Poets' Corner: Bryant + Croquet, Walt Whitman + Nudity

The Times directs our attention to a performance piece called Bryant in the Park which takes the poetry of William Cullen Bryant (Thanatopsis) and puts it in Bryant Park, where actors recite poems and play croquet white dressed in "spotless white clothing." It's not just for toffs, the Times will have us know: "I think they should do stuff like this in the park more often," a pedicab driver tells them. Not bad, but we can top it: Leaves of Grass Unbound, at the Cell on West 23rd Street, puts the Walt Whitman classic in the mouths and on the bodies of totally nude actors -- "without irony or clothing," says the presser. The man did sing the body. It runs through August 29.


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