This Season at Bay Street Theater

Harry Slattery, Talia Balsam and John Slattery in “The Subject Was Roses”

by Debbie Tuma

The Pulitzer Prize winning play, “The Subject Was Roses,” by Frank D. Gilroy, kicked off the Bay Street Theater’s summer season from May 18 to June 16, and was well done and entertaining. It was a peek into the life and struggles of the Cleary family, played by John Slattery as the husband, Talia Balsam as the wife, and Harry Slattery as their grown son. And what made it more interesting was that in real life they are a real family.

It starts when their son returns from the war, and old wounds and unresolved marital problems resurface, in an emotional roller coaster throughout. John Slattery, who had rave reviews in the TV series “Madmen,” gave a great performance as the tough, strict father who held in his emotions, contrasted to his son who was open and vulnerable. The mother, played by esteemed actress Talia Balsam, was trying to balance in the middle. The action takes place in their Bronx apartment in 1946.

Scott Wittman did a good job directing this play…and the audience seemed captivated by the drama that ensued between the family dynamics.

This season, Bay Street Theater, in Sag Harbor, has chosen to show four very different kinds of plays. The next one, “Master Class,” runs from June 25 through July 20. It’s a comedy with music by Terrance McNally, and it’s about opera diva Maria Callas teaching a master class in singing, to her students. Bay Street then offers another special venue—“Mel Brooks Young Frankenstein,” the musical, which should be a blast! Following that is a more serious, one-woman show, “What I Know Now,” lifelong lessons starring Julia Motyka.

Neil Patrick Harris
David Burtka

Get ready for Bay Street’s ever popular summer gala on the wharf on July 6, featuring guest stars Neil Patrick Harris, David Burtka, David Kind, and Dr. Georgette Grier-Key. This always attracts a huge crowd at this beautiful dockside location. Also coming up are the Music Mondays—with performances by different artists including the great Patti LuPone on July 8, the Harlem Gospel Choir, and Mike Birbiglia.

Also check out the fun “Summer Sunday Tea Dances,” sponsored by the LGBT Network and Long Island LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

All in all, there’s a lot to look forward to this summer at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. For more information, visit