Catch the summer’s first Shakespeare in a park production with the Smith Street Stage’s “Richard III” in Carroll Park. Bring a blanket and settle down for the completely escapist tale of a power-hungry villain who smiles and connives his way into power, pushing his country to the breaking point. The production continues through June 25.
7:30 pm at Carroll Park (237 Carroll St. between Smith and Court streets in Carroll Gardens, www.smith
Celebrate Brooklyn’s greatest poet at a marathon reading of Walt Whitman’s epic poem “Song of Myself.” A Whitman sampler of different readers will each perform three sections of the 52-part, 15,000-word piece, some while dressed as the Bard of Brooklyn, and others putting their own spin on the words by presenting them with music, or through the medium of dance.
5 pm at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Granite Prospect, Pier 1 (enter at Furman Street and Old Fulton Street in Dumbo, www.brook
Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue throws a Summer Festival for you and your doggo! Bring your own pup and let him run around the dog agility course, or maybe meet a slobbery new pal at the doggie kissing booth. More than 100 adoptable dogs will be ready to head home with you, and you can also indulge in free samples from the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck and visit the beer tent while your furry friend tries a “Poochini” custard from Shake Shack.
1–5 pm at President Street (between Third Avenue and Nevins Street in Gowanus, www.badas
There are five great authors kicking off the Franklin Park Reading Series summer season, but we’re showing up to hear the latest from Victor LaValle, whose horror tale “Ballad of Black Tom,” about a black man peddling eldritch grimoires in 1920s Brooklyn took on and subverted the H.P. Lovecraft story “The Horror of Red Hook.” Show up to listen to LaValle’s new book “The Changeling,” then indulge in the night’s $5 draft specials.
8 pm at Franklin Park (618 St. Johns Pl. between Classon and Franklin avenues. in Crown Heights, www.frank
Self-described “cowgirl poetry” musician Rodes Rollins brings her pyschelic sounds to the Live at the Archway Thursday night music series. Check out the tunes, grab a drink from the Lighthouse stand, and then visit a pop-up gallery of work from Melanie Hope Greenberg, who drew the picture book “Mermaids on Parade.”
6 pm at the Archway Under The Manhattan Bridge [Water Street between Adams Street and Anchorage Place in Dumbo, (718) 237–8700], www.dumbo.is. Free.