The Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment is committed to creating opportunities for more New Yorkers to attend all level of theatre performances. Our Broadway in the Boros, Off Broadway in the Boros, and Access Broadway all enhance the goal of greater access.
The Off Broadway in the Boros series presents musical theatre and site-specific works throughout the year. Like Off Broadway itself, these productions range in styles: Performances might incorporate spoken word art, live musical accompaniment, interactive elements and audience participation. The shows are performed in neighborhood parks and public spaces across all five boroughs, and are completely free of charge.
Ghetto Hors D'oeuvres: Climate, was performed on July 29 for seven hours in Bushwick's Maria Hernandez Park and presented by The Bushwick Starr Theatre in partnership with MOME. Directed by Modesto Flako Jimenez, it was the latest in the Oye Group's series of poetic theatrical performances addressing "Climate Justice" in New York City.
This full day of free outdoor art activities and games for kids and adults took place in the Park among offerings of complimentary food prepared by local chefs from Tony Pizzeria, Brooklyn Whiskers, Brooklyn Limbers, and Pastelitos Elvys.
The evening hours were filled with live musical performances, featuring spoken word, DJ mixes, and dance performed by an eclectic group of Brooklyn artists presenting work focused on the City’s transformation. Addressing inequalities while rejoicing in the ups and downs and changes to their Bushwick neighborhood, the artist line-up included House Band DJ jojoSOUL, El Puente students, Adam Lomeo & Nina Roefaro Lomeo, Well Dressed Villains, Lateef Dameer, Adam Lomeo and Nina Roefaro Lomeo, and the popular band Break Out the Crazy, along with special guest appearances.
In June of 2017, The Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment presented an Off Broadway in the Boros open rehearsal performance and work in progress by En Garde Arts, Harbored, during the South Bronx Casita Maria Festival. The all-day open rehearsal and afternoon run-through took place at The Andrew Freedman Home located at 1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx, made possible by a partnership with WARD Capital Management, LLC HQ & Andrew Freeman Home.
Through theatre, music and dance, Harbored looks back over two centuries of migration and immigration to explore how the American dream has succeeded and failed on its promises. Written and directed by Jimmy Maize of The Laramie Project fame, with original music by Heather Christian and choreography by Wendy Seyb, the work featured Trinity Church's Downtown Voices & Mama Foundation's "Wednesday Sings!" Choir.
Harbored premiered on June 22, with three performances as part of the River to River Festival Presented by Arts Brookfield and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in a site-specific production.
Here's a short video of the open rehearsal at the Andrew Freeman House:
The Bushwick Starr presented the first performance of Off Broadway in the Boro's inaugural series in the summer of 2016. Dave Malloy, composer/playwright of the Broadway hit Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, brought his award-winning chamber musical Ghost Quartet, a spellbinding song cycle about love, death, and whisky, to Bushwick's Maria Hernandez Park for an outdoor performance at sunset. Ballads, doo-wop, jazz noise, and raucous campfire songs collide in this immersive show, blurring the line between theater and contemporary music performance. The story follows four friends through four interwoven narratives spanning seven centuries: a warped fairy tale about two sisters, a treehouse astronomer and a lazy evil bear; a retelling of Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher"; a purgatorial intermezzo about Scheherazade; and a contemporary fable about a subway murder. Witnessing this remarkable show under the stars in Bushwick was at once intimate, vast, haunting, and magical, and united its own community under its spell. The shows starred Malloy, Great Comet stars Brittain Ashford and Gelsey Bell, and cellist Brent Arnold, with design by Christopher Bowser and direction by Annie Tippe.
MOME presented a staged excerpt from That Physics Show during the first Lighthouse Point Fest at the site of the National Lighthouse Museum Point Plaza at St. George, Staten Island that offered a full day of outdoor family-friendly performances, spirited activities, and samplings of food and art from the community.
Based on the hundreds of physics experiments that are presented at physics conferences and in classrooms across the country, the show features segments on motion, momentum, vacuum, friction, energy, density, fluid motion, sound waves and sound vibration, light waves, temperature and many more from the world in which we live, a world controlled by physics.
Starring professional physics demonstrator David Maiullo, who brings his scientific "magic" from the world of physics to the off-Broadway stage, That Physics Show off-Broadway presenter, Eric Krebs, calls it, "A cross between Stomp and Blue Man Group, with a little Bubble Group thrown in."
Currently staged at the Elektra Theatre in Manhattan, 1,000 tickets to That Physics Show will be donated by the presenter over the course of the year to MOME Access Broadway/Off Broadway program, an initiative created to provide access and encourage theatre-going by residents of public housing and those in underserved communities throughout the City. Learn more about the show at http://www.thatphysicsshow.com
Check this space for more Off Broadway in the Boros performance announcements happening in neighborhoods throughout the City.