Below is a selection of New York theater opening* in July, presented in a day-by-day calendar, including two Broadway shows, David Byrne and Fatboy Slim’s “Here Lies Love” arguably a rare immersive production on Broadway, and “The Cottage” marking Jason Alexander’s Broadway directorial debut.6
Off Broadway, there will be two plays about basketball players (one of them a demi-god), and Off Off Broadway two plays about addicts (one to food.) Rhea Perlman will star in a new play at Lincoln Center, and Maggie Siff (Billions) will be in a revival of a Tennessee Williams play.
It’s summer so that means theater festivals, and outdoor theater, some of it free.
This calendar is organized chronologically by opening date*, but we must consider the dates subject to change, thanks to the vagaries of COVID-19 even now, when the COVID emergency is officially over.
Each title below is linked to a relevant website.
Key: Broadway: Red 🟥. Off Broadway: Blue 🟦. Off Off Broadway: Green 🟩.
Digital or Hybrid Theater: Yellow 🟨. Theater festival: Orange 🟧. Immersive and/or site-specific: Silver ⬜️
🟧Hot Festival! (Dixon Place)
Begun in 1992 as the first all-inclusive month-long LGBTQIA+ festival, it has become the longest-running festival of its kind in the world! This year features 14 shows, including “Swimming with Lesbians” written and performed by Marga Gomez starting July 10th.
Through July 29
🟩Lighthouse (Soho Playhouse)
A musical about a female bar owner and her customers as they navigate the challenges of the pandemic.
Through August 12.
🟦A Musical About Star Wars (AMT Theater)
The return of the goofy musical about two sci-fi fans hoping to perform their unauthorized Star Wars musical at Comic Con.
Through September 2
🟩Galatea 2.0 (Brooklyn Art Haus)
This modern take on the Pygmalion myth, chronicles Eliza, a sex worker hired by a disaffected young man to role play as a top of the line “love doll” when his own doll mysteriously breaks.
July 6 – July 23
🟦Malvolio (Classical Theater of Harlem at Richard Rogers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park)
A new sequel to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. featuring John-Andrew Morrison (Tony nominee for “A Strange Loop) as King Chadlio. Free.
Through July 29
🟩I’m Going To Marry You Toby Maguire (the cell)
To cope with the absence of her father, neglect of her mother, and ridicule by her classmates, eighth-grader Shelby Hinkley has put all of her time and energy into the only thing that matters in 2004: Spiderman. She decides to kidnap its star.
July 8 – July 29
🟩Chanteuse: A Survival Musical (HERE Arts Center)
This play written and performed by Alan Palmer tells the story of a gay man in 1930s Berlin who tries to avoid being sent to the concentration camps by taking on his late landlady’s identity and becoming a chanteuse in the city’s supper clubs.
July 11-July 30
🟩Try for the Kingdom (Vino Theater)
In this play by Jake Shore, three junkies living in an abandoned apartment in Brooklyn try to form a family to combat madness and violence.
July 6 – August 5
Orpheus Descending (Theater for a New Audience)
This revival of Tennessee Williams’ play set in a small town dry-goods store in the Deep South stars Maggie Siff and Pico Alexander as two outcasts—Lady Torrance, a storekeeper’s wife and daughter of a murdered Sicilian bootlegger, and Val, a wandering guitar player—and their attempt to escape from a Southern Hell.
July 9 – August 6
🟥⬜️Here Lies Love (Broadway Theater)
First Preview: June 17, 2023
Cast: Arielle Jacobs, Jose Llana, Conrad Ricamora. Lea Salonga will be in the cast through August 11.
Writers: David Byrne (concept, music & lyrics), Fatboy Slim (lyrics)
Director: Alex Timbers
The musical about the rise and fall of Imelda Marcos transformed the Public Theater into a disco, and transform the Broadway theater to make it just as immersive — something that hasn’t been done on Broadway since “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812.”. My review of Here Lies Love Off-Broadway.
Flex (Lincoln Center Theater)
This play by Candrice Jones looks at the young, Black, and female members of a high school basketball team in rural Arkansas in 1997.
The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare in the Parking Lot)
through July 29
🟥The Cottage (Hayes Theater)
Starring: Eric McCormack, Laura Bell Bundy, Lilli Cooper
Writer: Sandy Rustin
Director: Jason Alexander
Jason Alexander makes his Broadway directing debut in this Noel Coward-like comedy set in the English countryside in 1923, when Sylvia (Bundy) decides to expose her affair to both her husband and to her lover’s wife.
July 7 – October 29, 2023
🟩🟨Vermont (Thirdwing at The Wild Project)
Set near the end of the peace and love era in 1972, this play by Rachel Carey asks: Can a young couple solve their marital issues by joining a commune? (Thirdwing productions require a subscription, a la Netflix)
🟩Unentitled (Negro Ensemble Company at 59e59)
This play by Charles White focuses on a Black middle class family struggling during the 2008 presidential campaign, when the country was on the verge of economic collapse, when a stranger brings the news that he is a part of the family, and he’s entitled to share what they have.
July 21-August 6
🟧🟨SheNYC Summer Theater Festival (Connelly Theater)
Five new plays and three new musical by “gender-marginalized” writers, composers and directors. Sample titles: Chasing Grace (Book, Music, & Lyrics by Elizabeth Addison), Finding Olive (by Samantha Stone),First Sight: A Queer Indonesian Love Story (by Dena Igusti) through August 6
Lightweight (Soho Playhouse)
Amie Enriquez’s solo play of her real-life journey through rehab to recover from eating disorders while simultaneously surviving her other problems, which include her parents.
July 19- August 26
🟩The Dastardly Thornes v. The Town of Goldhaven (The Brick)
A comic cowboy musical by Ben Holbrook and Nate Weida: After the most rootinest, tootinest showdown in local history, the town of Goldhaven, Arizona has (despite its lack of infrastructure) decided to carry out due process and put the treacherous Thorne gang (a family of outlaws) on trial. Also on trial: colonizing, toxicity, manifest destiny, the ownership of history, beans.
🟦Cat Kid Comic Club (TheaterworksUSA at Lucille Lortel)
A musical adaptation of the bestselling Cat Kid Comic Club series by Dav Pilkey. Cat Kid and Molly Pollywog have started an epic club to teach 21 rambunctious baby frogs how to make their own comics,
July 21 – August 27
🟦The Half-God of Rainfall (NYTW)
A play by Inua Ellams (Barber Shop Chronicles) about a Nigerian demigod turned basketball star who’s barred from the game because of his powers, then appeals to Mount Olympus.
July 13-August 20
🟩Let’s Call Her Patty (Lincoln Center Theater)
In this play by Zarina Shea, Rhea Perlman stars as a comfortable Upper West Side lady forced out of her comfort zone when her daughter (Arielle Goldman) turns to cocaine to cope with her success as a sculptor. Also starring Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer as the niece Patty enlists to help.
July 15 – August 27
I organize this list by opening night, but include the dates when a show’s run starts and ends (when available.)
Opening night is usually not the same as the first performance on Broadway and Off-Broadway as well. There is usually a “preview period” that can last days or weeks, sometimes months. But professional reviews are forbidden from being published until opening night, which is why I organize this calendar by opening night (when it exists and when I can find it) rather than first performance, as a way to support the continuing relevance of theater reviewing.. Check out my essay: Broadway Opening Night. What It Means. How It’s Changed. 7 Facts to Clear Up The Confusion and Crystallize the Outrage.
What Is Broadway 🟥, Off Broadway 🟦 and Off-Off Broadway🟩?
Off-Broadway theaters, by definition, have anywhere from 100 to 499 seats. If a theater has more seats than that, it’s a Broadway house. If it has fewer, it’s Off-Off Broadway. (There is a more sophisticated definition, having to do with contracts, and more elaborate distinctions, having to do with ticket prices, number and location of theaters, length of runs, willingness to take artistic risks, etc.)
(Lincoln Center has separate Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway theaters. Several of the city’s performing arts centers, such as The Shed, Little Island, Park Avenue Armory and NYU Skirball, technically exist outside Broadway/Off-Broadway/Off-Off Broadway classifications; I list them as Off-Broadway, even though they have more than 500 seats.)