Wild for Whitman: The late poet Walt Whitman had a bit of a surge in popularity about a decade ago when his most famous work, Leaves of Grass, was revealed to be a standard-issue seduction tool of then commander-in-chief Bill Clinton. But ol’ Walt has gone through a bit of a fallow period since then. Claire Beckman to the rescue! The artistic director of something called Brave New World, Ms. Beckman has conceived and executed a “multimedia theatrical” (uh-oh) adaptation of another Whitman work, “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” weaving together music, dance and rap (meep!), along with a slide show of historic photos of New York City. The whole shebang will unfold at the Prospect Park Bandshell, ground zero for depressed Park Slope parents. “It was shortly after 9/11 that I became reacquainted with the poem,” said Ms. Beckman, a resident of the quaint but surely soon-to-be-ruined neighborhood of Victorian Flatbush. “I had loved Whitman in college, of course”—of course—“but it had been a long time. I started to reread Leaves of Grass and found so many wonderful poems about New York. It was very healing. Like most New Yorkers, I felt a tremendous bond with my fellow New Yorkers and I started working on a staged dramatization over the next few years.” Well, it honestly sounds sort of kooky, but it’s gotta be better than the “staged dramatizations” we see every day on the F train, crammed into someone’s disgusting armpit. We leave you now with some of Uncle Walt’s prophetic words: “Gorgeous clouds of the sun-set! Drench with your splendor me, or the men and women generations after me/ Cross from shore to shore, countless crowds of passengers!/Stand up, tall masts of Mannahatta!—stand up, beautiful hills of Brooklyn!” Amen.
[Walt Whitman: Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, Prospect Park Bandshell, Prospect Park West and 9th Street, Brooklyn, 8 p.m., www.bravenewworldrep.org]