'Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play'

By Anne Washburn

Playwrights Horizons

Any last requests? "Cape Feare" as reimagined at D.C.'s Woolly Mammoth in 2012
Scott Suchman
Any last requests? "Cape Feare" as reimagined at D.C.'s Woolly Mammoth in 2012
Albarn's Monkey at Lincoln Center
Albarn's Monkey at Lincoln Center


Summer Arts Guides:







416 West 42nd Street, 212-564-1235

Opens August 23

Lincoln Center Festival

Performances begin July 6

The Lincoln Center Festival, which imports a splendid array of entertainments to the Upper West Side, has a reputation for serious and substantive programming. But this summer, organizers are content to monkey around. Specifically, they'll stage the New York premiere of Monkey: Journey to the West, Blur frontman Damon Albarn's anime music theater piece based on an ancient Chinese folktale. Other theatrical offerings include Shun-Kin, a collaboration between Complicite and Tokyo's Setagaya Public Theater, and a Parisian production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses directed by John Malkovich. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center Plaza, lincolncenterfestival.org

The Tutors and Murder for Two

Performances begin May 22

The great selling point of summer has always seemed the long holiday from school, but Second Stage Uptown's warm weather season declines to give educators a break. First on its syllabus: The Tutors, Erica Lipez's comedy about a group of young adults who coach high school students. The curriculum continues with Murder for Two, by Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair, an edifying attempt to create a full-scale musical murder mystery with just two actors. McGinn/Cazale Theatre, 2162 Broadway, fourth floor, 2st.com

Summerworks 2013

Performances begin May 24

Clubbed Thumb is a much beloved theater company with a commitment to producing "funny, strange, provocative" works, none more than 90 minutes long. Their annual summer showing includes new plays by Clare Barron, Jen Silverman, and Gregory S. Mosse, which revolve around such elements as freak storms, prodigal daughters, tar pits, and revenge. The Wild Project, 195 East 3rd Street, clubbedthumb.org

Explorers Club

Performances begin May 28

Cobras, guinea pigs, dirigibles, feminism, wily natives, killer monks, revolting Fenians, more revolting cocktails, and the thrill of a passionate kiss all crowd Nell Benjamin's dizzy historical comedy. Set within the stolid walls of London's Explorers Club in 1879, the lively script concerns a lady anthropologist determined to win membership to the all-male enclave. Jennifer Westfeldt stars as the distaff adventurer, with Steven Boyer, Richard Easton, and Lorenzo Pisoni as her bemused rivals. Manhattan Theatre Club at New York City Center, 131 West 55th Street, manhattantheatreclub.com

Shakespeare in the Park

Performances begin May 28

According to Shakespearean lore, the bard's hyperwitty comedy Love's Labours Lost once spawned a sequel, Love's Labours Won. That follow-up remains sadly mislaid, but writer-director Alex Timbers and composer Michael Friedman find fresh inspiration in the original, offering a musical version of this romantic quipfest. It'll share the Delacorte stage with the bard's silliest script, The Comedy of Errors, directed by Daniel Sullivan and starring the unerringly funny Hamish Linklater and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Delacorte Theater, Central Park at 81st Street, publictheater.org

Choir Boy

Performances begin June 18

When Tarrell Alvin McCraney made his debut with The Brother/Sister Plays, a lyrical, muscular, and ambitious trilogy that united African myth with contemporary African-American life, critics and audiences rushed to hymn him. If his next show, Wig Out!, offered less to sing about, expectation still runs high for this latest script, concerning the gospel choir at an all-male African American prep school. Director Trip Cullman supervises the score and arranges the textual harmonies. New York City Center, 131 West 55th Street, mtc.org

Nobody Loves You

Performances begin June 20

Very few of the matches made on dating shows result in actual marriages, but that doesn't stop the new crops of gym-toned and tooth-whitened contestants eager to vie for televised true love. Second Stage's new chamber musical, by playwright Itamar Moses and composer Gaby Alter, sends up the popular genre. It concerns a grad student who renounces philosophy books and embraces reality TV in a deeply misguided effort to reunite with his ex-girlfriend and sex up his dissertation. Michelle Tattenbaum directs the hi-def theatrics. Second Stage Theatre, 305 West 43rd Street, 2st.com

The Designated Mourner

Performances begin June 21

Playwright Wallace Shawn and director Andre Gregory, stars of the indelible indie film My Dinner with Andre, have racked

up a lot of meals over the years. That's been especially true lately, as they prepare to revive Shawn's 1996 play The Designated Mourner. (In the fall, they'll offer the New York premiere of his more recent work, the audacious Grasses of a Thousand Colors.) The Public Theater and Theatre for a New Audience collaborate on this show, a mordant, elliptical play about politics, morality, and loss, starring Deborah Eisenberg, Larry Pine, and Shawn himself. The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, publictheater.org

A Kid Like Jake

Performances begin July 14

Some Manhattan parents begin to plan for their children's preschool placements while those children are still nestling comfortably in the womb. It's an oddly cutthroat enterprise and one that becomes especially fraught for parents Alex and Greg, the protagonists of Daniel Pearle's play. Their four-year-oldson has some niche interests—like Disney princesses and non-gender-conforming clothes. Director Evan Cabnet helps the cast play dress-up. Claire Tow Theater, 150 West 65 Street, lct.org

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