On Stage

Stage Tricks

Four stage productions bend rules, surprise audiences, and embrace the possibilities of theater

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JQA

John Quincy Adams wasn’t a Founding Father. Contemporaries described him as bookish and reclusive. Yet, the sixth President of the United States was full of personality: He got into fierce debates with his mother, his wife, Frederick Douglas, Andrew Jackson, and Henry Clay. In JQA, the recent play by Aaron Posner, the four actors perform multiple parts, so John Quincy receives four different treatments. This unconventional
approach comes naturally to Aaron, who took Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull and morphed it into the acclaimed Stupid F**cking Bird. The Gamm presents this New England premiere, a fascinating crash-course in the Adams legacy – and a timely exploration of what it means to be president. October 24-November 17

Waiting for Godot

In the first act of Waiting for Godot, two men wait for a mysterious figure named Godot. After the intermission, two men continue to wait for a mysterious figure named Godot. Samuel Beckett’s existential masterpiece took some time to win over audiences, but now the play is considered one of the greatest works of the 20th century. The Wilbury Theatre Group has performed Godot before, and this production has been labeled a revival. Why is the absurdist comedy so surprisingly watchable? Because Vladimir and Estragon are so goofy, as are their wacky visitors, Lucky and Pozzo. Catch this production the second time around with local favorites Richard Donelly and Tom Gleadow. September 26–October 20

The Producers

Two con men, one horrifying script, and an “incredibly guilty” verdict. The Producers started its run as one of the greatest film comedies of all time; in 2001, it became one of the greatest musical comedies of all time, with music and lyrics by Mel Brooks himself. The Players kick off their 111th season with this convention-breaking farce. October 4–20