Play by play: February 5, 2010

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  February 3, 2010

PRIVATE FEARS IN PUBLIC PLACES | Zeitgeist Stage Company brings us Alan Ayckbourn's 2004 play about six Londoners in various stages of desperation. "Does Nicola still love Dan? Will Dan stop his endless pub-going days and look for a job? Can Stewart, Nicola's real-estate agent, be on the verge of an office romance with Charlotte? What on earth is Charlotte up to on her second-shift job with her bedridden patient? Will Imogen, Stewart's middle-aged sister, ever find true love in the personal ads? Does Ambrose, Dan's bartender, have a secret life?" The play was adapted by Alain Resnais into his 2006 film Cœurs, which just screened at the Harvard Film Archive; here's it's directed by David J. Miller, with a cast of Robert Bonotto, Shelley Brown, Michael Steven Costello, Becca A. Lewis, Christine Power, and Bill Salem. | Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Black Box Theatre, 539 Tremont St, Boston | 617.933.8600| February 12–March 6 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8 pm Sat | 4 pm Sun | $30; $20 students, seniors; $20 opening weekend


ALL MY SONS | The Huntington Theatre Company starts off the new year with Arthur Miller's New York Drama Critics' Circle Award–winning 1947 drama about a businessman who prospered in World War II by selling plane-engine parts to the armed forces but now harbors an ugly secret. It's all enacted on the BU stage with a blistering believability that does not flinch from the play's near-operatic anguish. Director David Esbjornson even throws in a brief, ghostly interlude that prefigures the visits, in Death of a Salesman, of Willy's long-dead Uncle Ben. Will Lyman, if closer in type to Atticus Finch than to Joe Keller, nonetheless creates a bullish charmer with a quick defensive trigger that melts like hot metal into a puddle of bewildered grief. As Kate, Karen MacDonald conveys motherly beatitude and near-animal suffering with equal conviction. Lee Aaron Rosen is an Eagle Scout Agonistes of a Chris and Diane Davis an adamant if giggly Ann in a production that proves, however out of fashion the moral crusader who married Marilyn Monroe might have been, it's Miller time in America once again. | Boston University Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave, Boston | 617.266.0800 | Through February 7 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 2 pm Sun | $20-$82.50

CARNY KNOWLEDGE | For this "dazzling array of carnival-inspired plays and carnival-style performances," Fort Point Theatre Channel is promising a "Carny Band, artistic installations enveloping audiences and performers alike, and popcorn." The plays have titles like "With You or Without You," Love Me, Leave Me," and "Wife of Bobbo"; the performers include Bella Curva, the Boston Hoop Troop, A Different Spin, and Honey Suckle Duvet. | Cambridge YMCA Family Theater, 820 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 800.838.3006| Through February 6 | Curtain 8 pm Thurs-Sat | $14

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