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Bloomberg Helps Unveil Public Theater’s $40 Million Face-Lift

publicDana Varinsky The ceremony today.

Mayor Bloomberg showed off his Shakespeare this morning as the Public Theater celebrated the completion of a four-year, $40 million renovation.

Addressing a crowd of city officials, theater big-ups, and community members in the redesigned lobby, Mayor Bloomberg requested a round of applause for the taxpayers who helped make the renovations possible. “This public-private partnership is really putting the public in The Public,” he said, referring to the city funding that footed over two thirds of the project. “It takes a village, if you pardon the pun, and this one certainly did.” he said, adding that the community is still being repaid in free renditions of the classics.

The Public has presented Shakespeare in the Park since 1962. Joe Papp opened the theater in 1967, paying $1 a year to take over the building that once housed New York’s first public library.

“This building has always served a public purpose,” Oskar Eustis, the theater’s artistic director, told this morning’s crowd, adding, “The greatest art belongs to everybody and it is made greater when it belongs to everybody.” Read more…