Summertime often finds theatergoers in a mellower frame of mind, more in the mood for a meditative stroll on the lighter side than a hurried-what-should-we-see-next? sprint.
Certain theater companies are happy to accommodate them, eager to make inroads with new audiences now that the powerhouse theaters have largely gone dark till September.
Waltham’s Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston, fresh off artistic director Rachel Bertone’s terrific production of “Oklahoma!,” heads under the sea for “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” (July 28-Aug. 6). Kayla Shimizu, who played farm girl Laurey in “Oklahoma!,” portrays Ariel, a mermaid whose yearning to see what life is like on dry land leads her to make a bad bargain with the villainous sea witch, Ursula (Katherine Pecevich). Directed and choreographed by Taavon Gamble. 781-891-5600, www.reaglemusictheatre.org
The North Shore Music Theatre is hoping that Parrotheads will flock to its Beverly venue for “Escape to Margaritaville” (Aug. 15-27). A jukebox musical built on the music of Jimmy Buffett, it tells the story of Tully (Wes Williams), a laid-back bartender/singer on a tropical island, and Rachel (Dakota Mackey-McGee), a tourist from Ohio who at first is immune to Tully’s charms. Directed and choreographed by Charlie Sutton. 978-232-7200, www.nsmt.org
“Love, Loss and What I Wore” (July 22-Aug. 5), written by Nora and Delia Ephron, is constructed as a series of monologues in which women reflect on the pivotal events of their lives through the lens of the clothing and accessories they were wearing at the time. The Hub Theatre Company production is directed by Paula Plum and features Nettie Chickering, Barbara Douglas, Lauren Elias, Evelyn Holley, and June Kfoury. At Club Café, 209 Columbus Ave. 203-530-2343, hubtheatreboston.ticketleap.com
Have you lost friends or loved ones to the goofily named craze known as pickleball? Yeah, me too. In the premiere of “The Pickleball Wars" (Aug. 9-Sept. 9), a comedy by Kevin Rice that is directed by Daisy Walker at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, newly retired Fred Fallon (Robin Bloodworth) is trying to write his first novel while battling complications from hip replacement surgery. But Fred keeps getting distracted by the racket (so to speak) of the nonstop pickleball competitions happening in the backyard of his new neighbors. 508-349-9428, firstname.lastname@example.org
A much darker vein of comedy runs through “The Ding Dongs” (Aug. 11-27), written by Brenda Withers and helmed at Gloucester Stage Company by new artistic director Rebecca Bradshaw. A homeowner (Nael Nacer) finds himself in a disconcerting game of cat-and-mouse with two uninvited visitors (Karl Gregory and Erica Steinhagen). 978-281-4433, www.gloucesterstage.com
With a script by the estimable Idris Goodwin and music by Divinity Roxx and Eugene H. Russell IV, “The Boy Who Kissed The Sky” (through Aug. 12) 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. The production by Company One Theatre in partnership with the City of Boston’s Office of Arts and Culture will take place at Dorchester’s Strand Theatre. Directed by Summer L. Williams. www.companyone.org or email@example.com
A gently melancholic air suffuses “Once” (Aug. 3-19), to be presented at Priscilla Beach Theatre in Plymouth. The musical revolves around a forlorn songwriter-turned-street-musician (Sam Brinkley) in Dublin who is prepared to give up on his music, and a Czech immigrant pianist (Evelina Pristovsek) who helps him regain his footing creatively. The pair fall in love, but there are complications. Aren’t there always? 508-224-4888, www.PBTheatre.org
Pearl Cleage’s “Blues for an Alabama Sky” (July 18-Aug. 5) at Barrington Stage Company revolves around the relationships among Angel Allen (Tsilala Brock), a singer in 1930s Harlem who’s been fired from her job at the Cotton Club and dumped by her gangster boyfriend; her best friend, Guy Jacobs (Brandon Alvión), a gay costume designer who wants to move to Paris and design clothes for the legendary Josephine Baker; Leland Cunningham (Deleon Dallas), a widower from Alabama who has his eye on Angel; Delia Patterson (Jasminn Johnson), a social worker at a family planning clinic; and Sam Thomas (Ryan George), a physician at Harlem Hospital. Directed by Candis C. Jones. At Boyd-Quinson Stage, Pittsfield. 413-236-8888, www.barringtonstageco.org
Dan Lauria, whom you may recall as the dad on “The Wonder Years,” wrote and will costar with Jodi Long in his new play, “Just Another Day” (July 27-Aug. 13), produced by Great Barrington Public Theater. Lauria plays an aging comedy writer who meets a renowned poet (Long) every day on a park bench, where they banter, share their mutual nostalgia for old movies, and “search their memories for how and why they are connected, at least for that day,” according to press materials. Directed by Mark St. Germain. 413-372-1980, www.greatbarringtonpublictheater.org
For writers and composers, Joan of Arc has long been a figure of fascination. Now comes “Born to Do This — The Joan of Arc Rock Opera” (July 28-Aug. 20), a musical at Norwell’s Company Theatre, with a book and lyrics by Zoe Bradford and music by Melissa Carubia, who also contributed additional lyrics. Liza Giangrande stars as Joan. 781-871-2787, www.companytheatre.com