Play by play: February 12, 2010

Theater listings, February 12, 2010
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  February 9, 2010


BLACK PEARL SINGS! | Merrimack Repertory Theatre offers the regional premiere of this Frank Higgins work, wherein "a search for lost African-American folk music leads Susannah, an ambitious 'song collector' for the Library of Congress, to Pearl, a woman with a soulful voice, a steely spirit, and an incredible history. Featuring many beloved American folk songs and spirituals, the legacy of the past clashes with their hopes for the future, as they journey to find their way out of the shadows and into the spotlight." Estimated running time is one hour and 50 minutes with one intermission. | Merrimack Repertory Theatre, 50 East Merrimack St, Lowell | 978.654.4MRT | February 11–March 7 | Curtain 2 pm [February 17] + 7:30 pm Wed | 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 pm [no February 13] + 8 pm Sat | 2 + 7 pm [no March 7] Sun | $26-$56

THE ISLAND OF SLAVES | Pierre Marivaux's play — or more accurately, his scenario written for an Italian commedia troupe in Paris — hails from 1725 and has to do with the brutal relations of masters and servants. A male and female pair of each are shipwrecked on an island operated as a democracy by runaway slaves, and they're forced to trade roles for purposes of retraining. The Neil Bartlett translation/adaptation is presented here by Orfeo Group, with Kathryn Walsh directing a cast that includes Richer Reddick, Daniel Berger-Jones, Amanda J. Collins, Jared Craig, and Hannah Husband. | Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Theatre, 539 Tremont St, Boston | 617.933.8600| February 11–March 6 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8 pm Sat | 2 pm Sun | Free first weekend; $18 second weekend; $25 third weekend; $30 fourth weekend; $15 students, seniors

LEGACY OF LIGHT | The Lyric Stage serves up the New England premiere of this cerebral, Stoppard-esque comedy by Karen Zacarias. The first of its interweaving two stories takes place during the Age of Enlightenment, with physicist Emilie du Châtelet discovering she's pregnant. While the 42-year-old Emilie rushes to finish her studies, fearing she may die in childbirth, the second story unfolds, in which modern-day researcher Olivia finds she's unable to conceive and starts looking for a surrogate. Lois Roach directs. | Lyric Stage Company of Boston, 140 Clarendon St, Boston | 617.585.5678 | February 12–March 13 | Curtain 2 pm [February 17, March 10] + 7:30 pm Wed | 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $25-$54

THE LION KING | The Disney Tony, Grammy, Drama Desk, and Olivier (to name only a few) award winner and crowd pleaser is back, with its Julie Taymor masks and puppets, its Garth Fagan choreography, and its Elton John–Tim Rice score. This five-week engagement (which is running concurrently with productions in New York, London, Hamburg, Tokyo, Paris, and Las Vegas) will have Dionne Randolph as Mufasa, Phindile Mkhize as Rafiki, André Jackson as Simba, Marja Harmon as Nala, Brent Harris as Scar, Tony Freeman as Zazu, Tyler Murree as Timon, and Ben Lipitz as Pumbaa. | Opera House, 539 Washington St, Boston | 800.982.ARTS | February 16–March 21 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues-Wed [7 pm February 17] | 1 pm [March 18] + 7 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 1 + 6:30 pm [no evening March 21] Sun | $22.50-$135

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