Play by play: February 13, 2009

By CAROLYN CLAY  |  February 11, 2009

DIRTY DANCING — THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE | The East Coast premiere of the national tour of the musical based on the popular 1987 film has already been extended, so the claim that it's "the biggest live theater sensation of all times," though hyperbolic, is not ridiculous. Screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein, who based the film on her own experience, duplicates it here for the stage. Sheltered Jewish teen Baby shows up at a Catskills resort, circa 1963, and falls for the dance instructor; terpsichorean extravaganza ensues. | Opera House, 539 Washington St, Boston | 617.931.ARTS | Through April 12 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues-Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 2 + 7:30 pm Sun | $30-$91; $132.50 premium seating

ENDGAME | Master of atmospherics Marcus Stern directs this American Repertory Theatre reprise of Samuel Beckett's iconic 1957 existential comedy, a "day in the life of a family fallen on mysteriously hard times." In this bleak, beauteous outing for the core company, Will LeBow is blind, chair-bound Hamm, Thomas Derrah his bullied servant, Clov, and Remo Airaldi and Karen MacDonald are the parents Nagg and Nell, "who live in two ashbins and long for sugar-plums." | Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St, Cambridge | 617.547.8300 | February 14–March 15 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues-Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 2 + 7:30 pm Sun | $25-$79; $10 discount seniors; $15 student rush

EXITS AND ENTRANCES | Chris Jorie directs this New Repertory Theatre production of South African playwright Athol Fugard's 2004 work. "Engulfed in a world defined by the division of apartheid, a young man, addressed only as The Playwright, prepares an arrogant and aging star for the evening's performance of Oedipus Rex. The Playwright struggles to find his voice, and the actor confronts his fear of no longer being admired, needed, or wanted. As they debate, the pair find themselves at odds about why art matters and the extent of its impact on the world." Will Lyman and Ross MacDonald make up the cast. | Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St, Watertown | 617.923.8487 | February 22–March 15 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues [February 24] | 7:30 pm Wed [February 25, March 11] | 2 pm [March 5] + 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 3:30 + 8 pm Sat | 2 pm [no February 22] + 7:30 pm [no March 15] Sun | $35-$54; $7 senior discount; $13 student rush

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF | Chaim Topol once again headlines the Tony-winning musical based on Sholom Aleichem's stories of a Russian milkman trying to hold on to "Tradition" and a chatty relationship with God. | Providence Performing Arts Center, 220 Weybosset St, Providence, Rhode Island | 401.421.ARTS | Through February 15 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 1 + 6:30 pm Sun | $43-$70

THE HOUSE AT POOH CORNER | The venerable Boston Children's Theatre continues its 58th season with a stage adaptation of A.A. Milne's tales of the honey-loving bruin and his friends, from ADD-afflicted Tigger and depressive Eeyore to humanoid Christopher Robin. | Grand Lodge of the Masons of Massachusetts, 186 Tremont St, Boston | 617.424.6634 | Through February 22 | Curtain 2 pm Wed-Fri [February 18-20] | 2 pm Sat-Sun | $12-$20

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