Shake it Up: Fall 2013 Shakespeare Performances in NYC

Arts & Entertainment

by Patricia Tisak, 08/21/2013

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Shakespeare's plays were the popular entertainment of his time, performed for the likes of everyone from Queen Elizabeth, who commissioned them for her amusement at court, to "groundlings" who forked over a penny to carouse in a pit below the theater stage. Much has changed since then (just try shouting back at a player in a hushed Midtown theater), but Shakespeare's appeal remains as strong—and universal—as ever, a vital part of New York City's multifaceted cultural scene. Read on for all things Shakespeare to see in the City.

Romeo and Juliet on Broadway
Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 W. 46th St.; tickets available now; previews begin August 24 and opens September 19
Orlando Bloom (who shares the name of another lovelorn Shakespearean character) and Tony Award–nominee Condola Rashad will play the famously doomed lovers in this Broadway production. Underlying the epic tension between the two families is a racial component, as director David Leveaux cast the Capulets as black and the Montagues as white. Watch out for Christian Camargo (no stranger to Shakespeare himself; he headlined the Theatre for a New Audience's Hamlet), who is apt to lend a brooding depth to the meaty character of Mercutio. For tickets, visit or call 800-745-3000; 100 $20 tickets per performance will be set aside for students and educators at the box office.

Shakespeare's Globe's Richard III and Twelfth Night (in repertory)
Belasco Theatre, 111 W. 44th St.; tickets available now; previews begin October 15 and opens November 10
Get ready for Elizabethan pageantry as the Bard himself would have experienced it. With musicians playing traditional instruments and on a stage illuminated mostly by candlelight, an all-male cast is putting on two plays from opposite ends of the Shakespearean spectrum, Richard III and Twelfth Night. The accomplished Mark Rylance headlines as the titular Plantagenet humpback in Richard III and the plagued-in-love Olivia in Twelfth Night. For tickets, visit; 250 $25 tickets per performance will be set aside, bookable in advance. 

Theatre for a New Audience's A Midsummer Night's Dream
Samuel H. Scripps Mainstage, 262 Ashland Place, Brooklyn; season tickets available now and single tickets available in September; previews begin October 19 and opens November 2
After a bit of high-wire drama, Julie Taymor is back on familiar ground with a Theatre for a New Audience production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, her fifth for the company. Taymor's vision—"a fantasia of light and shadow"—is fitting for Midsummer, one of the Bard's most magical and dreamlike plays. It will be the first production to be staged at TFANA's sparkling new home in Downtown Brooklyn. The 299-seat Mainstage is the first stage built for classical and Shakespearean drama in almost 50 years. For information on season or single tickets, visit or call 212-229-2819, ext. 10.

Lincoln Center Theater's Macbeth
Vivian Beaumont Theater, 150 W. 65th St.; tickets available August 25; previews begin October 24 and opens November 21
On the heels of Alan Cumming's one-man tour de force of the Scottish nobleman's quick and bloody rise and fall, this production of Macbeth stars Ethan Hawke as the thane of Glamis and Anne-Marie Duff as his ruthless, plotting wife. Hawke teams up again with director Jack O'Brien, who worked with him on Henry IV in 2003–2004. This staging sets out to explore the play's nightmarish aspects and the consequence of dark thoughts turned heedless actions. For tickets, please visit or; a limited number of $30 tickets will be set aside for each performance through LincTix, Lincoln Center Theater's program for those aged 21–35. 

related venues/(4)

  1. 1
    Richard Rodgers Theatre
    226 W 46th St
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10036
  2. 2
    Classic Stage Company
    136 E 13th St
    Manhattan – Union Square
  3. 3
    Belasco Theatre
    111 W 44th St
    Manhattan – Theatre District
    NY 10036
  1. 4
    Theatre for a New Audience
    262 Ashland Pl.
    Brooklyn – West Village
    NY 11217

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