Play by play: December 25, 2009

Theater listings, December 25, 2009
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  December 23, 2009


GROUNDSWELL | The Lyric Stage Company of Boston offers the New England premiere of Ian Bruce's 2005 play, which takes its title from a line in T.S. Eliot's "The Dry Salvages." "The lives of three disappointed men intersect with volatile consequences in a hotel in a sleepy South African port town when Thami, the gardener and caretaker, and Johan, the odd-job man and a former police officer, conspire to pressure the hotel's lone guest into investing in their diamond-mining scheme. The three men find themselves in a power struggle fueled by greed and entitlement." The New York Times called Groundswell a "cross between David Mamet and Athol Fugard." Daniel Gidron directs; Jason Bowen, Timothy John Smith, and Richard McElvain make up the cast. | 140 Clarendon St, Boston | 617.585.5678 | January 1-30 | Curtain 2 pm [January 6, 27] + 7:30 pm Wed | 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $25-$54

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM | Next up for Actors' Shakespeare Project is the Bard's mix-and-match comedy of moonstruck love, with Benjamin Evett directing and Marianna Bassham (as Titania, we'd guess), Shelley Bolman, Autumn Elise Henry, Jennie Israel, Michael Kaye, Curt Klump, and John Kuntz (Puck?) included in the cast. | Midway Studios, 15 Channel Center St, Fort Point Channel, Boston | 866.811.4111 | December 30–January 24 | Curtain 10 am [January 6, 13] or 7:30 pm [December 30] Wed | 10 am [[January 7, 21] + 7:30 pm Thurs | 7:30 pm Fri | 3 pm [no January 2] + 8 pm Sat | 2 pm Sun | $47; $38 seniors; $25 students


ALL ABOUT CHRISTMAS EVE | Ryan Landry and the Gold Dust Orphans pin some tinsel on the Oscar-winning 1950 Joseph L. Mankiewicz film All About Eve, with Landry hamming it up as Bette Davis's Margo Channing, her coiffure a shoulder-length halo of auburn curls, her painted lips a permanent twist approximating the actress's signature sneer. The show is set in Boston, and Channing is appearing not in an ante-bellum melodrama but in a holiday travesty titled Party on the Pole that enables both Landry and Penny Champayne (as Eve Harrington) to appear in fur bikinis accessorized by reindeer antlers. Apart from the disco-choreographed sacrilege that is the award-winning Harrington vehicle No, No, Nativity (itself worth the price of admission), there are few surprises in this gaily bedecked parody, most of which is lifted straight from the movie and sent to winter camp. But the show is as puerile and lively as most Orphans fare, and Landry, in pushing Davis's Channing over the top, proves this is territory in which measurement is exponential. | Machine, 1254 Boylston St, Boston || Through December 27 | Curtain 8 pm Fri-Sat | 5 pm Sun | $35-$45

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