Summer arts preview: Top 5 theater picks

Kelli O'Hara and Ken Watanabe in the Broadway revival of "The King and I, whose touring version comes to San Diego in June.
(Charles Sykes / Associated Press)

“The King and I”

The onetime San Diego theater maverick Bartlett Sher won a Tony Award in 2008 for the first Broadway revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “South Pacific.” Now he has directed another R & H classic — the duo’s musical about love and palace intrigue in 1860s Bangkok. The Broadway production of “The King and I” comes to town on a national tour swing. June 26 to July 1. Broadway/San Diego at the Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown. (619/858/760) 570-1100.

“Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax”

The Old Globe, which birthed the long-running holiday hit “Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!,” will host the U.S. premiere of another green-minded Seussian musical. “The Lorax” is based on the late author (and longtime La Jollan) Theodor “Seuss” Geisel’s 1971 children’s book about a lovable environmental hero, and weaves a cautionary tale of the lost Truffula tree. July 2 to Aug. 12. Old Globe’s Shiley Stage, Balboa Park. (619) 234-5623.


One of the most celebrated new playwrights on the American theater scene, Martyna Majok won the Pulitzer Prize in April for her work “Cost of Living.” “Queens,” which focuses — as much of the Polish-born Majok’s work does — on the lives and struggles of immigrants, is receiving its West Coast premiere at the Playhouse. July 3-29. La Jolla Playhouse’s Potiker Theatre, Playhouse/UCSD Theatre District, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. (858) 550-1010.

“Disney’s Newsies”

The summer series of musicals at Vista’s Moonlight Amphitheatre is a fine place to see a show under the stars. This season brings Moonlight’s first-ever staging of “Newsies,” the movie-based musical about paper-carriers who fight back against their corporate overlords, and do a whole lot of dancing in the process. July 18 to Aug. 4. Moonlight Stage Productions at Moonlight Amphitheatre, Brengle Terrace Park, 1250 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista.

“Much Ado About Nothing”

The three-time Tony winner Kathleen Marshall made her Old Globe directing debut in 2016 with “Love’s Labor’s Lost.” Now she returns with a fresh look at one of the Bard’s most beloved comedies, centering on the sparks that fly between the epic frenemies Benedick and Beatrice. The show will unfold on the theater’s outdoor Davies stage. Aug. 12 to Sept. 16. Old Globe’s Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, Balboa Park. (619) 234-5623.

Twitter: @jimhebert