Shakespeare In Brooklyn Bridge Park

Tonight is the first preview of The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production of King Lear. As I’ve mentioned previously, Shakespeare in the Park is my number 1 NYC summer activity. It’s free, it’s fantastically produced, it’s outside- it’s some of the best theatre I have ever seen. John Lithgow is staring as Lear and I can not wait to see what he does with it! I’m so excited! This is the week to go, while the show is in previews. Before reviews come out, it’s relatively easy to get FREE tickets without needing to wait at early hours of the morning. So go this week if at all possible! Check out my Tips from a Former Shakespeare in the Park Usher for more info!

I’ve been waiting for this production with great anticipation. In the meantime I had the pleasure of viewing some Shakespeare in a different park, in a different borough. Random Access Theatre‘s presented a production of Taming of the Shrew in Brooklyn Bridge Park!

random access theatre taming of the shrew manhattan skyline

What a backdrop! Downtown Manhattan and the setting sun competed with the actors for attention. Far to the south the Statue of Liberty was in plain view. I sat sipping my insanely expensive but insanely delicious basil-strawberry-cucumber lemonade, happily waiting for the show to begin. With surroundings like this, the play could be atrocious and it would still be an evening well spent.

brooklyn bridge park

But the play wasn’t atrocious. Not by any means. It was an absolutely delightful production.  Each and every actor delivered a well versed, captivating performance. I heard every word, quite a feat in the out-door environment, especially with some loud party cruises sailing by! Props and costumes were minimal, just enough to tell the story. The focus here was the language and the characters.

random access theatre taming of the shrew south view

random access theatre taming of the shrew props

If you are familiar with the play, you know it doesn’t translate particularly well to modern interpretations. The plot revolves around wifely obedience and the place of women in society. This production was set in the 1950’s and especially emphasized the anti-feminist aspect of the play. There was absolutely no romance. The ending left me feeling particularly uncomfortable, not uplifted as comedies traditionally do. This was clearly the director’s intent.

random access theatre taming of the shrew kate

random access theatre taming of the shrew lights

A wonderful evening, I can’t wait to see what Random Access Theatre presents next year for their fourth season in the park!

random access theatre taming of the shrew audience

random access theatre taming of the shrew view bridge

In the mean time, there’s a ton of free Shakespeare being performed throughout the city! Check out Harlem Summer Shakepeare’s free production of Romeo and Juliet up in my neighborhood on Riverbank Park running now through August 17th. Underling Productions is presenting a back to back Robin Hood and Love’s Labour’s Lost in Central Park the next two weekends (July 26-27 and Aug 2-3). There’s also one more week to catch Shakespeare in the Parking Lot‘s free production of Twelfth Night on the Lower East Side!

If you like free outdoor Shakespeare as much as I do, NYC is the place to be!


About New York Cliche

NYC lifestyle blog by Mary Lane. Events, adventures, epic mistakes, dating, life, humor. A 20-something trying to make it (and make out) in the city of dreams.

6 thoughts on “Shakespeare In Brooklyn Bridge Park

  1. My city does Shakespeare in the Park as well and you’ve made me think I should check it out soon! 🙂 I worry sometimes that less people are interested in Shakespeare, which would be a shame considering everything he contributed to the English language, theatre, and literature. Shakespeare in the Park is the perfect way to get people to be more interested!

    1. Oh I’m so excited if I’ve inspired you to check out your local Shakespeare in the Park! Everything you said is so true. One of the great things about this production was that you could see random passers-by stop and watch the play- some of them the whole thing! GOOD Shakespeare is SO accessible and it’s so sad many people dismiss his work because of a negative experience

  2. Such a great backdrop! I love that park.

    Have you seen anything by New York Classical Theatre in the summer? They do Shakespeare (as well as Chekov and others) and it’s a similar thing – in one of the parks, free, costumes… but I’ve found there is no trouble getting a ticket. Check it out if you haven’t already 🙂

    1. I have not seen New York Classical Theatre! I’ll definitely check them out. Hope you can make it to King Lear! Try the online lottery- I won tickets on Sunday and it was so good!

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