Play by play: March 12, 2010

Theater listings, week of March 12, 2010
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  March 10, 2010

OPENING

ADDING MACHINE: A MUSICAL | SpeakEasy Stage Company presents the New England premiere of this Off Broadway hit (Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Jefferson, and After Dark awards for best new musical) with music by Joshua Schmidt and lyrics by Schmidt and Jason Loewith. It's based on Elmer Rice's 1923 play The Adding Machine, in which 25-year vet Mr. Zero loses his job to the title calculator, murders his boss, and is rewarded with a trip to the Elysian Fields. Brendan McNabb stars as Mr. Zero; Leigh Barrett, Amelia Broome, John Bambery, Bob DeVivo, Liz Hayes, David Krinitt, Sean McGuirk, and Cheryl McMahon round out the cast. SpeakEasy general manager Paul Melone directs. | Boston Center for the Arts, Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St, Boston | 617.933.8600 | March 12–April 10 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues-Thurs [Tues April 6 only] | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $30-$54; $5 discount students, seniors

APPLE | "Andy is in trouble. Downsized from his job, his marriage in crisis, he looks to a mysterious young woman for salvation. But when his wife becomes seriously ill, Andy must make a choice: care for an estranged wife, or run away with a woman he knows little about." That's the set-up for Canadian playwright Vern Thiessen's play, which is getting its New England premiere from Phoenix Theatre Artists and Company One. The cast includes Dave Sanfacon, Barbara Douglass, and Eliza Lay; Phoenix artistic director Greg Maraio is at the helm. | Boston Playwrights' Theatre, 949 Comm Ave, Boston | 866.811.4111 | March 12–April 3 | Curtain 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8 pm Sat | 2 pm Sun | $25; $20 students, seniors

ENTERTAINING MR. SLOANE | The Publick Theatre essays Joe Orton's first success, a perverse bit of tickle in which middle-class pretension is laid like a doily over the ruthless, amoral pursuit of personal satisfaction. The title mystery man rents a room from middle-aged Kath and is soon the object of her sexual attentions — but then she discovers she'll have to compete with her estranged brother, Ed, who hires Mr. Sloane to be his driver. With Jack Cutmore-Scott as Mr. Sloane, Sandra Shipley as Kath, Nigel Gore as Ed, and Daffyd Rees as Kemp, the siblings' antiquated, inconvenient old da; Eric C. Engel directs. | Boston Center for the Arts, Plaza Theatre, 539 Tremont St, Boston | 617.933.8600 | March 11–April 3 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $33-$37.50; $20 March 11-14 previews

THE LAST DAYS OF MICKEY & JANE | Merrimack Repertory Theatre commissioned this brand new work from prolific Massachusetts native Richard Dresser (Below the Belt, Rounding Third) that has Whitey Bulger written all over it. "Mickey, a witty, paranoid fugitive ex-mobster from Southie who is on the lam with his no-longer young, Charleston-native girlfriend, Jean, is forced into an early retirement in Europe. With his Boston Red Sox cap never out of reach, he is out of place and away from the one thing he truly loves: his work. While he searches for a way to get back into business and Jean longs for a 'normal' life back in Boston, the dysfunctional couple runs into one hilarious situation after another, learning shocking secrets about each other along the way." With Jack Wetherall as Mickey and Rae C. Wright as Jean; MRT artistic director Charles Towers is at the helm. | Merrimack Repertory Theatre, 50 East Merrimack St, Lowell | 978.654.4MRT | March 18–April 11 | Curtain 2 pm [March 24] + 7:30 pm Wed | 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 pm [no March 20] + 8 pm Sat | 2 + 7 pm [no evening April 11] Sun | $26-$56

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