Free performance on September 1st of The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s ‘Young, Gifted and Black’ at NYC’s Bryant Park

Presented by Bank of America, the 2023 season of Bryant Park Picnic Performances free live shows continues on Friday, September 1, with Young, Gifted and Black, a special program from The Classical Theatre of Harlem, inspired by playwright Lorraine Hansberry and songwriter Nina Simone, in a positive and uplifting celebration of resilience, pride, and the endless promise of Black youth.

The performance, featuring Tony-nominated actress Crystal Lucas-Perry (1776; Ain’t No Mo’), with Emery Mason, Melissa Mosley, Kaden Kennedy, Roen Jones, and Edward W. Hardy, is specifically intended as an expression of young excellence in New York City – a place that appreciates the worth and potential of those who are about to inherit this world, recognizing the unique talents, abilities, and potential they possess, and acknowledging the value and contributions they bring to society despite policies, various challenges, and systemic barriers in their lives.

Crystal Lucas-Perry (left) and the cast of Young, Gifted and Black. Photo courtesy of The Classical Theatre of Harlem.

For Lucas-Perry, “It’s an immense honor and genuine thrill to headline this year’s Young, Gifted and Black concert at Bryant Park . . . As an artist dedicated to uplifting our community through creative expression, I find immense inspiration in the youthful talent, artistic passion, and collective dedication that our emerging artists embody. I eagerly look forward to contributing to a night devoted to celebrating our community’s creative excellence while also offering my wholehearted support to the remarkable work carried out by The Classical Theatre of Harlem.”

The program’s set list includes a mix of works by such iconic classical composers as Chopin, Bach, and Debussy, popular artists like Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys, and Queen, a poem by Langston Hughes, an original composition by Hardy called “Evolution” (inspired by the evolution of Black music), and more. If you want to enjoy a picnic at the performance, you have the option of bringing your own food and beverages or purchasing them from on-site vendors. You can also bring your own blanket or folding chair or use the seats and blankets available at Bryant Park.

Young, Gifted and Black plays on Friday, September 1, 2023, at 7 pm, at The Classical Theatre of Harlem, performing at Bryant Park Picnic Performances, between 40th and 42nd Streets, Fifth and Sixth Avenues, NYC. The performance is free, no tickets are needed. Masks are not required.


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