Second Stage Sets Uptown Slate

Gotham nonprofit Second Stage Theater has set the lineup for its annual summer programming, with a world preem play helmed by Thomas Kail and a new tuner, “Murder for Two,” both on the docket.

Annual new-work showcase, presented at an Upper West Side venue under the banner Second Stage Uptown, will kick off this year with “The Tutors,” penned by Erica Lipez and directed by Kail (“In the Heights,” “Lombardi”). Storyline centers on three friends — two high school tutors and one college admission essay ghostwriter — who band together to run a social network-like website. Show begins previews May 22 ahead of a June 5 opening.

Second of two uptown titles is “Murder for Two,” a two-actor comic mystery musical by Joe Kinosian (book and music) and Kellen Blair (book and lyrics). Tuner, in which one thesp plays the detective and the other portrays all the murder suspects, has had a handful of prior productions around the country, including a 2011 staging at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Although previous incarnations have starred Kinosian and Blair, no casting has been set for the Gotham production, which begins previews July 10 prior to a July 25 opening.

Prior titles to receive New York berths as part of the Second Stage Uptown series have included “Animals Out of Paper,” an early Gotham production for scribe Rajiv Joseph (“Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo”), and Leslye Headland’s “Bachelorette,” which the writer went on to adapt into a 2012 indie film that starred Kirsten Dunst.

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