Play by play: July 24, 2009

Plays from A to Z
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  July 22, 2009

OPENING

THE BREATH OF LIFE | Gloucester Stage artistic director Eric C. Engel helms this 2002 David Hare play about two women who once shared the same man and are now trying to reconcile. Local luminaries Nancy E. Carroll and Paula Plum play the roles originated by Judi Dench and Maggie Smith at the Theatre Royal in London. | Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main St, Gloucester | 978.281.4433 | July 23–August 2 | Curtain 8 pm Wed-Fri | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 4 pm Sun | $32-$37

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS | It's Shakespeare, it's on the Common, it's from Commonwealth Shakespeare, one of the nation's top purveyors of free Shakespeare, and it's, yes, free — what more do you need to know? Okay, this is one of the Bard's earliest and slapstickiest comedies, and it doesn't get done all that often. Arriving at Ephesus from their home in Syracuse, Antipholus and his servant Dromio discover their separated-at-birth twins, who of course have the same names, so you can imagine the mistaken-identity situations that ensue. Steve Maler directs; the cast includes Remo Airaldi as Dromio of Ephesus, Larry Coen as Dromio of Syracuse, Joseph Stamell as Antipholus of Ephesus, Dan Roach as Antipholus of Syracuse, Fred Sullivan Jr. as Ægeon, Jennifer Ellis as Adriana, and Zofia Gozynska as Luciana. Oh, and "one very important part has not yet been fully cast. . . . Interested greyhounds should call 617.426.0863." | Boston Common, Parkman Bandstand |www.commshakes.org| July 31–August 16 | Curtain 8 pm Tues-Sat | 7 pm Sun | Free

FESTIVAL@FIRST 6: "TABLES TURNED" | "Eight plays, two world premieres, three playwrights, eight directors, 18 actors — see it all in one night in Davis Square." Well, close, the venue is actually four blocks from Davis Square. But you do get all of the above in this sixth annual summer festival of one-acts from community-theater company Theatre@First. On the bill: Chris Lockheardt's Breakfast with Warhol, Helluva Poker Face, Not Funny, and Season's Greetings, Babs Lindsay's Canyon's Edge, Cupid's Beau, and The Usual, and Marc Freed's Dan in the Lion's Den. | Unity Church of God, 6 William St, Somerville | 888.874.7554 | July 23–August 1 | Curtain 8 pm Thurs-Sat | 3 pm Sun | $12; $10 students, seniors

JERSEY BOYS | Those would be the Four Seasons, four boys from Newark who in the early '60s gave us "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk like a Man," "Candy Girl," "Dawn," and "Rag Doll." Written by Academy Award winner Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe, and choreography by Sergio Trujillo, this dramatization of their story won the 2006 Tony for Best Musical, the 2006 Grammy for Best Musical Show Album, and the 2009 Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Now it comes to Boston, with Matt Bailey as Tommy DeVito, Joseph Leo Bwarie as Frankie Valli, Josh Franklin as Bob Gaudio, and Steve Gouveia as Nick Massi; Tony winner (for Big River and The Who's Tommy) Des McAnuff directs. | Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont St, Boston | 866.348.9738 | July 23–September 26 | Curtain 8 pm Tues-Fri [7 pm July 29; 2 pm Thurs matinee July 30] | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 2 + 7 pm Sun | $49-$99

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Related: Play by play: July 17, 2009, Play by play: July 31, 2009, Year in Theater: Staged right, More more >
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