Singing, drilling, rehearsing, everyone is getting ready for the grand opening of The Shed, located in Hudson Yards, on Friday. But in many ways every night will be opening night.
The new non-profit visual and performing arts venue will premiere an array of eclectic new works.
“Over here we've got our large show in rehearsal,” says Alex Poots, the Artistic Director and CEO of The Shed, while pointing to a group of performers on a stage behind him. “It's called ‘Soundtrack of America,’ it's a celebration of African-American music all through the ages.”
Other premiers include a stage performance featuring opera star Renee Flemming, an installation mashup of visual art and music, Bjork headlining a series of concerts, and the writers of the animated film Kung fu Panda will debut what they’re calling a Kung fu Musical.
“There's a lot of drilling,” says Poots over a cacophony of construction noise. “There's a lot still happening, our builders are taking every minute they can get. I'm told this is not unusual in New York or in any city, but this is taking it till like two days before we open.”
Alex Poots has been working toward this week for four years. For Board Chairman Dan Doctoroff, it's 14 years in the making.
“Mike Bloomberg challenged us to come up with something completely new and the insight was that the cultural institutions of the future we're going to demand extreme flexibility,” Doctoroff said.
The shed wants to set itself apart by breaking down walls figuratively and literally.
Perhaps most impressive is the McCourt Theater, clad in white and which can roll back and dock into the silver building to its left, leaving an open air venue in its place.
“What is amazing is the engineering of this thing is incredible,” says Doctoroff. “So, the McCourt, the movable building, is eight million pounds and it moves with six electric motors that have the combined horsepower of less than a Prius.”
Tickets for most events will range from $10 to $125, but some events will be free. They hope to welcome fans of all kinds of music, art and pop culture.
It’s the venue that moves and wants to move you.