Play by play: January 15, 2010

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  January 13, 2010

IN THE HEIGHTS | Washington Heights, that is, in Manhattan — "a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open, and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It's a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind." This touring version of the 2008 Broadway hit that took the Tony for Best Musical has Kyle Beltran as Usnavi, Daniel Bolero as Kevin, Rogelio Douglas Jr. as Benny, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer as Vanessa, Arielle Jacobs as Nina, Jose-Luis Lopez as Graffiti Pete, Genny Lis Padilla as Carla, Isabel Santiago as Daniela, Elise Santora as Abuela Claudia, Shaun Taylor-Corbett as Sonny, and Natalie Toro as Camila; Tony nominee Thomas Kail directs. | Opera House, 539 Washington St, Boston | 800.982.ARTS | Through January 24 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues-Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 2 + 7:30 pm Sun | $30-$91

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM | Next up for Actors' Shakespeare Project is the Bard's mix-and-match comedy of moonstruck love, with Benjamin Evett directing, Marianna Bassham as Titania, and Robert Walsh as Bottom, plus Shelley Bolman, Autumn Elise Henry, Jennie Israel, Michael Kaye, Curt Klump, and John Kuntz (Puck?). | Midway Studios, 15 Channel Center St, Fort Point Channel, Boston | 866.811.4111 | Through January 24 | Curtain 10 am [January 21] + 7:30 pm Thurs | 7:30 pm Fri | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 2 pm Sun | $47; $38 seniors; $25 students

PRIVATE LIVES | The Wellesley Summer Theatre Company has recruited Heather Boas, Danny Bolton, Derek Stone-Nelson, and Cheryl Turski for the classic 1930 comedy by Noël Coward about a divorced couple, Elyot and Amanda, who meet again on adjoining hotel balconies on the first night of their respective honeymoons with new spouses in the south of France. "Don't quibble, Sibyl!" WSTC artistic director Nora Hussey is at the helm. | Schneider Center Theatre, Wellesley College campus, Wellesley | 781.283.2000 | Through January 31 | Curtain 7 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $20; $10 students, seniors

SLEEP NO MORE | The second entry in the American Repertory Theater's mini-season of revisionist Shakespeare is presented by the London troupe Punchdrunk at the Old Lincoln School in Brookline Village; entering as part of a group, you're handed a white mask and invited to explore the four floors of the environment in any way you choose. The mood is set by World War II ballads and Bernard Herrmann's music from Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, and by the dim lighting and the creepy venue. Everyone's experience will be different; ours included the banquet in the school auditorium, a strobe-lit Black Sabbath in the basement, a stroll through Birnam Wood, and an unsettling version of Lady Macbeth's sleepwalking scene where she's attended by a nurse in a hospital ward. | Old Lincoln School, 194 Boylston St, Brookline Village | 617.547.8300 | January 14–February 7 | Curtain 7 + 7:20 + 7:40 pm Thurs-Sun | $35-$39


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