TheaterMania asked some of its favorite New York-based actors to share their plans for enjoying the summer months. Here’s what they told us.
I think the most enjoyable thing about my summer will be continuing to perform in Priscilla Queen of the Desert! I can’t wait to continue to share this show with the summer tourists. In my private time, I will enjoy my dinner club once a week, the dog park, and sunning on a roof top.
I break out my Brooklyn accent and spend my summers at the Jersey Shore! This will be my first summer where I commute back and forth for a show, since I’m doing Catch Me If You Can I love making sandcastles, and boogie boarding, and playing ukulele on the beach! Aleks [Pevec] from my show is teaching me to surf, so we’ll see how that goes.
On July 15, I will be singing with my Book of Mormon castmates in an outdoor concert with a lot of other Broadway performers. I also have tickets for the ol’ Circle Line Harbor Lights cruise later this summer. On Monday nights, I sometimes attend a performance at Gateway Park. In years past, I got to see Patti LaBelle, Jill Scott, and John Legend. I always find a walk through Brooklyn’s Botanic Garden dreamy and refreshing, followed by a nice margarita at the neighboring Burrito Bar and Kitchen.
I’m now in the midst of the three-week Director’s Lab at Lincoln Center where I’m exploring August Strindberg’s A Dream Play with 29 fellow actors and 70 directors from all over the globe, because nothing spells summer better than an existential tone poem by a depressive Swede! I’m also doing a couple of concert-y things at the Barrow Street Theater, including a remounting of The Civilians’ hit Gone Missing and a one-night performance of Glen Berger’s I Will Go…I Will Go…. Plus, I’m shooting web videos, ice-ing coffee and eating cold soups.
I love that when performing in Shakespeare in the Park, the turtle pond, the trees, and whatever the night’s meteorological condition happens to be, conspire to make seeing (and doing) the play feel like a psychological vacation from Manhattan. In my actual time off, I like making dinner with friends, spending time in air-conditioned museums and having drinks at outdoor beer gardens. I also plan to read books and watch a lot of Netflix.
Right now, I’m rehearsing a play called February House at New York Stage and Film in Poughkeepsie. After we’re done with this workshop, I’m going west to see family and friends and then maybe to Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean. I haven’t had a break since October, so I’m hoping it’ll be a vacation. I’m also going to play music, read and write more.
Right now, I’m doing eight shows a week in Sister Act and I’m in the studio recording new music in my downtime, so it’s a bit crazy. But I’m accomplishing a lot of things that I want to which I’m enjoying. It also seems like a lot of new restaurants open up in the summer, especially in Harlem, so I am going to some time to try them out.
John Benjamin Hickey
I’m going to need a spiritual decompression after doing The Normal Heart, so some good quiet time is in order. I have a place in Connecticut and I’ll go up there and chill out and have cocktail hour. I make a really good margarita and homemade guacamole. All the things I love are terrible for my stomach and I can’t have any of them while I’m doing a show.
I am filming Leaving Circadia, in which I am playing the female lead. I’ll also be busy planning the perfect bridal shower and bachelorette party for my best friend, who is getting married in September. And lastly, I will be patiently waiting to see if my pilot Eden gets picked up by USA! I love sitting outside with friends, whether in Sheep Meadow or Bryant Park, with a picnic from Whole Foods, a guitar, a blanket, and the heat.
I love New York in the summer! There’s something so romantic about being sweaty and dirty and walking to the theater, where I’m doing All New People every day. It’s like a well-structured camp. My second favorite thing about this summer is going to this new restaurant in Brooklyn called Fish Shack.
I have two sons, so we enjoy the kid scene: Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Natural History Museum, and playgrounds all over the city. When I’m not performing in Master Class, we also take short car trips to forested areas. At the end of the summer, I will return to Tanglewood Music Center to sing the tenor solo in the finale of Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9.” It’s such a great summer gig!