Anyone living on or visiting the Outer Cape this summer has a plethora of seriously great theatre from which to choose. Take a look at the schedule below, and mark your calendars now! (Hint: get your tickets as soon as possible… because many if not all of these performances sell out!)
Peregrine Theatre Ensemble
Cabaret (July 5-August 31): In a Berlin nightclub, as the 1920s draw to a close, a garish Master of Ceremonies welcomes the audience and assures them they will forget all their troubles at the cabaret. With the Emcee’s bawdy songs as wry commentary, Cabaret explores the dark, heady, and tumultuous life of Berlin’s natives and expatriates as Germany slowly yields to the emerging Third Reich. The Peregrine Theatre Ensemble performs at Fishermen Hall.
- August: Osage County (May 9-26): Winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best New Play, August: Osage County centers around the Weston family, brought together after their patriarch, world-class poet and alcoholic Beverly Weston, disappears. The matriarch, Violet, depressed and addicted to pain pills and “truth-telling,” is joined by her three daughters and their problematic lovers, who harbor their own deep secrets, her sister Mattie Fae and her family, well-trained in the Weston family art of cruelty, and finally, the observer of the chaos, the young Cheyenne housekeeper Johnna, who was hired by Beverly just before his disappearance.
- Provincetown Dance Festival (June 21-22): Cape Cod’s largest dance festival will deliver several diverse companies with over a dozen dancers, presented by Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill in partnership with The Provincetown Theater.
- Sweeney Todd (July 8-August 29):One of the darkest musicals ever written, Sweeney Todd: A Musical Thriller is the unsettling tale of a Victorian-era barber who returns home to London after fifteen years of exile to take revenge on the corrupt judge who ruined his life. When revenge eludes him, Sweeney swears vengeance on the entire human race, murdering as many people as he can, while his business associate Mrs. Lovett bakes the bodies into meat pies and sells them to the unsuspecting public. Perhaps composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s most perfect score, Sweeney Todd is lush, operatic, and full of soaring beauty, pitch-black comedy and stunning terror. It’s one of the signal achievements of the American musical theater of the last fifty years, and it’s the high water mark of Sondheim’s six remarkable collaborations with director Harold Prince.
Harbor Stage Company
- The Hermitage (June 13-July 20): Calming, inspiring, spiritual — a hermitage is the perfect addition to any modern luxury estate… provided it comes with an actual hermit. Original, hilarious, and absurd, this offbeat look at class and charity helps us understand our search for sanctuary and how we come upon kindness.
- Three Sisters (July 25-Sept. 1): A whole-hearted look at simmering passions and elusive ambitions, this exhilarating classic tells the story of a tight-knit family navigating life in a provincial to Kropf’s invigorating new version captures the exquisite ache and bittersweet beauty of great expectations.
- A series of readings will round out the season:
- Party of Jays
- Mary Coffin
- In a Word
- The Realistic Joneses
Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater
- Race (June 5-28): In this topical and timely play, two lawyers find themselves defending a wealthy white executive charged with raping a black woman. When a new legal assistant gets involved in the case, the opinions that boil beneath explode to the surface. This play explores the unspoken thoughts that ultimately reveal the truth in classic Mamet style.
- Murder for Two (July 3-27): A comedic and clever take on the classic murder mystery. Two actors portray 13 characters in this musical whodunit. Oh, and they play the piano too! Officer Marcus Moscowicz is a small town policeman with dreams of making it to detective. One fateful night, shots ring out at the surprise birthday party of Great American Novelist Arthur Whitney and the writer is killed…fatally. With the nearest detective an hour away, Marcus jumps at the chance to prove his sleuthing skills—with the help of his silent partner, Lou. But whodunit? Did Dahlia Whitney, Arthur’s scene-stealing wife, give him a big finish? Is Barrette Lewis, the prima ballerina, the prime suspect? Did Dr. Griff, the overly-friendly psychiatrist, make a frenemy? Marcus has only a short amount of time to find the killer and make his name before the real detective arrives…and the ice cream melts!
- Lenin’s Embalmers (August 7-31): When Boris Zbarsky and Vladimir Vorobiev, two Jewish biochemists, are recruited by Josef Stalin to embalm Lenin after his death, both men are pushed to their limits in preserving the former Soviet leader so that he may physically live forever. Driven by fear and fame, both men attempt to achieve the impossible, but discover a dark secret. If they should succeed the rewards will be boundless, but failure can bring only one outcome. Based on a true story, Governor General’s Literary Award-winning playwright Vern Thiessen brings us a dark comedy that brings to light the resilience of the human spirit, ever-changing war games and the importance of always having vodka on hand!
- Rhinoceros/Orson’s Shadow(Sept. 5-29 in repertory): In the opening moments of Ionesco’s masterpiece of absurdist satire, a rhinoceros rampages through a village square. At the local café, people argue over what they saw. Was it really a rhino, or just fake news? As the eccentric villagers shed refined façades for hides and horns— smashing windows and crushing flowerbeds—rumpled everyman Berenger faces a desperate choice: take a stand against the armored brutes or join the mindless herd? Orson’s shadow: An ingenious tale of two Hollywood giants—Orson Welles and Laurence Olivier. The time is 1960; the place is a West End theatre. Legendary critic Kenneth Tynan has made a startling proposal: Welles should direct Olivier and the young Joan Plowright in Rhinoceros, Ionesco’s absurdist masterpiece. But it is the rehearsal process that brims with absurdity as titanic personalities, including Vivien Leigh, wrestle the muse in this witty and incisive depiction of the drama of theatre.
Cape Rep (Brewster)
- Proof (May 8-June 2): An intimate “fly on the wall” look at a brilliant mathematician, his protege, and his daughter, all committed and passionate about their pursuit to understand the world through a mathematical lens. A beautifully crafted drama that allows room for humor and for hope in lives that must sacrifice individual ambition for family, Proof swept all the awards in 2001, including the Tony and Pulitzer for Best Play. Post-show talkbacks on May 15 & 26.
- An Unauthorized Musical Parody of Summer Blockbusters (June 26-July 21): Cape Rep continues its tradition of launching new work by local writers. The UMPOs are the brainchild of Cape Cod’s own Kate Pazakis and a huge hit in Los Angeles. She’s coming home to make it your mission impossible to hop into that DeLorean, head on down to Platform 9 and 3/4 for a ride to the Catskills to bond with your beach blanket, star gaze, and transform your summer into the perfect storm while you sink your jaws into those jujubes and milk duds and enjoy the art of parody–with music, of course!
- The Full Monty (July 31-Sept. 3): Six unemployed Buffalo steelworkers, regular guys looking for some quick cash, decide to outdo the Chippendales and go “the Full Monty,” baring it all at a local club for one night only. Infectious music, a feel-good, unabashedly sentimental story that works because it is simple and heartfelt. Nominated for 9 Tony Awards.
- Something Rotten (Nov. 6-Dec. 8): Who needs Shakespeare when you can write the world’s first Broadway musical before there is a Broadway? Brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are sick of that show-off bard who is stealing all the audiences and all the attention, so Nick goes to see a soothsayer who tells him the real future of theater is acting, singing and dancing all at once! This raucous and outrageous musical comedy was nominated for nine Tony Awards.
So there you have it! It’s going to be a fabulous summer!