Play by play: October 9, 2009

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  October 7, 2009

THE SAVANNAH DISPUTATION | Evan Smith’s amusing little comedy, in its Boston debut by SpeakEasy Stage Company, is a smackdown between a couple of elderly Irish Catholic sisters aptly named Mary and Margaret and the fundamentalist Christian cheerleader who shows up on their doorstep bent on conversion but gets more than she bargained for on her return visit when Mary brings in the sisters’ parish priest. Smith’s sentimental sit-com dressed up as theological disputation is nonetheless extremely funny, and the blithe narrowness of both sides is exposed in Paul Daigneault’s hilarious SpeakEasy production. Both Paula Plum’s Doubting Thomasina and Timothy Crowe’s pained intellectual of a priest are subtly played, leaving the real cat fight to Nancy E. Carroll’s scathing crank, who defends her meanness as if it were the Grail, and Carolyn Charpie’s fetching airhead of a door-to-door evangelical. | Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St, Boston | 617.933.8600 | Through 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

STOMP | The Olivier-, Obie-, and Drama Desk Award–winning show that exploits the percussive potential of everyday objects from brooms to garbage-can lids to matchboxes is back for its — actually, we’ve lost count, but this is at least its sixth Boston appearance. We’re promised “some new surprises, with some sections of the show now updated and restructured and the addition of two new full-scale routines utilizing props like tractor-tire inner tubes and paint cans.” | Cutler Majestic Theatre, 219 Tremont St, Boston | 800.233.3123 | Through October 18 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues-Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 5 + 9 pm Sat | 3 + 7 pm Sun | $35-$60

2.5 MINUTE RIDE | Downstage @ New Rep brings us Lisa Kron’s one-woman show, which the American Repertory Theater presented at Suffolk University back in 1998. Kron kibitzes between Cedar Point (in Sandusky, Ohio) and Auschwitz, to which she traveled with her father, in part so that he could see the place where his parents perished. The roller-coaster — in addition to starring in some funny family anecdotes — serves as a symbol for a life in which escapist distress has long stood in for the real thing. For this incarnation, Adrianne Krstansky fills in as Lisa. | Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St, Watertown | 617.923.8487 | Through October 24 | Curtain 8 pm Wed-Thurs [Wed October 21 only] | 8:30 pm Fri | 4 + 8:30 pm Sat | 3 + 8 pm [evening October 18] Sun | $25; seniors $20; students $12.50

WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? | If anyone can stand up to Edward Albee’s braying, booze-soaked, ball-busting sack of sex and pathos, Martha, it’s Shakespeare & Company founding artistic director Tina Packer. So can Nigel Gore, as George, stand up to Packer in this revival of the 1962 New York Critics’ Circle Award winner too potty-mouthed to win a Pulitzer? Diego Arciniegas directs this Publick Theatre production. | Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Theatre, 539 Tremont St, Boston | 617.933.8600 | Through October 24 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 2 pm Sun | $33-$37.50

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