ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD | Actually, they're very much alive in Tom Stoppard's 1966 existential comedy, and wondering how they came to brought into a world where you can get bumped off in a single line, with no recourse. This Bad Habit Productions production is directed by Steve Kleinedler, with Jonathan Overby as Rosencrantz and Stephen Libby as Guildenstern. Unless it's the other way round. | Cambridge YMCA Theatre, 820 Mass Ave, Cambridge |www.badhabitproductions.org| Through August 9 | Curtain 8 pm Thurs-Sat | 2 pm Sun | $15 on-line/$20 doors

THE TORCH-BEARERS | Next up for the Williamstown Theatre Festival Mainstage is George Kelly's 1922 farce, a Noises Off–type comedy about a community-theater troupe trying to put on a show. Back when it opened, Alexander Woollcott described it in his New York Times review as "a cruel and enormously amusing travesty." Writing in the same newspaper 78 years later, Ben Brantley gave a favorable review to the Greenwich House Theater revival, as adapted and directed by Dylan Baker, and Baker will be directing here as well. Oh and did we mention that George Kelly was Grace Kelly's uncle? | Williamstown Theatre Festival Mainstage, 1000 Main St, Rte 2, Williamstown | 413.597.3400 | Through August 9 | Curtain 3 + 8 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8:30 pm Sat | 2 pm Sun | $45-$59

TWELFTH NIGHT | "Some comedies are born great. Some achieve greatness. Some have greatness thrust upon them." We're putting Shakespeare's Illyrian comedy of cross-dressing and thwarted love in the first category. And the complete cast has now been thrust upon us: Merritt Janson as Viola, Jake Waid as Sebastian, Duane Allen Robinson as Orsino, Elizabeth Raetz as Olivia, Robert Biggs as Feste, Ken Cheeseman as Malvolio, Johnny Lee Davenport as Antonio, Nigel Gore as Sir Toby Belch, Corinna May as Maria, and Ryan Winkles as Andrew Aguecheek. Jonathan Croy directs. | Shakespeare & Company, Founders Theatre, 70 Kemble St, Lenox | 413.637.3353 | Through September 5 | Curtain times vary | $16-$60


INDEFINITELY

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: August 14, 2009, Play by play: July 31, 2009, More Bard, another park, More more >
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