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Play by Play: July 3, 2009

Plays from A to Z
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  July 6, 2009

| Tony winner (for Grizabella, in Cats) Betty Buckley joins Hartford Stage’s SummerStage line-up with her cabaret show, which will doubtless include a performance of “Memories.” | Hartford Stage, 50 Church St, Hartford | 860.527.5151 | Through July 11 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | $30-$75

CANDIDE | Leonard Bernstein’s 1956 “comic operetta” based on the Voltaire novella comes to the Berkshires, complete with the famous Overture, the “Glitter and Be Gay” coloratura aria for Cunégonde, and, of course, “Make Our Garden Grow.” The original libretto was by Lillian Hellman, but it’s since been replaced by a book by Hugh Wheeler; Richard Wilbur, Dorothy Parker, Stephen Sondheim, and Bernstein himself contributed to the text. | Berkshire Theatre Festival Unicorn Theatre, Main St, Stockbridge | 413.298.5576 | July 7–August 15 | Curtain 8 pm Mon-Tues | 7 pm Wed | 2 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 10 am + 8 pm Sat | $19.28-$68

THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED) | The Publick Theatre has suspended its 2009 outdoor summer season pending an inspection and likely repairs to the lighting and sound systems, but that doesn’t mean the theater will be dark: Orfeo Group will be staging, before dark (so no lighting necessary), this audience favorite by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Singer, everything you need to know about the Bard in a single evening, with all the boring parts left out, and at a “Ridiculously Reduced Price.” One of the usual Publick suspects, Steve Barkhimer, directs; Daniel Berger-Jones, Gabriel Kuttner, and Risher Reddick make up the cast. Oh, and there’ll be grills available in case you want to come early and barbecue. | Publick Theatre, Christian Herter Park, 1175A Soldiers Field Rd, Brighton | 617.747.4460 | July 9–August 2 | Curtain 6:45 pm Thurs-Sun | $15; Thurs free to all; Fri free with student ID

THE HAPPY OYSTER SPECTACULAR SHOW | Subtractive Media serves up this “live-action/video/music review with an Outer Cape bent that places contemporary culture under the microscope — one with a fractured lens. Good Morning America, Garrison Keillor, YouTube, drug commercials, and dating services are just a few of the subjects that fall prey to David Kennedy and his comedy troupe’s satirical examination.” | Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, Julie Harris Stage, 2357 Rte 6, Wellfleet | 508.349.WHAT | July 12–August 30 | Curtain 8 pm Sun | $25

KNICKERBOCKER | Williamstown Theatre Festival artistic director Nicholas Martin opens the 2009 Nikos Stage season with the world premiere of this play by Jonathan Marc Sherman in which Jerry, who apparently never saw the I Love Lucy episode in which Ricky and Lucy “prepare” for the arrival of Little Ricky, grows increasingly anxious as the birth date of his son approaches and he wonders whether he’s ready to be a parent. Not sure where that title comes into it. | Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage, 1000 Main St, Rte 2, Williamstown | 413.597.3400 | July 8-19 | Curtain 8 pm Tues-Wed | 3 + 8 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8:30 pm Sat | 2 pm Sun | $35-$37

THE LAST OF THE RED HOT LOVERS | Gloucester Stage continues its 2009 season with this 1969 Neil Simon comedy. Gloucester artistic associate David Zoffoli directs and stars as the middle-aged and married Barney, who’s hoping to join the sexual revolution; ART stalwart Karen MacDonald plays the three women he tries, and fails, to seduce. | Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main St, Gloucester | 978.281.4433 | July 2-19 | Curtain 8 pm Wed-Fri [7:30 pm July 3, with fireworks] | 3 + 8 pm Sat [no performances July 4] | 4 pm Sun | $32-$37

THE LOMAN FAMILY PICNIC | Harvard-Radcliffe Summer Theatre opens its 2009 season with Pulitzer Prize winner (for Dinner with Friends) Donald Margulies’s uncharacteristically offbeat 1989 work, a likable tragicomedy set in 1965 Brooklyn and merging Margulies’s own history with that of the family in Arthur Miller’s iconic Death of a Salesman. The youngest member of the dysfunctional clan on which Margulies focuses is writing a musical version of Miller’s play called Willy!, and when things get too painful, the family are thrust into singing, hoofing scenes from this imagined work. Olivia Benowitz directs. | Loeb Drama Center Experimental Theatre, 64 Brattle St, Cambridge | 617.496.2222 | July 9-18 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed-Fri | 2:30 + 7:30 pm Sat | 7:30 pm Sun | $10; $8 students, seniors, Harvard ID

MAME | Lee Meriwether — Miss America 1955, not to mention Catwoman in the 1966 Batman (the movie, not the TV show) — has the Angela Lansbury role in the Reagle Players’ production of the 1966 Broadway musical based on the 1958 Rosalind Russell–starring Broadway play (in turn based on a 1955 novel) about the wealthy and eccentric Mame Dennis and her life during the Great Depression and World War II. The songs include “If He Walked into My Life” and “We Need a Little Christmas.” | Robinson Theatre, 617 Lexington St, Waltham | 781.891.5600 | July 16-25 | Curtain 2 pm [July 16] or 7:30 pm [July 23] Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 pm [July 18] + 7:30 pm Sat | 2 pm Sun | $32-$54

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