The Very Best Of NYC Theatre

Heist, Courting Mae West, Shakespeare In The Park and more!


Heist, “the funniest play ever written in English,” hits the Sargent Theatre starting June 11. Heist concerns the logistical problems experienced by a pack of thieves on the night they intend to rob a jewelry store inconveniently located behind a small theatre opening a one-woman show. Because the show is about the exquisite results of politically correct clitoral explosions, the diamond burglars need to time their dynamite blasts with the star’s orgasms. With music by Frank Sinatra and Duke Ellington, Heist clearly points out the sagacity of waiting for a woman to climax.

July 19–22, Courting Mae West: Sex, Censorship & Secrets takes the stage at the Algonquin Theatre. The play is based on true events during the 1920s when actress Mae West was jailed in New York City for trying to stage two gay plays on Broadway. Maybe she broke the law, but the law couldn’t break her! Yvonne Sayers takes on the role of West with plenty of sex appeal and industrial-strength charisma in a performance that’s also part of the Fresh Fruit Festival.

A staple in NYC’s unique summer events calendar, the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park presents two productions, Hamlet, starring Six Feet Under’s Lauren Ambrose, and Hair, now through Aug 17 at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater. Performances are free, and many of today’s most acclaimed actors and performers have begun their careers or returned to perform in Shakespeare in the Park. While you’re at it, why not check out the New York Classical Theater’s Shakespeare on the Run? The company’s free production of Cymbeline runs Sundays now through June 22 in Central Park.

The Midtown International Theatre Festival (MITF) once again takes on its namesake neighborhood July 14–Aug 10. The festival presents the finest eclectic Off-Off-Broadway talent at three small midtown venues: the Workshop Theater, Where Eagles Dare and Abingdon Arts Center. LGBT highlights include They Walk Among Us, which follows three young guardian spirits as they descend from Heaven to help a young man struggling with being gay; and Scandal in Manhattan, a farce about a handsome gentlemen and a southern belle who cross paths with a flamboyant supervisor and his sexy assistant at a midtown hotel.

Starting July 16, Culture Project’s Women Center Stage presents EXPATRIATE, a brand new two-woman play by Lenelle Moïse with music about race, friendship, art, and fame. Claudie and Alphine are sophisticated and sexy African-American performing artists and longtime sister-friends. Disillusioned by grief, homophobia, and “the black glass ceiling,” they flee to Europe to heal and soon realize their starved American dreams. But as Claudie and Alphine soon discover, for some black artists living abroad, stardom comes at a steep price.

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