Best free things to do in NYC today
Theater review by Raven Snook Shakespeare in the Park doesn't start until later this month, but the Public Theater's Mobile Unit is happy to tide you over with a feisty, fast and free rendition of The Tempest. Snappily directed by Laurie Woolery, this streamlined production played at prisons, women's shelters and other nontraditional spaces before arriving downtown for a brief run with its scrappy spirit intact. With the house lights up, a floor-map set and an exuberant multicultural cast of nine playing all the parts (plus assorted instruments) in the round, this Tempest accentuates the silver linings of forgiveness, freedom and love in Shakespeare’s tale.The casting of a woman of color as Prospero—the rightful Duke of Milan, betrayed and shipwrecked on a remote isle for 12 years—shifts the play’s dynamics. As embodied by Off Broadway stalwart Myra Lucretia Taylor, the character comes off as a wronged earth mother trying to work through her rage rather than a vengeful royal out for blood and restoration to power. She moans and sways as she conjures a storm and casts Santeria-like spells, yet stays surprisingly even-keeled as her scheme for justice unfolds. She also displays maternal affection not just for her daughter, Miranda (Sam Morales, wide-eyed and wonderful), but also for her minion Ariel (the honey-voiced, physically fluid Danaya Esperanza). Because Taylor’s Prospero is so Zen, this Tempest is less about her arc than the journeys of those around her as they face th
Prospect Park launches a new series, Molière in the Park, dedicated the oeuvre of the great 17th-century French comic playwright. A $150 benefit on May 18 is followed by two nights of free public concert readings of Molière's acerbic The Misanthrope, working from Richard Wilbur's classic translation and featuing original songs by Stew (Passing Strange). Lucie Toberghien directs a cast that includes Mary Wiseman and Jennifer Mudge.
Everything you need to know about visiting Smorgasburg (90 Kent Ave; East Dr at Lincoln Rd). At this massive grub hub, there’s only one rule: Come hungry. The Brooklyn Flea spin-off draws more than 20,000 to 30,000 visitors per week, with a slew of 75 to 100 incredible food vendors doling out everything from Dutch waffles to pasta doughnuts. Where is it?Depends on when you go. For the spring/summer 2019 season, the fest is in Williamsburg’s East River State Park (90 Kent Ave) on Saturdays and Prospect Park’s Breeze Hill (East Dr at Lincoln Rd) on Sundays. Additionally, starting April 12 2019, Manhattanites won’t have to cross the river to taste the treats. A Smorgasburg market at Westfield World Trade Center, Oculus Plaza is open every Friday from 11:30am to 7pm. When can I go?Smorgasburg is open year-round. The summer months might be the most popular, running from April through October at 11am to 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays, but in the winter months (November to March), the market joins forces with Brooklyn Flea and moves indoors. This past winter, the indoor Smorg was located at Atlantic Center (625 Atlantic Ave) on weekends from 10am to 6pm. Is there anywhere to sit?There are some picnic tables set up by the Smorgasburg team, but don’t plan on snatching one unless you have patience of steel. The organizers encourage you to bring picnic blankets with which to sit on the lawns of East River State Park or Prospect Park. Are there rain dates?Nope. The grub will be there rai
Even if you’re not a godly guy or gal, New York Landmarks Conservancy offers a great chance to take a peek at houses of worship across all five boroughs with its annual Sacred Sites Open House Weekend. This year’s activities are organized around the theme “From Medieval to Modern: Celebrating New York’s Religious Art and Architecture.” Check out guided tours, concerts, lectures and more, all for free. Righteous.
Forget Game of Thrones, forget laundry night, forget your dayjob in the morning: Sunday nights now belong to Marie Faustin, Sydnee Washington and Aminah Imani. The trio of stand-up supremes give you looks, life and a top-tier comedy showcase every week. Stay sharp and look fresh. You're about to witness the best night of comedy in New York.