Play by Play: March 27, 2009

By CAROLYN CLAY  |  March 24, 2009

THE WRESTLING PATIENT | SpeakEasy Stage Company, Boston Playwrights' Theatre, and FortyMagnolias Productions team up to present the world premiere of a new play written by Kirk Lynn, Anne Gottlieb, and Obie winner Katie Pearl. A finalist in the National Endowment for the Arts' Outstanding New American Play competition, the play draws on the life and writings of Etty Hillesum, a young Dutch Jewish woman forced to choose between retaining her integrity and saving her life in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. She died in Auschwitz in 1943. Pearl directs a cast featuring Daniel Berger-Jones, Joel Colodner, Gottlieb, Marya Lowry, Will Lyman, and Will McGarrahan. | Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St, Boston | 617.933.8600 | March 27–April 11 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $40-$44; $35-$39 students, seniors; $30 gallery seats; $14 student rush, with ID, at the box office, one hour prior to curtain


NOW PLAYING

BAD DATES | Merrimack Repertory Theatre hosts this co-production with Lenox-based Shakespeare & Company of Theresa Rebeck's one-woman comedy about a divorced single mom with a closet stuffed with 600 pairs of shoes, a restaurant-management job that may have Romanian mob connections, and a dubious romantic life. She regales us as she prepares for and winds down from the largely unsuccessful liaisons of the title. Ace comedienne Elizabeth Aspenlieder stars. | Merrimack Repertory Theatre, 50 East Merrimack St, Lowell | 978.654.4MRT | Through April 12 | Curtain 8 pm Wed | 8 pm Thurs-Fri | 4:30 + 8:30 pm Sat | 2 + 7 pm [no evening April 12] Sun | $26-$56 | Carolyn Clay's review page 27

THE BUDDHA — IN HIS OWN WORDS | After several workshop productions in the Boston area, writer/performer Evan Brenner unveils his one-man play taken from the life and teachings of Siddhartha Gautama — who lived in northern India 500 years before Christ and is better known as the Buddha — in its official world premiere. Brenner presents "the authentic texts" and enacts "the extraordinary life of the man, start to finish. It's no dry tale — the Buddha's life stands among the great archetypal adventure stories." Indiana Jones, eat your heart out. | 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 | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $28-$33; $5 discount students, seniors | Cambridge Family YMCA Theatre, 820 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 800.838.3006 | April 10-12 | Curtain 8 pm Fri | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 3 + 7:30 pm Sun | $25-$30; $5 discount students, seniors

CORIOLANUS | Robert Walsh directs this percussive Actors' Shakespeare Project staging of the Bard's political tragedy about a Roman war hero banished from the city by the plebiscite and forced to choose between sweet revenge and his domineering mother. Early on, the 1940s-set staging is cacophonous, with the workers-of-the-world Roman plebiscite banging and clanging tools and farm implements to indicate their unrest and the Roman and Volscian soldiers enacting their martial-arts-inspired skirmishes to a din of drums. But it's when the clamor is replaced by a low electric hum as Bobbie Steinbach's steely Volumnia pits her will against that of Benjamin Evett's baby-boy war machine of a title character that the staging is most riveting. | Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville | 866.811.4111 | Through April 5 | 7:30 pm Thurs-Sat | 2 pm Sun | $25-$47

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