The Campaign for the New Madison Square Park will present an after-work series of free performances on Tuesday nights this summer.
Beginning June 18 at 6:30 PM, the Flatiron District's Madison Square Park will offer a roster of acclaimed specials through Aug. 6. Dan Zanes — formerly of the Del Fuegos — and the Rocket Ship Revue kick off the series with a special "Family Night" that features a mix of rock-and-roll and American Folk music. The Vineyard Theatre will then present Kirsten Childs' one-act musical, Rumpelstiltskin, on June 25. Based on the classic fairy tale, Childs' new work tells the tale of a determined woman who "turns trick into triumph." Childs is also the author of The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin.
Mark Setlock, who received glowing notices for his work in Becky Mode's Fully Committed, will reprise his energetic performance on July 9. Presented by the Vineyard Theatre, Fully Committed concerns a four star restaurant's reservationist who tries to meet the ever-growing demand for seats in the popular eatery.
July 16 will see tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander take the stage with a host of other jazz artists, and July 23 brings Kitchen House Blend, a ten-piece ensemble who will combine classical, jazz and world music. Presented by The Kitchen, the evening will showcase works by Mary Ellen Childs, Marty Ehrlich and Craig Harris.
Choreographer/dancers Eiko and Koma and dancer Lakshmi Aysola will present Offering on July 30, which is described as "a living sculpture that brings a glimpse of the breathing universe into our wounded landscape." The final offering of the season — on Aug. 6 — is poet Tracie Morris who will perform excerpts from her new work in progress, "Afrofuturistic." Several guest artists at the cutting edge of New York's Black music scene will also entertain. All shows will be presented at 6:30 PM at Madison Square Park, which is located in the Flatiron District between 23rd and 26th Streets and Fifth and Madison Avenues. For those who wish to turn the evening into a picnic, Eleven Madison Square Park (11 Madison Avenue at 24th Street) will offer specially prepared box dinners, which can be reserved by calling (212) 889-0905.
—By Andrew Gans