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Summer NYC Theater Update: New Shows, Celebs, Festivals & More

Feeling the burn? Perhaps you owe it to yourself to drop out of the scorch-a-thon and take advantage of NYC’s summer theatre scene, where A/C does much to enhance the joys of celebrating the city’s long list of “cool” comedies, dramas, musicals, events, and assorted interactive productions.

Summer is not usually known for multiple Broadway debuts, but this year is clearly the exception with three new shows entering the fray this July.

First Date the Musical on Broadway

The new musical comedy First Date—about a blind date with seemingly bad karma overload—is set to begin previews on July 9th for an August 8th opening. Starring Zachary Levi (Chuck; Tangled) and Krysta Rodriguez (Smash; The Addams Family on Broadway), the show is a must-see, especially for young fans who know the twosome from their TV roles. FYI: First Date marks Levi’s Broadway debut.

Forever Tango on Broadway

Also hitting Broadway on July 9th is Luis Bravo’s internationally renowned dance phenom Forever Tango. It arrives here with 16 world-class tango dancers, a vocalist (for the first three weeks, it’s five-time Grammy winner Gilberto Santa Rosa), and a 11-piece orchestra. Expect fireworks. Forever Tango officially opens on July 14th and is scheduled to end its limited run on September 15th.  

The Beatles Let It Be Broadway

The third show to arrive is Let It Be. Already a mega draw in the U.K., the high-tech concert (still running at London’s Savoy Theatre) celebrates The Beatles and their music with John, Paul, George and Ringo as they take audiences on a nostalgia trip for the ages tracing the group’s evolution from Liverpool’s Cavern Club to their fan-obsessed zenith. The show includes more than 20 Beatles songs, spanning their career together, along with video footage and 3-D sound. Previews begin July 16th with an official opening date of July 24th; it is scheduled to rock Broadway through December 29th.

Should you be on the prowl for shows boasting big names, below are a handful of suggestions.

Popular talk show host Wendy Williams makes her Broadway debut in the long-running hit musical Chicago on June 25th. She plays the duplicitous “mistress of murderer’s row” Matron “Mama” Morton (Queen Latifah’s role in the film version) through August 11th.

Jane Lynch in Annie on Broadway











If you haven’t caught Glee’s Jane Lynch as horrible orphan wrangler Miss Hannigan in Annie, I suggest you make a beeline for the Palace Theatre: audiences love her big time, and she’ll be leaving the show (her Broadway debut!) on July 14th.

Off-Broadway you can catch Tony winner Amanda Plummer (Agnes of God) and Oscar nominee Brad Dourif (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) in Tennessee Williams’ lost classic The Two-Character Play (now running through 9/1).

Meanwhile the Public Theater is mounting the first production of The Wallace Shawn-André Gregory Project, The Designated Mourner. The two stars of My Dinner with André team up (Gregory as director; Shawn as playwright and one of the actors.) July 14 to August 25th.

Theatregoer Alert: Seven new plays and one stunning revival—all with high-profile stars—will be leaving The Great White Way shortly, so beat the odds and book your seats before they’re Broadway history!

Tom Hanks in Lucky Guy on Broadway
Tom Hanks in Lucky Guy
. Photo: Joan Marcus

I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers, starring Bette Midler (closing 6/30); Lucky Guy, with Tom Hanks, Maura Tierney & Courtney Vance (closing 7/3); The Assembled Parties, with Jessica Hecht & Judith Light (closing 7/28); Macbeth, starring Alan Cumming (closing 7/14); Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, with David Hyde Pierce, Sigourney Weaver & Kristine Nielsen (closing 7/28); The Nance, starring Nathan Lane (closing 8/11); The Trip to Bountiful, with Cecily Tyson, Cuba Gooding, Jr. & Vanessa Williams (closing 9/1).

About the Author

City Guide Theatre Editor Griffin Miller moved to New York to pursue an acting/writing career in the 1980s after graduating magna cum laude from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Since then, she has written for The New York Times, For the Bride, Hotels, and a number of other publications, mostly in the areas of travel and performance arts. She currently is the theatre editor for all NYMetroParents publications. An active member of The New York Travel Writers Association, she is also a playwright and award-winning collage artist. In addition, she sits on the board of The Lewis Carroll Society of North America. Griffin is married to Richard Sandomir, a reporter for The New York Times.

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