Summer Theater Treats: 8 Must-See Shows

6:30 AM 7/14/2018

by THR Staff

From a rarely staged musical to a starry revival, The Hollywood Reporter critics pick the season's can't-miss shows in New York, Los Angeles and London.

'Carmen Jones'
'Carmen Jones'
Courtesy of Joan Marcus
  • The Boys in the Band

    Booth Theatre, New York (through Aug. 11)

    Courtesy of Joan Marcus

    Fifty years after Mart Crowley's play about gay men in pre-Stonewall New York made waves, director Joe Mantello shakes the dust off. What might have been a bulletin from the distant queer past becomes a gripping portrait of the self-loathing of ghettoized subcultures, and the cast — led by Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto and Matt Bomer — shines. – David Rooney 

    Read the full review here

  • Carmen Jones

    Classic Stage Company, New York (through Aug. 19)

    Joan Marcus

    Director John Doyle's stripped-down approach proves an evocative fit for this tale of passion and violence updated by Oscar Hammerstein II from Bizet's opera. Seldom seen in New York since its Broadway debut in 1943, the show is rendered especially captivating by the return to musical theater of Anika Noni Rose in a sizzling take on the title role. – D.R. 

    Read the full review here

  • Julie

    National Theatre, London (through Sept. 8)

    Richard H Smith

    Director Carrie Cracknell offers a powerful take on Strindberg's Miss Julie, adapted by Polly Stenham and featuring a splendid turn by rising star Vanessa Kirby (The Crown). This lean, contemporary spin underlines just how modern both character and play remain. – Demetrios Matheou

    Read the full review here. 

  • The Lehman Trilogy

    National Theatre, London (through Oct. 20)

    Mark Douet

    Sam Mendes follows his award-winning production of The Ferryman with an adaptation of Italian Stefano Massini's epic about the rise and fall of Lehman Brothers, the investment bank whose collapse is synonymous with the financial crisis of 2008. Told across 150 years and three generations, it's a deeply resonant play and a superb, exhilarating production. — D.M.

    Read the full review here. 

     

  • The Lieutenant of Inishmore

    Noel Coward Theatre, London (through Sept. 8)

    Johan Persson

    Aidan Turner (British TV series Poldark) gives a confident turn as a sectarian killer distraught over the health of his pet cat in this pitch-perfect West End revival of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri auteur Martin McDonagh's dark comic thriller. – Leslie Felperin 

    Read the full review here. 

  • Mary Page Marlowe

    Tony Kiser Theater, New York (through Aug. 12)

    Joan Marcus

    Tatiana Maslany makes a terrific New York stage debut as one of six actresses playing the title role in Tracy Letts' intimate collage of different moments from a woman's life, rendered in piercing emotional detail. Constructed as a 90-minute one act without a single non-essential scene, the drama is simultaneously expansive and a work of detailed miniaturist portraiture. — D.R. 

    Read the full review here. 

  • Our Very Own Carlin McCullough

    Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles (through July 29)

    Mamie Gummer makes a strong Los Angeles stage debut as the tightly wound mother of a young female tennis prodigy in Amanda Peet's terrifically taut and smart drama about the pitfalls and politics of parenting a child athlete. An astutely cast Joe Tippett plays a doting coach. – Deborah Wilker 

    Read the full review here. 

  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

    Donmar Warehouse, London (through July 28)

    Courtesy of Manuel Harlan

    A vivid Lia Williams takes the title role in this new adaptation, written by David Harrower and directed by Polly Findlay, of Muriel Spark's novel about a girls' school teacher with dangerous sympathies. It's a rich, complex production with a bracing postfeminist spin. – L.F. 

    Read the full review here. 

    This story first appeared in the July 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.