Shakespeare in the Park, one of New York City's most beloved summertime traditions, has been mounting free, open-air theater in Central Park since 1962. Shakespeare just about singlehandedly forged the screwball comedy with Beatrice and Benedick's verbal fireworks in Much Ado About Nothing, which gets the season started (June 3–July 6). Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater play the evenly matched wise-cracking adversaries, and Jack O'Brien directs. Following that up, star of stage and screen John Lithgow takes on the monumental, elemental King Lear (July 22–August 17), staged by Shakespeare in the Park veteran and Tony winner Daniel Sullivan. For more information, visit shakespeareinthepark.org.