- Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer
- City Council Member Inez Dickens
- Community Board 11 Chair Matthew Washington
- Marcus Park Alliance President and Secretary/Treasurer Carla MacIntosh and Valerie Jo Bradley
- City Parks Foundation Executive Director David Rivel
- Mary Rodgers Guettel, daughter of the composer Richard Rodgers and executive board member of the Rodgers Family Foundation
- Laura Osnes and Colin Donnell from the Roundabout Theater Company‘s production of Anything Goes,
- Trombonist Craig Harris who played an original composition called “Harlem,” and
- A performance by the P.S. 166 / Richard Rodgers School Fifth Grade Honors Choir.
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.”
- To Keep My Love Alive Music by Richard Rodgers Lyrics by Lorenz Hart (notforamusicologist.wordpress.com)
- Explore Jazz, Enjoy Summer at Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival (timesunion.com)
- Independent classical podcast – Nico Muhly and Craig Lucas Interview (independent.co.uk)
- Summer in New York Is Musical Heaven (Feature) (popmatters.com)
- Harlem Parks Guide (video) (harlemworldblog.wordpress.com)
- EduBlog:Last Poets (indigenist.blogspot.com)
- Lar Lubovitch Dance Company @ SPAC, 6/9/11 (timesunion.com)
- Lar Lubovitch Connects Jazz and Movement in Coltrane’s Favorite Things Tonight at SPAC (timesunion.com)