Michael Palma Photography
Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe recently cut the ribbon on $7 million in improvements to the restored bandshell and amphitheater at Marcus Garvey Park. Attendees included:
The now restored Richard Rodgers Amphitheater was made possible primarily by the Rodgers Family Foundation for its generous $1 million contribution to this project. Additional grants are available to support community performances and the commissioning of new work for the space.
New amphitheater features include:
- A wider stage that is much closer to the audience,
- A large, multi-purpose area backstage with changing rooms and restrooms for the performers,
- An improved seating area with seatbacks built of a durable recycled plastic, and
- A fabric canopy to shield a large portion of the audience from the hot summer sun.
Summer programming includes
- A performance of Shakespeare’s Henry V from August 5-8,
- Music performances with Ryan Leslie, Funkmaster Flex and others from August 9-11,
- Dance performances with the Cecilia Marta Dance Company, Forces of Nature Dance Theater and others from August 12-13, and
- The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival on August 27 (see video).
About Richard Rogers:
- Composer Richard Rodgers (1902-79) enjoyed a spectacular career that spanned more than six decades. His hits ranged from the silver screens of Hollywood to the bright lights of Broadway, London and beyond. He was the recipient of countless awards, including Pulitzers, Tonys, Oscars, Grammys and Emmys. He wrote more than 900 published songs and forty Broadway musicals, including The Sound of Music, Oklahoma!, The King and I, and South PacifiC. Rodgers‘ childhood home, at 3 West 120th Street, overlooked what was then called Mt. Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park) and which the composer described as “one of the prettiest little parks in New York.”
- In 1970 he provided funding for the original band shell, which has now been restored and renamed “The Richard Rodgers Amphitheater.”