Summer Arts Preview: Performing Arts

Exploring the season’s best in performing arts by bike, train, boat and car

By Bike

Think Law & Order:
Special Victims Unit 
by way of Ready Player
One for Flat Earth Theatre’s production
of The Nether at the 
Mosesian Center for the Arts, the final production in the Watertown company’s 12th season. This Boston-area premiere of Jennifer Haley’s dramatic mystery takes place both in the real world of the near future and in the Nether—the garden of digital delights previously known as the internet. After Det. Morris begins investigating a mysterious figure named Papa who presides over a hedonistic corner of the Nether, she soon questions human nature and the morality of technology. Swipe right when The Nether electrifies on June 8-23.

Photo credit: Jake Scaltreto

By Boat

Varla Jean Merman. Photo credit: Rex Bonomelli

Just like every summer, drag queen Varla Jean Merman brings a world-premiere production to the Art House on the beachy bohemia of Provincetown from June 22 to Aug. 31. In Under a Big Top, presented by Mark Cortale and co-written with Jacques Lamarre, Varla sashays to the center of the ring in a circus-themed cabaret featuring pop parodies. No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” is reimagined as a mime love triangle and Pharrell’s “Happy” turns into “Hairy” and is sung by the bearded lady. Grab a couple of pre-show cocktails and this high-camp circus will feel like the greatest show on earth.

By Car

Matthew Broderick steps into the spotlight for the world premiere of TheCloset at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, directed by Mark Brokaw. Inspired by the French play Le Placard, Douglas Carter Beane penned this comedic satire that bucks political correctness as it follows Martin, portrayed by Broderick, who is stuck in a rut in Scranton after his marriage fails. When a handsome stranger comes to town, Martin is forced to kick open the doors of his personal closet and celebrate discovering love in unexpected places. Get hung up when The Closet runs June 26-July 14.

By Train

Medea. Photo credit: Jeff Page

If you’re on the lookout for alfresco theater, Theater in the Open stages Medea by the ancient Greek playwright Euripides under the dappled shade of trees in Newburyport’s Maudslay State Park from July 7 to
Aug. 19. First performed in 431 BC, the tragedy follows the titular woman in her machinations to punish her unfaithful husband at an extreme cost—complete with a classic Greek deus ex machina. Give yourself plenty of time to stroll the grounds before the performance for a free afternoon of forestry and feminism.

Summer Arts Preview: Performing Arts Q&A


Read our Summer Arts Preview Q&A with local playwright John J. King on his play Martha’s (b)Rainstorm that will be staged at the Boston Center for the Arts on June 7-15.




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