Play by play, February 26, 2010

Theater listings, week of February 26, 2010
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  February 24, 2010


BECKY SHAW | The Huntington Theatre Company brings us Gina Gionfriddo's 2009 Pulitzer finalist, in which newlyweds Suzanna and Andrew fix up her BMF Max with his co-worker Becky in a blind date that lands the would-be lovebirds in a police station — whereupon Suzanna and Andrew start questioning their marriage as well as their matchmaking chops. Huntington artistic director Peter DuBois takes charge of a cast that includes Wendy Hoopes as Becky, Seth Fisher as Max, Eli James as Andrew, Keira Naughton as Suzanna, and Maureen Anderman as Susan (Suzanna's mother). | Boston University Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave, Boston | 617.266.0800 or | March 5–April 4 | Curtain 7:30 Tues | 2 pm [March 17, 24] + 7:30 pm [7 pm March 10] Wed | 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 pm [no March 6] + 8 pm Sat | 2 pm [no March 7] + 7 pm [March 7, 28] Sun | $20-$82

THE EMPEROR JONES | Commonwealth Shakespeare Company and the Boston Center for the Arts present this script-in-hand reading of Eugene Neill's fable about Brutus Jones, an African-American who becomes emperor on an island in the West Indies, where, like any ruler, he passes laws and levies taxes and forfeits the good will of his subjects. With Will Lyman as the Narrator and Will Lebow as Smithers; Akiba Abaka directs. | Boston Center for the Arts Roberts Studio Theatre, 527 Tremont St, Boston || March 1 | Curtain 7 pm | free

PARADISE LOST | The American Repertory Theater's "America: Boom, Bust and Baseball" season, which began with Gatz, continues with Clifford Odets's 1935 meditation on the Depression, a play in which the Gordon family find their faith in America tested as Leo Gordon and his partner Sam Katz lose their handbag business. With David Chandler as Leo, Sally Wingert as his wife, Clara, Hale Appleman as their son, Ben, Jonathan Epstein as Sam, Thomas Derrah as the Gordons' friend Gus, and Merritt Janson as Gus's daughter Libby; Daniel Fish directs. | Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St, Cambridge | 617.547.8300| February 27–March 20 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues-Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 pm [no February 27] + 8 pm Sat | 2 + 7:30 pm [no evening February 28] Sun | $25-$75

PHANTOM OF THE OPRAH | That title has Ryan Landry and the Gold Dust Orphans written all over it, so you won't be surprised to learn that the mighty Afrodite stars as "The Phantom" and the "internationally known singing sensation Miss Varla Jean Merman" plays Christine — unless you were expecting it to be the other way around. Elements of "burlesque, vaudeville, silent movies, Broadway musicals, rock operas, and television" are promised, along with original music, long-lost rock anthems and some very popular standards." Book and lyrics are by, yes, Ryan Landry; Larry Coen directs. | Machine, 1254-1256 Boylston St, Boston || February 26–March 28 | Curtain 8 pm Fri-Sat | 5 pm Sun | $35-$45

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