In theater, as in television, summer is an opportunity for producers and creative teams to try ideas that may be a little wackier than main-season fare – off- and off-off Broadway, that’s what all the play festivals that are currently on and coming up are about. But the theater world also has its version of summer TV’s ubiquitous reruns, only there we like to think the phenomenon of show extensions and brief revivals is weighted more toward being a chance to see things you didn’t see previously, rather than being an expression of laziness or lack of better things to show.

2006_07_arts_kungfu.jpgSo what worthy reprisals are currently on offer? For starters, taking a brief (just tomorrow and next Saturday) but well-deserved encore in the Dixon Place Hot Fest are Michael Cyril Creighton and Desiree Burch in the thoroughly enjoyable Rip Me Open (reviewed here back in April). And as noted earlier this week, several recent shows (Brian Dykstra’s Clean Alternatives, Ryan Paulson’s Pentecostal Wisconsin and Godlight Theater Co.’s Fahrenheit 451) are playing again briefly before heading to the Edinburgh Fringe. Then, at the Brick Theater in Williamsburg, June’s $ellout Festival sold out so well that some of the shows are extending into August – including Robert Honeywell’s Greed: A Musical Love Story and Timothy Haskell’s (and Oscar Wilde’s) The Kung Fu Importance of Being Earnest, which we made the mistake of missing the first time around. Meanwhile Nilaja Sun’s powerful No Child… is getting both an encore and an upgrade to an open-ended run at the Barrow Street Theater after playing to enthusiastic crowds in May; the sort of surprising hit meta-musical [title of show] by Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell, is back on at the Vineyard; and Christopher Boal’s Crazy for the Dog is extending at Jean Cocteau Rep – look for the Gothamist review on Sunday. If you saw these in their first incarnations, you'll probably agree they’re well worth a second viewing, and if you didn’t catch them before now’s your chance!

Photo from The Kung Fu Importance of Being Earnest.