News Column

One Hot Summer as Theater Season Opens

May 14, 2013


The hills are alive with the sound of music.

And so are the city, suburbs and coast as the summer theater season begins.

There are a few heady offerings this summer -- can't let that brain completely atrophy -- but mostly it's song and dance classics, from "The Sound of Music" and "The Pirates of Penzance" to "The Wizard of Oz" and "Wicked."

Celebrating the summer playhouses and city stages, here's what you need to see in the next couple of months.

-- L "The Pirates of Penzance" -- Loeb Drama Center, now June 2

Who wears short shorts? The buccaneers in this wild take on Gilbert and Sullivan's classic wear short shorts. They also bounce beach balls, laze around in the sun and sing "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General." www.americanrepertory

--"On the Town" -- Lyric Stage, now June 8

New York, New York, it's a hell of a town. Especially if you're three sailors on leave for a day and looking for love. Score by Leonard Bernstein, book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. www.lyric

--"Tappin' Thru Life" -- Cutler Majestic Theatre, now May 19

Tap master Maurice Hines knows his business. And his business is show business. And there's no business like -- OK, enough. See the Broadway vet backed up by the Berklee College of Music Select Big Band with arrangements by Nelson Riddle.

--"Coppelia" -- Boston Opera House, May 16 26

The Boston Ballet presents George Balanchine's classic- light-hearted comedy fea-turing two dozen children from Boston Ballet School.

--"Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein" -- Cape Playhouse, June 10 22

Don't go in for this "Wicked"- modern stuff? How about some classics from "South Pacific," "The King and I" and "Carousel."

--"The Sound of Music" -- North Shore Music Theatre, June 11 23

A few of your favorite things: love, family and an ex-nun turned governess and her whimsical lessons.

--"Xanadu" -- Theatre at the Mount in Gardner, June 14 23

Best idea for a musical ever! A lovely lady from the heavens of Mount Olympus helps a Venice Beach bum realize his dream of creating the first roller disco.

--"Spring Awakening" -- Gloucester Stage, June 20 July 14

Winner of eight Tony Awards in 2007, this romp follows the adolescence urges and pain of a group of Germany students in the 19th century.

--"They're Playing His Songs" -- Cape Playhouse, June 24 July 6

Don't go for this Rodgers- and Hammerstein stuff? Wow, you're hard to please. How about a night of Marvin Hamlisch and gems from "The Way We Were," "A Chorus Line" and "The Goodbye Girl."

--"The Two Gentlemen of Verona" -- Shakespeare on the Common, July 6 28

Sin city circa 1590. Two rapscallions leave Verona to make their fortunes in Milan in this Rat Pack-inspired version of the Bard's classic comedy.

--"Sweet Charity" -- Cape Playhouse, July 8 20

The story of New York in the swinging '60s and the misadventures of dance hall girl Charity Hope Valentine. All done by Broadway aces -- movement by Bob Fosse, writing by Neil Simon, music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields. www.cape

--"The Wizard of Oz" -- North Shore Music Theatre, July 16 July 28

Head off to see the wizard. Why? Because of the wonderful things he does. And because this production promises some magical special effects.

--"North Shore Fish" -- Gloucester Stage, July 18 Aug. 4

Israel Horovitz's Pulitzer Prize-nominated dramedy set in '80s Gloucester, the play explores the lives of workers in the commercial fish industry.

--"How We Got On" -- BCA Plaza Theatre, July 19 Aug. 17

Now here's a little story I gots to tell, about three bad brothers you don't know so well. It started way back in 1988 with Hank, Julian and Luann living in the suburbs and dreaming of rap glory in this coming-of-age theatri-cal mixtape by spoken--word poet and hip-hop playwright Idris Goodwin.

--"Hello, Dolly!" -- Cape Playhouse, Aug. 5 17

A matchmaker meets her, well, match. The twist: It's herself! Romance, comedy and signature tune "Hello, Dolly!"

--"Radio Gals" -- Cape Playhouse, Aug. 19 31

Hazel and her Hazelnuts swing into the golden age of radio. A funny, feisty music teacher sets up a radio station in her living room until big government (boo!) steps in to try and shut her down.

--"Wicked" -- Boston Opera House, Aug. 7 Sept. 15

We're not in Kansas anymore. In the heart of Munchkin-land, the yet-to-be-Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good clash (and sing). Winner of 17 million Tonys! Fine, just three, but it seemed like more. www.bostonopera

--"This Is Our Youth" -- Gloucester Stage, Aug. 8 25

A trio of rich teens in '80s Manhattan navigate adolescence and learn money isn't love. Oh, and it's funny.

--"Monty Python's Spam-alot" -- Theatre at the Mount, Aug. 9 17

Lovingly ripped off from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," this show retells the legend of King Arthur but with showgirls, cows, flesh-eating rabbits and Frenchmen.

--"Cats" -- North Shore Music Theatre, Aug. 20 Sept. 1

I laughed, I cried, it was better than "Cats." OK, fine, it was exactly as good as "Cats."


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