Play by Play: March 27, 2009

By CAROLYN CLAY  |  March 24, 2009

DIRTY DANCING — THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE | The Opera House hosts the East Coast premiere of the national tour of the stage show based on the popular 1987 film in which sheltered Jewish teen Baby Houseman shows up at a Catskills resort, circa 1963, and falls for the sexy working-class dance instructor, Johnny Castle. The show replicates as closely as it can the film while heightening the political conscience of the times. It also turns a charming 100-minute movie into a bloated 160-minute extravaganza elaborately accessorized by turntable, lighting, and projections to make it look just like a movie. Never mind: the fans cheer every iconic line and undulation. | Opera House, 539 Washington St, Boston | 617.931.ARTS | Through April 12 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues-Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 2 + 7:30 pm Sun | $30-$91; $132.50 premium seating

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 | Carolyn Clay's review page 27

LOOK AND LONG — A GERTRUDE STEIN MISCELLANY | Imaginary Beasts theater company unveils "a series of playful vignettes" rooted in The Gertrude Stein First Reader. Matthew Woods directs. | Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 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 | $23; discounts students, seniors

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 | Carolyn Clay's review page 27

THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD | Wellesley Summer Theatre Company comes out of hibernation to present Irish playwright John Millington Synge's 1907 masterpiece about a young man who wanders into a rural Irish backwater and becomes a local celebrity by boasting that he's killed his da. Nora Hussey directs a cast that includes Shelley Bolman, John Davin, Derek Stone-Nelson, and Lewis Wheeler. | Schneider Center Theatre, Wellesley College campus, 106 Central St, Wellesley | 781.283.2000 | Through March 29 | Curtain 7 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $20; $10 students, seniors

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