Monologue or Monotony?

Likewise amusing but essentially pointless is a monologue in which an old codger complains about the excess of the movie Titanic: "You don't toss a diamond the size of a toaster overboard," he says, referring to the film's improbable ending. In this sketch, as in each of the others, Murray brings us up to the threshold of revelation but never crosses it.

One approach that might help would be to make these characters less generic -- nail them down to a South Beach setting with idiosyncratic details, thus allowing the show to comment on the disparate people who thrive or struggle there. As they stand, Murray's people are occasionally poignant and sweet, and they get under your skin almost despite themselves. I wanted Murray to dig deeper, to go a little further into their dangerous textures, to make me feel uncomfortable, not just mildly amused.

South Beach Stories.
Written and performed by Susan Murray; directed by Hal Brooks. Through October 10. Terrence Ibbs Auditorium, 3892 Biscayne Blvd; 305-759-5151.

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