Play by play: November 6, 2009

Boston theater listings, November 6, 2009
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  November 4, 2009

OPENING
A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL CELEBRATION | Paula Vogel’s new play is set on Christmas Eve 1864, as “stories of President and Mrs. Lincoln, a rebel soldier, and an escaped slave intertwine into a tapestry of collective American experience. . . . Promising to be an instant family classic, this production includes beloved holiday music and will be enhanced by local choirs caroling before each performance.” Does that mean this is the American Christmas Carol? Lincoln hardly qualifies as Scrooge. Anyway, Jessica Thebus directs; no word yet on the cast. | Boston University Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave, Boston | November 13–December 13 | Curtain 7:30 pm Mon [November 23] + Tues | 2 pm [December 9] + 7:30 pm [7 pm November 18; no November 25] Wed | 7:30 pm Thurs [no Thanksgiving Day] | 2 pm [November 27] + 8 pm Fri | 2 pm [no November 14] + 8 pm Sat | 2 pm [no November 15] + 7 pm {November 15, 22] Sun | $30-$82.50

ENGLAND | The Institute of Contemporary Art brings us News from Nowhere, the British theater troupe that stages the works of Tim Crouch. This his third play is described as “the story of one thing placed inside another: a heart inside another person’s body, a culture inside another country’s culture, theater inside a gallery, a character inside an actor, a play inside its audience.” Crouch and Hannah Ringham share the single role of a naive tour guide who’ll be commenting on the art around you — the first half of the drama even takes place in one of the ICA’s galleries (which means you’ll be standing). See also My Arm, below. | Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave, Boston | 617.478.3103 | November 13-15 | Curtain 7:30 pm Fri | 2 pm Sat-Sun | $20

HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH | Blue Spruce Theatre mounts the John Cameron Mitchell & Stephen Trask musical about an East Berlin twentysomething who gets picked up by an American GI and agrees to a sex-change operation so they can get married and go to the States. The operation is botched, leaving Hansel — now Hedwig — with an “angry inch”; the American GI cuts out, and so, when confronted with her anatomy, does 17-year-old protégé and bandmate Tommy Gnosis. With Danny Bryck as Hedwig and the Hot Protestants as the Angry Inch; Kevin Mark Kline directs. | Arsenal Center for the Arts Black Box Theater, 321 Arsenal St, Watertown | 617.923.8487 | November 12-22 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs | 7:30 + 10 pm Fri | 2 + 7:30 + 10 pm Sat | 2 pm Sun | $25; $18 students, seniors

MY ARM | The other Tim Crouch work that News from Nowhere is bringing to the ICA, a one-man show in a single performance, is “the award-winning story of a man who has lived for 30 years with one arm above his head. In that process, he’s become a celebrated medical specimen and an icon of the New York art scene. His story is told through a combination of live performance, digital film, and the animation of everyday objects supplied by the audience before each performance.” | Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave, Boston | 617.478.3103 | November 14 | Curtain 8 pm Sat | $20

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