The Very Best Of NYC Theatre (June 12-August 7)

TeatroStageFest, Hot! Festival and more!


TeatroStageFest, New York’s premier Latino and Ibero-American theater festival, returns to scattered venues throughout the city June 15–28. This year’s festival offers up 19 events featuring 23 theater, dance, music and comedy performances, family programming, workshops, artist panels, youth awards and an all-day conference. Teatro kicks off with a one-night-only Opening Night Intimate Concert titled Broadway’s R.Evolución Latina starring performers and musicians from In The Heights along with other talented Broadway performers.

HOT!, the world’s longest running LGBTQ arts festival, will take place from July 1– Aug 1 at the new Dixon Place Theater. The HOT! Festival—hosted this year by promoter extraordinaire Earl Dax and showcasing performances by Penny Arcade, Dynasty Handbag and more—is a laboratory for inter-disciplinary queer performance from emerging and established artists, and also features panel discussions, workshops and other forums that foster dialogue, a deeper appreciation of the work, and a sense of history within the community. 

Inspired by the economic slump we’re all in, The Brick Theater will write a prescription for everybodys woes: The Antidepressant Festival. This year’s summer festival, which runs June 15–July 4, will include sock puppets, 1980s text adventure video games, booze, pills, casinos, clowns, dogs, furry sex communities, STDs, amnesiacs, glee club singers, robot wars, serial killers and pirate radio. Don’t miss Big Girls Club (Happy Dance Dance Princess Show)—a play on uppers, exploring excess, fetishism and female cruelty pro-pelled by our ever schizophrenic and media frenzied culture. 

The “Bad Plays” and “Bad Musicals” festivals have morphed into International CringeFest ’09, which this year also includes “Bad Films.” OK, they’re not really bad. Actually, these are really good and hilarious works that are irreverent, politically incorrect, naughty and eccentric.  Audiences vote every night for winners of the Golden Pineapple, Silver Tomato and Bronze Banana, plus Jack Lemons for the actors. For one ticket, you see four to five works arranged in theme evenings. Check them all out at the Grand Stage at the Producer’s Club, July 20–Aug 9.

P.S. 122 and The Amoralists present a return engagement of The Pied Pipers of the Lower East Side, June 5–28 at Performance Space 122. An extraordinary gathering of young idealists live as a modern day urban tribe above a vegan restaurant in NYC. Billy, Dawn, Dear and Wyatt are an extended sexual family battling their fears and addictions in order to live their utopian dream. The Pied Pipers of the Lower East Side is a celebration of love and the search for human grandness.

Singer/songwriter, actor and author Ashanti will make her stage debut as Dorothy in the New York City Center Encores! Summer Stars production of The Wiz, June 12 – July 5 at New York City Center. The Wiz, the 1974 rock and soul musical based on the beloved L. Frank Baum story about Dorothy and her adventures in Oz, will be directed by Thomas Kail and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler, with music direction by Alex Lacamoire, (the team responsible for the Tony-winning In the Heights).

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