The insightful Lear deBessonet, founder of the Public's expansive and inclusive Public Works wing (and the director of such memorable productions as The Good Person of Szechwan), stages the latest Shakespeare in the Park production of this forest farce, in which four crazy kids and a bossy Bottom get caught up in a world of drugs and fairy sex. The starry cast includes Phylicia Rashad, Danny Burstein, Annaleigh Ashford, Jeff Hiller and the peerless Kristine Nielsen as Puck. Tickets are free (two per person) and may be picked up only on the day of performance after noon at the Delacorte Theater. A limited number of tickets are also distributed via online lottery; see our complete guide to Shakespeare in the Park tickets for details.
South Brooklyn Shakespeare presents an outdoor staging of Shakespeare's marquee tragedy, in which a nobleman and his wife descend into a nightmare of mental disquiet after planning their king's murder. Dee Byrd-Molnar directs a production that evokes a 1970s landscape of war-ravaged lands and acid-tripping witches.
Theater review by Raven Snook Move over, Wonder Woman: There’s a new shero in town. In Alexandre Dumas’s 1844 French novel The Three Musketeers, the aspiring swashbuckler D’Artagnan insists he’s “not a boy.” That’s literally the case in Classical Theatre of Harlem’s spirited staging, which casts the winning Miriam Hyman in the role—and boy, is she worth idolizing. She easily keeps up with the sword-fighting trio of the title, both in battle and in the bedroom, as they seduce ladies and fight against the tyranny of Cardinal Richelieu (Michael Early) and his evil agents Rochefort (a menacing R.J. Foster) and Milady de Winter (Piera Van de Weil, pretty and deadly). And in her acting, Hyman bests everyone else onstage; she alone proves able to navigate the production’s tonal inconsistency.Although this free, alfresco, family-friendly show has many strong elements—Rachel Dozier-Ezell’s sumptuous 17th-century costumes, Emmanuel Brown’s lively fight sequences, an adventuresome cast—its attempt to fuse comedy with action-adventure doesn’t always fly. Catherine Bush’s streamlined script is sober and straightforward, but director Jenny Bennett has thrown in anachronistic jokes and gags, some of which work better than others. (Audiences were delighted at the Musketeers’ dabbing.) Sluggish pacing also prevents the production from being a total victory. Still, it’s a worthy effort with many exhilarating moments, especially when Hyman is onstage. You’ll be all for this one. Richard Rodger
Hip to Hip Theatre Company moves from park to park with this staging of Shakespeare's rather creepy play about sin and sacrifice, directed by Owen Thompson and presented in rep with the company's take on Henry IV, Part 1. The production roams through multiple boroughs but never plays the same spot twice, so consult Hip to Hip's website for details.
New York Classical Theatre's Stephen Burdman directs an outdoor account of Shakespeare's nasty, brutish and short Scottish tragedy, about a regicidal lord and the wicked women who goad him on. The production plays in Battery Park until its final week, when it relocates to Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The restless heir to England's throne gets mixed up with a naughty crowd in Shakespeare's history play and coming-of-age story, directed by S.C. Lucier for the peripatetic Hip to Hip Theatre Company. Presented in rep with the company's take on Measure for Measure, the production never plays the same park twice, so check the Hip to Hip website for details.
American Thymele Theatre's ninth annual New York Euripides Summer Festival travels to three outdoor locations (and one indoor one) to perform the rarely seen ancient Greek tragedy Herakles, in which the legendary strongman is driven insane by the gods and mistakenly slaughters his own wife and children. Nadia Foskolou directs a cast of 12. Reservations for the final (inside) performance in Midtown can be made here.