Theater for the New City will present its Fifth Annual Lower East Side Festival for the Arts, May 26-28.
Described as three days of theatre and theatre-related events, this celebration of "artistic fervor" will bring together numerous artists and stars and will involve contributions from more than 100 performing arts organizations.
A partial list of the celebrities scheduled to participate with speaking or reading from their work are James Earl Jones, Estelle Parsons, Joe Franklin, Kate Millett, Lanford Wilson, Tony Kushner, Jean-Claude Van Itallie, Moises Kaufman, Eduardo Machado and Manhattan Borough President Virginia Fields.
Theatrical entertainment will include performance excerpts from Arthur Miller's The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, featuring members of the original Broadway cast; Laurence Holder's Monk as performed by Rome Neal; the cast of LaMaMa E.T.C's doing Ray Dobbins' Brace Yourself; Susan Yankowitz' Terminal as performed by Shami Caikin; Simon Loekle (WBAI) reading from Herman Melville; Crystal Field presenting a tribute to Quentin Crisp; Don Friedman speaking on the late comedian Lenny Bruce's Carnegie Hall show;as well as short plays written for the festival by Maria Irene Fornes, Larry Myers, Marbara Kahn, Lissa Moira and Richard West.
The festival will also feature a video presentation of "The Golden Age of Second Avenue," a chronicle of Yiddish theatre in America starring Hershel Bernardi and featuring Boris Tomashefsky, Celia Adler, Jacob Ben Ami, Moishe Oysher, Molly Picon, Berta Gersten, Maurice Schwartz, Michael Michalesko, Ludwig Satz, Menasche Skulnik, Jennie Goldstein, Paul Muni, Isaac Beshevits and others. The theatre organizations involved with the festival include New York Theatre Workshop, the New York Shakespeare Festival, Nuyorican Poets cafe, Living Theater, Dixon Place, Hot Peaches, Ninth Street Theater, Rhythm Lounge, Razz M Tazz, Teatro Circulo, Teatro Teba, WOW Cafe, Yangtze Repertory Theater of America, Mabou Mines and the Jean Cocteau Repertory.
In all, three spaces at Theater for the New City will present shows while the block of East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues will also be dedicated to the event.
The festival runs May 26, 6 PM-1AM; May 27 from 11 AM-6 PM (outdoor festival activities on East Tenth Street) and 6 PM- AM; and May 28, 5 PM-7 PM and 7:30-midnight.
The festial is free to the public. Theater for the New City is located at 155 First Avenue. For information and specific scheduling call (212) 924 254-1109, or visit www.theaterforthenewcity.com.
-- By Murdoch McBride