What to catch while you're in town. Plus, five more in other cities

By Tanner Stransky
July 02, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

La Cage Aux Folles

Dying for a dose of Broadway razzle-dazzle? Look no further. The Tony winner for Best Musical Revival stars Frasier‘s Kelsey Grammer and deserving Tony winner Douglas Hodge as proprietors of a French Riviera drag club. The show’s muscle-packed Cagelle dancers are nothing but inspiring.


Produced by a power trio (Jay-Z and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith), the biographical musical dives deep into the life of Nigerian revolutionary and Afro-pop star Fela Kuti. Told in dreamy concert style, Fela! bubbles with infectious African beats and some of the most mind-blowing dancing on Broadway.

Lend Me A Tenor

You only have until Aug. 15 to catch the Stanley Tucci-directed revival. This throwback boasts well-timed physical comedy (think The Three Stooges) and features Justin Bartha, Anthony LaPaglia, and Tony Shalhoub, as well as the masterful stage vet Jan Maxwell.

Shakespeare in the Park

Through Aug. 1, Modern Family‘s Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Law & Order‘s Jesse L. Martin star in The Merchant of Venice and The Winter’s Tale, the Public Theater’s free alfresco productions in Central Park. Bonus: Merchant stars Al Pacino as Shylock. Don’t forget bug spray!

The 39 Steps

The show, in which four actors energetically play multiple roles, is now Off Broadway after a long run on the Great White Way. But with its buoyantly farcical take on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 thriller, Steps is still one of the best bets on the NYC stage.

5 More to See in Other Cities

Andrea McArdle, a Tony nominee and Broadway’s original Annie, is switching it up as Miss Hannigan in this revival at the North Carolina Theatre in Raleigh. (July 24 — Aug. 1)

Annie Get Your Gun
During Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, you can look forward to stage legend Patti LuPone playing Annie Oakley and belting “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” (Aug. 13 — 15)

The Lieutenant of Inishmore
Star Trek‘s Chris Pine will portray an Irish terrorist with serious anger issues in Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy at L.A.’s Mark Taper Forum. (June 30 — Aug. 8)

Unabashed musical-lover Neil Patrick Harris will direct Vanessa Hudgens in this rockin’ riff on La Bohéme at L.A.’s Hollywood Bowl. (Aug. 6 — 8)

The Tempest
After playing Julius Caesar two years ago, Christopher Plummer has returned to Canada’s Stratford Shakespeare Festival to play Prospero in the Bard’s comedy. (Through Sept. 12)