Play by Play: May 21, 2010

Theater listings, May 21, 2010
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  May 19, 2010

BETRAYAL | Another Country Productions and the Factory Theatre team up for Harold Pinter’s 1978 play that, running backward in time, from 1977 to 1968, is less about Emma’s betrayal of husband Robert with married lover Jerry than it is about the lies with which we betray ourselves as well as others. Gail Phaneuf directs a cast of Wayne Fritsche, Lyralen Kaye, Robert Kropf, and James Wilcox. | Boston Center for the Arts, Calderwood Pavilion, Rehearsal Hall A, 527 Tremont St, Boston | 617.933.8600 | May 20–June 5 | Curtain 2 pm [May 26] + 7:30 pm Wed | 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 3 pm [no May 29] + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $28-$35; $27 students, seniors

BOSTON THEATER MARATHON XII | Now in its 12th year, the BTM once again goes the distance by stretching out to two days, with the hope of eventually expanding to “multiple venues, hundreds of performers, and thousands of cultural tourists and Boston theater patrons.” For now, however, Day One is a “warm-up lap,” with staged readings of three new plays: Martha Jane Kaufman’s A Live Dress (at 1 pm), Richard Snee’s The Baptisms of St. Genesius (at 4 pm), and Lydia Diamond’s The Gift Horse (at 7 pm). Day Two will bring the usual extravaganza of 50 10-minute plays; if the one you’re watching doesn’t grab you, you don’t have long to wait for another. For the complete schedule, check thePhoenix/btm10. | Boston Center for the Arts, Virginia Wimberly Theatre at the Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St, Boston | 617.933.8600 | May 22-23 | Curtain May 22: 1 + 4 + 7 pm [limited to 100 seats]; May 23: noon–10 pm | $25 advance/$30 doors; “warm-up lap” free

GASLIGHT | Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 play, which you most likely know from the 1944 film with Ingrid Bergman, gets an outing from Stoneham Theatre, with Marianna Bassham as the London (circa 1880) housewife who thinks she’s going mad, Robert Serrell as the husband who encourages her in that belief, and Christopher Webb as the police inspector who sheds unexpected illumination on the husband’s frequent disappearances — plus Angie Jepson, Dee Nelson, and Ian O’Connor. Stoneham producing director Weylin Symes is at the helm. | Stoneham Theatre, 395 Main St, Stoneham | 781.279.2200 or | May 27–June 13 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $38-$44; $34-$40 seniors; $20 students

BLITHE SPIRIT | It doesn’t take a crystal ball to predict that Noël Coward’s 1941 cocktail shaker full of dry martini and ectoplasmic mayhem will amuse. Coward diagnosed his own gift as a talent to do just that. And the local-star-studded revival by the Lyric Stage Company of Boston is both dry and chaotic enough to please. It boasts the debonair-even-when-consternated Richard Snee as upper-crust scribbler Charles Condomine, the skeptical novelist hosting a séance for reasons of research who inadvertently conjures the ghost of his first wife, Elvira, and a deliciously snarky Paula Plum as the ghost who comes to dinner and won’t go away. Anne Gottlieb, sangfroid intact but nostrils flared, gives good umbrage as current wife Ruth, who keeps thinking the harsh badinage Charles aims at Elvira (whom Charles can see and hear but Ruth cannot) is meant for her. We also get impish Kathy St. George as an unusual Madame Arcati: less bangle-laden, trance-hopping Miss Marple than harem-clad leprechaun on uppers. Brynna Bloomfield’s parlor-and-garden set demonstrates, as it should, a life of its own, and director Spiro Veloudos keeps the supernatural shenanigans moving toward their home-wrecking conclusion. | Lyric Stage Company of Boston, 140 Clarendon St, Boston | 617.585.5678 | Through June 5 | Curtain 2 pm [June 2] + 7:30 pm Wed | 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm [no May 30] Sun | $25-$54

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