Play by play: February 5, 2010

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  February 3, 2010

HALF-MARRIED | F.U.D.G.E. (Friends United Developing Genuine Entertainment) Theatre Company presents the world premiere of this comedy from Charles Antin and Ryan Cunningham about two twentysomething couples, Soren and Stephanie and John and Amanda. Soren and Stephanie decide to live together in a ground-floor brownstone apartment. Then comes "the bombshell announcement." | Arsenal Center for the Arts Black Box Theatre, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown |www.fudgetheatre.com| Through February 6 | Curtain 8 pm Thurs-Sat | $20

HONK! | Wheelock Family Theatre essays the clever and charming musical from Brits George Stiles and Anthony Drewe that had its New England premiere from North Shore Music Theatre in 2000. Based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale of the ugly ducking, the Olivier Award–winning show is a dubious concept that, like its central character, turns out to be a swan, with bad puns and cute songs galore. Jane Staab directs this production; musical direction is by Jon Goldberg. | Wheelock Family Theatre, 200 the Riverway, Boston | 866.811.4111 orwww.wheelockfamilytheatre.org| Through February 28 | Curtain 7 pm Fri [no February 19] | 3 pm Sat-Sun | 1 pm School Vacation Week matinees [February 16-19] | $20-$25

INDULGENCES | Is Macbeth's Duncan really so boring that, were he to trade places with an ordinary citizen, no one would notice — not even eldest son Malcolm? Well, maybe, if the kid were caught up in a gay love affair with Banquo's kid, Fleance. Such are the premises of Canadian writer Chris Craddock's farce, which purports to be a consideration of free will but comes closer to what you might call free wheel, as he mixes Malcolm and Fleance into a hit-and-miss, hardly philosophic mash-up that also draws on Mamet, Milton, and Mark Twain. This New Repertory Theatre production stars Benjamin Evett as the mysterious Salesman, who tries to sell Malcolm and Fleance get-out-of-Hell-free cards when he overhears them plotting regicide. What it all means — and director Kate Warner, who previously staged the play at Dad's Garage in Atlanta, seems to think it has deeper implications — is murky. Still, at New Rep, the high jinks are merrily pulled off, and there's an enjoyably crass turn by Evett as a sort of working man's Prospero pulling strings — or maybe our legs. | Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St, Watertown |www.newrep.org| Through February 6 | Curtain 2 + 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 3:30 + 8 pm Sat | $35-$54; seniors $28-$47; students half price

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

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