Play by Play: March 20, 2009

By CAROLYN CLAY  |  March 18, 2009

ENDGAME | Master of atmospherics Marcus Stern directs this American Repertory Theatre reprise of Samuel Beckett's iconic 1957 existential comedy, a "day in the life of a family fallen on mysteriously hard times." In this bleak, beauteous outing for the core company, Will LeBow is blind, chair-bound Hamm, Thomas Derrah his bullied servant, Clov, and Remo Airaldi and Karen MacDonald are the parents Nagg and Nell, "who live in two ashbins and long for sugar-plums." The troupe got into famously hot water in 1984 when visiting director JoAnne Akalaitis relocated Endgame to what looked like a New York subway station in the wake of a nuclear holocaust. This time out, Stern, set designer Andromache Chalfant, and the four ART stalwarts play Beckett's game by the book. It's going against the nature of things to suggest Beckett would be happy. Suffice to say he would be satisfied. | Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St, Cambridge | 617.547.8300 | Through March 21 | Curtain 8 pm Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | $25-$79; $10 discount seniors; $15 student rush

FOOL FOR LOVE | Bridget Kathleen O'Leary directs this New Repertory Theatre revival of Sam Shepard's visceral stand-off between lover/siblings in a seedy motel room at the edge of the Mojave Desert. Stacy Fischer and Timothy John Smith are featured. | Downstage @ New Rep, Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St, Watertown | 617.923.8487 | Through April 5 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8:30 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $25; $20 seniors; $10 students

LADYBIRD | Steppenwolf Theatre member and star of TV's The Wire Jim True-Frost is at the helm of this ART/MXAT Institute for Advanced Theatre Training production of Russian writer Vasily Sigarev's play, a "searing portrait of disaffected youth" centered on a young man who throws himself a going-away party before leaving his home to fight in Chechnya. | Zero Arrow Theatre, Mass Ave + Arrow St, Cambridge | 617.547.8300 | Through March 21 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs-Sat | $10; $5 students, seniors; free ART subscribers

OF MICE AND MINK | Duck and cover, ghost of John Steinbeck. The Gold Dust Orphans have rewritten Of Mice and Men, turning it into "the tragicomic story of Georgie (Larry Coen) and Linda (Rick Park), two not-so-pretty hookers living through the current not-so-great depression without a friend to lean on or a pot to piss in." The setting is a bottom-of-the-barrel brothel on the wrong side of town, where Linda, "a woman-child in the body of a dangerously powerful 'She-Hulk,' " gets into some trouble that may or may not involve rabbits. James P. Byrne directs Ryan Landry's utterly free adaptation of the novella. | Ramrod Center for the Performing Arts, basement of Machine, 1254 Boylston St, Boston | 866.811.4111 | Through March 21 | Curtain 8 pm Fri-Sat | 4 pm Sun | $30; $35 at the door

THE PAIN AND THE ITCH | M. Bevin O'Gara directs this Company One Boston premiere of Bruce Norris's "scathing satire of the politics of class and race." Nancy E. Carroll is featured. "With a young daughter in serious need of attention and a ravenous creature possibly prowling the upstairs bedrooms, what begins as an average Thanksgiving for a privileged family unravels into an exposé of disastrous choices and less-than-altruistic motives." | Boston Center for the Arts Plaza, 539 Tremont St, Boston | 617.933.8600 | Through April 4 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs | 8 pm Fri-Sat | 2 pm Sun | $30-$38; $30 seniors; $15 students; $18 Wed

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