All week we'll be rolling out content that will help New Yorkers, visitors and theatre fans make the most out of their NYC experience with our theatregoer's ultimate staycation guides. A little fresh air is good every now and then, so we're kicking off with a list of theatrical day-trip getaways, showcasing a diverse array of arts programming.
Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA. Get an early start and spend the day in the Berkshires, taking in beautiful scenery and first-class theatre. It's worth every bit of the three-and-a-half-hour drive to escape the city and check out where Broadway actors go to spend their summers. The Tony-winning musical Man of La Mancha, starring Jeff McCarthy, runs through July 11. Visit barringtonstageco.org.
Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, NY. The charming town of Sag Harbor, just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from NYC, boasts a powerful little theatre worthy of attention. Now under the artistic direction of Scott Schwartz, the 299-seat theatre is currently hosting the East Coast premiere of Five Presidents by Emmy Award-winning writer Rick Cleveland. In August, Bay Street will bring the Beales back to the Hamptons when it presents the Tony-nominated musical Grey Gardens, starring Betty Buckley and Rachel York. Visit baystreet.org.
Berkshire Theatre Group operates on five stages in three towns in Berkshire County. The organization's roots go back to the Berkshire Theatre Festival, which was founded in 1928 Stockbridge, MA. Located three hours north of NYC, the theatre's summer lineup includes the world premiere of David Adkins' Thoreau or, Return to Walden (through July 11); as well as the classic chiller Deathtrap, starring Gregg Edelman, Alison Fraser and Debra Jo Rupp (July 1-25); and the classic musical comedy Bells Are Ringing, which will star Tony nominee Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat (July 9-26). Visit berkshiretheatregroup.org.
Engeman Theatre, Northport Long Island. Numerous Broadway actors can be found on the stage of this professional theatre located just an hour-and a-half east of NYC on the scenic North Shore of Long Island. The theatre's seasons are packed with audience favorites and family-friendly Broadway titles. The Tony-winning Mel Brooks hit The Producers runs through July 12. Visit engemantheater.com.
Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. This Tony-winning hot bed of new work was founded in 1964 and has given birth to such works as Avenue Q, Nine, [title of show], In the Heights and The House of Blue Leaves. The organization's National Music Theater Conference, which allows audiences to see new work in development, continues through July 4 and includes ZM, a new zombie musical from the Tony Award-winning writers of Urinetown. The Playwrights Conference, which begins July 1, includes No One's Sonata, a world-premiere play with music from Tony-winning Spring Awakening writer Steven Sater. Composer Duncan Sheik serves as music director. Visit theoneill.org.
Gateway Playhouse in Belleport, NY. A family-friendly Long Island theatre institution for over 50 years, the Gateway Playhouse is roughly 90 minutes from New York City via car or the LIRR. The theatre is presenting the uplifting Broadway gospel musical Sister Act July 1-18 at its historic theatre. The Tony-winning hit Billy Elliot will dance its way to the stage of the Patchogue Theatre July 22. Visit gatewayplayhouse.com.
Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, CT. Visit the birthplace of such musicals as Annie and Man of La Mancha. This Tony-winning regional theatre is located just two-and-a-half-hours north of New York City and is renowned for more than just the musicals it produces; the architecture of the historic Goodspeed Opera House and its perch over the Connecticut River are breathtaking. The theatre is currently presenting Jerry Herman's Tony-winning musical La Cage aux Folles through Sept. 6. Visit goodspeed.org.
Powerhouse Theatre at Vassar and New York Stage and Film in Poughkeepsie, NY. This diverse festival of innovative, brand-new theatre at various stages of development is located just under two hours north of NYC (driving or Amtrak). The 31st season of readings, workshops and mainstage productions launched June 26. Offerings include a new play by Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar; 15 Minutes, a new musical by Rick Elice, Stephen Trask and Peter Yanowitz; and Rain, another new musical by Michael John LaChiusa and Sybille Pearson. Jennifer Westfeldt, Michael C. Hall, Lena Hall, Condola Rashad, Jason Danieley and Derek Klena are among the participating stars. Visit powerhouse.vassar.edu.
Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, MA. The Tony Award-winning regional theatre, also nestled in the Berkshires, offers a dynamic slate of world premieres and revivals, many of which have gone on to enjoy future lives on Broadway and Off. In recent seasons, Williamstown was the incubator for such shows as The Bridges of Madison County, The Visit, Far from Heaven, Living On Love and the Bradley Cooper revival of The Elephant Man. The season opens with a new production of Inge's Off the Main Road starring Kyra Sedgwick (June 30-July 19); and the world premiere of Daniel Goldfarb's Legacy, starring Jessica Hecht and Eric Bogosian. Visit wtfestival.org.