The best part of living in New York City in the summer is the multitude of free events around the city. There's outdoor movies in Bryant Park, outdoor concerts at Summer Stage, and biggest of all, Shakespeare in the Park. Even though it's only February, today's announcement of this summer's productions lets us all look forward to summer all the more.
First, from June 9th - July 12th, is Twelfth Night. Now, this isn't as high-profile a play as recent Shakespeare picks (Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth), but it does have something those other plays didn't: Anne Hathaway (Lauren Ambrose must be pissed). After shedding her Disney image (and clothes) in Brokeback Mountain and Rachel Getting Married, Hathaway's taking the next step in proving her acting mettle by going live, playing Viola. Makes waiting in line 6 hours for tickets a little more worthwhile.
As for the non-Shakespeare play (August 11th - September 6th), this year it's The Bacchae, a Greek tragedy by Euripedes that somehow slipped through Columbia's Core Curriculum, making it the only Greek play I haven't read (yes, that's hyperbole). No cast has been announced yet, just that the score will be composed by Philip Glass. Since last year this slot was filled with the hugely successful revival of Hair, it's going to take a lot more than Philip Glass to make this not feel like a letdown. Maybe they should consider casting Anne Hathaway.