With the exception of free outdoor Shakespeare, the summertime is generally not considered a prime time for the New York theater scene, with few new shows opening on Broadway or Off-Broadway. That being said, this summer will have some noteworthy and interesting theatrical offerings.
- Shakespeare in the Park
This summer’s Shakespeare in the Park season, which will mark the 60th anniversary of the beloved Central Park tradition, includes an experimental new production of the historical epic “Richard III” (with Danai Gurira of “The Walking Dead” in the title role) and a musical adaptation of “As You Like It” in which professional actors will be joined by rotating ensembles of community members from all five boroughs. “Richard III” runs through July 17 and “As You Like It” runs Aug. 10 to Sept. 11, publictheater.org.
- Into the Woods
The recent City Center Encores! production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s 1987 fairy tale musical received such enormous acclaim that it will now play an eight-week limited run at Broadway’s St. James Theatre. The cast includes Sara Bareilles, Gavin Creel, Brian d’Arcy James, Patina Miller, Phillipa Soo, and Joshua Henry. Through Aug. 21, intothewoodsbway.com.
- Hamlet and Oresteia
The Almeida Theatre’s London production of “Hamlet” (which boasts high-tech design elements and a running time of just under four hours) is now being staged at the massive Park Avenue Armory in repertory with “Oresteia,” an ancient trilogy of Greek tragedies that is considered a defining work in the history of Western Civilization. Through Aug. 13, armoryonpark.org.
- The Kite Runner
Based on a 2003 novel by Khaled Hosseini about a friendship in war-torn Afghanistan, this play with music, which previously played London’s West End, will receive a limited run at Broadway’s intimate Hayes Theater. Through Oct. 30, thekiterunnerbroadway.com.
- Twelfth Night
Kara Young, who was just nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in “Clyde’s,” leads the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Afrofuturistic take on Shakespeare’s masterful romantic comedy at the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park. Through July 29, cthnyc.org.
Elevator Repair Service, the experimental theater company best known for “Gatz” (an eight-hour, unabridged dramatic presentation of “The Great Gatsby”), returns to NYU Skirball with an unconventional adaptation of Chekhov’s “The Seagull” that promises to blur the boundaries of the characters, actors, and audience members. Through July 31, elevator.org.
New York Classical Theatre, which last year staged “King Lear,” now tackles Shakespeare’s rarely-staged romance at multiple outdoor locations. Through July 10, nyclassical.org.
- The Winter’s Tale
Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, a free 27-year-old tradition on the Lower East Side, will reset Shakespeare’s late career “problem play” to contemporary Wall Street and the Hudson Valley. Through July 23, shakespeareintheparkinglot.com.
In 1997, the Céline Dion power ballad “My Heart Will Go On” became permanently associated with the blockbuster movie “Titanic.” Now comes an Off-Broadway musical comedy which sends up “Titanic” while using even more Céline Dion songs including “All By Myself” and “To Love You More.” Through Sept. 25, titaniquemusical.com.
- Between the Lines
A new musical based on a young adult novel by Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha Van Leer about an outsider who finds comfort in her favorite book, “Between the Lines” is being presented Off-Broadway at the Tony Kiser Theater in Times Square. Through Oct. 2, betweenthelinesmusical.com.