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Bay Street Theater, The Gateway unveil summer lineup

Audrey II, the carnivorous plant in

Audrey II, the carnivorous plant in "The Little Shop of Horrors," makes a reappearance in the final show of the upcoming summer season at Gateway Playhouse in Bellport on Aug. 23-Sept. 9. Credit: Jonathan Heisler

The collective judgment of celebrity groundhogs calls for another three weeks of winter. But since spring training has sprung, it’s not too early to think about summertime — or summer theater — at Long Island’s two leading seasonal companies, which recently announced their seasons.


  • “The Man in the Ceiling,” a world premiere musical by Pulitzer cartoonist Jules Feiffer and Andrew Lippa, Tony-winning producer of “Hamilton,” opens the Sag Harbor theater’s season May 30. Based on Feiffer’s semi-autobiographical novel, “Man in the Ceiling,” was featured last April in a reading during Bay Street’s New Play Festival. “We’re thrilled to bring a show we helped nurture to a fully realized production,” says Bay Street artistic director Scott Schwartz. It runs through June 25.
  • Schwartz directs “Intimate Apparel,” July 4-30, a play by Pulitzer-winning author Lynn Nottage (“Ruined”), which introduces us to an African-American seamstress who in 1905 becomes a success making lingerie for society ladies and “ladies of the night.”
  • Shakespeare closes Bay Street’s season with “As You Like It,” directed by Tony winner John Doyle (2005 “Sweeney Todd” revival), Aug. 8-Sept. 3. Enjoy again the cross-dressing adventures of Rosalind, one of Shakespeare’s most spirited women, as she finds romance in the enchanted Forest of Arden.

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  • The classic millennial-generation musical “Rent” comes of age. (It opened on Broadway in 1996.) The Gateway launches its season May 17 with the Pulitzer- and Tony-winning musical inspired by Puccini’s “La Boheme” and marked by both real-life and fictional tragedy. Its creator, Adelphi alum Jonathan Larson, died of an undiagnosed aortic condition the night before his show’s Off-Broadway debut. Like his characters, he was a young artist struggling to get by in the shadow of the HIV/AIDS crisis. Through June 3.
  • The 1999 revue “Swing!” celebrates the music of such legends as Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Benny Goodman. Their repertoire, including “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” “Stompin’ at the Savoy” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” has enjoyed a renaissance on TV’s “Dancing With the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” June 7 through June 24.
  • “On the Town,” the musical boasting top-notch creative-team pedigree — Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green — drops anchor in Bellport June 28-July 15. It’s the musical-comedy tale of three sailors on shore leave during World War II for a night on the town in “New York, New York,” title of the iconic song heard at every Yankees game, crooned by Frank Sinatra.
  • The Gateway moves to Patchogue July 19-Aug. 5 for the jukebox musical based on disco-era hits by ABBA, among them “Dancing Queen” and “Winner Takes It All.” It is about a mom who’s unable to tell her daughter on the eve of her wedding which of three ex-beaus is eligible to give her away. The prospective fathers of the bride all show up. Hence, the exclamation point in “Mamma Mia!”
  • Returning to Gateway Playhouse, the season winds up Aug. 23-Sept. 9 with “Little Shop of Horrors.” The Off-Broadway classic by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman satirizes the horror-film genre to a Motown and doo-wop beat in such campy songs as “Suddenly Seymour.” He’s the flower-shop clerk who tends a voraciously carnivorous plant named after his true love, Audrey. Be careful what you feed Audrey II.

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