The first female-helmed adaptation of Orson Welles’ Dick is a surprisingly stunning, immersive production from Hillsboro’s one theater troupe. The Venetian Theatre morphs into a swashbuckling Nantucket wharf, where actors playing whalers sing shanties through the aisles or mime epic harpooning scenes with little more than ropes and wooden blocks as props. The play is framed as a company’s rehearsal of Moby Dick, and Kymberli Colbourne starts the show as a bullheaded director, marching through the theater and barking orders while the house lights are still up. When the lights dim, Bag & Baggage will make you forget there is such a thing as Hillsboro. This is the first production with permission from Welles’ estate to cast women as the leads, and Colbourne as Ahab is a wonderful tempest onstage. As the cast files through the audience carrying candles and flags, actors yell lines from the stage to the balcony, and Colbourne belts tear-jerking monologues from the top of a swaying ladder—you’ll never think of Dick as a snoozefest again.
See it: The Venetian Theatre, 253 E. Main St., Hillsboro, 345-9590. 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday and 2 pm Sunday, through March 20. $25-$30.