THE UNDERPANTS | Salem Theatre Company undertakes writer and film star Steve Martin's adaptation of German playwright Carl Sternheim's 1910 farce about an attractive hausfrau who becomes an instant celebrity, much to the consternation of her blockheaded bourgeois spouse, after suffering a wardrobe malfunction. When her bloomers fall to her ankles while she's straining to watch a parade, Louise Maske acquires not only accidental notoriety but a couple of suitors who, captivated by the dropped drawers, show up to rent the room she and husband Theo, a conservative civil servant, have for rent. As these interlopers vie for her attentions under his nose, Theo displays a blind, pontificating obtuseness that is the comedy's primary source of laughs. Martin, in his airier take on Sternheim's didactic farce, also throws in plenty of double entendre and plain bawdiness, and he tacks on a surprise ending reminiscent of Elvis's appearance at the end of Picasso at the Lapin Agile. | First Church in Salem, 316 Essex St, Salem | 978.790.8546 | Through August 2 | Curtain 8 pm Thurs-Sat | 2 pm Sun | $20; $15 students, seniors

THE WEDDING SINGER | F.U.D.G.E. Theatre Company presents a musical version of the 1998 film. Subbing for Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore (they must have had previous commitments they couldn't get out of) will be Chris Bott and Kira Cowan as Robbie and Julie. Matthew Sklar did the music, Chad Beguelin the lyrics, Beguelin and Tim Herlihy the book; F.U.D.G.E. president Joe DeMita directs. | Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St, Watertown | 781.245.0500 | Through August 1 | Curtain 8 pm Thurs-Sat | $20; $18 students, seniors

WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF THUNDER? | The Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage season continues with a Noah Haidle world premiere. "After 27 years on the same soap opera, Ada is starting to confuse her art and her life. But after so many years of acting, her art is her life." Betty Gilpin and Wendie Malick star; WTF artistic associate Justin Waldman directs. | Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage, 1000 Main St, Rte 2, Williamstown | 413.597.3400 | Through August 2 | Curtain 3 + 8 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8:30 pm Sat | 2 pm Sun | $35-$37


BLUE MAN GROUP | The Drama Desk Award–winning trio of cobalt-painted bald pates begin their delightful and deafening evening of anti–performance art beating drums that are also deep buckets of paint, so that sprays of color jump from the instruments like breaking surf, and end by engulfing the spectators in tangles of toilet paper. | Charles Playhouse, 74 Warrenton St, Boston | 617.931.ARTS | Indefinitely | Curtain 8 pm Tues-Thurs | 7 pm Fri | 2 + 5 + 8 pm Sat | 4 + 7 pm Sun | $48-$62; $30 student rush

SHEAR MADNESS | The dramatis personae of the audience-participation whodunit (which is now the longest-running non-musical in American theater history, having run 29 years in Boston) continue to comb Newbury Street for the murderer of a classical pianist who lived over the unisex hair salon where the show is set. | Charles Playhouse Stage II, 74 Warrenton St, Boston | 617.426.5225 | Indefinitely | Curtain 8 pm Tues-Fri | 6 + 9 pm Sat | 3 + 7 pm Sun | $42; $31.50 with AAA discount; half-price college-student rush, one ticket per college ID, at the box office, one hour prior to curtain

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Related: Play by play: July 24, 2009, Play by Play: August 7, 2009, Year in Theater: Staged right, More more >
  Topics: Theater , Arsenal Center for the Arts, Musicals, Pablo Picasso,  More more >
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