The Front Page is a melodramatic comedy or a comic melodra by Charles MacArthur and Ben Hecht, about a hardboiled but purposeless reporter from Chicago who sets out to save an innocent man convicted of murder, or something. It's a fine play, although more or less reliable sources say it's not being done too well--a recurrent problem on the Mainstage. Until Saturday, 8 p.m., at the Loeb.
Major Barbara is one of Shaw's best plays--about a Salvation Army major who discovers that as long as everything else gets its value in a market economy, salvation will too. The major's father is such a powerful character (remember Robert Morley in the movie?) that he runs away with Shaw's message a couple of times, and there are also a few great setpieces, notably the almost-conversion of Bill Walker. As a curtain-raiser, there's Icarus' Mother, by Sam Shepard who's a more or less experimental playwright, and the director is Robert Chapman, professor of English and director of the Loeb. Wot prawce selvytion naow? 7:30 at the Loeb Ex, where things are free.
They did Charles Gordone's No Place to be Somebody at the Loeb Ex earlier this spring, but that hasn't stopped a new group called Peoples Theater from making it their inaugural production. Fridays and Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 7, at Peoples Theater, 1253 Cambridge Street near Inman Square.
But on the whole, Ruddigore is probably your best bet--it's funny, it has some beautiful music, and the Gilbert & Sullivan Players' production is outstanding. 8:30 at the Agassiz.