Aly Trasher of the Dresden Dolls plays the Emcee in American Repertory Theater's production of Cabaret, to run August 31 - October 29 at Oberon in Cambridge. The Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston, in Waltham, has snagged a Broadway Tracy, Marissa Perry, for its production of Hairspray (August 12-22). At Gloucester Stage, Karen MacDonald, recent winner of the Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence, directs Carrie Ann Quinn, Angie Jepson, Brendan Powers, and Lewis Wheeler in Daniel Morris's four-person adaptation of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband (August 12-29). Heading Capeward, the Gurnet Theatre Projects offers The Tempest outdoors in Duxbury (August 6-15).
The Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre on Cape Cod is the first company in the region to take on Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play (August 5 - September 11). The production stars Robin Bloodworth as the well-named Dr. Givings, Stacy Fischer as his curious wife, and Laura Latreille as an especially responsive patient; John Kolvenbach directs. Also making its New England premiere at WHAT is Gino DiIorio's Dead Ringer (August 12 - September 18), a noir take on the Old West in which a cruel horse trainer (Bob Kropf) imprisons his crippled sister (Brenda Withers) in a root cellar, where she's discovered by an innocent -- or is he? -- stranger (Jonathan Fielding).
Provincetown offers two world premieres this month: Jim Dalglish's gay romcom Like Father, Like Son at Counter-Productions (August 7 - September 5), featuring Ryan Landry regular Mark Meehan as an attorney who tosses his haute-hetero suburban lifestyle to wait tables in Boston's South End, and Derin Brokovich, a new musical by -- and starring -- Steve Alden Nelson and Michael Sottile at the Provincetown Theater (August 17 - September 3), about one man's crusade to find out what nefarious forces in town are causing widespread shrinkage, in the Seinfeldian sense.
True to form, the Cape Playhouse has attracted top talent for its two final shows of the season: Beth Fowler and Jacquelyn Piro Donovan for Grey Gardens (August 9-21) and Hunter Foster and a bevy of Broadway beauties -- Jennifer Cody, Cady Huffman, and Kathel Carlson -- for Boeing Boeing (August 23 - September 4). A highlight of the The Vineyard Playhouse on Martha's Vineyard's African American Festival of Music & Theater is a brief reprise of Trey Ellis and Richardo Khan's Fly, about the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II (August 20-28).
If you chose the Berkshires as your vacation spot, you're sitting pretty -- there's a plethora of promising shows. The Williamstown Theater Festival caps off a so-far stellar season with The Last Goodbye, a rock-cabaret adaptation of Romeo and Juliet based on songs by Jeff Buckley (August 5-20) -- Kelli Barrett and Damon Daunno play the star-crossed lovers -- and a revival of Lanford Wilson's Fifth of July (August 11-22), about an incendiary family reunion, post-Vietnam. The latter cast includes David Wilson Barnes, Elizabeth Franz, Anson Mount, Jennifer Mudge, and Kellie Overbey.
Pittsfield's Barrington Stage Company presents a mixed bag this month. Jesse Berger directs Alan Ayckbourn's Absurd Person Singular (August 12-29), a 1972 comedy about a sextet of high achievers -- played by Julia Coffey, Christopher Innvar, et al. -- undergoing unforeseen changes in status. Leslie Kritzer and Catherine Cox appear in Zachary Redler and Sara Cooper's musical The Memory Show (August 18-29) about an estranged daughter struggling to cope with her mother's incipient Alzheimer's. For a restorative upper, check out Bill Nelson's All-Male Revue (August 27-28), which has been described as a variation on David Sedaris, set to music.
BTF's August offerings include Macbeth (August 3-14), with C.J. Wilson and Keira Naughton as the murderous power couple; Tom Story's impromptu Friday-night cabaret Late Night Story Time (August 6-27); and Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance (August 17 - September 4), with playwright David Auburn directing an A-list cast that includes Mia Dillon and Keir Dullea as the angst-ridden interlopers.
Shakespeare & Company in Lenox adds two revivals to its already packed schedule: Elizabeth Aspenlieder reprising her Norton Award-winning solo turn in Theresa Rebeck's Bad Dates (August 4 - September 12), and company founder Tina Packer reappearing -- with Nigel Gore -- in Women of Will: The Complete Journey (August 25-27). For a complete -- and hilarious -- change of pace, which also happens to explore the feminine, head over to Jacob's Pillow to catch Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (August 11-15).