THE GULLS | First produced in Provincetown in 2003, this Hitchcock parody represents the Gold Dust Orphans at their ingenious low-tech best, with elaborate two-dimensional settings (which include a couple of moving vehicles) and lavishly detailed if ridiculous costumes (these include several pluckable ones for hulking actors), in addition to the hilariously terrifying, strobe-lit “birdraku” special effects. Yet despite detours into hysteria and lust (and one instance of geriatric pole dancing), The Gulls hews pretty close to the plot of The Birds, even re-creating a few of the more memorable avian attacks with uncanny if slightly unhinged faithfulness. In truth, this show is as much homage as it is parody, right down to Penny Champayne’s lacquered blond twist and mint-green suit. Champayne, though more expressive than Tippi Hedren (most actors are), plays wealthy newspaper magnate’s gorgeous spawn Melanie Daniels, who meets handsome mama’s boy Mitch (Chris Loftus) in a Boston bird store and follows him to his P-town home bearing a pair of “domesticated gulls” as an ostensible birthday gift for his here-anything-but-little sister (P.J. McWhiskers). Directed by James P. Byrne with one eye on crowd-scene management, the other on some pretty lewd double entendre, The Gulls bursts with the leering, infectious energy that makes the Orphans so reliably, rudely entertaining. | Machine, 1254-1256 Boylston St, Boston | | Through May 30 | Curtain 8 pm Fri-Sat | 5 pm Sun | $35-$45

JOHNNY BASEBALL | This world-premiere musical from the American Repertory Theater blends fact and fiction in its attempt to explain the Red Sox’ 86-year championship drought. The Curse, we’re told, goes back “to a collision of three orphaned souls: Johnny O’Brien, a hard-luck right-hander on the 1919 Sox; his idol, Babe Ruth; and Daisy Wyatt, a dazzling African-American blues singer and the love of Johnny’s life.” With Colin Donnell as Johnny, Stephanie Umoh as Daisy, and Burke Moses as the Babe; the creative team includes Robert Reale (music), Willie Reale (lyrics, story), and Richard Dresser (book, story), and ART artistic director Diane Paulus is at the helm. | Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St, Cambridge | 617.547.8300 or | Through June 27 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues-Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 2 + 7:30 pm Sun | $25-$75

JULIUS CAESAR | The youngsters of Shakespeare & Company’s Education Program — a group that includes Katherine Abbruzzese, Dani Cervone, Sean Kazarian, Scott Renzoni, Andy Talen, and Ryan Winkles — have been touring New England with the Bard’s study of power and politics Roman-style. Now they take up residence in S&C’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre for four weekends, under the direction of Jonathan Croy. | Shakespeare & Company, Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, 70 Kemble St, Lenox | 413.637.3353 | Through June 13 | Curtain 3 pm [June 11] Fri | 3 + 8 pm [no evening June 12] Sat | 3 pm [June 6] or 8 pm [May 30, June 13] Sun | $16-$34

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Related: Play by Play: March 19, 2010, Play by play: March 26, 2010, Play by play: May 7, 2010, More more >
  Topics: Theater , Entertainment, Steven Barkhimer, Boston Center for the Arts Plaza,  More more >
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