Jeffrey Hatcher (left), Ron Peluso and Chan Poling accepting an Ivey Award in 2016 for "Glensheen." /Jeff Wheeler

Plays-about-plays may be even more of a trend than was indicated in this recent story, tied to the runs of "Noises Off" at Artistry (it just closed) and "Indecent" at the Guthrie (which has begun performances).

Also currently running is "The Pirates of Penzance" at Park Square Theatre. Confusing title notwithstanding, it's not a straight-up production of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, but an edited, gender-fluid version, with asides about the creation of the piece and its reception. In other words, as much as it's a production of "Pirates," it's a play about a production of "Pirates."

Attempts to reach playwright Jeffrey Hatcher for that Star Tribune story were unsuccessful (his "Compleat Stage Beauty," which is partly about "Othello," was produced by Walking Shadow in 2012). It turns out there's a good reason Hatcher couldn't immediately return calls to his office: He was in Israel. Doing research for a new play, commissioned by Canadian super-producer (and ex-con -- he was convicted of fraud and forgery) Garth Drabinsky. A new play that is about a play: It's about a British touring production of "The Merchant of Venice" that visits Palestine during the time it was under the administration of Great Britain, from 1920-48.

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