Theater Happenings during the Summer "Hiatus"

There is no time off in the world of the THE-AT-AH! Well okay, maybe a little. The Tonys are over, we're all back to eating carbs and we are all emerging back into the world post-STS (Spring Theater Season). Oh, but don't worry; we have a couple amuse bouches to keep us entertained in addition to our contemplation of rushing Pippin at 3:00am on a random saturday in July. Let's discuss what else the theater scene is coughing up in the off-season until the Fall creeps up on us and I spend my life at the Belasco Theater watching Mark Rylance perform two different Shakespeare productions. Don't act like you won't be...

The new Elphaba and Fiyero - I try to avoid the tourist trap, box office musicals like the clap, but I am willing to make an exception in this case. The OBC recording of Wicked makes an occasional appearance on my playlist shuffle and I immediately remember how awesome the score is and how much it compensates for basically everything else in the show. But now, with NRNW favorites Lindsay Mendez and Derek Klena assuming the roles of Elphaba and Fiyero, reuniting after essaying the leads in last summer's Dogfight, a return trip is in the calling. Mostly to see Mendez perform in a leading role that will allow her to belt like her life depends on it. But also because Klena will be donning the Fiyero pants and dancing in them. Need I say more?

Aaron Tveit and John Gallagher Jr. on our TV Screens - Say "Aaron Tveit" and most of us have an orgasm. Say "John Gallagher Jr." and most of us want to cry in our bedrooms and emote all the nerd/angsty feels we have until that one day comes when you will marry him. And while television isn't the stage, we'll take two scoops of these gents in whatever capacity we can - the former is the star of USA's new show, Graceland, while the latter will return with a bevy of other theater greats in the second season of HBO's The Newsroom. But let's just consider these placeholders until the both of them take to Off-Broadway or Broadway next year, hint hint. Hint. Can you see that I am hinting, producers everywhere?

The Comedy of Errors (Opens 6/18 at the Delacorte Theater) - Shakespearian tragedies are revived somewhere every five minutes. So imagine my delight when Shakespeare in the Park was announced for this summer and they went with this "road less traveled" piece, also one of the earliest in his career. It is nowhere near as complex or as funny as The Twelfth Night and numerous movies in The Parent Trap mold have dabbled with the case of twins and mistaken identities, but I've never seen The Comedy of Errors staged live in a serious production, so count me in! And while many people can perform Shakespeare, some people are BORN to do it - enter Hamish Linklater. Also, I love Jesse Tyler Ferguson and he is all ours for the summer.

Broadway Bares (6/23 at the Roseland Ballroom) - And since, lately, I have been all about going to the annual, treasured theater-ey events I often miss out on and wait for the press releases and YouTube videos later, I reserved this date in hopes of attending "Broadway Bares." Oh please, it wasn't hard to convince me. "Um, would you like to go to a burlesque show with a whole bunch of stripping and naked guys and raise money for charity?" It is like the Broadway Beauty Pageant, except gayer and less subtle about the nudity. Oh, New York Theater…keep delivering the goods. Your country thanks you.

Buyer and Cellar (Opens 6/24 at the Barrow Street Theater) - Also the beneficiary of LackOfOpeningProductionitis, I am actually going to trot downtown for another one-man show in a season where most are headed to die. I've read the reviews and the press for this Michael Urie vehicle and…well, I might as well check it out. I don't understand where it came from - it was a late submission in the Rattlestick season - but for it to get the go-ahead for another run approximately 15 minutes after the first one closed, it must be really good.

Broadway Barks (7/13 at Shubert Alley) - Because this event is so many different types of cray, I'm just going to pull up a chair and watch. And have you ever seen a more beautiful sight then one of your Broadway lovelies cradling or cuddling a puppy or three? I am still in recovery from Richard Fleeshman calling the puppy he was adopting off "ridiculously cute" with his British accent. And hey, it is for a great cause…and don't you love it when your fangurling can be justified with, "it is for a great cause!?"

First Date (Opens 8/4 at the Longacre Theater) - When this "not-quite-a-show" was announced with its hilariously bad synopsis and tag lines, I contemplated forgoing it entirely. And then I thought it was a satire of those dime-a-dozen romantic comedies that come out like every week in the cinema starring Katherine Heigl. That remains to be seen. I mean, "Broadway's Musical Comedy" and "First Date is a hysterical and hopeful new Broadway musical about the chances we all take to find love"…please, tell me more; we've never had that on Broadway before. Groundbreaking stuff. Sarcasm aside, it is the cast that is doing it for me - Zachary Levi's Broadway debut and Krysta Rodriguez's return to the NY stage, in her first lead role, no less. Add a colorful supporting cast and I am there. I am worrying about it sucking, but I don't think my expectations could be any lower, so at least there is that to gain from their underdeveloped and cliche'd marketing.

Love Labour's Lost (8/12) - Music by Michael Grief. Adapted and directed by Alex Timbers. A cast including Colin Donnell, Daniel Breaker, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Patti Murin and Bryce Pinkham. Who has two thumbs and will be entering every virtual lottery throughout its entire run? This guy. 

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