Every day is opening night.

City Parks Foundation Concludes SummerStage Theater Season with “Beowulf”

Rick Miramontez / Elizabeth Wagner / Chelsea Nachman
rick@oandmco.com / elizabeth@oandmco.com / chelsea@oandmco.com
(212) 695-7400



SummerStage presented by MasterCard
Theater presented by Time Warner

8:00 – 10:00 PM

New York, NY – After a successful smash-hit run in 2009 in New York City, Banana Bag & Bodice brings their award-winning epic SongPlay to SummerStage. This show concludes SummerStage’s summer-long FREE theater program and will take place on Wednesday, August 25 through Friday, August 27 at East River Park, Manhattan at 8:00 p.m.

Digging into the roots of the original epic poem, this re-imagined version of Beowulf – A Thousand Years of Baggage hearkens back to the raw and rowdy style of storytelling in the old Scandinavian mead halls – with a passion for fierce poetry and a pint of thick beer. Monsters and professors collide in blood-soaked Scandinavia as this hefty poem is rescued from 1,000 years of analysis and transformed into a defiantly raucous dissertation on art and violence. With an 8-piece band including dueling trombones, bass clarinet, accordion and saw, Beowulf combines Weillian cabaret, 40's jazz harmony, indie rock, punk, electronica and Romantic lieder into a cacophonous swirl.

“We are excited to close our run of free theater in East River Park with this energetic spin on the epic poem Beowulf,” said City Park Foundation’s Director of Theater Programs, Freedome Bradley. “Banana Bag & Bodice have created a unique tale based on a classic poem that breaks the mold to create a raucous, innovative musical theater extravaganza that will delight the ears and eyes and have the audience guessing what will happen next.”

The full cast of Beowulf – A Thousand Years of Baggage includes Jason Craig, Jessica Jelliffe, Kristen Sieh, Rod Hipskind, Anna Ishida, Shaye Troha, Dave Malloy (composer/performer on piano/accordion), Mario Maggio (bass clarinet/clarinet), Jen Baker & Sam Kulik (trombones), Rick Burkhardt (guitar), Ezra Gale (bass), and Peter Wise (percussion).

The creative team for Beowulf – A Thousand Years of Baggage includes Jason Craig (Writer), Rod Hipskind and Mallory Catlett (Directors), and Obie Award-Winner Dave Malloy (Music).

Praise for Beowulf:

**Winner of the 2008 Glickman Award**
**Best of 2009, The New Yorker**
**2009 Innovative Theater Award Nomination, Best Music**
**Best of 2008: East Bay Express (#1), SF Chronicle, SF Bay Guardian, SF Examiner, Mercury News**

“Hilarious…clever…has the makings of a cult fave.”

“…a thrashing, bashing rendition of the 'Beowulf' story…with music that demands to be described at demented…”
New York Times

“Joyfully raucous”
The New Yorker

“…a brilliant musical score…wonderfully cacophonous arrangements for blaring trombones, booming percussion, wild guitar, and wailing horns and viola, that not only capture the raw, primitive sensibilities of the story's eighth-century Scandinavian setting and characters but also underline subtle elements of the drama through hard rock, traditional Middle Eastern tunes, rap, Broadway, 1960s folk, and vocal jazz.”
Back Stage

This year in honor of the 25th anniversary, SummerStage is excited to have expanded from Central Park to encompass all five boroughs, and will feature productions in Von King Park, Brooklyn, Betsy Head Park, Brooklyn, St. Mary’s Park, Bronx, Crotona Park, Bronx, Springfield Park, Queens, Marcus Garvey Park, Manhattan and East River Park, Manhattan.

For the most up-to-date SummerStage scheduling and line-up for SummerStage programming, visit http://www.SummerStage.org.


Banana Bag & Bodice (BB&B) is an ensemble theater company, founded by Co-Artistic Directors Jason Craig and Jessica Jelliffe that have created nine original shows. In each project, original text and music composition are honed by the ensemble through the collective action of design, dramaturgy, staging and performance. Winner of multiple national theater awards, BB&B shows have received critical praise in The New Yorker, New York Times, Time Out New York, Variety Magazine, Irish Times, San Francisco Chronicle, SF Bay Guardian, SF Weekly and been featured in American Theater Magazine, Theatre Bay Area and Theatre Forum. The company creates visceral and whimsical theatrical experiences that provoke and inspire audiences with laughter, discomfort and self-reflection.

City Parks Foundation (CPF) is the only independent, nonprofit organization to offer park programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City. CPF works in over 750 parks citywide, presenting a broad range of free arts, sports, and education programs, and empowering citizens to support their parks on a local level. CPF programs and community building initiatives reach more than 600,000 people each year, contributing to the revitalization of neighborhoods throughout New York City.

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