Play by Play: August 13, 2010

By MADDY MYERS  |  August 10, 2010

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT | American Idol finalist Anthony Fedorov stars in the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice adaptation of "the Biblical story of Joseph, his devoted father, his jealous brothers, and his incredible series of adventures." The score's style spans multiple genres, from country to calypso to rock, plus Elvis-inspired songs sung by an Egyptian pharaoh. Jayme McDaniel directs and choreographs; Eric Alsford handles the music direction. | North Shore Music Theatre, 62 Dunham Road Beverly | 978.232.7200 or | Through August 22 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues | 2 + 7:30 pm Wed | 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 2 pm Sun | $35-$65

THE LOOSE CHANTEUSE | Varla Jean Merman stars as the titular chanteuse in this intimate one-woman cabaret written by Jeffery Roberson and Jacques Lamarre. Pianist Tom Judson plays the accompanist, Gus Mattox. | Art House, 214 Commercial St, Provincetown | | Through September 4 | Curtain 9 pm Tues-Fri + Sat [August 14, 21; September 4] | $30; $35 VIP

MENGELBERG AND MAHLER | Daniel Klein's one-man play finds illustrious Dutch conductor Willem Mengelberg — who led Amsterdam's Concertgebouw Orchestra for 50 years — engaged in a "conversation" with Jewish composer Gustav Mahler. In Mahler's lifetime and in the first decades following his death, Mengelberg did more to champion his music than any other conductor. Yet in the aftermath of World War II, Mengelberg is accused of having collaborated with the Nazis during their occupation of the Netherlands, and now he faces exile. Robert Lohbauer has the role; Emile Fallaux directs. | Shakespeare & Company, Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, 70 Kemble St, Lenox | 413.637.3353 or | Through September 10 | Curtain this week: 3 pm Sun + Tues | 8 pm Wed | $21-$48

OTHELLO | Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's annual free Boston Common presentation of the Bard this year goes green with his tragedy about the green-eyed monster. Set in the 1940s, CSC artistic director Steve Maler's production is clear and fleet — war is afoot, soldiers are brawling, and strong women have become necessary. In this context, Marianna Bassham's worldly, flirtatious, ballsy Desdemona — as blonde as Jean Harlow, whether poured into tight tailored suits or a glimmering, one-shouldered gown — does not seem out of place. And Seth Gilliam, whom TV watchers will recognize from The Wire and Oz, is a taut, military Othello who falls to raging too early but retains his military stride and excellent diction even in the strangling clutches of jealousy. It's only the production's Iago who falters — as the "honest ensign" waving his insinuations before his commander like a red cape before a bull, James Waterston is less than compelling. | Boston Common, Parkman Bandstand, Boston | 617.426.0863 or | Through August 15 | Curtain 8 pm Thurs-Sat | 7 pm Sun | Free

RICHARD III | Shakespeare & Company artistic director Tony Simotes helms this production of the Bard's history play about the hunchback who, "determined to prove a villain," maneuvers his way to the English throne, stepping on family members and pretty much everyone else in his rise to the top. With John Douglas Thompson in the title role and Tod Randolph as Queen Elizabeth. | Shakespeare & Company, Founders Theatre, 70 Kemble St, Lenox | 413.637.3353 or | Through September 5 | Curtain this week: 7:30 pm Thurs [August 12] | 2 pm Fri | 7:30 pm Sun | 2 pm Tues | $15-$43 | Carolyn Clay's review on page 26

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