Play by play: October 23, 2009

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  October 21, 2009

VOICES FROM THE MOUNTAIN | Frustrated fans of Maggie Greenwald’s 2001 film Songcatcher, which was based loosely on the life of Appalachian Mountain folk-song collector (and Tufts alumna) Olive Dame Campbell, won’t want to miss Revels Repertory Company in the Boston-area premiere of this evening of “ballads, folk songs, stories, dances, and play party games” that’s sure to offer more music than the film did. | Tufts Unmiversity, Cohen Auditorium, Aidekman Arts Center, 40 Talbot Avenue, Medford | 800.THE.ALUM| October 24 | Curtain 7:30 pm | $15; $10 children under 12

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISSOCIA | “If you like Alice in Wonderland, but there’s not enough sex and violence in it, then Dissocia is the show for you” is how edgy British playwright Anthony Neilson describes his fantasy, in which Lisa Jones is trying to recover a critical lost hour in her life and wondering whether the “curious inhabitants” of Dissocia will be inclined to help. Emerson grad Philana Mia stars as Lisa; Danielle Fauteux Jacques directs. | Chelsea Theatre Works, 189 Winnissimet St, Chelsea | 617.887.2336 | October 30–November 29 | Curtain 8 pm Fri-Sat | 3 pm Sun [November 22, 29] | $25 advance; $30 doors

THE CARETAKER | Nora Theatre Company opens its 2009–2010 season with Harold Pinter’s 1960 enigma, in which Aston, who’s had electroshock treatment, brings the homeless and difficult Davies back to his ramshackle apartment and the two fence with each other, Aston trying to please Davies while the audience wonders why. It gets still more complicated when Aston’s younger brother, Mick, enters the picture. Director Daniel Gidron does this play by the book, as perhaps one must, and the production achieves its goal of respectfully, even poignantly presenting a once-groundbreaking work. Still, it’s not perfect. Joe Lanza captures the mercurial Mick’s silkiness but not his menace, and Michael Balcanoff conveys hobo Davies’s puling buoyancy but not his full wiliness and seediness. Even John Kuntz, his shoulders stiff, his eyes darting, sometimes appears to be acting as Aston. | Central Square Theater, 450 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 866.811.4111 | Through November 1 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri-Sat | 2 pm Sun | $35; $25 seniors; $20 students

CRAVINGS: SONGS OF HUNGER & SATISFACTION | “Boston’s favorite cabaret artist Belle Linda Halpern” — well, she is a favorite — “takes a funny, intriguing, and profound Jewish-American look at our constant cravings: food, sex, acceptance, fame, and true nourishment.” And while she’s at it, she’ll be preparing the traditional Passover dish charoset. Sabina Hamilton directs; Ron Roy is the accompanist. | Central Square Theater, 450 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 866.811.4111 | Through October 25 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri-Sat | 2 pm Sun | $35; $25 seniors; $20 students

DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE | The Lyric Stage Company of Boston has Carmel O’Reilly to helm the Boston premiere of this 2008 Off Broadway hit by thirtysomething Pulitzer finalist Sarah Ruhl, contriver of the surreal fantasies The Clean House and Eurydice. Ruhl’s latest smash-up of life and death, profundity and whimsy, centers on a young woman drawn into the life of a stranger whose cell phone she answers — just after he’s bought the farm. | 140 Clarendon St, Boston | 617.585.5678 | Through November 15 | Curtain 2 pm [November 11] + 7:30 pm Wed | 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $25-$54

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Related: Autumn garden, Play by play: October 16, 2009, Awake! Awake!, More more >
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