Shakespeare was one of the best for a reason: He died 400 years ago this past April and the stories he brought to the stage are still immensely popular today. In this, the summer of the Shakespeare quadricentennial, Boston’s theatre scene will have plenty to offer both super fans and those who’ve never read a stanza of “Hamlet.” Here are four upcoming performances to catch, some purely Elizabethan and others with modern twists.
Shakespeare On the Common: “Love’s Labour’s Lost”
July 20-to August 7
The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company has been staging summertime performances on the Boston Common since 1996, free of charge. This year’s play is “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” one of Shakespeare’s earlier comedies. Get down to the Parkman Bandstand early to secure space, or reserve a chair in the “friends section” for a minimum $60 donation.
Brown Box Theatre Project: “Cymbeline”
Another free outdoor production, though it won’t be staying put. Brown Box Theatre will present Will’s lesser-known work in 7 different locations around eastern Mass. They’ll be at the Waterfront Plaza at Atlantic Wharf on August 19th, 26th and 28th and locations in South Boston on the 18th and the 25th.
Bedlam Theatre Company: “Twelfth Night (or What You Will)”
Through June 25
Bedlam Theatre Company brings their interpretation of “Twelfth Night” to Cambridge’s Central Square Theatre this month. There’s a twist: on different nights they’ll perform one of two different adaptations of the same play, either “Twelfth Night” (ver. 1) or “What You Will” (ver. 2), both of which keep the essence of the play but go their own way stylistically. The bare bones five-person cast switches from role-to-role, sharing 12 parts between themselves.
It’s a Fiasco: “MacBeth”
Through June 19
The City of Cambridge and the Cambridge Arts Council are sponsoring It’s a Fiasco’s free presentations of “MacBeth” at Longfellow Park (through June 12) and Denehy Park (June 16-19). Director Hatem Adell’s production will have nightly performances starting at 7 p.m. and 2 p.m. matinees on June 11th and 18th. Just bring a blanket and your picnic basket and get ready for a night of betrayal.