Boston Theater Preview: Winter stages include a whole new Robin Hood, ‘Flashdance,’ Lucy and more

WAPB_Mies_1122
‘Mies Julie’ runs through Dec. 8.

‘Mies Julie’
Nov. 30-Dec. 8
Paramount Mainstage
559 Washington St., Boston
$25 – $89, 617-824-8400
artsemerson.org

Eighteen years after the end of apartheid, a black farm worker and his “master’s” daughter explode all boundaries in a violent, erotic adaptation of August Strindberg’s 1888 classic, “Miss Julie.” The sizzling battle extends far beyond gender, race and sexuality as it explores the struggles of freedom and restitution for a society that’s still fractured and struggling to heal.

‘I Love Lucy Live on Stage’
Dec. 3– 22
Colonial Theatre
106 Boylston St., Boston
Starting at $34, 866-348-9738
BroadwayInBoston.com

This one-of-a-kind theatrical experience brings you back to 1952 and puts you in the audience of the Desilu Playhouse studio for a live taping of two episodes of the hit show “I Love Lucy.” Go behind the scenes of this new-fangled medium where a charming host entertains you, commercials are sung live and everyone really does love Lucy.

Experience what a live taping of “I Love Lucy” would’ve been like in 1952.

‘It’s A Horrible Life’
Dec. 5-29
Club Machine
1254 Boylston St., Boston
$35 -$45 (VIP seating)
brownpapertickets.com

“It’s A Wonderful Life” gets a makeover from the Gold Dust Orphans in this non-family friendly musical adaptation of Frank Capra’s holiday classic. Ryan Landry and company move the action to Bedbug Falls where its heroes do battle with the dastardly Mrs. Grinchley in a glitter-filled extravaganza, complete with singing, dancing and men in dresses.

‘The Heart of Robin Hood’
Dec. 11-Jan. 19
American Repertory Theater
64 Brattle St., Cambridge
Starting at $25, 617-547-8300
americanrepertorytheater.org

Robin Hood and his band of merry men steal from the rich but keep it all for themselves in this delightful update of the classic story. It’s up to Marion to turn the dreaded outlaw into a hero in this rollicking, action-packed production which boasts a happy ending —  but not before some scary situations, violence and a tasteful beheading.

Enjoy an edgy retelling of the Robin Hood story.

‘Venus in Fur’
Jan. 3-Feb. 2
Huntington Theatre
264 Huntington Ave., Boston
$25-$99, 617-266-0800
huntingtontheatre.org

In this “sex comedy” a mysterious, struggling actress shows up two hours late to her audition — just as the search for the perfect leading lady is about to prove fruitless — and delivers an audition that becomes an erotic game of cat and mouse. Her sparring with the director proves to be a fascinating power play of sexual domination rife with cheeky humor and a delicious hint of kink.

‘Once’
Jan. 7-19
Boston Opera House
539 Washington St., Boston
Starting at $33, 800-982-2787
BroadwayInBoston.com

This 2012 Tony Award-winning musical (adapted from the acclaimed 2007 film) is an inspiring tale of chasing your dreams. Everything changes for a young Dublin street musician about to throw in the towel when he falls for a beautiful woman with an unusual interest in his haunting love songs. The actors/musicians play their own instruments onstage in this captivating, atypical love story.

“We Are Proud To Present A Presentation About The Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884 – 1915.”

‘We Are Proud To Present A Presentation About The Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884 – 1915′
Jan. 10–Feb. 1
Paramount Center
559 Washington St., Boston
$25-$49, 617-824-8400
artsermerson.org

Chaotic, absurd and hilarious (look at the title), this tale of a small group of actors trying to create a theater piece about a little-known 20th century genocide in German Southwest Africa hits closer to home than the idealistic troupe ever expected. Personal and political convictions collide in this irreverent tale that’s uncomfortably funny until it isn’t funny anymore.

‘Insignificance’
January 9-Feb. 9
Central Square Theater
450 Mass. Ave, Cambridge
$15-$56, 617-576-9278
centralsquaretheater.org

An actress, a genius, a baseball player and a senator (who happen to bear uncanny resemblances to Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein, Joe DiMaggio and Joseph McCarthy) converge in a New York City hotel room one night in 1953. Each stands to lose something critically important on this evening as they stand at turning points in their high-profile lives.

‘The Color Purple’
Jan. 10- Feb. 8
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
527 Tremont St., Boston
$25-$50, 617-933-8600
speakeasystage.com

This West End version of Alice Walker’s heartbreaking — yet uplifting — tale of abuse, domestic violence and rape is much grittier, more intimate and more authentic than the big, splashy Broadway production that earned 11 Tony nominations. The gospel, jazz, African and blues-infused score will stir your soul while Miss Celie’s 40 year journey moves you to tears.

This adaptation of “The Color Purple” is much grittier than the Broadway version.

‘Winter Panto 2014: Rumpelstiltskin, or, All That Glitters’
Jan. 11-Feb. 1
BCA Plaza Black Box Theater
527 Tremont St., Boston
$18-$24 (children $10), 617-933-8600
imaginarybeasts.org

Using slapstick and gender-bending elements of traditional British Panto, Imaginary Beasts spins an unforgettable tale of an odd little man who can grant any request…at a cost. A battle between good and evil is at the center of this spectacle and (spoiler alert) good triumphs, making it family-friendly fare for kids of all ages.

‘Witness Uganda’
Feb. 4–March 16
American Repertory Theater
64 Brattle St., Cambridge
Starting at $25, 617-547-8300
americanrepertorytheater.org

Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus helms the world premier of this rousing musical tale of a young New York City man’s life-changing journey to Uganda. The last two musicals Paulus premiered at A.R.T. ended up being the hottest ticket in town before they became Tony-winning Broadway smashes. Take the hint.

‘American Idiot’
Feb. 7-9
Boston Opera House
539 Washington St., Boston
Starting at $33, 800-982-2787
BroadwayInBoston.com

Based on Green Day’s Grammy Award-winning album of the same name, “American Idiot” is tells the story of three lifelong friends who grapple with chasing their dreams or selling out for the safe trappings of suburbia. The score boasts hits like “21 Guns,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” and “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”

‘Neighbourhood Watch’
Feb.7-March 1st
BCA Plaza Black Box Theater
527 Tremont St., Boston
$20-$30, 617-933-8600
zeitgeiststage.com

Alan Ayckbourn’s 75th play is the quirky, comic tale of Martin and Hilda, unmarried Christian siblings who are so comfortable together they even sigh in unison. But their nerdy affability flies out the window when Martin turns his neighborhood into a police state in response to a spree of petty crimes.

‘Baby with the Bathwater’
Feb. 13-22
Factory Theatre
791 Tremont St., Boston
$20, seniors/students $17, 617-549-9854
happymediumtheatre.com

Helen and John are two utterly unprepared parents who are disappointed their new baby didn’t pop out speaking English and far too polite to check its sex. They decide (without looking) the child is a girl and name her Daisy. This child struggles with his identity in a hilarious tale of dresses, bad behavior and calamitous mistakes.

‘The Whale’
March 7-April 5
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
527 Tremont St., Boston
$25-$60, 617-933-8600
speakeasystage.com

In a play that is at turns comical and heart-wrenching, this is the story of Charlie, a 600-pound, couch-bound recluse who is dying of congestive heart failure, refuses to go to the hospital in his finals days. Instead, he uses the time to mend fences with those he has wronged, most notably his angry, estranged teenage daughter.

‘Flashdance – The Musical’
March 11-23
Colonial Theatre
106 Boylston St., Boston
Starting at $34, 800-982-2787
BroadwayInBoston.com

Based on the 1983 film that became a worldwide phenomenon, “Flashdance-The Musical” is the story of Alex Owens, a welder by day and bar dancer at night with big dreams and few options. The score boasts hits like “Maniac,” “I Love Rock and Roll” and “Flashdance – What a Feeling.” You know you want to.


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