Among the hundreds of great free summer events is a New York favorite—the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park, a series of classical Shakespearian productions in Central Park. What can be better than enjoying Hamlet, Cymbeline, or Romeo and Juliette performed under the starry night sky of New York? The events are held at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park rain or shine. Famous actors like Maryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Natalie Portman, Al Pacino, Kevin Kline, and many others took part in past performances.
Shakespeare in the Park runs from the last days of May through mid-to-late August. Performances take place Tuesday through Sunday at 8 pm, with a few exceptions in the schedule. The tickets are usually distributed on the day of the show in front of the Delacorte. But, since the shows are free, be ready to see long lines. Only the most patient ones will get to see the excellent show with a great view of New York City in the background.
The first week of performances tends to be less crowded before the reviews and word of mouth have increased the audience. You have a better chance of getting a nice seat without much effort when bad weather is in the forecast. The shows will go on in the rain and tickets are not exchangeable. If the conditions are really bad they may take a break and resume after the downpour is over. Take into account, visitors cannot open umbrellas during the performances. So bring a poncho or a raincoat.