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Thursday Theater Roundup

669842  Into the Woods KI#5

Bobby Cooke, Loraine O'Donnell and Jenn Stafford star in Second Generation Theatre's "Into the Woods."

"Into the Woods," through June 23 in the New Phoenix Theatre in a Second Generation Theatre production. ★★★★

From the review: "[This] version of Sondheim’s dark mutation of classic fairy-tale tropes, directed with keen attention to detail by Chris Kelly and performed by a phenomenal cast of newcomers and vets, takes us dangerously deep into the strange thicket of Sondheim’s imagination. After almost three hours in this alternate universe, so powerfully rendered by SGT’s cast and design team, we emerge into the real world with a renewed faith in the fairy-tale powers of the theater." --Colin Dabkowski

"The Book of Mormon," through Sunday in Shea's Performing Arts Center. ★★★★

From the review: "Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s breathlessly funny and strategically offensive show is surely the most vulgar, foul-mouthed and sophomoric piece of theater ever to appear in the vicinity of a Broadway stage. It is also one of the smartest and most emotionally savvy, inserting devastating critiques of religious hypocrisy and American values into a package guaranteed to beguile all but the most jaded theatergoer." --Colin Dabkowski

"Sex'd ," through Sunday in the Paul Robeson Theatre. ★★★

From the review: "This multigenerational, family-centric, often religiously themed stage is the home of good, nurturing, expository storytelling, yes, but not typically challenging or controversial storytelling. For this breakout alone, it is worth seeing." --Ben Siegel

At the Shaw Festival:

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"Guys and Dolls," through Nov. 3 in the Festival Theatre. ★★★½

From the review: "For this production, directed by Tadeusz Bradecki with molecular fidelity to the original material and choreographed to within a millimeter of its life by Parker Esse, the Shaw has rounded up a phenomenal cast." --Colin Dabkowski

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"Major Barbara," through Oct. 19 in the Royal George Theatre. ★★★

From the review: "Director Jackie Maxwell’s production of Shaw’s long-winded but monumentally engaging play about the tug-of-war between public and corporate interests sets out to rescue Undershaft from her status as a weak protagonist all too willing to mold her ideals to the arguments of others. Alas, despite Maxwell’s laudable efforts and a remarkable performance from the magnetic Nicole Underhay in the title role, the show fails to transform Shaw’s projection screen of a protagonist into a living, breathing human." --Colin Dabkowski

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Claire Julien and Julia Course star in the Shaw Festival's production of "Our Betters."

"Our Betters," through Oct. 27 in the Royal George Theatre. ★★★

From the review: "The play, which explores the efforts of newly wealthy Americans to seek ancient British titles and the status that accompanies them, is timed to exploit our culture’s renewed obsession with the roaring ’20s and the surrounding decades. The play, though a bit clunky in its conceit, is positively 'Gatsby'-esque in its attempt to uncover the emptiness of the British aristocracy and the equally vapid American climbers who try to invade it." --Colin Dabkowski

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