Play by play: August 21, 2009

Plays from A to Z
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  August 18, 2009


ALEGRÍA | This Cirque du Soleil 10th-anniversary show, which made its Boston debut at Marine Industrial Park in 1995, has been reconfigured for indoor performance and is back out on tour. It's spiritual as well as spectacular, its populace of sleek, white-clad androgynes and heavy-haunched grotesques more angelic and unearthly than the madcap, Fellini-esque denizens of CdS's previous show, Saltimbanco. Even the clowning is poignant. "Alegría" means "happiness" in Spanish, and that's apt to describe your state when you see it. | Agganis Arena, 925 Comm Ave, Boston || August 26-30 | Curtain 8 pm Wed-Thurs | 4 + 8 pm Fri-Sat | 2 + 6 pm Sun | $45-$95; students, seniors $25

BAT BOY | The MIT Musical Theatre Guild starts its season with this show by Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming (book) and Laurence O'Keefe (music and lyrics) based on a series of hokum perpetrated by the Weekly World News about a "bat child" found in a West Virginia cave a decade ago. Winner of the 2001 Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards, the hilarious, if intentionally generic, cartoon showpiece makes hay of the capture, civilization, betrayal, and backstory of Bat Boy — a creature "half man, half bat" who proves as educable as Eliza Doolittle and as incorrigible as Nature. Kristen Hughes directs; vocal direction is by Shawn Gelzleichter, orchestra direction by Stephen Peters, choreography by Dawn Erickson. | Kresge Little Theater, 48 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 617.253.6294 | August 28–September 12 | Curtain 8 pm Thurs-Sat | 3 pm Sun [August 30] | $12; $9 students, seniors

THE DONKEY SHOW | The Diane Paulus era at the American Repertory Theatre kicks off with this 1970s-disco gloss on A Midsummer Night's Dream that she concocted with writer husband Randy Weiner in 1998 and set to the dance-fueled anthems of Donna Summer and Sister Sledge. The show, which ran for six years Off Broadway and has become a signature of the Obie-winning director's propulsive, audience-immersive style, will play in the newly christened nightclub Oberon (formerly known as Zero Arrow Theatre), and Paulus compares it with a trip to the Bard's stomping grounds. "The audience, very much like in the Globe Theatre, is standing like groundlings, watching the action. There are VIP boxes, just like there were in the Globe, if you prefer to sit and watch. You have kind of royalty side by side with the working class, which was also very Studio 54. It was considered democracy on the dance floor; you could be a kid from Queens dancing next to Elizabeth Taylor." And you will get to dance at The Donkey Show. You will also get to drink, socialize, and text your digits off if you feel like it. | Oberon, Mass Ave + Arrow St, Cambridge | 617.547.8300 | August 21–October 31 | Curtain 8 pm Tues [September 1] | 8 pm Wed [September 2, 16, 23] | 8 pm Thurs [no August 27] | 8 + 10:30 Fri [late show September 18, 25] | 8 + 10:30 pm Sat | $25-$49

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Related: Play by Play: August 28, 2009, Play by play: August 14, 2009, Disco ball, More more >
  Topics: Theater , Entertainment, Entertainment Awards, Eliza Doolittle,  More more >
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