Play by play: February 5, 2010

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  February 3, 2010

[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 | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $30-$54

TWELFTH NIGHT | Trinity Rep is setting its production of Shakespeare's cross-dressing classic in something like "an elite members-only gentlemen's club," as created by set designer Eugene Lee, but director Brian McEleney — noting that, according to the Bard, "the rain it raineth every day" — promises there'll be "a lot of water involved as well." McEleney plays Malvolio in addition to directing Trinity regulars Cherie Corinne Rice (Viola and Sebastian), Joe Wilson Jr. (Orsino), Annie Worden (Olivia), Fred Sullivan Jr. (Sir Toby Belch), Stephen Thorne (Sir Andrew Aguecheek), Anne Scurria (Maria), Stephen Berenson (Feste), and Mauro Hantman (Fabian). | Trinity Repertory Company, 201 Washington St, Providence, Rhode Island | 401.351.4242 orwww.trinityrep.com | Through March 7 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues [no February 9] | 2 pm [February 17, 24] + 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs [no February 4] + Fri [no March 5] | 2 pm [February 6, March 6] + 7:30 pm Sat | 2 pm [no March 7] + 7:30 pm Sun | $20-$65


INDEFINITELY

BLUE MAN GROUP | The Drama Desk Award–winning trio of cobalt-painted bald pates begin their delightful and deafening evening of anti–performance art beating drums that are also deep buckets of paint, so that sprays of color jump from the instruments like breaking surf, and end by engulfing the spectators in tangles of toilet paper. | Charles Playhouse, 74 Warrenton St, Boston | 617.931.ARTS | Indefinitely | Curtain this week: 8 pm Thurs | 7 pm Fri | 4 + 7 + 10 pm Sat | 1 + 4 pm Sun | $48-$62; $30 student rush

THE DONKEY SHOW | Diane Paulus & Randy Weiner's disco-set riff on A Midsummer Night's Dream is an hour-long work set in the Studio 54–inspired environs of Club Oberon and framed by episodes of Saturday Night Fever in which you may or may not choose to star. The dramatis personae include Dr. Wheelgood, a gold-lamé-clad Puck on roller skates; club owner Mr. Oberon, who's out to humiliate his haughty diva girlfriend, Tytania; desperately yearning or cockily dismissive lovers Helen, Dimitri, Mia, and Sander; and a twin couple of ruffle-shirted, Afro-coiffed dudes both named Vinnie. Ingeniously double-cast, sexily supple, and screeching into headsets, they join the paying crowd (a small minority of whom occupy tables in a cabaret area that also sees action) for an immersive night of hedonism and hustle driven by the pounding beat and melodramatic passions of disco hits from the 1970s. | Oberon, Mass Ave + Arrow St, Cambridge | 617.547.8300 | Indefinitely | Curtain 8 pm Fri | 8 + 10:30 pm Sat | $25-$49

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