Play by play, February 26, 2010

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  February 24, 2010

THE LION KING | The Disney Tony, Grammy, Drama Desk, and Olivier (to name only a few) award winner and crowd pleaser is back, with its Julie Taymor masks and puppets, its Garth Fagan choreography, and its Elton John–Tim Rice score. This five-week engagement (which is running concurrently with productions in New York, London, Hamburg, Tokyo, Paris, and Las Vegas) will have Dionne Randolph as Mufasa, Phindile Mkhize as Rafiki, André Jackson as Simba, Marja Harmon as Nala, Brent Harris as Scar, Tony Freeman as Zazu, Tyler Murree as Timon, and Ben Lipitz as Pumbaa. | Opera House, 539 Washington St, Boston | 800.982.ARTS | Through March 21 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues-Wed | 1 pm [March 18] + 7 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 1 + 6:30 pm [no evening March 21] Sun | $22.50-$135

NEIGHBORHOOD 3: REQUISITION OF DOOM | "In an upscale subdivision with identical houses, parents find their teenagers addicted to an on-line horror video game. The game setting? A subdivision with identical houses. The goal? Smash through an army of zombies to escape the neighborhood for good. But as the line blurs between virtual and reality, both parents and players realize that fear has a life of its own." Apollinaire Theatre Company presents this 2008 work by the Los Angeles–based Jennifer Haley, with ATC artistic director Danielle Fauteux Jacques helming the production and also joining the cast, alongside Carolyn Charpie, Erez Rose, and Brian Quint. | Chelsea Theatre Works, 189 Winnisimmet St, Chelsea | 617.887.2336 | Through March 14 | Curtain 8 pm Fri-Sat [plus midnight show March 6] | 3 pm Sun [March 14] | $25 advance; $30 doors; $15 student rush

NOT ENOUGH AIR | Local playwright Masha Obolensky's drama about how journalist Sophie Treadwell came to write her 1928 play Machinal — a fictionalized version of the life, trial, and execution of Queens housewife Ruth Snyder, who was convicted of murdering her husband — is sharper in its conception than in its development. Haunted by the "why" of the crime, Treadwell reimagined it in Machinal, whose protagonist, Young Woman, is driven to madness and murder by male control and the screeching mechanization of modern life. Obolensky takes Treadwell, Snyder, and Young Woman and puts them into a pressure cooker together, then sets the pot over the fire of Treadwell's obsessive imagination. In Nora Theatre Company's New England–premiere production, as directed by Melia Bensussen, it all unfolds in the shadowy, file-cabinet-cluttered region of Treadwell's mind, where, in the keen, compassionate person of Anne Gottlieb, the writer is torn between marital pressures and the pull of creation represented by Snyder (Ruby Rose Fox's vulnerable fireplug of a flapper) and Young Woman, who's played by Mariana Bassham with a mix of playful seductiveness and badgering tyranny that would do any Muse proud. | Central Square Theater, 450 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 866.811.4111| Through March 14 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs | 8 pm Fri-Sat | 2 pm Sun | $35; $25 seniors; $20 students

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