There are a few major openings in the Boston area this summer, from Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s “Much Ado About Nothing” on Boston Common (July 20-Aug. 7, commshakes.org) to Huntington Theatre Company’s “Sing Street” (Aug. 26-Oct. 2, huntingtontheatre.org) to American Repertory Theater’s “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992″ (Aug. 28-Sept. 23, americanrepertorytheater.org).
If you’re in the mood for a big-budget musical, Broadway In Boston (boston.broadway.com) will present the touring production of “Anastasia” at Citizens Bank Opera House Aug. 17-28. If you want to check out the latest from the always-provocative Company One Theatre (companyone.org), you can drop by the Strand Theatre in Dorchester for “can i touch it?’’ July 22-Aug. 13.
But in general, the local stage scene is quieter this time of year. That makes it an ideal moment for an intrepid theatergoer to journey further afield. Here are a few promising productions from the Berkshires, the Cape, and all over New England.
Tucked into the southwest part of Vermont is the Dorset Theatre Festival (dorsettheatrefestival.org), led by Dina Janis. Through July 23, Janis will be directing the premiere of “Scarecrow,’’ written and performed by Heidi Armbruster. After returning to her family’s dairy farm in Wisconsin, a New York actress looks back at the final 33 days of her father’s life.
Don Quixote, everyone’s favorite knight-errant, is the hero of “La Mancha,’’ an adaptation of the Miguel de Cervantes classic by Marcel Mascaró. Rhode Island Latino Arts, in association with Trinity Repertory Company, will present a bilingual production of “La Mancha” from July 15-24 at La Galeria de Pueblo in Central Falls, with a final performance at the State House Lawn in Providence on July 28 (trinityrep.com/show/la-mancha).
On the Cape, Wellfleet’s Harbor Stage Company (harborstage.org) has established a certain adventurousness as its trademark. Through Aug. 6, the company’s intimate theater near the water will be home to the premiere of “The Ballad of Bobby Botswain,’’ a two-hander written and performed by Jonathan Fielding and Jason Lambert. According to a description by Harbor Stage, it’s about “a pair of mismatched partners navigating the line between criminality and kindness.”
At Provincetown Theater (provincetowntheater.org), you’ve got until July 21 to see “The Lady Hamlet,’’ a “lesbian farce” by Sarah Schulman that stars Jennifer Van Dyck and Kate Levy.
Out west in the Berkshires, theatrical gold can often be mined during the summer months, and one leader who has had a lot to do with that over the years is Julianne Boyd of Pittsfield’s Barrington Stage Company (barringtonstageco.org).
From Aug. 6-28, Boyd will helm her final production as artistic director of the company she cofounded in 1995, and it’s a show well-suited to her abundant talents: “A Little Night Music.’’ Based on Ingmar Bergman’s “Smiles of a Summer Night,” it’s about romantic misadventures on a country estate in turn-of-the-century Sweden, featuring a book by Hugh Wheeler and one of Stephen Sondheim’s most glorious scores.
Based on Harrison David Rivers’s powerful “Where Storms Are Born,” there’s reason to look forward to his new drama, “we are continuous.’’ Premiering Aug. 2-14 at Williamstown Theatre Festival (wtfestival.org), “we are continuous” examines the fallout when a “life-changing secret” is revealed that threatens to unravel the tight bond between a man and his mother.
Buddy Holly is one of the great what-if? stories of rock ‘n’ roll. In 1959, at age 22, Holly died in a plane crash along with Ritchie Valens, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, and pilot Roger Peterson. (In “American Pie,” Don McLean crowned it “The Day the Music Died.”)
From Aug. 16-28, Beverly’s North Shore Music Theatre (nsmt.org) will present “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.” Directed and choreographed by Marcos Santana, “Buddy” includes big Holly hits such as “That’ll Be the Day,” “Oh Boy,” “Maybe Baby,” and “Peggy Sue,” along with Valens’s “La Bamba” and Richardson’s “Chantilly Lace.”