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Boston Metro Spotlight: July 2010

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A scene from Ovo
(© Benoit Fontaine/Cirque du Soleil)
Come late July, Boston's Fan Pier will be crawling -- with the astoundingly acrobatic "insects" of Cirque du Soleil's Ovo (July 22 - August 15). Boston Midsummer Opera lays out a two-course treat collectively titled Trouble and Chocolate at Boston University's Tsai Performance Center (July 28 - August 1): Leonard Bernstein's 1952 one-act Trouble in Tahiti examines the underside of a seemingly perfect marriage, and Lee Hoiby's Bon Appétit! recreates a classic Julia Child's broadcast, with Judy Kaye playing the fluty-toned chef. Wicked author Gregory Maguire is among the seven playwrights contributing short plays based on fairytales to the Company One's world premiere of Grimm at the Boston Center for the Arts' Plaza Theatre (July 16 - August 14).

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company makes its annual gift to the city in the form of a free outdoor Othello starring The Wire's Seth Gilliam in the title role and James Waterston as Iago on Boston Common (July 18 - August 15). Chelsea's Apollinaire Theatre Company presents its free outdoor show -- Cyrano de Bergerac (July 14-31) -- in a choice of English or Spanish. Also al fresco at Brighton's Christian Herter Park, Gabriel Kuttner performs the many, many roles of Becky Mode's hilarious comedy Fully Committed (July 15 - August 15).

In Cambridge, Conni's Avant Garde Restaurant -- a New York company that combines parodic hijinks with a catered supper -- touches down at the American Repertory Theatre's Oberon club for four "midsummer Sundays" (July 11 - August 1). At Cambridge's Central Square Theatre, ART veteran Thomas Derrah directs the delightful new three-man version of The Hound of the Baskervilles (July 22 - August 22), starring Remo Airaldi, Bill Mootos, and Trent Mills.

Beverly's North Shore Music Theatre is celebrating its miraculous resurrection with Gypsy (July 6-25), starring Vicki Lewis. Waltham's Reagle Players scored Sarah Pfisterer as Marian the Librarian for The Music Man (July 15-25). Becky Barta stars in Always...Patsy Cline at Stoneham Theatre (July 8-25).

On Cape Cod, the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater romps through Born Yesterday, with Winslow Corbett as Billie Dawn (July 1-31); the kids' show Robin Hood, or Marian of Sherwood (July 5 - August 25); Tingle!, comic political commentary by Jimmy Tingle (July 5 - August 30); Cyrano, in a new three-actor adaptation (July 8 - August 7); and the regional premiere of Carter W. Lewis's dark high-school romance, The Storytelling Ability of a Boy (July 11-31). Up at the Provincetown Theater, David Drake directs David Parr's Off-Broadway-bound Slap & Tickle, a revealing bathhouse dramedy (July 6 - August 14).

Dennis' venerable Cape Playhouse offers Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings (July 5-17) and Christopher Sieber as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray (July 19 - August 7). The Vineyard Playhouse debuts Rhonda Coullet's "original goddess rock musical" Runaway Beauty Queen or the Lost Pleiad (July 6 - August 14), as well as A Midsummer Night's Dream outdoors (July 15 - August 15), and playwright Sam Forman appearing in his own Facebook-generation romcom, The Rise and Fall Of Annie Hall (July 24 - August 15). A highlight for the semiprofessional Theater Workshop of Nantucket is a benefit appearance by André De Shields in his new solo show Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: from Douglass to Deliverance at the Whaling Museum (July 12-13).

The Berkshires are of course a hotbed. The Williamstown Theater Festival features Justin Long and Owiso Odera as brothers-by-adoption in Mat Smart's Samuel J. and K. (July 7-18); John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation, with Tim Daley, Margaret Colin, Ned Eisenberg, and Ato Essandoh (July 14-25); Amy Herzog's After the Revolution (July 21 - August 1), featuring Mark Blum, Peter Friedman, David Margulies, Katharine Powell, Lois Smith, Elliot Villar, and Mare Winningham; and the newly hot property Our Town, with Campbell Scott, John Rubenstein, and Becky Ann and Dylan Baker (July 28 - August 8).

Pittsfield's Barrington Stage Company is premiering Pool Boy by Nikos Tsakalakos and Janet Allard (July 13 - August 8), with a cast that includes Sara Gettelfinger and John Hickok. And on the Mainstage: Yasmina Reza's ever-popular Art (July 22 - August 7), with Brian Avers, Michael Countryman, and David Garrison.

Lenox's Shakespeare & Company has enlisted Obie winner John Douglas Thompson for Richard III (July 9 - September 5). Also on the S&Co. roster: Gardner McKay's Sea Marks, a late-life love story set in Ireland (July 9 - September 4); Daniel Klein's Mengelberg and Mahler, a one-man tour de force for Robert Lohbauer (July 11 - September 9); The Winter's Tale, with Jonathan Epstein as Leontes (July 15 - September 6); and the world premiere of Joan Ackerman's The Taster, with Rocco Sisto playing a translator obsessed by a medieval Basque courtier with a dangerous métier (July 28 - September 6).

In nearby Stockbridge, Randy Harrison stars in the Berkshire Theatre Festival production of Beckett's Endgame (July 6-24). Also on view: Ferenc Molnár's The Guardsman, featuring Mary Lousie Wilson, Jayne Atkinson, Richard Easton, and Michael Gill (June 13-31), and the family-friendly Rodgers & Hart fave Babes in Arms (July 27 - August 8).

Finally, Great Barrington's gloriously rehabbed Mahaiwe Theatre provides a pre-Broadway glimpse of Eric Simonson's football-bio Lombardi, starring Dan Laurie and Judith Light (July 22-28).

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