Did you miss The Normal Heart? Did you miss Carey Mulligan in Through a Glass Darkly? Did you not make it to The Motherf**** with the Hat? (Don’t worry too much about that one). Not to fear. A favorite part of nyc summer theatre is Shakespeare, outdoor theatre, visiting artists, free theatre opportunities and all of the projects that emerge from the people too cool to leave the city for more or less glamorous theatre in the Hamptons, the Berkshires, Europe…
One summer classic is The Public’s Shakespeare in the Park. All’s Well that Ends Well directed by Daniel Sullivan (The Merchant of Venice, Rabbit Hole, Top Girls), and Measure for Measure directed by David Esbornjson (Driving Miss Daisy, The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?). Shakespeare in the Park is a *FREE nyc summer tradition, started by Joseph Papp in 1954. Tip— keep an eye out for performers Andre Holland and Annie Parisse.
Measure for Measure and All’s Well That End’s Well play at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park through July 30th.
Henry V is another free Shakespeare adventure being produced by the New York Classical Theater. This production spans 2 islands and includes a boatride—Battery Park, NY Harbor and Governor’s island. Site-specific and interactive the show encourages and depends on the unique “energy” drawn from the audience this particular production generates. Henry V plays through July 24th.
Don’t want to experience Shakespeare outside? Want to see the British tackle Shakespeare? The Royal Shakespeare Company has a rare six week residency at the Park Avenue Armory (Park Ave btwn 66th and 67th) where they will be performingThe Winter’s Tale, Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, As You Like It and King Lear. Tickets are $40-$200. Performing through August 14th.
Another free, outdoor show–Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull (dir. by Tom Demenkoff), presented by the Hudson Warehouse. In Riverside Park at 89th St. watch a unique take on Chekhov’s classic: “With the Hudson River at sunset as backdrop, the natural forest embraces a decaying stone facade creating the famed country estate,” Demenkoff said. The production, while emphasizing Chekhov’s concerns of art, economy and love, features music on violin and electric guitar and a few other site-specific surprises, including the theatrical use of puppets”. The Seagull is performed Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday through July 31st.
Little Town Blues is an adaptation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters being performed at The Wild Project July 23rd-August 7th. Additional article and info in an upcoming article! $12 students, $18 general admission. It’s Less Than Rent’s second show of the season.
NEW WORK in NEW YORK!
One of the best things about ny summer theatre is all the new work that is produced. In fact, there are entire festivals dedicated to new work. Perhaps the best way to spend time in the summer is supporting those up and coming artists like:
THE BIG COUNTRY—a new play by Chris Barlow, dir. By Morgan Gould at T. Schreiber studios. THE BIG COUNTRY is a funny, inventive play by actor, playwright, sound-design and all-around artist extroadinaire Chris Barlow and winner of the 2011 New Works Project.
#SERIALS at the FLEA– A “raucous late night play competition” featuring The Bats and some of NYC’s hottest young playwrights . Live music and free beer help fuel this weekly event, which runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. All tickets are $10″. Here’s how it works: “five teams of Bats perform original ten-minute episodic plays. The audience will vote for its three favorite pieces, which return the next week with a new installment. The teams with the two least popular stories must likewise come back the following week, but with entirely different serialized plays.” It’s a great, fun way to spend the evening. #Serials at the FLEA runs through August 20th at the FLEA theater in Tribeca
FringeNYC– The New York International Fringe Festival is “the largest multi-arts festival in North America, with more than 200 companies from all over the world performing for 16 days in more than 20 venues.” Over 1000 performances will take place August 12th-28th.
Recommended: Cow play, The Rubber Room and Technodoulia dotcom
Jean Genet’s The Maids at the Kraine Theatre August 29th-31st. This is not a new work per se but it is certainly a new, fun take on the play loosely based on the incestuous, homicidal Papin Sisters.
NYC boasts an abundance of summer theatre and this article only skims the surface. If you have other recommendations or think something essential was missed please email or comment. Next long, hot night try theatre instead of the $12 to see Horrible Bosses again—it will be worth it.