Play by Play: November 13, 2009

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  November 11, 2009

YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN | The Longwood Players take up the popular Charles Schulz–inspired musical, complete with the Red Baron, the little red-haired girl, and Charlie's futile attempts to make contact with that football. The cast includes Matthew Finn as Charlie, April Pressel as Sally, Jason Luciana as Snoopy, Ian Flynn as Linus, Michael Chateauneuf as Schroeder, and Rachel Savage as Lucy; Kaitlyn Chantry directs. | Cambridge YMCA Theatre, 820 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 800.595.4TIX | November 13-21 | Curtain 8 pm Thurs-Fri | 2 pm [November 21] + 8 pm Sat | 2 pm Sun | $19-25; $16-$22 students, seniors


DEAD MAN'S CELL PHONE | The Lyric Stage Company of Boston offers 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. Aswim in nonchalance and wonder in a production directed by Carmel O'Reilly and plopped into a skewed, modernist locale by set designer Cristina Todesco, the play's as whimsical as Ogden Nash on a sidewalk Sprint, yet anchored to earth by troubling themes and forlorn, pressing questions. O'Reilly keeps the fragile comedy's mock and sorrowful elements in balance, and at the center of Ruhl's connection-pondering, Heaven-hopping orbit there's Liz Hayes's gray-clad, mobile-faced, tentative yet inventive Jean, who finally hears the jumbled music of the spheres and, like the perennial figure in a Jules Feiffer cartoon, dances to it. | 140 Clarendon St, Boston | 617.585.5678 | Through November 15 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $25-$54

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 Fri | 8 + 10:30 pm Sat | $25-$49

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF | Thirty-seven years after starring in the Oscar-nominated film, Topol makes his farewell appearances as poor milkman Tevye, who to the strains of "Sunrise, Sunset," "If I Were a Rich Man," and "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" tries to find suitable husbands for his daughters even as Tsar Nicholas moves to expel the Anatevka Jews from their village. | Opera House, 539 Washington St, Boston | 800.982.ARTS | Through November 15 | Curtain 1 + 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 2 pm Sun | $20-$91

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Related: Play by play: November 6, 2009, Play by play: November 20, 2009, No country for old men, More more >
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