Play by play: September 18, 2009

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  September 17, 2009

RIVERSING 2009: BRIDGING THE CHARLES WITH VOICE AND LIGHT | Revels and the Charles River Conservancy present this unique celebration of the autumn equinox, in which thousands of singers line up on either side of the Charles to welcome fall in song. The participants will include the Family Folk Chorale, the Halalisa Singers, Sharing a New Song, and the Revels Singers. And saxophonist Stan Strickland "is on board again this year — quite literally — as he performs an improvisational sunset serenade from an illuminated boat on the river at approximately 7:15 pm." | John W. Weeks Footbridge linking Allston to Cambridge, DeWolfe St at Memorial Drive | September 20 | communal sing at 6 pm Sun [RiverSing activities in Winthrop Park at 5 pm] | Free

THE SAVANNAH DISPUTATION | SpeakEasy Stage Company gets its 2009–2010 season off on a promising foot with the New England premiere of Evan Smith's comedy about the havoc wrought by a Pentecostal missionary when she visits two Catholic sisters — who fight back by enlisting their parish priest. Theological war ensues. The cast includes Paula Plum and Nancy E. Carroll, seen earlier this summer in David Hare's The Breath of Life at Gloucester Stage; SpeakEasy artistic director Paul Daigneault is at the helm. | Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St, Boston | 617.933.8600 | September 18–October 17 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $42-$47; $37-$42 students, seniors; $30 gallery seats


CABARET | Willkommen! Trinity Repertory Company opens its 46th season with the Kander & Ebb musical based on Christopher Isherwood's Berlin stories and made famous by Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey. They won't be coming to the Cabaret in Providence but Trinity is hoping that at least one of your tomorrows will belong to Rachael Warren as Sally Bowles, Mauro Hartman as Cliff Bradshaw, Joe Wilson Jr. as the MC, Phyllis Kay as Fräulein Schneider, and Stephen Berenson as Herr Schultz. Trinity artistic director Curt Columbus is at the helm. | Trinity Repertory Company, 201 Washington St, Providence, Rhode Island | 401.351.4242 | Through October 11 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues | 2 pm [September 23, 30] + 7:30 pm Wed | 7:30 pm Thurs-Fri | 2 pm [September 19 + October 3] + 7:30 pm Sat | 2 + 7:30 pm Sun | $20-$65; $10 12th-row bench

THE DONKEY SHOW | The Diane Paulus era at the American Repertory Theatre kicks off with this 1970s-disco gloss on A Midsummer Night's Dream that she concocted with writer husband Randy Weiner in 1998 and set to the dance-fueled anthems of Donna Summer and Sister Sledge. The show, which ran for six years Off Broadway and has become a signature of the Obie-winning director's propulsive, audience-immersive style, will play in the newly christened nightclub Oberon (formerly known as Zero Arrow Theatre), and Paulus compares it with a trip to the Bard's stomping grounds. "The audience, very much like in the Globe Theatre, is standing like groundlings, watching the action. There are VIP boxes, just like there were in the Globe, if you prefer to sit and watch. You have kind of royalty side by side with the working class, which was also very Studio 54. It was considered democracy on the dance floor; you could be a kid from Queens dancing next to Elizabeth Taylor." And you will get to dance at The Donkey Show. You will also get to drink, socialize, and text your digits off if you feel like it. | Oberon, Mass Ave + Arrow St, Cambridge | 617.547.8300 | Through October 31 | Curtain 8 pm Wed [September 23] | 8 pm Thurs | 8 + 10:30 Fri [late show September 18, 25] | 8 + 10:30 pm Sat | $25-$49

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