June is an in-between time on Cape Cod, after the Memorial Day season opening but before the bustle of summer that begins with July 4. It’s a great month to visit Cape Cod because it’s relatively quiet but there’s lots going on – and that includes theater! Year-round venues like the Academy of Performing Arts in Orleans, Cape Rep in Brewster and Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater are still going strong, while a few seasonal venues such as College Light Opera in Falmouth are just starting up for the season. A few, like Barnstable Comedy Club and Counter Productions in Provincetown, are taking a hiatus. Some highlights for June include the opening of Monomoy Theatre in Chatham with “Fiddler on the Roof,” College Light Opera’s late June opening in Falmouth with “The Mikado” and in Orleans, the Academy of Performing Arts’ very funny staging of “The Producers.” Here’s a brief rundown on current and upcoming productions. Theaters are ordered by region, starting with the Upper Cape and moving east to the Outer Cape. This will give you an idea about who does what; see our Datebook section for specific dates and times. Reservations are recommended for most theaters, so be sure to call ahead. In June, same day reservations are often fine. Enjoy the show!
COLLEGE LIGHT OPERA CO
Highfield Theatre, 58 Highfield Dr, Falmouth, 508-548-0668
Highfield Theatre was once the stable for Highfield Hall, the beautifully restored 1878 mansion that shares the hilltop property surrounded by the Beebe Woods conservation land. The Falmouth Theatre Guild stages musicals here fall through spring, and right about now, the College Light Opera Co. takes over for the summer. College Light kicks off its 42nd season with Gilbert & Sullivan’s masterpiece satire “The Mikado,” Featuring classic songs like “Three Little Maids from School,” the show opens June 29 and runs through July 3.
COTUIT CENTER FOR THE ARTS
4404 Rte 28, Cotuit, 508-428-0669
This thriving arts center, which combines gallery space with a theater and also offers classes and special programs, is staging the whacky comedy “Bleacher Bums” June 10 to June 27. Billed as a “9-inning comedy,” the play centers around a group of loyal baseball fans cheering on a hapless team. Perfect for the season!
Gertrude Lawrence Stage, Dennis Union Church, Rte 6A & Old Bass River Rd, 508-398-8588
Eventide Arts has emerged as one of Cape Cod’s most respected theatre companies despite its unconventional locale. It is known not only for stellar productions but for its constant efforts to nurture and support the arts through endeavors like concert series, playwriting and songwriting competitions. This month’s highlights are staged readings of the winner of the Kaplan Playwriting Contest, this year an up and coming playwright from Falmouth, and Songwriting Competition finalist performances.
820 Rte 6A, Dennis, 877-385-3911
The venerable Cape Playhouse, which has been producing summertime theatre for more than 80 years, opens for the 2010 season June 7 with “Tea at Five,” starring Stephanie Zimbalist as the legendary Katharine Hepburn. The play is an intimate portrait of the actress at two different times in her life, revealed over tea at her beloved Fenwick home. The show runs through June 19. The second show, opening June 21 and running through July 3, will be “The 39 Steps,” a comedic riff on Alfred Hitchcock’s cinematic masterpiece. A man mistaken for a spy is whisked into pursuit of the titular secret society in order to clear his name, encountering dastardly murders, double-crossing secret agents, and, of course, devastatingly beautiful women. The amazing thing is that a troupe of just four ta lented actors perform more than 130 roles! The Playhouse runs through August, with a great lineup of comedies, musicals and more. Each play has a solid two-week run, with evening shows Monday through Saturday and matinees on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
HARWICH JR THEATRE
Division Street, West Harwich, 508-432-2002
As its middle name implies, HJT has great offerings for the younger set, including classes in musical theater, acting and more, but it’s also a major venue for adults. The theater has a homey yet spacious feeling, so it’s a great place to see plays. “Bonnie and Clyde,” which opened in mid May, runs through June 13, so there’s plenty of time to go see this rip-roaring musical about the lives and loves of one of history’s most notorious couples.
776 Main St., Chatham, 508-945-1589
The Ohio University Players return this month for their 53nd season, kicking it off June 22 with “Fiddler on the Roof,” the classic musical about a father trying to preserve his family’s Jewish heritage in the face of changing times in turn of the century Russia. Songs like “Tradition” and “Matchmaker” make this show unforgettable. The show runs through July 3.
CHATHAM DRAMA GUILD
134 Crowell Rd, Chatham 508-945-0510
Established in 1931, the Guild is housed in a theater large enough to seem roomy but small enough to feel intimate. You’ll find mystery, comedy, musicals and dramas here. Running through June 13 is the Guild’s production of David Mamet’s “A Life in the Theatre,” a backstage drama and comedy about the passing of the torch from one generation of actors to another and how actors see themselves.
CAPE REPERTORY THEATRE
3299 Route 6A, Brewster, 508-896-1888
Cape Rep started with its outdoor theater and honed its reputation with its indoor theater, and in summertime manages to operate both to great effect. Get to the indoor theater the first week of June to catch the last few performances of Sarah Ruhl’s award-winning play, “Eurydice,” which reinterprets the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Up next for Cape Rep will be Terrence McNally’s “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune,” starting mid-June and running into July. The play, which was adapted into a film and had a Broadway revival in 2002, focuses on two lonely, middle-aged people whose first date ends with them tumbling into bed. Johnny is certain he has found his soul mate in Frankie, but she is far more cautious. As the night unfolds, they slowly begin to reveal themselves to each other.
ACADEMY OF PERFORMING ARTS
120 Main St, Orleans, 508-255-1963
The Academy of Performing Arts is many things to many people – it has a thriving school on Giddiah Hill Road that offers music, dance and acting classes for both children and adults, and its venerable Main Street Playhouse (on the road to Nauset Beach) stages a wide variety of productions all year. There’s really not a bad seat in the house at this venue, which is almost a theater in the round. It’s wonderful to be so close to the actors. This month’s show, “The Producers,” is actually a reprisal of a production the Academy staged over the winter to rave reviews – many people who saw it then will no doubt come to see it again! It’s a hilarious musical about two theatrical producers whose scheme to get rich by producing a flop backfires when the show actually turns out to be a success. Opening June 9, “The Producers” runs through July 10.
WELLFLEET HARBOR ACTORS THEATER
2357 Route 6, and Town Harbor, Wellfleet, 508-349-9428
We still love WHAT’s original harborside theater, but the company’s new theater on Route 6, completed two years ago, is gorgeous. In addition to comfortable seating, it has a beautiful lobby with a full bar. This month, WHAT’s new Julie Harris Stage opens its 2010 season with Howard Zinn’s “Daughter of Venus.” Directed by Jeff Zinn, the play is a family drama set against a backdrop of a world where governments gamble with mutual annihilation. Zinn reminds us that sometimes the small choices we make have vast repercussions on our world and on the people we love. The Harbor theater opens June 3 with “Colorado,” a dark comedy in which a teen beauty queen has gone missing, and members of her dysfunctional family cope in different ways. The New England premiere of Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s play runs through July 3.
238 Bradford St, Provincetown, 508-487-7487 or 508-487-9793
There has been some changing of the guard going on at this Cape-tip theater, but it looks like both CTEK Arts and the Provincetown Theater Company will be producing shows here. This month the theater host the Spring Playwrights Festival, call for performance dates and times.