“Cornelius” is J.B. Priestley’s engrossing thirties play about a company confronting bankruptcy

This rather conventional play by J.B. Priestley (famous for “An Inspector Calls”) occurs and premiered in London in 1935, a period of economic crisis. It’s not brilliant, but it is engrossing. Briggs and Murrison, a London dealer in aluminum, is going through a rough patch. Trade is devastated by the conflict in Europe. A cable from the company man in Ottawa says embargo is certain on everything but low-grade sheet metal. Murrison has gone into the country seeking orders to save the company from collapse. Jim Cornelius (Alan Cox) is in the office trying to stave off the creditors.

“Sontag Reborn” tells the backstory of Susan Sontag’s life

Susan Sontag was a precocious, smart, self-involved writer whose literary canvas was herself. Let me add the word “pretentious,” which seems best expressed by the white streak in her dark hair which in this dramatic memoir directed by Marianne Weems is exaggerated to a thick snowy patch.

The play, based on her diaries and edited by her son David Rief, is essentially the young Sontag (Moe Angelos) conversing with older one (also Angelos) projected on a large screen. (The various projections by Austin Switser are brilliantly done.) The play is fascinating as a psychological if not a literary portrait.

“The Comedy of Errors” a cool, jazzy 1940s take on Shakespeare’s play

Imagine a Shakespeare play set to 1940s big band swing. What could go wrong?

Daniel Sullivan’s production of “The Comedy of Errors” at the Delacorte is a smashing, charming, cool, jazzy production that leaves the story a bit in the dust.

One wonders what happens when some of Shakespeare’s less significant works are produced without emphasis on the poetry of the iambic pentameters. In this case, the abbreviated (cut to 90 minutes) story of twins lost in a shipwreck and then reunited seems to disappear. The fun is in the 40s jazz and mafiosi characters. That is not to be minimized. This show is a delight.

“The Boat Factory” is a worker’s lyrical memory of a Belfast shipyard

Dan Gordon’s bittersweet memoir about a Belfast shipyard comes alive through the stunning performances of Gordon and Michael Condron as two pals and workers, Davy and Geordie.

Gordon and Condron also create numerous other characters, laborers and bosses, in a play inspired by Gordon’s father’s years after World War II building ships at the huge Harland and Wolff plant.

“I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers” Bette Midler’s smart take on bitter-sweet Hollywood

Sue Mengers (Bette Midler) was the kind of person who sucked up to those above her and had contempt for those below. A perfect fit for Hollywood, where the title, “I’ll Eat You Last,” refers to an affectionate comment by a cannibal, in, as she describes it, “a cannibal love story.” Think about it.

Her story, in fact, shows how those whose careers she helped dropped her when it was convenient. But they were all playing the same game, so you can’t really feel sorry for her.