfits ever written.
The Merry Wives of Windsor
May 19 - June 3 (Fridays and Saturdays), 7pm, Upper Terrace
Shakespeare's first sitcom, featuring the classic misadventures of Falstaff and two neighborhood wives, set in an Upper West Side Co-op.
July 28 - 30 Friday and Saturday at 7pm; Sunday at 3pm, Upper Terrace
All is not what it seems in this cross-dressing comedy. Lost travelers Viola and brother Sebastian chaotically search for each other after ending up ashore with hilarious results.
August 25 - September 9 (Fridays and Saturdays), 7pm, Upper Terrace
Bryant Park Presents Dance Party
Weekly parties with superb bands and dance instruction,
hosted and produced by Talia Castro-Pozo
Learn the steps with expert instructors (6-7pm) and then test out the new moves to live music performed by some of the New York City's best dance bands (7-8:30pm). The series covers a wide range of styles, from easy-to-learn favorites like Salsa and old-time Swing to rare opportunities to learn Mexican dance, Polka, and Disco. The grand finale is Latin Festival, with Bachata, Merengue, and Salsa dance and music from Melvin Elias, Willie Alvarez and his All-Star Band featuring Ray Bayona (5-10pm).
Wednesday, May 3, 6pm: Swing - George Gee Swing Orchestra
Wednesday, May 10, 6pm: Salsa - Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra
Wednesday, May 17, 6pm: Polka - The Polka Brothers
Wednesday, May 24, 6pm: Cumbia - cumbia de LaMar
Wednesday, May 31, 6pm: Disco - Deverne and the Vintagesoul featuring Carol Williams
Wednesday, June 7, 6pm: Mexican - Jarana Beat
Friday, June 9, 5pm: Latin Festival: Bachata, Merengue, and Salsa - Melvin Elias, Willie Alvarez and his All Star Band featuring Ray Bayona
Bryant Park Presents New York City Opera
Extraordinary performances produced by New York City Opera, including never-before-seen hour-long previews of the company's upcoming productions
Monday, May 22, 6-7:30pm, Upper Terrace: Los Elementos (Antonio Literes) excerpts (in Spanish)
The distinctive rhythms of the Spanish Baroque animate Earth, Air, Fire, and Water in this captivating allegorical drama.
Tuesday, June 13, 4-5:15pm, Upper Terrace: La Cenerentola (Gioachino Rossini) excerpts (family event); 6-7pm: La Cenerentola excerpts
The timeless, beloved tale of Cinderella all wrapped up with some of Rossini's finest vocal writing.
Tuesday, August 22, 6-7pm, Upper Terrace: La Fanciulla del West (Giacomo Puccini)
Preview of this hard-drinking, poker-playing, bona fide Western with an Italian operatic soundtrack.
Friday, September 15, 6-7:30pm, Upper Terrace: Viva Verdi
An evening of excerpts from some of Giuseppe Verdi's most famous operas, culminating with Rigoletto.
Bryant Park Presents Contemporary Dance
Fresh and original, innovative artists showcase exhilarating works, with modern dance curated by Tiffany Rea-Fisher and ballet curated by Donna Salgador
Friday, June 30, 6pm, Ballet: CONTINUUM Contemporary/Ballet, Island Moving Company, Thomas/Ortiz Dance
Friday, July 7, 6pm, Modern: Limon Dance Company, The Moving Architects, Black Boys Dance Too
Bryant Park Presents Accordions Around the World
A musical journey representing cultures from all over the globe, produced with Ariana's List
Accordions Around the World is a four-week series that brings over 100 accordionists - as well as bandoneon, bayan, concertina, and harmonium-players of different musical genres - to perform at Bryant Park. The series, which highlights 24 musicians each Wednesday, offers audiences the chance to experience the range of this often-overlooked instrument. The series culminates on a Friday with the Accordion Festival, which showcases five bands, each featuring an accordion, playing music from a range of different cultures.
Accordion Picnics: June 28-July 19, Wednesdays, 6-8pm around the lawn
Accordion Festival: July 21, Friday, 5-10pm on Bryant Park Stage
Bryant Park Presents IN/TERSECT
A two-day festival of world-class jazz and classical music featuring new music from incredible composers, produced with Chamber Music America and curated by Patrick Zimmerli
The lineup - including some of the biggest names in classical music and jazz - is being announced soon. Among the great performers at last year's IN/TERSECT were Chris Potter Underground Orchestra, Andy Akiho & The Foundry, Argus Quartet, Dan Tepfer Trio, and Ethan Iverson.
Friday, August 4, 6-10pm
Saturday, August 5, 2-9pm
Bryant Park Presents Emerging Music Festival
Ten on-the-rise bands perform on one of the biggest stages of their young careers
Emerging Music Festival returns for its third year with thousands of music lovers packing the BryantPark lawn for New York's best new music, including indie rock, soul, R&B, singer-songwriter, and more. In weeks leading up to the event, media partner Paste Magazine brings many of the bands into their studios for live video sessions.
Friday, August 18, 6-10pm: 79.5, Luke Elliot, Mail the Horse - and more announced soon
Saturday, August 19, 4-10pm: Space Captain, Cassandra Jenkins - and more announced soon
Bryant Park Presents Friday Picnics
Summer picnics made easy
Bryant Park provides the blankets - and Hester Street Fair brings some of the city's most exciting local food vendors right next to the lawn. Beer and wine is available for purchase. Plus, every Friday has a Bryant Park Presents music, theater, or dance performance for your enjoyment. There is no more comfortable way to experience arts and culture in New York City.
Fridays, May 12 - September 15, 5-10pm
April 21, 6pm: Shakespeare: Villains
May 3, 6pm: Swing Dance Party with George Gee Swing Orchestra
May 10, 6pm: Salsa Dance Party with Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra
May 17, 6pm: Polka Dance Party with The Polka Brothers
May 19, 7pm: Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor
May 20, 7pm: Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor
May 22, 6pm: New York City Opera - Los Elementos (Literes) excerpts (in Spanish)
May 24, 6pm: Cumbia Dance Party with cumbia de la Mar
May 26, 7pm: Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor
May 27, 7pm: Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor
May 31, 6pm: Disco Dance Party with Deverne and the Vintagesoul featuring Carol Williams
June 2, 7pm: Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor
June 3, 7pm: Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor
June 7, 6pm: Mexican Dance Party with Jarana Beat
June 13, 4pm: New York City Opera - La Cenerentola (Rossini) excerpts (family event)
June 13, 6pm: New York City Opera - La Cenerentola (Rossini) excerpts
June 28, 6pm: Accordion Picnic
June 30, 6pm: Contemporary Dance - Ballet: CONTINUUM Contemporary/Ballet, Island Moving Company, Thomas/Ortiz Dance
July 5, 6pm: Accordion Picnic
July 7, 6pm: Contemporary Dance - Modern: Limon Dance Company, The Moving Architects, Black Boys Dance Too
July 12, 6pm: Accordion Picnic
July 19, 6pm: Accordion Picnic
July 21, 5pm: Accordion Festival
July 28, 7pm: Shakespeare: Twelfth Night
July 29, 7pm: Shakespeare: Twelfth Night
July 30, 3pm: Shakespeare: Twelfth Night
August 4, 6pm: IN/TERSECT Festival Day 1
August 5, 2pm: IN/TERSECT Festival Day 2
August 18, 6pm: Emerging Music Festival Day 1 with 79.5, Luke Elliot, Mail the Horse
August 19, 4pm: Emerging Music Festival Day 2 with Space Captain, Cassandra Jenkins
August 22, 6pm: New York City Opera - La Fanciulla del West (Puccini)
August 25, 7pm: Shakespeare: The Tempest
August 26, 7pm: Shakespeare: The Tempest
September 1, 7pm: Shakespeare: The Tempest
September 2, 7pm: Shakespeare: The Tempest
September 8, 7pm: Shakespeare: The Tempest
September 9, 7pm: Shakespeare: The Tempest
September 15, 6pm: New York City Opera - Viva Verdi (excerpts from Verdi's operas)
Bryant Park Corporation (BPC), a private not-for-profit company, was founded in 1980 to renovate, finance and operate Bryant Park in New York City. BPC is funded by income from events, concessions and corporate sponsors, as well as an assessment on neighboring properties, and does not accept government or philanthropic monies. In addition to providing security and sanitation services and tending the park's lush lawn and seasonal garden displays, BPC provides public amenities and activities, including movable chairs and tables, cafe umbrellas, restaurants, food kiosks, world-class restrooms, and a wide range of free events throughout the year. The Midtown Manhattan park is visited by more than six million people each year and is one of the busiest public spaces in the world. BPC's website, bryantpark.org, is available for more detailed information and a schedule of upcoming events.
Bryant Park is situated behind the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Take the B, D, F, or M train to 42nd Street/Bryant Park; or, take the 7 train to 5th Avenue.
Photo Credit: Lee Wexler