Play by play: October 23, 2009

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  October 21, 2009

THE DONKEY SHOW | C-dust pinch-hits for fairy dust in The Donkey Show, Diane Paulus & Randy Weiner’s disco-set riff on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, an hour-long work set in the Studio 54–inspired environs of Club Oberon (formerly Zero Arrow Theatre) and framed by episodes of Saturday Night Fever in which you may or may not choose to star. The dramatis personae include Dr. Wheelgood, a gold-lamé-clad Puck on roller skates; club owner Mr. Oberon, who’s out to humiliate his haughty diva girlfriend, Tytania; desperately yearning or cockily dismissive lovers Helen, Dimitri, Mia, and Sander; and a twin couple of ruffle-shirted, Afro-coiffed dudes both named Vinnie. Ingeniously double-cast, sexily supple, and screeching into headsets, they join the paying crowd (a small minority of whom occupy tables in a cabaret area that also sees action) for an immersive night of hedonism and hustle driven by the pounding beat and melodramatic passions of disco hits from the 1970s. | Oberon, Mass Ave + Arrow St, Cambridge | 617.547.8300 | Through January 2 | 8 pm Thurs [through October 30] | 8 pm Fri | 8 + 10:30 pm Sat | $25-$49

GIRLS NIGHT: THE MUSICAL | This girls’ night out — which got its start in Great Britain in 2003 and spread to the US in 2007 — “follows five friends in their 30s and 40s as they relive their past, celebrate their present, and look to the future on a wild and hilarious night out at a karaoke bar,” in the process singing “It’s Raining Men,” “I Will Survive,” Lady Marmalade,” “We Are Family,” “Man I Feel like a Woman,” and “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.” | Club Café, 209 Columbus Ave, Boston | 877.386.6968 | Through November 22 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues-Fri | 4 + 7:30 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $55

THE GOOD PERSON OF SETZUAN | As part of its “Fringe Festival,” the BU School of Theatre takes on Bertolt Brecht’s fable about the title mensch, a prostitute with a heart of gold in western China who, when everyone starts taking advantage of her goodness, has to invent a not-so-nice alter ego. David Gram directs. | Boston University Theatre, Studio 210, 264 Huntington Ave, Boston | 617.933.8600 | Through October 24 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs | 2 pm Sat | $7

LITTLE BLACK DRESS | Like The Gigolo Confessions of Baile Breag, the final leg of the Irish trilogy that made Ronan Noone’s name, this Kansas-set black comedy has as its seed a “gigolo business,” in which a couple of enterprising young bucks posing as window washers make their daytime rounds servicing sexually frustrated married women. “De-stressing” is what 19-year-old gigolo mogul Charly Prescott, trying to enlist stoner chum Jimmy Beaudreaux Jr. in his heretofore one-man enterprise, calls the Oedipal aid he provides — to, among others, Jimmy’s attractive 41-year-old mom, Amy, who can’t get no satisfaction from interested but insensitive factory-worker spouse Jimmy Sr., with whom she’s been saddled since high school. Noone’s droll if perverse premise, triggered as much by the courage and perils of risk taking as by all-American enterprise and its rules and deregulations, eventually jumps the fence into Grand Guignol melodrama, ending with all four characters, several of them bloody or dead, dancing dreamily to Frank Sinatra. And at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, under Ari Edelson’s direction, the play is so well acted by Marianna Bassham, Jeremiah Kissel, Karl Baker Olson, and Alex Pollock that Noone will be able to decide for himself whether he wants to signal a little earlier where, other than a strangely imagined Kansas, he’s taking us. | Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Comm Ave, Boston | 866.811.4111 | Through October 24 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8 pm Sat | $30; $25 seniors; $10 students

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