Connect with us


Twyla Tharp dance will open 700-seat amphitheater at New York’s Little Island park in June – Daily Commercial News



NEW YORK — The 700-seat amphitheater at Little Island, a park in Manhattan built above the Hudson River on a series of tulip-shaped concrete columns, will open June 6 with Twyla Tharp’s “How Long Blues” in the choreographer’s first full-length work in a decade.

Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo will sing all the major roles in a 90-minute remix of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro)” running from Aug. 30 to Sept. 22. The works are part of a summer schedule that includes nine world premieres.

Zack Winokur, a 35-year-old director, choreographer and dancer, was announced as producing artistic director on Monday. The announcement was made by media executive Barry Diller, who alongside designer Diane von Fürstenberg was the driving force behind the park and largely funded its construction.

The 2.4-acre (0.97-hectare) park opened in 2021 in west Chelsea, and the amphitheater will be the third new major performing space in Manhattan to launch in a five-year span. The Shed began in April 2019 at Hudson Yards on the far West Side and the Perelman Performing Arts Center started performances last September at the World Trade Center site downtown.

“We’re all going in happily different directions,” Winokur said, referring to the new venues. “It should not be doing what other people are doing.”

Ticket prices will be capped at $25. A second space, a 200-seat venue called The Glade, will include free programming from Wednesdays through Sundays in July and August and utilize different curators each week. Those include Suzan-Lori Parks, Cécile McLorin Salvant and Justin Vivian Bond.

“On any given night in July and August, you can stumble into this gorgeous park which is essentially like an iconic architectural swimming island with the botanical garden on it, with sublime sunsets where you can have a beer and some food and get a free show in The Glade,” Winokur said.

There will not be rain dates and it is not yet certain how long start times can be held for bad weather to clear.

“How Long Blues” will start previews June 1 in a collaboration among Tharp, T Bone Burnett and David Mansfield.

Costanzo, who last month was hired as CEO of Opera Philadelphia, will take on “Figaro” in a staging directed by Dustin Wills with new arrangements by Dan Schlosberg and costumes designed by Emily Bode.

Winokur will direct “Robeson,” with music by John Bitoy and Khari Lucas that stars bass-baritone Davóne Tines and rearranges music of Paul Robeson while telling his life story.

Henry Hoke’s “Open Throat” will be a mostly spoken work with shadow puppets based on the novella about a queer mountain lion living beneath the Hollywood sign.

“Mama” will be written and performed by Britton Smith, along with The Sting, his funk liberation band, and choreography by Ebony Williams.

“Day For Night,” a dance choreographed by Pam Tanowitz, will take place around sunset.


Continue Reading