Play by play: December 18, 2009

Theater listings, week of December 18
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  December 16, 2009


THE 101 DALMATIANS MUSICAL | Rachel York stars as Cruella De Vil alongside "15 talented Dalmatians" in this live stage musical version of the animated Disney film. Styx's Dennis DeYoung composed the score; BT McNicholl did the book and lyrics; Jerry Zaks directs. | Wang Theatre, 279 Tremont St, Boston | 866.345.9738 | December 23-27 | Curtain 1 + 7:30 pm Wed | 1 pm Thurs | 2 + 7:30 pm Sat | 1 + 6:30 pm Sun | $28-$75


ALL ABOUT CHRISTMAS EVE | Ryan Landry and the Gold Dust Orphans pin some tinsel on the Oscar-winning 1950 Joseph L. Mankiewicz film All About Eve, with Landry hamming it up as Bette Davis's Margo Channing, her coiffure a shoulder-length halo of auburn curls, her painted lips a permanent twist approximating the actress's signature sneer. The show is set in Boston, and Channing is appearing not in an ante-bellum melodrama but in a holiday travesty titled Party on the Pole that enables both Landry and Penny Champayne (as Eve Harrington) to appear in fur bikinis accessorized by reindeer antlers. Apart from the disco-choreographed sacrilege that is the award-winning Harrington vehicle No, No, Nativity (itself worth the price of admission), there are few surprises in this gaily bedecked parody, most of which is lifted straight from the movie and sent to winter camp. But the show is as puerile and lively as most Orphans fare, and Landry, in pushing Davis's Channing over the top, proves this is territory in which measurement is exponential. | Machine, 1254 Boylston St, Boston || Through December 27 | Curtain 8 pm Fri-Sat | 5 pm Sun | $35-$45

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS | The American Repertory Theater makes its first Loeb Drama Center appearance of the season with this holiday musical with book and lyrics by Randy Weiner and music by Obie winner Diedre Murray. Part of new ART artistic director Diane Paulus's "Shakespeare" season, it got a thumbs-up from the New York Times "This rousing musical has taken the plot from The Winter's Tale, tossed out anything resembling Shakespearean language, and achieved a hypnotic effect with musical numbers that leave the audience whooping" — so never mind that the language is the best part of any Shakespeare play and just enjoy the R&B and gospel treats, which are legion. The cast includes Gregg Baker, Mary Bond Davis, and Jeanette Bayardelle; Paulus herself directs. | Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St, Cambridge | 617.547.8300 | Through January 3 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues-Wed | 2 pm [December 31] + 7:30 pm [no Christmas Eve] Thurs | 8 pm [no Christmas Day] Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 2 + 7:30 pm [no evening January 3] Sun | $25-$75; $15-$65 seniors; $20 student rush

A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS IN WALES | Boston Playwrights' Theatre and Boston Children's Theatre team up to present Dylan Thomas's holiday classic in a new adaptation by Burgess Clark, with Margaret Ann Brady, Mary Callanan, Adam Freeman, Steven Gagliastro, Anne Gardiner, Meagan Hawkes, Coleman Hirschberg, Stephen Libby, Allan Mayo, Robert D. Murphy, and Linnea Schulz. | Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Theatre, 539 Tremont St, Boston | 617.933.8600 | Through December 23 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri-Sat | 2 pm Sun | 3 + 7 pm Tues-Wed | $35; $28 students

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Related: Regifting, Bard in the USA, Play by Play: November 13, 2009, More more >
  Topics: Theater , Diego Arciniegas, Fred Sullivan, David Sedaris,  More more >
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