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Seven Weeks of Summer

10 standout shows for theatergoers this summer

From left: Heidi Blickenstaff, Allison Sheppard, and Jena VanElslander in "Jagged Little Pill."Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade

THE GAAGA Written and directed by Sasha Denisova, “The GAAGA” takes place in a bomb shelter in Mariupol. A Ukrainian teenager (known simply as The Girl) whose family has been killed has a dream in which she’s the judge in the trial of Vladimir Putin and his cronies for crimes of war. Playing The Girl is 17-year-old Ukrainian refugee Taisiia Fedorenko. With virtual elements created by co-director Igor Golyak. In-person performances June 2-18. Streaming performance available June 8-18. Presented by Arlekin Players Theatre. At Beat Brew Hall, Cambridge. www.arlekinplayers.com

ROOTED A distinctive voice and a fondness for eccentrics have characterized Deborah Zoe Laufer plays like “Out of Sterno,”“Be Here Now,” and “The Last Schwartz.” In Laufer’s “Rooted,” amateur botanist Emery Harris (Lisa Tucker) has lived in a treehouse for more than 10 years, posting her research on YouTube and gaining followers who view her as a “new-age messiah.” Then some of them show up at the treehouse. Featuring Karen MacDonald as Hazel, Emery’s sister, and Katherine Callaway as Luanne, a character passing through town who meets both sisters. Directed by Courtney O’Connor. June 2-25. Lyric Stage Company of Boston. 617-585-5678, www.lyricstage.com

PRIVATE LIVES Diego Arciniegas directs Noël Coward’s comedy of manners about a divorced couple whose romance is reignited while they are honeymooning in France with their new spouses. Featuring Gunnar Manchester as Elyot, Katie Croyle as Amanda, Serenity S’rae as Sibyl, and Stephen Shore as Victor. June 2-25. Gloucester Stage Company, Gloucester. 978-281-4433, www.gloucesterstage.com


AS YOU LIKE IT Harold Steward directs a production of Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy that “leans into its famed crossdressing mayhem and gender euphoria, celebrating the inherent queerness of mythical Arden.” Cast includes Lindsay Eagle, Jaime José Hernández, Doug Lockwood, Nathan Malin, Genevieve Simon, Bobbie Steinbach, Regine Vital, and Mishka Yarovoy. June 2-25. Actors’ Shakespeare Project, in partnership with The Theater Offensive. At Balch Arena Theater at Tufts University, Medford. 617-241-2200, www.ActorsShakespeareProject.org


JAGGED LITTLE PILL Before its lengthy run on Broadway, the stage adaptation of Alanis Morissette’s 1995 album premiered at Cambridge’s American Repertory Theater in 2018. Now the touring production of the musical will surface on the other side of the Charles River, in Boston, with Heidi Blickenstaff reprising her role from the Broadway production as the mother in a dysfunctional Connecticut family. The cast also includes Lauren Chanel, Chris Hoch, Dillon Klena, Jade McLeod, and Allison Sheppard. Directed by Diane Paulus. June 13-25. Broadway In Boston. At Citizens Bank Opera House. www.BroadwayInBoston.com

BREAD & BUTTER Premiere of a screwball comedy by the gifted Brenda Withers about a ruthless Broadway producer who finds “an impressionable rube” to bankroll his next show. Complications ensue. Withers says she based it “very, very loosely” on George S. Kaufman’s 1925 “The Butter and Egg Man.” Cast includes Robin Bloodworth, David Fraioli, Ari Lew, Amie Lytle, and Withers, who also directs. June 15-July 8. Harbor Stage Company, Wellfleet. 508-514-1763, www.harborstage.org

THE NORMAL HEART Larry Kramer’s scorching, largely autobiographical drama about gay writer and activist Ned Weeks (Dylan C. Wack), who adopts confrontational tactics as he fights to bring attention to the burgeoning AIDS crisis in the early 1980s. Directed by Shira Helena Gitlin. June 21-July 9. New Repertory Theatre. At Black Box Theater of the Mosesian Center for the Arts, Watertown. 617-923-8487, www.newrep.org


THE SMILE OF HER The premiere of an autobiographical drama written and performed by Christine Lahti, an Emmy winner for her performance in “Chicago Hope” and an Oscar winner for directing the short film “Lieberman in Love.” In “The Smile of Her,” Lahti chronicles her family life in the patriarchal 1950s and what is described as a “sometimes funny, always deeply personal, journey of denial, neglect, abuse, understanding and by the end — maybe, possibly, hope.” Georgi James plays the young Lahti. Directed by Robert H. Egan. July 12-29. Berkshire Theatre Group. At the Unicorn Theatre, Stockbridge. 413-997-4444, www.berkshiretheatregroup.org

THE BOY WHO KISSED THE SKY With a script by Idris Goodwin (”How We Got On,” “Hype Man: a break beat play”) and music by Divinity Roxx and Eugene H. Russell IV, “The Boy Who Kissed The Sky” is inspired by the early life of rock legend Jimi Hendrix. An aspiring musician, called The Boy and played by Errol Service Jr., goes on a journey through time and space with the spirit of a bandleader named J Sonic (Martinez McNeil). That journey enables The Boy to, according to press materials, “ignite the creativity and confidence within him and chase a dream that has been passed down from generation to generation.” Directed by Summer L. Williams, music direction by David Freeman Coleman, and dramaturgy by afrikah selah. July 14-Aug. 12. Company One Theatre, in partnership with the City of Boston’s Office of Arts and Culture. At the Strand Theatre, Dorchester. www.companyone.org


MACBETH Faran Tahir, so compelling in Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s “Richard III” in 2018, portrays another bloody-minded ruler, with Joanne Kelly as the lethal Lady Macbeth. The supporting cast includes Marianna Bassham as Malcolm, Maurice Emmanuel Parent as Banquo, Nael Nacer as Macduff, and Jesse Hinson as First Witch. Directed by Steven Maler. July 19-Aug. 6. Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Free Shakespeare on the Common. At Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common. www.Commshakes.org


Don Aucoin can be reached at donald.aucoin@globe.com. Follow him @GlobeAucoin.