In case you haven’t noticed, things slow down, culturally speaking, in Boston during the summer. But the arts scene heats up elsewhere. Check out these venues. And, by the way, the scenery — in the Berkshires, on the Cape — ain’t bad either.
In case you haven’t noticed, things slow down, culturally speaking, in Boston during the summer. But the arts scene heats up elsewhere. Check out these venues. And, by the way, the scenery — in the Berkshires, on the Cape — ain’t bad either.The Berkshires
The Williamstown Theatre Festival is the granddaddy of summer theaters, now under the direction of Nicholas Martin, who last served at the Huntington Theatre. “A Flea in Her Ear” is likely to be the most hilarious of farces, under the expert direction of John Rando, July 30-Aug. 10. I’d also vote for a ticket to the world premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s play, “The Understudy,” July 23-Aug. 3, on the Nikos Stage, the more experimental arm of the mega-institution.
While in town you can take in “Like Breath on Glass: Whistler and Inness and the Art of Painting” at the Francine and Sterling Clark Institute, but stop first for a sandwich named after Martin at Papa Charlie’s Deli on Spring Street.
Another farce is running nearby in Lenox at Shakespeare & Company where “Rough Crossing” is whooping it up three nights a week; alternating with director Tina Packer’s production of the Bard’s “All’s Well That Ends Well,” complete with music and dance taken from the time of the troubadours. The company also stages “Othello,” starring John Douglas Thompson, now through Aug. 31.
You can combine your stay in Lenox with a visit to Tanglewood, which offers myriad music star power, from the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops to A-list guest performers, despite the sudden departure of conductor James Levine for medical reasons.
Be sure to check out the offerings at Berkshire Theatre Festival and Barrington Stage, now in a remodeled movie theater in Pittsfield.
Before leaving the Berkshires, visit Jacob’s Pillow in Lee, where two theaters will be filled with dance events all summer long, not to mention the free concerts on the outdoor stage. Every style of dance is represented, and festival director Ella Baff has a way of finding the next-new-thing before anyone else. The Ballet Boyz of England bring three U.S. premieres, through July 20; the soloists of the Royal Swedish Ballet appear Aug. 6-10 in the Ted Shawn Theater, while Indian dancer Shantala Shivalingappa performs in the Doris Duke Studio Theatre, Aug. 7-10.Cape Cod
The Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater tends to garner rave reviews. And they offer a refreshing change of pace from typical summer fair — you won’t find “Carousel” here. They have two houses, the Julie Harris Stage in its stunning new building behind the post office on Route 6 and the beloved shack theater on the harbor. We have our eye on Martin McDonagh’s remarkable and unsettling “The Pillowman,” through Aug. 9.
While you’re on the Cape, you can find summer theaters from Falmouth to Provincetown. Most innovative is Falmouth’s Cape Cod Theatre Project, a book-in-hand introduction to new plays, which change weekly, through Aug. 2. One of the few musicals CCTP has presented, “Reality!” by Itamar Moses and Gaby Alter, is billed as a spoof of TV’s reality shows, July 17-19.
A production of Friedrich Durrnmatt’s thriller, “The Visit,” runs through July 22 under the tent at Payomet Performing Arts Center in Truro. And the venerable Cape Playhouse in Dennis has a full complement of musicals, including “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” July 21-Aug. 2.
— Iris Franger (Alexander Stevens contributed to this report.)