Stick to the tried-and-true with new stagings of classic shows by acclaimed performers.
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK
This year the Public Theater presents two of the Bard’s best-loved plays for a romantic summer of theater. From June 5–July 8, Lauren Ambrose and Oscar Isaac star as the star-crossed lovers in the perennial favorite “Romeo and Juliet.” Then, from Aug. 7–Sept. 8, Daniel Sullivan directs “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The series is free, but be prepared to camp outside the theater for tickets for these popular performances. In fact, demand for tickets caused producers to extend the run from four to five weeks.
LINCOLN CENTER FESTIVAL
This international multimedia festival features theater, dance, opera and music for three weeks in July, but the season’s real highlight comes July 13-21 with a monumental staging of Richard Wagner’s 19th-century “Ring Cycle.” The four German operas get some Russian flavor from the Kirov Opera of the Mariinsky Theatre (led by Valery Gergiev). A French import, The Ballet National de Marseille, lends the festival a more modern flavor when they perform “Metapolis II” from July 25-27. The acclaimed ballet mixes elements of architecture with contemporary dance, not surprising, considering that renowned Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid is the corps’ artistic director.
Acclaimed tap dancer Savion Glover, the choreographer behind the dancing penguin Mumbles in “Happy Feet,” takes residence at the Joyce Theater from June 19-July 14, for a month of lively performances. Listen and watch as his feet transform into percussion instruments.
Adventurous theater-goers won’t get bored this summer, with new work popping up on Broadway and beyond, offering the best in dance and drama.
BRITS OFF BROADWAY
Already in full swing, the fourth annual Brits Off Broadway festival is a celebration of new theater from England. Through July 1, the remaining five plays feature big names from the English stage. Remember, that’s theat-re.
Throughout June, Clubbed Thumb will present a series of three new plays at the Soho’s Ohio Theater. In its 11-year history, Summerworks has introduced over 100 new works, all in various stages of production – from readings to fully-staged shows. This year, the off-off-Broadway roster includes “Greedy,” “Amazons and their Men” and “One Thing I Like to Say Is,” which tackle heavy themes like money, war and family.
2007 SUMMER PLAY FESTIVAL
Head to 42nd Street’s Theatre Row for a summer of new works from 16 emerging playwrights, culled from a pool of over 1,000 applicants. Now, in its fourth season, the annual Summer Play Festival continues to draw new audiences to the theater. From July 10 through Aug. 5, eclectic plays, events and panels with theater professionals add to the summer fun. And the theater’s “Living Room,” is a place for young actors, writers and theater buffs to mingle.
NEW YORK FRINGE FESTIVAL
More than 200 theater companies from throughout North America perform in 20 venues throughout the city as part of the multi-art festival that’s been going strong since 1997. This year, FringeNYC and the Present Company offer over 1,300 experimental performances from August 10 – 26.