MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING | Actors' Shakespeare Project transfers the Bard's Sicilian comedy to a vaguely 1950s America, where soldiers returning home from a war, show up at a nightclub (with cabaret tables for actors and audience) and couples sway to music of the era and Bobbie Steinbach delivers the play's signature tune, "Sigh no more, ladies," as a jazz number to which listening gents snap their fingers as she turns "Hey nonny, nonny" into Elizabethan scat. And as the sparring Beatrice and Benedick, tart, smart, long-married thespians Paula Plum and Richard Snee are the life of the swank-on-a-shoestring affair, managing to wed Noël Coward–esque sparring to the slapstick of the twin scenes in which, thinking themselves successful eavesdroppers, B&B are tricked into acknowledging their feelings for each other. Some of the comedy feels forced and some of the drama overwrought, but director and designer Benjamin Evett's production concept captures the festive feel of much of the play, and the show beautifully suits the old-fashioned, high-ceilinged elegance of Hibernian Hall. | Roxbury Center for the Arts at Hibernian Hall, 182 Dudley St, Roxbury | 866.811.4111 | Through June 14 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs-Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 2 pm Sun | $25-$47

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

ON THE VERGE | "Machetes" are promised in this comedy (we think) show written by Eric Overmyer, directed by Wesley Savick, and presented by Nora Theatre. Also (seems to be a '50s theme) "Rock 'n' Roll. Burma Shave. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Discover the unpredictable land of Terra Incognita with three intrepid women explorers who can never be quite sure where — or when — their next steps will lead them. . . ." | Central Square Theater, 450 Mass Ave, Cambridge |www.centralsquaretheater.org| Through June 21 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs | 8 pm Fri-Sat | 3 pm Sun | $32; $22 seniors; $18 students; $12 students day-of

PIRATES! (OR, GILBERT AND SULLIVAN PLUNDER'D) | In the Huntington Theatre Company's plundering of Gilbert & Sullivan's 1879 operetta The Pirates of Penzance, the action has been moved from G&S's sleepy Cornish coastal town to the Caribbean, and back in time to the early 18th century. The Pirate King has morphed into Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow; Frederic's nursemaid Ruth, a plain sort of middle-aged woman in the original, is here played in black mini-shorts and over-the-knee black boots by Cady Huffman, who won a Tony for her portrayal of Swedish bombshell Ulla in The Producers. The work of Gordon Greenberg, Nell Benjamin, and John McDaniel, this novelty takes the G&S low road; if you're not a fan of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers, it's probably not your thing. Still, it's uniformly well sung and acted, and that excuses a lot of the tomfoolery. | Boston University Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave, Boston | 617.266.0800 | Through June 14 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues | 2 + 7:30 pm Wed | 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 2 pm Sun | $20-$82; $5 senior, military discount; $10 BU community discount; $25 patrons 35 and younger, with ID; $20 back row of balcony; $15 student rush, two hours before curtain, with ID

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