The Very Best of NYC Theater

A MIdsummer Night’s Dream (the gay version), Shakespeare in the Park, Lemon Meringue

The Hive and The Cell have joined forces to present a modern re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which casts Hermia and Lysander as lesbian lovers with Demetrius and Helena as a gay couple. Playing July 5–31 at The Cell, Midsummer has audiences follow Shakespeare’s lost lovers in and out of doors as they make their way through an urban wilderness, exposing contemporary America’s sexual hang-ups and resistance to gay marriage. Prepare to have your preconceived ideas about gender, sexual-orientation and power explored and exploded.

Shakespeare in the Park returns to Central Park’s Delacorte Theater this summer with productions of Measure for Measure and All’s Well That Ends Well. Measure sweeps from the corridors of national power to the intimate confines of the bedroom and from the convent’s chapel to the executioner’s block. It is Shakespeare at his grittiest: a bracing and bawdy glimpse of what happens when those in power allow their basest human impulses to range unchecked. A fairytale for grown-ups, All’s Well That Ends Well follows the low-born Helena, one of Shakespeare’s most resourceful heroines, as she inventively surmounts obstacle after impossible obstacle in order to win the love of the aristocratic and haughty Count Bertram.

Rich Ryan, a Long Island-based survivor of childhood sexual abuse, dramatizes one man’s recovery from that singular terror in Lemon Meringue, a new 10-character play July 8–10 at TADA! Theater with songs by Athena Reich, an abuse survivor and award-winning recording artist. Ryan’s work explores the process of recovering lost sections of one’s life after childhood trauma with masterful emotional effect.

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