Play by play: July 9, 2010

By MADDY MYERS  |  July 6, 2010

SOPHIE TUCKER: THE LAST OF THE RED HOT MAMAS | New Repertory Theatre offers what it hopes is a hot show for a hot summer with this musical revue by Jack Fournier and Kathy Halenda that celebrates "Sophie Tucker's sassy style and bold personality." Mary Callanan is the performer in an evening of "cabaret-style musical numbers and comedic sketches"; look for "I'm the Last of the Red Hot Mamas," "The Lady Is a Tramp," "You've Gotta See Your Mama," and, of course, "Some of These Days." New Rep artistic director Kate Warner helms the production. | Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St, Watertown | Through July 11 | Curtain 8 pm Thurs-Sat | 4 + 8 pm Sun | 617.923.8487 or newrep.com | $39-$49; $32-$42 seniors; $19.50-$24.50 students

SPEECH & DEBATE | Charlotte Alter directs Harvard-Radcliffe Summer Theater's first show of the season: Stephen Karam's 2007 Off Broadway hit set in the chalkboard crucible of high school as well as in the pioneer tangles of the cyber universe. The comedy brings together a trio of disparate, initially distrustful misfits variously shanghaied into the activity of the title — a high-school staple since 1925. They eventually bond, but with a minimum amount of saccharin spilled and every step of their mutually antagonistic journey played out as a National Forensics League–sanctioned competition category, from "Lincoln-Douglas Debate" to "Duo Interpretation" — this last featuring a time-travel encounter between a singing, jiving Mary Warren from The Crucible and a gay, teenage Abraham Lincoln. Don't ask. But trust us, it's hilarious. | Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St, Cambridge | 617.496.2222 | Through July 10 | Curtain 8 pm Thurs-Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | $8-$10; $4-$6 students

SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET | Julianne Boyd directs this Barrington Stage Company production of Stephen Sondheim's Tony-winning musical about the Victorian barber who's transported to Australia (the judge had the hots for our hero's wife) and the horrible revenge he takes when he returns to London, 15 years later. | Barrington Stage Company, 30 Union St, Pittsfield | 413.236.8888 | Through July 17 | Curtain 7 pm Tues | 2 + 7 pm Wed | 8 pm Thurs | 2 + 8 pm Fri | 8 pm Sat | 5 pm Sun | $42-$50

TINGLE! STARRING JIMMY TINGLE | Jimmy's been making the funny since 1980 and got his start in Boston. He brings his now-famous comedic voice to WHAT for this one-man show; expect cheerful, intelligent monologues and biting social commentary. Rand Foerster directs. | Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, Julie Harris Stage, 2357 Route 6, Wellfleet | 508.349.9428 | Through August 30 | Curtain 8 pm | $12-$25

WOMEN OF WILL | In preparation for the world premiere — August 25-27 — of the expanded, five-part version of Shakespeare & Company founder Tina Packer's opus, which will be presented over the course of three days, we get this "tour de force of performance, discussion, and just a bit of crowd participation" in which Packer, with the help of Nigel Gore, presents scenes from the plays that illuminate what it means to be a woman, or to show "qualities traditionally considered feminine," in Shakespeare's world. Eric Tucker directs. | Shakespeare & Company, Founders Theatre, 70 Kemble St, Lenox | 413.637.3353 | Through July 24 | Curtain this week: 2 pm Sat | $35-$45

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  Topics: Theater , Boston Center for the Arts, Boston Center for the Arts, Gloucester Stage Company,  More more >
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