Play by Play: February 27, 2009

Plays A to Z
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  February 24, 2009

ATLAS OF MUD | As part of the Catalyst Collaborative @ MIT March Festival of New Works of Science Theater and Central Square Theater's Play it Forward! festival of new works, MIT associate professor Jay Scheib directs this staged reading of Jennifer Fawcett's play, "a compelling mythic allegory exploring the human dimensions of global warming." | Broad Institute Auditorium, Room NE30, 7 Cambridge Center, Cambridge | 617.576.9278 x 213 | March 2 | Curtain 7 pm | Central Square Theater, 450 Mass Ave, Cambridge | March 3 | Curtain 7 pm | Free; suggested donation $10; reservations required

BAD DATES | Lenox-based Shakespeare & Company kicks off its first winter season with theater and television writer Theresa Rebeck's engaging one-woman comedy. Adrianne Krstansky directs Elizabeth Aspenlieder in the show, whose focus is a Manhattan single mom with a job managing a restaurant and a serious shoe habit; she takes us into her confidence while preparing for and rehashing the dubious social engagements of the title. | Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, Shakespeare & Company, 70 Kemble St, Lenox | 413.637.3353 | Through March 8 | Curtain 7 pm Fri-Sat | 2 pm Sun | $28.80

THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS | Turtle Lane Playhouse revives the 1978 Broadway musical by Larry L. King and Peter Masterson, with music and lyrics by Carol Hall, set at Miss Mona's Chicken Ranch, a Texas bordello in operation since 1850. James Tallach directs. | Turtle Lane Playhouse, 283 Melrose St, Auburndale | 617.244.0169 | Through March 15 | Curtain 8 pm Thurs-Sat | 2 pm Sun | $25-$27.50

BLACKBIRD | David Harrower's play won the 2007 Olivier Award for Best New Play (beating out Rock 'n' Roll, The Seafarer, and Frost/Nixon). SpeakEasy Stage Company presents its area premiere, with Elliot Norton Award winner David R. Gammons directing the show, which "tells the story of a meeting between two people, Ray and Una, who 15 years ago had a passionate affair. Emotions run high as the pair recall their scandalous relationship and attempt to come to terms with the shattering truth of their abandoned love." Marianna Bassham and Bates Wilder make up the cast. | Roberts Studio Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St, Boston | Through March 21 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues [March 17] | 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $47-$50; $42-$45 students, seniors; $30 gallery seats; $14 student rush, with ID, one hour before curtain, subject to availability | Ed Siegel's review page 25

A BLESSING AND A CURSE: A DUET OF PLAYS ON MOTHERHOOD | Spiced Wine Productions is the force behind the world premiere of this double bill of one-acts by area playwright Ginger Lazarus. Fran Weinberg directs Benny and Serena's High School Graduation, a bittersweet comedy about a mom struggling to do what's best as her valedictorian son leaves the nest, and Mary, "a wild spin on one of the most famous mothers of all time" in which the mother of God is preparing to save the world when an angel appears with the offer of an entirely new mission. | Boston Playwrights' Theatre, 949 Comm Ave, Boston | 866.811.4111 | March 6-15 | Curtain 8 pm Thurs-Sat | 2 + 7 pm Sun | $20; $15 students, seniors

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