Play by play: March 6, 2009

Plays from A to Z
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  March 3, 2009

BLACKBIRD | David Harrower's play won the 2007 Olivier Award for Best New Play (beating out Rock 'n' Roll, The Seafarer, and Frost/Nixon), and now SpeakEasy Stage Company presents its area premiere, with Elliot Norton Award winner David R. Gammons directing. Sixteen years earlier, as we find out almost a third of the way into the 90 minutes, the 40-year-old Ray, after a long flirtation, took the 12-year-old Una to an inn, where they had sex. Ashamed, he left her there alone. Now the two of them have met up in Ray's office in an industrial building, and their shifting stories of what happened make for shifting emotional sands — for them, as well as for us. This is a crack production: Bates Wilder and Marianne Bassham do a sterling job with the spare, half-sentence dialogue that has its roots in Pinter and Mamet, and Gammons is Boston's master of ultra-violence. | 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

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

BLUE MAN GROUP | The Drama Desk Award–winning trio of cobalt-painted bald pates begin their delightful and deafening evening of anti–performance art beating drums that are also deep buckets of paint, so that sprays of color jump from the instruments like breaking surf, and end by engulfing the spectators in tangles of toilet paper. | Charles Playhouse, 74 Warrenton St, Boston | 617.931.ARTS | Indefinitely | Curtain 8 pm Wed [March 25] | 8 pm Thurs | 7 pm Fri | 4 + 7 + 10 pm Sat | 1 + 4 pm Sun | $48-$62; $30 student rush

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF | Scott Edmiston directs this solid, sparking Lyric Stage Company revival of Tennessee Williams's 1955 Pulitzer Prize winner set on the Mississippi plantation where Big Daddy is about to buy the farm and Maggie the Cat, rejected by the pickled husband who hates her, is jumping out of her sexual skin. Lyric honcho Spiro Veloudos, returning to the stage after a number of years, is a surprisingly humane if still vigorously crude, "mendacity"-drubbing Big Daddy, and Georgia Lyman is a determined, febrile, and suitably feline Maggie. | Lyric Stage Company of Boston, 140 Clarendon St, Boston | 617.585.5678 | Through March 14 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $25-$50

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Related: Play by play: July 17, 2009, Play by play: April 17, 2009, GSC commits Crimes of the Heart, More more >
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