To June 22
Head over to the Sawmill Playhouse for Dartmouth Players' summer show, the comedic musical Lucky Stiff. It's a whodunnit murder-mystery featuring a shoe-salesman named Harry who's set to inherit his uncle's vast wealth if he goes to Monte Carlo with him. Trouble begins when the uncle is murdered and Harry's left to get to the bottom of it all.
33 Crichton Avenue, Dartmouth, $15, dartmouthplayers.ns.ca
To June 22
Theatre Arts Guild
Things are going to get suspenseful with TAG's rendition of Alfred Hitchcock's classic nail-biter, Rope. A gripping tale of planning and pulling off the perfect murder, prepare for a riveting night of thrills and chills with a production that will keep you perched on the edge of your seat.
Pond Playhouse, 6 Parkhill Road, $15-$18, tagtheatre.com
June 30-September 2
Shakespeare By The Sea
SBTS returns with shows guaranteed to pack the Cambridge Battery to the gills. The Wizard of Oz is coming to take us down the yellow brick road with a fresh adaptation and original music (June 30-August 31). For fans hoping to get their fix of the Bard's historical plays, look no further than Henry V (July 12-August 29). If it's comedy you're after, grab tickets for Love's Labour Lost (July 26-August 30)—SBTS is shaking up tradition by cross-casting the four main roles with female protagonists and male actors alternatively portraying their love interests. On September 1, closing night, there's a remount of An Unrehearsed Dream, where actors have a day to learn lines for A Midsummer Night's Dream and simply hope for the best.
Park Place Theatre and Cambridge Battery, Point Pleasant Park, $25, shakespearebythesea.ca
July 3-August 24
Summer starts with a visiting 2b theatre's "live-action existential graphic novel" When It Rains (June 26-29), followed by The Diary of M (July 3-6), a heist caper set in Chester itself. When residents learn of a diary with the potential to expose their town's darkest secrets, the race is on for everyone to get it for themselves first. Pleasant Street Kitchen Party, a format that debuted at Neptune, gets a second wind celebrating genres of beloved Maritime music (July 17-20). From July 24-27, performer Tomáš Kubinek promises to dazzle audiences with stunts and magical feats. Crippled follows suit (July 31-August 3) as Paul David Power recounts a true, personal tale of grief and the overcoming of emotional and physical obstacles. Other shows include the multi-award winning comedy piece, God Is A Scottish Drag Queen (August 7-10), Pinocchio (August 14-17) and Opry Gold, covers of country music hits (August 21-24). 22 Pleasant Street, Chester, $15-$35, chesterplayhouse.ca
July 3-September 1
Ship's Company Theatre
If you're down Parrsboro way, Ship's Company Theatre has three plays on its summer docket. The first is Mark Crawford's fish-out-of-water comedy about "being out in rural Canada," Bed & Breakfast, in which Toronto couple Brett and Drew inherit a B&B in a rural countryside (July 3-28). Richie Wilcox returns New Waterford Boy: A Ceildh, a kitchen-party ode to generations of Cape Breton miners and fishermen and how Wilcox grapples with his life on a different path. (July 31-August 1). Lastly, Bryden MacDonald's award-winning comedy Odd Ducks closes the season with a tale of four 40-year-olds taking stock and redefining their lives (August 7-September 1). 18 Lower Main Street, Parrsboro, $15-$30, shipscompanytheatre.com
July 3-September 1
Two Planks and a Passion Theatre
The first of three shows at Ross Creek is Catherine Banks' In This Light, an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's Enemy of the People. Set in 1930s Annapolis, respected doctor Thomasina Stockman is set to establish a health spa before making a life-altering realization (July 3-August 17). It also looks as if Two Planks is creating a monster with Frankenstein By Fire, a new examination of Mary Shelley's book about a "monster" navigating a life given to him and an inextricable connection to the man who raised him from the dead (July 4-August 17). Gillian Clark's The Ruins (also by fire) ends the summer's run. An adaptation of The Trojan Women by Euripides, audiences will be transported to the small town of New Troy, where the well-being of a seemingly idyllic town gets shaken to its core by protagonist Cassandra's powerful prophetic visions. (August 22- September 1). Ross Creek Centre for the Arts,
555 Ross Creek Road, Canning, $10-$30, artscentre.ca/twoplanks.html
July 10-August 24
Festival Antigonish is offering up a comedic take of the epic Ben-Hur (July 10-August 24): With promises of humour and a million costume changes, four brave actors face the impossible task of getting the show up and running. For more comedy, A Brimful of Asha depicts an Indian mother taking matters into her own hands to ensure her reticent son finds a bride through an arranged marriage (July 17-August 2). The Goodnight Bird, which runs from August 7-23, is the story of an older married couple whose lives are unexpectedly disrupted by a home invasion; a blend of humour, drama and tragedy. For children, there's the animal-based musical If You Could Wear My Sneakers (July 10-August 17), and for country music aficionados there's Honky Tonk Blues, where Patsy Cline and Hank Williams perform duets together (August 10-24).
1 West Street, Antigonish, $12-$40, festivalantigonish.ca
July 18-August 25
Neptune is getting spicy this summer, serving up Wannabe, a return of the tribute band for The Spice Girls. Running from July 18-21, these high-energy women are guaranteed to get your nostalgia flowing, your feet tapping and your zig-a-zig-ah working overtime. The smash holiday hit Cinderella returns for a surprise remount July 24-August 18. Argyle Street Kitchen Party is also back on the Scotiabank Stage with Ian Sherwood and his talented co-performers serving up a merry fusion of all-Atlantic tunes (July 23-August 25).
Neptune Theatre and Scotiabank Stage, 1593 Argyle Street, $30-$86, neptunetheatre.com
August 29-September 8
Halifax Fringe Festival
Halifax Fringe returns with its veritable theatrical smorgasbord featuring more than 55 different shows of all shapes, housed in 10 different venues. halifaxfringe.ca