A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 24, 2005
Shakespeare in the Park (New York Shakespeare Festival)
Joseph Papp (1921-1991) founded the New York Shakespeare Festival and "Shakespeare in the Park" in the 1950s. Free Shakespeare in the summer in Central Park is now a ritual, but Papp presented Shakespeare in other parks as well.

The Public Theater presents
Shakespeare in the Park for Summer 2005!

by William Shakespeare
directed by Mark Lamos
June 25-July 17, 2005
Adapted by John Guare & Mel Shapiro
Lyrics by John Guare
Music by Galt MacDermot
Based on the play by William Shakespeare
Directed and Choreographed by Kathleen Marshall
August 16-September 11

Joseph Papp (June 22, 1921 - October 31, 1991), was an American theatrical producer and director.

Born in New York City, New York, Papp founded the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1954 with the aim of making Shakespeare's works accessible to the public. In 1957 he was granted the use of Central Park for free productions of Shakespeare's plays. Papp also obtained the use of the Astor Library Building in 1967; this has since become known as the Joseph Papp Public Theater.

Papp is known for his productions of Hair, The Pirates of Penzance, and A Chorus Line.

12 April 1957, New York Times, pg. 27:
Time: Summer; Scene: A Park;
Enter Shakespeare in a Truck

Culture by moonlight, a growing trend, will receive additional impetus this summer in the city's parks. Joseph Papp, who produced two Shakespeare plays last year in the East River Park Ampitheatre, disclosed yesterday that he had received permission from Stuart Constable, executive of the Park Department, to expand his operation into the five boroughs.

In addition to the site used last summer, Mr. Papp will take a company of forty players to the Belvedere Tower area of Central Park, Brooklyn War Memorial Park, Williamsbridge Oval Park in the Bronx, Clove Lakes Park in Richmond and King Park in Queens.

23 July 1957, New York Times, "Theatre: Antics in Park" by Lewis Funke, pg. 21:
NEW YORK'S Biggest theatre bargain - the free Summer Shakespeare Festival - returned to Central Park last night with a broad and raucous rendition of "The Two Gentlemen of Verona."

4 July 1958, New York Times, pg. 16:
The Theatre: "Othello" Performed in Central Park

Papp Produces Free
Shakespeare Work

WITH the production of "Othello," which opened officially on Wednesday evening, the Shakespeare Festival in Central Park brings us another clearly organized and interesting production.

The third season may be cruelly short.

Posted by Barry Popik
Holidays/Events/Parades • (0) Comments • Friday, June 24, 2005 • Permalink