Play by Play: January 1, 2010

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  December 30, 2009

GROUNDSWELL | The Lyric Stage Company of Boston offers the New England premiere of Ian Bruce's 2005 play, which takes its title from a line in T.S. Eliot's "The Dry Salvages." "The lives of three disappointed men intersect with volatile consequences in a hotel in a sleepy South African port town when Thami, the gardener and caretaker, and Johan, the odd-job man and former police officer, conspire to pressure the hotel's lone guest into investing in their diamond-mining scheme. The three men find themselves in a power struggle fueled by greed and entitlement." The New York Times called it a "cross between David Mamet and Athol Fugard." Daniel Gidron directs; the cast includes Jason Bowen, Timothy John Smith, and Richard McElvain. | 140 Clarendon St, Boston | 617.585.5678 | January 1-30 | Curtain 2 pm [January 6, 27] + 7:30 pm Wed | 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $25-$54

HARRIET JACOBS | Underground Railway Theater and the Providence Black Repertory Company present Lydia R. Diamond's new adaptation of Harriet Jacobs's autobiography, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, the main incident being her hiding out in her grandmother's attic for seven years to escape her master's sexual advances. After escaping from North Carolina, she ran a boarding house for Harvard students; she's buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery. The cast includes Kortney Adams, Ramona Alexander, Sheldon Best, De'Lon Grant, Mishell Lilly, Raidge, Obehi Janice, and Kami Smith; former PBRC associate director Megan Sandberg-Zakian is at the helm. | Central Square Theater, 450, Mass Ave, Cambridge | 866.811.4111 | January 7-27 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed [January 13] + Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 2 + 7 pm [evening January 10] Sun | $35; $25 seniors; $20 students

PRIVATE LIVES | The Wellesley Summer Theatre Company has recruited Heather Boas, Danny Bolton, Derek Stone-Nelson, and Cheryl Turski for the classic 1930 comedy by Noël Coward about a divorced couple, Elyot and Amanda, who meet again on adjoining hotel balconies on the first night of their respective honeymoons with new spouses in the south of France. "Don't quibble, Sibyl!" WSTC artistic director Nora Hussey is at the helm. | Schneider Center Theatre, Wellesley College campus, Wellesley, 781.283.2000 | January 7-31 | Curtain 7 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $20; $10 students, seniors

STREGA NONA | This adaptation of Tomie dePaola's children's tale about the Italian grandmother and her magical pasta pot and her clumsy new assistant (think: "The Sorcerer's Apprentice") has a score by Aron Accurso, choreography by Nicole McGann, and a "pop-up-book-inspired" set design by Andrea Bechert; Tracy Ward directs. | Colonial Theatre, 106 Boylston St, Boston | 800.982.ARTS | January 9 | Curtain 11 am + 2 pm + 5 pm | $20-$35


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