Play by Play: March 19, 2010

Boston's weekly theater schedule.
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  March 17, 2010

OPENING

THE ALTRUISTS | Boston Actors Theatre presents the Nicky Silver play whose young radicals, we're told, "won't say NO to a protest! They'll march for gay rights and children's rights and Women Against Drunk Drivers." But then things get complicated for their leader, Ronald, when his soap-opera-actress sister shoots her sleeping boyfriend — an act that tears him away from his boyfriend. Joey C. Pelletier directs. | Factory Theatre, 791 Tremont St, Boston | 866.811.4111 | March 26–April 4 | Curtain 8 pm Fri-Sat | 2 pm Sun | $15; $10 students

LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR & GRILL | Jacqui Parker stars as Billie Holiday in this Lyric Stage Company of Boston production of Lanie Robertson's Off Broadway hit, singing "I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone," "Crazy He Calls Me," "What a Little Moonlight Can Do," "When a Woman Loves a Man," "Them There Eyes," "God Bless the Child," among other Holiday hits, and reflecting on her life and career. Lyric artistic director Spiro Veloudos is at the helm. | Lyric Stage Company of Boston, 140 Clarendon St, Boston | 617.585.5678 | March 26–April 24 | Curtain 2 pm [March 31, April 21] + 7:30 pm Wed | 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $25-$54

THE LAST DAYS OF MICKEY & JANE | Merrimack Repertory Theatre commissioned this brand new work from prolific Massachusetts native Richard Dresser (Below the Belt, Rounding Third) that has Whitey Bulger written all over it. "Mickey, a witty, paranoid fugitive ex-mobster from Southie who is on the lam with his no-longer young, Charleston-native girlfriend, Jean, is forced into an early retirement in Europe. With his Boston Red Sox cap never out of reach, he is out of place and away from the one thing he truly loves: his work. While he searches for a way to get back into business and Jean longs for a 'normal' life back in Boston, the dysfunctional couple runs into one hilarious situation after another, learning shocking secrets about each other along the way." With Jack Wetherall as Mickey and Rae C. Wright as Jean; MRT artistic director Charles Towers is at the helm. | Merrimack Repertory Theatre, 50 East Merrimack St, Lowell | 978.654.4MRT | March 18–April 11 | Curtain 2 pm [March 24] + 7:30 pm Wed | 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 pm [no March 20] + 8 pm Sat | 2 + 7 pm [no evening April 11] Sun | $26-$56

NOT PLAYING WITH A FULL DECK | Uh, we'll be the judge of that when Lily Tomlin returns to Boston for two performance of this one-woman show. | Wilbur Theatre, 246 Tremont St, Boston | ticketmaster.com | March 27 | Curtain 7 + 9 :45 pm Sat | $54-$77

OPUS | New Repertory Theatre presents the New England premiere of violinist-turned-playwright Michael Hollinger's 2007 drama, in which "the celebrated and world-renowned Lazara String Quartet is struggling to prepare for its highest-profile performance when its gifted but volatile violist mysteriously disappears." "Sex, drugs, and chamber music!" is how Charles Isherwood began his New York Times review. With Shelley Bolman, Benjamin Evett, Michael Kaye, Becky Webber, and Bates Wilder; Jim Petosa directs. | New Repertory Theatre, 321 Arsenal St, Watertown | 617.923.8487 | March 28–April 17 | Curtain 7:30 pm Mon [March 29] + Wed [April 14] | 2 pm [April 1] + 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 3:30 [no April 3] + 8 pm Sat | 2 + 7 pm [no evening April 4] Sun | $35-$54; $27-$49 seniors; half-price student reservations.

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