By Alan Krawitz
The City Parks Foundation is kicking off its 2012 season of SummerStage, one of the city’s longest-running free performing arts festivals.
This season’s performances run the gamut from American pop, hip-hop, R&B and gospel music to dance, theater and film, as well as family programming.
SummerStage gives Queens’ residents and visitors’ access to vibrant and thought-provoking, free arts programming that supports an array of artists who work in a variety of creative landscapes.
Since SummerStage’s start 27 years ago, roughly 6 million people from around the city and the world have enjoyed SummerStage.
Queens’ musical features this season include hip-hop legend Big Daddy Kane and Marley Marl, best known for the pioneering rap group The Juice Crew; contemporary R&B stars Tamia and Brooklyn’s Full Force, who have been a major player in the music scene since 1984; gospel stars Le’andria Johnson and Trin-i-tee 5:7, who have logged performances on BET and other television shows; and opera standouts from The Metropolitan Opera among many other popular artists.
SummerStage Theatre will treat viewers to the world premiere of Power of the Trinity, a theatrical concert event celebrating Ethiopia’s last monarch, Haile Selassie.
Dance enthusiasts will get a stunning array of performances that feature a variety of genres from modern and hip-hop to break-dance and others.
Von Ussar Danceworks will explore daily life and the inner workings of the human condition, while Malcolm Low Formal Structure engages in a high-energy celebration of life.
The Jamal Jackson Dance Company mixes traditional African dance styles with modern and hip-hop techniques, while the Liberation Dance Theater tackles themes tied to identity, communal responsibility and spirituality through their celebration of jazz, traditional folklore and street culture.
City Parks Foundation President Alison Tocci said, “New Yorkers and visitors alike can now visit Queens to discover SummerStage talent that is as artistically and culturally diverse as the neighborhoods themselves.”
If You Go
WAR/Felix Hernandez’s Rhythm Revue
July 18 at 7 pm
Liberation Dance Theater/Jamal Jackson Dance Company
July 20 at 7 pm
July 24 at 7 pm
SummerStage Kids Family Day
July 29 at 4 pm
The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series
Aug. 9 at 7 pm
Socrates Sculpture Park