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This Week's Off-Broadway Openings: July 4, 2011-July 10, 2011

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Click on the show title for theater information, show times, and more.

As You Like It - Shakespeare's delightful comedy of disguised identity and wooing by proxy is directed by RSC Artistic Director Michael Boyd, whose production reflects the play's somber historical context while capturing the liberating power of love. Part of the Royal Shakespeare Company Residency at Lincoln Center Festival 2011.

Eva The Chaste - Written by Barbara Hammond, this intriguing work immerses the audience in the pivotal passions and pressing responsibilities of a woman whose twenty-year sprint away from her past comes crashing to a close as dawn breaks over Dublin Bay. Hammond set out to reveal, through the use of spoken thought, a genuine and intimate portrait of a woman at the crossroads, both literally and figuratively, of her life. The script, set in Dublin and Paris, explores the profound and unpredictable bond between a mother and a daughter; the grasp for life at the approach of death; and the road to hell -- shining, smooth and paved with good intentions.

Julius Caesar - Shakespeare's Julius Caesar is both a political thriller and a character study about the treacherous assassination of the Roman emperor Julius Caesar led by co-conspirators Brutus and Cassius, who fear the leader has become too powerful. Part of the Royal Shakespeare Company Residency at Lincoln Center Festival 2011.

King Lear - Greg Hicks has won unanimous critical praise for his ghost-like Lear, the aged king who earns his fate because of his shallow demand for love in words rather than actions, in David Farr's acclaimed production of this Shakespearean masterpiece. Part of the Royal Shakespeare Company Residency at Lincoln Center Festival 2011.

Lincoln Center Festival: Royal Shakespeare Company - This unprecedented U.S. appearance by the Royal Shakespeare Company is co-presented by Lincoln Center Festival and Park Avenue Armory, in association with The Ohio State University. The critically acclaimed ensemble performs five of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays on a full-scale replica of RSC’s Stratford-upon-Avon home inside the Armory’s soaring Wade Thompson Drill Hall. The celebrated company will put on five very different Shakespearean works in repertory: As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, The Winter’s Tale, and Julius Caesar. Due to creative scheduling, it is even possible to see all five productions in one of the marathon weekends to appreciate the full breadth of this undertaking.

A Magic Flute - Director Peter Brook returns to Lincoln Center with a vivacious new interpretation of this Mozart fantasy. His intimate adaptation strips the work's usual ornamentation to reveal the impish, effervescent heart. The beautifully simple staging features just a single piano and seven highly talented young singers who, fill Mozart's score with new humanity and color. First delicate and tender, then quirky and playful, the opera unfolds before your eyes with an immediacy and freshness that have been seen only too rarely before.

Romeo and Juliet - Rupert Goold's savagely hectic production of Shakespeare’s most celebrated romance has been praised as an impetuous anthem for doomed youth. It is set in a torch-lit, Catholic world, where impulses reign and people act before they think. Part of the Royal Shakespeare Company Residency at Lincoln Center Festival 2011.

Spatter Pattern: or How I Got Away With It - A screenwriter becomes entangled in the life of a university professor under investigation for a grisly murder. What begins as self-interest soon gives way to empathy, and a bond between men from seemingly opposite worlds inexorably deepens.

Territories - Playwright Steven Dykes’ play exploring two erotic stories of betrayal and voyeurism: in The Spoils, an army official with a romantic's faith in the power of music finds his idealism shattered by a quartet of women who survive by compromise; A Light Gathering of Dust is a highly sexual, darkly humorous study of the damage inflicted on lovers by a government that rewards personal betrayal.

Victory: Choices in Reaction - A comic, bawdy, passionate play set in the chaos of the Restoration in 1660. Bradshaw, the widow of a Republican intellectual, discovering the fate of her husband's body, sets out on a journey of personal exploration….a play about self-knowledge and personal survival in a disorderly and scandalous epoch of English history.

The Winter's Tale - David Farr directs this magical production of Shakespeare's most emotionally complex and theatrical play, which The Bard penned before he left London to return to his native Stratford for good. Part of the Royal Shakespeare Company Residency at Lincoln Center Festival 2011.

For more Off-Broadway shows, click here. For Off-Off Broadway, click here.

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