Summer guide '09: Music, theater

(Credit: Urbanite)

The Rock the Bells hip-hop festival comes to Jones Beach on July 19. Photo: Getty

By Elaine Paoloni

Special to amNewYork

There’s definitely no lack of live entertainment venues throughout New York City. But this summer, performers are set to pour into the streets and parks, providing top-notch entertainment at little or no cost.

In addition to the widely popular SummerStage, Siren Music Festival, Shakespeare in the Park and Lincoln Center Out of Doors programs, here are some of our favorite upcoming outdoor concerts and theater productions slated for this summer:THEATER

Shakespeare in Riverside Park

Located on the north patio of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument at West 89th Street, Hudson Warehouse presents “The Tempest” (June 4-28), “Hamlet” (July 9-Aug. 2) and “Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Aug. 6-30).

Shows run Thursdays through Sundays and begin promptly at 6:30 p.m.


‘The School

for Husbands’

Shakespeare isn’t the only playwright in Central Park this summer. New York Classical Theatre presents Moliere’s “The School for Husbands.” Open rehearsals (July 2-29, check times) and performances (Thursdays-Sundays, July 30-Aug. 23, 7 p.m.) take place in Central Park at West 103rd Street.


‘Tally Ho!, or Navigating the Future’

Theater for the New City presents “Tally Ho!” a musical that weaves through the city’s streets, parks and playgrounds from Aug. 1 to Sept. 13.

The on-the-go street theater is written around current events, and even brings props to the pavement, employing items such as trapdoors, smoke machines and an oversized background to move the story along. To see where to catch the action, check out the company’s Web site. Free!

‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’

The Long Island company Plaza Theatrical returns to the city this summer with a childhood favorite, “Willy Wonka.” Bring the whole family to Alley Pond Park in Queens (76th Avenue and Springfield Boulevard) on July 31 at 7 p.m. Hibachis are available for barbecuing, and no golden tickets are required. Free!

‘Dirt Rich’

Chisa Hutchinson’s play “Dirt Rich” focuses on a group of urban kids who find money buried under their playground. It’s the City Parks Foundation’s first commissioned play, and it’s touring local parks: Herbert Von King Park in Boerum Hill, (July 23); Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem (July 29-30), East River Park on the LES (Aug. 5) and St. Mary’s Park in Mott Haven, the Bronx (Aug. 11). Shows at 8 p.m. Free!


‘Today’ Concert Series

If you work in midtown, some of the top names in pop may be putting a little hop in your morning commute.

Pretty much every Friday through Aug. 21, starting at 7 a.m. in Rockefeller Center Plaza, you can hear acts such as the Dave Matthews Band (June 5), the Jonas Brothers (June 19) and Jason Mraz (Aug. 7). This Friday, catch Fall Out Boy.


Harlem Meer Performance Festival

On Sundays, June 21 to Sept. 6, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., up-and-coming and veteran artists perform Latin, jazz, world and gospel music outside the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center (inside Central Park at 110th Street).

To kick off the season and celebrate Father’s Day, treat dad to an afternoon of African music by Feraba on June 21.


Naumburg Orchestral Concerts

If classical music is more your speed, take a seat before the grand Naumburg Bandshell inside Central Park, just south of 72nd Street.

The Knights with Lara St. John start the venerable series with music by J.S. Bach on June 23. Stephen D’Agostino leads the Naumburg Orchestra in works by Mozart on July 7.

Also on tap: The Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players (July 21) and the Imani Winds (Aug. 4). Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Free!

Broadway in Bryant Park

See some of theater’s hottest acts belt out show tunes from Broadway and off-Broadway musicals. The hour-long concerts, which begin at 12:30 p.m. on Thursdays (July 9 to Aug. 13), are a fabulous way to spend your lunch hour.

Check the park’s Web site soon to find out information about this year’s lineup. Free!

Siren Music Festival

An icon of New York indie/alternative culture, The Village Voice makes a splash at Coney Island again this summer with the Siren Festival.

The July 18 event showcases international, national and local bands, with DJs between two stages, from noon to 9 p.m. Among the performers slated to appear: Built to Spill, The Raveonettes, Frightened Rabbit, Grand Duchy and Monotonix.

Rock the Bells

Since its inception in 2003, this renowned hip-hop festival has seen the likes of Busta Rhymes, Lauryn Hill, Jurassic 5 and Dilated Peoples, to name a few.

This year, the July 19 festival will host bona fide genre royalty: Nas, Common, KRS-One, Ice Cube, Damian Marley and tons more.

Shows start at 12 p.m. $40-$130, Jones Beach Theater.

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