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Harvey Fierstein, Jodi Picoult Join Bryant Park Books On Broadway Program


Bryant Park has announced the first-ever Books on Broadway program as part of the annual return of the Bryant Park Reading Room during a monumental year celebrating Bryant Park’s 30th anniversary. Books on Broadway is a series dedicated to original books that have made it to the Great White Way.

The Books on Broadway program will premiere on Tuesday, May 17 from 12:30 - 1:30pm, and kick-off the summer season of events in the Reading Room. Series details can be found below. Additional line-ups will be announced later this month. 

Tuesday, May 17
12:30pm
Books on Broadway
Harvey Fierstein, I Was Better Last Night: A Memoir, Funny Girl (Revised Book)
Hosted by Ilana Levine, Actress and Podcaster of Little Known Facts with Ilana Levine

Thursday, May 19
12:30pm
Books on Broadway
Macbeth with Associate Director Raz Golden
Hosted by Ilana Levine, Actress and Podcaster of Little Known Facts with Ilana Levine

Tuesday, May 24
12:30pm
Books on Broadway
Between the Lines with Jodi Picoult and daughter/co-author, Samantha van Leer
Hosted by Ilana Levine, Actress and Podcaster of Little Known Facts with Ilana Levine

Thursday, May 26
12:30pm 
Books on Broadway
The Kite Runner with Actor from Broadway’s The Kite Runner, Amir Arison
Hosted by Ilana Levine, Actress and Podcaster of Little Known Facts with Ilana Levine

Tuesday, June 7
12:30pm 
Books on Broadway
Grease, Tell Me More, Tell Me More: Stories from the Broadway Phenomenon That Started It All|Tom Moore, Author and Director (original Broadway production)
Ken Waissman, Author and Producer (original Broadway production)
Hosted by Ilana Levine, Actress and Podcaster of Little Known Facts with Ilana Levine

The Bryant Park outdoor Reading Room is located at the 42nd Street allée – between 5th & 6th Avenues – under the London Plane trees. Because of the outdoor locale, there is ample seating for all to enjoy.

The space is defined by six specially designed carts: one cart is devoted to authors who have participated in the Bryant Park literary series and best sellers; one cart is filled to the brim with a complete “Classics” collection; one cart is dedicated to children's books; one cart carries magazines; and one cart is committed to a variety of newspapers. And what makes the Reading Room even more special is that over the course of each summer, there are dozens of programs promoting multiple themes and genres for the public to attend. From poetry to fiction, non-fiction to book clubs, writers workshops, and programs for children, it is a popular destination for bookworms and authors alike and is free to the public.

This year marks several milestones in Bryant Park’s history. The park is celebrating the 30-year anniversary of its restoration and the 20-year reopening of the outdoor Reading Room in Bryant Park.

The Reading Room in Bryant Park was originally established in 1935 by the New York Public Library as a refuge for the thousands of unemployed New Yorkers during the Great Depression. The “first” Reading Room closed in 1944, only to be reopened by the Bryant Park Corporation in 2003. It is now one of the most popular amenities in Bryant Park.

The Bryant Park Reading Room has received numerous prestigious awards for demonstrating excellence, partnership, and creativity in enhancing New York City's quality of life including The New York City Neighborhood Development Achievement Award presented by the New York City Small Business Services at Gracie Mansion; and two awards from the International Downtown Association Achievement Award in the public space category.