Daddies Dearest

Of the excellent cast, Suzanne Riley as Weetsie the bible-toting bride almost steals the thunder from her more-glamorous sisters-in-law, although Wendy Michaels in the role of Sybil, the cynical seductress, grabs her big moment and rams it straight through your heart, without once going over the top.

It's a pleasure to see two relatively new, smartly written, and engaging dramas playing simultaneously in this arena. And by dealing with the effects of man upon child, of families upon each other, they manage to strike some chord in every thinking member of the audience. Fathers can indeed build or destroy lives, and both these plays project that same commanding power.

THE SUBSTANCE OF FIRE written by Jon Robin Baitz, directed by Tony Giordano; with Mark Margolis, Mark Gaylord, Michael Mastrototaro, Nancy McDaniel, and Crista Moore. At The Coconut Grove Playhouse, 3500 Main Hwy, Coconut Grove, through May 17. Performances Tuesday - Saturday at 8:15 p.m., with matinees Wednesday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m.; additional performances May 7 and 16 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets cost $24 to $35. Call 442-4000 for more information.

THE COVER OF LIFE written by R.T. Robinson, directed by David Spangler; with Janece Martell, Wendy Michaels, Harriet Oser, Suzanne Riley, Marcy Ruderhausen, Dave Schiliro, and Ellen Simmons. At The Drama Center, 2345 W. Hillsboro Blvd, Deerfield Beach through May 10. Performances Wednesday - Saturday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. Tickets cost $15. Call 570-9115 for more information.

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