‘Gentlemen’ on the Common
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company will offer its popular annual free Shakespeare production on Boston Common a little early this year, with “Two Gentlemen of Verona” running July 6-28. Directed by the company’s artistic director, Steven Maler, the production is inspired by Rat Pack-era Las Vegas. The set designer is Beowulf Boritt, who designed “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for the company in 2007. Boritt’s Broadway credits include “Grace,” “Rock of Ages,” and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Details: www.commshakes.org.
Gloucester Stage Company will begin its 34th season with the musical “Spring Awakening” (June 20-July 14), directed by company artistic director Eric C. Engel. Also slated are founding artistic director Israel Horovitz’s Gloucester play “North Shore Fish” (July 18-Aug. 4); Kenneth Lonergan’s “This Is Our Youth” (Aug. 8-25); and Alfred Uhry’s “Driving Miss Daisy” (Sept. 5-22), with Lindsay Crouse and Johnny Lee Davenport. Engel will also direct the “Dueling Divas Cabaret” (Aug. 28-Sept. 1) with Mary Callanan, Kerry Dowling, and Kathy St. George. Details and tickets: 978-281-4433 and www.gloucesterstage.com.
Audience sets the price
Horovitz again: The new Hub Theatre Company of Boston presents his “Lebensraum” Friday through April 14 at the First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough St. The
company is trying to “lower the barriers between art and audience” with a box-office model in which every ticket for every show all season is pay-what-you-can. In “Lebensraum,” its inaugural production, actors Kevin Paquette, Jaime Carrillo, and Lauren Elias play some 40 characters under the direction of John Geoffrion. The play explores what happens when Germany invites 6 million Jews to resettle there. Details are at www.hubtheatreboston.org.
On the next three Friday nights, the gang at ImprovBoston will finish what some local playwrights could only begin. In the “Playbook” series, performers directed by artistic director emeritus Will Luera will use the first page of unfinished works by local playwrights as the starting point for one-act plays made up on the spot. Friday’s unfinished work comes from James Ferguson, April 5 is by Jeffrey Sweet, and April 12 from Melinda Lopez. Tickets, $18, at www.improvboston.com. ImprovBoston is at 40 Prospect St., Cambridge.
Joel Brown can be reached at email@example.com.