The Public Theater's $40 million revitalization of its downtown home at Astor Place will be unveiled October 4, 2012 and celebrated through a series of events designed to engage the entire New York community and marking a rededication to its founding principles. The eight weeks of community events will be anchored by a free block party and open house on Saturday, October 13, 12pm-5pm, during which Lafayette Street between Astor Place and East 4th Street will be partially closed to traffic and The Public's historic building will be open to all. A physical expression of The company's core mission of sparking dialogues, fostering artistic development and experimentation, and increasing public accessibility, the revitalization project opens up the landmark building to the street and community, and transforms the lobby into a public piazza for artists, students, and audiences.
The block party will take place rain or shine and will include musical performances from popular Joe's Pub artists; a sneak peak at some new Public Theater musicals; and an array of New York City's favorite food trucks. Andrew Carmellini with Michael Oliver, his chef for The Public, will join the food fest with selections from their eclectic, New York-inspired menu like Kielbasa Sandwiches on a Soft Pretzel Roll with Whole Grain Mustard and Sauerkraut, and free Pizza Popcorn, which will be served inside The Public Theater's renovated building.
"The Public is open, and we're inviting everyone in the city to come take a look," said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. "Joe Papp believed that the theater belonged to everyone, and this renovation of our home building is designed to create a lively, welcoming center for people to meet, gather, and celebrate."
Music performances will be presented outdoors during the family-friendly block party and open house. The lineup includes sneak peeks from The Public's upcoming New York premiere of Giant by Sybille Pearson and Michael John LaChiusa; the world premiere musical Here Lies Love by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim; the Public Lab production of Fun Home by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron; as well as last season's Public Lab hit The Total Bent by Stew and Heidi Rodewald; Jessy Carolina & The Hot Mess, the jazz and blues band specializing in American music reminiscent of The Ziegfeld Follies; Sasha Allen of the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival HAIR; the revered American five-string banjo player Tony Trischka; and M.A.K.U. SoundSystem, an eight-member band from Colombia which takes its inspiration from traditional Afro-Colombian rhythms; among others.
A variety of New York's best-loved food trucks will be on hand, including Go Burger, Korilla BBQ, Rickshaw Dumplings, The Treats Truck, Valducci's Pizza, and others (subject to change). Carmellini and Oliver, new to the Joe's Pub Partners with the rededication, will join the brigade of food trucks street-side with selections from their eclectic, New York-inspired menu like Kielbasa Sandwiches on a Soft Pretzel Roll with Whole Grain Mustard and Sauerkraut and free Pizza Popcorn served inside The Public Theater's renovated building. The Public's new lounge, The Library at The Public, along with the bars at Joe's Pub and in the revitalized lobby, will be open serving their new selection of specialty cocktails, wine, and draft beer.
The Public's eight weeks of events, many of which are free, will also include a rededication ceremony on October 4; an afternoon discussion with award-winning Public Theater graphic designer Paula Scher; an exploration of the creative process behind the multi-media sculpture Shakespeare Machine with Ben Rubin; a series of Movie Nights celebrating The Public's legacy; and a series of Public Forum "Duets"-The company's celebrated series of lectures, debates, and discussions pairing an artist who has been important to the life of The Public and a leading voice from outside the world of theater. The full schedule is at www.publictheater.org.