Play by Play: April 24, 2009

By CAROLYN CLAY  |  April 22, 2009

BIG APPLE CIRCUS | Now in its 31st season, the intimate one-ring circus returns with a new edition. Play On!, which takes its name from the opening line of Twelfth Night, boasts "high-spirited Colombians on the flying trapeze; an acrobatic Chinese ballerina pirouetting on top of her partner; jazzed-up juggling twins from America; Russians springing skyward from their Russian barre; a talented troupe of Italian dogs; and the breathtaking exploits of Big Apple Circus equestrians vaulting onto galloping horses." And if that's not enough for you, they'll send in the clowns led by BAC veteran Grandma. The inventive set is by 2008 Tony Award winner (for August: Osage County) Todd Rosenthal. | City Hall Plaza, Boston | 888.541.3750 | Through May 10 | Performance times vary | $20-$65; $100 premium seating weekends and Patriots Week

CHARLOTTE'S WEB | Roll over, Beth of Little Women fame — there may be no bigger tearjerker in youth literature than the demise of the arachnid who befriends a pig in E.B. White's classic tale. It's brought to the stage by Joseph Robinette; Jane Staab directs a cast led by Merle Perkins, Robert Saoud, and Grace Brakeman. | Wheelock Family Theatre, 200 the Riverway, Boston | 617.879.2300 | Through May 10 | Curtain 1 pm Thurs [April 23] | 1 pm [April 24] + 7:30 pm Fri | 3 pm Sat-Sun | $15-$25; $10 Pajama Party Fridays; $13 Teens Take Charge

HUMBLE BOY | The Publick Theatre comes indoors for the New England premiere of British playwright Charlotte Jones's Susan Smith Blackburn Prize–winning play, which, centered on a bee-keeping physicist, debuted at the Royal National Theatre in 2001. "Allusions to Shakespeare's Hamlet anchor this comedy as it takes the lid off the gardens of British suburbia to explore the physics of attraction and family and the complex struggle to be (and not to bee) in a constantly shifting universe." Diego Arciniegas directs; Nigel Gore, Nancy E. Carroll, and Stephanie Clayman are in the cast. | Boston Center for the Arts Plaza, 539 Tremont St, Boston | 617.933.8600 | Through May 2 | Curtain 8 pm Thurs-Fri | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $32-$35

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST | Beth F. Miles, head of the Brown/Trinity Rep Consortium's MFA directing program, is at the helm of Oscar Wilde's 1895 "trivial comedy for serious people." Trinity Rep regular Mauro Hantman stars as the identity-laundering Jack; Janice Duclos is the battle ax who won't let her daughter marry anyone descended from a handbag. | Trinity Repertory Company, 201 Washington St, Providence, Rhode Island | 401.351.4242 | Through May 10 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues-Fri + 2 pm Wed [April 29] | 2 pm [May 9] + 7:30 pm Sat | 2 + 7:30 pm Sun | $20-$60; $10 12th-row bench | Bill Rodriguez's review page TK

INAUGURAL HARVARD PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL | Playwright Christine (Trojan Barbie) Evans and American Repertory Theatre '08-'09 season director Gideon Lester, who together teach an advanced playwriting course at the ART's Institute for Advanced Theatre Training, conceived the notion for this festival of staged readings of new works by student dramatists. | New College Theatre Rehearsal Studio, 10-12 Holyoke St, Cambridge | 617.495.8676 | Through April 26 | Curtain 5:30 + 7 pm Thurs-Fri | 2 + 3:30 + 5:30 + 7 pm Sat | 2 + 3:30 + 5 pm Sun | Free

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Related: Trivial pursuit, Interview: Duncan Sheik, As young lovers do, More more >
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