Play by play: January 15, 2010

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  January 13, 2010

GATZ | The American Repertory Theater presents the theater troupe Elevator Repair Service in its 2004 tour de force take on F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby ("James Gatz — that was really, or at least legally, his name"), in which "the ensemble brings to life every word of the novel with no text added and none removed." The set-up has an employee in a low-rent office space stumbling on a tattered old copy of Gatsby and starting to read it aloud; his co-workers pay no attention — at first. The piece was conceived as a six-hour entity; here it'll be presented in two parts, and when both parts are performed on the same day, there'll be an hour-long dinner break. With Scott Shepherd as Nick, Victoria Vazquez as Daisy, Jim Fletcher as Gatz, and Gary Wilmes as Tom; ERS founder John Collins directs. | Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St, Cambridge | 617.547.8300 | Through February 7 | Curtain 3 + 7:30 pm Mon [January 18: P1/P2] | 7:30 pm Tues [February 2: P1] | 7:30 pm Wed [January 27: P1; February 3: P2] | 7:30 pm Thurs [January 21: P1; January 28: P2] | 3 pm [P1; no January 14] + 7:30 pm [P2] Fri | 3 pm [P1] + 7:30 pm [P2] Sat-Sun | $25-$75; $15-$65 seniors; $20 student rush

GROUNDSWELL | The Lyric Stage Company of Boston offers the New England premiere of Ian Bruce's 2005 play, which takes its title from a line in T.S. Eliot's "The Dry Salvages." "The lives of three disappointed men intersect with volatile consequences in a hotel in a sleepy South African port town when Thami, the gardener and caretaker, and Johan, the odd-job man and former police officer, conspire to pressure the hotel's lone guest into investing in their diamond-mining scheme. The three men find themselves in a power struggle fueled by greed and entitlement." The New York Times called it a "cross between David Mamet and Athol Fugard." Daniel Gidron directs; the cast includes Jason Bowen, Timothy John Smith, and Richard McElvain. | 140 Clarendon St, Boston | 617.585.5678 | Through January 30 | Curtain 2 pm [January 27] + 7:30 pm Wed | 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $25-$54

HARRIET JACOBS | Underground Railway Theater and the Providence Black Repertory Company present Lydia R. Diamond's new adaptation of Harriet Jacobs's autobiography, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, the main incident being her hiding out in her grandmother's attic for seven years to escape her master's sexual advances. After escaping from North Carolina, she ran a boarding house for Harvard students; she's buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery. The cast includes Kortney Adams, Ramona Alexander, Sheldon Best, De'Lon Grant, Mishell Lilly, Raidge, Obehi Janice, and Kami Smith; former PBRC associate director Megan Sandberg-Zakian is at the helm. | Central Square Theater, 450 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 866.811.4111 | Through January 27 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 2 pm Sun | $35; $25 seniors; $20 students

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