Play by play: August 14, 2009

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  August 11, 2009

THE DREAMER EXAMINES HIS PILLOW | Shakespeare & Company does this early (1986) John Patrick Shanley play about a dreamer who wants to be a painter, his former girlfriend, his former girlfriend's father (who actually is a painter), and a refrigerator you're advised to keep an eye on. With Bowman Wright as Tommy, Miriam Hyman as Donna, and John Douglas Thompson as Donna's dad; no word on who plays the refrigerator. Long-time S&C favorite Tod Randolph makes her directing debut. | Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, 70 Kemble St, Lenox | 413.637.3353 | Through September 6 | Curtain times vary | $16-$38; $11-$29 students, seniors

"FEVER FEST 09: FRICTION" | The newly formed Small Theatre Alliance of Boston has taken over Whistler in the Dark's annual summer festival, which is now in its fourth year. On the bill: imaginary beasts in Angelo Beolco's Weasel, Veronica Barron and Company in would you meet me?, This and That Theater Group in The Old Woman, New Exhibition Room in Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, Bright Lights & Burning Nights Old Time Circus and Traveling Road Show in an excerpt from The Disappearing Man & Other Sad Songs, Phoenix Theatre Artists in Iron over the Curb, or Bollywood Ending, and Whistler in the Dark in Timothy Callahan's Friction of Dust. | Factory Theatre, 791 Tremont St, Boston || Through August 16 | Curtain 8 pm Thurs-Fri | 4 + 8 pm Sat | 4 pm Sun | $20; $15 students, seniors

THE GOAT, OR WHO IS SYLVIA? | Gloucester Stage takes on Edward Albee's 2002 Tony winner about a married, successful, 50-year-old architect whose life is torn apart by his love affair with a soulful denizen of the barnyard. Anne Gottlieb, Robert Pemberton, Dennis Trainor, and Jesse Rudoy star; we don't recall whether there's an actual goat in the play, but if there is, casting is TBA. GSC artistic director Eric C. Engel is at the helm. | Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main St, Gloucester | 978.281.4433 | Through August 23 | Curtain 8 pm Wed-Fri | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 4 pm Sun | $32-$37

HAMLET | Shakespeare & Company reprises its 2006 production, a family affair, with Jason Asprey as Hamlet, S&C artistic director Tina Packer as Gertrude, her son, Jason Asprey, as Hamlet, and her husband, Dennis Krausnick, as — no, not Claudius, that would be a bit much — Polonius. Nigel Gore is back as Claudius, and Eleanor Holdridge again directs this dark, muscular production, in which the jarring metallic sounds that signify Hamlet's synaptic twitching also suggest the clanging shut of doors in the prison that is Denmark. This is a clear, compelling, if hardly transcendent reading, with a few twists that work — like Hamlet's passing out scripts of The Mousetrap to Gertrude and Claudius and having them play it like an amateur theatrical. With Elizabeth Raetz as Ophelia. | Shakespeare & Company, Founders Theatre, 70 Kemble St, Lenox | 413.637.3353 | Through August 28 | Curtain times vary | $16-$60

THE HAPPY OYSTER SPECTACULAR SHOW | Subtractive Media serves up this "live-action/video/music review with an Outer Cape bent that places contemporary culture under the microscope — one with a fractured lens. Good Morning America, Garrison Keillor, YouTube, drug commercials, and dating services are just a few of the subjects that fall prey to David Kennedy and his comedy troupe's satirical examination." | Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, Julie Harris Stage, 2357 Rte 6, Wellfleet | 508.349.WHAT | Through August 30 | Curtain 8 pm Sun | $25

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Related: Play by Play: July 3, 2009, Play by play: July 10, 2009, Play by play: September 4, 2009, More more >
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