* Distant Music packs so much wit, wisdom and sheer delight into two hours that I can only begin to tell you about it in this space. Until next week’s full review, suffice to say the Irish bartender Dev, played by Scott Kurz, will tempt you to spend every waking hour hanging out in his Boston pub at the Downtown Space in the Old Market. So much the better if you’re a nun facing a crisis with her vocation (Laura Leininger) or a law professor (Kevin Barratt) struggling over an offered judicial appointment. Then Dev will eavesdrop on your conversation because he says a bartender must choose between eavesdropping or drinking, and he makes the healthier choice. My first experience with a play by James McLindon reminded me of my first viewing of an August Wilson play. I wanted to retain and relish every laugh line, every witty insight; I can’t wait until Brigit St. Brigit Theatre mounts his work again. Grab tickets while you can by calling 502.4910. * You might doubt the musical Mary Poppins could capture the magic that made the movie such a joy. But with Disney and Cameron Macintosh putting it together, the nanny flies and other wonders never cease. And you might even believe that man in the television commercial who claims his feet couldn’t stop tapping. At least you’ll find it hard to resist foot-tapping and hand-clapping when chimney sweep Bert and Mary join the ensemble on the contagious beat of “Step in Time.” Add the fact that native Omahan Q. Smith made a charismatic return home as “the holy terror,” a ferociously funny nanny, and it meets any and every expectation. Fortunately, you have until Feb. 13 if you didn’t catch the opening weekend at the Orpheum. * Andrew McGreevy has moved back to PS Collective with another Neil Labute drama, In a Dark, Dark House, as SkullDuggery Theatre returns to Maple Street in Benson. It completes a brief run Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. with McGreevy and Matt Brown as two brothers with a miserable past. They’re joined by Corie Grant-Leanna. A $10 ticket admits to what may be McGreevy’s last show before summer. It includes “explicit talk about sexual abuse.” Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to coldcream@thereader.com.

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