Play by play: May 28, 2010

Theater listings, May 28, 2010
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  May 27, 2010

OPENING
“ART” | Counter-Productions Theatre Company offers up Yasmina Reza’s 1994 study of a three-way male friendship that unravels over a monochromatic painting. Serge is into modern art, but the huge, expensive piece he’s just bought is too much for Marc — it’s entirely white. (Maybe we should call it “omnichromatic.”) So Yvan is called in to mediate the dispute over just what is “art.” With company members David Perkinson as Serge, Ted Clement as Marc, and Dan Grund as Yvan; Saori Kaneko directs. | Factory Theatre, 791 Tremont St, Boston | 866.811.4111 | June 4-20 | Curtain 8 pm Thurs-Sat | 2 pm Sun | $15 advance; $18 doors

DAUGHTER OF VENUS | Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater brings this play by the late Howard Zinn to the Cape, after it got its Boston premiere early last year from Suffolk University and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. It’s about a biophysicist confronted with the suicide attempt of his wife and the return of a long-absent daughter in the midst of a professional and ethical crisis. A quarter-century ago, Daughter of Venus was about how best to stop the nuclear-arms race. In the wake of the Cold War, Zinn tweaked it to encompass the War on Terror, the free pass that war seems to have given our government to come up with ever more deadly means to fight it, and the best way for impassioned liberals to combat the powers that be (represented now as then by a sinister if avuncular representative of the Rand Corporation). Still, as it probably did when it premiered at New York’s Theatre for the New City in 1985, the drama smacks of a political discussion dressed up in domestic clothing. Here, WHAT artistic director Jeff Zinn helms a cast including Poornima Kirby, Alex Pollock, Elizabeth Atkeson, and Stephen Russell. | Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, Julie Harris Stage, 2357 Route 6, Wellfleet | May 27–June 26 | Curtain 8 pm Thurs-Sun | $17-$34

GASLIGHT | Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 play, which you most likely know from the 1944 film with Ingrid Bergman, gets an outing from Stoneham Theatre, with Marianna Bassham as the London (circa 1880) housewife who thinks she’s going mad, Robert Serrell as the husband who encourages her in that belief, and Christopher Webb as the police inspector who sheds unexpected illumination on the husband’s frequent disappearances — plus Angie Jepson, Dee Nelson, and Ian O’Connor. Stoneham producing director Weylin Symes is at the helm. | Stoneham Theatre, 395 Main St, Stoneham | 781.279.2200 or stonehamtheatre.org | May 27–June 13 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $38-$44; $34-$40 seniors; $20 students

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM | Contemporary Theatre of Boston essays Shakespeare’s seasonally appropriate comedy about overbearing fathers and mix-and-match couples and donkey love. Chris Cavalier directs a production that “departs from traditional imagery . . . bringing together elements of ethereal fantasy and hard-bitten realism” and “exploring the dark Eros at the heart of the work.” Does that mean we get to follow Titania and Bottom to Titania’s bower? | Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Theatre, 539 Tremont St, Boston | 617.933.8600 | June 2-19 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs | 8 pm Fri-Sat | $28-$30

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