Clinton's Bridge Theatre Is Castle's Bridge to Future

Castle Clinton, the one-time fortress in Battery Park, will soon reopen as a theatre for the first time in 146 years. On Wed., June 5, The Bridge Stage of the Arts and the Conservancy for Historic Battery Park will present "Hart & Hammerstein Centennial Plus One at the Castle," the first in a projected series of summer concerts.

Castle Clinton, a circular stone garrison built in 1811 to protect New York from the warring British, has served as an indoor garden, an opera house, an aquarium, an immigrant landing depot, and the forum in which the "Swedish Nightingale" Jenny Lind made her 1850 American debut, courtesy of P.T. Barnum. More recently, it has functioned humbly as the Statue of Liberty ticket booth.

The Bridge, founded in 1980, produces what it calls "performance-forums" around the Wall Street area. In these events, theatre artists collaborate with such exotic lay persons as astrophysicists, architects, and philosophers. Through this joining of disciplines, The Bridge hopes to bring new influences and rhythms to the theatre.

"Hart and Hammerstein" is part of the group's plan to revitalize lower Manhattan. The concert is to be the first featured each June at the castle. Each revue will spotlight the work of American composers.

The event will bring together the voices of Maureen Brennan, Mary Cleere Haran, Jason Graae, and Ron Raines. Music director Rob Fisher and members of his Coffee Club Orchestra (known for their work in City Center's "Encores" series) are providing the accompaniment.

The concert will commence at 6:30 pm, and will be hosted by Charles Osgood of "CBS Sunday Morning." Bleacher seating will accommodate the first 1000 people to arrive, but the music will be broadcast through the park for all la