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Kathleen Chalfant, Michael Urie, and More to Perform at Free Shakespeare Sonnet Slam

The annual event will be held, rain or shine, on April 27 in Central Park.

Michael Urie as the title character in Shakespeare Theatre Company's production of Hamlet in Washington, DC.
(© Scott Suchman)

The eighth annual Shakespeare's Birthday Sonnet Slam is being held tomorrow, April 27, from 1pm to 4pm at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park. Notable sonnet readers this year include Michael Urie, Dana Ivey, Brian Soliwoda, Peter Francis James, American painter Gerri Davis, and orchestrator Michael Starobin. The Sonnet Slam features 154 readers of all ages performing all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets in numerical order. The event is free to the public. This year, the kickoff reader for Sonnet 1 will be Tony Award nominee Kathleen Chalfant (Angels in America, Wit, Showtime's The Affair).

The Sonnet Slam will also feature cast members from the recent Shakespeare Theatre Company production of Hamlet, which starred Michael Urie: Ryan Spahn, Robert Joy, Federico Rodriguez, Maggie Thompson, Jack Doyle, Avery Glymph, and Brayden Simpson.

"I created a unique opportunity for the Sonneteer and Shakespeare to be together, even if it's only for a minute," said Melinda Hall, artistic director of Willful Pictures and founder of the Sonnet Slam.

The eighth annual Shakespeare's Birthday Sonnet Slam is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement / Creative Learning, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

For more information about the Sonnet Slam, click here.