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 17, 2005
Central Park SummerStage
Central Park began its "SummerStage" program in 1986. It was not the first "SummerStage;" Hartford and Chicago both had earlier festivals. SummerStage consists of events (theater, music, dance, et al.) that take place on a stage during the summer. Perhaps its origins are in "summer stock," or summer theater.

"Central Park Summerstage: 20 Years From
The Heart Of New York City"

A unique photo exhibit highlighting many of the
memorable performances from Central Park SummerStage

June 9th — June 30th

City Parks Foundation is pleased to announce, "Central Park SummerStage: 20 Years From The Heart Of New York City," a unique photo retrospective celebrating the history of one of the world's most beloved performing arts festivals. The exhibit will be on display at the Samsung Experience in Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle, 3rd Floor from June 9th through June 30th and has been made possible in part by Duggal Visual Solutions, Samsung Experience and The Shops at Columbus Circle at Time Warner Center.

Among the 54 stunning visual images on display will be photographs of Celia Cruz from her very last live performance, Buddy Guy, Annie Lennox, Lady Blacksmith Mambazo, Curtis Mayfield, and 2005 returning SummerStage performers Bill T. Jones, Cassandra Wilson and Elvis Costello, and many more. The art captures timeless moments that reflect the true spirit of SummerStage. The retrospective features a vast selection of insightful and evocative images from the past 19 seasons of SummerStage's rich history.

Artwork has been provided by the following noted photojournalists: David Atlas, Jack Geshceidt, Hazel Hamiln, Cynthia Laron, Nan Melville, Sara Cedar Miller, Liz Reese, Jonathan Roth, Robert Smith, Billy Tompkins, and Jack Vartoogian, and others.

Since its humble beginnings in 1986, SummerStage has built a reputation of presenting cutting-edge, in-depth and thoughtful programming, showcasing the very best of both veteran and up-and-coming artists in popular music, world music, jazz, word, dance and film. In its history, Summerstage has presented a total of 1,513 diverse artist performances at 694 events, to more than 2.5 million people in Central Park.

12 June 1977, New York Times, pg. 453:
HARTFORD - "Sleuth," presented by Summerstage Tuesday through June 25. J.L. Goodwin Theater, Austin Arts Center, Trinity College.

6 April 1980, New York Times, pg. CN11:
Roger Shoemaker, producer at Summerstage, the summer theater at the Austin Arts Center of Trinity College in Hartford, is a professor of theater arts during the academic year.

2 June 1980, Chicago Tribune, "Mini-fests offer music for all tastes," pg. C1:
SummerStage '80, a day-long festival of special events and activities designed to herald the opening of the Grant Park Summer Concert Season will be held June 21 at various locations in the downtown area.

24 June 1984, New York Times, "Summer Theater Around the State" by Alvin Klein, pg. NJ11:
SUMMERSTAGE, Summerfun, Summer Festival. By any catch words, they add up to the season's ever-popular, mostly lightweight and almost universally unthreatening theater offerings.

9 June 1986, Newsday, pg. 25:
This Sunday at 2 p.m., Parks Commissioner Henry J. Stern will officially open the new series of free performances at the Central Park Bandshell on the Mall at 72nd Street.

"SummerStage will bring the best in the arts to New Yorkers for free, in the most elegant and accessible performance space in the city - Central Park," Stern said. "It gives all New Yorkers and visitors a chance to experience every art form from jazz to Japanese drumming and dance. Youngsters, seniors, picnickers, joggers, cyclists - all park and arts lovers are invited."

Sunday's opening will be part of an all-day festival called City Lore '86, a musical portrait of the cultural diversity of New York's neighborhoods, featuring Lion Dancers from Chinatown, Puerto Rican bomba and plena music by Los Plenaros De La 21 along with gospel, bagpipers, Irish stepdances, Ukranian lullabies and stilt walkers.

Among the events scheduled this summer are 7:30 p.m. performances by the New York City Grand Opera: "La Traviata" on July 17 and "Lucia Di Lammermoor" on July 31. A family series including such favorites as "Peter and the Wolf" and the Manhattan Brass Quintet will be held on Sundays from July 20th through Sept. 14, starting at 1 p.m.

1 August 1986, New York Times, "For 6 Weeks, Central Park Is Center Stage," pg. C1:
This is the first year for the pary's free SummerStage program, which is under the direction of Joe Killiam. "We're trying to recover the bandshell," Mr. Killian said, adding that performing in the mall dates back to the 1870's when concerts were staged in a pagoda, which was replaced in 1923 by the bandhsell.

Posted by Barry Popik
Holidays/Events/Parades • Friday, June 17, 2005 • Permalink

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