Play by Play: January 29, 2010

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  January 27, 2010

INDULGENCES | New Repertory Theatre hopes to start the new year off right by discovering "the solution to life's puzzles" in this "fractured fairy tale" from Canadian playwright Chris Craddock that's getting its New England premiere. "Once upon a time in a kingdom somewhere," we're told, "a king and a commoner swap identities, a prince and his lover plot to protect their union, two advisers conspire to foil everything, and a man known only as 'Salesman' bargains for everyone's 'happily ever after.' " The cast includes Steven Barkhimer, Leigh Barrett, Neil A. Casey, and Benjamin Evett; Kate Warner directs. | Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St, Watertown |www.newrep.org| Through February 6 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed | 2 + 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 3:30 + 8 pm Sat | 2 + 7:30 pm Sun | $35-$54; seniors $28-$47; students half price

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 | Through February 7 | Curtain 7 + 7:20 + 7:40 pm Thurs-Sun | $35-$39

[TITLE OF SHOW] | Under the gun and without an idea as the deadline approached for the 2004 New York Musical Theatre Festival competition, composer Jeff Bowen and writer Hunter Bell produced an outline of "a musical about two guys writing a musical" (in which they also starred with two female friends) that, albeit formulaic, is cheekily self-conscious, musically catchy, and could not be more Pirandellian unless Pirandello had been gay. [title of show] went on to become a 2006 Off Broadway hit, the subject of a video blog, and, briefly in 2008, a denizen of the Great White Way. At SpeakEasy, with artistic director Paul Daigneault at the helm, Jordan Ahnquist and Joe Lanza, who wink as well as they sing, exude the aura of true aspirants. And they are ably abetted by lush-toned Amy Barker and quirky Val Sullivan in getting this much-hoped-for baby born again. Running time is 90 minutes, with no intermission. | Boston Center for the Arts, Roberts Studio Theatre, 527 Tremont St, Boston | 617.482.3279 | Through February 13 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues-Thurs [Tues February 9 only] | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $30-$54

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  Topics: Theater , Entertainment, Entertainment, Fred Sullivan,  More more >
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