By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
'AMERICAN LIVING ROOM 2005'
Here Arts Center, 145 Sixth Avenue, 212-868-4444, here.org
July 20-August 20This year, NYC's oldest summer festival offers a diverse array of experimental works about gypsy street kids, Chinese sisters, Richard Foreman, and a clown let loose in a box factory.
'HOT!: THE NYC CELEBRATION OF QUEER CULTURE'
Dixon Place, 258 Bowery; Dixon Place at the Marquee, 356 Bowery; 212-219-0736, dixonplace.org
June 29-August 29 Expect the mercury to rise quite a bit beyond that when Dixon Place presents its annual survey of steamy queer performance. Last year's extravaganza included old-school stand-up, neo-burlesque, an all-girl klezmer ensemble, and a "Rhinestone Cowboy" hoedown. This year's lineup should prove no less innovative or glittery.
'ICE FACTORY 2005'
Ohio Theatre, 66 Wooster Street, 212-868-4444, sohothinktank.org
July 6-August 13 Highlights of this year's celebration include the Foundry Theater's presentation of Radio Active Boy Scout starring cutie-pie magician Steve Ciuffo and the Witness Relocation Company's play about a woman who fell to earth.
'LINCOLN CENTER FESTIVAL 2005'
Various venues, 212-875-5456, lincolncenter.org
July 12-July 31 Say what you will about Michael Bloomberg's mayoral tenure, his company has had the good sense to sponsor this summer's Lincoln Center Festival, a typically impressive and international concatenation of performance works. Theatrical offerings include Robert Wilson's Indonesian epic I La Galigo (July 13-16); Piccolo Teatro di Milano's Arlecchino, Servant of Two Masters (July 20-23); My Life as a Fairy Tale, a biography of Hans Christian Andersen with songs by Stephin Merritt (July 27-30); Yukio Mishima's Modern Noh Plays (July 28-30); and Ariane Mnouchkine's six-hour meditation on refugees, Le Dernier Caravansérail (Odyssées) (July 17-31).
'LINCOLN CENTER OUT OF DOORS FESTIVAL 2005'
Various venues, 212-875-5766, lincolncenter.org
August 13-September 4 Even during the cooler months there's plenty to enjoy outdoors at Lincoln Center. There's the Philip Johnson-designed fountain, the Henry Moore sculpture, Damrosch Park, and the Guggenheim band shell. But this summer these various locales will play host to folk music, taiko drumming, dance theater, circus arts, and puppet theater versions of Moby-Dick and The Caucasian Chalk Circle. All performances are free.
NEW YORK CLASSICAL THEATRE
Central Park, enter at 103rd Street and Central Park West, 212-252-4531, newyorkclassical.org
June 2-August 28 New York Classical Theatre presents Shakespeare's As You Like It(June 2-26) and Molière's Scapin (August 2-28).
'NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL'
Various venues, 212-279-4200, fringenyc.org
August 12-28According to pediatric health specialists, a nine-year-old child will have acquired greater small-muscle organization, increasing dexterity, and has ideas and interests independent from parents. That's certainly the case with the ninth annual New York International Fringe Festival. Back in 1996 it was a mere gleam in the Present Company's eye, but it now boasts numerous Off-Broadway and Broadway transfers and hosts over 200 performances from a dozen or so countries. Happily, it also promises to be much wilder, weirder, and sexier than the average grade-schooler.
June 25-September 4 As any reader of the Shakespeare canon knows, the Bard's plays teem with doubles and twins, so it's happy news that for the first time in four years, the Public Theater's annual summer venture will include not one but two productions. Mark Lamos, who most recently revived The Rivals at Lincoln Center, will undertake As You Like It, with the lovely Lyn Collins tipped to star as Rosalind. In August, George C. Wolfe will take his last bow as artistic director of the Public when he helms a doubtlessly dreamy A Midsummer Night's Dream.
'SECOND ANNUAL SUMMER PLAY FESTIVAL-SPF'
Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street, 212-279-4200, spfnyc.com
July 5-July 31 Producer Arielle Tepper's summer festival features the work of 16 emerging playwrights, out of more than 1,200 submissions from across the country.
'SIXTH ANNUAL MIDTOWN INTERNATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL'
WorkShop Theatre, 312 West 36th Street, 4th floor; Where Eagles Dare, 347 West 36th Street; 212-868-4444, midtownfestival.org
July 18-August 7 The blocks from 31st to 59th streets easily comprise the busiest commercial district in the U.S., playing host to 3 million workers (and nearly as many touristssomeone has to patronize all those hot nuts carts). For the past six years it has also accommodated the deliciously air-conditioned Midtown International Theatre Festival. Though it doesn't boast the variety or unruliness of the Fringe, it does offer a climate-controlled assortment of comedies, dramas, musicals, and cross-dressing.
Ohio Theatre, 66 Wooster Street, 212-868-4444, clubbedthumb.org
June 30-July 17This extravaganza promises the typical Cirque blend of otherworldly music, awesome acrobatics, lavish costumes, and gravity defiance.