Play by play: February 19, 2010

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  February 17, 2010

VICTORY BLUES | The Village Theatre Project's new-play-reading series continues with a work by MIT Theater Arts professor Alan Brody that "traces three couples in 1946. The men have returned from the war; everyone has changed, and new adjustments must be made in a period of victory and the beginnings of the red scare." The evening will conclude with a wine-and-cheese reception and a talk-back with the playwright. | Boston Playwrights' Theatre, 949 Comm Ave, Boston || February 22 | Curtain 7:30 pm | Free


BLACK PEARL SINGS! | Merrimack Repertory Theatre offers the regional premiere of this Frank Higgins work, wherein "a search for lost African-American folk music leads Susannah, an ambitious 'song collector' for the Library of Congress, to Pearl, a woman with a soulful voice, a steely spirit, and an incredible history. Featuring many beloved American folk songs and spirituals, the legacy of the past clashes with their hopes for the future, as they journey to find their way out of the shadows and into the spotlight." Estimated running time is one hour and 50 minutes with one intermission. | Merrimack Repertory Theatre, 50 East Merrimack St, Lowell | 978.654.4MRT | Through March 7 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8 pm Sat | 2 + 7 pm [no evening March 7] Sun | $26-$56

COMMIE DEAREST | For Hasty Pudding Theatrical 162, "it's the 1950s, and the residents of a typical American suburb are all vying to win the American Dream, a bowling trophy. But the arrival of star ball-loving ballplayer Doug Out and sexy-but-fishy starlet Marlin Monroe to award the prize brings everyone's secrets to the surface. And when Bobbie Sox, a local Pink-Lady-turned-Pinko-Lady, unwittingly brings a communist mastermind to town, the stakes rise even higher as everyone's way of life is threatened by the evil communist space potato Spud Nick and his Russian mail-order-bride sidekick. Their Cold War threatens to give a whole new meaning to climate change." | New College Theatre, 12 Holyoke St, Cambridge | 617.495.5205 | Through March 7 | Curtain 8 pm Wed-Fri | 1 pm [March 6] + 4 pm + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm [1 + 5 pm March 7] Sun | $25-$35

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| Through February 28 | Curtain 7 pm Fri [February 26] | 3 pm Sat-Sun | 1 pm School Vacation Week matinees [February 18-19] | $20-$25

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