Play by play: September 18, 2009

Plays from A to Z
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  September 17, 2009


GREAT EXPECTATIONS | 11:11 Theatre Company opens its season with something we don't recall seeing often, if at all: a stage version of Charles Dickens's classic about Pip, Magwitch, Estella, and the eternally disappointed Miss Havisham. The company collaborated on the adaptation. | Factory Theatre, 791 Tremont St, Boston || September 25–October 3 | Curtain 8 pm Thurs-Sat | 3 pm Sun | $15; $12 students, seniors

KING LEAR | Actors from the London Stage — i.e., actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre and the Globe Theatre — makes its annual (?) visit to Boston; the price is right, and if these guys can't do Lear, who can? | Wellesley College Theatre, Houghton Chapel, 106 Central St, Wellesley || September 24-26 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs-Sat | Free

MOLASSES PANTY TOWN | Pellegrino Productions presents this free staged reading of a new family musical based on the Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919. It starts in 1915, where "we see working-class Anna, our protagonist, struggling to raise her two children by getting a job in a factory making underwear for the soldiers." | Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St, Boston || September 17-26 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri-Sat | 2 pm Sun | Free

PROVINCETOWN TENNESSEE WILLIAMS THEATER FESTIVAL | This fourth annual four-day orgy of all things Williams serves up A Streetcar Named Desire — in a New Zealand production with a Maori playing Stanley Kowalski — plus a passel of works you've likely never heard of, let alone seen: the recently discovered The Day on Which a Man Dies, a fantasia on the death of Jackson Pollock; the world-premiere production of The Enemy: Time, a precursor to Sweet Bird of Youth, and then Sweet Bird of Youth the film, with Paul Newman; The Case of the Crushed Petunias, a little-known Williams play written in 1941 that takes place in a small Massachusetts town and will be performed in a storefront at the end of a historic walking tour; Beau Jest Moving Theatre in The Remarkable Rooming House of Madame Le Monde (see next entry for the local preview performances); and Betty Buckley in a reading of Ghosts for a Summer Hotel. But wait, there's more, like Jay Critchley's festival-opening "21 Gun Salute" and coffee with Lanford Wilson and a production of August Strindberg's Miss Julie by a Norwegian troupe. Venues include the Art House, the Crown & Anchor, the Boat Slip, the Provincetown Art Association & Museum, the Fine Arts Work Center, and the Provincetown Theater. | 866.789.TENN| September 24-27 | Performance times vary | $15-$50; $250-$500 festival pass

THE REMARKABLE ROOMING HOUSE OF MADAME LE MONDE | Warm up for the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival next week with this Beau Jest Moving Theatre world-premiere production of a "savage comedy" that Williams wrote "to shock as part of an evening of Grand Guignol that was never produced." It's set in a boarding house in London, where "a mysteriously paralyzed man named Mint moves around his attic by swinging from hooks as he prepares for tea with his old friend, Hall." Larry Coen, Jordan Harrison, Nick Ronan, and Lisa Tucker make up the cast; Davis Robinson directs. Oh and it's "For mature audiences only. Very adult themes and language." | Charlestown Working Theater, 442 Bunker Hill St, Charlestown | 866.811.4111 | September 18-19 | Curtain 8 pm Fri-Sat | $20; $10 students, seniors

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