Play by Play: April 24, 2009

By CAROLYN CLAY  |  April 22, 2009

THE LIFE OF GALILEO | Move over, Richard Goodwin. Award-winning director David Wheeler directs British playwright David Hare's translation of Bertolt Brecht's 1938 play, in which "Galileo Galilei abolishes Heaven." The production by Catalyst Collaborative @ MIT, in conjunction with Underground Railway Theater, commemorates the 400th anniversary of Galileo's turning his telescope upward to "change the way human beings thought of their place in the cosmos." Richard McElvain plays the scientist in hot water with the Church in Brecht's examination of scientific responsibility written on the brink of World War II. | Central Square Theater, 450 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 866.811.4111 | Through May 17 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs | 8 pm Fri-Sat | 3 pm Sun | $32; $22 seniors; $18 students with ID; $12 student rush day of show

MEN OF TORTUGA | Apollinaire Theatre Company presents the area premiere of Jason Wells's first play, which debuted in 2005 at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre. In Wells's "brutally hilarious satire, three power brokers scheme with a weapons specialist to eliminate their enemy. But when one of them takes a young idealist under his wing, his long-dormant conscience begins to reawaken, forcing the cabal to concoct even more outlandish scenarios of annihilation and ponder whether the ends justify their means." Danielle Fauteux Jacques directs. | Chelsea Theatre Works, 189 Winnisimmet St, Chelsea | 617.887.2336 | Through May 17 | Curtain 8 pm Fri-Sat | 3 pm Sun [May 10, 17] | $18 in advance; $20 at the door; $15 student rush

THE MIRACLE AT NAPLES | Artistic director Peter DuBois is at the helm of this Huntington Theatre Company world premiere of David Grimm's "outrageously smart and bawdy comedy" centered on a band of traveling commedia players in Renaissance Italy. While at New York's Public Theatre, DuBois directed the premiere of Grimm's 18th-century-set Measure for Pleasure, a similar mix of historical, linguistic, and sexual high jinks. | Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St, Boston | 617.266.0800 | Through May 9 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues [no April 28] | 2 + 7:30 pm Wed | 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 2 + 7 pm Sun | $20-$60; $10 discount BU community; $25 patrons 35 and under; $15 student rush, with college ID, two hours before curtain | Steve Vineberg's review page 32

A MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN | This Merrimack Repertory Theatre revival of Eugene O'Neill's redemptive drama is a co-production with Norfolk's Virginia Stage Company and is directed by Edward Morgan, who describes the encounter between drunk, self-loathing Jamie Tyrone and earth mother Josie Hogan as "part rollicking Irish comedy; part lyrical, soulful drama." | Merrimack Repertory Theatre, 50 East Merrimack St, Lowell | 978.654.4MRT | Through May 17 | Curtain 8 pm Wed-Fri + 2 pm Wed [April 29] | 4:30 + 8:30 pm Sat | 2 + 7 pm Sun | $26-$56; student, senior, discounts

A NIGHT AT THE ROCK OPERA | Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra, a Boston-based group "committed to bringing the best of classic rock to life for those who've never had a chance to hear it LIVE in 3-D," reprises its evening-long orgy of the Who, David Bowie, the Beatles, and Queen — and threatens to throw some Led Zeppelin into the mix. | Stuart St Playhouse, 200 Stuart St, Boston | 800.447.7400 | Through June 27 | Curtain 7:30 pm Sat | $39.50

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