Play by Play: August 28, 2009

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  August 26, 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

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

JERSEY BOYS | Those would be the Four Seasons, four boys from Newark who in the early '60s gave us "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk like a Man," "Candy Girl," "Dawn," and "Rag Doll." And with its tale of internecine loyalty and resentment among a hardscrabble quartet from the industrial badlands near Newark and its irresistibly tight white-boy harmonies, the 2006 Tony-winning musical chronicling the rise, fall, and resurrection of the prolific pop group is a well-put-together and well-executed if schematic affair that is head, shoulders, and string ties above most jukebox musicals. What's more, the lavish touring edition serves up a knock-your-socks-off quartet who really do sound like the Four Seasons, from Joseph Leo Bwarie's channeling of Frankie Valli's unearthly falsetto to Steve Gouveia's gargling of the goofy bass interpolations of "silly girl" into "Big Girls Don't Cry." Tony winner (for Big River and The Who's Tommy) Des McAnuff directs. | Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont St, Boston | 866.348.9738 | Through September 26 | Curtain 8 pm Tues-Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 2 + 7 pm Sun | $49-$99

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Related: Too many shows, Going on sale: September 14, 2006, Going on sale: August 8, 2006, More more >
  Topics: Theater , Entertainment, Boston Conservatory, Theater Awards,  More more >
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