The sixth annual Shakespeare's Birthday Sonnet Slam is being in New York April 22, featuring more than 154 volunteers performing all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets in numerical order.
Among celebrities taking part in this year's event, which also coincides with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death the next day, are Michael Urie (Buyer & Cellar), Dana Ivey and Frances Barber (both starring Off-Broadway in The School for Scandal), Ryan Spahn, Wyatt Fenner, Jenny Lee Mitchell (Mad Jenny), Carra Patterson, Shakespeare illustrator Jean Noel Vandaele, NYC Deputy Parks Commissioner Liam Kavanagh and Deputy British Consul General Nick Astbury.
The slam is being held, rain or shine, starting at 1 PM at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park. The free event is open to the public. Producer Melinda Hall created the Sonnet Slam in 2011 for New Yorkers to celebrate their love of the bard. “I wanted to create a unique opportunity for the Sonneteer and Shakespeare to be together on the Bandshell stage," said Hall in a press statement.
Special guest this year will be Eric Sciotto of the Broadway musical Something Rotten!, who will kick off the Slam with a performance of the song “Hard to be the Bard” from the show's score.
For more information visit Sonnetslam.com. The Bandshell is located mid-park south of Bethesda Terrace between 66th and 72nd Streets, New York.