Shake­speare sea­son kicks off to­day.

Yes, we’re all a lit­tle anx­ious to see Os­car Isaac take on the role of “Ham­let” this sum­mer, but you’ll have to keep it in your pants for a lit­tle longer. Un­til then, we’ve rounded up all the gen­der-swap­ping, boozy and out­landish Shake­spearean pro­duc­tions

Metro USA (New York) - - Front Page - EVA KIS

“Twelfth Night”

Shake­speare in the Park is the Pub­lic Theater’s mar­quee event, but get­ting tick­ets can be a pain, and Cen­tral Park isn’t con­ve­nient for ev­ery­one. To bring free theater to all five bor­oughs, the theater’s Mo­bile Shake­speare Unit will visit parks, community cen­ters and even pris­ons to stage its all-too-rel­e­vant take on Shake­speare’s com­edy about hid­den iden­ti­ties: Vi­ola is reimag­ined as a late-1990s Cuban im­mi­grant who must start a new life in buzzing, mu­sic-filled Florida. All shows — in­clud­ing the usual post-tour run at the Pub­lic — are free in honor of the mo­bile unit’s 60th an­niver­sary. March 30-May 14 var­i­ous lo­ca­tions pub­licthe­ater.org

Drunk Shake­speare

What hap­pens when one mem­ber of a Shake­speare cast starts the show with five shots of whiskey? “Drunk His­tory” showed us that be­ing a lit­tle tipsy doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily hurt your per­for­mance, and there’s a whole cast of clever pros ready with a lit­tle im­prov to help the un­lucky drunk­ard slur­ring “Mac­beth” or an­other of the ma­jor plays (the show changes). Set in The Lounge, which has been con­verted into a li­brary, some of the au­di­ence is seated right on­stage with the ac­tors — with the op­tion to drink in mod­er­a­tion. Through Jan. 27, 2018, 21+ 300 W. 43rd St., Level 2 drunk­shake­speare.com

“Twelfth Night”

For a more tra­di­tional, but no less dy­namic, in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the play, Lon­don’s Na­tional Theater has been the place where clas­sics get a stun­ning, faith­ful stag­ing. The “Na­tional Theater Live” se­ries has made it pos­si­ble to see these pro­duc­tions with­out a plane ticket by film­ing per­for­mances to screen in the­aters. Their cam­er­a­work is ex­quis­ite, of­ten get­ting closer than even the live au­di­ence. April 6-May 25 var­i­ous lo­ca­tions ntlive.com

Shake­speare Son­net Slam

Be­cause some peo­ple are just ob­nox­iously tal­ented, Shake­speare wrote some of the best love po­ems, too. For the sev­enth year, Cen­tral Park is host­ing a po­etry slam where all 154 of the Bard’s son­nets will be per­formed — in­ter­pre­ta­tions wel­come — by peo­ple of all ages rang­ing from ama­teurs to pro­fes­sion­als. You may even see a Broad­way or movie star give it a shot. Apr. 21 Naum­burg Band­shell cen­tral­park.com

“Henry IV”

Gen­der-swap­ping is the trend of the mo­ment to give old sto­ries a new per­spec­tive. This time it’s the itin­er­ant Princess Hal mak­ing life dif­fi­cult for King Henry, who’s al­ready hav­ing a hard enough time se­cur­ing his legacy try­ing to con­trol a re­bel­lion. The non­profit, in­clu­sive troupe Ham­let Isn’t Dead is mash­ing up Parts 1 and 2 into one ir­rev­er­ent, live rock mu­sic-in­fused pro­duc­tion. May 3-7 West­beth Artists Community, 55 Bethune St. ham­letis­nt­dead.com

Shake­speare in the Park

This year’s dual bill in Cen­tral Park, pre­sented free as al­ways by the Pub­lic Theater, leads with a play that couldn’t be more rel­e­vant: “Julius Cae­sar,” about the rise of a pop­u­lar leader who’s mor­ph­ing into a tyrant. It’s the first time the play has been seen at the Dela­corte Theater in 17 years, and The Pub­lic’s own artis­tic di­rec­tor, Oskar Eustis, will di­rect. Later in the sum­mer will be the lighter fare of “A Mid­sum­mer Night’s Dream.” May 23-June 18; July 11-Aug. 13 shake­speareinthep­ark.org “Mea­sure for Mea­sure” Af­ter win­ning ac­co­lades for his di­rec­tion of “Ham­let” by the Royal Shake­speare Com­pany, Na­tional Theater as­so­ciate di­rec­tor Si­mon God­win comes to Brook­lyn’s Polon­sky Shake­speare Cen­ter, where he’s craft­ing an ap­pro­pri­ately un­set­tling ren­di­tion of this dis­turb­ing com­edy of sex­ual pol­i­tics. June 13-July 16 262 Ash­land Place tfana.org

“Mac­beth”

No one stretches Shake­speare to its lim­its like Theater 2020. Case in point: last year’s pro­duc­tion of “The Real Merry Wives of Wind­sor, CT” which ditched some of the dated gen­der-based com­edy for slap­stick and a thor­oughly de­light­ful sendup of re­al­ity TV. In their spring pro­duc­tion of “Mac­beth,” the troupe will take a se­ri­ous tone, but swaps the dreary moors of Scot­land for the South Pa­cific and adds in some witch­craft and sor­cery. Dates TBA First Uni­tar­ian Church 116 Pier­re­pont St., Brook­lyn the­ater2020.com

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Get into the spirit (get it?) at one of Drunk Shake­speare’s ir­rev­er­ent pro­duc­tions, where one per­son faces the act­ing chal­lenge of their life every night.

TAMMY SHELL

Free Shake­speare in the Park at the Dela­corte Theater

PRO­VIDED

The Pub­lic Theater Mo­bile Unit’s “Twelfth Night”

PRO­VIDED

Shake­speare Son­net Slam

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