Play by Play: August 13, 2010

By MADDY MYERS  |  August 10, 2010

FULLY COMMITTED | "Thirty-seven characters . . . 73 minutes . . . one very busy actor!" That's the set-up for Becky Mode's delirious one-man show about an out-of-work actor manning the reservations line at an in-demand Manhattan eatery, and it's making a surprise appearance at the Publick Theatre's once-and-future (?) outdoor digs on Soldiers Field Road. Gabriel Kuttner essays the restaurant's imperious but insecure chef, its snooty French maître d', and folks from the Upper East Side to the Mafia who are desperate to book a table. Steven Barkhimer directs. | Christian Herter Park, 1175A Soldiers Field Rd, Brighton | fullycommittedboston.com | Through August 15 | Curtain 7 pm Thurs-Sun | $15

GRIMM | Feisty Company One is the organizational brain behind this world premiere of Grimm fairy tales (which in general live up to their name), and it did not hesitate to drop a dime on the rich and famous — among them Wicked author Gregory Maguire, whose aftermath to "Little Snow White," The Seven Stage a Comeback, forms the frame of the captivating if disjointed new theater piece. In addition to bagging Maguire, the troupe commissioned riffs on the Grimms from local bards John ADEkoje, Kirsten Greenidge, and Marcus Gardley (librettist of On the Levee, which recently opened at the experimental venue of Lincoln Center), as well as by Elliot Norton Award winners John Kuntz, Melinda Lopez, and Lydia Diamond. Directors Shawn LaCount and Summer L. Williams, without even attempting a unified style, weave these diverse imaginings into something approaching a whole. And each piece gets a voiceover introduction by the playwright — an intrusive device. Trouble is, even with authorial guidance, the life lessons proffered by the revved-up fables aren't always clear. | Boston Center for the Arts, Roberts Studio Theatre, 527 Tremont St, Boston | 617.292.7110 or companyone.org | Through August 14 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8 pm Sat | $20

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES | Unflappable snooping goes to the dogs in Brit writers Steven Canny & John Nicholson's comedic adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles. This 2007 London hit is a deliberately understaffed parody, with just three actors undertaking Holmes, Watson, incoming heir Sir Henry Baskerville, and a host of sinister or bewildered suspects, servants, and yokels. At Central Square Theater, with American Repertory Theater stalwart Thomas Derrah directing, Remo Airaldi (another ART stalwart) is a waspish anti–Basil Rathbone as the conceited Holmes and also plays various manic females, among them a Peruvian beauty whose spoken arias are delivered in gibberish. (Now if his Holmes can just solve "The Mystery of Once Portly Airaldi's Missing Avoirdupois.") Bill Mootos (proclaiming himself "the lead"), is a blithely dense, trigger-happy Watson, and Trent Mills, as the Canadian-by-way-of-Texas heir, provides fleet, amiable support. And though better known as an actor than as a director, Derrah proves adept. So if giggles are as good to you as goosebumps, this Hound is worth a walk. | Central Square Theater, 450 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 617.576.9278 or centralsquaretheater.org | Through August 22 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs | Fri-Sat 8 pm | Sun 2 pm | $40

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  Topics: Theater , Arsenal Center for the Arts, Theater, Douglas Carter Beane,  More more >
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