‘AMERICAN LIVING ROOM FESTIVAL’
HERE Arts Center, 145 Sixth Avenue, 647-0202, www.here.org
July 13-September 1: Though I don’t remember saying it, I’m credited with having once described HERE’s “American Living Room” summer festival as “the best and worst in New York theater.” Or something clever like that. In any case, it’s couches, beer, and more plays than you can shake John Simon at. Possible highlights: Zulieka, or an Oxford Love Story, adapted by Erik Sniedze from the novel by Max Beerbohm; Brian Rogers’s Fundamental, a “satirical collage of late-night radio rants, image-obsessed media personalities, TV psychics, professional wrestlers, and fundamentalist zealots”; and Andrea Lepcio’s Vampire Savior—tagged as a “horror metal musical.”
GORILLA REPERTORY THEATRE
Various venues, 330-8086
June 13-September 11: Gorilla Rep mounts a slate of 10 outdoor theater events for its 10th and apparently last season. Too many shows to list here, but highlights could include St. Mary’s Catholic Girls School English 201 Class Presents “Romeo and Juliet” at the Central Park Bandshell (June 13-July 7); a revival of Mac Wellman’s A Murder of Crows at the Corlears Hook Amphitheater (June 20-July 12); and, from August 8 to September 1, their now perennial Midsummer Night’s Dream in Washington Square Park, which will no doubt be accompanied by the sound of coke dealing and cries of “Get the Puck out of here!”
‘HIP HOP THEATER FESTIVAL’
Various venues, 718-782-2621, www.hiphoptheaterfest.com
‘LINCOLN CENTER FESTIVAL 2002’
Broadway and 65th Street, 875-5928, www.lincolncenter.org
July 9-13 Pacific Overtures: More Sondheim for NYC, but here his 1976 collaboration with John Weidman is mounted by the New National Theatre Tokyo. The imported production, which tells the story of the westernization of Japan, will be performed in Japanese in a modified Avery Fisher Hall, using a traditional hanamichi stage that passes through the audience, creating a little easternization of Lincoln Center.
July 12-13 Logic of the Birds
July 17-21 Gong Khab Zadeh: Attila Pessyani’s play has allegedly only been performed in living rooms in Tehran, due to the political constraints of producing theater in Iran. The dialogue-less piece, set against a video background, is intriguingly inspired by four other plays: Gibson’s The Miracle Worker, Handke’s Kaspar, Ionesco’s The Lesson, and Sophocles’ Antigone.
July 23-24 Happiness: Laurie Anderson gets real simple, apparently, in her new show for the Lincoln Center Festival. After years of tech-based performance art, Anderson is creating her new solo piece around mostly acoustic instruments. According to the advance press materials, Anderson says she’s been “experimenting with putting myself in extremely unfamiliar and awkward situations. So this piece will include a kind of report of these experiences.” Expect a word or two about that stint of hers in a Chinatown McDonald’s.
July 23-28 The Battle of Stalingrad: The Republic of Georgia’s Rezo Gabriadze blends puppetry, film, and poetry to tell the story of Stalingrad’s near destruction in World War II. Performed in Russian, the piece is described by Lincoln Center as part personal reflection and part lament of the absurdities of war. This NYC premiere will be accompanied by Autumn of Our Springtime, Gabriadze’s puppet version of a Georgian folktale.
‘THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL’
Various venues, 420-8877, www.fringenyc.org
August 9-25: FringeNYC is back for its sixth year, with two and a half weeks of shows mounted in venues across the Lower East Side. Both a semi-makeshift celebration of theater and a running beer party, the fest also offers the possibility of unearthing the next big thing. Just ask Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann, the delightfully pee-brained folks behind Broadway’s Urinetown, which made its debut at the Fringe.
HERE Arts Center, 145 Sixth Ave, 647-0202, www.here.org
June 20-June 29: The folks at HERE once again greet Gay Pride Month with a theatrical celebration of all things gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, you name it. Two weeks’ worth of shows include, among others, a “bawdy, comic romp” called Lesbian Pulp-O-Rama; The Mystique of Fly, a spoken-word evening by lesbians of color; and the Arthur Miller classic Cornholed! A Trailor Trash Fashion Show.
‘SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK’
Delacorte Theater, Central Park, 539-8750, www.publictheater.org
June 25-August 11: Sad newsfor picnic-basket vendors all over Manhattan: There’s only one New York Shakespeare Festival production in Central Park this summer. (Budget constraints and whatnot at the Public). Brian Kulick’s production of Twelfth Night will feature Kristen Johnston, Julia Stiles, Christopher Lloyd, Oliver Platt, and Jimmy Smits in the noted Illyrian jaunt. To compensate for the absence of a second park show, the Public promises that Twelfth Night will enjoy a longer run than usual.
‘SOHOTHINK TANK’S 10TH ANNUAL SUMMER FESTIVAL’
Ohio Theatre, 66 Wooster Street, 439-4895
July 4-17: Ah, a happily airy theater for sweltery July. The Ohio Theatre’s annual summer festival kicks off with Soho honcho Robert Lyons’s nicely titled No Meat, No Irony. Included in the roster of other shows, all of which run for four performances: Rebecca Ramirez’s Catcall, Trav S.D.’s Sea of Love, and Works Productions’ version of Moby Dick, the story of the big one that got away.
‘TOYOTA COMEDY FESTIVAL’
Various venues, 307-4100, www.toyotacomedy.com
June 11-June 15: In 2001, the “Toyota Comedy Festival” brought Dave Chapelle to Carnegie Hall. For the 10-year anniversary follow-up, Bill Cosby steps into the light (June 12), while Carl Reiner and Joy Behar hold down the fort at the 92nd St. Y (June 11). The Gerry Red Wilson Foundation benefit (June 11), featuring Colin Quinn, Jim Breuer, Lewis Black, etc., offers a solid younger lineup. And there are other, even fresher names you might not know: racy Sarah Silverman (June 14), and Louis C.K. and Greg Giraldo (various). (Peretti)