Bay Street Theater and Sag Harbor Center for the Arts Artistic Director Scott Schwartz believes this summer will be the most exciting season the theater has had in his four-year tenure, and it’s easy to see why. With the world premiere of a new work by East End-based writer Jules Feiffer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning play starring an acclaimed actress and a new production of a Shakespeare comedy featuring an original score by a cherished composer, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about Sag Harbor’s 26-year-old theater.
The Mainstage season at Bay Street Theater begins May 30 with The Man in the Ceiling, written by Jules Feiffer with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. The Man in the Ceiling is about Jimmy Jibbett, a lonely boy whose parents don’t understand him and his love of cartooning. One day, Jimmy discovers a magical secret on the ceiling that will change his life forever. The Man in the Ceiling is directed by theater mega-producer Jeffrey Seller, winner of Tony Awards for Best Musical for Rent, Avenue Q, In the Heights and Hamilton. Seller directed a reading of The Man in the Ceiling at last year’s New Works Festival at Bay Street. Lippa will also star as Uncle Lester.
Schwartz will direct Intimate Apparel, the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by Lynn Nottage, opening on July 4. Intimate Apparel, set in 1905, tells the story of Esther Mills, a skilled African American seamstress who makes lingerie for both society women and “ladies of the night.” Esther finds “intimacy” in many forms, from a poetic love with a Caribbean laborer, to complicated friendships with Mr. Marks, a Hasidic shopkeeper who shares his fabrics with her. Esther will be played by Kelly McCreary, who currently stars in Grey’s Anatomy as Dr. Maggie Pierce.
As You Like It opens on August 8. This Shakespeare comedy follows Rosalind as she travels into the merry Forest of Arden, disguising herself as a man, accompanied by her cousin, Celia, and Touchstone, a clown. Tony Award winner John Doyle directs this production, which will have an original score by storied composer Stephen Schwartz (known for hit shows like Godspell, Pippin, Wicked and more).
Those three shows alone are a strong lineup, but Bay Street Theater has a huge list of activities throughout the summer in addition to its Mainstage performances. On Saturday, May 27 iconic comedian Colin Quinn will appear at the theater to kick off the summer. On July 1, Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost will take the stage. Starting on Monday, July 10, Bay Street will offer Music Mondays, featuring a new singer each week. Performers include Betty Buckley on July 10, Kelli Barrett & Jarrod Spector on July 17, Lorna Luft on July 24, Billy Porter on August 14, Ben Vereen on August 21 and Stephen Schwartz on August 28.
Bay Street will also offer outdoor theater in Mashashimuet Park this summer with their Under the Stars program on August 25 and 26. Under the Stars will offer a free concert production of the classic musical comedy Kiss Me, Kate.
Bay Street Theater and Sag Harbor Center for the Arts is located at 1 Bay Street, Sag Harbor. For tickets and more information on the upcoming season, call 631-725-9500 and visit baystreet.org.